Materialism and Imagination

Art is now the last safe harbor for the expression of spiritual longing in our increasingly materialistic civilization. The supposedly self-evident discoveries of scientific investigation into the nature of the physical universe have convinced most who know of them that everything which exists is a giant machine governed by measurable, generally deterministic laws. Even our age-old religious traditions have become materialistic, mistaking the letter of their books for the life and spirit of the world. The intelligent liberal, no less imbued with the religious impulse constituting the core of their being than any other human of lesser education, turns to art and self-expression instead of religious community to fulfill their basic biological need for transcendence. For a person of this form of consciousness, the only possible relationship with the spiritual world that remains possible comes through the power of imagination. But it would be a failure of imagination to resort to explaining such a power as an epiphenomenal side effect of skull-bound brain activity. The human spirit does not receive an already created world, but enacts one through participation in the angelic poetry (otherwise known as the Logos) undergirding the phenomenal reality of the evolving cosmos. If art be our only remaining way out of hell and into a renewed, now consciously-willed paradise on earth, then let us all begin sharing the wisdom lying dormant in our hearts. Let us bring forth a world of beauty and goodness, the only true world there ever was or will be but for our failure to imagine it.


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