Is creativity a matter of nature or nurture to you? Does it spontaneously arise when you least expect it to, or do you deliberately set about ‘trying’ to be creative? Are there times when you wish you could be more creative? And what does creativity mean to you anyway? Is it something that allows you to solve problems, is it something through which you express yourself physically, or is it something that keeps you feeling connected, in touch with the world around you?
We can interpret and interact with this thing we call creativity. Sometimes the approach is full of good intention and yet nothing seems to arise, and yet other times we can be in the shower, or wandering what to have for lunch and the best idea in the world suddenly pops into our mind. So why does it happen like this, and what can we do about it? And is it even possible to train the mind to become more creative?
Well, when it comes to creativity, western psychologists often like to talk about it terms of ‘conscious’ and ‘subconscious’ mind, but that can be a bit of a red-herring, as it suggests that they are two distinct places, and that we somehow have to ‘access’ or ‘tap-in to’ this creative space. From a meditation point of view, that’s not strictly true. Sure, if you had to give a name to those thoughts and feelings you are not aware of in any given moment, I guess you could call them ‘subconscious’ - or anything else for that matter. But whatever you choose to call it, we are still talking about the mind...and there is only one mind!
Subconscious thoughts, or creative thoughts, are simply those thoughts which we are usually not aware of, which we are not conscious of. Yet they arise from the very same place as conscious thoughts. The reason we are often unaware of these creative, inspirational and spontaneous thoughts is generally because the surface of the mind is constantly moving. This is just like the analogy in the Mind Animation, right? The busy-ness of the mind creates ripples on the surface, in just the same way as throwing a stone into a pond creates ripples on the surface of the water. To be continued...