20/02/2013

Creativity and Imagination; Letter to a reader



Dear Friend,

You wrote:
I have really been enjoying The Starry Cave and have your book on Palo and and Exu.  I learned about you and your work from the Occult of Personality podcast which I listen to on a regular basis.  My question for you is what is the best way you have found to stimulate your creativity and imagination.  I've been trying to do this through meditation and dream work and have recently started singing petitions and prayers during my meditations.  I'm interested in calling up some images from my psyche that can show me how I can live my life better or enhance my life.  I have four years sobriety with a 12-step program so I can't use any substances.  Any suggestions?  Also I wanted to tell you that from what I've learned from you I've started working with my ancestors and parents who have passed over.  I feel their power in my life and our relationship is healing.  It is very powerful magic and I thank you

The vis imaginativa - the path of imagination – is the realm of pure ideas, a vinculum in where we find ourselves connected with source.  The movement and locomotion associated with this field of being, between source and its stirring of the waters of the divine mind in the realm of ideas, is the spark of creativity. The oneiric path is clearly a powerful vinculum of imagination. In fact, everything that is was first a dream in the divine mind... but a meaningful dream, one given by spirit and angel, dreams of prophecy and illumination are very different from dreams that helps us process the mundane life or give wings to our fantasies of carnal desire and rage. When we work with imagination we will see results, we will dream solutions and realities, and we will see the ideal taking shape in the material order, wishes are coming through and most important this connection will fill us with a soft fire that we recognize as excitement and hopefully benevolence; a feeling of humble greatness and gratitude.  

We can also see the creative imagination influencing our psyche/soul in a different, more psychological level where imagination blends with fantasy. Fantasy can be deceptive, as we see in the word phantasm, which means a ghostly appearance that may or may not have an ideal existence. Day dreams and forms of escapism using this vinculum might say to belong to the realm of fantasy. So, even if it is a faculty brought on by the creative imagination its sphere of work can be as much deceptive as illuminating.     

When we touch the realm of fantasy, we are working within a sphere of material and social constructs where wishful thinking and self fulfilling prophecies appears in a drama of illusion and self dilution. We are here in the field of psychology where we mistake our behaviour for our thoughts. For instance, in the case with self fulfilling prophecies, we decide upon something to be truthful and we will strive towards affirming this truth we settled for as we disregard whatever in our landscape that questions the predefined truth.  In the same way, if we pass judgments upon a person or a situation, the tendency is to act and talk in ways that affirm our judgment as we narrow down our horizon. We find here the power of will and determination, and certainly this gathering of personal power can influence the world, but it is not necessarily a state directly connected to the vis imaginativa. When we are creatively connected with the realm of imagination we will in our contemplation and expression is filled with meaning and understanding. Our landscape widens up and we our creativity gets richer and richer as horizon upon horizon reveal itself. When we work with the realm of fantasy the tendency is to be filled with a sense of accomplishment that provides a form of satisfaction with our achievements, and thus it gives access to work upon our own soul and the opportunity of forging a bridge between fantasy and imagination. It is never good to mix the planes and hence I find it useful for our compass to differentiate when we work within the realm of fantasy and when we are truly connected to imagination as the source of creativity. 

In terms of what can stimulate our creativity and imagination, there is a vast universe out there of poetry, art, music, beauty of all forms that can be contemplated and appreciated for the stimulation it causes. For me, the tavern can be as much as source for inspiration, as the good conversation and solitary walks in the woods at night. I think the key perhaps is to keep a sense of wonder and awe of being alive, to truly realize that we are spiritual beings on a human journey. Be always curious and never be afraid to choose paths unknown that intrigues. Be always the hero and adventurer in your own life. This is a creative approach to life and living. 

When we look up to the stars and in this see our home, when we look at our fellow men and women and see here fellow journeymen as we see in trees and plants ancestors and elders as much as companions both bad and good in all beasts we will have a sensation of being connected. By being connected we will gradually realizing our placement in time and space and a vision of purpose will spread out as we approach the world with interest and attempt to make sense of everything. For instance, to write hymns and poetry in honour of one’s ancestors is one way of generating a closer connection with source by the use of imagination and creativity – and in this work, purpose will gradually be revealed. Likewise, to spend time in contemplation at places in nature that appeals to you is likely for forge a natural dynamic between you, the angel and geni loci of the place and inspire by the virtue of beauty how life can be experienced in greater fullness. Doing this we will not be summoning images from our psyche, but from the realm of ideas – and these immutable powers will inspire our psyche and soul. So, of all stimuli that can stir our soul and imagination nature of all forms is clearly to be favored, because here we find the mirror of the creator and in this we find ourselves. It is ice or mountain, jungle or desert we find here the possibility of intense intimacy with ourselves, and through this merging with nature we will realize that this our beautiful world is as Thoreau wrote: “but a canvas to our imagination”...

Many Blessings!
Nick