God and the Muses
divine inspiration in process perspective
I have a poet friend who says that she doesn't believe in God but she believes in divine inspiration through muses. I ask her what the muses are, and she says personal experiences, friendships, and animals, especially cats. "I don't just interpret them," she says, "they take me out of myself. They inspire me."
The purpose of this page is twofold. It is (1) to show how, from a process perspective as understood by John Cobb, human beings can be inspired by the spirit of God in a literal way. The inspiration is never infallible, but it is genuine. God is one among many causal factors in every experience and sometimes this causal power can have primacy such that other power are lessened we are mostly moved by ideas visited upon us and within us by God's spirit.
The second purpose is (2) to suggest that the Greek idea of muses, rendered in process terms, can be appreciated as a recognition that women can play an especially important role in inspiration (since the nine Greek muses were all women) in otherwise male-dominated societies; and, more generally that muses, understood as means through which the living Spirit of God is at world as a source of inspiration, reveal the radically pluralized, or differentiated, sources of divine inspiration. The inspiring Spirit can be present in other people, friendships, buildings, art, personal experiences, and perhaps most the natural world.