art and spirituality


#1

hey folks, thanks for the time to read my rant…
like many artist, i have searched for the greater meaning to life and the harsh realities that life paints. i have blamed and questioned god for many of the atrocities that we humans do. then i turned to religion and found to my suprise most of my answers, then i stayed to seek true friendship and meaning to life. after all, they are suppose to have a higher standard of morality/sensitivity to humanity right? my chosen religion is christianity. im not saying that it is “the” religion but the religion that i personally have chosen. for this thread my main experiences will be on the religion of christianity. but it is open to all the other faiths out there.

but anyway, i have realised that church goers are no different from any other type of people out there. my utopian assumptions about church life were dead wrong. i realised that making friendships in the church are just as hard and painfull as making friends in the real world. i take that back… i have had greater success making friends in the real world than of the church environment. the reason for my voice of concern is that most churches will always say “this is ur church family, we love and welcome you” these are extremely profound statements for a person who is seeking a new life and meaning. they always talk about “living a holy life based on faith in christ” and about having accountability… but the people in there are many times uncaring and unfortunately, unless ur someone important, your just another number. sadly i havent made much friendships in the church beyond two close friends in three years. i back up my statements with testimonies from other people saying how hard it was for them to “fit in or gain acceptance” into this so called “church family”. some have moved on to other churchs while others have rejected the church all together.

some of you might say, how does this relate to art… i personally have been inspired to paint about life and god and humanity so it does affect my art. i have also seen other cg artists who have used symbolic figures such as the cross and serpent, etc. and not only that but many artists are seeking their own answers to their inner demons, torments, truths to lifes questions. also, some the greatest Renaissance artists ie. Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raffaello Sanzi, Botticelli, were commissioned to do some of the greatest paintings of all of human history using spiritural topics.

i think that many of the “dislike of christians” stem from people who are seeking help and redemption but are lost in the crowd to never find the spirtual life raft they so needed. what makes it worse is how the church constantly promote: we are your spiritual family, we care for you, we love you… but in reality when you try to get close to some of these people, you end up feeling like a third wheel/ baggage /etc.

my question to you is… what is ur experience with spirituality and if any how has it affected your personal art work and life? a perfect example is the art work of carlos Huante.


#2

www.alexgrey.com


#3

spirituality does affect your life and your artwork… I’m a Catholic. I fell away from the church a few years back, but am now back in to the swing of things trying to be a good Catholic. As a Catholic, and as an artist, I look to the thousands of years of religious based artwork and am in AWE… To think about how many years and lifes were spent working on things like the gothic Churches is amazing… I find a lot of inspiration in a lot of different artworks… spirituality has been a part of a lot of different painting and sculpting techniques all throughout the ages… you find it in modern and ancient works alike… some of the minimalist painters actually were really deep spiritualists… but as far as Christian works go, you have a ton of work that you can look to for inspiration - Gaudi, Giotto, and tons of others, shucks, even Dali has some spirituality in his works that relate to Christianity…

In college I had a artist friend that hung out at the Newman Center a lot - he ended up joining a brotherhood… He used to make a lot of stuff like a sculpture of Christ made out of coat hangers etc. Recently, I’ve been going to RCIA classes with my fiance as her confirmation sponser… in this process I’ve been thinking about a lot of precepts of the church more and how they affect me and the world around me. One thing that really got to me was the idea of the transubstantiation… that is the miracle of the transformation of the bread and wine at communion in to the body and blood of Christ at Catholic mass, and how that is then consumed by those attending mass as they show a physical sign to the world and to themselves that they are a part of the body of Christ on the face of this earth… Then I got to thinking about the old saying, “What would Jesus Do?” – I ended up painting/sculpting a little crucifix with Christ’s face carved out and a mirror placed there - the title of the work was “What Will Jesus Do?” I don’t like it much because the mirror sets back too far and the work is too small for the viewer to see his or her own facial reflection, just a part of the face… so I’m thinking of doing the same sort of thing on a much larger scale…


#4

you don’t need the church or the pope for being religious or spiritual. it’s one of the biggest mafia’s on earth. goverment & church = mindcontrol

true spirituality is coming from your innerself and this universe and you can find “god” everywhere. beside it’s wrong to say that “god” has morals or expects humans to do and be something. if god is the highest energy, then “god” is universal and contains everything, because god is everything, this universe. you, me, this chair, this table, this house, these feelings, these thoughts, this tree, this bird, this planet, this sun, this galaxy, the other ones, etc etc. everything builds god and we’re all the small parts of that big one.

what we learn and do is based on society’s morals. - remember what the church inquisition did not even few hundrets of years ago? - if steve jobs would have had his slogan up then already “think different” i’m sure he’d be a burning “witch” along the ones who said the earth is a globe and not flat.

so… god is a wanker, god is a rockstar, god is a terrorist, god is a stupid president, god is artist, god is a mother, god is a bitch, god is a scientist, god is an animal, god is a human, god is hate, god is love, god is energy, god is whatever exists in this all and contains in it. and that’s pretty much. i guess not just black & white thinking or what the church teaches you.

cheers


#5

If you’re having troubles making friends at church I would venture to say you’ve picked the wrong church (note - I did NOT say wrong religion - just the church you currently attend may be the wrong mix for you).

