inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #51 of 188: Teleologically dyslexic (ceder) Wed 21 May 03 17:56
    
Thank you for the links! ;-) 

I'm finishing two papers due May 17th afterwhich I can better
participate.  {Of course they are late, I've had legal mumble jumble
and all kinds of interuptions to my creative plunges.}

But don't forget "A Brief History Of Time" by Stephen Hawking...

;-)
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #52 of 188: Mark Harms (murffy) Thu 22 May 03 09:45
    
I have issues. And I apologize before hand for being hopelessly
analytical.

One is regarding the universality of spiritual experiences. The awe
and wonder of experiencing creation is cited as a common thread. This I
don't doubt. But it seems that it is a common thread among those
inclined to have such experiences. But many people, I would say, are
not so inclined, or at least not inclined to have the rapturous
seeing-the-face-of-God type of experiences. I certainly experience awe
and wonder but I think it's pretty mild mannered compared to many of
the descriptions I hear or read about. In other words, for all the
Quixotes out there, there are probably a lot of Sanchos.

This brings me to the issue of moral outrage. Are the less spiritually
inclined of the world supposed to take at face value the moral
perceptions of the spiritually inclined? Difficult, I would say,
because the perceptions can often conflict.

Also, the advocated return to "sacredness" in art troubles me. Is that
really necessary to have a valid artistic experience?
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #53 of 188: Your Humble Serpent (maya) Thu 22 May 03 10:16
    
Matthew, with all due respect, I'm sensing that by agreeing to
participate in Inkwell, you've bitten off a bit more than you can chew.
 No doubt you have time constraints.  But I, for one, don't want that
you come off sounding like an infomercial pointing us to your books.  I
know where your books are and maybe I want to buy them and maybe I
don't; what I would prefer is that you talk to us *here*, reveal your
ideas *here*.  That's the purpose of Inkwell.

And though I know it's difficult to field all these questions, it's
important for you to do so to the best of your ability.  Otherwise, you
might come off as dismissive.  I could personally care less why you
shifted into the Episcopal faith from the Catholic but <tkozal> seems
to really want to know and I would hate to think that he would grumble
about you elsewhere on The WELL for not responding to him.  <murffy>'s
inquiries strike me as ultimately more soulful and on point and I
anticipate your response to him.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #54 of 188: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 22 May 03 10:20
    
(Michael, he posted just yesterday. give him a little time.)
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #55 of 188: Your Humble Serpent (maya) Thu 22 May 03 10:45
    
Granted.  I apologize.  I'm just eager.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #56 of 188: Matthew Fox (matthew-fox) Thu 22 May 03 11:42
    
Dear David,
Yes, I loved Dorothee Solle's work AND herself!  We worked together a
couple of times in Europe and in the States and saw eye-to-eye on many
subjects.  She truly walked her talk.  She loved Eckhart and taught him
as do I.  We shall miss her.  Of course she did work from the wounds
of the Nazis experience in Germany and had little respect for the
church's silence or complicity at that time.  Yes, she criticized the
organized church and often for good reason.  But I think she yearned to
see true spirituality happen in the churches....Don't we all.  And
beyond....
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #57 of 188: Matthew Fox (matthew-fox) Thu 22 May 03 12:24
    
Dear Maya,

I take up your questions in my book: "One River, Many Wells: Wisdom
Springing from Global Faiths."  The title comes from Eckhart who says
God is "an underground river that no one can damn up and no one can
stop."  I see different traditions as different wells into the ONE
RIVER.  SO often we confuse our wells with the Divine--but only if we
remain superficial and 'on top.'  The purpose of the well is to get us
to the river.  I take up 18 themes in that book that are common to all
the world's spiritual traditions; yet each sheds special light on them.
 Syncretism is not a danger if we go deep and don't just 'shop
around.'  So I see it.

