The first question:
I never did get turned on by classical music, and art galleries bored me silly. So, is it possible to go directly from the first layer, the head, to the third layer, the center, and sort of bypass all this aesthetic garbage?
Yes, it is true: in the name of aesthetics, there is much garbage. But when I use the word aesthetics I don’t mean the garbage collected in the museums and art galleries.
When I use the word aesthetics I mean a quality in you. It has nothing to do with objects – paintings, music, poetry – it has something to do with a quality in your being, a sensitivity, a love for beauty, a sensitivity for the texture and taste of things, for the eternal dance that goes on all around, an awareness of it, a silence to hear this cuckoo calling from the distance…
It is not garbage: it is the very core of existence.
But I can understand that you must be getting bored with the so-called classical music and paintings collected in the art galleries. And you must be a little bit puzzled why people go on talking so much about all this nonsense.
Aesthetics is just an artistic approach towards life, a poetic vision: seeing colors so totally that each tree becomes a painting, that each cloud brings the presence of godliness, that colors are more colorful, that you don’t go on ignoring the radiance of things, that you remain alert, aware, loving, that you remain receptive, welcoming, open. That’s what I mean by the aesthetic attitude, the aesthetic approach.
Music has to be in your heart; your very being has to be musical, it has to become a harmony. A man can exist as a chaos or as a cosmos. Music is the way from chaos to cosmos. A man can exist as a disorder, a discord, just noise, a market place, or a man can exist as a temple, a sacred silence, where celestial music is heard on its own, uncreated music is heard on its own.
Zen people call it the sound of one hand clapping. In India, for centuries mystics have been talking about anahat nad – the unstruck sound. It is there in your very being; you need not go anywhere to listen to it. It is the ancientmost music, and the latest too. It is both the oldest and the newest. And it is the music of your own being, the hum of your own existence. And if you can’t hear it, you are deaf.
And there is no way to bypass it. You can bypass museums, you can bypass art galleries – in fact you should bypass them. You need not be worried about art and art criticism – forget all about it. But you have to become an artist of life itself.