Art: The Fight for Beauty and Spirituality | Voices with Vervaeke | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Art: The Fight for Beauty and Spirituality | Voices with Vervaeke".
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Welcome everyone to another Voices with Raveki. I'm here with Gaia Orion and I'm very excited about this because Gaia is a representative of something I've been calling for which is more and more from the artistic community to get involved with this whole issue of the meaning crisis and waking up to it and having people be able to respond to it in depth. And so Gaia reached out to me and she said, "I think there's intersection between your work in mind and I'd like to talk to you." And we met off camera and talked and I said, "This is cool. Could you please come on Voices with Raveki and share your work?" And she agreed. And so here you are Gaia. Thank you so much for coming. And here I am. Thanks for inviting me, John. So why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you reached out to me, why you thought it might be good for you and I to talk?
Understanding And Exploring Artistic Process And Spirituality
Framework Of Change (00:50)
Yeah, it's been an interesting journey until this point. For me, I'm originally from Paris, France. I'm almost 15 now. When I was 21, I met my husband who was Canadian, so I moved to Canada around 24 years old. And it was a bit of a culture shock, everything shock, because I was from a pretty conservative Catholic family in Paris. And I moved with this poet, kind of a lone wolf, natural lover guy in Canada. And we also had, I was just graduating from architecture, moved to Canada and we had three kids in 14 months. So, yeah. So my friends were still like partying in clubs and studying and I was just having this motherhood experience in a middle of nowhere when I was just left Paris, basically, at 24. So I loved the Gaia married, so that was never an issue. It was really hard on my system. I missed everyone, but there was something in me that knew that I was here to explore like area that I've never been into in my life. So my husband was 40 years older. He studied psychology and philosophy and he's done a ton of work on himself. He was nothing religious. So, in a way, it just completely shifted my paradigm. And from this point, I just went into a completely different journey where I started meditation and a whole bunch of different practices like yoga and really changed my diet, then living in nature, quitting our job to just decide to, okay, what kind of life are we going to create, becoming an artist, like all those things that I've never had idea in my life that I would go to. But it's almost like this decision to, I want to make a life worth living and always having kind of like this reflection every night about like, what did we do right? What could we do better? And then just well, sorry, I got my son who lives in China who is just calling me on Skype. So yeah, everything, even like the fact that I'm an artist today is still kind of like a surprise for me the way the road have taken me. Now, when I started like this journey, especially as in like with my art, at first it was very solitary, it was just in my home in the forest with my family. And it's only when I decided to make a living from it. And I was like, where is my tribe? And that was about, let's say, 16, 20 years ago. And it was really difficult. Like it took me a long, long time to understand like, where are my peers? So in the art world, it's still not there. But in the world of like change leaders, I recognize myself there and I feel so it's almost like I have this feeling that without any pretension that I'm a little bit ahead of myself. I don't know why we can discuss that today. I would love to hear your thought about why the art world feels still so stuck in post modernism. When you would think that historically the art is what's proving of your own society ahead. So that's been very frustrating to me. And then when I see like people like you who were you were ahead of your time, like in academia, bringing mindfulness studies, wisdom studies, consciousness, like all this whole world of studies who is like kind of infiltrating society everywhere. So I feel like there was a mirror in your experience and my experience. And so and then, you know, I really enjoy like a lot of the talk that I've listened to, the people who have you as a guest or the people who you have at the guest. So that's why I reached out to like, Hey, you know what? I really feel, and I know you also come back from a really religious background and you had to like, decondition you from that yourself from that. And that's that's just a journey in itself. Yes. So this is why I contacted you. That's why I'm at. So let's take, you know, some of these topics one at a time. First, what do so you don't feel that your art is sort of fitting into the post modern framework that still dominates the artistic community.