Yes, our creation stories are key and we have a shared one today such
as The Universe Story tells us.  No such thing as a protestant moon and
a Roman Catholic ocean and a Buddhist river....
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #58 of 188: Matthew Fox (matthew-fox) Thu 22 May 03 12:27
    
"Why the Episcopal Church? Was it "more
comfortable" for you after having been a RC Priest? Why not the
Unitarian Universalists, for example, as your new "home"? What
attracted you to the Episcopalians?" 

Mostly it was the yearning to reinvent worship and western ritual and
the Episcopalians were open to it; were allowing women priests and
bishops; and shared a liturgical tradition that was quite close to that
of Catholicism.  Bishop Swing of Northern California backed the idea
and the young people from the rave movement in Sheffield England
brought the post-modern language of techno dance, etc. to it.  I share
much in common, I hope, with Unitarians and others including Unity
people.  I call myself a "post-denominational" priest.  The
Episcopalians offered me "religious asylum" and I took it and am
grateful for the opportunity.  We have been celebrating our "Techno
Cosmic Masses" now for several years and they are powerful and rich and
ALIVE with a great variety of folks attending.  See our
TechnoCosmicMass web page on that and join us some time!
 
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #59 of 188: Matthew Fox (matthew-fox) Thu 22 May 03 12:35
    
Dear Laura,
I'm glad you loved the "nest" passage.  I love it too!  And thank you
for the additions you offer about the creative ways of birds.  Yes, and
the destruction too.  All creativity includes destruction.  There lies
its moral dimension.  The whole universe is creating AND destroying
after all; the via negative accompanies the via positiva....I'm glad my
theology matches your wisdom in third grade!  I'm complemented.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #60 of 188: Gerry Feeney (gerry) Thu 22 May 03 12:38
    
> Also, the advocated return to "sacredness" in art troubles me.
> Is that really necessary to have a valid artistic experience?

Good call, <murffy>.  It doesn't trouble me, but I do think about it a
lot.  James Joyce's distinction between "proper art" and "improper
art" comes to mind.  Joseph Campbell had some insightful remarks about
that:

  "By 'proper art' he means that which really belongs to
   art. 'Improper art,' by contrast, is art that's in the
   service of something that is not art: for instance, art
   in the service of advertising. Further, referring to the
   attitude of the observer, Joyce says that proper art is
   static, and thereby induces esthetic arrest, whereas
   improper art is kinetic, filled with movement: meaning,
   it moves you to desire or to fear and loathing. 

  "Art that excites desire for the object as a tangible
   object he calls pornographic. Art that excites loathing
   or fear for the object he terms didactic, or instructive.
   All sociological art is didactic. Most novels since 
   Zola's time have been the work of didactic pornographers,
   who are preaching a social doctrine of some kind and 
   fancying it up with pornographic icing."

  "...By definition, all advertising art is pornographic art." 

       -- Joseph Campbell
     _Reflections on the Art of Living_

Matthew, what's your take on this idea?
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #61 of 188: Matthew Fox (matthew-fox) Thu 22 May 03 12:40
    
Dear Chrys,
You might look at Suzi Gablik's book, "The Reenchantment of Art" , to
carry on this part of the conversation.  She calls for artists serving
the larger community also.  Artists WERE put to the back of the bus in
the modern era and ego and fame were too often their pay.  ALL were
separated; that was the physics of the atomized worldview.  Now, with
interdependence the norm even in physics, artists move to center stage.
 AND that is all of us, not just super gifted ones.  So it seems to
me.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #62 of 188: Your Humble Serpent (maya) Thu 22 May 03 13:14
    
> No such thing as a protestant moon and a Roman Catholic ocean and a
> Buddhist river

Lovely.  Thank you, Matthew, for all of your thoughtful responses.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #63 of 188: LoRayne Apo (lorayne-apo) Thu 22 May 03 13:35
    
murffy:

 >Are the less spiritually inclined of the world supposed to take at
face value the moral perceptions of the spiritually inclined?<

In terminology that might be easier to digest, consider any person's
moral perceptions as qualia.  For example, experiencing the qualia of
the color red is highly individualistic; your sense of this color may
be entirely different from mine and vice versa.  You may "see" it as
somewhat orangey, I may "see" it as somewhat pink, even if we are
viewing the identical red object.  Yet if we use the color red in
conversation, we both have a fairly good idea we're talking about the
color of stop signs and strawberries.  

