For years I've sensed that there are hidden parallels between creativity and the spiritual life. And by "the spiritual life" I mean the essence of what it is to be human. Bernard Iddings Bell, the former President of Bard College in New York, suggested that "to be artist and lover, that is the true goal, the only adequate objective, the divinely-destined end of man."
During the '80s, while serving as a talent scout, executive producer and indie record label founder in Los Angeles, I had the great good fortune to work with a group of artists and producers who were as literate as they were talented. T Bone Burnett, Sam Phillips, Tonio K., Mark Heard, Tom Howard, Tim Chandler, Derri Daugherty, Steve Hindalong and Chris Willman, among others, taught me to read, and to our circle were added Nicolas Berdyaev, Simone Weil, Vincent van Gogh, Henry Miller, H. L. Mencken, James Thurber, Albert Camus, and a host of authors, painters and recording artists who lived and worked at the intersection of art, commerce and spirituality.
One of my goals during this season of my life is to develop what, for lack of a better term, I call a "Rock 'n' Roll Theological Aesthetic." I'm not concerned with religious art, per se, but creative work of such originality and excellence that it serves as a bridge, or "metaxu", between this world and the next. Jim Morrison urged us to "break on through to the other side," and Van Morrison invited us Into the Mystic in his song of the same name,
"I wanna rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float
Into the mystic."
This blog, INTO THE MYSTIC, is an ever-expanding collection of philosophic musings paired with classic Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz and Americana photography from the good folks at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, who would gladly sell you high quality prints of these images.
Since taking the above advice from Mr. Bell as my summum bonum, I awake each morning hoping to experience something or create something of consequence, and in so doing love my Maker, my wife, my friends, and the world.
Please subscribe, or request the newsletter.
INTO THE MYSTIC