Thursday, 25 February 2010

Space, again

I've got a friend who's an English teacher in a small village school in the Swiss mountains. His son is now at university, also training to be an English teacher. When I asked him why he wanted to do a job so involving and demanding as his father's, he said that he intended to get a smaller house so that he wouldn't need so much money.

And then he said that he'd noticed that if you work all the time you're not able to have really interesting and creative thoughts.

This brought me back to three types of creative response I've been thinking about. The first type of response is a reaction to demands and pressures from the outside. External pressures and constraints can generate responses quite intensely, and often at least partly unconsciously.

The second type of response moves in the opposite direction. Directed by will and intention, it moves outwards, consciously. It may try to 'tap into' unconscious, non-intentional elements, but there's likely to be a degree of trying involved.

The third type of response is that alluded to in the two excerpts from the Tao Te Ching I quoted earlier. This seems to be characterised by a kind of allowing, which is neither stimulated by outside pressures, nor the result of intention.

Between heaven and earth
is a space like a bellows;
empty and inexhaustible,
the more it is used, the more it produces.

This response seems to emerge, quietly, out of empty space. It isn't stimulated by pressure and constraint, and it isn't willed into being.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...