The creative processes of making art in and from nature have influenced my ethics. I now view nature as another way to connect with God. After all, He did take the time to create it, so I figure I at least owe Him getting outside more and appreciating it, as opposed to being even more severed from it through manmade technology. I believe that nature was designed for man to take care of and cultivate, not to be destroyed and further pushed aside. In western culture, people and nations that live directly in nature, as opposed buildings like we do, are thought of as “uncivilized.” Well, I think that western culture has the most ungodly people ever. I think this just from seeing people’s reactions from the state of the United States economy and watching the stock market comes near crashing yet again. Also, seeing in the headlines people practically “selling their souls” and having no sense of integrity all for money tells me that people in western society put their faith in money. If we were to be in a society of barter and trade, and lived very simply, none of that would be an issue.
In the Bible, the Garden of Eden was not ready until God created Adam and Eve to live there. Moreover, the servant of God who prepared the way for Jesus, John the Baptist, lived in the wilderness and ate locusts and honey. Most Buddhist monks go away to live in monasteries that are right in the middle of nature. In Buddhism, the world is in four parts: existentially, morally, cosmologically, and ontologically (http://fore.research.yale.edu/religion/index.html). Existentially, Buddhism teaches that all sentient beings share in suffering as well as its cause and cessation (James, p. 62). According to Buddhism, a person should alleviate suffering and develop empathy for all creatures (James, p. 79). Buddhists have the concepts of karma, rebirth, and Nirvana. Karma and rebirth is what connects all sentient beings and humans because it is the continuous cycle until they reach Nirvana. As evident through a story similar to the Garden of Eden in the Pali canon, Buddhists believe that the human environmental impact is a direct result or human morality, and therefore humans have the greatest responsibility in taking care of nature (http://fore.research.yale.edu/religion/index.html). Finally, Buddha is always portrayed in nature and under the tree of enlightenment, and today’s Buddhists point out that trees are always present in the major events of his life. This is the reason why many Buddhists create their religious institutions in remote areas in the forests. I believe that I am missing out on a lot of experiences from God just from being so out of touch with nature. Furthermore, I think that nature and every type of life has an intrinsic value (James, p. 83). If God took the time to create something, living or not, I think is has a purpose in and of itself, regardless if it can serve me, humans, or anything else. I think that something’s presence determines whether or not it is worth something, not what its capabilities of serving something else. If anything, I think everything is serving God, or otherwise He would have not created it.
The creative processes of making art in and from nature define my outlook on life and on art. I think that all life should be respected because it is, in fact, life. Some people are constantly concerned about the “quality” of life, but I think life itself is enough. With all the people and beings that are currently fighting for life, how can I not think there is something to be had in life itself if so many creatures are fighting just to live? I have more appreciation for at that has been created in and from nature as well.
Additionally, I believe that nature and the whole cosmos and universe is the original artwork created by God. So in essence, we as humans are borrowing what Our Creator has made to make our own artwork. I believe that my inner beauty, my soul’s expression, and my spirit’s mirror can be seen in my artwork. Art gives me the opportunity to have a connection with God: creativity. I believe I, a human, am a piece of art because God thought about how he wants my eyes, nose, mouth, hair, and the rest of features to look. When I create a piece of art I think about how do I want something to look, what emotion am I trying to convey, what style I want to use, and the reaction I want viewers to have to my artwork. I also think of the purpose for it. I believe that God has a purpose for me, and every artwork that I create is made purposefully. Therefore I believe art is anything that has some sort of higher level thinking, logic, or thought process behind it. I also think that God was the first sculptor because according to the Judeo-Christian Bible Adam was made from the clay in the earth. Depending on the artwork, I have felt connected to God while creating a work of art. I think that I would like to go out and nature, and create a persona piece of art for myself as opposed to using manmade materials while working inside of a studio. By the end of the course, this class not only revealed to me how removed I am from nature, but it also showed me where I want to be in terms of my relationship to nature.