More Imaginal…

A while back I posted about the Christian Imaginal. Since that blog, I came across a striking idea in A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. Tozer believes that God is the original creator, and nothing is capable of creating without the voice of God. This is a shattering statement for me to process due the fact that I’m raised in the American tradition of human rights and the value of the individual. We are brought up to believe that we, the individual, are most central in the advancing of knowledge, technology, creativity, and politics.  But if that Imaginal sensation is truly the voice of God, what are the consequences of such a truth?

Tozer asserts that only God can create, and Satan can only twist or manipulate. He draws this conclusion from Colossians 1:16-17, where Paul writes, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Tozer takes the idea of “all things” and applies it to all things. Some may say that Paul is writing in past tense, making the verse irrelevant by today’s standards. But, if God is outside of time then past, present, and future are all the same and we can infer that by God (specifically Christ in the context of the verse) all things are created by him and for him. Such an assertion can lead us into an argument of free-will–if God is just sitting around creating stuff through his little puppets then we really aren’t creating anyways. So what does it mean then?

There is a connection between creator and created. We create for a variety of reasons, but those drawn to be artists find fulfillment in creating art (except Kenneth Goldsmith, who looks to find un-fulfillment and boredom). We like our work (hopefully, eventually). When I create a poem, that poem in turn creates an image, emotion, experience, opinion, moment for somebody else. That poem is not my puppet, it is my creation, standing on its own speaking to others. That poem reveals something about me (an opinion, a mediation, a struggle, a story, a frustration, an experience, etc.) to those who read it. I cannot remove myself from the creation of that poem (again, this is heresy for the post-avante crowd). This creation process is a microcosm for the God/human artist relationship.

So what if the Imaginal is the voice of God, the original creative inspiration? That would mean that every being that creates is not only imitating God (as I’ve stated in other blogs) but acknowledging him as well. Not only does this heighten the value of creativity, but it confirms that the Imaginal is our connection to the core of everything under (above and around) the sun. This would suggest more than just having a glimpse of an unseen, spiritual existence.


2 thoughts on “More Imaginal…

  1. very engaging post. i’ve held the view that humanity creates stuff (whether it be a gourmet meal or a painted mural) because they are created stuff & so they imitate the one who created them. i’ve never read anything by tozer, but i plan to look up some of his books.

  2. Hmmmmm…you and Kemper Crabb should hang out – his 3+ year column incorporates the idea that we are gifted by God to create and that the best art reflects His creation by being multi-dimensional, original, symbolic and complete. He talks a lot more about faulty theology leading to bad art (church cheeze), but this post makes a nice complement to his argument.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s