Intention Of Gaia's Art (05:55)
How would you describe your art? What is it doing? How like, what do you, what's the intent? How are you making use of materials? Like, what's the difference? Because you're you I accepted that I accepted your head in some way. And so could you articulate, how does that show up in in your art? And how does that and how does it respond to this, your very personal struggle to, you know, come to a spiritual depth outside of the religious framework you were brought up in? So there's two questions. There is like the question of how I fit in the collective and then my personal struggle on how it makes me fit. Yes. And towards the first question, what is it you what is it you are doing with your art that is not part of the post modern framework? What is it you're doing? And I assume it's not just nostalgia. So what is it you're doing? I think actually I can. This week, this kind of I a bit I had this aha moment that I find in my art, like I appreciate art when it has a in temporal feeling. When it speaks about the time on when it was created. Yes. That's inevitable because you grow in a context. But it speaks of something that transcend time, culture, period. Right. So I think I fit in that. And in the contemporary art world, I think it started maybe with Marcel Lucien. When the art became like you have like this history of art where artists and with the quest for wisdom was like linked together like from the antiquity. And then something happened where and I think that's part of this post modern and the scientific revolution where we just completely erased anything spiritual, God, wisdom, etc. And then as artists, we left with a kind of art that is very absurd, devoid of beauty, of meaning, of this transcendental mission. Everything like in the contemporary artists who are making it and it's everything is just like has to be giant. So in France, for example, they have like warehouses with public art that they've bought. They don't even know what to do with that stuff because it's literally crap. And they don't have room in the museum. And it's kind of like the state of a contemporary art. It's perfectly unscheduled because it's representing the absurdity and everything that we've arrived to as a society. Like we've come to a point where we literally destroying like our environment, which is like a supportive like we cannot eat dollar bill and the way it's going with climate change, like we won't even be able to grow food. Like what kind of mind like create that. So in a way, I feel like the art, the way it is now, like the context that I'm what I'm seeing is, yeah, it makes sense. It's representative of this whole like consumption, capitalism, very superficial world that we live in. So in there, there is like a whole new movement that is coming and it's a bit of there is a bit of the green washing. I don't know if we can say like the mindfulness washing also, but at least like we're trying and think there's something that is responding to this response to the suffering that we're feeling like, you know, like in our personal life, like when you just see the rate of suicide and depression, like you just need to look at that as an indicator of the states of our humanity. So that's very powerful. So in some ways, the modern art is exemplifying the meaning crisis. That's not the same thing as responding to it. And I take it that you think the art shouldn't only be imminent.
So, how does the transcendent show up in your artistic process? (11:00)
It should also be transcended in some way. What does that mean for you in your art? Because what I see in a lot of current postmodern inspired art is that the vacuum of the transcendent is all often filled with sort of a political statement of some kind. So politics is trying to roll of religion. And of course, politics is directed towards the imminent and not the transcendent, at least our current understanding of politics. And so it can't actually take that function. So how do you try to convey that relationship between the imminent and the transcendent in your work? So I don't think I try. I don't try anything. It just emerges. And that's what's really beautiful. I give me, if you think about anyone who writes, for example, poetry or music, they will tell you, you know, they woke up and the song where they're mined. Yes, yes, yes. It just it descends like that's well, this is what we call there was a muse. It's like someone who's excellent intermediary between like the God realm. And like, I'm just this channel for this thing that has come through. Like, I really feel that. I really feel that in my process. Okay, that's fantastic. So you've got excellent. That was a fantastic correction. So you actually feel like you're participating in this relationship between the imminent and the transcendent. And you give voice to it or whatever. How did so let me change my question then, because I think that correction is brilliant. Thank you for it. How does the transcendent show up in your art? Well, I think like I would get to go back and then ask like, how does a transcendent show up in my life? Ah, excellent. Please. This is excellent. Yeah, because that's been my experience. And that's where I also defer from my art community, because a lot of artists will say, Oh, I knew I was an artist as soon as I could hold the paintbrush. Like, if they felt, they feel like they were born with that. I didn't come without at all. I liked drawing, but I wasn't the artist that was like really good in art class at school or that kind of thing. In architecture, I didn't stand out for my skills, my artistic skills for like drawing a building and people around it with trees and so on. So for me, the art came from nourishing, creating like a foundation that is just like daily discipline and dedication to my well-being. Right. And not just my well-being, like my well-being, like in relationship with the people who I live with, my place in the world. So this takes kind of like a daily work. And then from that, it's the art that showed up. I started to do little sketches that became paintings. And then that had messages from me. It's like the art was ahead of time. And then once I showed it to the world, I realized that it had a place in, you know, it took me a while to understand like actually, what I've been working in my little hermit life in the forest, actually, I've been massaged by what's happening out around the globe. And then I'm ready to come out. And it's like, it has a