TRUE ART COMES VERY CLOSE TO RELIGION. So don’t be worried about what true art is. If you rejoice in doing it, if you feel lost in doing it, if you feel overwhelmed with joy and peace in doing it, it is true art.
AND DON’T BE BOTHERED WHAT CRITICS SAY. Critics don’t know anything about art. In fact, THE PEOPLE WHO CANNOT BECOME ARTISTS BECOME CRITICS. If you cannot participate in a running race, if you cannot be an Olympic runner, at least you can stand by the side of the road and… throw stones at other runners; that you can do easily.
THAT’S WHAT CRITICS GO ON DOING. They can’t be participants, they can’t create anything.
I HAVE HEARD ABOUT A SUFI MYSTIC who loved painting, and all the critics of his time were against him. Everybody would come and show him, “This is wrong, that is wrong.”
HE BECAME TIRED OF THESE PEOPLE, so one day, in front of his house he hung all his paintings and he invited all the critics and told them to come with brushes, with colors, so that they can correct his paintings because they have criticized enough; now the time has come to correct. Not a single critic turned up.
IT IS EASY TO CRITICIZE, IT IS DIFFICULT TO CORRECT. And since then critics stopped coming and stopped criticizing his paintings. He did the right thing.
PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW HOW TO CREATE BECOME CRITICS. So don’t be worried about them. The decisive thing is your inner feeling, inner glow, inner warmth. If making music gives you a feeling of warmth, joy arises in you, the ego disappears, then it becomes a bridge between you and God. And art can be the most prayerful thing, the most meditative thing possible. If you can be in any art, music, painting, sculpture, dance, IF ANY ART CAN TAKE A GRIP OF YOUR BEING, THAT’S THE BEST WAY TO PRAY, THE BEST WAY TO MEDITATE. Then you don’t need any other meditation; that is your meditation. That will lead you slowly, step by step, into God.
So this is my criterion: if it leads you towards God, it is true art, it is authentic art.