Sunday, August 02, 2015

What is the Art of Life?

Life, bursting forth
Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island
Gillian Cornwall, c. June 2015.

You may wonder why my blog is entitled, "The Art of Life.

My goal is to create a place where I review events and experiences (my own and others) through a lens that sparks thought and opportunity for conversation. I try to select topics that may provide us with some common threads and an opportunity to weave those threads into strong social fabric - the fabric of our lives and our relationships with one another.

I want this to be a place where we question ourselves and our histories, a place where we allow one another to reinvent ourselves based on individual and collective experience. I want this space to be like a safe house, a place to come and go at will. I hope that you will come by to visit often. I hope this will be a place where you can express and exchange your thoughts, ideas and your worries, with me and with one another, as you choose, within a culture of kindness.

The Rose comes into bud
Gillian Cornwall, c. June 2015
Where are we in our lives, if we do not have safe spaces in which to question, learn and grow? Where are we if we do not feel safe to experience the gift of the emotions we have been given? Let love guide us in this space. Let us breathe through our fears and expand with light.

I am grateful to all of you who spend time and energy in this space. I have been blessed to get to know some of you outside of the realm of this blog and you are a source of great love, light and learning to me. 

When I think about energy, as I do often, and I read the work of today's scientists as they look at factors such as physical cosmology, quantum physics and thermodynamics, I become more and more convinced of the relativity of our imprint and the expansion capacity of our energy. Who we are and how we behave in our lives does matter, both individually and collectively. This is the art of life. If each of us are seen as a unique colour, then together we create the ultimate rainbow, the most exquisitely detailed picture, or the blanket of many threads that keeps us together, warm and protected. 

Physicists and cosmologists have recently come to believe that the universe is, in fact, expanding and that the expansion is accelerating. Whatever is causing this universal acceleration has been named 'dark energy' but its origins are not yet known. Is it possible that as our comprehension expands, so does the universe itself? I am not a scientist, but I am an explorer of ideas, of possibility.

In August, it will be 3 years since my brother died. I feel him with me. The likelihood is, I always will. His life was essential to the person I am. He was a teacher, a protector and a friend. His life expanded my own and, thus, I believe his life impacts all of those who are impacted by mine. This is the ripple effect of energy. This is why I have renamed this space, "The Art of Life."

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives and thank you for being a part of mine. My gratitude for this opportunity is boundless. I hope we will be able to share our thoughts and ideas here for a long time. With every wish for joy and peace.

-Gillian Cornwall, c. July 30, 2015
Edited from the original post, August 17, 2014

In the cooling afternoon light
Gillian Cornwall, c. June 2015


Boo xo said...

Very insightful thoughts. I see no reason why it wouldn't be our own expansion that is causing the expansion of the Universe. I believe we will at one time all come together in a glorious realization of oneness and that that time gets closer every day.

I love the way you talk about Chris being part of who you are and that he becomes an influence on anyone you meet. He had a big influence on my life and the lives of my kids who all loved him dearly. He still comes up in a lot of our conversations. Thank you for reminding me of the various ways in which we still feel the presence of those who have passed on ahead of us. Fits right in with my next doc.

Sending love,

Susan said...

Interesting idea - I would say definitely in the past that as our own understanding of the world expanded so did our universe - perhaps not in the way you mean but in a very tangible and recognizable way. As Europeans we went from believing in a world that was flat, to believing in one that was round, to one that had the sun at its centre rather than us and finally to a comprehension of how truly tiny we are in a massive universe. Maybe non-Europeans (whether First Nations here in North America or people in India and the Middle East 2-5 thousand years ago) always recognized this with their creation stories that had us emerging from a celestial scaled creature or from the heavens themselves.

But it seems to me that for the past couple of hundred years we - average WEIRD folk (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic - though I wonder about #2 and #5) - have begun to focus so much on our puny selves that our universe is more like a black hole - sucking in everything outside it into this maelstrom of neuroses and self-obsession. Of course there are bright lights in our firmament - the Dalai Lama comes to mind - but so many of us (I include myself here) are more than a little lost, struggling and wondering why we feel so blah when our lives tick all the boxes for satisfaction.

Gillian said...

Dear Susan,

Thank you for your comment - it is obvious that you have put a lot of thought into it.

I think from what I understand of quantum physics and thermodynamics that there is little difference, if any, between the scientific and the spiritual in this regard. All things are interconnected, energy will be the same amount as it has always been, only in different forms. I am as likely to be an ant as a human or a leaf and all things are of equal value; however I love or am loved, I am able to change the shape of that love as my relationships change and grow. Rather than having a giant ego with respect to my place in the universe, I am all or little of it all at once and equally valuable regardless. I have no greater value than anything else and no need of more. I strive to live without fear, though I am at times unsuccessful. I agree that the Dalai Lama has achieved his "all and nothing all at once" quite well and can laugh at himself when he falters.For all we have and all we do not have, we owe our greatest debt to joy.

I have had times in my life when I have been homeless, times when my life was at immediate risk, and times when I was so hungry that all I could hope for was sleep to forget - perhaps that gives me some insight into what is truly of value in my life and less fear than some who have not had and lost.

I do know that when I do not hold onto things in fear of losing them, I feel more full because love, as energy, is free to flow through me without blockage, without holding. These times are always the best times, the times when I am most full of appreciation and joy for what is.

May we each have more of that pleasure in this great gift of life.

Best wishes to you.

Gillian said...

Dear Alberta,

I concur as I see our expansion and contract as the same and equal to the all. With each inhalation and exhalation, we expand and contract and the rest of the universe shifts in time with us. When we see this and truly believe it, it is then we will feel free. We are all one and all things at once - when one thing is hurt, we all hurt. We must focus our energies on healing our Mother, Mother Earth now, for she has cared for us silently and consistently and now she is faltering under our weight. Let us focus our love and healing energies on her and, in this, we shall heal all.

Much love to you sweet Bookie.