I had a vision in a meditation the other day and it was a direct sense or deep immersion into a kind of neutrality I had never experienced (I mean, I thought I had…but I hadn’t) before. I saw this “place”, as I approached it, as a circle – like a cell – with a thin yet brittle outer casing holding an unfamiliarly neutral space (something the mind truly struggles to perceive) only I was beyond that egg-like shell boundary now and this inner “place” was the void to be found at the centre of everything; its softness beyond any concept of softness I had ever held with my mind.
This was the infinitesimally small void at the centre of the quantum aspect of physicality and I knew this lay at the very centre of me; replicated as the centre of each of every molecule that I am “made up” of as a human yet I was simultaneously aware that this was also the centre space of every molecule of every other living being, of our whole planet and of the whole of existence; all one and the same. One void, many voids, all the same shared space. The feeling of arriving there and (most importantly, having only ever seen it with my mind before) getting to experience it and sustain that feeling for more than a split second was a feeling of completion, of something being “all done now”, of having reached the point of everything, a meeting place, I found I wanted to use the word “singularity”. Yet it wasn’t lifeless, it wasn’t in any way innert…quite the opposite…since in there I found something that I wanted straightway to call the Fountain of Life. I could see and feel its upward propulsion and its overspilling arcs, its relentless flow, its loops of self-generating life force spiralling in all directions. It felt like that aspect where the very first impulse out of “void” to become something was occurring yet it wasn’t compartmentalised into anything; there was no division, no contrast, no definition.
This thought arrested me, for what had I been fixated upon painting last summer, hour upon hour, but a fountain at the end of a pathway bordered by dense topiary hedging…and I had felt myself returning there with every brushstroke, like I was taking steps along that path through my painting process. As I painted it, its shape and structure morphing even as it emerged (with the least pre-meditation…interesting phrase since this new way of painting felt like meditation…of anything I had ever painted), the feeling arose of this being a pathway bordered by Yin and Yang. This was because, initially, the foliage on one side wanted to be dark and shadowy and, on the other side, light and more ephemeral…their contrast pushing against one another. Yet the more deeply I went into the painting, my eye ever-drawn to that fountain, the more I found I wanted to soften the differences, which defied the “logic” of the way light and shadow distribute in our physical world, presenting such a challenge to the artist in me. First rule of painting landscape – decide where your light is coming from – yet I wanted light everywhere, coming from all directions and this risked undermining what is used to determine art-skill at every turn; I knew this would never be accoladed as a “good” painting and my ego struggled with this. Yet I was aware (oh-so importantly) that I was taking this as a personal journey and that this was part of its surrender; to get there, I could not afford to burden myself with thoughts of anyone else’s opinions or, indeed, any other motivations. The part I struggled with most was the overhanging foliage and it morphed many times. I played with the colours and tones, the ratio of empty space to form, the amount of detail I included to get the leaves looking just right…or, I wondered, should it all just be a blur. When, at first, I thought it was finished, the colours of that foliage seemed all “wrong” (it turned out, my mind had painted it) and I wasn’t happy again until I softened it more and added other less-feasible colours, higher chakra shades of violet and blue, making the scene otherworldly yet, at last, I found I wanted to be there. And that fountain; it didn’t look right until I made the water seem to pour in all directions, not just left and right like an idea of a fountain, and had it over-spilling to where even a year later the path still appears wet where I have splashed and splattered greatly thinned paint. It was only at the very end that the title Fountain of Life suggested itself and, while part of me reasoned that it sounded somewhat trite to call it this, nothing else would do and I have learned to trust such impulses, even when I don’t know what they are all about…yet.
It was only the fourth time I had ever been led by a painting like this; directed by subtle impulses and not by the eyes or the left hemisphere of the brain. The three preceding it had been equally intense in a way that was quite different to when I painted from “real life”; like a painting meditation or channelling with a brush. They went on for weeks or even months and I would pick them up and leave them for long periods of time, never finished until they felt right at some hard to pinpoint level that told me “its done”, as though I was learning how to recognise such a feeling at a whole other level beyond the logical mind and its insistence upon certain markers and proofs. I was often left wondering what these paintings were really “about” until months or even years later, when new understanding would steadily emerge in layers. These are not the most accomplished painting I have ever done by a long stretch (so my left brain struggles with them over their many technical failings) yet to me they are uniquely precious and meaningful in a whole other way. I seldom feel right about selling or even exhibiting them and tend to hang them on my wall where I can see them every day and they can speak to me at the subconscious level when I am least expecting them to do so. Since painting them, I’ve only completed one other significant canvas (the one called Heart-Centred in which the coiled up swan retrospectively suggests to me exactly how I have curled myself inward and concentrated on nothing so much as my own inner process for over half a year now…quite unlike any other time in my life). It’s as though I have been in a void about painting ever since…having seemingly lost all sense of why I do it or for whom (hence, I’ve not picked up a brush for over six months now…the longest painting hiatus I have had in well over a decade). Yet its really as though I’m just quietly awaiting further instruction from beyond my rational mind, so it’s all perfectly OK; I can wait for as long as it takes, there’s really no rush at the gate of life any more. It’s as though, in this aspect of my life (no less any other), I’m simply not prepared to compromise my motivations as I used to; I either have a calling to do something or I do nothing at all and that option is always just as perfectly valid and well-timed since all such definition and judgements about “what I should be doing” have dissolved away too.
