Meditation and Creativity
In his many published writings, poet and artist Sri Chinmoy has often spoken of co-existing worlds, of both the â€˜manifestâ€™ world of accomplishment and deed and the â€˜unmanifestâ€™ world of potential and possibility, a world rich in unborn realities that await discovery and revelation in the art, poetry, prose and music of tomorrow. Searching in his mind and his heart, the artist roams through these worlds to best express his vision, his ideals and feelings and passions, striving in that endeavour of all art to capture the infinite through the finite and wrest from the unmanifest and the possible the beauty of a new creation.
What is the process of creativity, where is the gateway that links these worlds and how does the parturition of feeling, impulse and vision into form occur? Sri Chinmoy employs an avian image to answer â€“ that silence is the nest, inspiration the bird and meditation the process that, in cultivating stillness and depth of consciousness, enables us to venture to the very source of creativity in the spiritual heart and soul of man.
â€œThere are many, many planes of consciousness from where poems can descend. And again, the poet can also climb up like a bird â€“ high, higher, highest â€“ and enter into these planes of consciousness and bring down the loftiest truths, light and delightâ€¦ In order to write a poem, the poet must transport himself to the sphere of the Muse and lose himself there. He has to be like a flame that burns away everything but itself.â€
Meditation, Sri Chinmoy tells us, leads us into progressively deeper or higher parts of our being where we can transcend the limited capacity of the mind and access other realms that can then be retrieved as language, paint, poetry and art. The writer Paul Klee speaks of a similar process â€“ comparing the artist to a tree he wrote:
â€œFrom the root, the sap rises up into the artist, flows through him, flows to his eye. Overwhelmed and activated by the force of the current, he conveys his vision into his work. And yet, standing at his appointed place as the trunk of the tree, he does nothing other than gather and pass on what rises from the depths. He neither serves nor commands â€“ he transmits. His position is humble. And the beauty at the crown is not his own; it has merely passed through him.â€
Sri Chinmoy speaks of seven higher and seven lower worlds of consciousness â€“ each has a poetry, a music, an art and a reality of its own and we each embody these worlds. The secret of creativity is to climb up the consciousness ladder and allow the message of the higher worlds, of the Beyond, to flow through us. This Beyond, Sri Chinmoy writes in The Source of Music, is â€œconstantly trying to help us, guide us, mold us and shape us into our true transcendental image, our true divinityâ€¦ A river is flowing through us, a river of consciousness, and this consciousness is all the time illumined.â€
Elsewhere Sri Chinmoy comments:
â€œTry to free your mind for a few minutes from the coil of thought. Just for a few minutes try to keep your mind silentâ€¦ And then place your silent mind on the beautiful, illumining and fulfilling throne that your heart has created for you.â€
Through the capacities developed by meditation we can each penetrate to that secret place â€“ call it heart or soul or â€˜nest of silenceâ€™ â€“ where the infinite takes birth in the finite, the realms of the unmanifest and the possible take birth in the manifest, and the inspiration bird roosts in our very hearts. It is here, Sri Chinmoy writes, that â€œThe soul of the poet creates. The heart of the poet originates. The eyes of the poet initiate.â€