The short answer to this question is, “You already know.” The Source goes by countless names and has many faces and all are true. Native Americans call it Great Spirit. Mystics and seekers throughout the ages referred to it as the Divine. Yogis think of it as Prana, life-force energy.
For our purposes, the Source is all that and more—a combination of what Freud termed the unconscious, Jung called the collective unconscious, most modern psychotherapists label the psyche, and psychotherapists/spiritual seekers James Hillman and Thomas Moore refer to as the soul. The Source is also what many people call God/Goddess. It contains the deepest stuff of the universe, that part of life and creation that inspires myth, but that remains the great mystery and thus, thankfully, defies precise definition. Actually, the Source can only be described according to how it shows its face—and that is everywhere and whenever possible.
I imagine the Source as the energy that first set the universe in motion and tossed this fiery molten rock we call earth away from our sun. It is the spark through which the tiniest speck of DNA evolved from a single-cell protozoan into the complexity of us—body, mind, and soul.
The Source is also that deepest part of you, the part that remembers everything with absolute clarity. It is the body intelligence that exists without words and recalls past lives, your time in the womb, and your birth. As the collective memory of the creation of the universe and the history of evolution, the Source is also home to the primordial imagery of myth, dreams, and remembrances: being a furry mammal in a tree, a bird soaring through the air, a fish swimming in the depths of the sea, a lizard, a seed, a cell in a tidal pool, a crystalline shape, water, molten rock, black holes . . . the explosion that jolted the universe into motion.
The entire universe is the body of the Source, and so we ourselves manifest universal source energy, which recycles and evolves as our bodies themselves transmute through death into dust and then rebirth.
The Source infuses the Creation that we humans reenact whenever we ourselves create. The source is chaos within order, order within chaos, constant change and flux. It is itself the process of evolution. The Source demonstrates its sounds and logic through music, myth, and song; its movements through dance and athletic skill. Poetry and literature are its speech. And images—painting, color, and sculpture—are its many portraits.
The Source follows its own rules, which we call paradox. The Source is the same for all of us, yet it is experienced uniquely by each of us. Unfathomable in its awesomeness and simplicity, the Source is all-encompassing energy, love, and soul. This is the energy we merge with as we paint: When we create, we are at one with the source. Finally, the Source is that indefinable ingredient, that unknown quantity or quality that distinguishes a neatly arranged, aesthetically composed painting from a painting that is a true gift of magic.