The first painting that I ever really approached from this non-physical reality inside some sort of inner landscape that sought expression was my blue butterfly Uncommon Blue, depicted hovering above an ethereal garden seen as though with its eyes (I felt like I was that butterfly…), painted in the summer of 2015. The next I called Return to Eden (2016) and was a play on the apple tree of so-called “original sin” (that point when we got separated from ourselves…) and yet it was all about returning that apple to the light; allowing the form (the calcified idea of our supposed “wrongness”) to dissolve back to where it was just this beautiful thing growing steadily towards its own ripeness. As I painted it, perfecting the fall of light as it broke through dense foliage, there was a sense of (personally and collectively) regaining access to “the garden” of our highest existence after having been “banished” from it for so very long. You could say, it marked the end of a separation age; a reunion with self. The next painting was a pathway through the garden, leading to a goddess temple by moonlight, which I called The Return and which was, even as I painted it, so obviously about the return to the sacred feminine. Yet, a surprise to me, this temple insisted on being a portal or a gateway of sorts, not a destination; so I suggested a space bathed in moonlight behind where she stood, which gave the sense of there being more beyond this return to the feminine (as so there is…since that was just a stage on the way to our fulfilment; the Eighth Wave when the Ninth was still to come…) and, beyond it, an inner sanctum, a secret space or seldom seen “void”, where presumably everything came together into a state of Wholeness. Which led on (though I hardly recognised the connection at the time) to this next canvas, the one that I’ve spoken about, The Fountain of Life.
The whole of this two-year journey through painting, from stealthily hovering over the most secret areas of the garden as the butterfly (seeing as the butterfly that navigates by higher-spectrum vision), to regaining entry to the apple tree (reclaiming the apple, ditching all the judgement), to walking that direct path straight to the goddess temple, only to go beyond that and into the inner sanctum where the fountain of life pours abundantly in every direction…the whole of this journey that I have been taken on through my right hemisphere holds so much more meaning to me now than it ever did at the time when I immersed in each painting separately, not (then) seen as part of a series leading me somewhere, yet now I see so clearly how they are each stages in a progression leading me to this place of profound neutrality; an inner sanctum that holds some sort of key to myself. None of it was pre-meditated; it led me all the way and I simply followed to the point where, a year after the paint dried, I feel like I finally understand where I have been taken. More than that, I get to see how this mirrors how meaningfully we get to follow the apparent randomness our own life’s journey to this same destination since we only get to appreciate how perfectly designed each of the supposedly random events of our life was once we arrive at the singularity to which they were all pointing us…
Back to where I was: a year later, in this meditation, a fountain was overspilling out of each and every void that I was now, suddenly, conscious of and it was so real for me, like my painting come to life inside my quantum biology. It turned out, what we think of as “empty” (such is how we respond to the concept of dissolving all the push and pull, all the friction, of life…) wasn’t empty at all. It was source, it WAS life, and it regenerated and replenished and rejuvenated me in an unmeasurable blip of time; I felt this occur in all my cells and the feeling was overspilling me at every minutest level. This unfathomable sea of overspilling fountains, at the level of aspects much smaller than atoms in my physical body, joined forces to become the fountain of me. Rising up through my energy centres, I knew this sensation of old as the kundalini tingles in my spine (with, this time, effortlessly, all resistance and blockage…gone) joining with my third eye which, I noticed, had become its own fountain. Suddenly, I knew this whole process had been catalysed by the shifting or dissolving of a layer of calcification – an invisibility cloak of sorts – around my pineal gland… and I was revealed as the human fountain. Without a moment’s hesitation, the micro became the macro and the whole blue planet was this same fountain and I was pulled back in space looking at it doing what I was also doing. Then, of course, I saw it for what it was at last, this dynamic energy field coloured in the blue of planet Earth…for as the fountain completed its symmetry and looped back around to feed back into its own axial “spinal” column in a self-perpetuating process (appearing exactly as Earth’s magnetic fields appear in a diagram…as a pair of wings), it became – of course – my shining blue butterfly, hovering in space. This shining blue torus was a field of radiant energy, self-regenerating, self-energising, self-replenishing without the need for fear or pain or forgetfulness, for trouble or strife, nor for any of those perpetually waring contrasts that make up our human dramas, to