Paraphrased from an on-line conversation
with artist and mystic Michel Durant
Its easy to surmise that the artist George Seurat, working
in the latter years of the last century, instinctively understood
the idea of a fundamental unity, the perception that we are all,
each of us, like everything else that exists, made up of molecules
of light. I imagine it was this vision of physical reality that
he must have been seeing when he painted his now-famous images of
tiny colored dots. Object and background both, all dots, set down
on the canvas as a unified field of light molecules. Several other
post-Impressionist artists of the period, like Paul Signac, shared
this painterly technique, which became known as Pointillism, and
produced work that illustrated a similar vision of reality.
of us in the 21st Century have been doing spiritual work designed
to produce this same effect of viewing all reality as a unified
field of light, and we have even, on occasion, succeeded. Maybe
if all humanity could see this unified field, rather than the usual
discriminating mode that separates objects from background, and
objects from other objects, we could begin to realize a similar
kind of unity with each other, within ourselves, and the world.
the Pointillists revolutionary vision could be attributed
to their having ingested moldy rye bread and bread made from poorly
stored wheat that got damp, or to the fact that they reportedly
enjoyed absinthe, a fermented alcoholic drink made from anise, which
was popular around the turn of the century. The view from this brew
is certainly powerful enough to escalate ones senses to the
point of seeing the material world as particles of electrified light.
Whatever the cause shift of consciousness, or organic intervention
a small group of artists in the last decades of the 20th
Century, led by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, attempted to portray
what they were actually seeing in painted fields of large and small
know that none of us sees reality directly. We can only see external
reality through then lens of our visual sense, our eyes. We also
know our eyes are not holes in our head, like windows. Rather, they
are more akin to digital cameras, spread far enough apart to present
us with two slightly different sides of an object, which makes it
appear in our mind that we are seeing three dimensions, when we
are really only seeing two. Because of the general crudity of our
visual sense we assume that the world is solid, that because an
object feels solid, that it is solid. In this same way,
we have a tendency to think that the earth on which we stand is
solid, unless of course we live in California and know how quickly
that "solid earth" can turn into a liquid mass of particles!
have a tendency to think that space is empty because we cannot see
the molecules that fill it, yet with an increase in visual concentration,
another world can appear. Things brighten and there in our mind,
where we really see images on the frontal lobe, is a particulate
molecular image so tightly packed that it first appears solid, and
then translucent, until it brightens so much it disappears altogether
in a sea of light.
I am talking about levels of perception of the "world"
here. Most people see reflective lightthe ordinary perception
of objects, as solid. It reflects light back to the eye, where an
image is produced in the mind, and makes things appear in stable
form: the standard material world-view. But there is another view,
of lucid clarity, when we see that the "world" is composed
of light particles that flow like wind and water. All these particles
with minimal boundaries are all composed of the same materialatoms.
No matter where you lookat the sky, water, air, or treesall
you view is shimmering, particulate ions. Your hearing intensifies
too, and music you hear coming from a radio flows like water.
is the Unified Field.
unified field is what the Pointillists painted... a world of perception
beyond ordinary vision. Because we cannot see things outside our
body directly, we see them within our mind, and therefore the view
of reality we hold is dependent on the clarity and level of our
body/mind. It is like we reside in the pineal, looking out at a
screen in front of us. Whatever our eyes see, we see on that screen
and nowhere else. Our optical system is so composed as to make us
see it in dimensionsthe locations of the cameras give us the
view of dimension and distancewhile our tactile sense tells
us it is there and how it is.
Van Goghs perceptions and work followed lines laid out by
the Pointillists, only his vision was more intense and he portrayed
his reality in brilliant tones, with an extraordinary force that
moved dynamically across his paintings. He was a man looking directly
at the plasma of his mind; notice how fluid his later paintings
becamelike liquid color. Even today most people look at his
work in awe. Something about his paintings touch them, effects movement
in their minds, having nothing to do with his subjects.
is popularly understood that Van Gogh was insane but he couldnt
have felt much understand from others, holding that vision, at that
point in history. Not finding any support for his perceptions in
the culture around him must have isolated and alienated him and
helped contribute to his withdrawal from normal life and becoming
"insane". He was probably better off when he was alone
than when trying to interact and become integrated into his culture.
things are somewhat different now, and Van Gogh may have been more
at home in the digital age of today. We are now much more sophisticated
scientifically. We know, for example, that this message Im
writing on the computer screen is composed of tiny electronic dots
of light, or lack of light. This black lettering, for example, is
actually covering up the white light dots from the cathode ray tube
in our monitors as it sprays the inside of the coated glass tube.
Unless of course you are viewing this on a laptop, in which case
you are seeing electrified particles charging a sensitive gel media.
Intellectually, at least, we are a little closer to comprehending
the view of reality shown by the Pointillists unified field
of tiny colored dots.