By Cathy Eck
Jesus said again and again that the father is within. Yet, religions (east and west) preach going out or up to find God. Jesus spoke like an initiate. I’d put my money on him. When we go within, we find God, truth, and creative genius. Of course, that makes religions obsolete.
Going within requires facing our emotions. Most people would rather face a man-eating lion than feel their emotions. That’s why religion is so attractive. You go to church, put a few bucks in the pot, and get a cheap pass to heaven.
People with a western religious point-of-view avoid their emotions completely and go to the happy place with lollipops and sunshine. They project their evil on the non-believers. People with eastern religious perspectives believe they’re going within when they meditate, but they actually push aside their thoughts and emotions. They project their unwanted thoughts on to the unenlightened or lower classes.
Mind of the Creative Genius
There was one group of men throughout history who were very close to fitting the pattern of the initiate. (I’m talking about men because initiation has been associated with men for the last few thousand years.) These were the creative geniuses like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and writers like Dostoyevsky (many others used pen names or called themselves anonymous to stay alive). Creative genius is in the dance choreography of Baryshnikov and the music of Beethoven. These great men saw through initiated eyes. Einstein and Nikola Tesla were creative geniuses in the form of inventors.
The creative genius knew the truth of life, but they often didn’t know what to do with the collective mind of their time. They sadly believed that the world saw through sleepy eyes and didn’t understand them or appreciate them. They never challenged that belief because they held it as true. The creative genius lived in hell for the sake of ideas. Today, those of us who choose the path of initiation stand on their shoulders. But we don’t have to live in hell; we can let their beliefs go turning hell into heaven.
Gold is in the Earth
Just like the gold is in the darkness of the earth, our creative genius (or True Self) is also in the darkness of our own mind. The True Self resides in the same place as our emotions, our memories, and our beliefs. One who goes after the creative prize often goes insane or becomes reclusive because it ain’t pretty in there. Initiation stories were filled with horrible myths and metaphors of the battle we face when we go inside our own mind to find the holy grail of creative genius. That’s where the Apocalypse happens. It’s where we must excavate if we want to live as a creative genius.
The creative genius of the past didn’t believe they could change the collective illusion. They didn’t know how to let go. They had the courage to face the crap inside of their mind for the sake of artistic expression, but they often believed the crap was real. It wore them down and robbed them of their life force. They despised the religious teachings of their time, but they still believed them and gave them power.
We prove the collective beliefs wrong by going within, facing the beliefs head on, and letting them go. Running from beliefs or suppressing them makes them stronger. We lose our creativity; or worse yet, we recycle the creativity of others turning it into vomit. Fear of our own beliefs and emotions is what eventually takes us down and makes us ordinary.
People often ask how I came to understand the initiates. I studied their work; then I let go of my beliefs until I understood them. When you go into the gateway to real gold, you find endless creative genius waiting to be explored and expressed.
I’ve also learned that when I let go inside, I receive continued confirmation on the outside. Yesterday I read a quote that was a beautiful confirmation surprise.
In Los Angeles at the Writer’ Store, I picked up a book called “From Where You Dream, The Process of Writing Fiction,” by Robert Olen Butler, a Pulitzer Prize winning author. Butler was comparing the artist’s zone to the athlete’s zone. He explained that the athletic zone is often shallow, fueled by superstitions and repetition, often called body memory. This won’t work for a creative genius. Here is what he wrote:
Now, there’s one big difference between the athlete’s zone and the artist’s zone….When Michael [Jordan] received a pass at the top of the key in full flight and he left the ground, he defied gravity, floated through the air, let that ball roll off his fingertips and into the basket…When he did that, he had to be in the zone. He could not be thinking about what he was doing. But to make his zone exactly analogous to the art zone, you have to to add this: every time he shoots, in order to make a basket Michael Jordan would have to confront, without flinching, the moment when his father’s chest was blown apart by the shotgun held by his kidnapper. You know that happened in Michael Jordan’s life. Michael would have to confront that in order to make a basket every time. Without flinching. Now his zone is equal to the artist’s zone. And now you understand the challenge of being an artist.
What Butler described perfectly and elegantly as the artist’s zone is true creative genius, living from the True Self, or initiation. It is within everyone; we simply have to be willing to dig where most men and women are too afraid to go — inside of their own belief-ridden minds.
They say humans are not capable of perfection. That is not true. But they must be willing to live completely within the hell of their own mind until the shotgun moments become just a dream and creative genius becomes their normal reality.