God (The Teacher Aspect of the Universe)

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan


An Amazing Feedback Loop

This world is art: it’s a free museum
People complain about the price of admission
For this or for that other thing

But we’re already in the theater
And even when your play lasts only briefly:
How long does a camera take?

One exposure is all the necessary . . .
Not an art fan? A Philistine perhaps?
Still it’s an amazing feedback loop

(You can only go so far with that)
Because such is a symptom of ego
And the cure for not loving art

Is to admire at least ones self
Look in the mirror!
Have you ever seen such a painting?

Especially when there’s backdrop lighting
And there always is
With saints I hear it gathers about the head

(The eyes are the wick for the heart’s candle)
The only trouble is:
Some people do not admire themselves


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”


Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”


Gentle Readers,
(This is another re-instated blog post from those which mysteriously and suddenly went missing. There were over a hundred posts in all dating from April Fool’s Day, 2013, and as I have occasionally mentioned, the vast bulk of them were wiped out by some apparently malicious entity who got access to the inner workings of my website. And as I have promised, I am gradually (and laboriously) reintroducing them, from back-up files. This is one in a series of those. Also, I should add, this whole debacle explains the gaps you will see in the Archives section. I generally choose which to put back, by those which a new blog post makes reference to. And this series is mentioned in my upcoming (soon) new blog post (watch this space).

Call me biased, but my personal experience is that art leads to happiness. Which is why there is so much emphasis on the arts in this blog, which was to have been called “Sufism the Science of Happiness.” Instead that became merely the title for my first blog post.

You can read (on the “About” page) about my history. I suspect it’s most people’s history, if they are acting wisely. I mean they with experience accumulate wisdom which then leads to happiness.* In the about section I quote Bob Dylan, “He not busy being born is busy dying.” And it is my firm philosophy that this “being born” is a guarantee of happiness. Which I deem basically to be the satisfaction of a job well done, a life well lived. And so each stage has its tag-along happiness. But as all wisdom comes from listening to the heart, and as art should be the product of the heart, so it is that the heart-practicing artist is a happy person. I suppose it may be more than just doing well the job of living, though I could argue there’s an art form right there. It may also be an extra happy kick in the pants to be learning to powerfully express your heart. I am sure we’ve all noticed how much better we feel after a good cry, on the shoulder of a friend. Just so, I think there is a magic in expressing the heart through art.

I do hope I am not like some of these Christians, etc. who are so moved by the feeling of Christ (Or whoever, or whatever) that they can’t shut up about it, can’t stop pushing it into others’ faces. And so I suppose I could play the prophet and declare a first commandment like “Thou shalt express your heart creatively.” (though actually, I think Emerson did give permission—even promoted that—See Self Reliance) On the other hand I suppose it’s fair to say that the opposite of a Philistine is not an art proselytizer. But let me say in my defense, with art the product is perforce individual. Art is like snowflakes, no two are alike. Or at least no two artists are. And so of course we art proselytizers can’t be accused of claiming we know any transferable truth. Unless of course it’s such a great poem etc. it leaves people in tears. But even then the reaction is an individual one, which only an idiot would try to universalize.

So in my blog posts there is often a propaganda push for art. In any case for the above reasons you will often read in my posts and poetry an emphasis on the production of art in some form. But please pardon me in that as is well known one should write about what one knows. And my art experience (Linked with any success) has been in either drawing and painting, and poetry.

And the story about that and its upshot is for next week.

God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

*At least that’s my experience hence my hypothesis: that happiness is not an absolute state. It comes automatically when one is walking the road of progress, which is a relative thing. Because guess what? God (the teacher aspect of the universe) knows about Pavlov and the power of association. I guess you could say happiness is the carrot. (I won’t speak of the stick. It’s all too familiar already.)

About Eric Halliwell

I am the creator and sustainer of rumi-nations.com, a website which features (among a few other things, like interesting and inspiring quotes, and Sufi stories) my poetry and illustrative blog posts, about one 1000 word essay a month. It is Sufi-themed, probably because for seven years I was an officially initiated Sufi mureed, in San Francisco circa 1970’s. My poetry has appeared in these publications: Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella Journal, wordcatalyst.com (since defunct), Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. I can be reached at estlin3@yahoo.com.

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