voice that, you know, has a reason to be. So it's really like a work of letting go of who I think I am and constantly disconcerting this identity that I've received from, you know, birth, pre like you there. And the more I do that, the more it just expresses the most like magnificent, like, I know, I'm not like saying like, oh, magnificent. I'm saying that I'm saying the process is magnificent. And what it brings in my personal life and around like just having this discussion with you today. Like I think this is just like a highlight, you know, the people that I work with that by my painting that asked me to create a painting for them. People that are touched by what the painting is saying, like all of that is just like the richness of the relationships and how it creates discussions. Like the art is always like a conversation starter for like the most amazing discussion that if I wasn't that artist, maybe I would meet random people maybe twice a year, I would have a really cool conversation with someone like that, where you know, we just, yeah. Oh, yeah. We're like the transcendental here and we just feel like this connection and we just there is this kind of exaltation in this energy. This happens like to me all the time because of the work like why I am today, you know, so it's, yeah, it's magnificent in itself. This is fascinating. So I mean the art, like the art emerged for you and this for me is not a negative term, it's a positive term. It's like a ritual. It's a practice that you do. It's part of the whole process of self-transformation and the art is just integral to that. And then that, but the art isn't just that, the art is all the deal logos that emerges around it. That's exactly, that's exactly, I mean you've articulated this way better than I could have, but so that what you've said and the credit is yours, but that was in "Coheed in my mind" that that's the function that art should, it should be emerging out of, you know, ritual practice and it should be affording the logos around it. And like that is a beautiful way of articulating that guy. That is really, really good. Thank you for that. Now the art, because I have this spiritual practices, you know, I do a lot of meditation and then for me, like I love your term ecology of practices because meditation alone like does nothing. Yes, that's right, that's right. You know, it has to have all the pieces and that's why I like like Ken Wilbur and his integral theory because he's trying to like, how do we look at the best of that exists today because we have access to all the different practices like worldwide. Yes, yes. The whole history, how do we grab the best of each of them and compile them and use them for our flourishing in the most intelligent and balanced way. And that's just like, you know, the work never stops. But my art is kind of a mirror of that process. Yes, yes. So what I see too is like the paintings I did 20 years ago, maybe it was taking me 10 years before I could really get them. Like I would, you know, where the message of that woman that I drew was like, oh my gosh, like I was just like a tears coming down my face just like, I can't believe I drew that. Like she was just like way ahead of me, you know, like, where I was going. Yes, yes, yes. But now that I've matured and understand my artistic process and understand my inner processes better from putting all that time and energy in just observing and being with it and working with it and having all those practices and discipline in my life, I feel like now it's much more closer. Like the painting I'm doing is like what is happening now. Right, right. With a little bit of, you know, I think it's always a little bit of headers again because it's smarter than I am. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you mean. I wonder, did you bring any art to talk about or to show any of your art in any way or?
Examples of Natalies art, meaning /symbolism from her art. (19:52)
If I, while I have my flourishing woman behind. Oh, excellent. She's, well, that's beautiful. She encapsulates a lot of everything that I am and I like to share, like she has those deep roots. She's grounded. The energy rises through her whole body and then it just kind of explodes in this beautiful rainbow tree, which is like, how do we reach down in our roots, let it arise, like emerge like in a natural way and then express itself. So it can be applied for like, you know, what is your talent and but there is also like she's really like firmly rooted, strong, empowered. So for me, like when I did this painting, she invited me to like for a long time, I was kind of like, you know, I was insecure and shy and being the artist, you have to put yourself forward and you have to speak about yourself and I was still like not doing it 100%. I was kind of like, yeah, I'm good at that, but you know, I'm just lucky and I was just like, I was just like not 100%. So she helped me to be like, I just fucking do it. Like, you know, when you look at people who inspire me like Martha Lutur King, like, have you ever seen P.E.K? like his eyes, his whole being is just so passionate. He is like 150%. And so that's what that woman, I think she's helping me, transmit that. But another side of the coin with her messages is also how because after I had this aha moment, I was like, oh yes, and I was like doing this solo show in Paris and she really helped me just like be this, like do my art, like busy artists and be confident with it. Be confident with what I had to share and what I was the quality of what I was doing and all of that, my role in the world. But then a few years later, I was having another exhibition here in near Toronto and I was in a completely different state of mind. I was just like, emotionally, I've been going through so much, I was just like a complete mess and I arrived with a show opening and I was like, oh my gosh, I'm super so feel like that. No, I can't. So I go to give my speech at the show opening and she was like a version of her was on the poster, so she's part of the message. But I realized like at that moment, actually, she's also like completely like her arms are open. She's completely like vulnerable. So this is also like what we call for, I was like, yeah, I'm empowered. But it's just like, this is very vulnerable and being an artist is like, you know, please tell me if there is others profession that asks you to be more vulnerable than that. Right. So there, I'll talk to you a little bit about my art.
