The art of truth

FAITH has always sought to interpret its understanding of existence through art. Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, said French author and Nobel Prize winner Andre Gide, and the less the artist does the better.

Writing in the 12th century, theologian Meister Eckhart urged humanity to embrace and practise art as a way of unveiling “the truth of our deep, creative selves”.

He warned that the creative process could be as destructive as it was inspiring if it were practised only by those who did not have compassion.

Writer Virginia Woolf said the whole world was a piece of art and we were all parts of that work. She also noted that religion had in the past century generally denied creativity its rightful place in the spiritual life and that art had, therefore, become a servant of the material world.

But art never was an elitist obscurity found only in concert halls, galleries and theatres.

It exists, in its most positive form, in the writing of a letter to a loved one, in the making of a table, in conversing and making friendships, playing the clown, making love and giving birth.

The great cellist Pablo Casals had no difficulty in seeing the artist in others and often said there was really no such thing as a “professional artist”.

“I have always regarded manual labor as creative and looked with respect – and, yes, wonder – at people who work with their hands,” he said.

“It seems to me that their creativity is no less than of a violinist or a painter. It is a different sort, that is all.”

There is something of the poet, painter, musician, dancer or architect in all of us. It must be so if we are created in the image of God.

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10 thoughts on “The art of truth

    • davinci,
      In view of the fact that such a deity as the Christian God you revere could decide to do big, grand and beautiful things when he chooses, in that case, I would say that it is just wonderful that mere ‘fallen’ human beings are capable of producing such beautiful art works and music etc on our earthly level. Thus our artistic expressions are great feats. Surely in that case they are more remarkable than those of The God!

      In any case, I dont really think that it was any intention of the Deity to ‘create’ beautiful sunsets and suchlike. A sunset is only an extraordinary picture when seen by human eyes that look at it within our atmosphere. It is nothing but part of the workings of Mother Nature.

      Rian.

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      • Rian, consider…who created the human eye with its rods and cones and ability to see? The human mind and our emotional capacity to appreciate and ponder beauty? Doesn’t it make sense that this same Creator would also have created things “within our atmosphere” and elsewhere for the human eye and mind He created to enjoy? Enjoy, just because He takes pleasure in us and in our enjoyment of what He has made…

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      • I dont know, ‘thejazzywalk’,

        Our wonderful human eye is clearly the result of millions of years of evolution. I guess for all we know, ‘the God’ may have possibly foreseen and intended our use or enjoyment of those sensitive rods and cones, but we cant know.

        I’ve always maintained that when one is witnessing/observing almost anything from the proper ‘distance’, it can look beautiful. Seen with our common eye system, there are many many things that look ugly. I would postulate that through the right microscope and at the right distance, a portion of a cancer cell would look beautiful.

        That diseased cell may be bad for us, but it is still strictly obeying the laws of nature. While for the colour blind individual, that glorious sunset might well look uninteresting. A volcano is frightening and dangerous to us, but if looked at from a very high altitude above the earth’s surface, it might well appear quite beautiful.

        See a close-up of the skin of a beautiful woman, and you will observe dying cells, revolting parasites, mucky oils etc. Our city air is described as being very badly contaminated with impure things, but we are assured by scientists that with every breath of that air we are taking in atoms and cells that had been breathed in and out by almost every person that ever lived, – and maybe Jesus himself.

        Rian.

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      • You know, Rian, your evolution theory is going to fall flat eventually. God says He is the Creator; you say He’s not. Hmmm….I wonder whose opinion will prevail at the end of the day (or the end of the world). Check it out:

        Exodus 4:11
        “And the Lord said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”

        Proverbs 20:12
        “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.”

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      • Hi thejazzywalk,
        Oh I have absolutely no objection to the idea of a Deity, – a great ‘God’ who lies beneath all things, all creation, all life. I have never failed to revere such a … and here words fail me, as no words or terms can possibly define or encompass ‘it’.

        But please let me know when you can point to some experiment that can prove and demonstrate some form of Creationism. And that theory you espouse will undoubtedly fall flat in the near future. Tell me, just how long are you Creationists and Millenianists prepared to wait for the unfolding, the unravelling, the ‘last thing’s’ to eventuate? During your own lifetime? In another 20 years? In another 50 years? What if it simply doesnt happen? People have been expecting it for upwards of 2000 years now, and they’ve had to repeatedly revise their schedule for the end times.

        Hate to remind you, but it is absolutely no use to quote the Scripture as part of an debate, to a Dissenter or an atheist. Those Bible verses express the personal opinions of the writers and editors.

        Cheers, Rian. (Gnostic/Pantheist/Humanist/Pagan.)

        PS. And I can assure you that I never fail to appreciate and rejoice in the good and wonderful things that are part of the outpouring of the Divine grace and creativity.

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