Category: Insight


Creativity and Imagination


I want to discuss creativity, imagination and their relationship, and I began with a John Cleese talk.

Firstly however I am comfortable in describing myself as creative but here is some justification. I write science fiction stories so the question is because I write am I creative? The easiest route for creative justification is one I reject (sour grapes?), I have not been published or paid any money. Such social accolades can be attributes of creative people but equally they can just be attributes of people who play the game. I equally reject the notion that because a book sells the person is a writer, selling books means that they are a product which has been marketed and distributed. And I say this with all due deference to the many creative people who have toiled for years making a living in the publishing business.

So if I am creative, why? For creative people this question does not have to be asked, it is or it isn’t. I sit down and write a book, no choice, no financial motivation, no public accolades, the book is just written. That is creative. Is there a notion of quality attached to this? Again a creative person answers – certainly but there is no justification, none is needed.

And in the above discussion there is much that describes creativity, it just is. A person is creative or isn’t.

Let’s turn to the John Cleese talk. The Monty Python team were innovative, and I assume that he was invited to give this talk in 1992 in part because of the Python’s team’s innovation – I will discuss my use of the word innovative later. Apart from his humour I found the talk uninspiring. In truth he said at the beginning that he had nothing to offer, and I think that is true. He was there because of his fame.

However what is always useful is to listen to how creative people describe the conditions that lead to their creativity. Cleese listed five factors that enabled his creative process:-

1) Space – away from demands of daily life
2) Time – specified time away from daily life
3) Time – take time with the problem – don’t just take the easy way out.
4) Confidence – fear will prevent creativity
5) Humour – takes us from closed to open mode. A serious problem does not require solemnity.

But none of these actually described the creativity, they described the best situation he could put himself in in order for there to be a creative result. Question (there is assumption in this question) – is a weekly script for Monty Python genuinely creative? It is worth discussing innovative here. The Monty Python team changed the world of western humour, and because of this the word innovative easily applies. What is significant in their humour is that it was primarily new, but because it is new does that make it creative? I think not. In general the word creative is an apt description of Python humour, but perhaps not so for every sketch they did. However to describe every show as innovative would be appropriate. Perhaps some sketches might have been described as flat – did not work. Undoubtedly they were innovative but if they didn’t work were they creative?

Here comes imagination. How important is imagination in creativity? When I grew up art was being changed. Artists would come up with a new work, and because their imagination had thrown back the boundaries of established art the work was often assumed as creative, but because someone is capable of imagining something new does not mean that the imagined product is creative. My own sphere of art, science fiction, is new worlds of imagination, but are those imaginations creative? Perhaps so, perhaps not. It depends on whether there is mimicry or creativity, is there a genuine process of creativity or is the author simply copying another scenario? And there is only one measure, whether the writer feels s/he is being creative.

Creativity is a feeling but what sort of feeling? At my most creative – subjective view, I felt a presence. Such a presence could artistically be described as the presence of a muse, but the muse is mythological – having a creative muse doesn’t add any clarity to a discussion. So what is this feeling about? It is a measure of the relationship between the creator and the Path, and this relationship is creativity as we know it.

Is it innovation or imagination per se? No. These are faculties which can help with creativity. Is a work creative enough if the poet cannot imagine to wax lyrically? Is a work creative that is just innovative? If so, perhaps a computer could randomly “create” new works of art?

Imagination is not a creative process in itself, it is a faculty that adds to the work. For many there is a focus on imagination especially in science fiction. Without imagination there is no creativity in science fiction but the imagination itself is not a majority tool. It sets the scene, it describes Kirramura or Angellara or Kamden. But the creativity is in the story, the writing, what the writer wants to say. The imagination was a vehicle, it enabled the story to be transported into a reality – of sorts as no-one has read the book.

This focus on imagination brings me to another recognition. Imagination is a faculty of mind, like reason, and many others. But the creative process is connected to the Path and not simply a faculty of mind. It is this connection, this element of the Path, that is the spark, the uniqueness, the speciality. It belongs to us all, we can all experience it, creativity is not sectioned off for a few. But imagination is a faculty that we all possess, in some less developed than others. In some cultures imagination is hyped especially in drug cultures, the place of imagination, like the place of reason is raised beyond where it belongs.

Creativity directs, imagination and reason are faculties with places to be known under that direction.