Platonic intelligibility, the light keeps on shining (23:25)
No, no, that's so I like this. I mean, there's an analogy for me. Like you keep going back to your art and you keep seeing more that's in it. This for me is like, you know, for me, the works of Plato are like that. I read them, they transform me, I go out into the world, I change, I come back and I see something in them and then I hadn't seen before. And like, I get this constant reciprocal opening and this is a perpetual fount of new sense making, new intelligibility for me. And isn't it amazing when it's like, especially when it comes from an image that as simple as this, like, you know, like a tree, like a woman with roots, like a million people have drawn that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And even recently this year, I've been working with this meditation teachers who's a teacher to like yogic practices. So I've been working with the energies, which are like completely wild in my being at this moment. So now I see in her, like, how I have those color that we're just for rising. And it's like, Oh my gosh, like, yeah, this is everything's in there. Yeah, the the writing that reminds me a bit of some like Kundalini paintings I've seen.
The muse is in you: dreams and images, flashes and epics (24:34)
So what does that I mean? What does that feel like? I'll speak using your poetry, but I think it's really good poetry. What does it feel like when the muse is in you, I can put it that way? I know that's a tricky question. And but you know that I'm very open and I want to understand, I want to hear, like, what is it like when, yeah, and you, and you said for a long time, the muse was even ahead of you. And you even say, used to still smarter than you. And I completely understand all of that. But I would like you to I'd like to give you a chance to articulate it more like, what's it like? What's the what was the phenomenology like? What's it like in your mind? What's it like in your body when that when the muse has come upon you? There's a few things that come in my mind. So I want to try to organize my thoughts. Take your time being silencing. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. All right, this is good. I love those questions. So I'll answer like how I would answer before, and then I'll answer like, how your question just like lit up something in me. Okay, great. So I would answer before had the muse come. I found that it came in like, about three different ways. Very rarely, but it happens. It's in a dream. Like I have a dream and the dream is a painting. Right, right, right. It would also happen like as a flash, just like, you know, the tarot card of the tower with the lightning. Yeah, the lightning. Yeah, it's like a lightning strike and the drawing like I have to do the drawing like right now because I got it. Like I remember what I was actually even driving on highway 400. And I was like, oh, I got to draw this. I'm just catching it quickly because I don't want you know, it's like if you have like this idea, those series of words and you have to write them down. I should don't get up and write them down. That'll be gone in the morning. Yeah, that kind of thing. But then there were other paintings who actually take a really long process. So it's more like a feeling and I see something and it's like, oh, sometimes it's a painting from another artist. I'm like, I love this. I wish I drew that. I wish I did that painting. But you know, it's I could not do that because that's him. So I will her. So anyway, something in that painting just really caught my attention and then something in my life I want to put into a painting. And I so I have all those little elements. And I collect like bits. I have this giant folder which I call art in the womb. And it has all my little like sketches, ideas, sometimes cutting of newspapers or flyers or things I find. And then one day is just ready. And I take the pencil and I draw. And then actually maybe that would be interesting. Every artist is different how they work. I don't work with like blank canvas and I'm going to start and then the painting unfold. When I do a sketch, like when I have the sketch, I know this is it. I got it. And the final painting is like this hardly any changes from the original sketch. I was just downloaded, you know, except I add the color and then the mastery of the technique and my style and all of that. But the the line drawing, like the structure of the painting is exactly like it is when it comes down. One thing that I started to do this past year, I never used to do that before, I now have a sketch book beside my bed. And at night, I don't do it every night, but I try to and I've never done that in my life. But it's kind of a new practice I've brought in. I sketch stuff. So most of the pages is a total crap. And then once in a while, there is like really amazing stuff that we've never existed if I didn't introduce that practice before. I was just like, Oh, I'll just wait when the news talk to me. And now I'm like, I guess inviting her more to just and as part of the work I've been doing with this teacher who is also an artist himself. So he really encourages