Today we are going to look at some quotations by Matthew that focus on the myth of artistic angst, and more. In his book, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet he writes:
Creativity, when all is said and done, may be the best thing our species has going for it. It is also the most dangerous.
Then, on the next page, he reiterates this statement by saying:
Creativity constitutes the very meaning of being human, and our powers of creativity distinguish us from other species. Evil, as well as profound goodness, transpires through our creativity.
This is a continuing theme in Matthew’s writings on creativity—that there is dark side to creativity that creates ever new means of destruction.
Recent Western history has denigrated the artist and created myths of alienation and isolation, myths about the ‘beatnik’ artist, the alcoholic artist, the ‘madman’ artist. Many of these myths indeed become self-fulfilling prophecies, for artists cannot survive without a living cosmology and few were able to find one in society itself.
We are all here to birth
a unique expression of
the Cosmic Christ.
Creation spirituality does not just
theorize about our being co-creators
and fellow artists with God,
It insists that to enter into art as meditation
is the primary prayer form for healthy adults.
See Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet, p. 1, 2
Also see Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth, pp. 34, 91, 98-99
Banner Image: “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh (1889), was painted during the artist’s hospitalization in an asylum and showed his view of the cosmos as a living, dynamic place. Public Domain; Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
How have you tried to practice art-as-meditation or “Extrovert Meditation” as Matthew used to call it (because the meditation is active in the exterior world, while sitting meditation is “Introvert Meditation,” being only an inner experience)?
Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet
Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow. Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Living in Sin
Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth
Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.