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Unity as axiom – yugas


In my last blog I discussed the issue of what the system accepts as true – axioms. This blog started as a consequence of Bruce Lipton’s “Biology of Perception” in which he questioned the fundamental axiom of biology – that we are a consequence of our genes. Much that is based on the axioms of science can be questioned, and in the last blog the main theme to be questioned was that of unity and separation. I have then watched a movie about 20/12/2012. I don’t subscribe to a great deal that is in this clip. I haven’t followed much of the 2012 discussion but started to watch this clip as a summative view.

I took from it some info that I believe can be vaguely classified as a form of truth. I think this movie presented a Hindu position and is based around astrology. I understand that great faith is based in astrology by the Hindus, and what has been called esoteric astrology I tend to believe in. There is an Hermetic aphorism “as above so below”, I am comfortable with that. I see what happens in the heavens as an indicator, a mirror of what happens “below” on Earth. This does not say that because the “moon aligns with Mars” ABC will happen, but it does say that some things happening on Earth will be mirrored as the “moon aligning with Mars”. What does that actually mean? Very little simply because it is all about interpretation, and if it is about interpretation then we are looking at the integrity of the interpreters. I apologise for this but when I watched the movie I felt no empathy with the interpreters.

What was however interesting was some of the basic astrology that undelies this 2012 hype. I have edited the clip, and here just present the discussion of the yugas; note Buddhists tend to believe in the yugas. According ot the clip there are 4 yugas, Hindu – Satya,Treta, Dwarapa and Kali I will call them gold, silver, bronze and iron. This 20/12/2012 is an astrological date for the upward change of yuga from dark to bronze. According to my ill-informed interpretation this change means little in terms of the actual day – other than the hype. Yugas, or cycles, are part of continued existence. Over the last 1000 years we have supposedly been moving up through kali yuga, and this ought to mean that life is improving. If I look at the wars in the Middle East or the drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen I see very little increased enlightenment.

One more day on this upward path is going to make no discernible difference. So why am I bothering with this blog and 20/12/2012? Because the stages that the yugas travel through are increasing unity or increasing separation; the golden age is that of unity, the dark age that of separation. For me the axiom always has and always will be unity, whatever the age, but it gives some understanding as to why in this dark age we accept separation as an axiom and how separation produces the darkness.

Taking this unity axiom a step further it gives a very clear understanding of chi. Let us consider the axiom of separation. If we are separate then our energy is also going to be separate. Such separate energy, what we might also consider our personal vitality, is going to be based on our personal sources of energy, food, mental states etc. Totally personal. However if we consider Unity, One Planet, then there is no separate energy as there are no separate beings. There is one energy, the energy of the planet of which our life is a part. That means that when we do exercises that take advantage of that one energy, Qi Gong, Tai Chi etc., we are not doing anything special. We are just doing exercises to get our energy. It is well recognised that our bodies need physical exercise, an exercise that accepts the separation model. But energy exercise is not generally accepted. Even those who do exercises involving chi don’t always recognise that their exercise is based on the fundamental axiom of Unity.

Here is a Chi Master playing around with the chi. My first Chinese Tai Chi Master-teacher did a similar trick, and I too went flying round the room:-

here

It looks crazy, doesn’t it? Scientifically how can one possibly accept this clip as some form of proof? Don’t. You have to do it.

I then watched this guy, a 90s Doctor from Texas, who was open-minded enough to see that healing can come through the mind. He teamed up with a Boston lecturer who had studied in China, and the clip examines different aspects of healing that involve the chi. Between two people interested in the chi this seems to be a good unbiassed look at chi in China. What I don’t understand is why the doctor didn’t find a western chi practitioner to take him on the tour of China. There are many westerners who are trained and use acupuncture, a number who use acupressure, there are many western chi-healing centres, why did the Texas doctor choose a guy who didn’t experience the chi?

I have no answer, I only ask the question. Here is another question, does acupuncture work? Yes. Proof, empirical evidence from Mandtao – it has healed me. When it has healed you, you don’t need any other proof. Of course science needs proof, but my proof is enough for me. Does Qi Gong work? Yes. Why? Because I have done it. I do Chilel Qi Gong, and feel better for it. Personally I like Tai Chi better, but that is not a proof that Tai Chi is better, it is for me. All I am doing is tapping into the energy that is there for One planet to use, no more no less. Nothing freaky, just an axiom. When the axiom is Unity then we have shared energy that is available. When we have separation, then energy is also individual so why will “swatting flies” work?

The axiom matters, Unity.

