You ask about the subtitle of MONK – an IMAGINARIUM. How did that arise? In a dream, strangely – I woke up, had to look it up – it just offered itself, perhaps the subconscious – I took it gratefully – it’s a good word, evokes mystery and the mystical, from and of the imagination – and MONK is, if nothing else, an exploration of the imagination. How does that relate to consciousness, our spiritual practice, our creative process, our imagined world, our inner world? … IMAGINARIUM is elastic as a word, captures an active process. It suited MONK.
I suppose you could say mysticism tends to arise in the world when organised religion becomes frozen … when spiritual experience freezes and we need to make an attempt to reconnect. So too an IMAGINARIUM as I have understood it can seek to reconnect art to the spirit and the spiritual, or rather – and I need to be careful how I say this, they are just words, after all – it can throw light on art in its active reconnecting to spirit, which I see as part of what is generally called the paradigm-shift going round this precious planet of ours. MONK can give the process a narrative. MONK is a narrative like that. There’s no dogma attached to it. It is not programmatic. MONK merely seeks to reflect the stages of spiritual narrative, the many narratives.
You ask me what is the common factor in the narratives. The common factor is God, of course, though that’s a dangerous word these days. People prefer to talk about consciousness or phenomenology or the numinous or the universe: a name for an experience and a relationship. But oddly enough, MONK is all about God (or god or the gods, if you will), as manifested through beauty as it is created by souls-in-bodies making art. The theology of creativity. You can rebrand God in a dozen different ways but he’s still GOD. Acting, being, loving, forgiving. Creating.
In future MONKS we hope to give the issues more form, to have themes – an India issue, an Australia issue, an Orthodox issue – a tree issue – I might even do a cat issue* – at least an animal issue. Now that would be interesting.
*Reference to the Editor’s beloved pussycat, Chief Whip at MONK and a reincarnation of her childhood cat, Tabitha. Probably.
As told to Corinna Ferros
May 2019 MONK
3 thoughts on “SOPHIE LÉVY BURTON Soul Sister”
As a jungian therapist, I couldn’t have put the journey of the creative process better
The paintings are gorgeous. What is the medium/media?
.. I can’t identify which voice is whose.
Which of you did the paintings?
Thanks Betti! These are paintings by Sophie Lévy Burton, mixed media, mostly watercolour, pastels and liquid metal paint. She’s being interviewed by Corinna Ferros, written up as a single narrative. So glad you like them!