Creative Spirituality

In Wuthnow’s article, Driven to Explore, the point that struck me the most was how traumatic personal experiences really had an effect on artist’s desire to explore and therefore, create art. All of the artists from this article faced some sort of trauma, from sickness to molestation. Although they didn’t know it at the time, it seemed to be this primary force that pushed them into their spiritual journey. The reading discusses the effects of this trauma by saying, “Such crises have played a role in the creativity on which artistic accomplishments so clearly depend” (P.70). I think that a huge factor of this was that it caused them to analyze life in a way that someone simply living life wouldn’t think about. There are many people who just go through the motions, or who don’t think about the meanings of life because nothing has happened to make them question it.

This point reminds me of 9/11 and the effect that it had on the US. As horrible as it was, it brought us all together and made us feel united. People showed their support like never before. It is interesting how sometimes it takes traumatic events to trigger support and appreciation. I feel like this is the same case with the artist’s. It took a traumatic event to make them think about life in a way that they never had before. This was how their spiritual journey stemmed and now they are more enlightened. If we could just analyze life despite the situations we are in or what point we are in our lives we are at, we could all be as enlightened.


~ by mccaule2 on May 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “Creative Spirituality”

  1. I found it very interesting to hear about all of the background stories of these artists that led them to create what they did. I think it is important to recognize these background stories and have the artists come forth and talk about them because they will help other people. Like you said with 911, hearing other people’s traumatic experiences and realizing you both went through the same or similar experience helps to build a bond. I am sure there are people out there who have been molested as a child, just as Wendy Ellsworth discussed. Hearing her experience may help people to overcome their experience, but seeing her art and seeing how she has grown from that experience and can make something beautiful from such a traumatic experience will help other people overcome their problems too.

  2. My post was very similar to yours; I also noticed how trauma or low points in one’s life really have an influence on their spirituality. But my question is why does it always seem to be negative experiences that play the biggest role? Your quote about artistic accomplishments depending on crises really emphasizes this. Why can’t positive or high points in one’s life play an equal role? Perhaps they do, but the author was merely focusing on one side of the bigger picture of spirituality. However, I can see how near-death experiences like your 9/11 example really do unite people and make one look at life in a different way.

  3. I noticed the impact that traumatic events have on a person’s spirituality as well. I think that negative events play the biggest role because they bring to light the things that mean the most to people. In times of trouble, people turn to spirituality to look for guidance. I think that the high points in peoples lives play an important role but when it comes to spirituality people don’t turn to it until they are really needing guidance.

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