me and the student to work with creativity and draw. And for me, it's just like the most powerful thing I've ever done in my life to put down my inner processes, you know, the examination, like what's happened in my meditation and then put it down on in painting. I've been creating this whole series, what I call study sketches. So I do little sketches. And then when I, when I, one is really good, then I put it on, I just do like a small little watercolor. So I can do it in a few hours. It's also like a price that is accessible for people. And it allows me to just produce more ideas because those paintings like I paint and big and they take me sometimes two months to, to finish or more. So, you know, there's like for a long time, I was really frustrated with that process because my work is very meticulous. And I probably don't have to be that meticulous, but I don't know why I work with like zero, zero paint brushes and the line has to be perfect. And so it's been very freeing to have this extra practice. So this is how the news happened in my life. But now I'm going to answer it to like, let me have you just waiting for that. No, no, I like hearing all that. Mm hmm. You know how I said how the art was like way ahead of me? Yes, yes. And now it's getting closer. Like it brings you to the question of like, what is the muse? Yes. And what is it that I'm getting closer to? Yes, yes. And that is making me feel very emotional. At this moment. Don't suppress your emotion. No, yeah, I'm not, I don't feel comfortable with it. It's like, like really beautiful. So, yeah, it's like, I just wrote on the paper and I'm not, I you will understand what I mean. But I just said like, I'm getting closer, like when the ID came, I had to write it down. I would have gotten better. I wrote, I'm getting closer to me. And then I wrote, I am God. Right. So like we are, I'm getting more to understand how, like really understand it. And I just know it because I've read it from a million times. Right. That we are an expression of the mind of God, like this human experience. And the more we like let ourselves just be embraced and in the flow of that human experience, then more like extraordinary and alive, this experience becomes like at every small mundane level. So I think there was something there, which makes my art, I think different than my postmodern colleague and many other artists that see around me. But I do see other artists that work that way, where the art is actually like a process of awakening. It's like a tool, it's a tool to embody that knowledge. It's like a mirror. It teaches me, it takes me somewhere. And it comes from the ocean of life, like, you know, it's not like one point, right, when you understand how that works. Thank you. That that was cool. Is it is part of it something like you're, as you participate and really flow into that creativity, you're, you're participating in the creativity at the heart of being itself.
Participating in creativity (33:47)
Is it something like that that you feel like, like you're, you made an identity claim, but you're not being a narcissist, you're not saying I'm God and that you're participating and you're conforming. Like there's something in you and there's something within you and something without you and they're, they're, they're, they're, they're interpenetrating in some way. That's, am I hearing you correctly? Am I getting it right? Like, I'm trying to like, what it like, there's something like, you're obviously, I mean, you're doing lots of stuff that's from a cognitive scientific point of view. You're generating insight and the flow state and writing, you're moving it participatory, knowing in a profound way. And, and, and so that really drives, you know, creativity and the, and you're in the being mode rather than the having mode. And then, yeah, and then that gives you some sense of the sacred, the divine, the God, and, and, and, and so I'm trying to, and, and I know it's maybe something that you might not want to do, I'm trying to put some words on it for, right, to give people access to your experience. Is any of this landing what I'm talking about or is any of it sounding right? Yeah, I almost want to say instead of using the divine God and sacred, which I find, but I think it all comes down to feeling alive. Alive, alive. Yeah. So there, but you don't just mean biologically alive. You mean something more than that. But yeah, but also like, I like when, you know, spirituality, the sacred, the divine is not so much of something that feels, the more you're in touch with it, the more you realize it's something very simple. Yes. So alive is just being alive in your senses. You're not like your, your mind is alert and you're feeling what's happening and you're present. And it's like something that happens spontaneously. It's not like, you know, when you try to meditate focusing on it for you now. I got it. I got it. It's something much more organic and joyful. I mean, it sounds very much like aspects that I know from Taoist practice. There you are like, within and without and it's, yeah, it's simultaneously like marvelous and beautiful, but also the most simple. Yes. That that. Yeah.
