Poets of Perception, Magicians of Matter
From an ego-centric perspective, one makes art. I make art.
From a trans-personal or trans-individual perspective, art emerges from the collective psyche, and is completely inseparable from it.
It is the expression of our inherently creative collective consciousness, which is itself an elaborate organic patterning in the multidimensional fractal weave of the cosmic psyche (or universal mind: the divine creative intelligence who lives in, as and through everything).
This perspective can in-form our artmaking, be it music, poetry, song, drawing, theatre, conversation, sculpture or life itself.
We realise that art always emerges from the group mind. No individual exists in isolation or separation from the transpersonal psyche, and so all creative works emerge from that collective psyche. Therefore, all creation is co-creation.
Bold and authentic individuals most certainly do cast out on their own creative journeys — but what they unearth and attune to in themselves are the deep, powerful energies of the collective unconscious: energies which long to be expressed as symbols, images, metaphors and mythic stories. The individual answers this longing, placing themselves in service of the collective psyche’s desire to express, explore and discover itself through creative works, which we call “art”.
The individual is like the vessel or mouthpiece for a particular aspect or archetype in the collective psyche, that until that point was only a latent potential awaiting a receptive individual to embody it, and to manipulate physical reality (in other words, to create) in its image. The individual channels, concentrates and focuses the creative intention of the entire cosmos – the entire transindividual psyche – into a particular outlet.
The creative forces at work behind a person picking up a pen, singing a song, are vast, ancient, and unfathomable. Limitless.
Through their works, the creative artist reveals to us that we are always-already doing this: that every unfolding moment of our lives is the unfolding discovery and revelation of the divine creative intelligence that is inherent in everything, without exception.
Every day, the whole infinite universe conspires to lift us out of bed and to live our lives. That is an inherently creative act, whether we recognise it or not. It is also inherently loving. The divine imagination has clearly chosen to play with fragmenting into countless embodied beings who all fundamentally depend on one another for their apparently-but-not-actually separate existences. That co-dependence is love: an infinite network of support and kindness that brings countless beings in and out of material manifestation, every moment. This is the sacred dance of unity and multiplicity: that our shared oneness enables and engenders our infinite diversity. As Chris Bache writes, “every individual is lived beyond measure”.
If we are conscious of our inherent creativity, our freedom to create and recreate ourselves and the world without limit, we can relax and truly revel in the joy, bliss and beauty of an infinite adventure.
If our creativity is unconscious, however, then we suffer greatly, believing ourselves to be trapped, powerless and isolated in an uncaring, inanimate universe.
It appears that most of us are partway between these two states, and so we continue with the Great Work of becoming conscious of our divine creativity — our fundamental participation in the appearance of the world. In the co-created imagining that is “the world”. We are the poets of perceptions and magicians of matter, and the sooner we remember this, the sooner we can set about transforming the world towards ever-deeper beauty. As we embark on that journey, something else begins to happen. We start dissolving.
Paradoxically, as we dissolve, we become more greatly and richly individuated, too. As the ego dissolves (as we become more self-less, compassionate and conscious of oneness), the individual and their unique creative capacities become more refined, purified and expanded.
Soon we — as cosmic consciousness — enter an identity-fluid state where we are free to assume any form, body or as the mode of our self-expression. We’re able to do that because individuals are not closed-off boxes separate from everything else but inherently open, porous and ambigious. We are undefinable, unfixed and unfathomable, and this affords us the total freedom of never being ultimately limited in any way. Individuals simply do not make sense without the transindividual or dividual. And in the same way, neither does art.
Individuals are themselves the artistic-creative expression of the transindividual psyche, the organic matrix of mind that has embarked on the outrageously ambitious project of evolving intelligent living beings. We are the triumph of the cosmos’ creativity. And thus, so too, is our art.
Art belongs to no one. Not really. It’s far too much of a collective phenomenon for that.
Let’s gather up some key premises of the transpersonal view:
- The minds of all individuals are interpenetrating, so fundamentally as to be seamlessly embedded in a unified field of awareness. This field is the “undivided Sacred Mind itself” (Chris Bache).
- All individual mindfields emerge from this universal field of collective awareness. Soon we may well speak of trans-universal, multiversal and polyversal fields of consciousness, which contextualise the particular creative expression that we refer to as “the universe” or “four-dimensional spacetime” within a larger multidimensional fabric of mind. Indeed some psychonauts and deep mediators report experiences of “getting outside” spacetime and seeing it from the perspective of higher-dimensional consciousness.
- These unified levels of collective awareness are subtle but present in every moment of our experience; usually hidden from view but powerfully at work. They are increasingly perceivable /detectable by sensitive individuals and groups. Could it be a major feature of ongoing human evolution, that these subtle fields become more and more obvious, apparent and tangible to the average human, allowing us to better tap and channel the limitless creativity and wisdom for the benefit of the whole. It’s the whole working for the whole, after all – in and through the individual.
- The “contagious quality of clarified” – and highly creative — “states of consciousness” (Bache again). The phenomenon of energetic resonance, often spontaneous and unexpected, between “individuals” who are pulsing at a similar “vibration” — for example, by dwelling in states of boundless love revolving around the heart-centre, or in a shared obsession with a particular art-form. These resonances and synchronicities are in fact the revelation and expression of underlying transindividual consciousness/intelligence/creativity breaking through into individual consciousness. Now we know about our underlying unified mindfield(s) we can intentionally cultivate our awareness of them – or rather, surrender our isolated individuality and allow the collective imagination to express itself through our personal consciousness.
Bache writes that “I believe these fields are always present wherever collective intention is focussed in group projects of sustained duration and repeated form”. He cites in fascinating detail his experiences of spontaneous energetic resonance — the emergence of group-mind phenomena — within his experience as a university professor (see his book The Living Classroom). He goes on to mention that these phenomena probably happen in many other contexts.
It feels clear to me that this accounts for the magical phenomenon of spontaneous unscripted hyper-creativity that emerges when particular group engages in creative improvisation (or “jamming”). A roaring jazz band, a chorus of singers locked in perfect harmony, a group of actors stirring up deep, unplanned emotions in one another . You know what that sound — and feels — like.
Electric. Alive. Divine.
Other contexts of “collective intention is focussed in group projects of sustained duration and repeated form” that spring to mind (as fertile ground for revelations of the creative transpersonal psyche):
- Intentional communities
- Spiritual retreats
- Spiritual festivals and mass observances (such as Ramadan)
- Rituals and ceremonies
- Group improvisation sessions
- Sharing circles, especially those of long-standing duration (such as an AA or women’s group who have been meeting every week for 20 years).
I’m enjoying musing on what group contexts, intentionally geared towards channelling our transpersonal creativity, might now be possible in the (meta-)modern age.
What kind of pulses, strategically and rhythmically directed by a highly coherent groupmind, could restart the creative heart of society, indeed humanity?
I look forward to hearing our thoughts.