Off the top of my head, I can think of two kinds of artist. One is an artist, and the other is a capitalist. Both of these artists have their merits, but they are divided by perspective and worldview.

What differentiates the artist from the capitalist is that she draws inspiration and motivation from something I call “love” but that word has so many meanings, doesn’t it? I only register one. See below.

The capitalist, on the other hand, is primarily motivated by money or material goods, affluence, and privilege. One might even say that to the capitalist, these material gains ARE love.

As Thoth the Atlantean once wrote, nothing there is below thee but a different operation of the law. The law is love. We’ve known that for millennia. No matter how much money the artist has, abstract numbers and dollar signs float around in the ether devoid of meaning until they feed the hungry, develop a project, or are manifested in something real, which is a product of love. That is the only use for the acquisition of money.

The capitalist, on the other hand, finds the idea of love quite perplexing. What is love? How can I quantify it? How can I spend or trade it? Moreover, how can I own it? Money is much easier to handle. I can check my account and see how much of it I have. I can’t do that with love, can I?

So, the capitalist learns a trade, say, painting, guitar playing or singing. He studies the status quo and learns from it. He attempts to fashion a high-quality product for mass consumption. He checks his account and watches the numbers in his ledger get bigger. He becomes happy when he has been compensated well for his hard work.

The artist called capitalist has become unhappy in decades of late. People now get media for free. Many artists are distributing their music for free. No longer can the capitalist simply learn a trade, promote his excellence, and be compensated duly. Now he needs to learn about love, something that he has been putting off for entirely too long. He finds the idea of spontaneously playing a free show in the park with no planning repugnant. There are municipal bylaws! There is no profit to be made! Somebody needs to alert the vendors! Someone needs to promote the tour! NO! YOU CAN’T JUST DO THIS! IT IS TOO ERRATIC! I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT!

Painting ze yin und yangNO, he cries, I WILL NOT JUST HELP PEOPLE REALIZE THEIR DREAMS AND LET THEM HELP ME! I NEED TO KEEP TRACK! I NEED TO ACCOUNT FOR INFLATION, GET A PROMOTION, GET A RAISE, AND RETIRE IN TAHITI! ACCOUNTS AND BALANCES, PEOPLE! YOU CANNOT PAY THE BILLS WITH LOVE! YOU PEOPLE ARE GODDAMNED CRAZY!

Meanwhile, the artist does what she always has done. She walks the land, giving and receiving love. Oh, yes, and there were times when we were burned for it. And it could happen again. Nothing inspires more fear than the thought that what one has worked hard for could fall apart.

Siva-sakti, you told us this is what love really is… the acceptance that what we have worked so hard for could crumble at any moment. That is the truth of creation, destruction and rebirth. Please help us all to see this.

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