Monday, March 16, 2009

Creativity, Spirituality and Fasting

First, let's look at the 'S' word. Spirituality means different things to different people. I'm not talking about anything specifically religious, nor even about beliefs that there is anything beyond the physical world. The spirituality I am talking about in this blog entry is a quality that some people seem to have, in which they are able to psychologically detach themselves from the immediate physical world around them. Spirituality as opposed to materiality.

Some people pray or meditate to take them into this 'spiritual' state. But it could be said that when artists are creating, they are inhabiting an inner world, somewhat cut off from much of their surroundings. Even if they are focusing on the object of their art - it is at the expense of the rest of the world.

One of the practices common to most religions is fasting. As a Baha'i, I try a dawn to sunset fast during this part of the year - leading up to March 21st. I have observed that during the afternoon on a day when I am fasting, my mind is definitely in a different state. I feel less tied down to immediate worries and concerns, more able to let myself drift in a creative space.

Is there a connection between the qualities of 'spirituality' and 'creativity'? Are they part of the same drive? I am not sure. But it does feel to me as if there is an overlap at least. I'd be interested in hearing what other people think on this.


Maxine said...

This is an interesting one. From my experience on Buddhist retreats and in meditation practice, there is a similarity between the focus of spiritual and creative practice. We need to be able to focus the mind for both experiences. And of course the mind naturally skitters all over the place.

But I think the object of the focus is different. I think of it a bit like this - the focus of a story I'm telling or a poem I'm writing is a kind of narrowing down of the world to the imagined world of my story or poem. The focus of spiritual practice is a kind of widening out of the world beyond the narrow and the personal. It's hard to say what to, without using what seem like platitudes or cliches, which of course as a writer I don't like to do!

It's helpful to think about it - thanks for raising the thought. There are probably lots of different answers.

Rod Duncan said...

Thanks Maxine,

Much appreciated your comment.

Jessica99 said...


It was really a good post on "Creativity, Spirituality and Fasting".Spirituality can solve all the modern day problems and helps human beings to lead a peaceful life.
Fasting really helps an indiviual to have some kind of positve effect on the body.