Spirituality is the substrate

I’m using my blog posts to try to better explain my business approach and philosophy. It’s a process of ongoing clarification for myself too because this is not something that is only of Wendy.

My posts are also very personal, which is a risk. To be vulnerable is to open yourself to risk. But I do believe that if you are too afraid to be someone, you will be no one. And as Alexander Hamilton says, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

We need to have the courage to express what we believe. It is a sure way to better know and locate ourselves. And will enable us to shift our perspective and change our stance, in relation to other, through openness and expanded awareness.

Two events happened this week that sparked the idea for this post.

I’ve been trying to cultivate water kefir. My gut’s been waiting in eager anticipation. But there’s no action, except for some suspicious looking mold floating on the surface. Maybe it was the sugar I used or maybe the water? Anyway, the substrate is not providing an environment conducive for the kefir to flourish.

And, while reading a friend’s Facebook post in which she shared her favourite bible verses, I realised that my exploration of spirituality through other religions, philosophies and practices had given me a greater appreciation for biblical texts. It seems ironic, doesn’t it?

It’s an achievement for me to now be able to contemplate Christianity without my toes curling back. Perhaps because I haven’t been immersed in any other religions in the same way I feel less reactive to them? The artwork above also shows how I am able to appreciate the symbol of a cross as a representation of infinite grace. It’s become quite a personal symbol for me. There’s the prominent landmark of a cross outside my living room window and I’ve studied it a few times in different light. In certain light it looks as though it stands on top of the hill a long distance behind it.

I was raised in a Christian household. Yet, we often come to know something in relation to other. When you are raised on the beliefs of others, it is natural and healthy to question them as you become your own person. And as you evolve throughout your life, it is healthy to keep questioning beliefs and practices in the light of new experiences and knowledge. Do they still ring true for us? How do we see these espoused beliefs evidenced in the world among a diversity of people?

So although I laid Christianity aside, I did not embrace atheism. I was searching to understand the broader spectrum. Yet, how could only one group be right, and all others, despite the sincerity of their beliefs and the goodness of their being, be wrong? It is a concept I cannot accept.

Love is love, kindness is kindness, respect is respect, etc.

I know that I do not know all. But I also have to live by what makes sense to me now.

And so what I have come to is this.

It is far wiser and more relevant to embrace certain values, morals, qualities and principles, wherever they be evidenced, rather than the vessel that is supposed to contain them.

What is the substrate within that vessel?

For me, the substrate is spirituality. That which is greater than ourselves. God, the almighty, divine consciousness, the great I am. People use many terms in different languages and cultures. (I’m not going to attempt to list them.)  And I believe that, in most cases, we are referencing the same source.

How feeble life would be if it rested on my narrow little shoulders; on my daily – hourly – whim; on my limited capacity for tolerance, compassion, grace, empathy and love; on my myopic vision for the future; on my incomprehension of now, and the immensity and intricacy of all that is.

And this is why my art practice can only be rooted in a spiritual substrate that nourishes and sustains it.  This is also why spiritual practice is the backbone of the courses that I offer to fellow creatives.

It is in this substrate that we will flourish.

As always, I hope to hear your opinions and experiences.

4 thoughts on “Spirituality is the substrate

  1. Hi there
    I am going to mention the controversial “V” word “Vaccine”.

    I have been monitoring a post on Facebook by a Christian woman whose fiance broke up with her as he believes that getting the vaccine is going against God’s will.
    She is understandably devastated, but is still going ahead. Fortunately, she has received much support from other Christians and people in general.

    I think belief and faith (spirituality) is such an important component of life providing a rich source of support, direction and meaning. It should never be used to control and manipulate (as in the case of the woman above). I am dismayed when I hear it used in this way.

    Thanks once again for a thought-provoking post.

    Much love

  2. Hi Leigh, thanks so much for sharing your opinion through this example. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    It’s really sad to hear this story. I believe that spiritual practices are meant to liberate us. These practices get organised in various religions that then prescribe a list of rules or laws to govern decisions and actions. And these may be helpful, but then also tend to become overly rigid and petty. And some people use this dogma to control and manipulate others. Bondage – the opposite of liberation.

    This is why, I feel, it’s so important to be tuned in and have a personal practice. It gives us our own sense of direct access, which can be weighed up against the opinions of others.

    Much love to you too. 💜🧡

  3. Found this to be very thought provoking, chewed on “not embracing the vessel”, people have hugely dissapointed me that have supposed to (for me) have been vessels filled with Christ likeness, without going into any detail after a long (felt like forever) journey I feel although I know whats wrong is wrong I can look at the extreme good that came from it& learn from the experience. I find the picture this peace you have written helpful…seeing myself as that vessel& at the end of the day the only vessel I really have “choice” over too choose more wisely& consider others. I fall short knowingly& unknowingly but for me have an unchanging God to ask for help& try align myself with…it takes daily growth & ask for wisdom. We are made in the image of God so also have ability to create and have experienced that what I focus on while creating effects the outcome of my creation and have had testimony of this by what people have experienced, I do however completely see it as something I cant take credit for in the least, it just flows from the mercy, grace& love of my Creator.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Kathryn. I think many people have been disappointed (and hurt) by expectations relating to organised religious groups and that’s why I wanted to steer the focus to the substrate. And to emphasise our direct relationship to source, and, as you experience through your artwork, God expressing through us and touching others (as well as ourselves). And this relationship is something we can cultivate on a daily basis. It’s also how we grow and evolve. 🧡💜

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