Tag Archives: artists

Artists & “the god within them” (Le Guin)

To be an atheist is to maintain God.  His existence or his nonexistence, it amounts to much the same, on the plane of proof.

The Left Hand of Darkness, newer printingThis is a quote from The Left Hand of Darkness, a book by Ursula K. Le Guin.  It is one of many profound statements in this book.  We can rely on Le Guin to take us to a new and different place than most sci-fi writers.  She has stated several times in introductions that she is an atheist but that she often speaks of God.  Mostly god with a small g though, like when she said in the introduction to this book that artists feel “the god within them” using their hands, when they are inspired.

I like the idea of the god within us.  I’ve always thought that atheists can still pray, they can pray to themselves.  To some extent, that might even be what believers are doing when they pray.

“The god within us” is a metaphor for tapping into our higher selves, the power we have inside.

As an artist I have felt the “god” working through my hands.  You could call it “flow”, or being in the zone, where your focus is handed over singularly to one project, or one goal.  Time has little meaning, except to return you to your goal, your project.  I remember thinking “I’m really onto something here” but it was more than that.  When you’re in the zone, you don’t over think things, at least I didn’t, but you have a direction.  Your hands know exactly what to do.  All you want is to be allowed to continue in that direction.  I will even go so far as to say that I had “faith” of some sort, in my ability, or that I was being true to myself, or in something else that cannot be described.

That flow will happen again for me, “god” willing.

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