The creative process is a land beyond time and space.
It begins in a magical forest.
To a child the world is a magical forest. Everything is remarkable, fascinating, and worth exploring.
I often end up in this forest. Maybe too often. Maybe not often enough.
You look outside the normal, scout the edges, talk to strange beings. You diverge, open your mind.
Follow your intuition. But be critical! The open-minded sceptic is the role you want to play here. A lot of things you will find are rubbish, but there is gold out there too.
Focus outwards. Be quiet. You are the anthropologist, the zoologist, the botanist who observe in the background.
After a while this phase starts to bore you. You know how things work, the excitement is no longer there. You come back to the same sources, inspirations and places. You feel that it’s time to move on. The boredom gets worse. You can’t bear it any more. There are however only two ways out of the forest. The way you came from (which you know and doesn’t excite you) and an exit which leads to an edge atop a steep cliff leading down to a furiously flowing river.
It’s time to leave the known and accepted behind.
This step is very difficult. You must leave the safe, cosy observer role and step out. Step aside laterally to another direction, which doesn’t necessarily seem logical. But you feel that this is the right sidestep. It often looks like a step down, but it is definitely a step up in most ways.
This new state is difficult in the beginning. It’s confusing. The safety and familiar feelings and thoughts that you experienced in the curious phase in the magical forest are not there any more.You stand on the edge for a long time.
You start to regret that you jumped. You’re falling too quickly. You see furiously flowing water below and realise that you will end up in an unknown river. Will I survive? Where will the river take me? Uncertainty and fear sets in.
You land in the cold river. There is confusion, rapid currents and a new element, which you are not used to.
The key here is to relax.
The water is not as cold as it looked from above. This is actually a friendly environment.
Enjoy the ride. Float with the river instead of trying to fight it.
Look for energy. Look at the edges.
Look for beauty. Listen to the songs. Look at the shapes around you.
What attracts you? Stay there. Spend time in these spaces, with this music.
Create. Paint. Play. Drink. Imagine. Collaborate.
Make everything beautiful.
The beauty flows towards a whole.
We start to make a few connections between things we see, hear, taste and smell.
We start to listen to the system. Soon we can feel it and see it.
The links and interconnections are obvious to us. It seems like we take a bird’s perspective and move to see everything from above. A bigger picture.
Something larger wants to emerge.
Think in patterns.
Now we feel it.
Suddenly everything becomes clear. The whole picture is shown in an instant.
The revelation of how the whole system works is there right in front of us.
What started as curiosity and letting go, continued with our search for beauty and feeling the underlying system, now has revealed itself.
It is a new deeper world which seems infinite.
All is very calm.
You are a fish in this deep ocean.
This is a metaphorical remix of an earlier blog post on Five Types of Creative Thinking