Personifying the muse (37:12)
Now, but you have referred to your muse as a she a couple times. So that's because I'm French and on France, we say la muse. So then I would go she, right? But okay, but that's that's fair enough. Fair enough. But it allows at least affords me to ask the question. Do you experience the muse as something like a personality that you can almost enter into dialogue with or what? I mean, not at all. Okay. Okay. So how do you, how do you experience? Oh, geez. Yeah, because in antiquity, like a lot of the old paintings, the muse is always represented by this, you know, beautiful. So that's where the she would come in too. I think it's almost like a same question as asking like, oh, is God is a man with a white beard? Don't you think so? Like we start to go in there like we personify those. Maybe is it a state? Because I'm also trying to get at you had a strong sense for quite a and that's what brought emotion to you. There used to be a distance between you and the muse and now they're closer. So I'm trying to get at like, yeah, what is it? What's the nature of the relationship between you and the muse such that it can at one time be far and she can be ahead of you. And now you sort of more the cutting edge of you. That's what I'm trying to get at. That's what I'm trying to get at. I hope this is not intrusive, but I really want to. No, I love it. I really love it. I'm really excited. I would talk to you because I can have conversations like that with someone that can, you know, encourage those thoughts that I have a lot by myself. Great. Well, I'm going to look at myself how I was when I felt like the muse was really foreign. She would just intervene by his hands only once in a while and I would hardly get what he's talking about it. And I would, I think I was in a state of mind that had much more like drama, confusion. I didn't know. Like, I cleared out a lot of my conditioning. Right, right, right. You know, I don't think you ever done. But I can really sense, you know, about the quality of my thoughts and my mind and my living. But I've walked like a journey to be where I am. And so when you have less of this conditioning, which is like outside, like something that is like pattern that are so better put on you by, you know, karma, family, society, religion. So when you kind of peel that away, what are you left with? Are we asking that question? I am. I'd like to. Yeah. And I'm not expecting you to give the final answer. Yeah. I just want to hear how you participate in the question. And then I want to get, I want to get, it feels like almost aspirational, your relationship between you and the muse. You just said like she, you have to try and figure out what she's communicating to you. But you also feel like the that you and her, I know this is tricky language. Yeah, it's all right. We're okay. Are somehow becoming more at one with each other. But like, I'm trying to get. Well, let's try the reverse. Is the muse always with you now? Or do you sometimes? Right. Right. It's just feel like dissociation when you talk about it in that manner. And in a way, it bothers, it kind of like bothers me. It just doesn't feel true. So okay. Yeah. So then. So I think as dissociation, we was like part of myself. Like I think I wasn't poor. I had a lot of dissociation in my being. So I could not be in contact with that. As much I'm able to be in contact with that, you know, like in the sense of I am that. Right. Right. Right. I get it. I get it. So I get it. You don't like the language because the language is dissociational. And that's exactly what sort of being overcome in describing. Do I understand you correctly? Yeah, that was really well put. Yeah. Okay. Okay. That's good. That's helpful.
Making relationships and interactions more harmonious. (42:18)
And so can I ask you this then? And I don't think this is dissociational. Do you think that this relationship of wholeness is also conducive to you living more wisely? Yeah, of course. Because well, if you know, I'm sure you've defined wisdom with a lot of people in different talk and I think we're going to be doing this today. But for me, I guess wisdom would be chibi more like when I was talking about being in the flow. Yes. And kind of like you also put yourself and when I say yourself, it's like you constructed identity. Yeah, you kind of put that out of the way. And that takes a certain practice is a new work. And right. We all agree on that. It's not like you can just like, all right, on the side. And then life becomes more of a sort of. All right. I'm really inspired by nature in my work. I live in nature. And I've learned a lot from being in nature.
Theres a lot of people in that time of life with an aversion to a suffocating early religiosity. (43:48)
To love? Is that what you said? I didn't quite hear you. No, I said like, I said like nature as a theme is very like present in my painting in my life. Yeah. And so I'm thinking that there is a wisdom. I would put that as a state of harmony. Like a harmonious like with like the greater intelligence of nature. I see. And somehow humans, humans, like this is like the original sin story. Somehow, I don't know what fucked up in our construction, like in last pieces. But some thing is really with the only species in the universe, as far as I know it, who can destroy this environment and be so not in harmony. Does that harmony, does it also spill out into, you know, that greater intelligence in harmonious relationship with other people? Is it translated? Yeah, because people, you know, I really like, took me years to really understand it. Like Krishna really speaks a lot about the mirror of relationships. Yes, yes. And yes, like when you more at peace with yourself and all those parts of yourself, then inevitably, it's going to translate it in more in a more harmonious way when you're right, talking with people even, you know, I'm not like I had a difficult situation this year with someone. It was unpleasant, but I never went into like confused rents. And you know, it was just very clear. I knew what to say was uncomfortable. It was a nice other person, but it had to be said and we had to part and it was too bad. But this is just how it goes. That kind of thing. In the past, like you give me that situation even four years ago, oh my gosh, it would have been a drama for two years. And I'm not saying like, oh my life is perfect, I get it all. No, no, no. I ask my husband and then he'll tell you the truth. But it's much better. It gets more harmonious, more, yeah, more in touch and more. And I think there's more wisdom in the interactions and in the way you lead your life too.
