04 February 2010


The artist's dilemma and the meditator's are, in a deep sense, equivalent. Both are repeatedly willing to confront or control. Both are disciplined in skills that allow them to remain focused on their task and to express their response in a way that will illustrate the dilemma they share with others.
And both are liable to similar outcomes. The artist's work is prone to be derivative, a variation on the style of a great master or established school. The meditator's response might tend to be dogmatic, a variation on the words of a hallowed tradition or revered teacher. There is nothing wrong with such responses. But we recognize their secondary nature, their failure to reach the peaks of primary imaginative creation. Great Art and Great Dharma both rise to something that has never quite been imagined before. Artist and meditator alike ultimately aspire to an original creative act.

--from Stephen Batchelor, Tricycle Review, Vol. 4. #2

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