Monday, July 11, 2011

"Creative Space" a secion of an essay

Greetings students of life!

We continue now with the part of the essay “Strategies for the Game” entitled “creativity.” This section is about finding a creative place, a place to create, and a place in every sense, not just a place to do our work, but our creative place geographically and our creative place in history. The creative place --- the workshop, the desk, the study --- is sacred. That is where we are most alive, most human. This section wraps of “Creativity”; next comes pragmatism, which is about doing the daily duties and chores.


Take care, Caretakers!


Daniel Christopher June




6. Creative Space



            Since our game in life is the artist's game of creating worlds, we each require our own secret garden within which to gestate. This sacred place is wherever you can freely create. Buddhist monks would frequent graveyards to be alone and think; Catholic monks preferred cloistered cells. We hold the public and university libraries as sacred. At my house, my study and library are the heart of my universe. I call it my “Hell Aria,” the womb of creativity. The rest of the universe is layer after layer of worlds that matter less to my central project. I love my circles of friends; they are dear. Yet the creative person is jealous of his focus and ruthless with his time. I do not give my friends more than their due: I do not exist for you. If you are so wonderful, exist you for yourselves as I exist for myself; only then will we shine for each other. Come near when I need you, as I will when you need me, for at such times we really do need each other; but when it is time to work, let us draw our eyes towards the task. I require long periods of intense concentration upon my work, and then I can at last relax in my success. You share in this, my friends, you share in my success; you can say of my work "I am proud of it," as if you had a part in it, as one dear woman said to me.

            My world is bisected into times and spaces of creativity. My brain is also dissected into spaces of creativity; the frontal lobes behind my temples are divine and humming with energy. I kiss my friends upon their brows, to consecrate the energy of their creative mind. This is called the kiss of inspiration.

The great blue eye

Of midday sky

Has closed for me

Has closed for me


The inner eye

Of hallowed mind

Now shines for me

Now shines for me


            We close ourselves from the sun of society, though we at times live in the thick of ideas and the people who create them. We must be bipolar in all things, and so also with our solitude. Sometimes alone. Not always. That creative space of my inferior frontal lobes finds wider circle in my Aria, my personal study close at hand, and again, a little farther off, in the larger circle of my city, my hometown of Grand Rapids, which is again a type of the macrocosm, a microcosm for my stomping and loving. I am home here; I am lazy here. Creativity requires excessive time and surplus focus. That is why the sloth is our totem; the sloth, which is slow and thorough, he is sacred,  but so is the raccoon, which is quick and deliberate. Such a city as this does well for me. Best to love your hometown, as Socrates loved Athens. Throughout history the great ages of creativity were fostered in big cities such as

5th century BC Athens

1st century Jerusalem

10th century Arabian cities

15th century Florence

19th century Paris, London, and Vienna

20th century New York City

            and one day…

21st century Grand Rapids 


            Grand Rapids? How unlikely! One sociologist writing on creativity evaluated it to be an uninspired city, on a list of large American cities, nearly the lowest. Yet we must grow from our roots, and make the most of what we have. Great art conceals itself. Perhaps this city is concealing something as well, for though nothing but a thoroughly Christian authorship flourishes here – we have more churches, more seminaries, more Christian publishing houses than any city in the United States – yet something better than Christianity could very well emerge.

            We are now positioned in a moment of greatness. Our time and place is the cauldron of a new style, a fuller style. Consider the creative congruence after World War One, after the collapse of empires. That creative work included

Einstein's theory of relativity

Freud's unconscious

Eliot's free form poetry

Stravinsky's 12 tone music

Picasso's fragmented figures

Joyce's stream of consciousness.


            The creative output of these men resemble each other, for each of them  internalized their zeitgeist. It was a time of disintegration, the opposite of ours, which is the Allistic reintegration. We are the synthesis of each into all.

            In your city, know all the libraries, find the best minds, meet the wisest eyes: feel the density of exciting ideas. You must internalize the system, the entire genre, the domain of your creative world: if you are scientist, know your science; if a poet, know the poetic breath of your time; if a musician, study all the techniques and styles around you. Talk with everybody, seek out inspiration, eat everything—be an utter raccoon of consumption.

            We take it all in and make a new synthesis, we who are the melting pot, mixing races to make the pure race; absorbing all languages into a fully global English. We are pious in our grandiosity. In all our creations we make versions of ourselves. And yet, art is worship. A man is most divine in the action of creating. We recreate ourselves even in mathematical studies, for we translate the abstractness of the problems into the language of our primordial problems. It means something personal to us, what we create. Others can't see it, but our works are pure biography, are living parts of us that continue to live after we pass. Perseverance is success. And we can only persevere in what is personally important to us.

