QA214 QUESTION: When certain artists have really reached a very high level of artistic expression, have they attained that because they have also attained a high level of spiritual development and awareness? Do these things go together?
ANSWER: The answer is neither Yes nor No, because individuals are not uniform in their development. In other words, a person can be very highly developed spiritually in one aspect of his total soul-substance, and another aspect may not be developed at all or only very little developed.
One of the purposes of incarnation is to create a balance. It is up to the individual free will to find this balance and to reject the line of least resistance. So it is very possible, for example, that a soul enters incarnation and he has a very open channel to an artistic field, and he can give all his energies to the cultivation of this. Indeed, he can bring great joy to people and open up to the spiritual world through the music or the art or the literature or whatever field it may be.
However, he may use this channel that is already open in order to neglect that which is not yet open. That is very often the case. Now, the same happens even with people who have taken on spiritual tasks and spiritual teachings themselves. They can be very open in certain spiritual unfoldment, but if their path strives more toward a greater union with the already perfect state and does not emphasize that which is not yet perfect, then that aspect that limps behind in the development stays backward, and an integration and a balancing does not take place.
Now, this particular Path emphasizes extremely, to a very strong degree, that balancing and will always shed the light most particularly on what is not yet developed. Because that which is developed does not need the furthering as much as that which is not yet developed – although, of course, man wants exactly that. He wants to further that which is already developed in order to avoid the pain and the humiliation and the difficulties of that which is not yet developed.
Now, let us suppose a soul comes to incarnation and whether his already-developed, open channel is a spiritual teaching or he’s a musician or he may be a painter, or whatever the field may be where he is already a genius, he cultivates that open channel. Even though he may spread a lot of good into the world with that, if he uses that open channel in order to neglect that which is not yet developed, then in his following incarnation – or following incarnations – he himself may decide that that great talent should remain dormant in that lifetime so as to enable him to concentrate with his waking awareness more fully on that which had lagged behind.
So incarnations must create balance, and you cannot say because someone is a genius in a certain field that that necessarily indicates a total development like that. It may just indicate a partial development. Does that answer your question?
QUESTION: Yes, very much. It strikes a chord in me, because in my growing commitment to the Pathwork and my desire to look at my negative attitude, there’s very much that balancing effect. Somehow, going to music would have been an easy way for me.
ANSWER: Then you may come back to music in a very different way with a new fullness and an integratedness that would have been lacking had you avoided the not-yet-developed aspect of it.
QA215 QUESTION: My question has to do with an experience I had last weekend at a concert at the Center. I was listening to the music, and I could recognize a part of me that was old and stiff and in a way delighting in the music but in another way, envying it, being jealous of it, wanting to take it and make it my own – for the glory. It was a very painful experience; I then connected with the idea that perhaps my task is to give up my vanity. Can you help shed some light on this?
ANSWER: I think it is probably fairly obvious to you at this point in your development that you are dealing here with a past history, and partially through your very intense development on the Path and partially through the very strong impact of that beautiful music you heard, some dent was made into an area that was usually, until now, closed off from your consciousness.
Now, the vanity existed particularly with musical execution. There was even an arrogance attached to it, which prevented you very much from your overall development.
I said recently, in answer to a question someone asked about a musician who got very ill and who could not understand why such a fate should befall the person – the person could no longer execute his musical talent – that such things happen when the talent prevents the person from his development, because development is always first.
Then, for an incarnation or two, the talent may be kept in abeyance until such time that the soul is sufficiently grounded in the reality of growing, so that the talent will no longer be an obstruction. And this is really what you experienced. You’re tuning in, not on something that is now, or if you will, everything is always now but in a different sense.
It is rather an experience that you had to go through after a particular incarnation, where you had contracted to use your talent for your development and where you had failed to do so. You had contributed to other people’s development and that was taken into account by very beautiful music you could give, but you had not unified it with your own development and you used your pride, your vanity, and your arrogance to not do this.
QUESTION: I find the same type of arrogance as soon as I get recognition for anything I do actually. And I’m in the process right now of trying to give that up.
ANSWER: Pray for it.