From Imitating to Originating
The Tao’s principle is spontaneity.
The decisive step for you to take on your way to a first-hand life is the one from imitating to originating. In authoring your life, you learn the basics of creating your own life and of gradually letting behind patterns of imitation that you may have carried over from your earliest days.
The world has known only a few independent thinkers. Yet, the reasons most psychologists cite for this fact are wrong. It is not that human nature is prone to imitation and that it lacks creativeness; the culprit is the worldwide plague of social, moral and religious conditioning that brings about standardized norms and behavior patterns, and social systems that are static and rigid. Here is the root of the problem.
Most of us take for granted that the human lot has to be molded into a residual norm where all parameters are following the Cartesian paradigm of linear logic. They are alienated enough from the logic of life to believe in such a grotesque myth! The human being is a free creature that doesn’t comply with any norm other than its own. Great thinkers and sages such as Lao-tzu have unveiled draconic and rigid systems as pure hypocrisy.
How to undo conditioning and unleash our original creativeness?
This is an intricate question. Much has been written about creativity development. From my experience with self-development, I can say that without developing yourself and complete your individuation, you cannot really develop your highest creativity potential. Of course, my view may sound queer in the ears of those who wait for quick fixes and who believe in what Edward de Bono called the removal techniques.
These techniques claim it was enough to remove some inner barriers for a person’s original creativeness to bloom up.
Edward de Bono has found in many years of creativity training that these techniques are ineffective. It is simply not enough to remove some obstacles so as to trigger in us our highest creative potential. Creativity is not a mechanical device that can be turned on and off. It is an outflow of the whole of the personality, a vibrational effect of the flowing together of the spiritual, the mental and the emotional luminous bodies or auras. This healthy energy flow will be triggered once the self is integrated and can be contacted in a state of relaxation or meditation.
My guides are designed to contribute to further the evolution of consciousness. They are not motivated by organized religion, and they proceed in a deliberate and systematic way to help you get in touch with your highest potential, the source of wisdom within. As your Tao is unique, I can only offer you some basic technologies, while you have to walk your path by yourself. I am not a guru. Your own self is your unique and truly trustworthy guide and guru! The voice you hear from me, the message that is given to you actually comes from your own self. Otherwise you would not have encountered my teaching.
In our daily life we can learn step by step to become more original, more daring and less imitating. I mean that we can work on two levels, an inside level which is what I am going to discuss more in detail further on and what I have explained in Author Your Life, above, and an outside level which is your immediate behavior in the outside world. You can change this behavior here and now! It is really important to me to make sure you understand this not as a nice philosophical treatise but as a guide with high practical value. Philosophy that cannot be directly applied in life is not philosophy, but speculation!
A high percentage of what is today called philosophy, be it in books or on the Internet, is exactly that — speculation. I would not write, I would not draft concepts for self-empowerment, and I would not continue my coaching work if it had no practical value, if people could not really use it daily for their growth, for their prosperity and happiness.
My practice of Taoism and Zen taught me that the slightest gesture counts and that we cannot grow in wisdom by just reading and digesting opinions, discussing views, without integrating what we have learnt. That is why the second step is as important as the first! The second step is how we behave in our daily relationships, the one with our self, the one with other humans, and the relationships with animals, with plants, with the earth and the universe.
These five forms of relationship are actually only manifestations of one single relation: the relation with yourself — with your self. The way you relate to the you in you, you relate to others. There is no difference between inside and outside relations.
Why Attitude Counts
Originating new forms of behavior means to build a different relation with yourself first. But this first is not meant as a time factor! I do not want to say that you have to first work on the inside level and wait what happens, and that only later, once you have done the changes inside, you are going to work on the outside level. It does not work in a sequential way. The changes have to be made simultaneously on the inside and the outside levels!
This is why your attitude counts! The way you present yourself to the world is not something involuntary or hazardous. It is not completely voluntary either. The more our individual consciousness is developed, the more we are able to display a consistent attitude, an attitude that is positive and that brings us compliments and rewards on our way to successfully realizing ourselves.
