This week I want to share a fascinating story that I came across recently while I was doing some online research for my upcoming historical fiction novel, Children of the Ocean God. I was in fact scouring the web for a Latin translation of “Cry of liberty” (which is the title of the second part of the book). Somehow in the course of my research I stumbled upon a website which told a story about a Latin expression that I have till now never heard before – Soli Deo Gloria. It literally means “To God Alone the Glory!” or alternatively “Glory to God alone!“
What fascinates me the most about this Latin expression, beyond its obvious religious meaning, is it’s historical significance to artists. Soli Deo Gloria has been used by the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, among others, to signify that their work was produced for the sake of praising God. In essence S.D.G. (as it is often abbreviated) is a declaration that creative expression is deeply rooted in spirituality. That is, it is a manifestion of God (or if you prefer, the universal higher consciousness) that dwells within us. By using this term one acknowledges that creativity stems not from an individual alone, but rather from God acting through an individual, who serves as a vessel.
For me this is a beautiful realization. It is a profound reminder that art is the highest form of expression of the human spirit, since it literally brings us in commune with God. I firmly believe that this is part of the reason why beauty (in art and other spheres of human experience) is universally appreciated in all human civilizations. Somehow we all recognise and value the god-like perfection that is embodied by beauty. Moreover, I feel myself repeatedly tapping into this rich vein of creative energy as I bring Children of the God closer to fruition. As a small gesture in recognition of this fact I intend to include the letters S.D.G. at the end of this book, as well as the others I will write in the future!
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