Ignorance – avijja

avijjá: ‘ignorance,’ nescience, unknowing; synonymous with delusion (moha, s. múla), is the primary root of all evil and suffering in the world, veiling man’s mental eyes and preventing him from seeing the true nature of things. It is the delusion tricking beings by making life appear to them as permanent, happy, substantial and beautiful and preventing them from seeing that everything in reality is impermanent, liable to suffering, void of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, and basically impure (s. vipallása). Ignorance is defined as ‘not knowing the four truths, namely, suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the way to its cessation’ (S. XII, 4).

This is a definition for avijja taken from a Buddhist Dictionary. It goes beyond what I wish to discuss here but it is mainly the first sentence I wish to use. The problem with ignorance is that it is susceptible to the claim that it is just your opinion. In the above definition, the second sentence is typical of this. Buddhists, including myself, believe impermanence, liable to suffering and void of I (Pali – anicca, dukkha and anatta), and therefore a Buddhist might say it is ignorant not to believe this.

Now in terms of science this question of belief is taken to extreme. Because belief is subjective then science rejects all beliefs or categorises them as belief and NOT science. This position is absolutely ludicrous as it therefore categorises as “NOT science” most of human experience. Science sets as the benchmark of that which is knowledge as all that can be proved by scientific method. Essentially this scientific method is proof by logical reasoning, but science in general does not examine the axioms upon which this reasoning is based, yet it claims to. There is also much that is dubious about the scientific proofs that come under the heading of qualitative research. I interpret this research as follows:-

Quantitative method is an incontrovertible method of proof (given that it is applied appropriately – and there are many cases in which it isn’t) based on numbers and objective measurement. However academics found this proof limiting when it came to the area that is not known as Science (maths, physics, chemistry etc.). Academics wished to introduce a method that would allow academic respectability for the social sciences, and they called this qualitative research. Such a methodology often based on case studies can often lead to useful conclusions but what it cannot give is incontrovertible proof as with quantitative research. Personally I don’t mind this, qualitative research is a useful indicator but it is not proof.

A friend, self-professed worshipper of reason, uses the word “verifiable”, I like this word as it does open the door to genuine knowledge, but academia does not wish to enter. First up is the need to discuss empirical evidence, and for me acupuncture is an excellent benchmark when it comes to considering whether academia respects empirical evidence. For thousands of years empirical knowledge, thousands of years of case studies, has led to that bank of medical knowledge that is known as acupuncture. Yet science rejects it. There is a simple explanation for this – money. As has been discussed often on my sister site, specifically here, the medical establishment has been subverted by the finances of Rockefeller etc. and allopathic medicine is the only medicine that can be accepted. Therefore acupuncture whether it has a verifiable basis or not will never be recognised by western academia.

Meditative method is the next empirical method that is worth considering. Somewhere His Holiness the Dalai Lama (HHDL) describes the method of meditation as a science. Basically all meditators gravitate to the same point of view. By my recollection he described the method of meditation used in Tibetan Buddhism as always leading to the same understanding, if that is true then there can be no better description of a science – scientific method.

I am not here attempting a proof by quantitative method, and as I assert that this is the only incontrovertible proof accepted by academia what I assert here is not science. However if one accepts that qualitative research through the empirical evidence of case study is actually science then everything I describe has a scientific basis. However I have no wish to contend this because quantitative proof is a misdirection and leads to limited understanding. What is needed is a different epistemology, and that theory for me is based around insight. This epistemology requires an education towards a belief and acceptance of insight, and the use of that skill of insight is the measure of science and the tool that breaks through the veil of ignorance. Of course western academia can never accept this. Whilst they can fool themselves that qualitative research is a substantive proof, they will never accept a subjective methodology such as insight.

But this is typical of the “axioms” of science, they are limited and often erroneous. This blog started with looking at Bruce Lipton’s examination of “genes maketh the man”, this might be true of denim (ha ha) it is certainly not true of people in general. In the last blog I promoted the notion of unity over separation as an axiom for understanding life. This axiom comes from insight, but not mine alone; it is a fundamental axiom of a number of religions and a number of peoples’ insights. At the same time insight brings into question the inadequate model that is separation. Quite obviously separation fits in with quantitative method and observation on an external level. Because of this obvious acceptance such a separation has become an axiom, we are fundamentally separate units as human beings. But the question then is “whilst we can observe bodies of separation, does that mean we as human beings are separate?” Once we start to investigate that question we can see that separation as an axiom is a big assumption. Various words immediately spring to mind to undermine this assumption, gestalt consciousness, collective unconscious, archetypes, etc.

