"Atlantis Rising; The Awakening of an American Artist"
Introduction to Part One: "Initiation"
By John William Brown
First Journal Entry- June 23,1997
Today is a special day, for I feel that I am ready to embark on a journey that I have waited for a very long time to complete. During this journey, my intention is to choose and experience a special gift from what I refer to as Spirit, or the "Divine Source". A gift in which my intentions are to result in a series of artwork called "Faces of God". Not that I feel that any 'divine source" is purely male energy, nor exclusive to artist. Thats not it at all. It's just that I have felt many times that the collections of Angel and Goddess images I have worked on over the past year would not be complete or "balanced" without the prominent male mythological archetypes. Like the work that has preceded this particular collection, I believe this is something that only Spirit can touch under the right conditions. Now is time to "create" these conditions, and bring the work full circle. Although I do not know in which way or to what extent, I do realize there is no way that an artist cannot be touched, changed or altered in some way after experiencing what I intend too in creating this series of work. I will need to listen, feel and touch the heart of "Source" in order to reveal the many "Faces of God". I will attempt to hear the voice and see through the eyes in order to feel and create what it is that Source would intend to reveal. I know in my heart, I will not be the same person when I am done, as I am today. I look forward to the change in eagerness, in thirst and hunger, with wild-eyed anticipation for the days that follow.
June 24, 1997-5:00 a.m.
This is an attempt to document a series of designs and concepts. It is my intention to report on the progress, communications, transitions, creations and outcome on a periodical basis as honestly and openly as I can. There is a passage by Kalhil Gibran I have grown older with, I refer to it often in times of change. Today, I am reminded of it once again....
A passage from the "Prophet"
"Almastafa, the chosen and the beloved, who was a dawn unto his own day, had waited twelve years in the city of Orphalase for his ship that was to return and bear him back to the ilse of his birth. And in the twelfth year on the seventh day of Lelool, the month of reaping, he climbed a hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld his ship coming with the mist.
Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul. But, as he ascended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart:
"How shall I go in peace without sorrow? Nay, not without a word in the spirit shall I leave this city. Long were the days of pain I have spent within it's walls., and long were the nites of aloneness; And who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret? To many fragments of the spirit have I scattered in these streets, and to many are the children of my longing that walk naked among these hills, and I cannot withdraw from them without a burden and an ache. It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands. Nor is it a thought that I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst. Yes, I cannot tarry any longer. The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark. For to stay, the hours burn in the nite, is to freeze and to crystalize and be bound in a mold. Fain that I would take with me all that is here. But how shall I?
A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether. And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the Sun".
Time was spent on re-organizing and arranging an itinerary for the designs. Attempts at meditations to focus were subtle, but a sense of wonder and newness seemed to permeate. Progress was made on assembling and organizing material for the collection, and three to four concepts were formed. Ares, the "God of War", "Apollo", the God of the Underworld, and "Pan", the 'Trickster". Other material was arranged and reviewed for possible consideration .
June 25, 1997-1:00 a.m.
Many times I will reach for a book for no particular reason. I will pick it up, hold it, focus and meditate but for a moment. Then I will open at a random page, knowing that whatever I was about to read was to hold a significance. I would listen carefully to the words and like many do, apply them to my own life. At times I find the messages amazing. I realize they are total random messages that can be applied to anyone's life, at any time, like that of a horoscope.........
Or is there more to it?
Two days ago I went to a friend and told her what I was planning to do over the course of the next thirty days. Knowing me and knowing the state of my life, she was pleased to say the least. Even though we had talked about my personal course of action, nothing had been mentioned about such personal and intense introspective. I did not know how she was going to react but knew that I needed her help more than ever before to accomplish it. After I told her, I think she was more pleased at the fact that I was doing something for myself and that it would help me as an individual more then any art collection. Such is the love of a friend. For noone has seen and watch me wither in the past year more then she has. Such is the result of passion and an artist who is lost. Prior to telling her of my plans, she had gotten a few books for my birthday and had given them to me later that evening, the same night I was to start this introspection.
