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Image by Yvon Chausseblanche

When I write, I don’t know what is going to emerge. I begin in a condition of complete unknowing, an utter nakedness of concept or goal. A word appears, another word appears, an image. It is a moving into mystery.

Jane Hirshfield

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In everyone some kind of artist is hiding. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters

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This universal force is LOVE.
When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force.
Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it.
Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.
Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals.
For love we live and die.
Love is God and God is Love.
This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.
To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation.
If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits. — Albert Einstein

Artists work by the power of love. Writers, being artists, are engaged in confronting the unknown in themselves via attunement and listening, which are other names for love. Anyone who loves something proceeds the same way. Whether what you love is a person, a metier or even a hobby, love is what opens the door and reveals the secrets.

Everything responds to love, even wild animals. Absent that energy, life knows to protect itself, it knows to hide.

When you first approach any art you are impressed with the technical prowess of the masters of that form. Technique can carry you only so far, though. The thing that separates the mundane from the sublime is a quality of passion and love that infuses the artist’s technique with life.

I suppose it’s natural for the novice to worry about how to manipulate and organize materials, but eventually you will notice that your best pieces carry a joy and playfulness with the process of creation that the failures somehow lack. Some days you can do no more than sweep the floor of your studio, and on other days a creative genie blesses you with inspiration.

We don’t have full control over that process. We are supplicants before a mystery. We learn to trust a voice from the depths. That’s how we can put one foot in front of another and actually emerge at the end with a message from the depths. We have intelligence living within us that will speak if we know how to encourage it.

It’s not necessary to plan and control every step of the process. It pre-exists inside us. The creative process involves a lot of trust and listening. It’s not a rational process. It’s closer to conjuring than plotting. The role of the unconscious is paramount. The conscious mind is better at organizing and clarifying than originating something new.

Anyone who creates dances with a mystery. Art is akin to devotion to an oracle. You will work out certain rituals and evocations that keep that relationship alive. A lot of respect for the unknown is essential.

There is a voice in you. Let it speak.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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