I belong to a writing group where member Jim Woods issued a facinating blog challenge:
How does faith influence your art? What role does it play? Does your faith have implications in what you write?
Since I left my life as an ordained, Pentecostal minister and cannot--in good conscience--call myself a Christian (or, indeed, any religious label), this is a provocative challenge for me, personally.
At a loss for words (at first) I looked up the word "Fath" at Dictionary.com. The first definition:
Confidence or trust in a person or thing.
Ah...this I can work with!
At the risk of sounding arrogant, I have confidence in myself. I am confident that, despite what I just wrote, I will never be at a loss for words (::wink::). I am confident that one of my strengths is communication, and so I'll use it to the best of my ability. I trust that I'll always see the world with fresh, curious eyes and--in trying to capture what I'm seeing, exploring or pondering at a given time--will convey this passion using words.
Now, if we're talking about "something bigger than yourself", I believe in an Intelligent Mind. Some call it God, Higher Power, Goddess, All-That-IS or myriad other names. I believe that every person, every myth, every spiritual tradition has a piece of the "God" puzzle.
For my part, I have faith in what Caroline Myss calls Sacred Contracts. It's the idea that, before we come to this Earth, we get together with God, our angels, our guides--you know, the Big Guns--and look over our soul's growth. We confer as to what the Soul--MY soul--wants to experience this time around. Basically, we're devising a Divine Curriculum. We ask questions like: What lessons do I need to learn? What challenges do I want to face? How much crap do I want to take this time around? Who will help me achieve my soul's purpose? What family do I want to incarnate into? What will be the end of my mortal life?
Then, travelling down Lethes, the River of Forgetfulness, I am born.
I believe that we can know our Sacred Contracts, which are different for each person, based on the patterns present in our lives. We find our Sacred Contracts by asking questions like, What situations do I "always" find myself in? What kind of people am I attracted to? Repelled by? What are my strengths and talents? What roles are "so me"? What behavior patterns would my friends and family say are "so you"? What am I passionate about?
This, my friends, is the foundation for my art, my writing, my work.
I communicate with words because I am compelled to. Heck, I was voted Most Talkative in my Senior Class!
The Creator archetype compels me to create with words. The Pioneer compels me to create new systems for understanding the world, ourselves and others. The Prophet compels me to convey Divine Guidance, warn people "Bridge Out" and share possible futures not otherwise accessible. The Teacher/Guide compels me to instruct individuals "how to fish" so they can "eat for a lifetime". The Trickster/Provocateur compels me to shake up organizations, groups and institutions to expose hypocrisy, highlight incestuousness, reveal control tactics and illuminate stagnation. The Warrior compels me to fight for indepedence, protect the innocent and liberate the bound.
I am convinced that if I feel to write or create something, it's because my Soul is compelling me to do so. It's because I want to experience a particular situation and, thus, I put events in motion to bring it about.
I follow my bliss, because I trust that it's the True North helping me to find my path, should I get (temporarily) lost. I allow passion to fuel me, because I know that the correspondng archetypal array will support my efforts.
I have faith that my eyes will always be open, and trust that an authentic life is the one for me.