rainn wilson and i have a chat

November 13, 2010

Last week, Rainn Wilson was gracious enough to give me a few minutes to chat with him about his new book SoulPancake and his new(ish) website by the same name.

Wilson shared that he hopes his work will be a catalyst for a movement where we all ask a few more deep questions about the meaning in our lives, and focus less on whether we like our cell phone coverage. Afterward, he was kind enough to get the giggles with me when I told him my grandmother hates Dwight Schrute.

I liked Rainn.

Some of my favorite questions:

Q: You mentioned in your book that you spent a lot of time ignoring life's bigger questions. What was the catalyst for you to start asking them again?
A: I think what forces people to kind of look at life's big questions is, you know, when they hit a brick wall or they come to a crossroads or they're miserable enough and their life isn't working. That's when people kind of go, "You know what? I need to really take another look at what's going on with me. Where am I? What am I about? What do I believe? Where am I going?" And that can lead to even bigger and bigger and bigger questions. ... I hit a point like that in my late 20s, early 30s, and that kind of got me thinking about questions of faith and philosophy again. 

Q: Your book talks a lot about exploring creativity and spirituality - how do you feel the two work together?
A: I think they're a single expression. I think it's an expression of humanity's need to transcend the material. When you are making art, when you're worshipping, even when you're just deeply and truly engaged in your life, that is all the same act. It's using the same muscles.

Q: You do a lot of humanitarian work, especially in Haiti. Does that work fit into finding the answers to life's bigger questions?
A: Absolutely. One of the things I left off that list of what we do as humans that transcend the sheer material, is to be of service in the world. I think that's an expression of worship, to help other people. I think everyone has a natural inclination not just to be selfish. We also have a dual inclination to be of service and help others and that's a spiritual act. 

Q: Your book asks a lot of questions. What are the biggest ones, for you?
A: What is the purpose of art? What does art have to do with the soul? I'm an artist, and an actor, and those are the things that interest me. 

Check out our whole interview here.
Join the SoulPancake movement here.

(image via SoulPancake).


Kelly said...

No. Way. You got to interview Rainn Wilson?!

I heart Dwight.


Shanley said...

I know - he was so different than I expected!