It may seem obvious that choice is at the heart of creativity, after all, our creativity is about our originality, our uniqueness, our ability to make something new and different. But what interests me just now, is how extraordinary this process is.
At one level we can’t help being creative, we are all unique, all seven billion of us, and for each of us, our relationship to our lives expresses our unique way of surviving / thriving. This brings us back to the basic goodness and creativity of the human self, always making the best it can of its situation, however distorted the viewpoint gets at times.
At another level choice exists as a more conscious process. So many of us, live our lives like moths banging our heads against the lamp shade, trying to solve our difficulties by repeatedly doing things that have never worked and stand no chance of working. I.e. being caught and identified with our ‘victim’ way of being, blaming myself, or the other, or both. To be creative we have to do something new, have to make some real choices that are difficult because they need to go against the grain of our conditioning.
This is the same for any “artist”, in any field, and we are the artists of our own lives. The struggle is to find something new which can only come when we to some extent integrate our “centres”, or our modes of relating to the world through head, heart and body. When we manage to get past our habitual “one centered” victim reactive way of being we re-connect with our uniqueness, we are no longer in automatic mode simply acting from our deep conditioning.
So, when we keep trying to solve something with our head or heart or body alone it tends not to work. If I keep trying to use my thinking, but then bring in the wisdom of my feelings into the frame, the situation is immediately expanded. If I’m stuck in feeling, then bringing in my thinking, it similarly opens up the horizons. The difference it makes bring some thought into a physical problem is enormous, as is bringing some feeling into music for instance. If I can bring in head, heart and body all at once I am fully resourced and the chance of my ‘solution’ being “creative”, is hugely enhanced.
To connect ourselves up, in the face of our deeply conditioned disconnectedness, takes effort, insight and determination. This can only come from a real choice, a real wish. It cannot come from a “one centered” place inside us. If that happens it is just an expression of a caught compensatory reaction and then it is either internal fascism, or the intention is hopelessly weak with no more power than an idle fantasy.
So how to find this wish, this choice, the strength to make this effort? How to access this deep creativity of the self? This is indeed the question. For this we need to somehow find some freedom from our habitual victim mode of being, through, as ever, the dual process of new awareness / support together with taking responsibility for how we actually are. As Jill Hall (“The reluctant Adult”) argues, an important part of the support necessary for this has to come from opening ourselves up to spiritual or transpersonal connectedness. This gives us a wider frame still (head, heart, body and spirit) of encouragement, support and hope that liberation and transformation are possible.
In the end, for me, there is the wish to be, a wish for life and freedom. An increasing knowledge that profound freedom is possible as well as the wish to move away from my repetitive, enslaved, conditioned, ways of being. Together with again remembering that the path is always into the here and now with its embodied integration.
This is about the possibilities for choice and creativity. The more we can choose from an integrated place, the closer that choice is to some pure creativity, to some silent perfection of Goodness, Beauty and Truth that is somehow always calling to us and which resonates deep in our soul if we can but listen.
Again we are in the territory of motivation. Which ‘I’ is choosing, from where in myself does it come from? This is the Zen like, post-post-modern path to enlightenment it seems to me, always moving towards a deeper level of questioning and openness in ourselves.