“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” — Helen Keller
My topic is creative imagination, but I haven’t nailed down what it is about “imagination” that makes it “creative.” Is it … that we create something from nothing? … Well, that’s certainly part of it … but there’s more.
Since we create things by analogy (…creative imagination, part-to-whole…), we are always working with something we learned or experienced before. So being “creative” is not entirely about “something from nothing.”
If I had to give a fuller accounting for “creative,” I would say it is creating a context for sympathy and resentment. It’s how we bring together and self-determine the integrity that we choose to stand in.
For example: David wants to to marry Charlotte. But he is wrestling with the problem of finances. He feels that he doesn’t make enough now to marry. So he is struggling with where his heart lies: Does it lie in the fear of NOT being capable enough to support his new wife, or in the love which tells him he cannot live apart from Charlotte. His decision has a lot to do with his feelings about the future. Anything he decides is essentially a creative act. He will create a context that will support his attachment to either one idea or the other. That’s what making a decision is always about – holding a creative opinion about the integrity we choose to stand in.
So what does sympathy and resentment have to do with it?
David’s choice has energy. He will marshal energy to put himself somewhere. He can draw energy from a sympathetic space – creating a “whole” out of feelings around love. Or can draw energy from a resentful space – creating a “whole” out of feelings around fear. (“Resentment” might be a strong a word, but bear with me….)
David, of course, will create a context that makes sense to him. He will be self-determining. The creative context he makes will draw him towards the future he believes in. And, of course, he can always change his mind. If he notices that the context he is creating no longer fits, he can make a new decision.
If David moves towards fear, why does this mean he is resentful? Couldn’t it just as easily mean he has more sympathy for safety than for recklessness?
At the bottom of every resentment is the belief that the world did not attend to the person who feels resentment. Resentment is belief given over to our feeling insignificant. David’s worry about money is a personal statement about feeling insignificant. If he was filled with significance, he would not be concerned about his finances. He would simply know they would get taken care of because there is abundance.
Hold on. I can already feel your resistance. It’s hard to accept the idea that resentment is a belief in our insignificance.
Sympathy is what we feel about the wholeness we trust. We feel, with our hearts, the issues which have us. Our energy is dedicated. And the “whole” of our trust is greater than the various “parts” which build our context.
So why isn’t resentment an equal placeholder for sympathy?
Because the fear and safety which come from resentment have no future and no meaning. We give away our significance.
Safety is a place where possibility is rampant but where nothing is specific. Fear is a place where imposition is rampant because you no longer see yourself as significant. You are trading hope for defeat. Safety is a holding place for fear.
There is belief here. And, yes, you can stand against it. But your belief in your own significance is always greater than your doubt. Your belief in your own significance is what makes all your sympathies and resentments real to you. There is so much to embrace — without fear — once you acknowledge your own significance!
Helen Keller had a thought: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
It’s the significance of your heart which makes your sympathies and resentments real. Make more of them by challenging them with your significance. Then you will find the abundance which is yours already.
Thanks for listening!