Communicating these guidelines to you and not caring about your attitude would be only half of the work. Your attitude mirrors your inner orientation. To neglect attitude would mean to work only in the shadow. Shadow work surely is important and it is perhaps a good way to begin with, but it must soon be accompanied by the development of a conscious outer attitude.
In Zen, all this is done. Zen teaches us that mere theory or high morality is of little or no value if it is not accompanied by actions that incarnate it. The inner rectitude cannot be achieved by mere learning intellectual concepts of ‘goodness’, ‘moral standing’ or ‘righteousness.’ All these words are but thought concepts as long as they are not rooted in our attitude. This is why attitude training is so important — and also why it is time-consuming and not a matter of quick fixes.
Attitude building requires commitment first of all, but also a psychological understanding of the human nature — and finally patience. A lot of patience. Many people have high opinions and when you talk with them, they are able to say nice things about others and the world. They think of themselves as highly educated and considerate, yet when meeting a beggar or a sick child, they turn away quickly. I have seen this many times in my life. I do not care what people think and even less what they value or depreciate. I just watch how they act. And I guess that you do the same, that we all do the same — more or less consciously.
Switching from imitating which is often the result of the fear to be different to a new and original way of life is not easy. It requires courage and the will to succeed on one’s own — and not as a follower of a group, or of the majority, the herd, or a guru. It requires a strong sense of individuality, and it cannot be achieved without individuation.
Where New Ideas Originate From
One or the other of you may think that ideas are pure chance or that some people just get many ideas whereas others are dry like the desert sand when new ideas or inventions are called upon. Some may have more natural talent to be creators than others, but basically we are all equal in the ability to learn the techniques that bring about new ideas.
However we trigger the subtle mechanism of creativity, there is something of the unknown involved in it, something that has to do with chaos, with Freedom from the Known, to paraphrase Krishnamurti, with serendipity, with synchronicity in play. It is obvious that the new cannot come from the old, that the unknown will not flow out from the known, that the new and original will not be a clone of the established. However, many of us disregard this simple truth and wonder why they cannot find new solutions by thinking about old problems!
Thought is always in the past and can only operate from a limited perspective. Einstein said that a problem can never be solved on the same level it was created. New ideas come from a realm beyond thought, beyond experience and beyond expectations.
Original creators, among them Leonardo da Vinci, or Thomas Edison, generally believe that genius is a not a special benediction, but something as normal as eating and sleeping.
Creators are simply free to be themselves, all the time, which is why their human potential is fully complete, not residual as it is with most people because they do not live their own lives. I am convinced that everybody is a genius in the sense that we all receive great ideas once in a while, often in dreams or intuitions while we are in the bathroom or taking a rest. The problem is that most of us simply disregard these valuable, precious intuitions by
- belittling them;
- making them down as nonsense;
- calling them fantasy or imagination;
- denying their reality;
- considering them as childish;
- considering them inspirations of evil.
The first step in Life Authoring is to take serious the perhaps confusing messages from inside. Doing this will open your mind to another dimension or dimensions, to a deeper and more holistic vision of living. The old sages knew details about the fantastic interactive nature of life, its paradoxical complexity in simplicity and the possible ways to interact with life in a way to create in much the same way as nature creates. This is a learning process, an extended and multi-faceted one, and generally one that takes many years or even decades of diligent work.
Life Authoring can be a beginning for this larger perspective of learning that you may want to design for your life. But you can as well remain with the material that is presented here, and move on in more practical and less philosophical ways — for example in your school, business or career. This is completely up to you and there is no value judgment at all connected to this process.
Our individual development is unique and there is always a reason why one wants to develop this and another that other talent or potential. And there is no area in life that is better or higher than another.
I equally deny the distinction between ordinary life and spiritual life that many people today tend to emphasize. This is an artificial distinction and one that is tautological. Life is all of that — and more! The unique thing about life is its variety and its unending change. To divide life into different sections alters the subtle magic that is inherent in holistic living into a set of rigid behavior patterns — the typical way modern man is living. You cannot be productive in new ideas and original ways of doing things and of realizing yourself if you cut off this deep magic of life, if you rationalize it away, if you raze off the roots that emerge every day from the seeds that your potential has planted. Another reason why creative energy is stuck is attachment to —
- the past;
- other people;
- the family;
- the partner or children;
- the parents;
- the nation or your country.
