(This the 14th essay in the series of many in which I share my experience of reading Lester Levenson and Hale Dwoskin’s Happiness Is Free: And It’s Easier Than You Think, Books 1 through 5, The Greatest Secret Edition. Sedona Press. Kindle Edition.)
The answer is simple: Commercialize it, but be not attached to this creativeness.
He is responding to a question about creativity. Could anyone ever create painlessly? The greatest creative minds, those with extraordinary power to create their work and get it seen by the masses still become wracked with self-doubt during the process.
Doubt, doubt and its resolution
See this essay on John Steinbeck writing The Grapes of Wrath. And Tolstoy on depression. Although I question Lester’s authority on this topic as art is so dear to my heart, and it was not Lester’s field, I do acknowledge that both writers found their peace in the direction of letting go of self: Steinbeck though habits and diary-writing to let go and Tolstoy through faith,
If you really can let go of ‘I am an artist’, creativity can shine or flow through you with as little as possible attachment to the outcome. But being an artist is loaded for the subject of the claim, even when no one else gives a hoot what or who you are. As an artist, it was about strengthening my identity as if that was where the solution to doubt lay. It didn’t work.
Let me clear up one thing: everything you do is creative. It’s impossible to do anything that’s not creative. That’s because the mind is only creative; but when we create things we don’t like, we call it noncreative and destructive. When we create things we like, we call that creative and constructive. But the mind only creates. Everyone is a creator. What we hold in mind, we create.
Rupert Spira says this is not accurate, see this video on Do we have personal freedom?
Ideas to beat myself with? Yes please!
At first sight, Lester’s ideas here feel true for me. My rampage of self-destruction from was totally creative: I had an image in my mind and I set about making it real world. It could have been something beautiful, constructive and useful, but it wasn’t.
If I see what I did as an artwork, how does that change things? If I say that this was an artistic act, to put my vision into the world, then it was that. My vision was dark with little chance redemption or transcendence, my brain was at that time wired the wrong way round and destruction gave me pleasure and creativity was leaden.
I have told myself this story for many years. None of this is true. This is what I want to see because it would give me control and turn the world into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and give me a task to do (be good) that will get me my money back.
I did hold on to one part of this story and told myself that I never had a clear picture of how I could succeed at art, at trading or at anything else. I did enjoy imagining losing all my money and that I would have to commit suicide. And I did get a thrill from losing. None of this means anything. I enjoyed winning an awful lot more. I believed I was really talented.
You are infinite! Do not shoehorn your story into the finite
What I have been doing here is trying to make sense of the world and my world with a finite mind. By doing that, everything shuts down. It is the realm of the infinite and as Tolstoy found — faith is the only option available. Shoving it through the lens of the logical, of personal cause and effect brings no end of trouble.
When I look back, I tell myself that I hated too many things and that is why I was destructive. Not true. I loved being in Berlin, I loved my studio and I loved trading. I thought I was going to make it nearly as much as I wanted to lose all my money. I hated the idea of a job and I hated the idea of routines and discipline. I was high as a kite and I was destroying myself at the same time. Looking at the outcome and deciding that I must have been in a poor state of mind is confirmation bias: I wasn’t. It just happened.
When I made all my money I was not a better person that I was when I lost it. Any other interpretation is more bias. I was surrounded by different people, so that is a factor but all of it just happened.
Nothing happened and everything happened
There is no redemption, no explanation, nowhere to go, It happened, There is nothing to atone for.
Nothing happened. There is nothing to be done with it. The only way to repeat it is to keep it alive and give it meaning. That is a sure fire way to make sure that you never get over it.
I like to tell myself that I lost everything because of my naughty thoughts. Yet I made a fortune when I was having much nastier thoughts. When I was rich, I was mean, fat and drunk. The pictures in my head were of lack, other people’s success, my failure — and the realization that even with all that money I was still petty, resistant, needy and dissatisfied. I was also productive enthusiastic, warm, friendly and disciplined. You are not an entity. You cannot be a verb, you can just be doing what you appear to be doing. None of it belongs to you. Believing anything else means you are stuck in a synthetic, childish concept of deserving.
There are truly awful rich people, there are ghastly people who get great partners and there are talentless people who succeed. There are wonderful poor people and extraordinary people who have terrible luck. It is all just happening.
The novel of my life blew away in a gust of wind
The narrative that I have held so close for years turns out to be nonsense.
It’s better to create constructive things like beauty, health, and affluence as they do not demand as much attention from us as a sick body or a sick pocketbook.
My original point in response to this — written 5 months ago — was to regale the crappy story again about how I take a selfish pleasure in destruction and that is why I get punished. More nonsense. The news would not be as it is if naughty Sally was the only person in the world who took pleasure in destruction.
Looking back and making cause and effect analyses of why what happened happened IS the problem. When you do that, you are making a mistake by creating a separate finite entity of ‘you’ and trying to make sense of it in relation to the world. But you are the world. Thinking you are an independent entity acting in a world that is either with or against you is the illusion or separation, the identification with the separate self.
Holding to recreate it
This is the mind in self-preservation mode. As Hale Dwoskin says, the only reason you create these stories about a me, is because you’re planning to repeat it.
“There is neither creation nor destruction,
neither destiny nor free will, neither
path nor achievement.
This is the final truth.”
― Ramana Maharshi, Sayings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Also, there are thousands of thoughts of wanting things and not wanting things, likes and dislikes. But even if they’re unconscious, they’re active; whether we look at them or not, they are still active, and they are sustained and motivated by our ego. This is the difficult part for us, to make these ego‑motivated thoughts conscious so that we may let go of them.
Body? What Body?
Lester was of his time and because of that, he missed the body completely. He described the body as the ‘carcass’. Ramana Maharashi had some choice words to say about it too.
Some people on this path dismiss the body on the basis that ‘you are not your body-mind’, yet strangely, they spend their time on meditation i.e. working with the mind to let it go, to find its transparency. Give equal attention to the body and discover that the body, investigated from the inside out is an intriguing place, and it has no fixed edges, no skin boundary. Felt from inside outside, it certainly doesn’t have two legs, two arms and all the rest of it.
Ignoring the body is like taking the slow wiggly road when there’s a wide smooth boulevard available. What we describe as the subconscious is often fascial patterns, muscle tightness — nothing exists just in the mind. Experience the bodily patterns and sensations that go with anger, happiness, excitement and you’re halfway there to realising that all is simple arising in awareness.
It’s all one
Seeing the body and mind is separate is akin to thinking that the leaves are separate from the tree. Even as we go this route, using the body as a vehicle to release stuckness, and the mind too, we come to a point where none of this matters. We find the point where we know that all of this is just currents in the ocean. We don’t mind whether our oddities and eccentricities hang around or not because we know they are not us.
It’s a show that you wrote called “Bodies Playing Limited.”
What was my script? Oh please! Let’s not ever go there again! No! No! who cares? It’s finished. Rest as awareness, here, now.
You can find the introduction to this essay series here: Happiness is Free: And It’s Easier Than You Think
I am an experienced facilitator in the Sedona Method — which is based on Lester’s teachings and by far the easiest and fastest route to discover for yourself the freedom, happiness and peace he describes in this book.