In a dream I was told that in the Realm of Death everything is the opposite of what it has been; there we must become the unfulfilled potentiality that is remains unfelt, undone.
We’re not fully conscious because we unconsciously choose a walking, talking daily form of sleep. We choose this because becoming conscious is painful. It requires suffering life as it is. Conscious suffering. The part of us that hides from the discomfort of consciousness steers us away from it. Whimpering, it hides under a blanket from the biting wind: the winds of consciousness are cold, until we adjust to them. A seeker of gnosis needs courage. (The connection to the indigenous culture warrior tradition should be apparent.)
It could be that all modern art which is not merely satirical or socially referential is an expression of yearning for consciousness; is first a reaching for freedom from hackneyed, mechanical mental association, and second a freedom from fixities in behavior, in perception; is an escape from inevitable linkages of psychological reactivity. In a moment of freedom imparted by Magritte, Ernst, Matthew Barney we see the ordinary world anew, and every object becomes an “art object”, and zen, for that moment, has nothing on us.