Well, I’ve decided to pursue the twelve-week course that is laid out in the book The Artist’s Way, which I mentioned last week. There were too many true statements being made. I kept asking the Lord if He really wanted me to do it, because it is truly coming from a cosmic sort of viewpoint. The relationship she describes as being between God and the Creative Person is amazingly accurate … if you’re talking about the relationship between God and one of His children, which is to say, someone who has believed in Jesus Christ — His person and His work — for eternal life. It is not the relationship someone who has not believed in Christ can have, yet it is billed as such in this book. Basically the spiritual life and relationship with God are said to be reached through embracing and living in your creativity, with creativity and spirituality being presented as synonymous.
The subtlety of the distortion is breathtaking. Everything that we have as believers through Christ, through His work, this books says we can have through our own efforts. I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I ought to; and I am well aware of my capacity to get sucked into thinking something that seems good but is really another facet of human viewpoint, which is why I have approached this with a certain amount of trepidation.
So why am I going to read it and do the things it suggests? Because I’m pretty sure I’m being led to do it. On Sunday Pastor Bob took a break from his teaching on the doctrine of the Open Door to do a special on… metaphors for the Christian life. He was specifically wanting to share with us a baseball metaphor, but to do that had to lay the ground work for all the other metaphors used in the Bible. The military metaphor, the athletic metaphors… Having thoroughly laid out all that, he set forth the baseball analogy — and it was pretty cool.
That evening I finished up the Introductory part of the book, before moving into Chapter One, and in it was a section on logic Brain versus artist brain. Logic brain thinks in neat, linear fashion. It likes control and order and, well, logic. Anything outside those parameters are regarded with suspicion and even alarm. Artist brain on the other hand, says Ms. Cameron,
“is our inventor, our child, our very own personal absent-minded professor. Artist brain says “Hey! That is so neat!” It puts odd things together (boat equals wave and walker.) It likes calling a speeding GTO a wild animal: The black howling wolf pulled into the drive-in.”
“Artist brain is our creative holistic brain. It thinks in patterns and shading. It sees a fall forest and thinks: Wow! Leaf bouquet! Pretty! Gold-gilt-shimmery-earthskin-king’s-carpet! Artist brain is associative and freewheeling. It makes new connections, yoking together images to invoke meaning: like the Norse myths calling a boat ‘wave-horse.'”
Artist brain thinks in terms of metaphors. Analogies. And as I contemplated that fact tonight, I began to think of all the metaphors in scripture. There were, of course, the military and athletic metaphors Pastor mentioned Sunday morning. But also the shepherd, the vine, the Lamb, the door, the tree, the cross, the brazen serpent, Noah’s ark, the red sea crossing, Abraham’s almost sacrifice of Isaac… all of them analogies, metaphors, types. The Bible is full of them. God is full of artist brain metaphor making!
The “coincidence” of all this is just too great. Plus, I started with the morning pages last week, and oddly that seems to have cut down the amount of time I feel compelled to write in my journal. The whole thing has got me more focused on the function of writing, is reminding me of lots of things I’d forgotten and today… today, despite suddenly feeling the old aversion the moment it was time to go into the office and work, I had the idea to take a walk, gleaned from the list of optional tasks for Week 1. So I took a 20 minute walk through the neighborhood, and when I returned the aversion was gone and I got to work. I worked from 10 til about 5, with time off for lunch. And I got a lot of things resolved. Better still, I did four more pages of Chapter 1.
So. I’m pretty happy about that.