Amazonian Portrait by Lino Campos Photography
Psychologist Abraham Maslow thought that there were essential needs which we must satisfy first, before going after ‘more’ lofty ideals. According to his pyramid of hierarchies developed in 1943: security comes before art and nourishment before beauty. The end result: creations and lives devoid of soul. A lifeless and mundane rendition of the sacred.
For the love of nature, spirit, and art. Maslow got it wrong!
Who wants food made without a sense of artistry, creativity and love?
Work without self actualization?
Spaces without soul?
Relationships without respect?
You get the idea… here is Maslow’s pyramid:
His rigid hierarchy classifies our needs by fragmenting our experience, and fails to account for our multi-dimemsional nature. What happens when we unconsciously follow Maslow’s pyramid in a linear way? We end up malnourished: physically, emotionally, and spiritually hambrientos, filled with ravaging hunger.
My pre-Columbian Ancestors from Peru were considered primitive, but they were way more civilized than we are, they made space for the needs of the soul in harmony with nature, needs that often go unnoticed in today’s day and age.
Chilean economist and philosopher Manfred Max-Neef has also argued that “fundamental human needs are non-hierarchical, and are ontologically universal and invariant in nature—part of the condition of being human; poverty, he argues, may result from any one of these needs being frustrated, denied or unfulfilled.”
If we neglect some fundamental necessities to satisfy others that we deem superior or more important, we take care of satisfactions that only go skin deep and not even, they barely touch our skin, much less our hearts.
Artful, poetic living in tune with the spirit of nature is an essential part of conscious living as is art, poetry, and sacredness intertwined with the very flesh and fabric of every day life.
Séraphine Louis de Senlis
This is a beautiful film of French painter, visionary artist Séraphine de Senlis (1864-1942), who was poor and mad according to some, but successful in devoting her life and art to render her vision visible. Considered a self taught ‘naive’ or ‘modern primitive’ painter, she didn’t wait for the perfect conditions to practice; she painted with earth and blood a body of work that is soulful, lush, fertile, feminine, fierce, and pulsing alive to this day. Her passion and rich inner life shine through her art.
Séraphine Louis, L’arbre du paradis (1920-1925)
Séraphine Louis, Les Grandes Marguerites (1929-1930)
Here is the trailer of this moving and inspiring film I watched for the first time in beloved San Francisco. In joy!
. . .
Art is not a luxury; it is a nourishing and integral fiber in the weaving of our lives. We wither, wilt, and shrivel when we ignore our calling, our dream, the heart of our soul.
Right now, there is a precious song seeping under your skin, waiting to awaken all that is asleep in you heart.
Go ahead, say YES. Live, breathe, feel, create from that place.