Integrating religious beliefs with your spiritual path (46:39)
Yes. Like this morning, I felt like crap. When I woke up, I didn't sleep well. And I love having a really strong coffee in the morning, but I know it's not like the most wholesome practice in my life, but it has come like those past few years. I'm going through menopause and I brought coffee, wine and little things like that. It was good for me because kind of away, I was just like, oh, it's such a good girl all the time. And I was just like, oh, but this morning I decided like I'm going to do something really wholesome with you. And I didn't want to take a coffee. I just had a good smoothie and took some good water. It sounds really completely ridiculous. Maybe to mention that. But for me, it means a lot. Coffee is really addictive. I only have one in the morning, but I love my coffee moment. It's like, that's like a sacred moment, you know, like I love my really strong black coffee. So to let go of that is just to, I know it sounds ridiculous and funny. No. But it was kind of like how I want to honor my being and my body and what I want to exchange with you. Like, I don't want to just grab my coffee because I'm feeling tired. I'm just going to be like present with exactly who I am without like putting a stimulant in my body. Does that make sense? Totally. And I didn't find it ridiculous at all. That made sense to me. So, Gaia, like you've come, like I get a sense of this. Right? You've become more of an integrated whole and capable of seeing an integrated whole and also affording an integrated whole. I think that's very powerful. And for me, that's like Plato's notion of Anna Gage, just writ large. So, and I'm asking a question of you that I still ask myself, what is the, like, what, when you look back on your conservative Catholic religious youth, like, what do you, how do you see it now? What's your relationship to that religion? Do you think about it?
Getting out of trauma from religious upbringing (48:35)
Do you ignore it? Do you dislike it? Into some kind of reconciliation with it? There's a lot of people in this corner of the internet that are post religious in some really important way. And frequently, many of them are still wrestling with that question. And I wondered what your reflections are upon it. I'm more a piece with it, but I feel like even when you mention it, to be completely honest, I still have like a huge aversion for it. And I know it's a piece I have to work on. And when I've been like, talk about it right now, I can feel like this swell of emotion and stuff. Because it's just like with such a really nasty imprint. And, you know, and of course it gave me, you know, I was very mystical and I loved going to church and at 20 years old, I was still telling my friends to come to Cattishism and I was getting them to do it.
Integration Of Spirituality, Technology, And Creative Practice
Rewriting the religious narrative to serve us right now (49:40)
Because I found this cool priest who had great conversation. So I was like 100% into it. But then when I started to like see, it had such a, it was painful. Yes. The fear, the guilt, the shame, the, geez, it was nasty. And it took me years and years and years just to like not be. And even like about what I just said about being the good girl and the fear of the devil and oh, geez, it's just like, oh, okay. So now you got it. I just like telling you, I'm telling you. Right, right, right. Yeah, I try like to seize a goodness in it because I know really good people who are very good, very religious. But still, I don't care how good they are. I think there is like, even like people who like move post religion, because I'm my art, like really appeal to women who are like into sacred feminism and that kind of thing. And they love like reading books about Mary Magdalene. She was actually the wife of Jesus. And so they like giving, trying to rewrite the story so that it's a better story, that it was actually a good story. But then the men and pre-beginning of Christianity, you know, depressed a woman. That's like for me, it's just like, oh, just like drop it like, look, I can tell about Jesus and the Bible. It's a bad book anyway. Like there's so much more other, like good literature that you can read to be inspired. I don't know. I get frustrated with it still.
The intersection between spirituality and technology (51:52)
So I don't want any answer other than an honest answer. And that was not only honest, it was heartfelt. And believe me, I can identify with what you're saying. I've been through that and you know, I need therapy for it. And you know, and I can still have those moments like you're like you're talking about. I get what you're talking about. And it's hard to convey to people who are still within a religious framework how well, how genuinely terrible that trauma can be. Now, I have found, you know, committed Christians who listen very deeply. And of course, they are. Yeah. But and of course, this is not limited to Christianity. I have same discussions with people coming out of Islam, coming out of Judaism, even coming out of Buddhism, right? So I completely get where you're coming from. So this point you're at that the UNI share, this is like the pivot point of the meeting crisis. Many of us, we don't want to, we're not able to go into, you know, the legacy religions. But as your art shows, there's still this quest to oligio bind the imminent and the transcendent together in a way that makes lives more wise and a more alive, right? The abundant life that Jesus promised even, right? And so that to me, that's what I'm really interested in, how people are negotiating that.
