Ahoy, ahoy!  I can hardly believe the month is coming to a close in just a few short days!  This weekend, my house will be 6 plus one. as we have two visitors coming for the notable evening of All Hallows Eve!  Very exciting stuff.  I love Hallowe’en, maybe because it’s in Autumn (fave season) or because it’s just spooky and super fun!  There is always lots going on in Sackville for Hallowe’en, whether it’s a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show or a fun party at George’s, complete with a costume competition!  In the spirit (heh-heh) of all things mystical, magical and mysterious, let us examine theosophy in Canada!

thecanadaencyclopedia.com defines theosophy as follows: “Theosophy, philosophical system based on a belief in a universal, eternal principle fundamental to all life. The mystical overtones of its proposition of the fundamental identity of all “Souls with the Universal Soul” are similar to the doctrines of Buddhism and Hinduism”

Theosophy is quite all encompassing, and a student of theosophy can be of any religion, or none at all. The concepts it is based on redirect my thoughts to the ideas we examined earlier about the mythical qualities attributed to Aboriginal people in terms of their relation to Nature.  Theosophy in Canada had a great influence on the Group of Seven, especially Lawren Harris.  It is interesting that no matter what time period we are in, and no matter who seems to be painting, the important things to look at in Camada are products of the land.  Landscape painting has completely dominated almost all that we have studied so far, and theosophy often draws on interpretation of one’s surroundings in order to gain a complete experience of life within your surroundings.  Indeed, it is a very large concept to wrap your head around, but it is essentially based on comparitive philosophical, religious and scientific ideas.  It is very much about the quest for understanding.

Landscape painting is so much more than just a recreation of what you see.  For many painters who choose to work en plen air, their surroundings are where they discover themselves.  For Emily Carr, the forests of British Columbia were her sanctuary.  In her later years, she went to the forest to paint no just what she saw, but how her relationship to the trees and wilderness affected what she saw.  It is a feeling you get when you feel such a oneness with nature.  It is an incredible sense of connectivity and understanding, and for artists who feel this way, their brush and canvas are the best medium for capturing and expressing this feeling, in hopes to share it with others.  Personally, my feelings of oneness with nature have been most profound and impacting when I have been on top of a mountain in the wintertime.  As an avid snowboarder, the feeling you get when you climb beyond boundaries and into untamed ski area is unreal.  And when you have finally hiked high enough to see down the mountain, you get a feeling of being alone, in nature.  You are small, smaller than anything else around you and everything is so still, yet so loud all at once.

Brit

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