all creativity comes out of
A page of offerings on undivided perception and awakening from Eckhart Tolle.
We have forgotten what rocks, plants, and animals still know. We have forgotten how to be – to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is: Here and Now.
Whenever you bring your attention to anything natural, anything that has come into existence without human intervention, you step out of the prison of conceptualized thinking and, to some extent, participate in the state of connectedness with Being in which everything natural still exists.
To bring your attention to a stone, a tree, or an animal does not mean to think about it, but simply to perceive it, to hold it in your awareness.
Something of its essence then transmits itself to you. You can sense how still it is, and in doing so the same stillness arises within you. You sense how deeply it rests in Being – completely at one with what it is and where it is. In realizing this, you too come to a place of rest deep within yourself.
When walking or resting in nature, honor that realm by being there fully. Be still. Look. Listen. See how every animal and every plant is completely itself. Unlike humans, they have not split themselves in two. They do not live through mental images of themselves, so they do not need to be concerned with trying to protect and enhance those images. The deer is itself. The daffodil is itself.
All things in nature are not only one with themselves but also one with the totality. They haven’t removed themselves from the fabric of the whole by claiming a separate existence: “me” and the rest of the universe.
The contemplation of nature can free you of that “me,” the great troublemaker.
Bring awareness to the many subtle sounds of nature – the rustling of leaves in the wind, raindrops falling, the humming of an insect, the first birdsong at dawn. Give yourself completely to the act of listening. Beyond the sounds there is something greater: a sacredness that cannot be understood through thought.
Stillness is your essential nature.
What is stillness?
The inner space or awareness
in which the words on this page are being perceived
and become thoughts.
Without that awareness,
there would be no perception,
no thoughts, no world.
You are that awareness,
disguised as a person.
Artistic creation, sports, dance, teaching, counseling – mastery in any field of endeavor implies that the thinking mind is either no longer involved at all or at least is taking second place. A power and intelligence greater than you and yet one with you in essence takes over.
There is no decision-making process any more; spontaneous right-action happens, and “you” are not doing it. Mastery of life is the opposite of control. You become aligned with the greater consciousness. It acts, speaks, does the works.
– Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks
This is most people’s reality: As soon as something is perceived, it is named, interpreted, compared with something else, liked, disliked, or called good or bad by the phantom self, the ego. They are imprisoned in thought forms, in object consciousness.
You do not awaken spiritually until the compulsive and unconscious naming ceases, or at least until you become aware of it and thus are able to observe it as it happens. It is through this constant naming that the ego remains in place as the unobserved mind. Whenever it ceases and even when you just become aware of it, there is inner space, and you are not possessed by the mind anymore.
Choose an object close to you – a pen, a chair, a cup, a plant – and explore it visually, that is to say, look at it with great interest, almost curiosity. Avoid any objects with strong personal associations that remind you of the past, such as where you bought it, who gave it to you, and so on. Also avoid anything that has writing on it such as a book or a bottle. It would stimulate thought. Without straining, relaxed but alert, give your complete attention to the object, every detail of it. If thoughts arise, don’t get involved in them. It is not the thoughts you are interested in, but the act of perception itself. Can you take thinking out of the perceiving? Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out? After a couple of minutes or so, let your gaze wander around the room or wherever you are, your alert attention lighting up each thing that it rests upon.
Then, listen to any sounds that may be present. Listen to them in the same way you looked at the things around you. Some sounds may be natural – water, wind, birds – while others are man-made. Some may be pleasant, others unpleasant. However, don’t differentiate between good and bad. Allow each sound to be as it is, without interpretation. Here too, relaxed but alert attention is the key.
When you look and listen in this way, you may become aware of a subtle and at first perhaps hardly noticeable sense of calm. Some people feel it as a stillness in the background. Others call it peace. When consciousness is no longer totally absorbed by thinking, some of it remains in its formless, unconditioned, original state. This is inner space.
All creativity comes out of inner spaciousness.
– Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth