In his recent column,  Among Friends in Friends Journal, Gabriel Ehri wrote; "When we are privileged to experience great art, we experience wonder: wonder at sheer beauty, at discovering a novel avenue of our own perception, and often wonder at the seemingly impossible fineness of the artist's execution. Art, like worship, can allow us to tap deep into our own stores of emotion and spirit, and even move us to tears. Where the two notably differ is that as Quakers our worship aims not just at its own experience, but also to provide both a venue and a forum for giving voice to the divine spark within."

In my mind what is art for if not to give "a venue and a forum for giving voice to the divine spark within"? The divine spark, inspiration. Where does inspiration  originate? I have pondered this question my entire life.

The origins of the word inspiration itself go back to the 14th century. From the Oxford Dictionary,  Middle English enspire, from Old French inspirer, from Latin inspirare ‘breathe or blow into’ from in- ‘into’ + spirare ‘breathe’. The word was originally used of a divine or supernatural being, in the sense ‘impart a truth or idea to someone’

To impart a truth or idea to someone, isn’t that the intent of art? In that sense it isn’t only artists that are inspired to create but a person can be inspired by partaking of the art.

I believe that spirit underlies all in the natural world and that by listening closely to that still, small, voice of the spirit within, I try to glimpse the spirit within the subject. So for me, creating is close to worship. I find that my mind is in the same state of receptivity to inspiration.

Creating, viewing, hearing or reading an inspiring work of art puts me in touch with the truth or spirit. That sense of rightness or wholeness or holy-ness that ironically, considering the origins of the word, make it hard for me to breathe when I am in its presence.

 

Views: 307

Comment by Clem Gerdelmann on 3rd mo. 28, 2014 at 9:32am

Since 1846, C.G. Carus has been on-record as postulating: "The key to the understanding of the character of the conscious life lies in the region of the unconscious." Add in the collective unconscious and we have a bonfire, not just a spark of the divine, to consume duplicitous characters/lives that are poor, if not bad, works of art. 

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Kirby Urner posted a blog post

A Campus Curriculum

I'm reaching out to Friends in higher education with my recent Youtubes, which I'm free to…See More
4th month 13
Keith Saylor posted a blog post

Definitions

Iconography: The process of guiding and informing human relationships and interactions through…See More
4th month 10
Patricia Dallmann posted a blog post

New essay at Abiding Quaker: "A Colony of Heaven"

The following excerpt is from a new post titled "A Colony of Heaven" which can be found at…See More
4th month 6
Mike Shell posted a discussion
4th month 4
Patty Quinn liked Mike Shell's discussion Weekly Online Worship with Quaker Universalist Fellowship
4th month 2
Patty Quinn liked Kirby Urner's discussion Quakerism and Religious Freedom
4th month 2
Kirby Urner posted a discussion

Quakerism and Religious Freedom

I've only recently learned what a lot of people already know:  the well-advertised Shen Yun dance…See More
4th month 2
Jonathan Smith liked Mike Shell's discussion Weekly Online Worship with Quaker Universalist Fellowship
4th month 1

© 2019   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service