Tag Archives: The Divine

The Journey

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Contrast

 

I sit down to write. I have an uplifting theme in mind, and am eager to explore it through the writing process. I immerse myself in the words spilling onto the keyboard and am drawn into a world apart. The words take me with them through breathtaking views and minefields of danger.

I put the last period in place and go back to read through the journey. I discover that what I set out to write is nowhere to be found. An uplifting piece has turned into a brooding one. The contrast is staggering.

I ask myself what happened and ponder my subconscious, the memes I have encountered of late, and recency effects. It’s all so easy to explain.

And yet, it’s not.

In those moments of being immersed, I know that I am not alone. There is Someone flying ahead of me, and I am merely following. The journey is soul-satisfying when I follow well, and the end result is often unexpected. It’s when I  get tangled in the weeds of morbid introspection, or get sucked down a vortex of self-defeating logic that the bond is severed and what I write no longer carries its satisfying flavour.

I suppose there is still value to be redeemed from the journeys gone wrong. They keep me humble and remind me that mine is to follow, and that the One whom I follow satisfies the soul.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

The Journey of a Lifetime

This was it, the journey of a lifetime, the “it” he had been dreaming of all his life. He’d jumped through all the hoops- twelve years of grade school, four years of university, another two years of grad school, thirty-two years of working for the man to support his wife and three kids. Now, it was his turn.

He stood in the airline check-in counter and chatted with the attendant about his round-the-world ticket and his excitement to see the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef, the lions of the Serengeti. She smiled, checked in his baggage, and directed him to the security line.

All his life he had waited for this moment, this moment that would end far sooner than he expected with a heart attack at 35,000 feet.

What are you waiting for?

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It’s All in the Genes, Baby

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creativity & The Divine

Supposing that The Divine created us, to what extent should we re-create ourselves?  That is, how much do we improve on the original design before we go so far as to destroy it?

Along the spectrum of self-improvements, we have hair dyes, anti-aging creams, plastic surgeries, organ transplants, artificial limbs, and so on all the way up to genetic engineering.

Some improvements are small and harmless, and do nothing to alter the fundamental structure of the original.

Other improvements propose to eliminate design flaws. For example, genetic engineering holds the promise of one day stopping genetic disorders such as Down’s Syndrome and Klinefelter Syndrome. The thought is that these disorders are not part of the original design and that getting rid of them restores the creation to its intended design.

Genetic engineering could also be used to enhance more desirable characteristics- eye colour, height, intelligence. This, then, leads to questions around the value of one human being over another.

Perhaps the most controversial of genetic engineering is gene splicing. This technique involves taking pieces of one type of DNA and inserting them into another. This could lead to an entirely new species- a completely new kind of human, an ‘improved’ human. Is this what we ultimately want?

When I started this post, I drew the line before eliminating design flaws. I didn’t think we should stop someone from having Down’s Syndrome. But then I asked myself: if I were given the choice to come into this world with it or without it, which would I choose? And now I’m not so sure about where to draw the line. What do you think?

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer      

Clone

If there were two of me, how much better life would be! I would always have someone who knew how I felt, agreed with my views, and enjoyed what I liked.

I could sleep in on Mondays and still be at work, not do my homework and still get straight A’s. I could skip the broccoli and just eat dessert, miss all the fights and just kiss and make up.

The only problem I see is if she were like me, she would want what I want and there’d be nothing left for me.

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The Happiness of The Divine

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creativity & The Divine

We, in our Western culture, are obsessed with our own individual happiness. Oprah reinforces it, best-selling books like The Happiness Project reinforce it, as do films like Eat, Pray, Love. Perhaps it’s a backlash against the over-emphasis previous generations placed on duty at the expense of happiness.

We chase after happiness in a miriad of ways- relationships, vacations, good times, spirituality, hobbies, lotteries. We find it, lose it, chase it, then find it again in a continuing loop through the years.

In a post earlier this week, I talked of how, to me, that place from which creativity flows is somehow linked to that Other place, that world of underlying truth, a connection with The Divine. It makes me happy, you could say, to visit that place through creative acts like writing.

And then I think, what if I turned the point around: does my act of creating, which causes me happiness, cause The Divine happiness as well? Woa. I feel so inadequate to even ask the question.

But then I think of Eric Liddell, the 1924 gold medal Olympian portrayed in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. He was passionate about running, and at one point stated, “I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” Woa. What a bold statement. He felt that something he did and was passionate about gave God pleasure. Could something I create and am passionate about give The Divine pleasure? I feel uncomfortable even thinking about it.

Some will feel uncomfortable just thinking about The Divine, never mind how The Divine thinks of our creative endeavours.