propel itself or its inhabitants forwards since, now, it had other ways to fuel itself. And then I was back in it, on it and feeling that activated energy field coming up through my feet and that shining blue colour was tinging everything and everyone in my line of vision, we were all bathed in it. Every single most-mundane physical object and all physical life, no exceptions, was teaming with vibrant blue energy like a glow around its edges and we all reached completion together; it was done, finished, as though the sting was taken out of everything’s tail, all things were levelelled and everything become simultaneously passive yet – oh wonder – we were all still here and life was more than continuing as before, yet transformed somehow; moved onto another energy grid. The very terror of the void that we all seem to carry within us (like we fear we will stop existing if we don’t have something to resist, fear or push against) had not been realised since the lack of contrasts had not caused us to melt away by any means; it was as though the lights had been switched on and everything was several degrees brighter, more coherent, the wizard revealed behind every curtain (it was us all along…) and all of us returned to the home we never really left behind. And then the spirit that we had learned to keep so low to the ground became a glorious peacock’s tail unfolding (as peacock tails do) so that it suddenly transformed from this drab brown thing trailing along in the everyday dirt on the ground to, suddenly, this glorious fan of iridescent colour, which was really there all along. And I saw mirrored in it…oh how funny…all those countless shining blue circles, the reminder that had been under my nose for all these months of noticing peacocks wherever I turn.
So much more than this came though to me that morning, far too much to articulate, across every level of my experience but the most resounding feeling I am left with is that it all feels done done done now…all is complete…like reaching a journey’s end in some hugely momentous way. Newly, I feel able to rest in a feeling of overwhelming grace that had previously eluded me though I got very close to it; a deep and immersive awareness of myself and of the whole planet resting in a permanent state of grace that is already here; and we get to claim it as soon as we like. It was like slipping into a warm pool and accepting a deserved rest. And even though I have had to open my eyes and to go back to my daily activities, and though things go in on their worldly, far less than perfect-seeming, way (I feel like I want to entreat you, don’t be fooled or taken off track by them), I still know that it is done; that it is not compromised by what “seems” on the outside, represented in our three-dimensional world, which can be much slower to catch up. In my physical body, I already felt regenerated at some impossible to define level and I know I can go there for my life-force, to seek repair and rebalance, to self-energise and self-heal whenever I chose, from now on. In fact, it was always there – this Fountain of Life – only we obscured it for the longest time for the purpose of our own evolution (that phase is completed now, we can give ourselves permission to know it again without having to worry that we are letting anyone down or that we are going where we are not allowed to venture). Having found my way back…yes, via the feminine path yet this ultimate space is beyond all such yin or yang distinction or any other such compartmentalised perspectives… I find I now notice it at the centre of everything; can re-find the feeling whenever I need to, now I have come to recognise it more intimately and I intend to refine my adeptness a little more every day. We all have access to it since it it is not external to us, we can find it at the very core of everything that makes us a physical being, so it is, quite literally, available on free access for everybody, always and with it comes great healing at every level of human existence. Nothing can undermine that and, with time, we can only realise it more since that is the momentum we are now in together.
The same day this epiphany occurred, as we spent the day in our garden and I was still processing some of the new things I was observing, we noticed a pair of robins were starting to build a nest in the lion head fountain (thankfully, its pump switched off) hidden behind our wisteria tree. The synchronicity was astonishing; the way life was spontaneously choosing to regenerate in a fountain without the need for a mechanical power source to pump water through it made us smile (fountains, it seem, always find a way to keep going). A day later, another synchonicity brought a similar smile to our faces as we found an extremely busy bee hive inside the 2000 year-old stone walls of the Roman remains near where we live in the spot where we always stop to meditate on the lovely view. The thought of ancient and, of course, manmade city walls (already reclaimed, externally, by wild flowers and grasses) now teaming with new life and overflowing with soft golden honey…on the inside… as though a void within what had once appeared formidable and structurally solid had been newly acknowledged and breathed with new life; again, it felt like an astonishing nod in the direction of everything I have shared above.