63 QUESTION: How does one go about increasing one’s creativity?
ANSWER: There is only one answer: by finding the inner obstacles, that is, by taking the path of self-recognition. Creativity is blocked by inner errors. Many of my friends who have taken this Path for some time have experienced that – in some cases gradually, in some cases even quite suddenly – a new talent or an increased creativity in a known talent, has unfolded.
The path of self-search brings inner liberation. Among many other assets, it also brings increased creativity. It means the maximum unfoldment a person is capable of. There is no magic key and no shortcut. All that, if it exists at all, would not really work, not in the long run. The only durable and real answer is finding that in the soul which is petrified, which is stuck, so to speak. And there is such matter in every human soul, without exception.
63 QUESTION: I have experienced the sudden appearance of a new talent and creativity, as you know. But there are so many artists, especially painters, who have not overcome any psychological obstructions and yet they paint beautifully.
ANSWER: Of course. That has nothing to do with it. I did not say or wish to imply that creativity exists only in the healthy, or relatively healthy, person. Many people have a great talent and yet they are deeply troubled human beings. They just happen to have freed one particular part of the soul – perhaps in previous incarnations – so that creativity in one special direction is flowing out. It still does not mean that the removal of their obstructions would not increase their creativity.
It might bring forth an additional talent too, that enhances and completes the one that has manifested already, or it may harmonize and elevate the manifest talent to new heights. In fact, it is often the case that the troubled soul who has on the other hand a great creative talent is particularly imbalanced by this disharmony.
What I said before should not lead you to deduce that creative talent is possible only within the healthy soul. I merely wish to state that the healthier a soul is, the more a hidden creativity can come to the surface, and also that the way in which a talent manifests is dependent on inner freedom.
QA132 QUESTION: In connection with my work, there is constant need for creative flow, good ideas, receptivity to what suits many different situations. I am aware of tuning inward and asking for creative flow and the answers come. But often, I will ask for a creative inspiration where there is no particular gain to the little self, the little me or the ego, but to serve the situation at hand. And so often it does not come. I wonder why.
ANSWER: I’ll tell you why, my friend. It is because of blocks in you that you have not yet begun to tackle. Why answers sometimes come in spite of these blocks, and why sometimes these blocks are in the way is much too complicated to explain. I cannot explain it in a definitive way. There is no hard and fast rule about it.
It depends on the subject, and it depends to what extent these blocks are really challenged. Certain moods are created because of the blocks at certain times, while at certain times you are freer of it. But whatever these answers may be, the fact remains that to the extent a person is free of blocks – of unconscious elements – to that extent he is attuned to the power of the universal forces – to the power, the presence and the intelligence of the universal being.
To the extent he is cut off from this, his own barricades require to be brought out into the open. This is extremely important, because in your case there is such a wonderful readiness there. And you see, then the imbalance becomes greater, just because there is a vast area where there is so much wonderful understanding in you.
But because of the areas you still leave untouched or you content yourself with half-solutions and leave them in the shadow of really remedying the issues and understanding of them – just because of that an imbalance is created. It is all the more not functional with the whole of your personality.
I can promise you, whenever you are ready for true happiness, you will fully face the remnants in your psyche easily in a relaxed way, without fear, without compulsion or without the idea, “I look for this and feel fear and, as a consequence, I’m not ready to undertake this.” This is absolutely wrong; this is a very frequent half-conscious or unconscious wrong conclusion, creating the resistance, “If I look at it, I am forced to do something about it.”
Therefore I recommend, wherever such resistance exists, to deliberately meditate and say to yourself, “I am not forced to do anything. Awareness does not compel me; only lack of awareness compels me. I have a right to even choose, if I should want to, the wrong thing. It does not mean there are more consequences because I do so. The consequences will be less if I should desire to choose what may be considered wrong.”
The limited self looks at life in that way of right and wrong, regardless of how emancipated the intellect may be. This fear of wrong – that limited vision of seeing issues only in the aspect of right or wrong – creates an unnecessary fear and resistance, and therefore pronounces the fact that you are free to choose.
There is no punishing deity. The only one who punishes is yourself. And the chances are less that you punish yourself when you know what you are doing than when an unconscious mechanism exists.
There always is an element deep inside that knows what it’s doing, and it erroneously often punishes. So do not fear compulsion and having to do something you do not want to do, or being punished because you choose a wrong alternative. This causes you to block off areas that are so important to meet through faith and therefore liberate yourself.
Of course, again, this applies to many, many people what I say here. It is something that cannot be emphasized often enough, because even those of you who have heard such words or similar words from me, you forget it when it comes to the immediate fear of an area in you that you consider untouchable – and erroneously so.
Fear and prohibition and confusion and loss of selfhood result only from erroneously believing there is a taboo, untouchable area in you. Meet it fully, and it will prove again and again that you are liberated, whatever you decide to do.