            If our lives are for creating, should we live in the city or in nature? Art corrects nature. And the city is a kind of jungle. Be bipolar: visit both. In a city, a man is fully enwombed in manmade objects: how glorious! Buildings and wires, signs and people; all are spheres of technology. How wonderful! How admirable! And yet when alone in nature, we can see what our Mother has been up to these last few billion years. One is as good as the other; both are good in turn. The creative person studies his problems, living in the world of nebulous concepts and ideas, floating in the abstract, an internal world which slowly distills into pure art. If in the city, then do it there; if in nature, then do it there. Emerson and Nietzsche preferred long nature walks. I love to haunt the library, and roost within my personal study. Mozart would go for long nature walks and imagine his symphonies, saying "Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts of a symphony successively, but I hear all of them at once." Whatever lets you look upon your work Allistically, all at once, lets you understand and comprehend it. Seek that. The environment is the world that opens you like a book, lets the pages of your heart open, lets the light come out. Whatever is home to you will let you be yourself.

            The fantasy world of your art can be realized; discovering the answer requires wandering the labyrinth of your inner thought, such as the fantasy world of Peikoff, Ayn Rand's lackey and disciple, who thought the world was soon ending, as Rand had predicted, because as she said society had betrayed a system of pure capitalism, and so he ordered for thousands of Rand’s books to be hidden in the caves of India and Arabian deserts, knowing that her philosophy would bring about a new world after the destruction of this one—do we not see that the make-believe that allowed this little philosophical world to become a cult?—and this on account of Branden's spell, Branden being Rand’s once adulterous lover and later sworn enemy, for he cheated on her, not with his wife, but with a third woman, which Rand’s Messianic self-image, though Branden had given it to her, after reading her book over 40 times before the age of 17, could not bear, so she crushed him with the very mask he lent her, though he “perfectly embodied the ideal type,” derived ultimately and haphazardly from the Nietzschean overman, though her ideal is much more drained and rationalistic, being only one type to fit in a boringly predictable manner every one of the “good guys” in her novels, for there is essentially one character in all her writing, the Roark type, an analytical macho-man with no tenderness, as Rand herself lacked any modicum of tenderness, for not only did she have no children, but nor did any of her characters have parents or children, nobody gets pregnant, sex is sterile, though in fact the creative mindset is softer and more tender than she realized, but that is to be expected from her, for mass movements subordinate the family instinct, and do I not sense in all this the same instinct for revenge that I too have felt, a sort of revenge perfection, as she sought to be great so as to spite mother Russia, from where she came and where her bitter resentment went, and I would be better than the father who left me, till we both become Shamans, who enact inner experience and inner struggle with our artistic histrionics, or again, we become high priests, as in the  Zoroastrian mystery religion, which enacted the struggle between good and evil in the person of the patron, and we too embody our myths, and live them for the spectacle of the world in our daily actions—don’t lose the thread, Daniel!—remember that I am I am I am I, and I don’t need the Randian bullshit ideals, and I grab the Overman by the horns, and I invent a personal sign language, my gestures mean everything, every nuance of my being is the true ideal to study, it is already in me, I the man of many moods, I the creator, and I boil and burst with ideas, and so require a strong ego to protect me from breakdowns, a philosophy for my madness, for people do not kill to rob, but rob to kill; men do not create for glory and riches, but seek riches and glory to further create, and I build from what went before, centering on myself and yet taking everything in my home and home country as my own, taking America as sacred to my religion, the true American Religion, a nationalist faith because it at last produced me, prepared for me in layer after layer of genius, just as China grew in layers with the metaphysics of Lao Tse, the social theories of Confucius, and the moral focus of the Buddha, so does this country and all countries grow as the maturation of one group mind, the very real and very conscious supermind that is this nation, for Focus is care, and what we care about, what we talk about, is the topic of the group mind, and thus we take ourselves as the embodiment of the world self, and also of the National self, we are both merely human and also more than human, mere mammals but also gods, fed upon angel's milk, for if you know yourself, you will be known, and you will have escaped your labyrinth. And so I come out of myself.

            An introvert seems peculiar. All men respect hard work, but the creator is thought lazy and weird. Perhaps a touch too feminine, if a man, or a touch too masculine, if a woman. We are what we are. Persistence is the key to all creative success: if I had ears for your condemnation, I would sink. Their work is all creative people really care about. That makes us selfish. And so? Perhaps I have taken too much from this country: I only work part time, but I give that and much more back again. Art is power. Just as Martin Luther oscillated between depressed self-criticism and exuberant iconoclastic outflow, so too do we oscillate, and compensate all we take and give, and center ourselves, and center our world. Leonardo and Michelangelo were perfectionists, and would even destroy their work rather than let it be flawed. Forty hours a week on my work hardly seems enough. Aesop's fable of the bird who could not drink from the narrow urn shows our own counterintuitive thought process: to get water out from the urn, the bird dropped stones into it. To get love out of our world, I drop art into it. I am most beneficial to the world when I am most selfish. And therefore I insist on my creative place, and defend it, tooth and nail. I glorify my place, because, ultimately, I am here.










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