|From the Editor|
(and I don't mean the poems and pictures y'all are sending me!)
I just finished reading four or five of your articles and I feel two things, one is that I almost hear myself speaking, your respect for creativity is wonderful. And second I want to hit upside your head!
(You said) “Can you imagine if everyone could, through the course of their day, feel and maintain a connection like that, to the source of beauty and originality and expression. If that were the cornerstone to our motivations - think of how we might then confront problems, deal with others, and manage our affairs.”
What a wonderful statement. And if everyone did that we would be in a renaissance down to everyone's little toe.
“And if there was a way to nurture a "spiritual connection" such as that, a way that any human being could learn and practice, would we do it? Could we all be taught to understand the merits, spanning every aspect of our lives, of living life ‘as a prayer’”?
These are excellent questions. And my guess is that humanity needs a carrot as well as a stick. Wouldn't it be great if creativity was the norm?
“When the individual is causing the "personality" and the "ego-identity" to take a back seat in the wake of an artistic manifesting, that individual is in essence saying: Spirit that is Greater than I, of which I am a fragment and a manifestation.”
This is where I know where you are coming from but "it isn't like that." Personalities and egos are terms for what are pompous people, at least that's what they are when they are doing it. But I don't think that is really their personality or their real ego. I believe that when people are being pompous it is out of insecurity, and they strike first with their projections. What is needed is for them to take time, therapy, meditation, or whatever and really listen to themselves--to all their inner voices and get a dialog going. But isn't that discovering your personality and your ego-identity?
“What is passing through me is a testament to Your Power, and to my subservience to a Greater Light than I am, in this fragile form.”
This is where my slap comes from. How is anyone to discover their awareness or their creativity in being subservient? (And I don't mean the converse is walking over corpses to get what you want.)
This was a nice surprise. Your attention and the taking of your time is appreciated.
I feel and have always felt that we each have a rich collection of (material-related) obstacles to push through, in our quest for...meaning and fulfillment? Yes. I might have been saying that through creative acts, unselfish and separated from ego-based-awareness, is found a source of ideal light. We are finite and clearly fallible and fragile entities, in our Physical reality, so to strive towards a 'relationship' with the essence of our being - Love, God, the Universe, Grandmothers and Grandfathers, is to first bow in reverence - respect, for a power of perception, expression and understanding that is clearly greater than us alone. We are often over-run with 'feeling-sensations', responses, almost mechanical thoughts and actions geared often towards knowing our environment, survival and self-preservation within that complicated environment. The Spirit world - into which we can have a mere window at the best of times, has little need for these cumbersome physical necessities. It's concern is experience, and expansion towards its source - like a moth to a flame
So, all I’m saying is that we have to "get out of the way" first, in order to express ourselves creatively - and from an enlightened source. Now that's not to say that artists are naturally "enlightened" - No, we can be the most besieged by frailty and vice! But our Art is found in our submission to the Divine Spirit - the All Merciful, the Ever Forgiving.
Re: subservient - I think of self-less-ness. It can be an awesome and noble approach to living, but perhaps not for everyone. Sacrifice: To Make Sacred.
Just a rant. Thanks again.
Thank you for your reply. If you don't mind I would like to continue a little bit further. I will express myself off the top of my head--this is not a thesis.
I thought it interesting your use of bowing, moth to a flame, cubersomeness; they draw a rather awkward, lost, and disillusioned portrait. And you make a dichotomy between spirit and the physical.
But isn't your experience, that if you don't take care of your body and the means of your physical survival, that your body sabotages you in total? I mean if you eat potato chips all day you will feel like shit no matter what your spirit has to say about it. :) Or take lust, please, it is so much easier to live full and rich knowing that we have sexual needs--ok so you are not in love, that won't help you when you are crawling the walls and banging your head on the floor. And when you combine love and lust, WOW that is bliss. I am sure that getting our shit together physically, opens our spirits to feel and soar without the looming threat that someone will turn off the water or the IRS will be knocking at your door.