QA134 QUESTION: I have a very strong desire to do creative work. I have done some, but not nearly as much as I think I’m capable of doing. At the same time, whenever I have a chance and time to do this kind of work, I experience a very strong resistance and difficulty, although I know that I have the ideas and I have the means of expression.
ANSWER: There is this undercurrent in you in which you partly fear the giving of yourself. In order to do anything creative, this giving of yourself is a necessity. And it is the same kind of giving of yourself as applies to, for instance, a human relationship, a love relationship. There too the same undercurrent of holding yourself back exists; it is exactly the identical current in creative work, and it is this which holds you back.
The other part that is responsible for the resistance is the fear that you may not be able to do it or that you may be laughed at if you really let go, if you really allow yourself spontaneity – that what would come out unrestrictedly from your innermost self will not be valid.
And it is only your intellect – your superimposed outer intellect – that can protect you or preserve you from this commitment, from being a laughing stock, as it were, from humiliation or shame. I think it will not be too difficult for you to ascertain that such feelings exist in you.
Now, my dearest friend, look at this current from this point of view and you will see it is so. On the one hand, there is the fear of ridicule. And you know perfectly well any creative endeavor – whether this concerns creative work or the expression of love feelings – must not be hampered by the watchful outer little brain.
When one believes this watchful outer little brain is superior to this inner sweeping force, then one is in trouble. And this is what happens. You hold yourself back with the superimposed ego faculties, making them the watchmen over your most creative forces, and not entrusting yourself to the spontaneity and the unfoldment of these creative forces.
Therefore you cannot commit yourself to them because you fear this ridicule and you hold back, you do not give of yourself in this sense. Can you feel this in any way?
QUESTION: Yes, I can feel it. Could you suggest some kind of an actual meditation or thought at the moment when this problem occurs that might help me to solve it?
ANSWER: Yes, yes, yes, indeed. The recommendation for meditation such as this would be…but, of course, use your own free words. I want to emphasize that I only give the essence of the idea but do not repeat verbally.
Just use your own verbalization – and the idea would be this: “I want to have the courage to entrust myself to the creative flow coming from within myself. I call upon these creative forces and request that they manifest. I desist with my ego forces from hampering them. Now, even though this appears to require courage, I herewith decide to have the courage and to see what happens. I will, with the whole of my being, fully commit myself to these creative forces manifesting. I let go with my outer little self and entrust myself to the inner man.”
And then let go and feel the letting go. When you feel the holding back, let go. Commit yourself to the apparently courageous act of entrusting yourself to these forces.
The more you practice this, the more aware you become of the act from holding back to letting go, the more you will be in the creative stream with all its regenerating energy current, where creativeness and the creative process is no chore, is no tediousness, but the most stimulating and peaceful process in existence. It will feel good and it will have more and more beneficial results – the more you learn that and the more you learn to trust in it.
A further meditation, added on and in combination with this, would be the following: “These creative powers, wanting to manifest from within myself, are wholly beneficial for all concerned. There is no either/or. It is not ‘either my glory’ or ‘helping for the good of mankind’ with what I have to give. I realize that my own insecurity makes me look for recognition, and it is this desire for recognition which makes me feel guilty and hold back. Now, I cannot be completely rid of such desires. But such a desire is no crime; and perhaps I exaggerate – just because I feel so guilty about it – my glory.
“Now, it is true I want recognition and my desire for recognition is not so wrong, if it is not in the false belief that it is either my glory or helping others. It can be that I fulfill my need for recognition in a perfectly legitimate way. And when I do so, I will not need glory, and then there will be no incompatibility between my recognition as a human being and as a man, and that which I have to give to others. They can both be one and the same. They do not need to interfere with one another. Therefore, I will not need to feel guilty for the still-existent desire for recognition. And if I can merely be aware of the fact that I do need recognition and that partly this is a legitimate need, I will not need exaggerated glory.”
This meditation will also be of great help. And this too can apply to many of my friends, perhaps in other ways, where such a duality exists. It is “I versus the other,” and one does not want to give up one’s own needs because one erroneously feels, “If I am creative for the good of others, I have to give up my own advantages or my own needs,” which is not true.
This duality is error. The unity is: what is good for others will be good for yourself. Whether this good manifests in the recognition you need or in the means you need in order to enjoy a rich life on all levels makes no difference. With this unity, the split between “I versus the other” is completely transcended and overcome, and therefore, holding back due to guilt and fear of commitment will cease.
QUESTION: I have a question about numbness in the soul, which is an almost constant state in which I live. Compared to some childhood memories and some feelings that I had occasionally or even dreams, there seems to be very little feeling-experience in my life. Since this state exists, I find it extremely difficult not to grab for a feeling whenever there is a chance for it. Then after a while, this feeling again shuts off. How do I keep this alive, once I start to feel towards a certain person, instead of shutting it off at some point?
