it is for that smile and for those tears that I work


Bowl by Rupert Spira

Cézanne said, “A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution.”

The purpose of his art was to trigger this revolution, this complete ‘about turn’ in the way we see ourselves and the world.  On another occasion he said the purpose of art was to “give us a taste of Nature’s Eternity,” that is, to give us a taste of that which is ever-present in the experience of nature or indeed in any experience.

Insofar as my work as an artist has a motive or a function, I share Cézanne’s vision although not, alas, his talent!

Just as the essence of all thought is understanding and the essence of all relationship or friendship is love, so the essence of all perception is beauty.

Therefore the highest function or motive of an object is to point towards or reveal this Beauty, that is, in Cézanne’s words, to give a taste of Nature’s Eternity.

A work of art is a work that comes from this intuition and that, as a result, bears the signature of its origin. The potency of art is that it bypasses the rational mind, that is, it is not abstract.  It delivers intravenously, so to speak.

Many years ago I saw a man standing in front of one of my bowls at an exhibition.  When I returned twenty minutes later he was still there just looking.

As I approached him he turned round and I saw that tears were streaming down his face.  He smiled and left.

It is for that smile and for those tears that I work.

– Rupert Spira

Source –

See also


5 thoughts on “it is for that smile and for those tears that I work

  1. What is the self that expresses in self-expression? such an excellent question. I’m a filmmaker and since i started discovering nondualism and its various facets i started struggling creatively. within the film community they always tell you to have something to say with your work. well lately it’s been less about something to say and more about questions to explore. how can i say something when there technically isn’t someone saying anything? but isn’t who you are a filter so to speak for the light of creativity thats trying to come through? grrrr! frustrating.

    either way, its lead me to you and rupert so i appreciate you having this blog and posting something from him.

    i look forward to further entries


    1. Dear Kiko – thanks for your comment and for sharing so openly.

      Yes – that’s the great paradox – expressing from emptiness yet using the voice emptiness embodies. Perhaps one is less of a “filter” than a hollow flute. To be open and empty enough – that seems to be the most one can aim for. Empty and willing to follow the movement of the mystery we call creation, as it flows.

      Rupert Spira writes wisely and beautifully on this topic, and I have also found the writing of John Daido Loori helpful. You can find links to their sites under ‘artisans’ at right.

      Have you had a look at *the awakened eye* website? There’s a gallery there where the work and words of artists and artisans working from the nondual perspective can be found:

      Do you have a website featuring your film work?

      With best wishes –

      miriam louisa

      1. Hey there,

        thank you so much for the resources. definitely a wealth of info that i’m looking forward to diving into. i’ve also downloaded your art workbooks. i’ve only had a chance to flip through them but so far the bits i’ve seen are very useful. thank you for making those.

        i don’t have a website as of yet but here’s some links to a couple of commercials i directed for a contest.

        i’m working on a short film currently that i hope to be in production on in october. that project hope fully will have it’s own website and you’ll be able to see it there.

        i struggle with the flute example. i’m willing to admit it could be the “me” that nondualist tell me isn’t there, just trying to fight back. even with a flute you press the keys and a melody comes out. every combination comes a different melody right? it “appears” to happen that way with any creative endeavor. you yourself do various manifestations of art. rupert does ceramics and i do film. different combinations, different melodies. am i just rambling? maybe i’m just trying to “get it” when there’s nothing to “get”. (exhale)

        anyway thanks again for site.


      2. Keep exhaling dear Kiko! And please don’t believe what the nondualists (or anyone else) tell you. Check it out for yourself.

        Thanks for the links – I’m off to have a look …

        Best wishes –


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s