Author Topic: Creativity  (Read 4559 times)

Matswin

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Creativity
« on: July 07, 2011, 02:31:37 PM »
~ the unconscious source of the creative spirit ~

Abstract: There are two forms of creativity, our daytime creativity and its unconscious complement (my conjecture). The latter abides unconsciously as a semi-autonomous spiritual power that ever searches to manifest itself in human life. In dreams it is often symbolized by the phallus, and in alchemy by the spirit Mercurius. It is hampered by modern-day rationalism and the reductive view of the unconscious as mere drive nature and repressed content. What is even more damaging to the unconscious creative force is the romanticizing tendency present among Jungians and followers of New Age. The technique of 'active imagination', due to a romantic obsession with symbolic imagery, is likely to block out a true creativity. Hence conscious attachments cannot be abandoned. It makes impossible the goal of the immersion in the unconscious, so central to mystical and spiritual discipline. The corrupting influence befalls the very people who are favourably disposed toward the unconscious. Their creative instinct is distorted and warped.

Keywords: creativity ("solar" and "lunar"), painting, psychoanalysis, phallus, romanticism, mysticism, critique of active imagination.

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http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-73784/creativity.htm

Mats Winther

Matswin

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Re: Creativity
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 11:15:46 AM »
The alchemical Stone, I suggest, is the raw material for a creativity rooted in the spirit, which we discover in the unconscious. In our everyday lives we are very much occupied with the mundane. What we choose to occupy ourselves with is rooted in the mundane, whether its pleasure, search for wealth, power, etc. So that's why the unconscious produces the fantasy of the spiritual Stone, like in my own dream from decades ago when I dreamed about finding the Uranium stone in the Holy land. In the dream I immediately started to work diligently, to refine its properties, together with my companions.

The Stone generates a spiritual form of creativity, because it contains another kind of energy than the mundane energy. However, being creative often means to occupy oneself with matter, as in the work of the artist. Actually, artists have always worked with led which they have turned into "gold", in a sense. 'Led white' has superior qualities, but today's artists seldom use it while it is poisonous. 'Naples yellow' is also made of led, but seldom used today.

The spirituality of the Stone (the spirit Mercurius) emerged in the medieval era. The earlier antique form of spirituality was of another kind. It died out in late antiquity. Plutarch (d. AD 120) relates (in Cessation of the Oracles) that the passengers of a ship, while passing by a group of islands on the coast of Greece, heard a mysterious voice proclaiming that "The great god Pan is dead". At this there came the sound of a mighty groaning and lamentation from countless throats. Emperor Tiberius set up a commission to investigate the matter. They managed to find witnesses who corroborated the story (cf. Walker, Gnosticism, pp.72-73). A god can never really die, of course, but the epoch of Pan was over.

I myself have dwelled with this spirit in my life. In one dream a voice told me: "You ought to be like Pan for a time." It means to immerse myself in the waters of antique spirituality. But I cannot stay there because it leads nowhere, although it is good for healing purposes. Finding the Stone, which contains the spirit Mercurius, is a more advanced form of spirituality. It signifies, I think, a creativity rooted in the spirit, which derives from an unconscious realm. When this source has been found, then one can be creative and continue to "search". Life becomes rooted in the spirit, and the personality is no longer psychologically dependent on the worldly energies.

As to the phenomenon of "alchemical humbug", e.g. people who claim to have possession of the stone in its material guise. I think this belongs to the category of ritualization, i.e. the way in which people tend to create a new religion out of an impressive phenomenon. Today's consumerism implies that people go on pilgrimage to shopping centres and purchase fetish objects. This richness in furnishings gave rise to the "cargo cults" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult ) among primitives who adopted white man's cult. So the primitives "imitated" white man's lifestyle and made a ritual out of it. This ritualizing factor is born out of man's religious temperament.

Likewise, there is a tendency, on lines of New Age, to make a religion out of alchemy. Personally, I tend to be favourably disposed toward religion, in a general sense, because it belongs in human nature. However, an alchemical religious attitude can cause irritation as it contravenes the very spirit of alchemy, namely as an alternative path to religion. If people start worshipping the Stone as a material object created in the laboratory, then it can put the lid on the said spiritual creativity. Alchemy, I think, is meant to go beyond religion, i.e., not imitating through ritual, but experiencing it yourself.

I have called this phenomenon "romantization", the tendency to romanticize the spiritual path. After the Middle Ages, alchemy became more and more romantic, high-flown, occupying itself with beautiful imagery, etc. But the Stone is hidden in the mud. As it appears crude and simple it is something that tends to be neglected, but it can be refined immensely.

Mats

Matswin

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Re: Creativity
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 04:44:15 AM »
(Continuing my monologue...)
The alchemical gold, or the Stone, as the end product of the opus, is often interpreted as the reunion of the body with the conjugate of spirit and soul, the latter having undergone refinement. It is thus a symbol of the self. But such a symbol harbours a multitude of opposites. To interpret it in terms of a dark and unconscious form of creativity, a spiritual source of energy that can be exploited, is merely looking at it from another angle. To achieve the 'unio mentalis', a form of spiritual onesidedness, is probably necessary to get at this source. I once dreamt that I was about to enter a chess tournament in a dark palace. But I had some time left so I went to a nearby city where I visited a beautiful rose-red castle. I was thinking that I should paint it some day. But now I had to return to the dark and gloomy palace to take part in the demanding chess tournament.

The rose-red castle, and the notion of painting it, represents a romantic day-time creativity, whereas the rather technical chess tournament signifies a creativity related to the unconscious. It is similar to attending a mathematics course, solving integrals and differential equations. The spiritual (alchemical) work is like gazing into a chequered little world where variations are discovered. It seems to imply that consciousness should focus on a little world, symbolized by the alchemical vessel. The symbol of chess is very apt. The chess board represents the vessel, in which the warring elements create variations under the supervision of a focused consciousness. It is partly the conscious function that causes the variations to take place, as it adds "heat" to the vessel. However, there is also an opponent in the game, representing another kind of consciousness. This is the serpent's eye gazing back at us from the unconscious. It is a faint light, but it represents age-old wisdom.

Mats Winther

Sealchan

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Re: Creativity
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 03:19:45 PM »
I've been keyed into the idea of the metaphor as being extensible, in the form of what Dr. John Briggs calls a reflectaphor, to a everlasting source of creative insight in which, at its root, a single object or idea, X, made to stand in metaphoric relationship of significant similarity and also significant difference (thereby creating what I call a significant ambivalence) to another object or idea, Y, comes to represent, in its microcosm, a blossoming of meaning which points at the whole or the macrocosm.  Objectively, the meaning is diminished (ambivalent) but for a time subjectively the meaning is reinforced (significant) as the reflectaphor (aka symbol) is experienced.  So the objective, ambivalent mud crystalizes for a particular subject (the alchemical practicitioner) into, well, a crystal which is multifaceted and significant (to the subject).

Matswin

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Re: Creativity
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 04:36:22 AM »
Your statement must be translated to everyday language before it can be understood.
/Mats

Sealchan

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Re: Creativity
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2011, 12:34:15 PM »
But that would take longer!  lol

Matswin

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Re: Creativity
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 07:26:46 AM »
I have added a new section in my essay: "Enlightenment versus unconsciousness".
http://home7.swipnet.se/~w-73784/creativity.htm
/Mats