I think our minds respond to things beyond this world. Take beauty: it’s a very mysterious thing, isn’t it? I think it’s a response in our minds to perfection. It’s too bad, people not realizing that their minds expand beyond this world.
I hope I have made it clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds but that the paintings are very far from being perfect — completely removed in fact — even as we ourselves are.
In Japan, I took part in a tea ceremony. You go into a small room, tea is served, and that’s it really, except that everything is done with so much ritual and ceremony that a banal daily event is transformed into a moment of communion with the universe.
The tea master, Okakura Kakuzo, explains what happens:
“Tea ceremony is a way of worshipping the beautiful and the simple. All one’s efforts are concentrated on trying to achieve perfection through the imperfect gestures of daily life. Its beauty consists in the respect with which it is performed. If a mere cup of tea can bring us closer to God, we should watch out for all the other dozens of opportunities that each ordinary day offers us."
There is no estimating the wit and wisdom concealed and latent in our lower fellow mortals until made manifest by profound experiences; for it is through suffering that dogs as well as saints are developed and made perfect.
Nothing has to be changed, because all is beautiful -- that is enlightenment. All is as it should be, everything is perfect. This is the most perfect world, this moment lacks nothing -- the experience of this is what enlightenment is.
Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Enlightenment is to come to know that there is nowhere to go. Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all, that this is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. You are already there -- you have never been away. You cannot be away from there. God has never been missed. Maybe you have forgotten, that's all. Maybe you have fallen asleep, that's all.