The Creativity of Spiritual Life
Volume XVI Number 1

Table of Contents

  • Our Relationship with Ideas
  • Sculpture, Nature and Spirit
  • Dag Hammarskjold: Statesman
  • Bread of Life
  • Thoughts for Inspiration
  • Activities
  • To the Divine Mother
  • Poetry

A concert, an urban garden blooming in a vacant lot, a graceful ornament snipped from an empty soda can, or a new understanding of a difficult situation emerging with the help of a discerning friend-these are all expressions of creativity.

Someone sees a possibility and acts purposefully. The capacity to see beyond the discarded can or a personal problem is what we work with when we talk about incorporating spiritual ideas into our everyday lives. It is to develop a creative force inside that enables us to act in the way that we choose, even if the ingredients of the situation may not be what we would have chosen.

The creative spirit acts as a guide when we live with an open mind, accept that there is room to grow inwardly and make the effort to do so. Sometimes we don't see the opportunity right away, because our mind is fixed on something else, but how satisfying it is when we let go of our preconceptions! In her interview, sculptor Margot Schnitzer de Neuhaus recounts how she was able to turn a rock that had been split by accident into a striking composition.

In his article "Our Relationship with Ideas," Jorge Waxemberg points out another benefit of the capacity to look with an open mind, especially when evaluating the consequences of our efforts. Even if the outcome is not desirable, it does represent new knowledge that we can use to avoid making the same mistake again. This is truly to handle the raw material of our lives in a creative way.

Our underlying interpretation of life-our stance before life, so to speak-has a lot to do with our capacity to act creatively. The biography of Dag Hammarskjold, reproduced here from Walking with Contemplation , illustrates the force that the idea of service brought to a young man's life, and that later, when he was Secretary General of the United Nations, allowed him to act from his highest intention while working under enormous political pressure. These are examples of expansive interpretations of life that help one to understand one's experiences and to create opportunities for one's own unfolding and the unfolding of others.

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