>Day 4: Unmediated creative spontaneity

>To bring the cup of Salvation to the world requires unmediated creative spontaneity (Romans 8). Be especially wary of routines and habits – they will impede you. The chalicer will choose a mode of life which increases their availability to those who need them – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Let them choose to stay put in their communities and be visible – so all can see where shelter is to be found.

Habits and stability – are they friends?

One of the greatest enemies of anyone living strategically are habits. Habits are embodied prejudices. Some set of actions, either mental actions or bodily actions or both, which were a creative response at one point, usually in childhood, has ossified into a habit. Worse still is that it is so hard for me to see those habits.

When Jackson Pollock started to really think through his painting, he realized that he had a series of ingrained habits which came from his years and years of practice. Even down to the way he moved his brush was something he learned, and therefore not unique to him. And he came to see that the way to avoid these repetitions and to create something explosively free was to not handle the brush at all – thus he came across a difficult question: how to paint without a brush? This is a strategic question. His tactical solution was Autumn Rhythm. Not every artist comes to the same answer, at least not the great artists! Picasso, hardly second fiddle to Pollock in terms of creativity, was content with handling the brush. He struggled with the strategic question and Guernica is his tactical answer. Picasso said “I do something first. Later someone else comes and makes it pretty”. This is a maxim for creative artists.

But this is not about being creative in that specific artistic sense. This life of mine is about being creative in response. Response to what? To the present moment as it unfolds. God is making some moves, and I must be able to repeat them. So my creativity is of a different sort – it is plagiarism. But I am copying the Creator himself.

Clearly it is hard to follow one who is the source of all creativity. Therefore it is important to remove habits. Remove them all. Let my mind be like that of a little child who sees everything as new, even if it was something which the child has just seen moment ago. It is re-explored, re-visited. Always new.

My habits are behaviors which I return to again and again. They began as seeds to which I bring the water of attention. The more I water them the better they will grow. I want to be careful to water the seeds of trees which bear good fruits. But let us be careful here: even thorn bushes produce beautiful flowers, and some briers and brambles do produce good fruit.

So I must develop the quietness of a child – that boundless enthusiasm which does not linger in discursive thought (thus is quiet) and which sings all day long a song of creation. At the same time I am going to stay here. Here and nowhere else. This radical stability seems to be at odds with the radical creativity just detailed. In a sense they are incompatible. This gives them a great amount of potential energy. I need to tap into this creative stability as the source for my life’s work.

Be here and do not be in a hurry to leave. Mimic the spirit-wind as it moves. Amazing things will happen.

Reducing the amount of stuff I carry in my bag is very helpful. The present moment contains the all transfiguring possibilities of the ten-dimensional universe. The present moment contains theophany. In honesty there is very little I can bring to it which is really useful – at best I start sounding like Peter atop Tabor. In fact, poverty which comes form the roots of my being requires that I bring nothing – not a thing.

I cannot go into the present. I am sent there. I am an apostle to the present moment. Whatever gifts and talents I possess here, are borrowed from the divine cellerar and to him they must be returned.

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About spaceloom

An urban monk, and an experienced spiritual director with a Masters in Psychology. Married with two children. Want to know me better? Read my thoughts.
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