Saturday, September 1, 2012

Theology and Creativity

I've spent much of the past week sorting through piles of paper, including e-mail exchanges that I printed out.  When I was going through old e-mails, I noticed that I was wrestling with discouragement then, too.  I was finding wisdom from Julia Cameron's Finding Water:  The Art of Perseverance.  On Tuesday, after a particularly difficult day at work, I found comfort there again.

As I reread parts of the book, I was thinking about Julia Cameron's theology, and how various writers who explore creativity have a certain theology.  The ones I read have moved away from the idea of a punishing God. The God or the universe of my favorite explicators of creativity is a generous God, one who is always waiting with more good ideas than we'll ever be able to use.

In the theology of writers like Julia Cameron, it's humans who have rejected God, not God who is rejecting us.  That idea squares with a lot of my Lutheran theology.

Take a look at other Julia Cameron quotes and see how they match your theology:

 “We are not accustomed to thinking that God's will for us and our own inner dreams can coincide.”


“There is no fact, no detail of our life too sordid for God's intervention. God has seen murder. God has seen rape. God has seen drug addiction's and alcoholism's utter degradation. God is available to us no matter what our circumstances. God can find us in a crack house. God can find us crumpled in a doorway or cowering on a park bench. We need only reach out to discover that God reaches back. We are led a step at a time even when we feel we are alone. Sometimes God talks to us through people. Sometimes God reaches us through circumstances or coincidence. God has a million ways to reach out to us, and when we are open to it, we begin to sense the touch of God coming to us from all directions.”

―  Faith and Will: Weathering the Storms in Our Spiritual Lives


“The doing of something productive regardless of the outcome is an act of faith. The doing of a small something when a large something is too much for us is perhaps especially an act of faith. Faith means going forward by whatever means we can.”

Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance  

“Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are."  

“Fatigue can make it hard to have faith. Too much busyness can make it hard to have faith. Too much of too little solitude can impact faith. For that matter, so can a bout of hunger or overwork, anything carried to an extreme. Faith thrives on routine. Look at any monastery and you will see that. Faith keeps on keeping on.”

Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance


“Art is an act of the soul, not the intellect. When we are dealing with people's dreams - their visions, really - we are in the realm of the sacred. We are involved with forces and energies larger than our own. We are engaged in a sacred transaction of which we know only a little: the shadow, not the shape.”


“When we seek daily spiritual guidance, we are guided toward the next step forward for our art. Sometimes the step is very small. Sometimes the step is, "Wait. Not now." Sometimes the step is, "Work on something else for a while." When we are open to Divine Guidance, we will receive it. It will come to us as the hunch, the inkling, the itch. It will come to us as timely conversations with others. It will come to us in many ways--but it will come.”

Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance

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