Do you put the acquisition of money over your spirituality in your art? - February 22, 2015
Forswearing the acquisition of money and pursuing an alternate life journey, such as some men and women do today in the service of their religions, can have benefits that are not measurable by any conventional means that are intended to measure success.
What then are these benefits? One that leaps immediately to mind is the increase in spirituality, such an increase would of course be a goal perhaps in the life of the religious aesthete. There are other benefits, but of course you have to want to have any of these benefits. It is useless to pursue a life of poverty if what you really want is lots of money. They are however not entirely incompatible.
Beside the obvious benefits which come to those whose religion aids and abets a life devoid of the pursuit of money there are numerous other private benefits. Once clear of striving for wealth the mind can focus not only on a spiritual purpose but also on a mental purpose such as an increase in intelligence, or rather an increase in the productive use of intelligence. Additionally one can also focus on calming the emotionally driven components of a human being to focus them more intently on purpose and scope in becoming an aesthete.
Since I am addressing an art community here I wish to define aesthete as “one who professes great sensitivity to the beauty of art and nature.” (WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006)) From the Greek “one who perceives.”
Many who are in this creative business strive as hard as any businessperson to achieve income goals that are commensurate with the goals of similar academicians in other fields, as well as persons in business for pure profit. If after thirty (30) or so years one has not broken some magic number that defines ‘successful’ one might consider oneself a ‘failure’ or be considered a ‘failure’.
However those terms, success and failure, do not necessarily apply to someone who devotes themselves to enhancing spiritual, mental, and emotional aestheticism for their own personal benefit. I would like at this point to remove religion from the spiritual aspects as not all who pursue spiritual enlightenment do so under the auspices of any religious community, but do so by their own volition to enhance what they perceive as their spiritual life that does not include specific religious orthodoxy.
Such are those called artists in many cases.
I am interested in any feedback at all on these sparse thoughts. For myself I can state this: since I ceased my exhaustive pursuit of lucre I have had more time, more creative impulse, and less stressfulness producing art work than I ever did before. I do not work at anything other than my art/writing and attending some useful university classes. I am shown as available for employment, however, I do not really want a ‘job,’ I do want a little more income, but I shall not suffer because I do not get it and nor will my creative juices be impaired by the lack of ‘excess.’
I am content with my spiritual quotient, and yet I pursue more spiritual knowledge. I am content with my mental faculties, yet I seek to embellish them daily. I am content with my emotional life, yet I still seek to make myself more content without acquisition. The art objects I produce I do not actively seek to sell, yet they are for sale.