Thursday, February 05, 2015

God is Hidden - Part I

M. K. Ciurlionis, Creation of the World V, before 1911.

The death motif is always present
at the beginning of change and appears
in order to make way for transformation.
The creative force kills as it produces
the new. The flower withers around
the swelling pod. The snake sheds its skin.

~James Hillman

The following is an excerpt from Peter Azrak's column in the spring 2015 issue of Stone Voices. These are important words for the artist in each of us.

Hillman tells us that the creative force kills the one truth we do not want to hear. Kills? Yes, the creative force kills the false hope that a piece of transformative art can simply emerge out of good intention. Often the desire to make art comes from this naive sense that any scribble we pen ”will make it to the refrigerator door and hang there forever.” In this naive state of mind, we assume art asks very little of us. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the creative force kills off this youthful impression and asks us to go deep within to discover more of what we need to bring forth.

Enter one’s experience of the divine, what we call God. If God is hidden to our ordinary senses and is awakened in us through artistic expression, then we must assume that in some way we have been asleep. Indeed, we become dulled by ordinary life, but when art enters our being, we wake up to that spark. We see, we feel, we sense, we intuit in new ways not yet clear to us. We come to know a place central to our core that emerges when it is ”found” by our creative urges. In other words, the artwork reflects back to us the core sense that we are in part divine, and as a result, we become aligned with our true center. Suddenly, we are given another chance to remember the truth about life; we are called to wake up to what is hidden but alive within each of us.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that all art is an expression of worship. Contemporary art reflects the fact that we as individuals and a society have chosen narcissism over external deities. Once humans painted on cave walls to enlist a greater power to help with the hunt and later, some painted to satisfy the needs of religious institutions. We reflect not our "divine" in our art but choose to cast ourselves as the divine by think ourselves as the source of creativity.