Post-Impressionists and the Unified Field
Paraphrased from an on-line conversation
with artist and mystic Michel Durant

It’s 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.

Many 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.

Perhaps 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 one’s 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 dots.

We 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!

We 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 light—the 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 material—atoms. No matter where you look—at the sky, water, air, or trees—all you view is shimmering, particulate ions. Your hearing intensifies too, and music you hear coming from a radio flows like water.

This is the Unified Field.

This 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 dimensions—the locations of the cameras give us the view of dimension and distance—while our tactile sense tells us it is there and how it is.

Vincent Van Gogh’s 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 became—like 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.

It is popularly understood that Van Gogh was insane – but he couldn’t 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.

But 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 I’m 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 Pointillist’s unified field of tiny colored dots.