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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Fox’

Disney -dream

This is how Matthew Fox, author of Creativity refers to the Imagination. He calls it a fierce power!

Imagination is a fierce power. It is a playful power. It is a dramatic power. People pay a lot of money to visit Disney’s Theme Parks, awash in imagination.

Imagination lets us step into a space within ourselves that we too often ignore in the daily routines of life. We, even though we are adults and have gone to Disneyland “for the children”,absorb the magic of imagination just for this special time of our visit.

Disneyworld

I remember being highly influenced by the word “imagination” during one of our visits to Disney World.  When we visited the cartoon exhibit, they explained that the scholarships they gave to creative apprentices, were aimed at heightening the appreciation of this quality of imagination within others….to raise the value of it….and to increase the potential of the student to learn from their  creative and imaginative powers.

Einstein, himself, has stated that his most profound discoveries have not come from rational thought, but from imagination.  Dreaming was an important activity to him. In fact, Thomas Edison, found it absolutely necessary to take a nap in the afternoon. That was part of his work pattern.

Disney - dream pillow

In Creativity, Fox writes: “In the Kabbalah, the medieval Jewish mystical work, we are instructed that “the firece power of imagination is a gift from God.” To call imagination a “fierce power” is to warn us that we are wrestling with the wild forces when we enter into the arena of creativity. A wresting match not unlike Jacob struggling with an angel can be anticipated.”

Author John O’Donohue points out that in the Celtic way of seeing the world, the soul is the place where the imaginatin lives.

Imagination takes us to the space of “elsewhere.”

I love that phrase – “the space of elsewhere.” O’Donohue continues to describe it as taking us to nothingness, to emptiness, to what is not yet and therefore to what might still be. The space of “elsewhere” invites us to have a living imagination.

We can choose today to be a “space of elsewhere”, where we are busy feeding and nourishing our imagination. We can dance with the rhythms of creativity and not simply sit on the sidelines of life.

Today, I am creating a day with my grandson, celebrating his 14th birthday. We are still in “fluid design” of exactly what the day will bring. But it will bring spontaneity, laughter and fun, I know.

We will view the day as a river of creativity running through all things. We’re going to get wet, jump in, and ride the rapids, wild and sacred as they may be…..even if we only go to a movie and eat chocolate cake together!

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Yesterday, God sang to me. This is exactly how it happened.

I’ve been getting a lot of signs and messages lately to be aware of and increase my joy in daily living. And I have to say, with a rather simple lifestyle, that wondrous quality of joy is, indeed, showing up more as a regular resident of my day. I am quite grateful for that.

To lose one’s sense of joy is quite sad and I have walked days on the Earth with at least a greatly diminished capacity for joy. Being in fear is one of joy’s first evictors.

Here is how one of my signs arrived. I pulled Matthew Fox’s book, “Creativity” off the shelf for some randomly selected reading of his wondrous text. I opened the book to page 169, where I read the heading on the page: “Open Oneself to Joy.” These syncroniscities happen to me all the time as I guide my life more through my intuitive self.

Before I read that page though I had poured myself a fresh cup of coffee and sat out on my deck as the sun was slipping down toward the horizon. Michigan weather, after a dry torrid spell, had recreated itself into a pleasant, blue-sky sunny light breezy environment. I felt joy in the soft sensations on my skin, the sights and sounds of the fair breeze wind in the trees, the white fluff in the richly colored blue sky and the bird flight patterns and happy chirping sounds of their songs in the backyard.

I felt joyful.

Then I joined in the joy and sang a song of raise and praise to the birds. It is a song we sing for special intentions at our Monday night prayer group meetings.  This time I sang: “I praise you birds, I raise you birds, in the name of Love.” I repeated this several times over, letting my voice sift out to the trees at the end of our backyard.

Then I was quiet for several moments of enjoying the goodness of creation.

This quiet was entered into by two birds that flew a straight path from a tree limb onto the wooden deck railing exactly in front of me. They faced me directly. Then they sang a short little duet together, chirping quite exhubertantly.

Then as quickly as they came, they flew off. They didn’t even stop for a snack at the bird feeder. I was amazed….and I thanked them for their visit.

Matthew Fox says, “To know joy, we must know the heart. We must live where the heart lives. There is no other path to real joy. ”

He also believes that learning is one of the most spiritual, ecstatic, mystical and prayerful experiences available to us all. He is interested in learning the new creation story from science and cosmology.  I found out, to my own surprise, that I was too when I studied evolution and spirituality with Barbara Marx Hubbard this summer.

Fox quotes Thomas Aquinas, 13th Century Dominican theologian, that “by dwelling on creatures, the mind is inflamed to love the Divine goodness”…and that we “love and know God in the mirror of God’s creatures.”

So Fox wonders why we tend to ignore the value of creation in our lives.”Divine Wisdom first appears in the creation of things,” says Aquinas. Fox points out then, that creation becomes our doorway (direct) to Divine Wisdom.

He encourages us not to take it for granted. Not to ignore it. He says to begin to inflame the mind again to love the Divine goodness or blessing inherent in all creation.

My heart was filled last night in the experience on the patio. In fact, my heart was quite full in the silent enjoyment of creation around me before the arrival of the birds and their song.

The feeling I have about my life is that I am living from the heart. I am also paying attention to the creatures. Their presence and gift certainly inflamed me past the sense of fullness.

It was an exciting, creative moment in time.

And in return, I received a gift of God  singing through the birds!

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