All these attachments consume vital energy, and creativity is but that: energy. How to dissolve these attachments; how to empty you from this garbage? It is difficult if not impossible to do that in a day. I needed about fifteen years. Meditation greatly helps in this process. This is so because thought has a natural or physiological tendency to attach to its content.
Thought cannot by itself leave the boundaries of its content. It is confined within the limits of the past, the vécu, the remembrance of what has been lived — and what is thus dead. This is not a negative or fatalistic opinion, but a fact. Thought cannot master thought.
There must be some kind of higher authority that can direct and renew thought. This authority does indeed exist. It is the self. The self is not bound by thought since it is not bound by time and space.
The self is not the accumulation of experience; it is not thought, it is not the remembrance of past hurt and pleasure, neither is it originating from this life nor from past lives. The self or higher self is beyond life and death. It is not the transformed but the transformer, not the learner but the teacher, not the actor but the director. Some people, when I get into this subject, ask me if my vision of the self is what in Hindu philosophy is called atman.
The answer is that there is no answer. I have not really gone into this. It is of no importance how you call it. I can confirm that your intuition is correct in that there is in fact some parallel and that indeed, generally speaking, most Eastern religious concepts bear some striking logic that one misses in other religious teachings. Yet, my knowledge of the higher self is not derived from tradition, but more from the teachings of the most non-traditional sages, first of all Maharshi and Krishnamurti, and also from Western sources, theosophical teachings, and, I do not hide it, from channeled sources. And yes, I almost forgot, Edgar Cayce’s teaching also had a strong impact upon me.
I explained it once to a friend who asked me to clarify this question for her:
‘Concepts are vessels and carry messages. They are themselves not the messages! I do not offer a vessel since the vessel is provided by your own inner guide. From a certain level of spiritual development, we do not need vessels any more. This is when we can directly receive the messages. I have rejected the vessels since my childhood which enabled me to advance more quickly on direct perception which I am now teaching, joining a tradition that was practiced several thousand years ago and then destroyed by moralistic thinking (which has got us where we are now: bare of any true and valid life-philosophy that understands life instead of judging it).’
The self is not the ego, but a higher, eternal energy code or pattern that is distinct and individuated, but that flows within the ocean of the primordial cosmic energy so that there is living exchange between all beings.
Most Western people call it the soul. The self contains all the wisdom of the universe; it is the individuated aspect of the divine soul. I do not know if ‘self’ and ‘soul’ are identical or separated but I would say that this distinction is of a mere theoretical value. The higher self or inner guide is our source of wisdom, creativity and prosperity. The ego or shell can touch it once it is connected. However, we need no –ism to understand, to directly perceive truth. It is not important if atman, as a concept, is valid or not. It is only important what is true for you. We can only grow on what we can hold true! And the rest we have to reject, or we can accept it as something that has a certain probability of truth but that is not of direct relevance for us.
To awaken creative thinking and get out of our established concepts, there is no other way than going beyond thought and language. Once you touch your self, by being yourself, you are no more reasoning in terms of concepts and patterns that are made from past experience, but patterns that are universal. New ideas namely come from the realm that hosts this immense reservoir of universal patterns. In order to incarnate these universal patterns, we must mold them into our spacetime reality. We do this constantly, however most often without being aware of it.
When man created the wheel for the first time, they incarnated the universal pattern wheel into our space-time continuum. This pattern already long before formed part of the universal pattern library. By receiving an inspiration that did not come from thought, man was able to improve life on earth. With every new invention it proceeds alike. Practicing direct perception greatly enhances our chances to grasp bits of the essential patterns life is made of.
In the following, we will see what it means to nurture a creative mind and how to foster and maintain abundant creativeness beyond this little work book.
How to Nurture a Creative Mind
A creative mind is the essential divide between an original person and an imitative one. A creative mind is not afraid to be different and to do things differently. It is to the contrary focused upon the unusual, the unexpected, the unpredictable, and the miraculous.
