In contrast to the religious artist who repeats a previously established and prescribed iconic tradition, the contemporary artist must find a way to plunge into the transpersonal state in order to experience and then convincingly convey transcendental reality. The revelations of mystical experience constitute the initiation of the spiritually inclined artist. An initiate is one who is introduced to new knowledge, admitted into seership, sometimes with secret rites. There are many ways by which the aspirant may access the mystical dimension: meditation, prayer, yoga, breathwork, tantric practice, dream, vision quest, working with a qualified spiritual master, visualization, fasting, sleep deprivation, sensory isolation, shamanic drumming, chanting, near-death experiences, and psychedelic or entheogenic drugs. These or other related methods may trigger experiences that take the aspirant from a mundane perception of reality, wherein objects seem separate and composed of only material properties, to a view of divine unity with boundless depth of dimension and meaning.
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