The ocean is never the same. Raging and crashing one day, smooth and lapping the next, it’s seductive in its hypnotic motion. So to what degree should the material of the ocean be thought of as defining the ocean? When we say a feeling is oceanic we’re not talking about water. Charting the behavior of matter is such a small part of what we experience as the ocean. All of the senses are involved; the scent changes with the direction of the wind, toes wriggle in the sand as more sand swishes up around your ankles with every wave. Meaning shoots out in every direction. Every sense has the capacity to stimulate memories, reinforce the feeling of being using the other times that conspire in the moment. And there’s so much our senses don’t take in. We can’t see the radiation or hear the communication of whales. Much is outside our spectrum of sensitivity.
Einstein said matter is condensed energy. Where we are is the place where the field of mind has condensed into physicality, and on this plane reality is described as the interactions of matter. We as physical beings interact with other aspects of matter but we should remember how much in the way of energy fields and unfolding patterns is not in our awareness, yet like gravity may be influencing us profoundly.
In art, though films may come the closest to creating more multidimensional experience they still require time. Music evokes the emotional world with enormous range and power, but also requires time. Images have the capacity to fill attention with the relationships that show meaning in a moment of insight. With more and more claims on time, the immediacy of art is there to clarify relationships and change the way we see things. Like icons of ancient times, they offer a window to something bigger and more encompassing, a moment of recognition. When the image is contained in an object, the meaning is layered over what already adheres to that object. Whatever the form of art, it is never the object, image, artifact or story as much as the “Aha moment” illuminating universal human consciousness that matters. The choices made when looking at art reinforce and develop that connection and reflect qualities about who we are that can’t be expressed in material terms.
Maybe our attraction to material things is because they represent what material existence is. The extraordinary variety, beauty, order and uncertainty are the gifts of physical creation. We participate in creation with what we do and what we cultivate in ourselves. The self we express throughout life is in the choices we make about things that matter.