You seem to talk of God, Love, the spirit world, etc. as if they exist independent of human conception. But I find what is very interesting is that these concepts are manmade. Far from believing in God, I think every act of creation is evidence that we have the creator inside us. The concept of God came from us--because it is something we can sense. Isn't it easier to acknowledge that we have the God inside us like we have feelings, lust, love, hate, thoughts?
One of the reasons I am writing you is that I do know how to create and to be profoundly happy. You on the other hand raise fantastic questions but give less than satisfying answers. A sign that someone burdened by their physical nature is a sign that they are having trouble in life or with it, why would anyone call on them for advice about fulfillment? As you can see I am outlining what perfection for a human being is: to put the whole package together.
Gotta run and make salmon (!) no potato chips for me! :)
I'll look at a couple of your statements: "..they draw a rather awkward, lost, and disillusioned portrait..."
Did I say I was otherwise? I can be the KING of awkward, lost, and disillusioned. But that doesn't diminish, and probably helps to strengthen my faith. Without faith, I'd just be a pretty face. Well, not even :-)
"..a dichotomy between spirit and the physical."
Oh we can so easily get befuddled by the Kingdom of Names, one of man's true wonders (man, who is actually divine in essence) . I believe in a holistic universal philosophy, but I also see a world of polarities and distinctions. The distinctions and unique character and requirements of each aspect of life on Earth. The drop is the ocean, but the drop is also ...a drop. The drop possesses the same elemental reality as the ocean, but can never, due to its obvious limitations, fathom the ocean. And the vise-versa illustrates again the idea of the drop's humility before the vast and virtually unknowable ocean as a very enlightened principle. But of course, any "enlightened principle" can be taken and applied by an unenlightened mind, and ....well, that's the stuff of much of Human history. The evolution of consciousness. Kinda messy, but it is what it is.
Maintaining my own well-being seems to depend upon my willingness to accept the present moment and to be there as much as possible. And for sure, life is chock full of "present moments" that are difficult to accept and relax into. All I can do is strive to understand my strengths and limitations, and to place my attention, as best as possible on the more life-enhancing aspects of thought and response. And some of my life is kinda ragged. Do I chose to have that be a debilitating discomfort? Sometimes - but it's hardly very productive.
Rog the gleefully imperfect
Rog: Maintaining my own well-being seems to depend upon my willingness to accept the present moment and to be there as much as possible. And for sure, life is chock full of "present moments" that are difficult to accept and relax into. All I can do is strive to understand my strengths and limitations, and to place my attention, as best as possible on the more life-enhancing aspects of thought and response.
This is the connection I have with you. The above is very focused and rings with truth and clarity.
Rog: The drop is the ocean, but the drop is also ...a drop. The drop possesses the same elemental reality as the ocean, but can never, due to its obvious limitations, fathom the ocean. And the vise-versa illustrates again the idea of the drop's humility before the vast and virtually unknowable ocean as a very enlightened principle.
And this statement I have no comprehension about what you are talking about. How can an inanimate object have "humility"? Of course if your simply using "drop" for an individual and ocean for the masses, then its easier to understand. But then do you think that an individual should sacrifice themselves to the masses? Or be humble before the masses? If so, why?
Rog, I am sorry to insist, and I can call off this type of communication you, it is not meant to be a dig or a debate. But I have some friends who are philosophers and they deal with universal questions about the nature of the world and about humanity's state of being. Every statement they make they back up with clarity, factual observations, and really show you the steps they have taken to get to their conclusions. Of course no one has to agree with them, but I am sure their approach, their methodology, is the correct one to use in making generalizations about humanity. And I think that you become "fair game" when you conclude that humanity should be subservient. And that you should be called to task to answer how a subservient humanity is better for us--to illustrate what a healthy humanity would be like--how subservience would not allow such things as Nazi Germany to exist--etc.
Do you read philosophy? You show an interest in philosophical issues. One book you might look into is Philosophy: Who Needs It by Rand. I won't say you will like it, but you might find it very interesting and perhaps helpful.