ANSWER: What I said in answer to your last question also applies to here. Feeling is a creative process that is a spontaneous manifestation from the innermost being. If you want to determine or mold or manipulate the feelings with the outer self, then you prohibit the creative process.
In a sense it makes no difference whether you numb the feelings or whether you artificially whip them into shape and grab at them and want to artificially aggrandize them. Both processes occur or are a willful act committed by the outer ego and therefore prohibit the inner spontaneity.
The following meditation would be helpful: “I do not have to doubt that the innermost self manifests in spontaneity and its feelings do not need my outer help and participation.”
Now, you may recall a recent lecture on the communication between the outer and the inner being, the ego faculties and the real or inner self [Lecture #132 The Function of the Ego in Relationship to the Real Self]. Therefore you can meditate, “I use my outer will, my outer determination, to call the inner being into manifestation. I will let go with my outer will, deliberately, to see what happens and let unfold what comes. I will not deliberately numb or refrain myself from feelings, nor will I whip artificially my feelings into shape. I entrust myself to the creative forces unfolding from within myself. And my outer ego knows much less than this innermost being what feelings are appropriate when.”
Little by little, my friend, you will be carried into this creative flow of your spontaneous feelings. And this will be so much better. But it may carry you through highways and byways that may, at first glance, not be in accordance with what your outer brain had in mind. Nevermind. Follow through with it.
Such a meditation will, indeed, bring you into spontaneous, creative living, where your innermost being will guide you and will be you, not the outer, superimposed levels that are infinitely less reliable and that can do so much harm by their limitation. It is this outer self which prohibits this real self which is so much closer, so much nearer at hand than one thinks, if it is deliberately called into manifestation.
QA136 QUESTION: I have a big desire to find my talent. But I’m afraid of it, because I’m completely aware that if I find my talent, I cannot cope with it.
ANSWER: Well, you see, the mere fact that you want to seek your talent to begin with, already implies a slight distortion and a false motivation – because you cannot find your talent unless you find your real self.
You cannot begin with the roof; you have to begin with the cellar when you build a house. The foundation that includes everything else is your real self. And then, as one of the many manifestations of finding one’s real self, one also finds one’s specific talents in life with which one is equipped to contribute to life, to enrich life.
But you begin with one aspect and not with the foundation. The very fact that you do so is very indicative. It is indicative of your tentativeness with which you approach wanting to find your real self. You want to have just one aspect of it and for certain reasons only.
When you find your real self, so many childish aspects have to be given up. That is the fear and the distaste you experience there and with which you block. In your case, I would say enlarge upon or specify on a more fundamental basis, the desire itself which must be, first of all, to find that real self in you that also contains your talent.
QA161 QUESTION: For a long time I’ve had a block against expressing myself creatively in any form, really, but it hurts me most in my writing, which is my natural form of expression. Recently, this has begun to loosen up, but I’m having trouble getting in touch with the part of me that wants to prevent me from writing and from expressing what I really am. And I just wonder if you can tell me something about this?
ANSWER: Yes, yes, I’d be glad to. The best way for you to understand and get in touch with this problem is to observe the same problem in a different way. For this is only one manifestation of the problem of the fear of letting go, of letting something out of you and committing yourself to that when it comes out, it is there.
In creative writing, it would be the word that flows out. You commit yourself to this word as it goes onto the paper. It is out of you. And you, with that word out, take the risk – the apparent risk maybe, or partially the real risk – of having it judged, of having it criticized.
In other words, any kind of creativity, if it is allowed to flow out, harbors also the ability to accept criticism, to commit yourself to your own fallible state.
Now, on another level, the same problem would appear of letting out totally your love feelings. For better or for worse, it always implies this letting go, this letting it flow and letting it carry you on its own steam. You do not have a blueprint, a guarantee, an insurance policy, an exact draft, in which you see exactly how and what will come of it.
It is the trust in the love force itself which can only exist if there is no wishful thinking involved – there is no refusal of looking at reality involved. If you can see the truth and accept the truth of your own limitation and the other person’s limitation, and if you can love by letting free – and therefore letting yourself free – then the trust in love will not be a wishful thinking, childish illusion that must be disappointed.
There is the key to allowing the forces to flow out and letting them carry you: giving up the ego control and letting yourself be a part of the flow. It is a commitment of yourself to this flow of yourself in the love feeling, without knowing exactly what it will bring.
The more you do so, the more strength and assurance will come from it. In turn, you will be able to do this to the extent you can accept and meet your own negative feelings, and learn how to handle them in the proper way. This is exactly the problem as it manifests in your creative writing.
There is a fear of letting go of the creative self – the real self, that has its own laws; you want to watch it with your intellect and judge it and be sure it is acceptable to the world and yourself. It is no more possible to allow your creativity to manifest that way, as you can love that way. It is the same problem.