Louis said that all aesthetic decisions are moral.
I recently speed-wrote through NaNoWriMo a yet-to-be-finished erotica. I felt ashamed as I was writing it. Was I losing my faith? Why was that the story that wanted to come out of me?
I recently got contacted by a local publishing company and they were asking for sample chapters of another novel, more conservative, and I felt myself blocked, unable to write.
Is my art my best expression of my relationship with God? Is that even the right question? Is all morality rooted in a belief in God?
I think this is the theme I most want to explore today. I recently emailed my friends about my spiritual quest.
It has for me become a search for God and a desire for a relationship with God that goes outside the traditional Judeo-Christian framework I was brought up in. Naturally, I am at a disadvantage. What other access do I have? There is the Bible, written by Hebrews. How do I escape that? I go to a traditional New Testament church. Do I dare make a religion out of The Artist's Way? How to form a relationship with the I AM with the purity of just who the I AM is vis-a-vis who I am.
Do you think art holds the key?Those was my email. I feel I am beginning to have a spiritual quest, though in truth I am not so much afraid to take the first step as I don't know how. I wanted to find God in the blossoming of a flower, in the roar of a lion, in an arched foot of a dancer, in a haiku.
Last week I saw Zeitgeist, the docu-film, and it only strengthened my faith in the historical Jesus. I felt the movie was a heartbroken American's response to 9 11 and the many other national issues his country faces.
Right now I feel like I am being pulled theologically towards diverse directions, and that God is not necessarily against this. God is allowing it. I'm sure my church might. They would admonish me to stick to the faith, to not be swayed by vain philosophies, echoing the words of Paul. I'm not sure how apt that is. I feel I want to examine what it is I do believe.
I have always gravitated towards three contemporary theologians who are not so popular in my church, mainly because their writings can be misconstrued as dangerous. Philip Yancey, author of Where is God when it hurts?, Mark Galli, author of Jesus, mean and wild, and John Eldredge, author of Beautiful Outlaw. They present, at least to me, a radical view of Jesus, the Bible, and what it means to be a disciple. I also encountered Behemoth Magazine, whose articles are challenging and engaging. It has its roots in Job's doubts and God's response to overwhelm and strike awe.
Today I encountered two authors I want to read, too. Tanya Marie Luhrmann, who explored from an anthropologist's lens the 21st century evangelical faith, and New Age writer Neale Donald Walsch who released a book that said all our beliefs about God are wrong.
The Visayas has not fully recovered from Typhoon Haiyan, and already Typhoon Hagupit is on its way. Where is Jesus who calmed the storm? You can already hear the greediness brewing in the government, hungry again to receive international donations in the aftermath.
But the weather outside is quite balmy. The sun is momentarily shining, and then hiding his heat behind a cloud, like a gracious father allowing his sons to play a few more minutes of video games. I feel with each breath I am at once in the Past, with my mistakes but feeling no regret, just loving acceptance, and at the same time in eager and calm anticipation of the gifts of the Future, and still fully in the Present, in my room, with my books, my pen and paper, my breath.
My aesthetic love, the theater, I haven't been in over a month. I miss it, though I enjoy the "cool off" from this hot love affair with acting. I let pass two awesome auditions, making silly excuses to myself. And the invitation to party tonight with theater friends, though I'm not at the moment feeling very sociable. There is that unfinished erotica that I need to work on, and the sample chapters I need to send to a Christian publishing company. And a full-time job to start in nine days.
I am now scrambling, through meditation and yoga, to consolidate a core, a centre, from which I can view all of these expansions in myself in a detached and yet committed attitude.
God revealed Himself to the Chosen People, the Jews. God revealed Himself in Perfect Expression in Christ Jesus. God indwells those in Christ with His Spirit.
Is there no other way to know God but through Jewish-Christian eyes?