How would Filipino baybayin enthusiast “Bing” Veloso be able to connect with our ancestors in order to come about the deeper meanings of baybayin in Saysayin ng Baybayin?
How would Guillermo Tolentino, Philippine National Artist and sculptor of monuments, make a connection with historic figures to yield his life-like sculptures? How would he connect with ancestors to uncover meanings of baybayin symbols?
And how would an Indian mathematician genius attribute his formula solutions to the advice from a Hindu goddess?
Bing has explained that she has meditated to connect with our ancestors to receive the meanings that she shares in her Saysayin ng Baybayin and the baybayin cards. Guillermo Tolentino tells that the historical figures such as Rizal or Bonifacio visited him to actually pose for him so that their faces could come to life in Tolentino’s realistic sculptured monuments. Guillermo also openly explained that he communicated with ancestors to read old writing symbols found on the Calatagan Pot, and to write his own book Ang Wika at Baybaying Tagalog (Language and the Tagalog Baybayin) that includes deeper meaning of the symbols. When such sources help yield inspired works, there is not too much skepticism, but when they are sources of information, it is easy to see how it is hard to accept.
But even scientific work can be inspired too!
Srinivasa Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician who made substantial contributions to analytical theory. While at Cambridge University and throughout his life he produced work with startling results and according to Ramanujan, his family’s deity, a Namakkal Hindu goddess named Namagiri, appeared regularly to him and presented math formulae which he would verify after waking.
How can inspiration and creativity flow from dreams, meditation or an encounter with our ancestors from the Unseen World, the Other Side or Heaven? Can reasonable people of intelligence, and not just so-called “crazy” people work with their dreams or the Other side to manifest significant works, either artistic or scientific?
For one thing, meditation is a very effective technique for improving your thought process, creativity and ability to problem solve. “Talented” people do it easily and naturally. Artists and poets call it “inspiration”. Even brilliant scientists such as Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison were known to have practiced various forms of meditation.
Gary Zukav, physicist and author shares an experience whereby he realized he received unseen assistance in writing his first best selling book:
“Multisensory perception brings with it awareness of intelligence, wisdom, and compassion that are not our own any more than the humor of a friend belongs to us. We experience helping hands that cannot be seen. For example, I outlined each of the chapters of my first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics, before I began to write, but when I began, ideas occurred to me that were not in the outlines. Each time, I left the outline behind and wrote about the new ideas instead. Sometimes I would return to the outline and sometimes I wouldn’t. One day I realized that the chapters I had written so far fit together perfectly, as though I had planned them that way. I also realized that they were more intelligent and funny than I was. Eventually I realized that I was not writing the book alone! (Spiritual Partnership, 2010)
The Dancing Wu Li Masters is about quantum theory, particle physics, and relativity and is written in layman terms with so little mathematics and in such a way that critics have described it as “enjoyable,” “informative” and “pure enchantment.”
Zukav explains that the Chinese word for physics is “Wu Li,” “patterns of organic energy.” Zukav along with others developed the idea of physics as the dance of Wu Li Masters–the teachers of physical essence:
“The Wu Li Master dances with his student. The Wu Li Master does not teach, but the student learns. The Wu Li Master always begins at the center, the heart of the matter…. This book deals not with knowledge, which is always past tense anyway, but with imagination, which is physics come alive, which is Wu Li…. Most people believe that physicists are explaining the world. Some physicists even believe that, but the Wu Li Masters know that they are only dancing with it.”
Zukav explains in Spiritual Partnership that unseen creative assistance is recognized in modern and ancient times:
“All creative people—photographers, writers, musicians, architects, artists—recognize this experience. Parents recognize it when they say exactly what needs to be said to a child and what they say is appropriate, complete and satisfying. Ancient Greeks called this experience communicating with the Muses—spirits that inspire creativity—and they called upon the Muses often. “To me and through me,” they cried, “tell me the story of our people!” and from these ancient Greeks flowed the dramas and philosophies that shaped the Western world.
Wow, when I read that I knew that “To me and through me, tell me the story of our people!” was what resonated strongly within me when I brought about works that satisfied my own search for Filipino Identity and my kapwa Filipino.
After contemplation and dwelling on intentions for healing and wholeness for the Filipino identity (historically colonized and programmed, self-abased and fractured), sure enough creativity came afterwards. And then I could create works, such as the art and prose for babaylan.com and the Babaylan mandalas, with all their symbolism, including baybayin. During such intense periods when there is a flow of spontaneous creativity, I cannot sleep for days, and the work comes from my hands and from a non-thinking state. Surprisingly during these creative periods, my hands felt very warm, almost burning, until the work was all done. Even working for CFBS has had its periods and many a sleepless night when the work flows from somewhere between my mind and my heart. For all these works, there were times, when the output from my being was less about the intellect and even the exterior senses of tactile touch, eye-sight, smell, hearing and taste, but more about my sense of deep meaning, my inner sight, my feelings and a sense of my ancestors being at my side being satisfied with the results.
Have you ever felt that a beloved family member such as a parent or grandparent, or a friend or sibling who has passed away has visited you in your dreams and spoke something to you, or is at your side watching over you and guiding you? I have felt this many times. Once without thinking, I called to my Lola to be with me during a critical period of birthing my third son—this was a time when my life was at risk. I knew my Lola came to be with me during that time. Every one and everything turned out fine during, immediately and thereafter that delivery. How many of you readers feel that we all can call our Lolos and Lolas and any of our ancestors for guidance and assistance when we work to not only survive but even when we want to thrive in this world?
Indigenous peoples like Native Americans and even indigenous tribes in the Philippines still believe that they can communicate with our ancestors in dreams, through vision quests or dream journeying. Dreams reveal hidden truths to our lives and the world. Even Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis calls the dreamstate “the royal road to the unconscious.” Interesting how it is not only people of artistic or spiritual professions that regard dreams as messages from a higher power.
So other worldly sources influence humanity’s work?!!
Well, if the Greeks in the far of annals of history could yield great works of poetry, art and philosophy by communicating with the Muses, than what’s so weird for people today to communicate with their ancestors? Muse? Ancestor? What’s the difference really?
Deities who visit us in dreams… Muses who inspire… Wu Li Masters who dance… And ancestors who bother to talk to us in meditation? Hindi mo akalain, ano. It’s all out there for you to ponder upon and consider.
Other suggested readings online: