We have spent the better part of the past two weeks meditating on a marvelous new painting by Alex Grey which he calls a “homage to viriditas,” where he links up with Hildegard of Bingen and her teachings about greening power or viriditas.
In his painting Alex connects eyes with hands and all of it with greening power.
Greening power is another word for the Holy Spirit at work in humans; it names our souls when they are alive and doing good work; and grace, our passing grace on to others; and creativity. In so many ways, this is the work of the artist whether the artist be painter or film maker, musician or poet, dancer or mechanic, writer or sculptor, etc.
It is also the work of authentic politics, the search for implementing the common good. For standing up to injustice whether it be wars against Mother Earth or against one another, whether wars of ecocide or genocide. What are the solutions to war? The arts of true diplomacy?
Peacemaking is an act of greening power including hands, hearts and eyes that see differently and reach out to build structures of justice that make peace possible.
In Monday’s DM we meditated on the role of eyes, especially multiple eyes called heterotopic eyes which are visible in several of Hildegard’s paintings and Alex’s current painting.
In another painting Alex depicts multiple eyes. British scientist Rupert Sheldrake and I chose that painting for the cover of the most recent edition of our book, Physics of Angels. Hildegard’s teachings on angels play a prominent role in that book.
In yesterday’s DM, we considered the “angel’s wings” we find in Hildegard’s teachings and Grey’s recent painting. In our book on angels, Rupert and I discuss how angels are an integral part of the creative process whether we are speaking of the universe at work or human creativity. Aquinas says angels are experts at intuition—thus they assist us when our intuitive or mystical brains are activated.
See Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet.
And Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake, The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science & Spirit Meet
Also see Matthew Fox, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen.
Banner Image: Hand-made Hamsa amulets in an Israeli market represent divine healing and protection in Jewish, Muslim, and Christian tradition. Photo by Brian Hendrick on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Might the multiple eyes of Alex’s painting on the cover of The Physics of Angels represent seeing the world differently? Can those who lend us a bigger picture, including cosmologists and angels, lead us into a bigger view and a new perspective by which to engage with our lives and struggles on Earth? And new creativity and moral imagination for dealing with the same?
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
The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science & Spirit Meet
By Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake
When was the last time a scientist and a theologian discussed angels together? What are angels? Many people believe in angels, but few can define these enigmatic spirits. Now visionary theologian Matthew Fox and acclaimed biologist Rupert Sheldrake—pioneers in modern religious thinking and scientific theory—launch a groundbreaking exploration into the ancient concept of the angel and restore dignity, meaning, and joy to our time-honored belief in these heavenly beings.
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.