Our response literally completes the story by making it our story. If we stop to think about it for a moment, we will realize that the entire Bible is full of stories, poetry, prophetic vision. While it is wrong to consider the Word of God to be "merely literature," it is never less than literature. God's revelation is mediated not through a set of logical propositions but through the artistry of language.
But in the history of Western civilization, the imagination — which lies at the heart of art — has often been given short shrift. There has been a tendency in the West to speak of faith and reason as the two great faculties of the human soul. The imagination has often played the role of Cinderella, taken for granted, or at least left implicit, not fully celebrated.
Imagination is like faith, in that it dares to see meaning that is buried beneath the surface of things. But the imagination depends on reason, too. Without reason, art would not achieve complexity of form or vision. In a more complete picture of the human soul, imagination shines forth in a trinitarian relationship with faith and reason. We might say that art is incarnational: a union of form and content, flesh and spirit. Author Flannery O'Connor speaks of the need to bring mystery and fact into harmony. Those who try to enshrine the mystery without the fact become vague and abstract.
Those who choose fact without mystery are left with an inanimate lump of clay. So it is vital that we see art not just as fancy decoration around what is otherwise a set of rational propositions.
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To think that way is to reduce art to nothing but sugar coating around the pill of truth. No, many of the great Christian thinkers have held that art is its own way of knowing the world. To do without it is to diminish our awareness of the world, to become literalists who can't see the wood for the trees, to allow blindness to gradually cloud our sight.
But it is precisely in that vulnerability that we become open to grace, to the touch that can clear our vision. In the name of holiness, images have been smashed, canvases shredded, books burned. True, the same impulse that might create an icon could, in a sinful mind and heart, fabricate an idol. But as the medievals used to say, the abuse of a thing does not nullify its proper use. The imagination stirs fear because it possesses a visceral power.
It can lead us to places we can't foresee or control. And yet that is precisely what Jesus does, to our inestimable benefit, in his parables.
Those stories were the cause of scandal. They undermined the complacency of many in Jesus' audience. I refuse to commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud. In dreams we pass into the more universal, truer and more eternal man who still stands in the dusk of original night. It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing. Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of a living soul.
Join the Community Enjoy discounts on classes and bookstore purchases. Upcoming Events at The Center. No events this month. September 4. Monthly Meditation - September Equanimity Learn meditative techniques that foster a holistic sense of wellness for our body, energy, and mind. September 5. Compassionate Integrity Training When we learn to calm our bodies and minds, deal effectively with our emotions, and treat others with kindness, dignity, and compassion, we have the ability to create a better world.
September 6. Mindful Origami - September Be both creative and mindful as we create something beautiful from origami paper. September 7. September 9. Discovering the Shadow If you dare to grow, acceptance of the shadow is an absolute prerequisite for maturation. September Laughter Yoga: Stress-Busting Tools for Real Life - September No matter our mood, the healing yogic breathing and movement exercises of laughter yoga will strengthen our immune systems, oxygenate our brains and bodies, reduce stress, and release emotions in a healthy way.
Movement and the Power of Play Explore play through breathwork and meditative practice, dance, movement games, and some basic strength and stability work. Micro-Memoirs: Writing the Stories of Our Lives This class will provide exercises designed to inspire and a safe environment for getting started on a collection of your memories. An Introduction to Yoga Nidra Meditation: Integrating Body, Mind, and Spirit Move into a state of equilibrium and wholeness with Yoga Nidra, an ancient Indian guided meditation technique designed to bring balance, well-being, and restoration.
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Join us for a lively dialogue exploring the relationship between these two fascinating traditions. A Workshop for Those Touched by Cancer Join cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones as we discuss how to live fully and meaningfully in the face of illness. Wholehearted: Cultivating Freshness, Receptivity, and Love Together, we will explore what it means to live our values and live wholeheartedly.
Living Your Voice We will find our voice and challenge blocks to self-expression in this fun and experiential workshop. October 1. The History of Energy Healing Join us on a guided tour of energy healing through the ages, beginning with Biblical accounts and continuing with paradigm-shifting scientists in the 17th and 18th century, Wednesday, Oct.
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October 2. Monthly Meditation - October Suffering and Happiness Learn meditative techniques that foster a holistic sense of wellness for our body, energy, and mind. October 3. Composing Your Life Discover how to awaken each morning anticipating what you are creating rather than worrying about what you fear.
October 4. An Introduction to Complexes Encounter the complex, one of C.
October 5. Cultivating Presence - A Retreat Join us for a day-long retreat at Blackwood Land, a peaceful acre regenerative teaching farm only 60 minutes from Houston, where we will gather to re-center ourselves around our connection to the earth and to our inner worlds. October 7. Laughter Yoga: Stress-Busting Tools for Real Life - October No matter our mood, the healing yogic breathing and movement exercises of laughter yoga will strengthen our immune systems, oxygenate our brains and bodies, reduce stress, and release emotions in a healthy way.
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