Letter from André to Etienne

Dear Etienne.

Back in the day, I watched the film Andrei Rublev, by Tarkowsky, a great Russian filmmaker from the seventies and eighties.

Andrei Rublev was just about the greatest mediaeval painter there was of icons and church paintings for the Russian Orthodox Church. 

He was a devout and dedicated painter, very hardworking, not in the least interested in pomp and prestige and power, totally given over to the divine. 

At one point, he had to cast a bell for a local or national lord, I just want to tell this story. He had never done it before; in fact, he’d only watched it being done the once. But he began his task and asked Mary and all the saints in heaven to help him. He did it pretty much exactly as Etienne describes it in Andreas and Ada’s film. 

So, following on from what I said before, you are the Andrei Rublev of Sahaja Yoga: you sit there in Orroir in your box, your Kluis, at the foot of the Kluisberg, just like a real monk, old but not yet worn out and, in total surrender and bhakti and devotion, you give yourself over to the construction of beautiful panels that depict the greatness of, and your insight into, SY in a way that I think is absolutely right.


In the meantime, I have a few more lovely things to say about Etienne’s art. Those things come slowly. 

Etienne is a very great man, a very great artist-sculptor-object maker. 

Today a friend of Taha and Yassine’s called round to say hello. I’d returned from my trip to Heusden and was just resting a bit, and Miro, that’s his name, saw the artwork that Etienne had given me: “What’s that? It’s beautiful!” He was extremely drawn to the piece; he didn’t ask what it was supposed to mean – I think it spoke to him on a subtle level. I told him about Etienne Loyson, that he had a whole house full of those things, beautiful … He went on Etienne’s website, and then he seemed to lose interest: too much explanation, I think. They don’t understand that.

From that point of view, I think we’re sitting in a new kind of Middle Ages: people are heathens because they don’t know about SY. They need to be educated. Etienne educates them, just like the illiterate people in the Middle Ages were educated by the frescoes in the churches, which told them exactly how things were. They were wonderful paintings, made by great artists who knew what they were talking about and who were helped by the religious scholars, to make sure they got every detail right. I think those artists were aware of the “vibrational” merit of their work long before the word even existed. Many of those paintings “shine” unseen. We shall never know. But that separates the true artist from a person who doesn’t have that, that special sort of awareness. 

Each of Etienne’s frescoes reveals a part of the teachings of SY, admittedly not checked over by the scholars, but lived, in his way, with here and there perhaps a dash of imperfection, the touch of Zen. That is right and fitting.

In the film I spoke about Symmetry, which is a very powerful part of nature, and about “mandalas”, but really I should have said: “They are all actually mantras”: images that (want to) give out the energy of a mantra. They are complete mantras that hang on the wall and sing to you and radiate energy in a subtle way! 

I think my son’s friend was drawn by the “mantra”, on a subtle level, and that is something different from “unaware”.