By Lawrence Sheaff
An extended commentary on the book by the artist/author in the form of a supplementary essay
THE BOOK’S MAIN THEME
The holistic nature of an artistic creation can fully embody life’s own holistic reality. By giving that abstract unbounded holistic reality a localized concrete form, a work of art can help powerfully align a culture as a whole with nature or natural law for a problem-free life – heaven on earth.
Modern science tells us in detail about the structures and functions in nature but in relative terms only. Moreover, they only tell us the ‘what’ of things and not ultimately the ‘why’. Maharishi Vedic ScienceSM points to the fact that the ‘what’ of the universe can only be properly known and properly understood by first fully understanding on a scientific basis the ‘why’ of the universe.
From this perspective, if modern science is not able to authentically reveal on a scientific basis the ‘why’ of everything, its knowledge will always remain fragmented and incomplete and thus ultimately ineffective. Again, one can only truly understand the ‘what’ by knowing the ‘why’ – and moreover, not just knowing it in relative terms, but knowing it in absolute terms.
The universe is purposeful. Maharishi Vedic Science (referred to throughout as MVS) sees all the structures and functions in the universe as governed by an overall purpose, an overall directedness. Its nature is to expand.
Everything consistently proceeds in set, orderly patterns of growth and expansion. Nothing is random. All is governed and propelled by consistent laws that systematically unfold the universe in the light of an overall process of purposeful expansion.
The two central tenets of MVS are, ‘All is nothing but consciousness’ and ‘The individual is cosmic”. Thus human life is integral with the cosmic life of the universe as a whole and its process of expansion. That expansion in relation to human life means the expansion of health, happiness, intelligence, creativity, and organising power. In short, the expansion of everything we naturally deem meaningful and fulfilling to life.
Knowledge gained without reference to that overall purpose is bound to be incomplete because it will be divorced from, or in some way at variance with, nature’s purpose. When not properly aligned with nature’s purpose, knowledge becomes weak and ineffective. Such incomplete knowledge creates problems in all directions.
As we have seen, the application of such incomplete knowledge in our modern age has brought our world to the brink of destruction. New, more holistic knowledge is now at hand in the form of Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology which offers science-based holistic knowledge that can immediately, and at a single stroke, solve all the pressing problems of out time.
The book ‘Absolute Image: The Structure of Consciousness in Visual Form’ describes how that holistic value of knowledge is already being implemented on a global scale and in all fields of human endeavour. However, the book’s main focus is the application of that total value of knowledge to the discipline of the visual arts.
It describes how this complete knowledge of consciousness, the total knowledge of natural law contained in Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology, unfolds the full cosmic potential of the discipline. Further to that, the book explores how the works of art that emerge from the activation of the full cosmic potential of the discipline in a cultural setting will be imbued with unprecedented levels of power. And further to that again, the impact that such works will have on the life of society is examined and assessed.
The book also examines how the application of Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology to the visual arts reveals the enormously important role the visual arts have to play in the transformation of the world. This means, the transformation of the world from its present epidemic of stress, strain, struggle, and suffering, to a world of dynamic peace, joy, and unlimited progress, abundance and creativity.
I have tried to make the book into a process of discovery for the reader. I have tried to capture in their sequence the fields of discovery that I myself traversed in the process of my study. A story is being told that for me is a vital story: a necessary story. And because of the unprecedented nature of Maharishi’s knowledge, in our present times it is certainly an unprecedented story.
Moreover, because MVS is universal knowledge, if the story has been properly told it will be the story of total natural and therefore everyone’s story. It will be the story of everyone and everything.
The power of a story rests largely on the art of its sequence. The imagination of the reader should be captured and drawn step-by-step into a new world of understanding. Thus a book about art and consciousness has to be a work of art in itself.
Unavoidably, the successful achievement of this in the book rests solely upon the author’s level of understanding and expressive powers. As the author, I can only say that over the years I have naturally become very conscious of what it has taken to give the book the shape that it has, and why it has been given that shape.
I also tried to take the measure of the book’s spirit and content in relation to past and present discussions on the arts. Exploring other texts on art made it clear to me that the purist essence of human creativity has never been thoroughly and systematically investigated on a scientific basis – perhaps ever.
My work is an attempt to fully elucidate in step-by-step detail how the whole of the visual arts emerge from their source in pure consciousness. As has been made clear in the book, it is only the principles contained in MVS that makes both the conception and realization of such a project possible.
The book then explains how the knowledge and experience now provided by MVS will completely transform the visual arts by unfolding the full cosmic potential of its three basic constituents defined as, 1) the artist, 2) the art-object and, 3) the viewer of art.
I offer therefore what I have concluded to be the most authentic approach to fully integrating the principles of Maharishi Vedic Science into the visual arts. I regard the approach as authentic because to my mind it has revealed the deepest levels of experience and understanding concerning the nature of the discipline and its significance in the cultural life of every nation and the world as a whole.
Furthermore, in this reconstruction of the visual arts in the light of MVS my deepest concern was to uphold the dignity and cosmic grandeur of the ancient Vedic wisdom. Only by maintaining the integrity of MVS could the fullest expressive power of the visual arts be brought forth in a way that aligns the discipline with the evolutionary power of total natural law.
As the book concludes, in the process of establishing the absolute foundation to the visual arts as a whole, its own cosmic potential is both revealed and activated.
This opens the way to an unparalleled expansion in all facets of the discipline. It elevates the artist, the art-object, and the viewer of art to entirely new heights and, as a result, expands them to entirely new and more unbounded levels of expression.
– Lawrence Sheaff