Monday, January 28, 2008


"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places--and there are so many--where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."~Howard Zinn

The Bible says the Kingdom of God is within you. Zen Buddhist Cheri Huber teaches that "Believing we are separate (in Christian terms, believing we are out of the presence of God) is the source of our desperate desire to control life. Trying to control life–hold on to this, get rid of that–is the cause of suffering." The Prophet Momhammad has said "My self [meaning 'my ego' (nafs)] has become a muslim" [meaning one who has submitted to God Most High]. Islam literarlly means submission. Buddhism insists that all beings have "Buddha-nature", a nature of wisdom and virtue. A Sikh hymn begins There is one supreme eternal reality; the truth; immanent in all things; creator of all things; immanent in creation. Without fear and without hatred; not subject to time; beyond birth and death; self-revealing. Known by the Guru’s grace." Poet Adam Zagajewski tells us to try to "praise the mutilated world."

I am trying to say something about creativity, hope, and spirituality, and how the three can, and should, be intertwined. Whatever Higher Power you may ascribe to, that is the Great Creator. I read in Julia Campbell's The Artist's Way that when we are creative it is a reflection of the Great Creator, and so is a holy thing to do. Art can be a way to cope, but also a way to offer solutions, actions, hope. But we can't do it of our own accord. Almost every quality writer, and may other types of artists, I have spoken with say that they are just following the story, or the poem, or the characters, or the music, or whatever...where it needs to go. It's almost an act of channeling when it's really working. So much Truth can be told in a made up way. Why do we let subtle differences divide us when we should all be working for the same purpose? I have decided to be more accepting of myself. I've decided to surrender and let the work manifest itself in me. I have decided that I am ready to risk losing what I currently have.

1 comment:

Crystalee said...

You still need to give me my book. :-)