The true path to Creativity
An essay by Alessandra Mazzucchelli
1.1 Creativity is the question which opens
Creativity is the suspended question mark; that’s why it is difficult to define, to recognise and to study. It is opening, threshold, connection, bridge. It is the wait behind the question, it is the door towards something tinged, which is felt but not yet recognised, and still so significant for the answer itself.
When the question frets inside us, we are already out of what is known.
Indeed, the answer is already in the question.
Formulating the question is a subtle procedure: to find something capable of awakening our interest. Even if it can hardly be translated, a part of creativity consists in trying to do that. Let’s remember: we can’t want creativity, but we can be willing to open ourselves in order to encounter it.
And it is really in this encounter — exactly between question and answer — as in a suspension, that we enter the Field of Creation.
1.2 The Field of Creation
Here the criteria for evaluation are not very useful. It is better to resort to Wonder, that state in which everything enchanted us, made us remain agape when we were children. In this Field we breathe. We open ourselves to what is different, unknown, numinous, Sacred. And we do that with devotion, namely with our best attention, our best Presence.
We are allowing something to happen. We begin to feel the presence of the Present — our Creative Presence — a dimension where everything “is happening”, a free zone where sensitivity and perception make every frontier between creator and creation disappear. A foretaste of the not- being-separated, of the feeling of being one with existence, freed from codes and schemes: a state of being “absolute”, namely loose, released from the bonds of past and future.
A way that takes shape when we go along it.
1.3 The Creative Presence
With this opening — the Creative Presence — we are in a meditative state. We leave the rigid thought of the question and enter the feeling. Sometimes The Witness emerges, the element inside us which is linked to existence and observes whatever ”happening”, like a mirror. If we enter into contact with this interior centre, we will have the feeling of a Sacred Fire, and the presence of a unique and precious Guide: ourselves. And here’s the capacity of glimpsing what would pass unnoticed otherwise. Indeed, answers don’t exist before we dare imagine them ourselves.
1.4 The instinct of Creativity
The answers, as well as the questions, rise from a creative instinct which is part of the being: the instinct to free imagination in view of possibilities which have not been given yet.
Jung says: «Man is a creative being: he possesses that spark of the divine power which manifests itself in the phenomenon of creation. He has the capacity of linking phenomena between them in an original manner, in a vision that permits us to catch sight of a new world or a new perception of reality. He can venture into the world of not-yet- shapes… of symbols… »
With that question mark, suspended between question and answer, the Creative Being encounters the world of symbols. Veiled, ambiguous, elusive images, halfway between the Matter and the reign of Nothing, signs, parables which can lead us more and more further: beyond the opposites, up to the paradox.
During this journey we observe contradictions, new and old visions, opinions, and so the inquietude, which was soothed, emerges. The heart beats. The body vibrates. A feeling of precarious equilibrium asks us to walk on the tight thread. Being in this fluid state is the ability at the base of the creative emergency. The ambiguity, the intolerable tension for most people, is borne for a long time by the creative, who tries to enter into resonance with the inquietude itself, without getting irritated, without opting for an undecided solution and without escaping from the Field.
Every sign, image, symbol is an invitation to examine in depth that Field, to explore our dreams, habits, desires and ghosts, without avoiding the discomfort. It calls attention to fears which give shape to life through their impalpable existence. It knocks on our presence, and calls other images, indications, signs, analogies, coincidences, showing the way to the widening of consciousness.
The mind sets itself aside, the feeling emerges spontaneously and it can be expressed.
When the mind observes silently, creativity happens.
1.5 The small corner of Truth
The impulse to ask, to explore, to discover, arises from a Sense of Truth that all us feel to have. The discomfort, the immediate incapacity of entering into contact with symbols, just means that our sense of truth and its intuitive faculties are drowsy.
Our life is oriented according to values which lead us to identify happiness with pleasure. So we think we must shun turmoil, pain, anxiety: everything which can make questions emerge. Thus we avoid the secret half of life, without which even the other half is meaningless.
The capacity of telling things as they are is an art for which we need a great depth: it allows us to see through innocent eyes, to unmask illusions and projections, and to behave not only depending on survival, but also on the respect of truth. Our own.
1.6 The meaningless life
If no question opens to the search for a meaning, we tend to be repetitive and the free expression of ourselves closes itself gradually until getting stuck. We lack the interior spur to create. It means that we preferred not to investigate the original questions — vital, because they are stimulated by an interior need — but to take refuge in crystallized schemes-roles. So emotions, the units of meaning in the creative language, withdrew in the cold.
Setting us free from crystallization in order to deliver us to inquietude is up to creativity. A complex and creative individual palpitates and can live in the horizon of unpredictable. He never repeats himself, chasing the progressive vital impulse which searches and re-searches for the New and the Beautiful.
In order not to risk, instead, the individual who is crystallized in schemes never manages to know that
«where the danger lies, also grows that which saves» (Hölderlin)
1.7 Long live Freedom
We can reduce our difficulty in expressing ourselves by giving up schemes which don’t belong to us. It is the beginning of the creative freedom.
And in order to do that we must somehow “disobey.” With the creative act — the call of the wild — we are perforce repelled from the circle of belonging. Indeed, the arbitrariness restores a condition of freedom where we can see everything for the first time, curious about ingenious connections and resemblances between things. The courage to be different makes the Presence of everyone of us become authentic, it outlines its value, it allows us to insert ourselves into the world no more passively but actively.
1.8 The answer?
Which answer would be the right one for us? Just an existential answer, arisen from our being. Meaning belongs to mind. Indeed, sense is existence, it means finding the life itself. Our feeling of being alive comes from a spark of freedom and madness together which incites us to deal with questions that seem to have no answer to our mind. Questions which we didn’t even think to have. So there won’t be an answer anymore, but a high understanding, like a Revelation.
1.9 It is a game
Nothing better than a game can simplify the decision to undertake this journey. In a game, the aim falls. We find simplicity which is similar to intuition by its nature. Learning to observe and to flow with what stirs inside us without too much concentration and seriousness, this is the last key to overcome the real obstacles to creativity.
To know more about Alessandra click here.
Originally published at www.intuiti.it on August 26, 2015.