36" x 27" Acrylic on Board
Live Painted at Beloved Festival 2013

"...a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?" - Robert Browning

   13.8 billion years ago, the Universe began with a mystery. A mere 200,000 years ago, from the dust of stars, the earth produced our ancestors, creatures with the capacity to contemplate their own origins and celebrate the wonders of existence.

   Our tools extend our ability to perceive and understand the complex web of relationships in which we find ourselves. In 1995, the Hubble telescope retrieved the first baby pictures of our Universe (Hubble Deep Field).  With the opening of this eye in the sky, our species had evolved the means to look back across the river of time to actually witness a momentary reflection of the birth of everything including ourselves.  Words cannot possibly touch the mysterious brilliance of it all. It is an ourboros of consciousness, an lemnescate of awakening.  We are truly part of the body of the universe, made of its matter, and capable of contemplating, celebrating, and consciously engaging with the very substance of our own existence.  

   There is the scientific understanding of this, and then there is the embodied experience of the unity of self and cosmos.  This is a kind of self-knowledge, an awakening to relationship on a universal scale.  In sanskrit, Tat Tvam Asi, "thou art that."  All is you. You are all. I and Thou- we are one. So many of our great sages, saints, and philosophers, have offered up visions of unity as the ground for understanding our selves and our place in the world.  Over and over again, they say to us...
"understand that I and thou, you and that tree... indeed all that there is, is you. Get to know these relationships, as they are the substance of your own being. The meaning of your existence is inseparable from the relationships of which you are a part. Know your SELF, connected in this way, and treat yourself as the wonder that you are."

"I become through my relation to the Thou; as I become I, I say Thou."
- Martin Buber

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