“Everything that exists, even a stone, has two sides to its nature. It fiercely maintains is own individuality, its own solidity, and yet it reaches from itself in the subtlest flow of desire.” — DH Lawrence
I live in New England. It’s winter. And this morning I looked out from my second floor window and saw three gray squirrels on the trunk of an oak tree. And what I saw – as normal as it was – was fascinating: three squirrels in a territorial game. Up and down the tree they scampered. First one and then the other. Round and round they went. Over the truck and across many branches with real vitality and speed. An exuberant, lively expression in an otherwise frozen landscape.
And, at the highest point of my fascination, when they were running without constraint — “everything possible” seemed real. Conventional limits were irrelevant. “Everything possible” was the un-containable outreaching of life’s energy simply trying to satisfy itself.
And, of course I know … that’s very hard to understand.
“The word is not the thing, nor is the description the described.” To someone thirsty, the word “water” is almost meaningless. My third person report about gray squirrels cannot possibly convey the force of “everything possible.” I depend on your imagination to make that connection. I depend on you to make use of your life experience …. so my words might begin … to convey the energy and vitality of “everything possible.” … But probably not.
Experience is our best teacher. And every lesson it offers builds a unique language … one that shapes everything … even the meaning of “everything possible.” Gray squirrels on a winter day might not do it for you. And that’s okay; something else will.
AND what our language of experience holds for us is a sense of difference — the difference between “knowing about” and “really knowing.” Any first person encounter with “really knowing” carries the understanding of what was actually experienced — not just a conceptual picture.
Over the last six blogs, I’ve looked at different aspects of creative imagination. Each one points to that difference … between “really knowing”… and “knowing about.” See if you can notice the difference yourself as I review the important points offered with each blog. See if “everything possible” resonates as something you already know from your own experience.
- (…creative imagination as part-to-whole…) knows that we build analogies through our experience. This is like that. The present become understandable because we analogize from the past.
- (…creative imagination as variable opinion…) knows that we build a context for what we are experiencing. The“thinking without thinking” that we do every moment constructs facts which support the analogies we use to understand the present.
- (…creative imagination as sympathy and resentment…) knows that we must express our sympathies and resentments so we can more fully enter the present. That’s how we determine what we desire in the present.
- (…creative imagination as power re-imagined…) knows that power can be re-imagined by reclaiming from a new perspective our belief in our own significance. We can look past the sympathies and resentments which no longer serve us by choosing to rise above them.
- (…creative imagination as creative insecurity…) knows that we safeguard our security by letting go of conventional and fixed expectations. That’s how we stay open, engaged and insecure by accepting ourselves first — despite the loss of security.
- (…creative imagination as turning importance on and off…) knows that we stay involved and connected by acknowledging what’s important to us. It’s the energy conduit that we learn to turn on and off when it’s helpful and necessary even if it generates insecurity.
Do you feel the resonance between “really knowing” and “knowing about”? And if conventional limits seem less irrelevant — based on what you really know — what does that say about the reach of your desire?
DH Lawrence wrote that everything has two sides: individuality AND a sense of desire. “Really knowing” makes everything possible. There is no limit to your experience other than what “really knowing” teaches you. Creative imagination is the “really” knowing that we bring to our experience. How could it be otherwise?
Thanks for listening!