Celebrating Our—and the Universe’s—Powers of Creativity

Yesterday we meditated on our divinization expressing itself in creativity and birthing.  Other people striving to be more human have waxed eloquent about the same realities.

A sculptor and his work in progress. Photo by Ilia Zolas on Unsplash

Dorothy Day put it this way:

God is our Creator.  God made us in His image and likeness.  Therefore we are creators….The joy of creativeness should be ours.

Is the joy of creativeness ours?  Are we teaching this in school?  In churches, synagogues, mosques, and media?

Dag Hammarskjold, the second secretary general of the United Nations and a mystic in his own right and who was very attuned to and knowledgeable of Meister Eckhart, asks this question: “Do you create or do you destroy?”  Embedded in the question is the truth that our creativity can be put to good use or malicious use.  How are we doing?

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Oppenheimer trailer traces the moral dilemmas before and after the creation of the atomic bomb. SWFT

Albert Einstein proposed that “the greatest formal talent is worthless if it does not serve a creativity which is capable of shaping a cosmos.”  Are we helping shape a cosmos?  Is that what good parenting is about?  Good teaching?  Healthy politics and healthy media? Healthy theater and art and movies?  Healthy citizenship?

Hildegard of Bingen celebrated how “Divinity is aimed at humanity” and then she went about demonstrating it through amazing creative works including music and visions put into poetry and paintings, mandalas and books and even cooking recipes. 

“Viriditas” (Greening). Instrumentalist Elizabeth Gaver accompanies mezzo-soprano Agnethe Christensen in a series of Hildegard of Bingen’s songs praising the Divine life force in creation.

Hans Denck, a 16th century reformer in Germany who worked with peasants and farmers and not so much the literate classes, says:

The Word was in people for this purpose that it might divinize them….The Word had to become man in Jesus for this reason, that people both in spirit and in the flesh, from within and without, behind and before, and all places might have testimony (of this goal of divinization.).

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 178f. 

See also Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: “Hubble Sees the Force Awakening in a Newborn Star — In the center of the image, partially obscured by a dark, Jedi-like cloak of dust, a newborn star shoots twin jets of superheated gas out from its rotation axis into space at more than 100,000 miles per hour as a sort of birth announcement to the universe. ” Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI

Queries for Contemplation

Which statements here speak most deeply to your own experience?  Why do you think that is so?

Recommended Reading

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology): the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.
Original Blessing makes available to the Christian world and to the human community a radical cure for all dark and derogatory views of the natural world wherever these may have originated.” –Thomas Berry, author, The Dream of the Earth; The Great Work; co-author, The Universe Story

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 FundamentalismLiving in Sin

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7 thoughts on “Celebrating Our—and the Universe’s—Powers of Creativity”

  1. Avatar

    “The Creativity of ‘Plus One’ ”

    4,999 plus one, 299 plus one. 15,999 plus one. 999,999 plus one. We are all somewhere on the continuum of the soul awareness, Christ consciousness. What is most important is the ‘plus one’. ‘Plus One’ signifies that we all have our birthright, our place, our realization in the here and now, not based on intellectual or other achievement and not something long past us. We are awake and alive in the Spirit. We were asleep and now overflowing with fire and water. Everything but the ‘Plus One’ is earth bound, is our humanity without our divinity. The entirety of our goal, our focus, our desire, our love, our faith, our hope, our joy, our peace, our endurance, our action, word and deed are all founded and realized on ‘Plus One’.

    If we are to be open to the creativity and power of existence, it is open to one and all through the ‘Plus One’. “Plus One’ tells us that we do not know ‘yet’, but to be open to the creativity, the possibility, of what will come when ‘yet’ is revealed. — BB.

  2. Avatar

    “God is our Creator… we are creators… the joy of creativeness is ours,” speaks to me of the mystery of the sacred union of being and living in a co-creative relationship with… and the beauty and goodness that unfolds, evolves and emerges from this joyfull convergence with the Divine; equally present in its essence within the all and the everything of creation.

    The JOY of creativeness is ours to claim, which we experience and encounter, through this unfolding of living in a co-creative relationship with… being receptively and intuitively inspired in our imaginations… continously evolving… which when faithfully responded to and acted upon in trust… takes on substance and form… an emergent giveaway of LIFE, that is determined to BENEFIT the whole… not just humanity itself.

    There are infinite, potentially creative solutions to every problem humanity faces, when we understand how to collaborate, cooperate and converge with the Divine co-creatively… honoring and respecting this Natural Law of being and living in sacred relationship with… with the Creator and the all and the everything of creation… as one whole great Webb of Life.

  3. Avatar

    Matthew, as a Chilean-American, I want to thank you on behalf of all Chileans and Latin Americans for recognizing in your Vimeo video today (recorded yesterday on September 11, 2023), also remembering the 50th anniversary of the brutal military coup which brought down and killed the democratically elected Presidency of Allende and also killed thousands of Chileans. The dictator Pinochet, backed by Nixon, Kissinger, CIA, and US corporate interests, consequently oppressed, tortured, and killed many more in Chile for almost 20yrs. Amy Goodman (‘Democracy Now!) interviewed the internationally known Chilean diplomat and author Ariel Dorfman (he worked with Allende in his cabinet), recently wrote a novel about this period and military coup called “The Suicide Museum.” This sad history and destructive policy of US presidents, CIA, and multinational corporations toppling socialist democracies and backing oppressive military dictatorships continued in several Latin American countries for many years contributing to the societal and environmental disruptions persisting to the present day.
    The struggle between the divine and shadow side of humanity, the spiritual evolution of our personal and communal planetary Souls, continue with Our Source~Co-Creator’s Divine Love~Wisdom~Peace~Justice~Healing~Freedom~Transformation~Creative Power… Always Being PRESENT within and among Us in LOVING Evolving Diverse Wholeness~ONENESS….

  4. Avatar

    Thank you Damian for your comment. We must never stop working for a better world based on divine love and justice. Thank you Matthew for helping us on this journey

  5. Avatar

    Thank you for combining the best that we humans are capable of and the worst we are capable of–and for reminding us that we are all capable both of divinization and demonization. Even at the time of 9/11 here in this country, with apologies to all who suffered in that tragedy, it was clear to some that our own politics and policies had brought this on. Hatred and fear will always at some point boomerang. Comparisons are not really helpful, but the ongoing terrorism in Chile and so many other countries far outweighs what this country has suffered–except that I think it has taken such a toll on our soul that there may not be redemption. Yet, there are those like Matthew and others who give me hope that we can learn to create rather than to destroy.

  6. Avatar

    “Do you create or do you destroy?” Divine Source engages in the dance of creation and destruction continually. I play my part in the divine madness.

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