Baht 'at: Contemplating Oneness

Bhat 'at: Contemplating Oneness is a visual contemplation of our relationship with nature through the place of Ilkley Moor. Our understanding of it, our living with it and our influence on it and from it. It is a relationship which should be about 'oneness' – a togetherness, one part of the other – but so often in contemporary life is reduced to a 'nothingness'.

I have sought to use the Moor with its multiple layers of man's engagement as a place in which to contemplate our basic oneness with nature. I wandered freely and frequently across late 2013 and through 2014 with body and brain seeking understanding, and with camera in hand. Part way through trauma interrupted my life with the sudden and tragic death of my wife. For some time life was black, the Moor was not my place to be, but slowly it called me back. It started to heal the wounds, slowly to bring about thought of a future, and with it a heightened sensitivity to the impermanence and fragility of our individual presence.

The full work on show at Dean Clough Galleries in Halifax comprises over 40 images.

“Deep in the night she dreamt that her consciousness had merged with the Lifeforce of all things. She was for a time transported to an infinite dimension that held all that she knew in miniscule. This was a vast level of being, so different that it holds no reference to our temporal world. For that time she had direct experience of the interconnected Oneness of all things. She knew that in this place of awareness all actions would flow from a centre that was completely at peace, suffused with love, fearless yet harmless to all beings. There was no need of ‘morals’ or striving for ‘right action’, as these values arise naturally from unified consciousness. This is the deep secret of peace. We cannot commit self-harm or harm others when we are in love with Life; we cannot damage the web of Life when we are the web and the Life itself. From our consciousness our actions arise.”

- The description of a dream experienced by Maddy Harland as recounted in The Song of the Earth: A Synthesis of Scientific and Spiritual Worldviews (Harland, M and Keepin, W., Permanent Publications, East Meon, 2014, p xvii)