Visitation By the Muse-Lured by Beauty into Darkness
The numinous and Creative Space- Workshop
Creativity is a willingness to enter into the wilderness of the unconscious. Meanwhile, civilization is a direct negation of this wildness. So how do we nurture creativity and still stay civilized? Through lecture, video, artworks, slides, and exercises the constrictions of civilization and the wild nature of human creativity will be explored, punctuated by discussion of the possibilities of personal revelation through interfacing with the personal and collective archetypal wilderness.
I take participants through a dynamic and terrifying months-long encounter with my own muse archetype. We witness the process of discovering and honoring creative joy along with its shadow-- the positive but dark, destructive force-- the duende. Built upon Jungian principles, I review the rituals Ive developed to maintain my relationship with my creative source, adding the journaling techniques of Ira Progoff, the theories of Ken Wilbur, Walter Bruggemann, Jamake Highwater and others, and lead participants thorough a series of exercises to develop their own creative ecology.
The very matrix of common understandings, rules and mores that make social cohesion possible are so omnipresent as to remain quite beyond individual consciousness. But it is just such invisible boundaries that fence our creativity. In order to foster true creative life, everybody, but artists in particular, should learn to find creativity in its own environment, a wilderness very contrary to the reasonable architecture of contemporary life.
That boundless wilderness of wide-open possibilities can be created inside a very reasonable individual life through rituals which open the artist to their own unlimited unconscious frontiers. And from there the view is unobstructed to the very cusps of the universe.
The world is always on the edge of despair, always on the edge of salvation. Both are happening all the time. Now, on the fresh edge of a new Millennium, humanity is experiencing unprecedented growth in communications, in exchange of knowledge, in intercultural fellowship. Scientific inquiry stumbles to new advances every day. In most corners of the world, even where violence rages to rampage densities, violence and fear remain at static levels. What is increasing in both density and power is the level of creativity in the face of fear. In a new revolution of compassion, people are learning from each other, teaching each other, thinking up new ways to face the same old oppressions, trying strange, funny, new responses to old, tired tyrannies. Political systems that fail to recognize the divinity within the individual have come crashing down. This raucous, divine world invites us forwardnot into the New Millennium, but into the next moment, and the next. Each instant a cusp, each new possibility a big-bang universe spreading out like a hand.
I believe artists to be the prophets of a new era and art to be a prayerful response to the wonder of the world, the interconnectedness of life, the possibilities of humor and grace, the six billion faces of God. Art is the mediator between the too-great immensity of the universe and our too-small understanding.
Creativity is a God-like gift. It has brought us from the level of animal subsistence to the verge of star travel. It is the necessary component of every dynamic human life. But what stands in the way of further creativity is mostly our inner barriers, most of which are crucial for us to manage our practical lives. But even so such barriers to creative thought are temporarily removable through special techniques.
Every day someone finds a dynamic new thought or image or song that proves to be the door through which all evolution must pass. Perhaps the techniques I have used could help another to find their creative fount that might produce such a portal. Or they may simply lead to a greater richness in creating an ordinary life. In either case, the muse will lead the way. How will we follow?