J.S. Bach has a very famous piece  “Cantata #140, “Sleepers Awake”. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, especially the more well-known parts.

“Waking Up” is a traditional religious metaphor used across all major faiths, that symbolizes that moment when our consciousness reaches its greatest spiritual awareness.

The secular world calls it “Mindfulness”. Fair enough, it’s still the same thing.

Experts advocate things like meditation, prayer and contemplation to reach it. That’s fine, however, I find I get into my most “mindful” state when I feel like I’m being creative, quietly working away, making stuff.

Something about “creating” i.e. using your mind to make new connections, is what our brains do best. Our brains are basically connection-making machines.

This is why, there has always been a tight connection between art and religion. Art may not make the best religion (I’d be surprised if merchants like Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst have much new to say in this regard), but the really good art, the art that really matters to us, certainly can put us in touch with our highest selves.

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