Walking the Spiral Path

She gets uncomfortable at the thought of spiritual rules. I understand. It's not that life doesn't benefit from rules; it's just that rules can also become ends in themselves, eventually choking off life.

In regards to artists, Julia Cameron puts it this way, "We insist on a straight and narrow when the Artist's Way is a spiral path." Pushing it further she notes, "An artist cannot replicate a prior success indefinitely. Those who attempt to work too long with formulas, even their own formula, eventually leach themselves of their creative truths."

The result, says Cameron, is that we "sink to the bottom and die." Put another way, "A certain deep artistic weariness sets in. We must summon our enthusiasm... instead of reveling in each day's creative task."

I wonder if Cameron's observations about artists can be applied to spirituality. Is it possible that rules and formulas eventually leach us of vitality and interest? If so, I'd prefer to walk a spiral path.

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Blogger Sarah said...

I LOVE thinking about it as a spiral path. It seems like that's the way many, many things work in life - personal growth (how we revisit the same issues in different ways throughout our lives) is where I've always thought about it, but it makes sense here, too. Thanks for the musings!

Blogger Kelly Langner Sauer said...

Looking for the "like" button on this post.

I love how you put your thoughts together, how you tie things to other things. I think we must think very much alike, because you always make sense to me.

Blogger A Simple Country Girl said...

As long as the path spirals up into His most gracious hands. But then again, sometimes we need those hand-railing sorts of rules so we have something to grasp if we hit a patch of gravel and begin to slip.


Blogger Jeff Rogers said...

I'm reminded at the end of your post of the the great labyrinth tradition that employs a spiral of a sort, winding in and winding back out as a spiritual tool to represent, enrich and deepen our experience of our journey with God. I am of the mind that no journey with God is a straight line or a formula or based on rules. (That may be why artists make much better theologians than engineers!)


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