Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Spiritual Power of the Elements.
Fire, water and Earth are not just elements that we have to try and harness in order that human cultures can develop and gain control of our environment. Rather, these elements have a spiritual meaning. It is this spiritual energy within the elemental reality of our world that gives our art forms a link to what moves the whole of creation. The artist is concerned with the elemental. The potter, for example, works with clay, but this means also working with water that makes clay supple and pliant in the process of creating new forms. Air also helps in fashioning the clay object, filling the space within its hollowed out interior, and in that way helping in the process of drying, so that the clay does not crack and fall into pieces. Finally it is in the fire that the clay form is made permanent, uneffected by the power of water to disolve earthen bodies, reducing all living beings to the undifferentiated matter of mother earth. This process of creating a vessel or image out of clay, has been understood as symbolizing the transformation of nature by art. Only by understanding this process of transformation that is going on in the elemental world, can we begin to also realize an inner power that shapes our lives, giving meaning to all human cultures.