Essay & artwork by Nathan Miller.
Growing up as a member of the Baha’i Faith, I learned to appreciate the beauty in diversity, the power of cultural expression, and the common link that unites all of us. As a child and adolescent, I was extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to countries far from home often enough and for periods long enough that I began to see the entire planet as my home and myself a world citizen. The one thing that became foreign to me was the concept of division. My circle of friends was international, my homeland was planet earth, and borders and nationalities were simply man-made, having no impact on the intrinsic value of a human being. We were, and are, after all, one human race.
But oneness is greater than the unity of one species. How can we live in harmony if we disrespect and disassociate ourselves from nature, if we strengthen ourselves only to jeopardize the ground we walk on, the air we breath, the water we drink, and the millions of other species sharing this planet with us? For nearly five years, I have been spending most of my time in a small beach town in Costa Rica where I am surrounded by nature and wildlife. Countless times I have sat on my surfboard in the soothing waters off the coast of Playa Guiones, peering back at the horizon line, struck by the majesty of the natural world and the lush green forests, breathtaking sunsets and the sights, sounds, taste and smells of nature.
Because I have a great appreciation for the beauty in diversity, spiritual reality, the power of nature, and the oneness that connects us all, I was thrilled to receive a commission from a like-minded individual who enabled me to explore these themes. This was a chance for me to express through art what has always been close to my heart. These three paintings that depict a Tibetan, African and Indian child are complete on their own, each expressing a link between the human spirit, nature and divinity, but, when seen together, they reveal the beauty of diversity and the oneness of humanity. Together I call them the Oneness Series.
In an age when too many of us celebrate division, vulgarity and ego, I think we could use a reminder about our higher nature and how we are all connected. The more we are in harmony with nature and with one another, the more we will get in touch with who we truly are, and the more quickly we can work together to transform this world.
Nathan Miller is a U.S. and Costa Rica based portrait and wildlife painter with a background in graphic design and web design. Visit nathanmiller.gallery to see more of Nathan’s work and learn about how he uses art for activism.
© 2016. All images are property of Nathan Miller.