“When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” – Steve Jobs
I used to be terribly impetuous, I’d get an idea and rush off, with full enthusiasm, to do whatever it happened to be that I’d come up with. The downside to that was always that at some point the “excitement” would drop, the wind would go out of my sails and I’d either abruptly stop or start making excuses and drop the project after a certain time. Then, obviously, as one does, I’d hate myself for having no staying power.
As I have grown in this understand of the nature of the human experience, my mind has become very quiet, I notice my speech is slower, my emotions are more steady. And here’s what else I’ve noticed; for example, the other day I came up with a creative idea – I have an intention, which is to get the Principles rippling out in France – so I had an idea about that, about doing some videos in French, the details are not important.
What’s important is that I’m looking at this creative idea far more objectively, I’m steadying my pace, I don’t feel the need to switch on my camera and start uploading stuff and putting it out there. The creative idea came up, now I’m letting it decant.
And, probably because I’m living in France, I thought this was a nice way to describe what I mean:
A creative idea is like a really good wine and there are two ways to drink it. You can either down it entirely in minutes straight from the bottle, skipping the wineglass step. The first few mouthfuls are nice but by the time you get to the end of the bottle, it doesn’t taste that nice because you’re feeling quite sick and very drunk. And that “cup runneth over” feeling will last only a very short while and will disappear, leaving you feeling not that great.
The other way to drink the wine is to let the bottle decant for a while before pouring a little of it’s contents into a nice glass. Then you can swirl the wine around, gaze at its colours, smell the bouquet and then take a sip, savouring the wine in your mouth, tasting and appreciating every molecule before letting it slip down. And drinking the wine this way makes it last longer and, because you never get to that over-full, drunk stage, every sip of the wine is delightful and delicious and pleasant… and lasts
The bottle, in both cases, will be drunk but the slower way, in the end, is more gentle and fun and this way, by not rushing in, the details can sort themselves out without me getting caught up in them and losing my sense of purpose.
So, where does the creative genius come from?
What we know, is that it is expressed through Thought but even scientists don’t really know where Thought comes from. What’s clear is that it’s coming from an intelligence that has nothing to do with intellect. An intelligence behind life, that same intelligence that makes the grass grow and that makes a human being from the joining of two minute cells. That greater intelligence, which Syd Banks referred to as Universal Mind, and has also been called God, the Universe, Love…
Sydney Banks said that Thought is the Missing Link between Mind (the fact of being alive, the energy of life) and Consciousness (our awareness through our senses and emotions)
This creative energy is coming through us, this divine spark as some describe it, from a place of wisdom and well being… from what we call Mind. And what aids us in accessing this source is having a quiet mind.
When we are up in our heads, with thoughts whirling around, and we are latching on to various thoughts and turning them over and over with our intellect, well that’s a bit like a fountain that’s clogged up with fallen leaves. At first the water is nice and clear but if water keeps pouring into the fountain then it will eventually run over and if we leave the water in the fountain for any length of time, it will stagnate. Once we remove the leaves that are clogging up the exits, the fountain empties and we are left anew with a running source of water that is clear and that we can tap into at any moment.
Thought being fluid, if we allow it to run its natural course and we don’t get into clogged up thinking, then every so often that divine spark will come along and inspire us into action. What’s important to know is that the less we have on our minds, the more likely we are to notice it.
A few days ago it was a very wet day and my two elder children were very bored at home with the usual long faces and “complaining”.
All of a sudden an idea for a game came to me to make up some funny drawings. Each of us in turn would come up with an idea for something to add to the picture and so each of us would create our own drawing according to what each of us would suggest.
We ended up with some very funny drawings as you can see below.
Where did that game idea come from? Where did the ideas come from for each of our suggestions of what to add to the drawings? Well, they just popped up. What I was aware of is that it came up in a moment of quiet when I wasn’t even searching for an idea and it felt like fun, so we did it and we had a great time.
And what’s really nice to know is that this Divine Spark is available to us on all levels… they don’t only have to be “save the world” creative ideas, they can also be very simple “what-to-do-on-a-wet-afternoon” creative ideas.
And what a beautiful way to notice life, knowing that the Divine Spark is always there from the moment that we are quiet enough to catch it.