On Human Artistry.

February 4, 2022

On Human Artistry.

May 29, 2023

I’m thinking of beauty and artistry, in its many forms, and how the simplest things that inform our soul, mind, and mind’s eye when there is space and presence to do so.

The role of art or artistry has little to do with functionalism or the creation of artifacts. It has to do with changing one’s experience of what seems real.

Artistry, in all its forms, lives in the intersection of reverence and transcendence.

Reverence is the humble, spirited, and playful approach to a way of living and being with the world. Reverence is the acknowledgment that spirit is already here within the things we’re stepping into. The art of reverence is noticing the mystery that abounds us. It is a respect for the mystery. It is a somatic sensation where we pause to embrace the spiritual that exists among us all, which is always there for the noticing.

Transcendence is the act of going beyond — beyond the ordinary, beyond current realities, beyond the seeable. Viktor Frankl speaks of the need for transcendence through the tragic triad of human existence — pain, guilt, and death.

But we know that life is not just about these weighted attributes, even if, sooner or later, we all must confront them. It is often through the virtue of transcendence that we’re able to live with the promise of our ultimate disappearance.

Artistry is transcendent because it points to something beyond itself and beyond the artist. This form of living artistry prepares us to live with the consequences of love and life.

The Greeks believed in the muse, genius loci, and essence because they knew something our modernized culture has largely forgotten: Art unveils the invisible world; it speaks to the hidden stories; it transcends our realities; it enlivens our divine humanity.

Our daily acts of living artistry transform the mind, the heart, and the soul — ours and those around us. To live in artistry is to be aligned with the divine and to help others transcend toward their divinity.

Living with artistry has less to do with artifacts (a painting, sculpture, or poem) and more to do with how we see the world around us, how we relate to that world, and how we move others and are moved by it.

The role of the arts and the role of the artist, the role of leader, the role of the modern elder are essentially the same. It is to find a way to diminish our isolation, and encourage generosity, and commonality. It is a change of our relationship to others. It is to transcend the trappings of our current realities. It is to change and evolve our relationship to the world.

Ultimately, human artistry is lived in order to change the world. So then, what kind of human artist are you? How are you prepared to live with reverence, and help yourself and others transform the world?

From surfing to creating artwork to beekeeping, Steven Morris is an ever-curious brand and culture advisor, author (The Evolved Brand and upcoming The Beautiful Business), and seeker who’s served 3,000+ business leaders at more than 250 companies — discover more at: https://matterco.co/

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