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March 17, 2011

How Spiritual Artists And Spiritual Art in History Have Inspired Us

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Spiritual Art Is A Wonderful Way To Express Your True Nature.

When I started to realize that I was portraying spiritual information through my art, I spirituality in contemporary artbecame curious about the history of spiritual art. After doing some research into spirituality in art history, I found there has always been a strong connection between spirituality and art. Even today modern religious art; modern religious paintings and spiritual art prints there is much spirituality in contemporary art represented.

Wikipedia definition of Spiritual art: “Religious art or sacred art is artistic imagery using religious inspiration and motifs and is often intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Sacred art involves the ritual and cultic practices and practical and operative aspects of the path of the spiritual realization within the artist’s religious tradition.”

Many famous artists have cited spiritual inspiration as the driving force behind their works and could be considered spiritual artists. In western cultures, artists often received spiritual inspiration and guidance from a divine source, including occasionally spirit guides, resulting in them creating beautiful spiritual art prints and spiritual artwork paintings to depict religious stories. In the Eastern hemisphere, the spiritual adepts conveyed spiritual messages to the uninitiated masses through art and other non-western cultures have used art to remember creation stories.

In many ancient traditions, including in the Hindu and Egyptian cultures, the temples were decorated with spiritual art such as exquisite friezes and sculptures and are considered religious art history. The temples themselves were carefully architecturally designed to symbolize man’s path to enlightenment. The top tier or innermost sanctum of the temple represented the attainment of spiritual mastery. Initiates could spend many years meditating on the images to seek and learn the spiritual secrets they encoded.

The role of ancient priests and priestesses could include being a temple dancer; the dances performed comprised moving picture stories that conveyed spiritual teachings to their congregations, who were often less well educated than the priesthood and so it was an easy and entertaining way to get the information across. The ancient Hindu dance tradition of Bharata Natyam is an example of this. Another dance with a ritual healing purpose is the belly dance. which was originally designed to help women in childbirth.

Catholic religious art is also very predominant in history. There are famous religious paintings of Jesus by renowned spiritual artists throughout the past centuries.

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Further back in art history are pictographs, rock and cave paintings, fetishes, and body adornments, such as tattoos. Tattoos often had a magical spiritual quality, which instilled power, protection, and spiritual status on the bearer. Similarly, pictographs conveyed both spirituality in art historypractical survival information, including the migratory patterns of game animals, and spiritual requests from the gods such as successful hunting. In other cases the art form preserved spiritual information; for example, Australian bark paintings tell symbolic stories from their belief system and creation myths.

In the Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist traditions thankas are used to convey spiritual teachings and information on healing and mandalas are used in meditation to stimulate the process of spiritual evolvement and healing. Buddhist monks also make sand paintings as part of their practice; these represent the universe and are used for healing the environment and all living beings. They are created from the center outwards and represent birth, life, and spiritual evolvement; they are destroyed from the outside in to represent a return to the source of death. The paintings remain to have healing properties and are distributed among onlookers and to the planet through watercourses.

Interestingly sand paintings and spiritual art are also made by Native Americans, where medicine men use them for healing the sick. When the painting is complete, the patient sits in the center of the image and the shaman conducts a healing ritual. The painting acts as a portal for healing spirits to come through and give power to the patient and to remove their illness, which is absorbed into the sand and disposed of after the ceremony.

Historically spiritual art has formed a bridge between the literate spiritual teachers and the masses or has created cohesion within and between groups. In modern times most of us are well educated, but due to the structure of our society, have neglected our intuition. I believe art can be of great service to humanity in providing a bridge to help redress this unbalancing of the intellect and the intuition.

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Dr Lesley


Rev. Dr. Lesley Phillips is the founder of the School of Intuition, where she teaches online psychic development classes. She is the host of the Unlocking your Truth Radio Show and Podcast. She has also written quite a few spiritual books.

Lesley Phillips

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