Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Growing Up To Honor The Sacred

I read a great blog this morning from my friend, Matsonia. Check it out:

Growing Up To Honor The Sacred

If our sex is not sacred
Then our relationships are not sacred
And our children are not sacred
And the artifacts our sons and daughters produce are bound to deny the sacred

These four motions of culture are supposed to be our creative expressions of the sacred:

  1. Sex,
  2. Relationships,
  3. Children,
  4. and their Artifacts.

To honor the sacred is to sustain a sacred fire through each successive motion. Sex generates relationships, relationships generate children, children generate artifacts, and artifacts generate our history of the sacred. And so on….If the sacred fire is not fed, the flame dies with the motion that fails to carry it forward. The movement of culture, however, does not die. It flows on in a constant wave of motions, with or without the fire that fulfills their meaning.

When a person denies his social responsibility to sustain the sacred in the world, he fumbles his fire. He denies the sacred in order to hang back in a prolonged state of adolescence. A generation in a collective state of denial (the 1960’s, for example) can generate and sustain a culture that refuses to grow up about sex, about relationships, about children, or about their artifacts. This is the irresponsible culture in which we now live, a culture populating the landscape with consumer playthings, sucked hollow of any sacred value. See if you recognize them:

  • convenient and disposable sex
  • convenient and disposable relationships
  • convenient and disposable children
  • convenient and disposable artifacts

I hope you will recognize how cheap convenience has replaced the costly sacred in your own home, and you will get angry. Because no one can repopulate our culture with the sacred better than you. However, if you believe someone else produces the trash piling up on your doorstep, you should think again. You can not blame the generation of the 1960’s. Only yourself. If you want to declare that you have faithfully honored the sacred, give yourself this test. The ultimate proof is in the artifacts your children generate. This fourth motion is your thorough declaration, the lasting fruit of your sacred seed that will remain on earth after your children are dead. Yes….I’m talking about ART.

“Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”
- Leonardo DaVinci

“Art is to me the glorification of the human spirit, and as such it is the cultural documentation of the time in which it is produced.”
- Hans Hofmann

The role of the artist is to generate artifacts born of a sacred union between the physical and the spiritual. Such artifacts document our history with the sacred and keep the flame alive. Yet the sons and daughters we produce are not given any real understanding of the sacred. Our sons and daughters are being taught that artists who honor the sacred are to be ignored. Because for an entire century, no constituency has stepped forward to claim responsibility for properly sustaining their well being. We don’t mind seeing faithful Levites scrounge and starve. Meanwhile, the artists who deny their sacred duties enjoy the advantage of a constituency that pays great attention to their adolescent work. A constituency that sustains a culture that refuses to grow up.

What is wrong with this picture? How are you cultivating and honoring the sacred?

I wish I were more mature as a man and as an artist. But I do recognize my responsibilities as a Levite and prophet of culture. Therefore, I have declared my commitment to carry the sacred forward and grow up with anyone willing to endure the growing pains with me. Any culture that fails to honor the faithful among the Levites and prophets fails to honor the sacred.

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