For a truly creative person, nothing is impossible in a strict sense, and life becomes something like a precious thunder box where new marvels happen at every moment. A creative mind also is a childlike spirit, a beginner’s mind as it is called in Zen.
How to nurture and maintain such a mindset? It is not an easy task, especially for those of you who until now only imitated others. Yet it is achievable. I myself went through a childhood totally devoid of support for my very bold and premature creativity. In the contrary, I had to fight for it and against all opposing forces until I could eventually realize it, about thirty years later.
My personal story may signal that it is essential to clear the mind from the old garbage that accumulates through passively absorbing the opinions of others and the immense amounts of gossip that is spread around the world by a mediocre, mass-oriented and for the most part utterly stupid media world!
Most people live alienated from their continuum, their inner world. This is an incredible waste of their lifetime. We are here to live our own lives and not washed down versions of other people’s lives or some form of collective living standard that is imposed on us by a rapaciously greedy consumer culture that we silently accept and conform with.
How to effect that clearing process that liberates us from the known and prepares us to receive the unknown? There are methods that will help you refresh your mind and clear it from all that does not belong to yourself. I will elucidate, then, the clearing techniques I have come across.
Write Your Story
Write your story in one chapter. Sit down and spit it out, and do not give up until it’s done; if it takes one page or one thousand, this is entirely up to you and to your inspiration. You may begin innocently and think that you will have done it in three days and it may take you one month. Or you may think that this is so difficult a task that it will take you one year, and later you do it in one week. All is possible, but there is no excuse valid enough for not doing it. Writing our life story is one of the most effective ways to get rid of repetitive thought patterns relating to the past.
This is not an easy task because most people think they have no gift for writing. However, you don’t need any writing skills. There will be no judge and certainly nobody asking you to publish your scribbles. There are some important points to observe for carrying out this task:
- Do not judge yourself!
- Do not show it to others before it is ready!
- Do not require from yourself to be a good writer!
- Do not give up while half way through!
In my own experience with writing my life story, I can say it’s really a primordial means to trigger creativity. The liberating effect that goes along with simply writing down one’s story is almost unbelievable. Try it! I would go as far as saying that your whole metabolism will change and even the cells in your body will reflect the fundamental change that will happen on all levels of your mindbody. One of the direct effects will be that your emotional flow will be enhanced and you will feel more alive than ever before!
When I mention the word meditation in my corporate training seminars, I always get more or less intelligent questions.
There are so many misconceptions about meditation in today’s culture. The meditation I am talking about does not need any specific technique. It is rather a state of non-action, of quietly sitting down for a time-span that is entirely up to you. Most Westerners perceive doing nothing as some sort of punishment! I do not exclude myself. It was for me extremely difficult to get out of the rails of the have-to and should-do and ought-to, and just let go and accept life as it is — which of course means to accept ourselves! Meditation is an activity that teaches us acceptance and moving with the flow of life. It is not an exercise, something rigid, something like an obligation. If you do it that way, you certainly do something, but what you are doing is different from meditation.
The problem with meditation is that many people have preconceived knowledge about it and may even have tried it out, but since they have not seen results they think that it does not work or that it is silly. If you are tense or you have problems that tear you up emotionally, do not try!
Learning meditation is very difficult if you do it in a state of inner conflict. In order to see results, and that is what motivates us to continue, we need to learn in a state of mental and emotional peace.
This is the reason why schools that teach and practice meditation are often in the mountains or at remote places. However, this is not a guarantee either! If you bring your emotional turmoil with you to the highest mountain, the mountain as such cannot help you to get rid of it.
You, only you, can do something about it! What the mountain can do is trigger in you a slightly shifted perspective of yourself and the world. If you take this perspective really serious and are ready to go from there, it will help you to entirely shift your inner mind and to get clarity about your truth.
Note Your Dreams
Writing down your dreams every morning helps in many ways. To be in touch with your inner mind, the content of our hidden consciousness is an important aid in self-development. Furthermore, it helps you maintain emotional balance even in times of great personal or collective turmoil. But there is another thing about dreams that is less popular and less known to most people. Writing down our dreams every day enhances creativity since it is the primary pathway to creative writing. I have found this as a result of my own experience. Some years ago, I experienced an explosion of creativity while engaging in a hypnotherapy during which I had to write a lot.
