One of my absolute favorite books that confirms much of my own understanding about ART is entitled: Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human meet by Matthew Fox. I have found so many of his ideas about creativity to be valid. I feel that when I am being creative, I am most alive. I feel that my creativity is very linked to my spirituality. I'd like to share a few excerpts that are close to my heart:
Matthew Fox says, "Notice the Kabbalah counsels us that imagination is a "gift of God"and further down on that page he says, "fundamentalists who engage in imagination-bashing might take note of the following fact : The etymological origin for the word "hell" (the real place where Satan dwells?) is helan, an old English word that means "to conceal" (in Latin celare). In other words hell is our place of concealment. Hell then, is our refusal to create and our deadening the imagination of others. But if hell is concealment then heaven would be the place of revelation, of unveiling, of telling the truth. Eckhart said,'The purpose of a word is to reveal.' That is the purpose of all imagination. Teacher and painter, poet and potter M. C. Richards asks: 'Isn't this what we try to do in our artistic work with the clay: to bring something to light, to manifest, to reveal? A form, an intention, a question, a relationship, a search, a hope, a defeat, a concealment...? ' (pages 59-60) Fox says, "The Artist is to the community and body politic what the liver is to the body, a cleanser and a recycler of wastes and toxins." (page 89) Fox also says, "The Christ story redeems creativity by setting it in the context of compassion. All creativity is meant to serve compassion not projections." (pages 94-95) He says, "Creativity saves, its opposite kills. The Gospel of Thomas put it this way, "Jesus said: 'When you bring forth that which is within you, that which is yours will save you. But if you do not have that in yourself, that which is not yours in you will kill you'." Our creativity is a matter of life and death, of salvation and damnation. (pages 98-99) ...the artist beholds what is and holds it up for the rest of us to see better. There is a river of creativity that is running through all things , all relationships, all beings, all corners, and centers of the universe. WE are here to join it, to get wet, to jump in, to ride these rapids, wild and sacred as they be. (page 66)
I believe that creativity is sacred. Being creative with compassion is how I feel called to live the rest of my life. I am seeking ways everyday to express this God given gift of creativity...in the simplist of ways. Though the process is sometimes painful and difficult. Creativity brings me joy in the end. It brings me peace. Please keep in mind though...this is just one aspect or facet of my faith journey.
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