The world is at the best of times, a frantic and confusing place, and many of us often find ourselves rushing to our favorite artists and writers for a ticket to a brief escape, a moment of peace in the eye of the storm. Today I am honored to bring to you an artist who has made giving us that moment his mission. Based out of Detroit, Michigan, Roger Allen Baut refers to his work as Contemplative Photo/Art™. He has been a featured artist in many online journals, and today we are fortunate to have him share some of his valuable time with us here at The River.
You speak often of your “Pathless Path”. What does this statement mean to you?
It means that I view life, my life, as a journey, and this journey takes me along a path. However, this path is not a straight line to a destination, the path, or pathless path, may wander here and there. Side paths may lead from it and go here and there, yet, when all is said and done, it will take me to my journey’s end, and the completion of my present life cycle. This concept may be found in some Taoist philosophical writings. Tao is known as ‘The Way,’ and the way, may be likened to a path.
The ‘pathless path’ is a way, and as Osho writes, “Following any pattern, you are imprisoning yourself. And God, or Tao, or dharma, or truth, is possible only to one who is absolutely free, unconditionally free.” There is a certain ‘freedom’ in the pathless path, as one travels upon it.
Most of mankind focuses itself on ‘trying’ to control others and our planet, and what mankind hasn’t learned, is that by ‘not’ controlling anything, but working in consonance with others, control happens
In today’s world, metaphysical could mean just about anything that falls into the category of New Age. On your blog you speak to a philosophic pursuit of metaphysics. How does this differ from what we may think we know of the metaphysical world?
I have been fortunate to have read and studied the work some of the really great researchers and writers: Madame Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner, Edgar Cayce, Dr. Douglas Baker, Frithjof Schuon, Osho, Vincent Amador, Manly P. Hall, et cetera.
I sort of gravitate to the more plausible information that’s out there. I have seen too many a time, people getting caught up in some of the ‘hocus-pocus’ stuff that’s floating around, that is usually more fictional than factual, and become disenchanted with a ‘metaphysics’ they really hadn’t encountered. That’s sad!
I would say that most people are more familiar with the ‘New Age’ perspective of metaphysics, rather than the traditional concept of metaphysics. As I write in my blog, “The term New Age came into common usage in the 1970s and 1980s with the monthly periodical, entitled, the New Age Journal, and as the American media began popularizing it, to describe the alternative spiritual subculture, which was then beginning to include such subjects/studies as: Astrology, Bio-feedback, Bio-field energy work, Channeling, Crystals, Earth Mysteries, Environmentalism, Mantras, Meditation, Numerology, Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE), UFOlogy, WICCA, et cetera.
You refer to your work as Contemplative Photographic Art. Could you share with us your inspiration and philosophy in regards to your work?
Well, first off let me define Contemplative Photographic Art or Contemplative Photo Art. These are certain photographs which may lead the viewer into a calm, thoughtful, peaceful, and/or lightly meditative state. In this contemplative state the viewer may connect, gain access to, or come into resonance with his or her own inner being, and from this connection, perhaps gain insights that will assist that person on their Journey of Life on Planet Earth.
The combination of image and poetry can be a powerful one. Do you find your work enhanced when you add poetry?
Yes, I do, and I’ve been evolving more in that direction of late. I’ve also added a video, that I try to make as consonant with the poem and image as possible. I find a ‘Three Tier’ effect of image, verse and sound to be quite pleasing, and there seems to me to be a certain vibrational energy, that manifests with the addition of a video. Also, the video can be turned on, after the image and verse have been seen. I’m also moving more toward shorter verse, much as the ‘bullets’ have reduced text; for we certainly know time is at a premium as well as people’s attention spans.
What do you hope to accomplish with your art?
Hmmm, well, guess this goes back to my thoughts on Contemplative Photographic Art, and that my images may hopefully rekindle pleasant memories from a person’s life, lead one to experience a period of relaxation, or perhaps guide one to an important personal insight, while viewing a photograph. Any of these three things would be a wonderful gift for anyone during the turbulent and often chaotic days in which we live, and if my work can bring a pleasant moment to anyone, it would be wonderful…
It is with much gratitude that we thank Roger for his time with us today. Keep your eyes on The River for a second chat with Roger, where we’ll delve much deeper into The Pathless Path, the state of the world, and our place in it. We are all connected!
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To view more of Roger’s work, visit his gallery http://chasingtao.zenfolio.com/
To get to more of Chasing Tao and the Pathless Path visit his blog http://chasingtao.blogspot.com/