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Art and Spiritual Transformation

The Seven Stages of Death and Rebirth

Finley Eversole, Ph.D.


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The primal role of art in awakening and liberating the soul of humanity

• Presents a seven-stage journey of transformation moving from the darkened soul to the light of spiritual illumination

• Provides a meditation practice to experience the spiritual energy embedded within art

• Includes artists Alex Grey, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Walter Gaudnek, and others

Art and Spiritual Transformation presents a seven-stage journey from the darkened soul to the light of spiritual illumination that is possible through the world of art. Finley Eversole introduces a meditation practice that moves beyond the visual content of an art form in order to connect with its embedded spiritual energy, allowing the viewer to tap in to the deeper consciousness inherent in the artwork and awaken dormant powers in the depths of the viewer’s soul.

Examining modern and postmodern artwork from 1945 onward, Eversole reveals the influences of ancient Egypt, India, China, and alchemy on this art. He draws extensively on philosophy, myth and symbolism, literature, and metaphysics to explain the seven stages of spiritual death and rebirth of the soul possible through art: the experience of self-loss, the journey into the underworld, the experience of the dark night of the soul, the conflict with and triumph over evil, the awakening of new life in the depths of being, and the return and reintegration of consciousness on a higher plane of being, resulting finally in ecstasy, transfiguration, illumination, and liberation. To illustrate these stages, Eversole includes works by abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko and modern visionary artists Alex Grey and Ernst Fuchs, among others, to reveal the powerful and liberating forces art contributes to the transformation and evolution of human consciousness.

Praise For Art and Spiritual Transformation: The Seven Stages of Death and Rebirth

"This visually appealing work will charm artists, students of psychology, and spiritual seekers."
— Library Journal, July 2009

"Spirituality and art join hands in this seven-stage journey represented in art form and exploring the author's own meditation practice."
— The Midwest Book Review, Sept 2009

"A very compelling read."
— Nexus, Colorado's Holistic Journal, Nov/Dec 2009

"Instead of being simply a well-educated author, who could have easily lost and/or bored many readers by offering highbrow academic-speak, Eversole brings this book to life as he shares his own personal transformations, including his need for therapy at one point, his series of dreams, and his spontaneous mystical experience. Allowing the reader access to his inner life, in a casually intelligent manner, ensures one's rapt attention throughout the reading of this work and shows his inherent bravery in doing so."
— G.L. Giles, MetaCreative Magazine, March 2010

"As an artist myself, I am indebted to this wonderful, personal, and touching book by Finley Eversole. It made me return to studying my own work from a new perspective. . . . This book is definitely a 'must have' for any aspiring artist, both of fine arts and prose, as it reveals in very clear terms the link between image, archetype, and reality."
— Lesley Cunningham, New Dawn, No. 120, May-June 2010

"Art and Spiritual Transformation is a particular treat for anyone with an interest in both spirituality and art. . . . The book includes a particularly interesting discussion by Mr. Eversole on 'Art and the Evolution of Consciousness'. . . . this book offers some stimulating, thoughtful, and insightful comments on which to ponder."
— The Beacon, Vol. LXIII, No. 1, Jan-Mar 2010

Inner Traditions, 9781594772818, 400pp.

Publication Date: May 26, 2009

About the Author

Finley Eversole, Ph.D., has lectured widely on the arts, philosophy, metaphysics, and creativity. He served as executive director of the Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture from 1966 to 1969, collaborating with Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, W. H. Auden, and Alfred H. Barr Jr., founder of the Museum of Modern Art. He is the author of Christian Faith and the Contemporary Arts and lives in Birmingham, Alabama.