Great Art and Great Dharma

"The artist’s dilemma and the meditator’s are, in a deep sense, equivalent.
Both are repeatedly willing to confront an unknown and to risk a response
that they cannot predict 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 illuminate 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
give rise to something that has never quite been imagined before. Artist and
meditator alike ultimately aspire to an original act."

–Stephen Batchelor, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Vol. IV, #2

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