An invitation to your own spirituality through the creative process (53:31)
And you see like, I'm not trying to put you on the spot. I don't want to. I'm just really, really, it is, I'm really interested in that, like, you know, no, I can't go back. But I mean, I'm just going to live a sort of secular, meaningless, materialistic kind of life. No, no, I want to bind the imminent and the transcendent. I want to feel more alive. I want to help other people to feel more alive. I want to, I want to, I want to realize the whole, all which is very, you know, and you've used the term spiritual. And I think the, I don't like that term, but we don't have a better term. I know. That's what, yeah, we have a question. Well, that's why I think this, this time is so interesting, because we, like, that's how we move forward. Like, we create new dialogue, new vocabulary, new community, new way of being, and new practices, like, let's take Jesus, since he was in a conversation, you know, like, there was no Christianity for thousands of years before it existed. Yes, yeah. So now we're in 21st century with AI technology, and so many things that are coming on board and that are stripping our humanity. Yes. We're in a danger of losing a lot of our humanity in the way this technology is taking over. So what kind of practice, what do we create? Yes. Yes. To remedy this, to help us be better humans. I think that's beautifully said. I think that's a, that's a good place to draw things to a close, but I'd like to give my, first of all, I want to thank you, as you can see, as I'm leaning in, this is so fascinating. I know, I love it when you do that. It's so rich and powerful. Right. And like, and you're articulate and there was genuine back and forth. I really enjoyed that, but I'd like to give my guests the final word. It doesn't have to be a summation. It's just the final word. However you see it, whatever feels appropriate to you, what would you like to say? Well, there was one thing we haven't talked about, so I'll just put that as a final word, because I, you know, I lead workshops like not that often because I try to really focus on my career. That's just so much work in itself. But I love leading workshops because I give the opportunity for anyone, especially for people who think that they don't know how to draw. I can only draw a sick man. I'm terrified of drawing. And it's beautiful because they're saying like, I'm vulnerable.
The practice of creation mirrors the way we life (56:30)
I don't know what I'm doing. And I love that. And what I'm saying is that this process that I've learned to be very intimate and familiar with, the process of create the creative process through the medium of painting and drawing, is very easy. It's just a beautiful thing to transmit and for anyone to experience. And it blows my mind how the way we create all of us mirrors the way we live. And there is so much learning to do when we do such a simple practice, so much learning to gain when we do a simple practice, just as simple as just doing a little doodle on a piece of paper and then taking time to decode the symbol that was drawn in the paper. That's my invitation. Well, please send me, if you have any information about any workshops you're planning and I can put that in the description. You can send it to me at a future date. I can always go and put it in. But I'd love to afford you connecting to people who might want to take your workshops because you definitely have something to teach. So why don't we do, why don't we do, I don't know when you're going to be releasing that video, but I could offer a two-hour workshop just like do it. I never plan on doing it, but I'm just saying since the video is coming out, why don't we do that?
Translating the theory into practice (58:14)
We put a date for an invitation to experience that. Sure. So what I could do is I could email you a couple weeks before I release the video. You're in a queue, unfortunately. I like that. Oh, that's great. That's wonderful. Right. And then we'll set up, we'll make sure that that time's right and then I'll put it into the notes for this video. So everybody who's watching this, the video's out and that means being by that. So that's how we'll be. I think it would be great because then like the talk is great, but then it will also translate into practice and something that will be like a value for the listener, something that they can really like it can become lived experience. Oh, totally. The talk should always be in service of the practices. And that's what John, that's what I love about you. I was never, I mean, I like philosophy, but a lot of it feels a little bit like intellectual masturbation to me when I listen to it. But what I like about you is that you really like look at how do we transmit this, transfer this knowledge and the discursive into how do we lead our lives and into practices.
Practical Application Of Intellectual Knowledge
Transferring intellectual knowledge into actionable practices (59:22)
And like that's what like really got me like it really like stole my heart when I saw that you were doing that. Well, thank you. And so let's make that happen for this video. Let's find a way of turning this talk into a way to you can lead people in practice. I really want to make that happen. Awesome. I love this. I'm so happy. Really good. We did exactly here now. Really so good. Thank you so much, Guy.