Creativity or Reactivity? Music is meditation

















“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there.” Deepak Chopra

Our view of music and art, and creativity and genius, and innovation and talent has been conditioned. That conditioning is not always correct. Propping up the concepts of art and creativity are two abstract ideas; Perfection and Expression.

But for me music/art have always been a way of stilling the mind.
Something like a meditation.
A way of making the the schoolteacher in my head clap their hands and bring to attention all the random voices that are continually chattering away in there.
A way of focusing my mind and body.
A way of aligning myself in actual space and time.

For me this has nothing to do with expression of perfection. 
We are alive and we exist in time and space. We react and respond. We try and solve problems which means understanding and predicting what's going on and trying to influence what's going on so it goes our way (a bit).
This pursuit we call Science and Technology. 
We also respond aesthetically to our world. In other words we delineate what we like and we don't like. When we represent what we like (aesthetically) we call this Art.

The process of making art we call creativity.
We have been conditioned in this concept.
God created the world out of nothing and we believe the great artist in a God-like state creates art in much the same way. 
But I think when we create art we simply react. We don't create art from nothing. We react to the world around us. Go down to the beach and pick up a pebble and put it on your mantlepiece. In doing this you have now a piece of art on your mantlepiece. You haven't 'created' anything, you have simply reacted. You chose the pebble you liked and you controlled the means of presentation. This is simply what an artist does, takes things in the physical world and arranges them to their taste. We have 'expressed' nothing.

Art and Creativity = Reactivity and Doing.

When you do this, all those useful evolved responses we have leap into action. Not doing this allows those responses to run riot like bored children. And they turn in Anxiety and Depression.

Art is Meditation. 
It is the thing that allows us to 'enter into the quiet that's already there'

And it has another benefit too. When your friend visits you and says 'Ooo, I like that pebble' you become connected with them in your mutual appreciation of your shared aesthetic in your shared space/time.
If they say 'Wow, that's an ugly pebble' same thing still applies.

If you React and Do everyday you get better at it. You refine your discernment. Your discernment speeds up until it's almost instantaneous. Some musicians can do this continually in realtime. We call it improvisation. All art starts off as improvisation.

For me improvisation is my meditation. we are all artists and improvisers (even if it's just arranging the cushions on your settee) And this skill can be improved with practice. 
We practice so we can learn to react without all those voices telling us we shouldn't. 

So my advice is everyone should become an artist. Rid themselves of all the 'shoulds' and get out there and start reacting. 

Make art. 
Forget about creativity and perfection and expression. 

When you make art focus on Doing.



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