Then we can start to examine Nature. What about ants? Quite clearly they have separate bodies but do they function as separate beings? That is open to question. What about the sea? When you look at the sea you see waves, but can you separate the wave from the sea? That is a ludicrous question. Can you separate individuals from unity for me is an equally ludicrous question? But unfortunately I am in a small minority who think so.

What is preventing science from seeing unity as the axiom? The consequences of the axiom of separation is beneficial to the established order – the 1%, as discussed in the last blog.

Here is an axiom that needs to work hand-in-hand with other axioms – compassion. If your axiom is not beneficial to humanity, and therefore by consequence, ONE planet, then your axiom is flawed. Should compassion be an axiom? Of course it is common sense that any axiom we adhere to has to be of benefit to us all. Measure Insight and Unity by Compassion. When I talk of Insight people argue like “what about Hitler’s insights? Are they insights?” Compassion floors Hitler’s insights.

Look at the consequences of the model of separation. We have competition, we have people “stabbing each other in the back”, and we have the actions of the 1% who think it is acceptable to exploit the 99%. Is this compassionate insight? Have you determined your axioms through insight measured by compassion?

Returning to the theme of ignorance we have some people living in a world where they think they are happy. Their happiness lacks compassion because their happiness is founded on exploitation of others. They lack insight because if they developed insight they could see the way they are. Maybe they look after their families but beyond this they lack humane compassion, and this lack of humanity can exist because they consider that we are all separate and therefore our individual lives matter irrespective of what happens to others. However in unity there has to be compassion, seeing ourselves as one means that compassion is integrated into our being; there is no question because our actions cause ourselves suffering or not. The ignorance of separation means that we cause ourselves suffering, and we delude ourselves that the suffering of others that we cause does not matter. But it is a delusion that it does not matter.

So in the end there is only compassionate insight.

Silence then Unity


In silence there is truth. This has come to mean a lot more to me recently. I moved house and am living in the countryside; I cannot see my neighbours. For me this is wonderful, and in doing this it has been coming to me in meditation more and more the importance of silence. This is not external silence nor internal silence – just silence. This realisation arose because I was not surrounded by noise. Where I lived before was a suburb but mostly it was not noisy. There were people around, sometimes there was dog noise, but it was not the quiet of Nature. I have this now, it is such a relief. It is quiet, and it makes me want a quiet mind. This I do not have, and more and more it has become my meditation purpose.

With the quiet comes insight that sees the truth, and one brief snippet came this morning. I was thinking of a friend who had let me down with a recommendation. For me if I recommend then my integrity says that the recommendation means this is someone I would use – I could rely on them. That didn’t happen. This man is dedicated to his family, and this is where my mind went. He is compassionate for his family as are many poeople but their compassion does not go beyond their family. Why not? Because if they extend their compassion to all people then there will be conflict with their need to make profit in business. By seeing themselves in terms of their family only they can work at whatever job comes their way, and come home feeling compassionate and loving.

This is separation, and therefore brings me to unity. ONE planet and Unity are issues I have discussed before, they are fundamental themes for change that I have raised both in Zandtao and Mandtao, but I had not seen so clearly the complete interconnectedness of the two paradigms. Separation produces focus on family producing focus on family values increasing the focus on the need for earning leading to the acceptance of compromise in capitalism. Unity brings with it caring for all as we are all one. This means that we care for our families but not at the expense of others. Mandtao is geared more towards the mind and as such ONE planet needs greater emphasis because it is mind that is causing separation.

Knowing we are ONE planet means we cannot hurt others, we want to help our own but not at the expense of others – UNITY.

Superior Human?


Recently a friend posted on facebook that scientists stated something like animals have the same consciousness as humans. This winds me up a little, but of course it is full of holes. There is a kind of western myth that animals are almost human, especially amongst some who humanise their pets. Dogs and cats are not people, they do not have human characteristics – they are animals and have animal characteristics.

I’ve got a puppy to act as guard in my house. Along my street there are many with guard-dogs, this is the functionality of a dog – it protects. I had a wonderful dog in Botswana. Whilst neighbours’ houses were robbed my own was not, and even a drunk neighbour was saved from robbers by my dog. Cats kill rats. In my neighbourhood there are a few stray cats who are tolerated – I even fed one, and I hear the result of such toleration with the scrambling in or on my roof as the cat(s) clean out the vermine. This is a somewhat natural scene as opposed to pointless money being spent on Fifi’s hairdo. Now my description of animals is intentionally functional to prove a point, and according to Karmic theory pets can take on human characteristics en route to reincarnation as humans; I can never know this – God knows – Karma knows.

So we have an extreme in which humans personify animals and we have an equally absurd position where egotistical science functions as if it does not have to be in harmony with Nature. Many scientists try to control nature through their scientific knowledge leading to all kinds of crassness of which for me Oppenheimer was the worst – although retrospectively he admitted it.

My own position is very clear. The human mind is distinct and superior to all other forms of life on this planet, but, and a significant but, understanding that mind would also mean that the mind must function in harmony with Nature. In truth it is not always science that drives the lack of harmony. There are huge profits to be made if we frack, if we tap water, and if we make unnecessary nuclear weapons or drone technology. This profit directive motivates science into being technologically-oriented because such orientation produces profits. Applying such motivation means that science cannot accept its position of harmony in Nature, even if the scientists so choose. Oppenheimer was directed to create such a destructive weapon by the authority of the Allies, and the Alamo team’s desire for knowledge then took over – working “above” Nature instead of in harmony. Such imbalance in my view would not have happened without the motivation that brought the funding. So when people claim the imbalance of science I don’t see that, I see the imbalance of finance, of the profiteers. Unfortunately both are humans.

With these background thoughts I began watching “Superior Human” – up to here was written before I had finished the download, and now to my reaction to the movie:-

Irritated. The brown bear says my hearing is good, the human says I am intelligent, because these are exclusive then they are equally valid judgements. This fundamentally sums up the position of this academic nonsense. If you went down the pub and the guys talked such rubbish you’d call them drunken fools, academics say it with long words and you get a programme out of it.

I suppose they were trying to say “respect fellow creatures on the planet” but does that mean we are equals? If we are “superior”, can’t we still be respectful? It started with a picture of the mad scientist, surely an academic position is beyond that of the mad scientist. Can’t we be more discerning than to say we are superior and therefore in charge of nature or we are the same as animals?

But then I have to think about GM, and there we have science playing with Nature but in truth that is not science as a whole, it is a few who are bought off by Monsanto – watch Genetic Roulette. In the case of GM there are sufficient scientists who have stood up and lost their jobs, I do not accept criticism of science in general with regards to GM it is the 1% – money and Monsanto.

Why should I be so irritated? Maybe I am just tired – long week. But I am irritated because there was nothing even vaguely resembling ONE planet. When you went to discuss man animals and consciousness wsith supposed leading thinkers on the planet and there is nothing about Unity, respect for Nature, or whatever kind of terminology you want to use. But of course there can’t be because academia can only talk logic, and start from errant axioms. We are not separate people but ONE planet, respect is inherent in that. And then there is no inconsistency when we say humans are “superior”.

I was recently pointed to scientists saying consciousness is the same in man and animals. Is the mind of man and animals the same? This is surely what needs to be considered. But academics can’t consider it because they need an agreed definition of mind and consciousness, and this they can’t get because some name pops up with some sceptical viewpoint destroying common acceptance.

And why can they not reach agreement on this? Because they live in the world of reason do not use insight, do not meditate. HHDL talks about meditation as a science, although science would refute that. Following the methodology of meditation we always come up with the same conclusions about mind and coinsciousness, that is science, knowledge, a process of learning that leads to understanding. As opposed to academia a process of refuting learning by asking destructive questions so that no-one can learn, and the people who ask the questions have no control of their minds, cannot meditate, and become professors with wealth and status.

Irritated, yes. Worth a rant? Equally yes. Any point? Not really. These people have their jobs, follow the Richard Dawkins School of the destruction of all that is insightful, and academia does not move on. Learning does not occur.

Science – Establishment or Proof?


What I liked so much about the Mercola clip was that it demonstrated that genes controlling man was dogma, and that dogma was a religious principle. Typical of science is that what has become an accepted scientific approach is not based on a scientific proof. The atomic theory I learned at school has been discredited as a means of proper description yet I was taught it as facts. I never got into biology so the issue of genes never came up, but it has always been a typically scientific causal principle that never gave a good picture for me. Genes as building blocks for man seems ludicrous to me yet genetics appears to work from that basis. This appears to be a significant part of science’s answers as to how man works – by the direction of genes. Even if science is ludicrous, that has never stopped this establishment steamroller. What about my favourite? There is no chi. No-one can tell me that, because I have felt it. But I have a scientific friend who tells me that the chi exercises people do create the physical strength, so the “swatting flies of Tai Chi, causes muscular development”. Interesting hypothesis with no experimental proof, simply a theory that fits in with established science and established science needs no questioning.

What is required is insight and the basis of Bruce’s work on this view of biology came from insight. Excellent.