I used to be Presbyterian, but after the pastor retired we had a long string of fill-ins and then the final replacement guy did a lot of things the radicalize the church. It was no longer for me. I stayed out of church for about 16 years.

Recently I started going to a Lutheran church that does nothing but modern services. It’s all Christian rock, interesting stories that relate to everyday life, etc. No hymnals, no boring lectures, etc. And the interesting part was that the members of the church are not all young white kids - it’s an equal mix of everything - we have elderly, we have teenagers, we have Japanese, Africans, Chinese, and so on. For about a year we had a guest pastor from Tanzania, and we still have another guest pastor from Nigeria. It’s a very comfortable atmosphere where everybody talks to everybody and there is no trouble making friends at all.

What does this have to do with art? Well, I think when you become engaged in what you are being taught in church and really truly think about it, your mind starts to apply these lessons in many different ways - you start to think about things differently and it is that new approach to life that sparks creativity. Another one of our pastors is a former missionary who spent years in South America, and whenever he tells a story about his life there I find myself completely inspired to create all sorts of artwork - whether it be writing, sketching or 3D.

I think the important thing you can take away from church at the base level is inspiration. There are a LOT of good stories and those stories can push you in directions you have never considered before.

Paul


#6

@m81 please read: http://waytogod.org/orrick/4-8sermon.html

The standard for morality is eroded if there is no God.* The standard for good behavior is eroded if there is no God.* It is impossible to construct a system of morality and convince people to abide by it if there is no God.* For a while, you might be able to get them to regard someone’s life because that person is valuable.* But eventually the question is going to arise: “Why are they valuable?”* The state may say, “Well, you have to respect their life because, even though you don’t think they’re valuable, we as a society agree that they are valuable, and so we’re going to protect them.* If you try to kill this person, then we’re going to put you in jail, or we’re going to administer some kind of punishment to you.”* But what is to keep the state or to keep the society in general from deciding that human life is no longer valuable, as, indeed, has happened in our own society?* The law says you shall not rape.* Someone says, “Why?* What’s going to happen to me?* Is that just your opinion?* Why can’t I do what I want to do?** Who says your opinion is any better than my opinion?”* You see, if you take God out of the equation, then you’re left only with, at best, the conclusion that moral behavior is a social construction, that is, nothing more than what the society together decides.* So the standard for moral behavior is eroded when atheism is embraced because there’s no longer any standard for moral behavior.*

I think he was asking for inspriation, not desparation. God is God and nothing less.

PG


#7

absolutely…

you have to respect other beings as much as you do yourself. as the saying goes, do not treat others like you wouldn’t like to be treatened.

i was referring rather to the morals of people who think you should not live this or that way and therefore not developing your own personality. - lot’s of those hypocrite church-members drink wine while praising water.

but there are inspirational thoughts & art throughout all religions, no doubt. those are the allegories that can be universal.


#8

You are born. You suffer. You die.

live it learn it move on.


#9

you don’t need the church or the pope for being religious or spiritual. it’s one of the biggest mafia’s on earth. goverment & church = mindcontrol

true spirituality is coming from your innerself and this universe and you can find “god” everywhere.

That’s not right… Faith saves… and the Church IS needed…

The problem that a lot of people have with Christian Churches, and the Catholic Church in particular is that they think they can find God on their own… they can’t… the Bible is the Word of God, and is often referred to as the Good News…

It is News… news has to come from a reporter or source – someone has to tell it to you…

That’s one of the reasons why the Church exists… It’s a communal sort of thing handed down through the generations… “where two or more are gathered in my name, I am there…”

As far as the Pope goes, the Pope’s official role was started in the Bible itself… That’s the reason that the Pope exists.

God is Love… the word that was used in the Bible was actually agape, which is a special sort of love that is centered on the beloved, and is a sort of “self gift”…

I agree with you paulrus, the standard for moral behavior is eroded when atheism is embraced because there’s no longer any standard for moral behavior…

That’s why a lot of atheists post to threads like this at every chance they can… they don’t realize or care that what they are posting is somewhat offensive in nature and immoral.


#10

that’s what all scientologies say…
and the christian churches are scientologies as well, the oldest ones.

why do you need someone to bring you the bible? most of that theory is being soaked up by people theoretically and naively anyway. they go to church only to listen to the one speaking up in front or reading. but they don’t meditate or fall into their innerself.

true spirituality is something else to me. not theory, books, etc. maybe rather found in the eastern meditation and not between the gilden materialistic walls of the vatican.

but again, this is my opinion.

ps: only because i critisize the church doesn’t mean that i’m atheist (nothing against atheists though. i like them better than some religious fanatics & fundamentalists). - i was born into catholizism, but i went out of this/ do not identify myself with it anymore. see rather inspiration in pantheism, buddhism & universal philosophy/ theosophy/ occultism.


#11

No religious discussions on CGTalk, please. We’ve always had this rule.