“Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.”

—George Kneller

Thoughts on Creativity

Musings by our staff and facilitators

Here we share our occasional thoughts about the creative process, illustrating how it applies to more than just making art. Creativity can be an integral part of our lives, providing inspiration and direction. We welcome a conversation through your comments about our musings.

Crossing The Edge of Fear

Originally posted in 1989 by Creative Edge founder Donald Mathews in his first newsletter:
Tllicho Lake
In this high place
it is as simple as this
leave everything you know behind.
Step toward the cold surface
say the old prayer of rough love
and open both arms.
Those who come with empty hands
will stare into the lake astonished
there in cold light
reflecting pure snow
the true shape of your own face.
—David Whyte
Where Many Rivers Meet
The purpose of these programs is to tap into the explosive energy available in humans when they cross edges of fear into their own undeveloped creative potential. It is not necessary to become trained artists in  order to realize this important human asset. To develop the full craft of an artist requires a great deal of effort and is only for a few dedicated people. Rather the primary task for most of us is to learn how to connect to the muse of our own inner Godhead, or deeper self, and express in our daily lives the universal creative flow available in all of us. Each time our mysterious inner themes are developed aesthetically, powerful new insight is gained into the emerging content of our deeper self, the content of who we are uniquely. The more we know and share of both the secret and unconscious parts of ourselves, the more possibility there is for support and relationship with each other. Through this inner strength we can become vulnerable, able to claim our own mature truths and support others in their similar quest. Generally this idea is not new. However, I think it is extraordinary for ordinary individuals to he in touch with their innate aesthetic creative abilities and stand up for these expressions of personal beauty. As an artist and educator, I know this is possible for most of us. When we each take this important personal step, we can create an evolutionary leap on the planet together.
– Donald W. Mathews

Knowing

Occasionally we will post thoughts on creativity from the historical Creative Edge website. Here is one such post from 1994:
On the subject of learning from others, I’d like to share a poem with you that I wrote during my initiation conference with Brugh Joy (a spiritual mentor). Brugh had glanced in my direction and I felt like he knew everything about me, especially the secrets even I didn’t know. It was shocking to me and very unsettling. After I wrote this poem, though, I began to feel that I was really writing about myself. That there could be a way that I could look into those dark passages and know. I was able to reclaim my own power, instead of projecting it on someone else. Slowly I’m learning to recognize myself as I deal with the outside world. It seems such a gigantic task where I make some wonderful breakthrough only to go immediately to sleep, stumbling along in my life, unconnected to my Spirit and Soul. But my optimistic side tells me that I need to follow this pattern, for now, anyway, in order to really process my spiritual progress. Of course, there are other characters inside me that have other, more negative, things to say about it, but I’ve listened to them long enough. Like the poem, I know.
– Carol Mathew-Rogers
I KNOW
One quiet glance,
One silent moment
Of wondrous breath held
Suspended in chaos
Forever.
Forever.
One quiet glance
One silent surge
Of truth passed
Through the center,
Glancing off frozen secrets
Reaching beyond
Careful schemes
Burning.
Burning.
One quiet glance and
He knows.
He knows.

Listening to the murmurings of our heart

The great arc of life has symmetry and meaning as we cycle through four major phases of approximately two decades each. In the initial stage we are nurtured into adulthood by family and culture. In the second phase, as we gain independence, we move actively into the outer world to gain experience and confidence from its vast knowledge. In accordance with our spirit, we also begin to build a foundation for personal wisdom. A third phase starts near mid-life after we have encountered life’s hardships and begin to quiet outwardly while learning to reconcile pain and opposing forces as they are reflected inward. In this phase we take the great inner journey that must be completed alone to develop compassion and soul. In the final phase, we begin the return to a community of deeply spiritual beings to give back to life—to nurture creation itself.

I discovered recently how my interest and involvement with the arts in mid-life was the necessary vehicle and gateway to understanding the third stage of my development. I knew that our human artistic abilities—abilities of the fine arts— to sing, dance, imagine stories and images and express them were innate to all humans. Although these abilities are often guarded by great personal fears. In our culture most adults have not owned their artistic abilities—I had disowned them myself in the sixth grade and needed to reclaim this heritage together with the ability to work with dreams as the  necessary vehicle to explore my inner world.

However, I intuitively knew the arts were leading me to something else beside a second career as a professional artist. I now understand the major transition I still am in—entry into the fourth and final stage. My strong goal oriented drive has always hid my capacity to simply enjoy the life process in whatever form it appears, so I have been learning to listen to the pleasure of my heart as it calls me to creative expression for its own sake, not for an outside goal.

In some mysterious way, when we learn to listen to the murmurings of our heart and have the courage to act on them creatively, we are answering our personal call to participate in creation at the deepest level. Thus we fulfill our divine life destiny regardless of the phase or stage we are in.

–Don Mathews

Board of Directors
Thoughts on Creativity

 

Each Board Member has looked at what theme is active or has their attention, reflecting or musing on it as an artist from a creative process point of view.

Seasonal Challenges

January 2017 Laura Carley: The dark winter season often poses challenges to my connection with the creative flow. Holiday distractions meld with the desire to indulge in warm blankets of comfort. I imagine my muse being content, enough, curled up on a pillow beside to...

Threshold

January 2017 Kyla Cyr: Dream work continues as a threshold, which catches my attention and brings creative growth. I had this dream where I am in this oceanfront house that is For Sale in the $300,000 range; I am thinking that we can afford it. There are white walls...

Trust the Process

January 2017 Donald Mathews: As I looked back through my thoughts on creativity for A’musings over the last 20 years, these favorite pet thoughts of mine reemerged as relevant once more, particularly in times of change like these. “Trust the process! Have courage!...

Unexpected Gift

January 2017 Carol Mathew-Rogers: Yesterday I received in the mail an unexpected gift from a woman whose insights and thoughts are always pearls of wisdom, which I highly value. A simple offering obviously made with love, it is an image carefully cut out and pasted...

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