Your taste for the color red may also depend on your individual
experience of that color's qualia.  I may love the color, you may
prefer blue or abhor red altogether.  Yet we accept that red is red,
regardless of our individual experience of the qualia of red.

One's experience of creation spirituality as well as one's experience
of art may be entirely different from anyone else's experience, and yet
no less valid.  You may have to trust another's experience of the
divine, just I will have to trust yours.

Until a "Vulcan mind-meld" is possible, acceptance is the best we
have. Reaching out to understand other's experience helps communicate
individualistic qualia, too, even if it still can't be shared directly.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #64 of 188: Laura Erickson (laurabird) Thu 22 May 03 14:34
    
>I call myself a "post-denominational" priest.  The Episcopalians
offered me "religious asylum" and I took it and am grateful for the
opportunity.

I love this!

Regarding the kinds of artists: I have long wondered whether I am an
artist.  I write and speak and produce a radio program about birds. 
Some of what I write is very straightforward information.  But much of
what I write is more subjective--I like to weave solid information with
something more playful, or thoughtful, or spritual, or metaphorical. 
On the one hand, I think much of what I do qualifies as "pornographic
art" in that I try to excite my listeners with the beauty and whimsy
and joy of becoming more conscious of birds, but it's not to make them
wish to possess birds but rather to open their eyes to the birds
already in their lives.  My work may also qualify as "improper art" in
that everything I do, when it comes down to it, is done to promote
birds and the things in the environment that they require.  Some of my
more philosophical musings about the value or meaning of birds seem to
be my best creations, but are they art?  The art that I most enjoy
seems to move me spiritually or give me insight into, and thus greater
love for, something.  I have a print of Picasso's The Old Guitarist
over my desk, and sometimes when I look at it I'm moved very deeply by
the sense of yearning and peace and resignation the painting evokes. 
Picasso seems to be saying something about human dignity and the value,
and the sorrow, of memory in this painting.  Does that make it
didactic?  Improper?  

I've always had trouble applying the general to the specific--it's far
easier for me to make sweeping judgments about vast areas of art than
to judge particular works of art.  And I'm helpless to judge or
evaluate my own--perhaps it's just too close, the way a mother robin
cannot really evaluate her own eggs and decide which are more worthy. 
And maybe, like baby robins, our creations are not more or less
worthy--perhaps they just ARE.  

Need our creations be art to be creative?  Need we be artists to be
creators?  I think we need to be creators to be artists, but even that
I'm not certain of.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #65 of 188: Rik Elswit (rik) Thu 22 May 03 15:00
    <scribbled by cdb Thu 22 May 03 15:57>
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #66 of 188: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Thu 22 May 03 15:27
    <hidden>
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #67 of 188: Laura Erickson (laurabird) Thu 22 May 03 15:38
    
That sure sounds like a theology based on fearmongering, not on any
kind of trust in a benevolent creator.  I would think that if God truly
wanted to be vengeful and vindictive, we'd get more obvious signals
rather than Resplendent Quetzals and singing frogs and beautiful
sunrises and rainbows (and hey--wasn't the rainbow supposedly a symbol
of God's promise that he wasn't going to destroy the earth again?)
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #68 of 188: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 22 May 03 15:57
    <scribbled by cdb Thu 22 May 03 16:13>
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #69 of 188: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 22 May 03 15:58
    
(sorry about the repeat. I've scribbled the previous version of Mr.
Elliott's email because our policy is to not include offsite email addresses
unless the sender has specifically asked to have his email address shown)
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #70 of 188: Barrett Brassfield (sunhillow) Thu 22 May 03 16:16
    
Sweet Mother of Mercy but that man is bitter about something. Such
yuck and nonsense. 
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #71 of 188: EMAIL FROM FRANK ELLIOTT (cdb) Thu 22 May 03 16:19
    
EMAIL FROM FRANK ELLIOTT:

(sorry, I'll get this right eventually)

    ************************

Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 00:31:47 -0400 (Eastern Standard Time)
From: "Frank Elliott"
To: <inkwell-hosts@well.com>
Subject: Mathew Fox


Matthew Fox is your qunitessential , text book false prophet.

He and an army of "inclusive" so called 'theologians' have managed to invade
the Episcopal Church, which for an entire generation has deliberately
appealed to a certain kind of "seeker"...one who imagines him or herself to
be "superior" in education, status, achievement (in short the "Manor
Born")...who are all looking for the user friendly God who is as "open as
they are, man"...whatever your belief system, I tolerate it, if you tolerate
mine.

This is the "original sin"...the lie told by Satan, that "...That old out of
style, out of date, chauvinist God only wants to hold you back from full
realization of self...Why once you know evil personally...then you will be
like gods yourselves, determining for yourselves what is good and what is
evil"

The entire drivel and blather that goes on page after page ,on this site, is
nothing more than a kind of mental/spiritual masturbation.

And here is precisely why it is dangerous to be distracted and mislead by
these lies:

This world will be destroyed by fire.  The sun is due for a "helium flash",
which is the natural transition from a hydrogen fusing star, to a helium
fusing star.  It is a rather everyday occurence.  Earth will be transformed
instantly into a burnt, muddy,  hydrogen sulfide sludge of darkness.  Those
who choose to believe the warning of this event will be rescued, and given
immortal bodies of light and will then travel at the speed of light
throughout the starry heavens as originally designed, before Satan fooled
everyone into thinking that "inclusivity" and self realization was cool.

All the others, namely Matthew Fox, and all his starry eyed followers will
also be given bodies that cannot die...but they will be living on a black,
mucky, stench hole of a planet burnt to a crisp.
Worms, insects, darkness, fire, and ice, and black muck , lit by a murky
fire aloft from the now red giant sun, whose burning rays will occasionally
pierce the eternal gloom,will be your home; and you will never again have to
hear a sermon like this one.  I thought I would end this on a cheery note 
for you followers of Matthew Fox.

  Frank Elliott

P.S.
There will be only vermin to eat...the vermin will also feed on the "human"
inhabitants.  But  remember...you  have been given the right to choose to
despise God and love confusion. Oh you will be confused all right...you will
go stark raving mad after  only a few days of this.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #72 of 188: Daniel (dfowlkes) Thu 22 May 03 16:20
    <scribbled by dfowlkes Tue 3 Jul 12 10:14>
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #73 of 188: Your Humble Serpent (maya) Thu 22 May 03 16:31
    
That's a valid opinion.  So is the opinion that we have the right to
choice.  That we are not meant to be a puppet creation.  Some
distinctions are the bright rewards of consciousness.  I prefer the
Gnostic stories that reveal the demiurgic God as one who is not aware
of the source of his creativity, which lies within Wisdom.
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #74 of 188: Your Humble Serpent (maya) Thu 22 May 03 16:37
    
Besides, transgressions are heroic.  Any story where something is
forbidden, whether the fruit on a tree, or a door to a room, or
anything forbidden, is moreoften than not the call to a task.  
  
inkwell.vue.183 : Matthew Fox, "Creativity"
permalink #75 of 188: Rik Elswit (rik) Thu 22 May 03 16:43
    
Alan Watts used to tell a parable that seems to fit.   It was something to
the effect that being the totality, all knowing and all powerful, was
probably pretty boring, so God decided to play a game.   He'd forget that he
was God, and hide from himself.   And of course, when God plays a game, He
plays for real.    The hiding would include as much agony as ecstacy, with
all the joy and pain that life is.

I think that He hides behind the distinctions and within us.
  

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