Chapter 4: Freedom Is Something Inner
The first thing is, it is not art. For the first time something exists in the name of art which is not art at all. It is more a therapy than an art. Look at the modern paintings and you will be convinced of what I am saying. The painters must be insane; they have poured their insanity on the canvas. It helps them because it releases some tensions inside their being. It is a catharsis, but it is not art. It is therapy through art, but not art itself.
If Picasso is prevented from painting, he will go mad. Vincent van Gogh went mad before he committed suicide. And I have been looking into his life deeply and my feeling is he went mad because he could not paint as much as he wanted. He had no money to paint. His brother was giving him money enough just to survive, and he was not eating for four days per week. He would eat only for three days and four days he will fast to save money to paint. How long can you do that? But painting was more important for him than food - and it ended in madness. He could not paint as much as he wanted, and when he saw that there was no possibility to paint anymore - the brother is tired, the family is tired and nobody wants to help him and nobody wants to purchase his paintings - he committed suicide.
The same would be the case with Picasso if he was prevented from painting: he would go mad or he would commit suicide. Suicide is the ultimate in insanity. But his paintings are a great help, a great relaxation.
And it is not only so with painting; it is so with poetry, music, dance. Everything modern is a little crazy because modern man is a little crazy, off the center.
Gurdjieff has divided art into two categories. The modern art he calls subjective art. The ancient art - the real art - the people who made the pyramids, the people who made the Taj Mahal, the people who made the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, they were of a totally different kind. He calls that art objective art. Subjective art is like vomiting. You are feeling sick, nauseous; a good vomit helps you to feel good. The poison is thrown out, you feel relieved. It is good for you, but not good for others.
Now, in the name of modern painting, you are hanging vomited, nauseous, sickening things in your rooms. In the name of modern music you are simply getting into crazier spaces within you. It is subjective art.
Objective art means something that helps you to become centered, that helps you to become healthy and whole. Watching the Taj Mahal in the full moon, you will fall into a very meditative space. Looking at the statue of Buddha, just sitting silently with the statue of the Buddha, something in you will become silent, something in you will become still, something in you will become buddhalike. It is objective art, it has tremendous significance.