Artist Monk Identity = First Identity

I’ve recognized I’m probably more artist-monk than anything.
Jut for fun I recently “numbered” my various identities in accordance with which ones fit best. “Artist Monk” comes out #1. (“Bear Jack” comes out at #2.  Like everyone else, I have 10 or 20 other regular “lesser” identities that rise up and then fall away during my daily walk-around pilgrimage.)
When I say “artist monk” I mean householder artist-monk, of course. Suzy, my nun-wife of a hundred years, and I still have soft, often and delicate intimate relations, mentally, emotionally and physically. And I regularly enjoy an evening cocktail, and semi-regularly play poker with my buds and daily watch the up and down breathing of my stock portfolio. But still my #1 identity, the one that goes furthest back, and deepest in, and fits most comfortably, is this artist-monk’s identity, which seems more than anything passionately curious about the nature and purpose of God and Love and Peace and Beauty, awakening, zen dancing, creating.
I’m much, much more interested in the artist-monk life than I am in the political life, for instance. Or in body-building, or making money or the music scene, though I do practice these other arts as well. (Except, maybe, for body-building.)
Of course, we’re talking metaphor here, mostly, though not entirely. The householder monk metaphor, the nun metaphor, is a useful metaphor for me to synthesize and focus what’s most important for me here on earth– loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and loving our neighbors as ourselves, as one famous monk once put it.
Rupert Spira, one of my favorite non-dual heroes, (“a modern-day hero,” according to the existentialist philosopher Colin Wilson, “is one who is no longer self-divided”) has a beautiful youtube video about how to bring the non-dual (e.g., monk, nun) realization into daily life. The realization, or awakening, is instantaneous, he says, (although it may take 20 years before it happens, before we simply realize, “Oh, I’m not the body, I’m awareness, aware of itself“). However, bringing this realization into our daily affairs, into all our relationships and modes of making a living, such a process is a life-long pilgrimage, a life-long art.
For me, the “householder monk-artist” metaphor works quite well as a “framework” for bringing non-dual realization into daily affairs. I would assume the “nun” metaphor might do likewise, though culturally, at least to this monk, the “light” of a nun seems much more pure, removed, untarnished then that of a monk, many of whom, best friends and present company included, have gone rogue.
At any rate, today I again recognize “householder monk-artist” is a fitting, gentle, quite comfortable identity. You’re welcome to try it out yourself, see how it fits. From where I sit, it appears that the world could use more householder monk and nun artists.
I’d be interested in hearing your response to such a metaphor.
Namaste.

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