“All is stress, or the relief of stress, and that stress and relief is located between existing differences.”
Bill Mollison

Permaculture: A Designers' Manual

Enlightment? What Next?

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“The secret is not in what you do to yourself but rather in what you don’t do.”
(Don Juan through Carlos Castaneda from “Journey to Ixtlan”)

“Intelectuals are people who study things that other people do naturally.”
(Bill Cosby)

I recently subscribed to two magazines – hoping to widen the bridge between my life and the world around me. I also recently received a first issue from both subscriptions. I have found both to be uninteresting and uninspiring. Both times I was hoping to find inspiration and heart, both times I encountered static patterns. I was bored and disappointed. We think we are so smart…

One of the magazines is ‘What is Enlightment?’. Since I have subscribed to it I have been receiving all kinds of email communications from the publishing organization which, as you can guess, is about ‘spirituality’ and ‘enlightment’. I read the first ones, the rest have been piling up in my inbox. After reading one of the articles, I sat down at my computer, opened my inbox with an intention of unsubscribing from the notification service. Before doing so I opened one of them and in it I found a link that led me to a recording of a weekly conference call held by the organization – this one was about creativity.

I listened to the one hour recording and made some notes of things that were said and thoughts that came to me. Initially I thought to try and put them together into a coherent peace. That thought has come and gone. Following is a list of the things I listed:

  • Creativity is something to do and not to talk about… at most I can talk about my experience of creativity.
  • Chris said that the word creativity did not exist until recent history and that only recently has it been “brought into consciousness”. I got the feeling that Chris thinks that’s a good thing. Maybe there was a good reason for not having a word for it? If it exists outside the realm of thought, then maybe trying to reel it in is  not good?
  • Art was once in everyday life and not in an academy o museum. Art was a good plough – one that would cut through the dirt with ease and would last for many years.
  • Chris quotes Einstein as saying “hide your sources [of creative ideas]”. Good advice I think! If so, then maybe talking about “being conscious” of them (though the words are sophisticated and elusive) is going against that advice?
  • Kyrsten talked about art as “trying to express something”. For me creativity is a place of refuge from having to express anything. As a photographer, I feel that the best images appear when I m capable of not interfering with…
  • I have a feeling that you cannot really have a meaningful conversation (ie. conference call) about creativity  – because most creatives either have lttle to no interest in talking about it or have no idea what it is you are talking about… so this is kind of dead end exploration. It is intelectuals talking about creativity.
  • Yet talking about creativity indicates a thirst and interest for it – which means you are on the way. Once you get there you stop talking… creating is much more interesting.
  • Where do new ideas come from?  “my elbow falls on the keyboard and a new melody appears”, “not knowing what’s going to come out of it”, “explosive … what comes out of the voide… what manifests”
  • What the hell is evolutionary creative impulse? Who is conceited enough to even pretend to coin such a term?
  • Are you looking for people to create with or are you looking for a context in which you can create? I find that day-to-day life doesn’t facilitate creativity, I look to enter a space where creativity is possible – this can be with people – but not necessarily.
  • To Chris I would like to say that consciousness of creativity is not progress… it is stagnancy on a good day.
  • How can a conversation about creativity go on without anybody talking about inspiration? Inspiration can be such a powerful for of transmission… too much attention going to the mind, where is the heart?
  • Kyrsten – did you notice that when you felt that formal education choked your creativity – you chose to go and do street art… you didn’t go “higher up in the mind” but lower down “in the body”.
  • Shahar often talks about conscious intent and unconscious motivation – I feel he is in on a big secret : )
  • Creativity lies after conscious exploration… you need to know when to stop and let go

After listening I did some more exploration into EnlightenNext. I came across this – A History of Evolutionary Spirituality – all formally educated intelectuals/philosophers. Again I ask, where is heart? where is inspiration? Cant’ we see hwo captivated we are by the idea of how smart we are?

Robert Pirsig did some amazing spiritually inquiry – quite a long time ago. Go & do some reading. He was on to something (here is part of what I picked up). It is talking about spirituality and creativity that originally placed a blinding veil onto western culture. Talking about it some more just makes the darkness darker.

The very use of the word creativity diminishes that which it attempts to describe. The very use of the word enlightment blinds us from recognizing that which we already are.

These words,with the objectionable energy they contain, are offered in caring kindness.

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