First I wrote down all my dreams every morning and this took sometimes pages and pages since my dreams were rich and long like movies. Then I had to write reports about my therapy sessions, a task that I took very serious. And while the therapy ended, and with it the session reports, the dreaming continued. And I kept maintaining my dream journal. The result was that my high inspiration for creative writing continued to blossom for years without end.
The difficulty in writing down dreams is that there are many things in dreams that are very hard to put in words. This is the best school for becoming a writer, Besides that, this exercise helps you to awaken your creative mind. Of course, it is sometimes hard work. But creativity is only in part inspiration. A good part of it is hard work, believe it or not!
The Adventure of Solitude
For most of us it is gruesome to be alone, to have nobody to share our free time with. It is today a rather unusual idea to pass essential periods of time, such as leisure, holidays, and weekends without company. I go as far as saying that most of us are addicted to some kind of company, be it a partner, be it a group or be it media entertainment as an ersatz of all that. What are the deeper reasons of our need of company for enjoying life? Why do we invite people when we want to give a party?
Ever thought to give a party for you — and only for you? Perhaps you find that idea crazy but once you have done it, you will probably change your mind.
Some of you have reached a point to avoid others because of previous bad experiences, and they turn to animals, to pets. They need the company of pets as they formerly needed the company of other humans. They still are in need to be comforted.
There are two kinds of company, the one that is genuine and based upon mutual sharing and the one that is false and based upon dependency. The first type of relationship is fulfilling and rewarding in the long run; the second kind of relationship is exhausting and destructive in the long run. The first augments the exchange of vital energies, the second diminishes or obstructs the exchange of energies, and in extreme cases it can leave you exhausted when the relationship is finally broken off!
To be social does not mean to seek company at any price; it means to choose and to discriminate as to who are to be or become your real partners, friends and associates and then relate to them according to this choice. It does not mean to use others as gap fillers for your many hours of loneliness.
The fact that you cannot be alone without getting into anxiety and depression is pathological. It is not normal. The fact is only that it is so common in our society that it is perversely considered as normal by the majority. I call this a group perversion and in addition one that has been more or less created by consumerist society that wants and needs people to be just like that. People with a high level of anxiety and dependency can easily be manipulated into buying this and that. I would even go as far as saying that consumerist society in the form it is today would quickly run out of essential fuel and striking power if people really grasped this mechanism and based their lives on true values and true relationships.
The whole fake-system would crash like a card house. However, it is still maintained through those blind hens, the majority namely that live second-hand lives and have second-hand relationships because they have a second-hand identity.
Don’t be surprised that all boils down to the question of identity. That may bother or even annoy you, but it’s as it is. I have researched many years into this complex network of problems that are all inter-related and found that they all flow out from a false identity.
People with a genuine identity do not have these problems, they do not get sucked empty in co-dependent vampirism, they do not need heroin injections or perverse wars, genocide and crusades, or domestic violence, and they are not afraid to be alone. In the contrary, they are alone very much and this with a certain logic: in a society based on fake-values, those who represent true values are forcibly isolated and considered as strange, marginal or arrogant. All our great creators, artists, stars, scientists and geniuses are the most lonely people you find on this globe! Don’t get blinded by the glitter that surrounds them. The glitter is but the façade made up by the media and it is as false as those media are. Ask some of the stars or geniuses you worship, and write to them, and you will see for yourself!
All things that are true and vital in my life are the result of my own fight; society, family and environment constantly tried to bog me down and get me away from what is good and true for me and made down all the artistic and religious values I cherished. They constantly tried to reduce me to a consumer-robot. It was only through my constant struggle and input that I have built some things of value today, after more than forty years of contemptuous resistance. As a consequence of my choice to go my own way, I have been isolated in the strangest ways and had to get familiar with the most atrocious forms of solitude there is within this perverted rot of humanity today. But I got to love my own company beyond all, and found the true value of identity after having shed many tears.
