I have written angry songs, judgmental songs, indignant songs, sad songs and happy songs, but if they do not come from a place of sincerity and honesty, they never make it past my song book and into a recording. I am very picky that way. For me, art is a spiritual practice, a way to challenge my ego and grind it down, so that it dissolves back to the One source.
Some are fueled by accolade and fame, while others hold themselves back and hide in the shadows wondering why. Both are an expression of the ego and living in fear. You can be on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people and never further from your soul voice. If an artistic expression is fueled by the ego, an audience member who seeks to hide and mask pain in their own life will likely resonate with it; while those that seek honesty and humility will not find it appealing.
The source of creativity plays a major part in the end artistic product. I feel artists either create from wanting approval, love, acceptance, etc… or from selflessness, service, surrender, love. The voice of the soul is connected to the infinite. When the artist’s soul speaks, their ego dies a little and so can the ego of the audience. But when the artist’s neuroses drive the creative process, we end up with a potentially catchy piece that can amplify the neuroses in others.
For the most part, I write and create music and produce my shows from a place of joy. Often with a smile on my face while at the computer producing, I am told I am like a kid in a toyshop. I can be seen literally jumping up and down when a certain resonance comes together in a song or a production. I just feel so aligned, so alive, so purposeful and complete. I watch my body to see if I feel expansive or constrictive. I consciously choose to create through expansion.
I wrote and produced my CD and show by following my joy. I am not talking about being happy without sincerity. I speak of the expansive expression of my soul that feels positive and tuned into life. I feel that when I connect to my joy, I contribute to the vibration of joy on the planet.
I wish deeply for all beings to be free, for all to be happy, for all to be without suffering. As such, I must first align my consciousness with these qualities so that I may serve others. I am part of a continual inner purification process in so doing. Housecleaning always starts at home. If we are to truly serve others, we must empty ourselves to be vessels for the divine. For me, emptiness comes from the dissolving of the ego, when we get out of our own way and allow Grace to flow. I feel both empty and full when creating and performing.
I am inspired by what my guru Mata Amritanadamayi Devi (Amma) says about music:
Q: Amma, being an artist, a musician, I would like to know what my attitude toward my profession should be and how to express more and more of my musical talents?
Amma: Art is God’s beauty manifested in the form of music, painting, dance and so forth. It is one of the easiest ways to realize one’s inherent divinity.
There are many saints who found God through music. So, you are specially blessed to be a musician. In regards to your attitude toward your profession, be a beginner, a child in front of God, in front of the divine. This will enable you to tap into the infinite possibilities of your mind. And this, in turn, will help you manifest more and more of your musical talents in a much deeper way.
Q: But, Amma, how to be a child, a beginner?
Amma: Just by accepting and recognizing your ignorance, you automatically become a beginner.
Q: I understand that, but I am not completely ignorant. I am a trained musician.
Amma: How much training do you have?
Q: I studied music for six years and have been a performing artist for the last 14 years.
Amma: How big is space?
Q (sounding a little puzzled): I don’t understand Your question.
Amma (smiling): You don’t understand the question because you don’t understand space, isn’t it?
Q (shrugging his shoulders): Maybe.
Q: But what is the connection between my question and Your asking, “How big is space?”
Amma: There is a connection. Pure music is as big as space. It is God. It is pure knowledge. It is the secret of allowing the pure sound of the universe to flow through you. You cannot learn music in 20 years. You may have been singing for the last 20 years, but to truly understand music means to realize music as your own Self. In order to realize music as your Self, you need to allow music to completely possess you. For more music to occupy your heart, you need to create more space within. More thoughts mean less space. Now, contemplate on this, “How much space do I have within me to spare for pure music?”
If you really wish more and more of your musical talents to manifest, lessen the quantity of unnecessary thoughts and allow more space for the energy of music to flow through you.
(Continues tomorrow with A New Generation of Multi-Media Artist: the Multi-Dimensional Co-Creator)