Life as Art Manifesto, First Try

We have faith in love & creativity as the underlying forces of evolution. We are at a crucial moment in time—a crossroads, where humanity is in grave danger. We can allow humanity to self-destruct, allowing the baser aspects of humanity: apathy, greed, violence, addiction, control to win over the elevated parts of humanity: compassion, creativity, passion, connection, joy, kindness or we can make the hard choice to take responsibility for ourselves, as individuals, and see the underlying truth of universal oneness. Within and without. We can start to awaken the truth behind our collectively accepted delusion into the idea that we are separate. From the place of separateness we compete, and create hierarchy and inflict deep suffering on our ourselves and each other.

We have inherited a split and fragmented world that is reflected in a split and fragmented psyche on the individual level. There is a fundamental flaw in the way we approach life, this is learned, and not part of the essence of humanity. The split. We tend to see things as either/or.  We force ourselves to choose, over and over, between self & other, male & female, republican & democrat, east & west, power & love, mind & body. Creating, at every turn, a hierarchy of choice. Instead, we must acknowledge that a balance or overlapping of two opposites is the space where truth resides. The list of splits is infinite in itself. For every truth its oppose is also equally true.  However, true love is whole because it contains everything within it. The opposite of Love is not Hate, but rather, separation. Underlying so much suffering in this world are feelings of fear, loneliness, shame, and inadequacy. This does not have to be so, but it requires great emotional risk to allow ourselves to connect, to belong to each other. This is a process that can  happen only one moment at a time, one relationship at a time.

When living Life As Art, we are not prescribing any dogma or adhering to any hierarchy. The one universal truth is is the universe itself. The totality. In this way, we acknowledge the source of our longing and the object of our longing is the same. We are simultaneously subject and object of our experience. We see the two sides of everything, but we do not take sides. We compromise between the two. We balance. We soften our hearts to allow for both. We acknowledge the ego, we can even love the ego, but we do not let it rule. We see it is as the smaller or unique self that plays an important role—it becomes a mirror for the universal spirit. A celebratory expression of god. The unique individual is soul’s expression of spirit, if we can allow its whole truth to shine forth, with out judgment. Judgment, used here, refers to value. Non judgment acknowledges that all experience is subjective, and therefore, no experience is intrinsically more valuable than another. Any experience is fodder for our art, and through art, we create our life. Through our life we create our art. This is the language of the soul that must be included, woven into our culture. We do not choose rationality over emotion, but rather, we allow them to co-exist, honoring their dual greatness and necessity for living. Even hate or violence—if it exists, we acknowledge it—we do not turn away from it—as then it would surely try to make itself known in a far more dangerous way. We learn to express hatred and violence instead symbolically—through storytelling, or games, or any art form or our choosing. This is how it is done in traditional cultures—the shadow is integrated into the rituals and rites, instead of being acting out unconsciously.

Living life as art, we celebrate the all of life through ritual, storytelling, & artmaking of all kinds. We acknowledge both our darkness and our light and locate ourselves at the center. We create space and silence for our creativity. We know ourselves, and make highest use of ourselves. We reach for our destiny through integrating our past. We exalt the beauty of life as it unfolds. We acknowledge our fears and bravely transmit our hearts.