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Lions Roar : January 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2013 63 point of view. The first aspect is heaven, which is connected with nonthought, or vision. You are being provided with a big canvas, with all the oil paints and a good brush. You have an easel in front of you and you have your smock on, ready to paint. At that point you become frightened, and you do not know what to do. Or you might have blank sheets of paper and a pen sitting on your desk, and you are about to write poetry. You pick up your pen with a big sigh—you have nothing to say. Or you pick up your musical instrument and do not know what note to play. That first space is heaven, and it is the best one! It is not regarded as regression; it is just basic space in which you have no idea what it is going to do or what you are going to do. This initial fear of inadequacy may be regarded as heaven, basic space, complete space. Such fear of knowledge is not all that big a fear, but a gap in space that allows you to step back. It is one’s first insight, a kind of positive bewilderment. Then, as you look at your canvas or your notepad, you come up with a first thought of some kind, which you timidly put out. You begin to mix your paints with your brush or to scrib- ble timidly on your notepad. The slogan “First thought is best thought!” is an expression of that principle, which is earth. The third principle is humanity. The humanity principle confirms the original panic of the heaven principle and the “first thought best thought” of the earth principle put together. You begin to realize that you have something concrete to pres- ent. There is a sense of joy and a slight smile at the corners of your mouth, a slight sense of humor. You can actually say something about what you are trying to create. That is the third principle, humanity. So we have heaven, earth, and humanity. First, you have the sky; then you have the earth to complement the sky, and having sky and earth already, you have somebody to occupy that space, which is humanity. It is like creation, or genesis. This is connected with the ideal form of a work of art, although it can include much more than that. It arises from the basis of health, on the ground of coolness and sanity, which we have already discussed. 4. Perception Having discussed the heaven, earth, and humanity principle in connection with creating a work of art, we could discuss what takes place for the individual who witnesses a work of art. To understand the perceiver of art, it is important to discuss perception in general, the way we perceive things based on the principles of seeing and looking. Whether we are executing a work of art or witnessing one, first we look and then we see. The notion of looking at things as they are is important here. We cannot even call it a concept; it is an experience. Look! Why do we look at all? Or we could say, Listen! Why do we listen at all? Why do we feel at all? Why do we taste? The one and only answer is that there is such a thing as inquisitiveness PHOTOSCOURTESYOFSHAMBHALAARCHIVES