Ultimately, it’s about having a view larger than our own happiness and even than that of those around us. Why not take a moment to wonder- it may even spark a bit of happiness in you along the way…

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer      

Sara Bareilles

Linda posted this Sara Bareilles video today. I liked it so much that I thought I’d repost it here. Enjoy!

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The Bomb and Other Creations

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creativity & The Divine

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could [recreate dinosaurs], they didn’t stop to think if they should.
-Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park

We, as humans, have an astounding ability to create. This, however, doesn’t mean that we should create everything we are able to.

Prime examples of highly creative inventions that hardly inspire the betterment of the human race are the Algerian hook (a large hook used to impale a person) and the Iron Maiden (a tight enclosure full of sharp objects designed to skewer a person). It certainly took wicked imagination to come up with these.

When the first successful nuclear explosion was detonated in July of 1945, J. Robert Oppenheimer reportedly quoted, “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one…” A few weeks later, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We may well agree that the creation of torture devices and atomic bombs do nothing to make us better humans or bring us closer to the Mighty One, but where do we draw the line?

In 2006, worldwide controversy broke out over the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Many Muslim groups were offended- many Westerners cited freedom of speech. The controversy echoed themes from the PMRC trials of the mid-80s when rock ‘n roll was on trial for negatively influencing American youth.

And so, when do we consider ‘should’ over ‘can’ in our creative endeavours? In which direction and how far do we tip the scales and by whose values do we determine the answer?

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer      

Eggshells

I open the door so slowly that I can barely see it move. No way I’m risking the slightest creak. Feels like forever, but I can’t take the risk.

I hold my breath as I slide inside and guide the door back in place.

I turn around and tiptoe through the dark hallway, my bedroom a stadium length away. I pass their bedroom on the left, the inside of my cheek gripped firmly in my teeth. I’m almost there.

It’s dark, but I’m sure I’m at my room. I go to walk in. Suddenly- BANG! I thought the door was open. It wasn’t.

A stir from behind their door. It swings open, shooting out a blinding ray of light. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!”

And so the berating begins.

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Novalis and the Blue Flower

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creativity & The Divine

The artistic experience, at its highest, was actually a natural analogue of mystical experience. It produced a kind of intuitive perception.
– Thomas Merton

I experienced this in some small way today.

I was getting frustrated with the ‘business’ of blogging- all those fussy details of tagging and linking and dofollow and nofollow and spamming and dashboards and on and on. I was not excited to come to the keyboard this evening. Maybe I even threw a small tantrum- but I’ll never admit it.

And then the wise one in this house took me by the hand and asked me if I enjoy blogging. “Well, no” I responded in the midst of the tantrum I won’t admit to.

So he asked me again if I enjoy the writing, the focus on creating, the mindset it gives me to take into my days, the excitement of new ideas and thoughts to consider with others.

I took a deep breath, hung my head low, and conceded with a nod.

I then sat with my notebook and let myself go to that place of perception, depth, longing, and vulnerability. And I found it- I found the ‘why I do this’.

That place from which creativity flows is, in some way I don’t understand, linked to that Other place. When I create, the physical realm, the world of understanding, melt away and I am enveloped in a world of underlying truth, of knowing beyond knowing, of connecting most profoundly. It defies explanation and is deeper than mere experience.

When we touch this realm, we touch a World we were meant to live in.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer      

Zoe

Zoe: Life. Not life as the business of living, but Life, truly living. The depth, the longing to be entirely immersed in the other Place, the other Life. To be where I am fully opened and fully filled.

Complete vulnerability falls into the gaping cavern of Wholeness.

Novalis’s Blue Flower is found.

 

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Creativity and The Divine

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creativity & The Divine

“Is there a relationship between creativity and The Divine?” I asked a co-worker (whom I’ll call George) today. I am given to asking people around me questions I ponder to get a glimpse into what others think. This was my question of the day.

When I asked this of George, I was expecting to hear something about the spiritual nature of the creative act. That isn’t the answer he gave me.

George told me that he did see a relationship- that the two are opposed to each other. Let me explain.

In George’s view, creativity is about being open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. The Divine, in his view, is restrictive, prescribed- in short, closed.

I was caught off guard. I thought about my own views of creativity and The Divine and how it was that he could come to such different conclusions. And I wondered…

I wondered what George connects the term ‘The Divine’ to. Bad experiences in Sunday school as a child? A rigid religious system in a church he was forced to attend? I wondered what made him think of The Divine as closed and restrictive. If he thought differently, would this broaden his definition of creativity?

I wondered if his view of creativity is too closed to make room for The Divine…

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer      

The Key

You have your pre-determined concept of who I am. So you lock me in a box and hide away the key. I try to speak, you cut me off. I smile at you, you turn away.

What will it take for you to put the key in the lock and let me out of the box? Maybe then you will see that I am not that different from you.

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