Monday, February 21, 2011

Negative Space, as the Lighted Screen

In Art, the concept of Negative Space is used to cause an object; a shape, to stand out against the background. This often results in the negative space becoming the subject of the Art, rather than the "recognizable" shape, be it familiar or abstract.

In Spirituality, this concept is sometimes used to present the "objects" of the Manifestation as they appear against a backdrop of "nothingness". This has been described by some sages as being like a Motion Picture Screen upon which a pure light is projected. The mind, as represented by the "film" casts "images", shadows, if you will, on the screen. The screen remains unaffected, always bathed in pure light, no matter how distorted it appears to the mind, which "clings" to certain "shadows", and judges them "acceptable" or "unacceptable". This analogy has a number of failings, even though it does accurately mention the interference of the mind.

The main problem with the Screen, film, light analogy is the fact that in "reality", the Screen and Lightare one and the same, and are not passive at all, but alive with "projection" and "reflection". The "film", this bag of thoughts we take for the "mind", is what distorts flow into "objects". The Lighted Screen; the Absolute, is always there as Negative Space, but neither passive or negative, but alive with simultaneous "projection" and "reflection"; unlimited potential.

Within this unlimited potential, which is Love, is caring, compassion, acting, and all of the Verbs we "experience". It is the mind that "creates", out of memory, nouns; us and those "cared" for, us and those toward whom we have compassion, and the mind also attributes all "action" to us or to be 'about us'. The mind takes all of the flow of the Lighted Screen; all the movement of projection and reflection, and "personalizes" it to the "me", the "I am".

It is the dynamic of the Screen that is alive; the projection and reflection. We must see beyond the mind, which can only interpret this still movement; this "unfolding" as objects in motion. This is why we call it Negative Space, as it is not available to the mind, even though it is neither negative or passive, but movement; unlimited potential itself.

To return to Art, students are often taught to recognize negative space in a drawing by copying a drawing upside-down. This allows them to see just the shapes, without the mind turning them intorecognizable objects. This is what we must do in our hearts and minds, when it comes to the spiritual. If we concentrate on the moments "between thoughts", rather than the thoughts themselves, we are looking at the negative space, the "still movement" that flows as unlimited potential. This unlimited potential is Love itself; the "space" we all occupy.

When we live with the conviction that the Lighted Screen is self functioning, and needs no "me" or "god", or any other "shadows", we can rest and let it be as it is; Love without "lovers", Life without end. Seeing this Negative Space as the "subject" of the art, and all the "objects" as only existing to draw attention to that fact, opens us to true "seeing", and pure action.

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