Alex & Allyson Grey, Hildegard, and Grace For a New Year

When I asked Alex Grey recently for permission to share his latest painting in our daily meditations, he responded generously.

Alex Grey and Matthew Fox in Alex Grey’s studio. Photo published with permission.

Dear Matt, How great to hear from you!! I just turned 70! Rick Doblin & I were born one day apart so we are having a celebration tonight at CoSM & Entheon.* We are doing what we can to embrace creativity and spirituality as a fruitful union. Of course, you can use anything of mine to share – You were the one to introduce me to Hildegard! Just saw one of her illuminations on exhibit at the New Museum in NYC at the Judy Chicago show. She assembled some outstanding women of Art Herstory as part of her feminist exhibition/retrospective.

The Green Hand is my homage to Viriditas! 

If you are ever on the East Coast again we would love to host you here at CoSM.

Love you,

“The Green Hand,” a painting by Alex Grey in homage to Hildegard’s concept of Viriditas. Published with permission.

At our University of Creation Spirituality, we offered an art as meditation course on Judy Chicago where students made their own “dinner plates” honoring women of the past including Hildegard.

Several years ago, on the occasion of the founding of CoSM, I endorsed Alex and Allyson’s work this way:  

We are all blessed to be sharing the planet today—endangered that it is—with Alex and Allyson Grey.  Why is that?  Because their inspiring gifts of art and their generous dedication to creating sacred space highlights the marriage of creativity and spirituality which in turn ignites hope and empowers individuals and communities alike. 

Alex and Allyson Grey at the TEDxMaui 2013 Welcome Reception. Photography by Jessica Pearl.

If the great mystic and scientist of the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas, is correct, then Spirit too enters such sacred spaces for he tells us that the same Spirit that hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation (we might say that hovered over the fireball at the beginning of creation) hovers over the mind of the artist at work.

We are all artists at work, not only undergoing the art of our daily living but also as makers or receivers of the artist’s gifts.  CoSM is a testimony to the power of art to awaken and to heal and to bring alive the sacred in a time when humanity has fallen into a certain deafness to the call of the sacred which is reaching out to touch us whether from the wild cosmos or the daily revelations of nature or the holy human imagination.  

To be continued.

See Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas, pp. 53-56.

And Fox, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, pp. 43-47.

And Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet.

Banner Image: “Every moment is an opportunity for love and transformation.” Interior view of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Photo by RCubed on Flickr

Queries for Contemplation

What does it mean to you, what does it mean for the future of humanity, to learn from a great mystic and intellectual like Aquinas that the same Spirit that hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation (we might say that hovered over the fireball at the beginning of creation) hovers over the mind of the artist at work”?

Recommended Reading

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times

A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book!  Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen

An introduction to the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, Illuminations reveals the life and teachings of one of the greatest female artists and intellectuals of the Western Mystical Tradition.  At the age of 42, she began to have visions; these were captured as 36 illuminations–24 of which are recorded in this book along with her commentaries on them.
“If one person deserves credit for the great Hildegard renaissance in our time, it is Matthew Fox.”  – Dr Mary Ford-Grabowsky, author of Sacred Voices.

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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5 thoughts on “Alex & Allyson Grey, Hildegard, and Grace For a New Year”

  1. Avatar

    Christian Wiman, in his book My Bright Abyss writes, “The creation of art, makes one feel most intently what one has failed to feel.”

    I would add, that through the process of creating art, or engaging with the art created; what is invoked is the unfolding, evolving emergence of emotions, which often becomes a source of power, a means of opening into a sacred space, to release and let go of that which one has attempted to repress and oppress unconsciously.

    The creative process and the artwork itself then becomes a powerful resource for healing and growth; a means of transforming one’s pains, suffering and fears as well as one’s dreams, hopes and desires. Through the gifts of intuition, imagination and creativity; both the artist and the viewer are drawn into an intimate and personal encounter with the essence of Spirit; experienced directly either through the creative process and/or engagement with the artwork. It’s this convergence with the living Spirit within the artist, the art and the viewer of the artwork, that initiates the possibilities of bringing forth new life from within.

    These possibilities of healing, letting go and releasing, of being drawn into encountering and experiencing the sacred, of intuiting the transforming power of the living Spirit in imaginative and creative ways and bringing forth new life from within; can and do unfold, evolve and emerge as one converges with many diverse art forms.

  2. Avatar

    Yes, “we are all artists, not only undergoing the art of our daily living, but also as makers or receivers of the artist’s gift.” Spiritually, our eternal souls are unique sacred creations and intimate parts~co-creators with-in our beloved Source~Creator’s LOVING DIVERSE ONENESS in All ongoing Creation in our multidimensional-multiverse COSMOS, including our Beautiful Sacred Mother Earth with all her creatures and graceful abundance… COSMIC CHRIST COSCIOUSNESS….

  3. Avatar

    What does it mean to me that the beginning is the end, and love continues like this without end or beginning, without cessation and yet ever more intensity and ferocity and beauty? I think to me it means another fireball is due. Also, it reminds me of the heart of cinematography. That discontinuity is that which makes for the illusion of perpetuity, the persistence of vision. Persistence of vision works because the human eye and brain can only process 10 to 12 separate images per second, retaining an image for up to a fifteenth of a second. Between each frame of “continuing story” there is a blackness/nothingness/voidness…and the belief that we have that there is something and that this something continues…is an illusion of our eyes and mind. It keeps us in the story. It is the totality of the whole process, both void and creation, both dark and light, both rest and action, both destruction and creation, it is the totality that the Christ template balances in human form. Overall, it gives me comfort to remember that I am the same now, just as I was before the fireball…because it helps me to let go of my pain and fear.

  4. Avatar

    Thanks to Matthew, I am more intentionally adding all artists to my prayers. I am grateful to all for touching and expanding my heart, whether it is a child’s first drawing, a serious poem or doggerel, a lovely painting or a cartoon, a simple song or a concert. The talent of artists is a gift of grace. Their sharing inspires me and gives me hope.

  5. Avatar

    Love IT ????

    ‘Pope’ Matt with The Greys ????

    Blessings & Gratitude
    – RoseLotus
    BOTH TheLoudHeartMind AND TheQuietMindHeart ????

    ArtSpiritualty ~
    BOTH the art of Spirituality
    AND the spirituality of Art

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