A Creative Discipline

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The Process of Healing
The Process of Creating
The Daily Act of Creating

 

“A personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.”Anaïs Nin

Is Self-Knowledge Management a therapy?

In the year 2000, during our first workshops in Self-Knowledge Management (SKM), we were often asked this question. The psychotherapists participating in our events were particularly impressed by the effectiveness of the method. They insisted that it would make a great therapy.

I wasn’t so sure.

They told me it was a powerful and profound process. They wanted to know everything I knew. They loved the playfulness of my method. It made the transformation of difficult and heavy issues almost effortless and fun. If I called it a therapy, then they could easily add it as a new tool to their toolbox.

I resisted. We had arguments about ‘therapy or not’ — what’s the difference anyway…? I was unable to explain it at the time.

 

The Process of Healing

“If you desire healing,
let yourself fall ill,
let yourself fall ill.”Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Through my work with the Solo System I’ve had endless opportunities to observe and interact with two essential dynamic processes in human Consciousness. Both happen naturally and spontaneously. I call them the Process of Healing and the Process of Creating.

The Process of Healing has been the centre of attention of all healing arts throughout human history. In some practices the natural vital forces of the human organism are known. Those healing practices developed in ways that support human nature.

In Western culture the medical profession, the pharmaceutical industry, and anything called ‘therapy’ have appropriated the healing process. (Therapy comes from the Greek word therapeia and means healing.) Many of them have forgotten or ignored the fact that it is a spontaneous natural dynamic force within our Consciousness. They adopted a we-know-better attitude and started to play some kind of game trying to monopolise human nature.

Therapy is often synonymous with a patient-therapist relationship, with dysfunction, abnormality, and dependency on expert knowledge.

The dominant contemporary Western view focuses on the Process of Healing through the lens of pathology. It interprets any sign of disease as a ‘disorder’, and the goal is to ‘restore a normal state’. It assumes to know what is normal. Anything unknown, unpleasant or disturbing is considered an aberration from the norm.

The active engagement in the healing process – according to current norms – often involves some form of manipulation in order to return to normality. This interpretation doesn’t support the natural forces of the organism itself. It doesn’t recognise the profound and vital connection between Healing and Creating.

 

The Process of Creating

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”Kurt Vonnegut

At first sight the Process of Creating appears more empowering than the Process of Healing. The idea to be able to create our own life according to our dreams and wishes looks very attractive. Of course it can only work properly, if we fully understand the intricate operation.

The Process of Creating has been expressed through creative practices throughout human history. Its natural vital forces have always been known and respected. Many forms of art, music, movement, crafts, and technical innovation developed to promote and celebrate the creative potential of human nature.

In our Western culture the Process of Creating has been gradually appropriated by the art world and technological progress. It has been squeezed out of everyday life and marginalised. The fact that it is a vital dynamic force within our Consciousness has been forgotten.

Creating has become synonymous with special gifts, entertainment, education for a privileged elite, and the creative industries. A select few talented individuals are supposed to fulfil our creative needs on behalf of everyone else.

Deprived of our direct knowledge of both processes, we have evolved into a human species that is suffering from a serious sense of powerlessness. We feel fragile, vulnerable, and weak in the presence of suffering. We are confused and disoriented about our creative potential.

Since the powers of Healing and Creating are vital forces that drive the organism of our Consciousness, neither of them can ever be completely lost. But they can be buried, stifled, and distorted, and temporarily monopolised by external forces. They can also become destructive.

Without adequate and up-to-date knowledge, we cannot access our two most important power sources of Healing and Creating. We have difficulties recognising their expressions even when they are staring us in the face.

 

The Daily Act of Creating

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”Mary Shelley

How does the human Process of Creating really work in everyday life?

This question inspired the conception of the Solo System in 1997. Therefore I now call it a ‘Creative Model of Human Consciousness’.

Arthur Koestler, author of the book The Act of Creation, said that “creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.”

The Process of Creating relies on the relationship with yourself rather than that with an external expert. It offers a lot of independence and freedom, but only to those who are willing and ready to take the associated responsibility.

Self-Knowledge Management has developed organically as a discipline for the daily human act of creation. Both vital processes of human Consciousness are taken into account in this discipline. Healing and Creating are inseparable.

In SKM there is no therapist and no patient. You are your own teacher and student. Occasionally you have to be your own therapist and patient as well. You are on your own, but there are always fellow human creators to learn from, to give and receive support, and with whom to share the exciting experience.

The name Self-Knowledge Management may sound quite strict and businesslike. This is intentional. The practice itself is very fluid, flexible, playful, and forgiving. Discipline and structure are needed as a counter balance. If you want to apply the process of Creating your life for real, you’ve got to mean business.

The daily practice of SKM is designed to stimulate your connection with your own natural sources of inner power. The intention is to revive this dynamic power source within your own Consciousness, which feeds into both the vital streams of Healing and Creating.

Here are three main characteristics of SKM:

1 – The medium of SKM is our own subjective experience. It is often hard, resistant, tough, or chaotic, since those are the areas, where we most need to heal. They need to be tackled if we really want to create the life we really want.

2 – SKM is a daily practice of improvisation, and trial & error within an optimum range where learning is most effective. The creative practices change according to the skills and capacities of the practitioner. They should be as playful and diverse as possible.

3 – The results of SKM are surprising, profound and life changing. Genuine Creating means expanding into the unknown. Genuine Healing means establishing a higher level of wholeness. Both burst the bubble of the current norm.

The processes of Healing and Creating themselves have to be effortless. We don’t try to make them happen. They are like streams within our Consciousness, and they need to flow without obstruction or interference. Our job as human creators is to clear the riverbed.

 

This article is complemented by an e-letter published on the same date. Our epic letter contains a link to the audio version of this article, a practical exercise, some carefully selected illustrations, and more. This information is available only to the select tribe of our subscribers. If you don’t want to miss our inspiring and exclusive Friday Letters in the future, subscribe now.

 

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