In early September 2010 I was giving some healing to a friend when it felt like my connection to the Merlin energy had transferred to him and my own association with M ceased. It started a downward spiral for me and with it my ability to touch into a creative process to paint. My life had nose dived and was sleeping in my car with all my belongings packed in the back. I was going through a turbulent relationship that took away any confidence I still had in myself, I had become indecisive, totally confused, depressed and thinking suicide.
I woke up in the early hours of the 17th February 2011 while staying overnight at a friends apartment, except there wasn't an I to connect with, just awareness of a room, there was no Courtney.
It was only through the support of a dear Buddhist friend who had some idea of what was happening and was able to gradually re-assemble piece by piece the fragmented Courtney, though he was never totally re-connected as before. There wasn't an I now, just awareness of the life in motion, separation from reality but also at one with it all as well, life was never going to be the same again, the truth of reality has been shown for what it is, the game was up.
This first awakening experience was the total opposite to my expectations of the process and it was everything and nothing like I expected. I went through weeks of the door opening and closing, lifting me from a blissful and very peaceful state when in the space, to being totally confused and thrust into the fire and having to deal with the chaos that was permeating through Courtney’s life. I wrote a lot of the experiences down and hoped one day to have used the notes to write a future book, but reading through them years later I can see they only mirrored the confusion and were pretty much unuseable.
I tried to paint what I was going through in an art workshop I attended in London, and felt that I now needed to be much freer in my painting style and also wanted to experiment with acrylics instead of the gouache I had used for the past 30 years. I would liberally spread the acrylic over the canvas and tried to be as free as I could, the trouble was that I would find some interesting detail and had the urge to embellish it, each time this happened the teacher would walk over to me with a smile and with a stroke of rag wipe it away. I did manage to
achieve one piece of art based on a few lines from the Gospel of Thomas that had always resonated with me and that now felt I had come some way in experiencing it's Truth. Jesus said “Split wood and I am there, Lift up a rock, you will find me there”. The painting opposite is the result of my one and only art lesson in my life, though the painting never got finished.
Mountcross cottage became my first home in two years, it was wonderful to close a door and be in a space that I could totally transform to how I wanted it to be and one of the first things I did was set up a shrine in the room I was going to use as my studio. I always set up a focal point, a reminder rather than a devotion to any deity, that no matter what the crisis may be, that it's all sorted and to be patient that the situation will be resolved, no matter how hard it is to comprehend. I had been so accustomed to living out of a rucksack, diving into the back of the car to find something I needed, what a relief to spread out my work, put away my clothes and the joy of a good walk in shower….bliss.
Royalties were coming in from different sources, it seemed like the Universe, the Beloved was preparing me for the next stage of development. It was a great healing time for me and time to gather my thoughts. I began a small ritual each day by running my finger down between my eyes wet with drops of The Christ Aura Soma oil and then spreading on some ash given to me by Mother Amma on top of the oil and then asking the Universe to bring on what ever it took for my advancement and it did.
Split wood and I am there, Lift up a rock, you will find me there
Commissioned artwork for a carpet design.
The first of the emerging new style of work. Pathway Through The Labyrinth
In 2011, Courtney woke one morning to a room where Courtney couldn't be found, there was only a sense of awareness of space and a connection to everything, there was a strong sense of the illusory nature of physical reality, that the physical reality we take for granted only exists in the form we are seeing it, in a few centimetres in the back of the brain. That this reality we are experiencing is actually a simulation, similar to a computer game. With the help of a friend Courtney was put back together again though the connection was never the same as before. There is more a sense of awareness of this supposedly physical form and its experience within this illusory world. Once this is realised then the shackles of fear, guilt, hate, longing and neediness that bar us from true happiness are released, that connection to I am that's fearful or hurting is experienced from a point of awareness of the feeling rather than being the feeling. It's a point of being that doesn't connect with the past and has no need to know the future but instead resides only in the moment of now and rests in whatever unfolds. This is not to say that theses emotions no longer exist for him, but now they are mostly seen and acknowledged as part of the physical illusion and not who he is.
The paintings of the Awakening Journey were painted at different stages of the evolvement and with the discovery that after 40 years on a spiritual path that he hadn't even started.
Pathway Through The Labyrinth was the first painting after Courtney experienced a significant spiritual awakening in 2011 and this heralded a change in his art. Unbeknownst to him it would the first of 5 paintings that it would illustrate the awakening embodying process he was going through. Each painting expressing the changing states of being he was experiencing as the spiritual world opened up to him.
The central labyrinth expresses the inner pathway with its twists and turns; the outer star represents the protective Universe, The Beloved that beckons us, enfolds and protects us as we endeavour to connect ourselves once more to Oneness, the nature of everything.
We are constantly drawn to search to attain the deep longing for re-connection to the whole, we climb mountains to be closer to God, when in fact the only journey should be within ourselves.
It’s very unusual for Courtney to start a painting then stop to start another before the others completion. Stepping Into The Fire a few days after the Moon’s eclipse of the Sun, then suddenly the connection to the guiding force dropped away, only to reappear a while later when Saturn crossed the Sun. The five paintings mirrored what were arising within, some days the awakening door was wide open and other times it seemed mostly closed, this caused confusion in a world around Courtney that seemed it was in total chaos at the time. Stepping Into The Fire portrays the lesson of non attachment, standing fearlessly within the fire, in the point of stillness while everything around seemed in chaos.
Its has a fiery portal to help our passage to enlightenment, fear needs our energy to live and will dissolve without the nourishment it needs. At its central point is the Still Centre of the Beloved.
Phoenix Rising was the third of the series of paintings and this heralded a distinct change in the way he viewed his life, it began midway between working on Stepping Into The Fire. It was a time of total confusion and revelation overlapping and the two paintings certainly mirrored what was occurring at the time and why he had them running together for a time. On the completion of Stepping Into The Fire it seemed release a connection to some old painful past memories and distress.
The Phoenix heralded the freeing of these physical bonds that long tied it to the trance of reality, there was the understanding that they will return in different forms in the future and would again need to be addressed and once again release. Awakening is born of re-birth through fire, it’s very much part of the opening to our true and cosmic being that abides within and all around us.
Opening To The Beloved was the 4th painting of the series and on completing this painting Courtney felt he had reached some kind of milestone, or at least a resting space from the previous months. The times of the Oneness seemed longer and the painting seemed to come from deeper to the heart than previous paintings. It was the first piece of work where there was a true sense of separation from its execution, there was now a recognition of the art being formed from the motion of the brush, paint, pen and paper in a creative movement rather than any part played by Courtney himself. The Universe was expressing itself through the use of this vessel, rather than all of the previous 40 years of collaborated work when overshadowed by the energy Merlin each day, then it was still Courtney who painstakingly actually did each brush stroke himself.
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by Courtney Davis
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