This show was made by Ken Burns who is known for his documentary on the Civil War, among others. "Seeing, Searching, Being" is a documentary about William Segal, a painter who lived from 1904-2000. William Segal's "religious philosophy centers on the idea that humans should practice silence, stillness and contemplation to discover the secret spiritual forces within themselves". He studied Chinese Zen Buddhism as well as other philosophies and lived his life exploring the world around him. He painted many self-portraits during his lifetime. Ken Burns stated that his friendship with William Segal "rearranged his molecules" (not a direct quote but I paraphrase).
Here is one of the poems that I found that he wrote.
"To wake up to..."
To wake up to
who we are
what we are here for.
To make all life
more poetical, more sane
more livin, lovin.
the true of all things
Needless to say, I got on the computer the next morning and ordered the video. The colors, the story behind his beliefs, the artistic way the film was shot, the artwork created by William Segal, his demeanor...all are part of what drew me to this documentary in the first place. Because there are no accidents in life and, as William Segal whole-heartedly believed: "to wake up to who we are and what we are here for", I found myself this week seeing this thread running through many different blogs I have read. And, even the lesson on Sunday at my church was discovering your mission and your purpose. A quote in the lesson said this:
"When a man has a big enough sense of purpose, he loses himself (yet finds a greater self) in his absorption or dedication to the purpose." (Taken from The Week That Changed the World by Ernest C. Wilson)
It would seem that I am being lead to explore what my purpose in life is. The evidence to me is what I am seeing when I open my eyes..."to wake up to who we are and what we are here for". When you see something reiterated over and over to you, do you listen to the message or ignore it? And, more importantly, do you recognize what it is you are supposed to be seeing? That is the really important part.
Another pertinent quote from Sunday (thank you Mark!) is this:
"This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." George Bernard Shaw
Make your purpose count. Follow your bliss. Discover the secret spiritual force within yourself.
These are all messages I have seen this week and are relevant in my life right now. And what is on my current reading list: you guessed it: Insomnia by Stephen King! How relevant is that!