28. Creativity Part 2 – Child’s Play
Last week I was asking, “What is your experience of the creative state?” and explained that “It seems to me that … I become a co-creator with something way bigger than myself.” It was very true for the poems that came through me in a rush at all hours of the day and night way back in 1990, and for the manuscript for my book that just came out on the page in response to my big life upheaval when my marriage ended. It was not a blow-by-blow plot of actual events that had occurred, but rather a kind of parable, which helped me put into context all that had happened. This parable became my book Good Choice – A Soul’s Story.
Many people are beginning to resonate with my book, and it warms my heart to know that we have insights in common. But when they congratulate me on the writing or the way it’s structured, I can’t find a response to that. “Thank you?” doesn’t quite seem right. It’s as if they are congratulating me on a dream I’ve recounted to them, and, well, I can’t really say ‘thank you’ to that, can I? It just came through me, out of the subconscious, or perhaps from what Jung calls the ‘collective unconscious’.
“Higher Creativity – Liberating the Unconscious for Breakthrough Insights” – by Willis Harman & Howard Rheingold has so much wonderful material that it’s hard to summarize, but here are a couple of favourite quotes: “Many of the greatest scientific insights, discoveries and revolutionary inventions appeared first to their creators in the form of fantasies, dreams, trances, lightning flash insights, and other non-ordinary states of consciousness.” The authors quote John C. Gowan, and I paraphrase it here:- “If we learn to domesticate creativity—that is, to enhance rather than deny it in our culture—……. and I am convinced it will occur early in the 21st century … then the society we save will be our own.”
Diane Ackerman has written a most glorious book “One Hundred Names for Love”, about her husband’s stroke, their marriage and the language of healing. There is a beautiful chapter where she’s talking about his creativity being intact: “Creativity is an intellectual adventure into those jungles where the jaguars of sweet laughter croon, with a willingness to double back, ignore fences, or switch directions at the drop of a coconut.”
I particularly agree with this part: “… It’s child’s play. Literally. Not a gift given to an elect few, but a widespread, natural, human way of knowing the world … As neuroscientist Floyd Bloom observes: ‘Schools place an overwhelming emphasis on teaching children to solve problems correctly, not creatively. This skewed system dominates our first twenty years of life … failure to train creative functions allows those neural connections to wither.”
I know that, in connecting with their creativity, artists of all kinds become a kind of pipeline for something beyond the rational mind. As dancer Frances Rings recently said, “In a Bangarra work, there are many layers and subtexts going on. But ultimately, the audience will take what they need. That’s what art is supposed to do. So we just channel that. We are the conduits.” (The Age Sunday Life)
Artists and songwriters have always been in touch with eternal wisdom. There’s nothing new under the sun, just fresh interpretations of some kind of truth, filtered through individual’s experience relevant to their time. Think of the wonderful movie ‘Into The Woods’ – talk about archetypes relevant to our times! And what about ‘Frozen’ ?! And Happy Feet ! And Inside Out!
Or my creativity simply makes something beautiful.
“I died for beauty, but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb, When one who died for truth was lain In an adjoining room. He questioned softly why I failed? ‘For beauty,’ I replied. ‘And I for truth, – the two are one, We brethren are,’ he said. (Emily Dickinson)
And don’t get me started on the explosion of creativity at menopause! as evidenced by this photo of @suewoolnoughart. Stay tuned …