I wrote in my previous posting here of living in the two worlds. I imagine one might think it strange to live in two worlds running in parallel motion but never merging - on the one hand normal, even mundane life, much like everyone else in this time and place with its worries and concerns both petty and profound, its joys and delights, its dark confusions interspersed with moments of sparkling clarity. On the other hand right alongside all of that, the mysterious and indescribable transformation going on in my private interior, ignited by the awakening of mysterious energies in the body. This second world is seemingly a personal process that does not lend itself to interpersonal dialogue, to webs of interlocution. I do attempt a direct approach of communication from time to time concerning this world, this blog itself being one vehicle of that effort; one that, unfortunately, leaves many scratching their heads wondering what I'm talking about. And of course the experience leaks into my artwork, though I doubt many see it. So it can indeed be strange living in the two worlds.
Yet, even stranger is that it's all further complicated by a distinct third world I live in, the world of creative process. This is also in many ways a private world, a personal interior process. But unlike the interior world of energetic transformation, this is one that interacts with and is highly influenced by the environment I live in, the environment composed not so much by its physical surroundings, the physiosphere and biosphere, as by that invisible aspect of the Kosmos sometimes referred to as the noosphere, the sphere of thought and culture, of interpersonal interaction - what I call webs of interlocution.
Because the noosphere is invisible, is non-quantifiable, its effects on the creative process are a little tough to pin down. Let me try to paint a picture of how it works. I read (a lot). I engage in interesting, deep conversations (a lot). I observe intelligent news on TV and radio, following discussions around politics and social analysis. I absorb culture through the many art forms, be they musical, poetical, visual. All of this then seems to hover around me in the back of my consciousness, dancing in a vibrant cloud. When I go to my studio to work, to put my hands on the material world with the intent of creating something worth bringing into existence, the cloud (or web, if you will) follows me, hovers around me. It's out of this background cloud that I somehow - sometimes consciously, often subconsciously - pull out formative ideas and intuitions. Then I leave it to my hands, give them a shove and off I go on an alchemical exploration, destination unnamed but surely felt.
So there it is, three worlds that I inhabit - The mundane, common day-to-day world; the world of creative alchemy; the world of Mysterious Rapture. One moment I'm in the grocery store, worried about contracting corona virus and wondering if my favorite lentil soup recipe is better with or without the indicated tomato sauce. An hour later I'm in my studio playing sorcerer's apprentice with thread, traveling a magical mystery tour. Later that evening I'm on my back on the floor at home being ravaged by God.
What's a fella to make of all this????
It occurred to me that the key to answering this question might lie in finding out who this fella is. Does the same fella inhabit each of the three worlds? Or, does it take different fellas to speak the language of each world? As you might imagine, the answer is a bit ambiguous.
Let's take the first world, the world of day-to-day, functional, mostly mundane life - the world we all inhabit in common. This is the world of survival, of relationships, of doing. This is also the world of our conditioning, our habits, our reactions, often in relation to our five senses. Importantly, it is also the world of our emotions, feelings, sentiments, likes and dislikes. It's a very, very big world stretching far and wide - but not very deep.
So who's the fella (or gal) that inhabits that world, that speaks its language? Basically, it's our personality - the sum of our conditioning, our experiences, our reactions; the persona or mask we put on every day to interact with that world (BTW, some would call this the ego, but that word is so muddled by its myriad and ill-defined uses that I tend to avoid it. I don't think I've used the term even once on this blog site...until now).
For many, if not most, this is the only fella/gal they are or ever will be aware of. This was certainly the case for me for most of my life. When referring to this personality fella/gal some use the term self (lower case), as opposed to a posited Self (upper case). In that spirit here I'll use the term 'little jeffy' to identify my personality working in that first world. One of the hallmarks of little jeffy is that he evolves over time, he develops. From zygote to embryo to infant to child to teenager to adult, always developing, always changing. If lucky, this development continues to the death bed, though it appears most get stuck at middle age, or even sooner.
But does little jeffy speak the language of the alchemical creative world? Certainly art school could and did verse him in the shallow aspects of that language, the cliches that riddle the art world. But there is a deeper, more complex aspect to the process of alchemical creativity that little jeffy cannot even possibly understand and articulate. Disappointingly, art school was not capable of delivering this depth language, nor was it capable of understanding it at all. It's only by diving into the vast chasm of the psyche in search of the basis of creativity and meaning that one can acquire that language. There one discovers a bigger Self - I'll just call him'"Big Jeff' for now. Big Jeff is the one who reaches into that hovering cloud vibrating with webs of interlocution and plucks out the formative ideas and intuitions, presenting them to the hands and setting them off on the alchemical journey.
To little jeffy, this all feels like a dream. He doesn't speak the language. However, he's grown wise enough to go along for the ride. At times when an artwork is finished he simply steps back and asks, "Where the fuck did that come from??" But little jeffy also knows enough to get out of the way when needed, to empty himself out of the process; or, as they say, to let go. This is Big Jeff's world, this is his language, this is where the alchemy happens. Besides, little jeffy has a buddy now. Big Jeff may not always be there for him, he may disappear for months at a time, though his absences have become shorter and less frequent as the two get more comfortable with each other. For his part, Big Jeff knows he can't do anything at all without the little guy; after all, little jeffy pays the rent, drives him to the studio, negotiates all the wacky complexities of this 21st century world. And, he makes a killer lentil soup!
Which now leaves the question of who exactly is that fella operating in the world of Mysterious Rapture, the one who is regularly ravished by God? It seems this fella has no name, at least none that I can identify. Perhaps that is because, for now even after nearly twelve years, I simply haven't become fluent in the language of that world. Without a doubt little jeffy is along for the ride - regular 20 minute whole body orgasms are quite enough to keep him smiling. Big Jeff is there as well, though rather than smiling he is simply astonished. And intuition being his strong suit, Big Jeff also has the sense that this third fella is still in utero, still an embryo slowly developing toward a new birth. At which point, perhaps a christening will be in order?
To be continued...