Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist. [The world is all that is the case.]— Wittgenstein (Tractatus 1)
Creation itself was the fall, a burst into the thorny beauty of the real.— Annie Dillard (1974, 209)
The revealer of a sacred text typically feels himself to be the medium rather than the author of it. Likewise an artist may feel that her best work has been done through rather than by her own efforts. Continue reading Creativity or authority?
Peirce observes that ‘one of the main purposes of studying history ought to be to free us from the tyranny of our preconceived notions’ (EP2:114). The same goes for the study of scriptures; the purpose of revelation and discovery alike is to free us from confinement in a cognitive bubble. Turning symbols can liberate us in this way, but only if we can free ourselves from our preconceived notions of their value and authority, and give due respect to artistic and cultural creativity. Continue reading Inner authority
The poet and the prophet shake your language loose from your habits.
Pragmatism as a theory of meaning implies that texts, words and other symbols are consecrated by our use of them; the Holy Bible is Holy to those who read it as sacred story or divine guidance, and cannot be holy without those readers who live by its light. Continue reading Sacred play
And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures that He has scattered through them: and He has power to gather them together when He wills.— Qur’án 42.29 (Yusuf Ali)
To ‘gather them together’ is to un-differentiate them, i.e. to uncreate them. On the other hand, the scattering is only through physical spacetime. In eternal meaning space, the myriad beings together now constitute the Living One, the buddha-nature, the Universe of Firstness. And since the world is inside out, each individual is a recreation of that singularity. ‘The entire universe suffers the pangs of a new creation in and through a person’s existence’ (Kim 1975, 172, after Dogen).
You can’t create and evaluate at the same time. Even in Genesis, evaluation comes after creation.
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps along the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.Genesis 1:25
Rainer Maria Rilke tells us that a good poem can only emerge from a lifetime of experiences, which are not only remembered but, you might say, inhabited. (Or you might say that they inhabit you.) Continue reading Creativity and karma