I found this interview that this lady from Beyond magazine did with me a while back, and i still sort of liked it. It seems down to earth. I must have been very relaxed that day. I think it was up in New Mexico after an arts conference, but don’t exactly recall. Anyways thought I’d post it here. She sent a longer excerpt where i was waxing a bit more poetically, but I liked this part most.
What’s been most interesting to you in life?
I think i was always most interested in the spiritual realm. It just always felt like there was more than what was visibly here! I felt angels and saw things as a kid, which made me never doubt that there was another realm this one rested on or was in continuum with. At times, I would get confused in that realm between the darker parts and the lighter ones, but once i figured out which was which, it was a clear choice to me. It was also obvious that Jesus was at the very center of the higher spiritual realm, and that all spirits recognized this! I’ve never met a spirit that has not heard of Jesus. That was like my evangelism in California–evangelized by angels, you could say.. You would mention Jesus and all the spirits would shift. Those serving Him would perk up or move closer; the others would flee or protest, then flee. There is no question about who Jesus is in the spiritual realm. That made it even more obvious to me that He was who they said He was in the Bible. Since, then our friendship is very close. I don’t ever feel far from Him. I have had to learn lots, and still there is so much of the Father that I have barely touched. But Jesus was never a real question to me-always a reality! That’s why I never understood people not getting Him. Of course, I understand people being frustrated with His Church. But not Him Himself. It’s just so obvious that He is God.
what interested you in school?
Not much…well, really, religion and art were all that captivated me. And there’s an intersection there–the two are both interested in touching the thing behind the thing, if you know what I mean. The ultimate, the absolute, the philosophers of art would call it. I also studied comparative symbols between mystical traditions–that’s what my final thesis was about. Again, because I was interested in how people symbolized the spiritual realm. My dad was a minister, but when I was a kid, he was an anthropologist and would go on cultural digs and bring back artifacts–i think that sort of fascination always captivated my imagination.
In college I studied religions because I wanted to see what other cultures thought about God, or how they framed the spiritual realm. None of the religions does not believe in a spiritual realm. And I felt at least that’s honest. If you don’t believe in a realm beyond what we see, you have a hard time existing I think. And that has to be a starting point. I don’t think I know any artist who doesn’t believe in some other spiritual realm. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always gotten along so well with artists! But also most religious folks know there is more than meets the eye. Now what I discovered was that lots of religions sort of get trapped in lower rungs of spiritual reality, and end up not getting to the highest, or the core that holds the whole together. They worship the tree instead of the One who made the tree, sort of thing. Or they meet a high ranking demon, and see power so worship that demon, or demons. To me that never made sense either. Why would you worship the children and not the father?
what of spiritual practices from other religions?
I get why people use drugs to see other realms, but what I always felt was once there in the other realm, its not very helpful to be on drugs. And its much easier to get there by confession into worship anyways. With Jesus, your entering heaven with and through a friend–so it’s just easier, by Grace, than by effort. Deep meditation and body tricks are just much harder than walking into heaven with a friend. I like that Christianity is centered in friendship basically. And then the walk, is just getting to know your friend better. That just makes sense to me, rather than working so hard at spiritual practices.
How does art fit into spiritual practice or praxis?
Art creates portals of course. Portals into an unseen dimension. There is just no denying that fact. Some stop there, but I always wanted to poke open the portal and see what was on the other side. When I got there, i found Jesus. The Reality of Jesus, not the concept. I still make art because, I think its a place I commune with Him most. And it’s fun for me. He likes me to have fun. I don’t think i use art for my own healing anymore. Not often anyways. Not that I have finished healing, but I think when I was younger the subject matter of lots of my art was my own healing. That’s true with many artist I think. So, for me, I think art now is really about meeting God in the imaginative realm. It’s a tabernacle or place of meeting for me.
what sort of spiritual training have you done?
Well, mostly its been mentors–people who’s life practice and spirituality intersected and interested me. My father firstly, probably, then a series of artist and healers. There was a rabbi artist i lived with for seven years during school, then an art therapist up in boston, then a seminary professor–but I think i’ve learned from those types of teachers who model their teaching by living well, and basically live out the fruits of the Spirit. Training is tricky–everyone has different learning styles. Mine is relational. I think I’ve mainly been trained by The Holy Spirit–not in some uber-religious way, but just been led into the things I’m supposed to learn about God next. I also think I’ve learned lots through reading biographies and autobiographies. I always feel the people who wrote them, and commune with what they have learned. Officially, I got a degree in comparative religion and then studied art therapy at a graduate level, then went on the seminary. But I don’t think most training happens “officially”. And neither did mine–it was, as my spirituality is, relational mostly–pastors, rabbis, artists, people.
what do you want to do when you grow up?
Well, if that ever happens, i think to live well is one part. I love making art, and i really like ministering to people from the supernatural. So i think in a funny way, I’m just combining the passions of my parents. My dad as I said is a minister, and my mom’s an artist. So guess i am sort of an art minister. I really like offering a context for the artistic process, and I like helping people integrate their art and their spirituality. I’ve been doing that for a while, even helped start a community which was intentionally trying to integrate creativity and spirituality. Lately, i have also really liked big brothering or mentoring. But I think i tend to just live out as a model or way more than anything. I love that verse where David said, he had become a portent or a living symbol. I want to do that! I was born on St Patrick’s day, and I always liked how Patrick became a symbol more than anything else. He only wrote two little books, but we still tell crazy stories about his spiritual exploits. I think that’s the sort of thing I will do when I grow up! There’s this funny line in a Thomas Merton interview, where he said he always wanted to be a saint. I’m not sure i would aspire to that-i think it would make me take myself too seriously-but i would like the art of my life to resonate on the earth as a sign of hope which kept people inspired and interested in more of what is here! To live an inspiring life very close and in Him, really. I remember i had this dream where this well known prophet person was going around giving these amazing words to all the people around me, then he came to me, laughed, and just said, be in Him! So i think i will stick with that one.