“Painting and Other Power”

John Diamond, M.D.

Extract from the book 
Art for Healing: Guided Painting Then and Now

Art for Healing book cover


When I paint, I am somehow in an altered state of consciousness, surrendered to a Higher Power. It does not seem to be me who is doing the painting, rather the painting is being done through me. As the Japanese Buddhists put it, it is Tariki, Other Power acting through me, rather than jiriki, self-power.

If we look at the Lascaux caves, we think of Tariki. If we look at the Sistine Chapel, for example, we think of jiriki: how great Michelangelo was. Not how great the Other Power was, the Tariki.

The more the painter believes his work to be the result of Tariki, the more healing, I believe, will be his paintings. They will get him much closer to Matrophilia. And he will be able to transmit this to help others to be matrophilial, and they will then go on to help others to do likewise.