What all of the world’s spiritual traditions point out in their own unique ways is that we are creators, we are creative beings. Our creative capacity isn’t conceived of as a mere hobby, a sideline, something that we should just indulge in on our days off. Rather, these wisdom traditions consider our creative power as our greatest gift, both to the world as well as ourselves. The creative spirit is the life-giving oxygen for our soul. Even quantum physics, whose deeper meaning is still in the beginning stages of being decoded and understood, is revealing to us that we are not just passive observers of this world, but are active participants who are involved—whether we know it or not—in creating our experience of both the world and ourselves.
The greatest poison to the human psyche is unexpressed creativity, which is to say that if we aren’t actively involved in expressing ourselves creatively, we are secretly allied with and an outpost for the evil aspect of wetiko. A creative person has to create; to quote the doctor of the soul C. G. Jung, “woe unto him if he does not … nothing is more poisonous to the nervous system than a disregarded or checked creative impulse. It even destroys people’s organic health…” Because the creative function creates the greatest value, Jung continues, “…it is most dangerous to interfere with it … if you destroy the creative impulse, you will destroy the intrinsic value of the individual at the same time. But you can still live on as a wall decoration.”
Creativity that is not given a suitable form of expression can be envisioned as a shadow that veils the light of divinity within us. Unexpressed or repressed creativity feeds the evil aspect of wetiko, which transforms the potentially helpful voice of the daemon (who is, after all, our inner guide) into a destructive demon. If we don’t honor the creative light within us, instead of the daemon being our trustworthy guide, its spirit will deceive and mislead us into all sorts of trouble.
Creatively expressing what is moving us—as well as what is stopping us from moving—is the very act which liberates us from the unconscious compulsion of having to re-create our unhealed wounds, trauma and abuse self-destructively. Our undealt with and unintegrated wounds lodge themselves and fester within us, growing by accretion, becoming radioactive with wetiko. Genuine creativity, however, consumes and incinerates the remnants of our unprocessed abuse into ashes. Here’s what I wrote in my memoir Awakened by Darkness:
The blazing fire of a soul set aflame with its own destiny, burning with the passion of following its deeper calling, fulfilling its mission in life, puts a stake through the heart of the inner vampiric figure of wetiko. Doing what we are born to do is lethal to the internalized abuser. The more we pursue what we love and what gives meaning to our life, the more we ‘kill’ the inner vampiric figure which craves us for itself alone.
In my personal encounter with wetiko, if I hadn’t connected with the creative spirit, I would have been in deep trouble. Expressing what I was experiencing creatively transformed me at my core, recreating myself anew in the process. In Jung’s words, “in creation you are created.” To quote Jung, “the creative process in you is not your own doing. It simply takes you and uses you; it is a different will than your own. Then you understand that it is something else, something beyond yourself that is creative…. We are only instrumental in the creative process: it creates in us, through us.” When we are truly creative we step out of our limited self and become a conduit for a deeper, unknown part of ourselves—something beyond ourselves—to come through us.
The regenerative power in creativity is based on our ability and willingness to not cling to our ego with its fixed and limited notions of who we are or to fall into its habitual reactions, but rather, to allow ourselves to be shaped and in-formed by our new experiences in the world, and then, in turn, to give creative shape and novel form to these experiences. This involves a readiness and receptivity to respond to the continual collision—with the inevitable wounding—between world and psyche. The litmus test for our creativity is our creative response—or lack thereof—to these experiences …
(A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the founder of the Awakening in the Dream Community in Portland, Oregon. Paul is the author of The Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality (SelectBooks, May, 2018), Awakened by Darkness: When Evil Becomes Your Father, Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years.
Please visit Paul's website www.awakeninthedream.com. You can contact Paul at [email protected]; he looks forward to your reflections. © Copyright 2018.)