I do not regret at all to have walked this path of suffering. There is so much beauty in it, once you get in touch with your inner creator, the creative force in us that cares with incredible love! If I had not done that, and persistently, I would be dead already, dead as most people are dead in this fake-world, while they are running around and think they live. But truly, they are dead. I am alive because one day I died to their fake-world by dropping out of it and was from that moment dead for them. But most alive for myself! That is the deeper reason that I have as good as no friends, not because I am asocial, but because I refuse to be social with people who are dummies, puppets, imbeciles, cadavers and robots, or the proud representatives of the hero culture, who are co-dependent with their frigid churches and project their repressed hidden perverse split selves on others that they persecute for exactly what they have blinded out from their dull stupid alienated lives.
Points to Ponder
- This article was about nurturing a creative mindset.
- In what would you think is the life of a creator essentially different from the life of an imitator? Is it not that the creator relies on his or her own intuitions instead of looking at what others do? Is it not that the creator is focused upon inside, and the imitator upon outside? Is it not that the creator follows his own god, while imitators seek to follow the standard gods?
- Few of us are born creators in the sense to incarnate with a clear genius for one or the other sphere, be it art, music, or literature, sport or dance. Most of us are coming here with a range of more or less undeveloped talents that we could develop, if we wish, and some of these talents, in the life of every person, could be used for a professional career in that particular field. This is as it is, but this is not as our society wants it to be for the meta group has an interest that the system of lies it accepts as true can go on unveiled.
- Hence, there is one essential characteristic we haven’t mentioned yet, that creators have, and imitators not: it is daringness and courage for going against the stream, and for being different from the norm.
- We have seen that by just removing uncreativity, it’s not like peeling an apple. By removing uncreativity, you aren’t going to develop creativity. It doesn’t work with a negative approach. To become an original creator, you need to create, and nothing but create — whatever it is. Some people create movies, or novels that are a symphony of hate and murder. Be it. At least, it’s their creation, and somehow it puts on stage their inner violence. In that sense, their creation might contribute to their inner healing, while for the world, such creations may bring about the very contrary. Be it. We are not here to judge. It is better someone creates something negative than creating nothing at all.
- All creation is the fruit of relation, first of all the relation to self, your inner self. Once you are in touch with yourself, you are in touch with all-that-is, and then you create spontaneously, and effortlessly. So the first step is to get in touch with the five relationships, which are flowing out from the one relation you maintain with your self. Then you build your outside world, your relations with others, and here attitude comes into play and needs to be built.
- To build a consistent attitude is not easy, it needs time, patience, commitment and persistence. An attitude reflects inner strength and a certain character structure, and these qualities in turn are the result of individuation, which is a process, not something that arises spontaneously. The process of individuation in our culture is unfortunately not smooth, and it is not really supported by our educational system, which is why this system breeds passive consumers, and imitators, not creators in their own right. Hence, when you want to get on the creator track, you need to work yourself on building yourself, building an original first-hand identity.
- New solutions cannot result from thinking about old problems, but by making space for the unknown, for novelty in your life, and in your creation. New ideas obviously do not originate from established ways of doing. Edward de Bono said that the brain can only see what it is used to see, and Einstein said a problem cannot be solved on the same level it has been created. Genius, or high individuation, then, is the result of giving ample space to self, to your own inner world. A life where you are truly yourself is per se a spiritual life, there are no other qualities to it.
- When you create and you are original, not imitative, the creator is the self, not the ego. The ego is made up by thought and therefore is the past, but the self is able to produce novelty because it is connected to the timeless and spaceless continuum of the soul. New ideas originate from the timeless realm of universal patterns. This is something you can imagine like a huge library of thoughts, ideas, emotions, and where you find whole structures that are built already and can be used in your creation. To access this universal library is a result of meditation and introspection as part of the process of creation.
- For nurturing a creative mind, there are some specific techniques you may practice and that bring about something like an inner clearance. These techniques, some of which I mentioned already, are story writing, meditation, noting your dreams, and learning to be content with your own company — the practice of solitude.