The books are as follows. The Prophet, by Kalhil Gibran, hence the passage that I opened this journal with. I had a pocket version of this book already that I keep around my computer. I use it as a reference at times. The one I have was given to me as a gift some 19 years ago and shows it's age. It is beaten and torn and stained, but thats what makes old books that much better. The next one was another pocket version called "Lifes little treasure book On Friendship" by H. Jackson Browne. The last one was "A Dancing Star - Inspirations to Guide and Heal", by Eileen Campbell.
I felt a particular kinship with this last book. As I held it in my hands this evening, looking over the outside of it, again i felt it....creeping in, that familiar feeling. That feeling one gets when the attunement starts, like an animal that stops in his tracks and fixes his senses on his surroundings, listening and looking intently. When one knows he's about to receive a message. But of course, I'm only holding a "guide to inspiration" in my hands at a time when I feel as though I need to be guided and inspired! No magic there. But, there is a difference between knowing that you will read something that will help, andKnowingthat your about to read something that is going to add another piece of a puzzle, perhaps one big corner piece. Perhaps even one that will change your life, ....forever.
I have been waiting, patiently, watching, listening to the signs. This is the way I am. This is what I have come to understand intuitively. I try to know better these days. Many years of doubting and fighting it will do that to you. I know that I am not alone in what I am doing. I realized a long time ago that I am but a manifestation of a power greater then myself. I try to listen and trust in this power, for it speaks only of truth. At times, I take back "my" will, a will of ego and act out of my own human frailties and screw things up,...badly. I have also learned that as an artist, only such a gift can come from a higher power, and with this gift comes a responsibilty. It's the same as the freedoms we endure as free citizens of a free world.
So I wait for the message, and listen to what it is I am suppose to hear. What it is I'm suppose to do. I hold the guide book in my hand, skimming the pages like a deck of cards, knowing that wherever I randomly open and read is what I am meant to hear at the moment. The rustling ends at the very first page as I begin to read.....
"I say to you: One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star".
The words read like that of a voice speaking out to me. My hands trembled as warm waves of energy seemed to surge up my arms. Barb, you truly are an angel of mine, I've never doubted it. Was this a significant message for me, now? Or was this a total random reading in which any significance at all was simply created in my own head, seeking a path to an esacape from a time in which chaos reigned in my own life. I just felt that something had begun, an initiation of sorts. An entrance or passage taken that opened this whole new doorway. But to where?
Up until now, I haven't been sure as to what I am suppose to write about here except for the usual documentation of this process. Perhaps there is much more to write about after all. I have decided to use quotes from this guide book throughout this process. That way, both you and I and anyone that chooses so, will learn of this "Dancing Star" and it's random guiding and inspiring messages that can be applied to anyones life, at any time.
June 26, 1997- 2:15 a.m.
To continue on with the introduction to "A Dancing Star"....
"The Nietzsche quote from which this anthology takes it's title illustrates the exciting potentiality of the dancing star emerging from chaos....
Our lives are constantly subject to change, and frequently chaos ensues, both within and without. Dreams, relationships, plans seldom work out as we had hoped; disappointment, failure, illness, and finally death itself, cannot be avoided. Suffering is part of the human condition, but our problems are never as unique as we feel them to be. Throughout history others have trod the same path of human experience and have had insight into how we can rise above the circumstances we find ourselves in. At times we all need inspiration- to make a major change in our lives, to help us deal with some unexpected, and perhaps tragic, life event, to comfort us when we feel we have lost our way and life has lost it's meaning. Invariably chaos in our lives brings transformation in it's wake. Here lies our greatest opportunity to learn and grow. With inspiration comes the necessary shift of consciousness - and healing.
This anthology of quotations is gathered from both East and West, from the great spiritual teachers of all religious traditions and from philosophers and psychologist, playwrites, novelist and poets of both the past and the present."
A Quote by Henry David Thoreau
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!......Live the life you have imagined."
As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; Solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
Introduction to Part 3: "Return of the White Dove"
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