The Co-Creative Muse
Dr. Barry Hammer
I find that the best kind of creative inspiration, in any field of endeavor or area of study, comes from communing deeply with other life presences, in heartfelt, open-minded, empathic attunement with them. The more deeply we invest our heart, mind, and senses, in communion with other life presences, experiences, and activities, in the world, the more does the co-creative heart core of our own being become stirred through that penetrating relational contact, and reveal greater gifts of creative inspiration and meaningful insight, as the source of great artistic expression, heart-full living, and enhanced performance in any field of study or area of endeavor. When individual hearts resonate in deeply invested attunement with each other, they energize each other, like magnets, releasing the co-creative process of synergy, like electricity flowing only when an electrical plug and socket, or positive and negative electrical poles, are connected to one another.
However, as long as the heart remains egocentrically, narcissistically, selfishly, self-absorbed, or self-possessed, we will be able to make only rather shallow contact with others, with only the superficial levels of our awareness. Without heartfelt communion, the mind and senses, by themselves alone, can contact, understand, and appreciate, only rather superficial aspects of reality, and provide only a relatively shallow, mechanical, level of creative artistic functioning. That is why I agree with what St. Exupery wrote, in his book, “The Little Prince”, “It is only with the eyes of the heart that one can see what is most essential in life….Only the heart sees clearly, because what is essential is not visible to the eyes”. I might add, what is essential in life is also not available to the analytical intellect, functioning independently of the deeper, relational, insight of the heart, because the analytical mind tends to be narcissistically self-absorbed in its own divisive thought, rather than making unmediated direct contact with other life presences, experiences, and activities, in the world, and thereby developing a holistic, integral, undivided, penetrating, insightful vision of reality.
To make direct, deep, empathic, contact with anyone or anything, and to tap into the relational source of co-creative insight and inspiration, one must let go of pre-committed mental presumptions, preconceptions, and abstractions, which function like an opaque filter, barrier, or distorting mechanism, keeping the mind self-absorbed in its own thought, and blocking direct contact and heartfelt empathic communion with actual life experience in the world, which the philosopher Martin Buber describes as the I-Thou relationship, in contrast to the I-It relationship. In Biblical terms, this is the difference between experiencing reality as though through a “poor reflection”, or “a glass darkly” rather than “face to face” (I Corinthians 13:12). Communing with the enduring living presence, or living spirit, that the author of any creative work has invested in a particular creative production can empathically reveal the meaningful intention and originating inspirational experience of that author or producer. The reason why the highest source level of creative insight, inspiration, and production, comes from relational communion is because it is a relational reality nature, rather than a solo, divisive, dualistic, or separate individualistic nature. Therefore, introspective processes that produce greater self-involvement, and break off heartfelt communion with others, cannot reveal and release the highest level of creative functioning.
Caring human relationships, and loving communion with each here and now moment of experience, can also facilitate compassionate, creative transformations of individual people, personal relationships, local communities, and global society by enabling the healing energy of love to gradually transform individual hearts, and the collective spiritual heart of humanity, from divisive selfishness, fear, and brutality to unselfish caring about others, involving greater awareness of the intrinsically relational, contextual, inter-dynamic nature of reality. This involves revitalizing contemporary individual life, personal relationships, and society by developing a greater awareness of the luminous, numinous core of reality, contacted through deeply penetrating communion with the surface level of reality.
I expand upon the insights discussed in this article in the following two books which I co-authored with my beloved late father, Dr. Max Hammer 1) Psychological Healing Through Creative Self-Understanding and Self-Transformation. (ISBN: 978-1-62857-075-5) and 2) Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication. (ISBN: 978-1-61897-590-4).