Temple of Self(or the egocentric nature of blogging)

fingerprints2, originally uploaded by asiya2.

My personal observation is that creative people tend to be very egocentric. I don’t mean selfish. Often creativity goes hand in hand with a rich sensitivity that lends towards a kind and gentle nature. The flipside is that it also leads towards introspection and neurotic self-exploration. I have been wondering about the notion of the creative self within the framework of Islam. We are supposed to focus on subduing our egos, not cultivating them. Is there room then for creativity as an expression of self or should it always point to something Bigger?

 

 

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4 Responses to “Temple of Self(or the egocentric nature of blogging)”

  1. Achelois Says:

    Good Q. I’m creative and I keep it separate from religion. Islam is a way of life but it shouldn’t feel like a burden.

    I wanted to study fine arts but wasn`t allowed because it was “unislamic” to draw nudes. I will always feel sorry I didn’t take it up. Muslims are taught to believe to hold on to your urges and you will receive lovely spouses in Heaven; don’t drink and you will find rivers of wine. But there are certain things more important than sex and booze to me; life is too short and I was never allowed to do them. My biggest regret will remain the fact that I couldn’t join the Glasgow School of Art and if I make to Jennah I’d really like to have some chracoal and canvas, please!

  2. Asiya Says:

    I guess for me spirituality is definetely linked to asceticism. It makes sense to me that the more “clutter” you have in your life and mind, the less room there is for Allah (or the fog is too dense to be close to Him). That being said, I am a “stuff” lover, lover of material things and lover of ideas. Living an ascetic life is not something that can be forced. It has to happen gradually and therefore it wouldn’t feel a burden. We have to trust our intuition. Much contemporary art to me seems gratuitous and crude. An expression often of the ugliness of self and fullblown surrender to the senses. I cannot approach art this way anymore. I don’t want to compartmentalize my life or keep anything seperate from religion. At the same time, I’m aware of my spiritual immaturity. I am not ready to “forget” myself and imposing an “idea” of submission of ego is hollow. True ascetics are “full”, their is nothing burdensome about it because they feel Allah’s Mercy to such an extent that they don’t want anything around them that might block this.
    In my own life, I want to find a balance. I have a “need” to express myself creatively and so I wonder what the cause of this creative energy is. If I don’t let it out, I feel like I will burst! But I’m mindful of the focus of our lives being searching for Allah. If the awliya say that a breath spent without the mentioning of the name Allah on the tongue is a waste, what then of things that we make and invest so much time in “creating”?
    I don’t think that art has to be an expression of spirituality to be “worship”, it can be an exploration of life, another language for transmitting concepts and ideas. And I’m not happy with ignorant censorship. For example, I found Laurence of Arabia’s discussion about Chris Offili very interesting. But then the language of art criticism is one that has to be learned, most people would look at Offili’s work and see it as porn or sacriligious.

    I’m sorry you couldn’t go to art school. Although I smiled when I read your comment because I often wish that I did anything but go to art school and one of the things I would love to have studied is Linguistics! or Anthropology or Psychology and the list goes on. Or I wish I’d majored differently. eg. in textiles or printmaking, something that would help me “produce”more from a business perspective. We will always wish we’d done something else. But then, we still can, we are not old!

    I wonder myself about life drawing. I do thinkit’s problematic.
    Get out the charcoal and canvas now!

  3. Achelois Says:

    Ah! And I have a degree in Applied Linguistics! Ah, the irony of fate!

  4. shukr Says:

    Everything points to the Divine.

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