“The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.” – Meister Eckhart
Where I’m mainly coming from creatively. The bottom line, so to speak. I say in my prose-poem “Bloody Mary” that my purpose in life is ‘to know God, love God, serve God…whatever I conceive of as God.’ While some years ago I described the intrinsic wellspring of artistic pursuit in this little poem, entitled “Gentle Reminder”:
Oh, how lightly we forget;
We, the artists great and small:
These masterpieces that we make,
We create them not at all.
Poems, the poet pens the words;
Music, the maestro notes the tunes;
The greatest painters merely paint;
The strongest wind but molds the dunes.
Skill and talent are of man,
Creation is of God alone;
With ev’ry breath doth God create:
Artists make God’s will their own.
Which of course leads inevitably to the question, do I therefore ‘believe in God’? What’s really important, however, is whether God believes in me. Second by second, minute to minute, day in and day out. I do not subscribe to the notion of an anthropomorphic creator god (though who knows? and why care? there could be one and you’d still have Darwinian evolution). Although in some ways a traditional Roman Catholic (I go to Mass on Easter Sunday, and take communion), along with being a Buddhist and (every now & then) a borderline agnostic, I’m basically what you would call a pantheist. God is a convenient word for a supremely intelligent force that permeates the universe and all of life. That is the universe. God is everywhere and everything is God. Is God knowable? Yes and no. Surely not by reasoning. Only by divinely-inspired intuition and mystical ‘leaps of faith’ out of the dualistic and into the absolute.
As for the other side of the coin, the Devil, I say in my poem “Mary”:
Because I am God I live without fear.
The devil is not my enemy but my self-created lover,
I embrace his darkness with arms of pure light,
giving human sensations their reward for being.
Live as I do and you shall never die.
Yet there has to be ego. Never mind that it stands in the way of ‘enlightenment’ (whatever that actually is). For an artist, it’s a necessary sacrifice. No ego, no art. The I-sense, through which/by which we perfect our God-given talents. Hone our craft. Get to work and keep at it. Whilst never forgetting (if we know what’s good for us, and for our art) the true source of our inspiration. The ultimate breath of creation and creativity. Whether in the form, the guise, of a particular Muse or something more ethereal. I pray to the Madonna and the Hindu goddess Kali. Others can do what they like. Or not do. Up to them. Just don’t get too carried away with your own self-importance, is what I’d advise. No matter how important you are. Or even great on occasion. As an artist, that is.
Eddie Woods ©