Quotes on Being Creative
The secrets of alchemy exist to transform mortals from a state of suffering and ignorance to a state of enlightenment and bliss.
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Zen asks you to come out of the head and go to the basic source.... It is not that Zen is not aware of the uses of energy in the head, but if all the energy is used in the head, you will never become aware of your eternity.... You will never know as an experience what it is to be one with the whole.
When the energy is just at the center, pulsating, when it is not moving anywhere, neither in the head nor in the heart, but it is at the very source from where the heart takes it, the head takes it, pulsating at the very source--that is the very meaning of Zazen. Zazen means just sitting at the very source, not moving anywhere, a tremendous force arises, a transformation of energy into light and love, into greater life, into compassion, into creativity.
It can take many forms. But first you have to learn how to be at the source. Then the source will decide where your potential is. You can relax at the source, and it will take you to your very potential.
All private goals are neurotic. The essential man comes to know, to feel, "I am not separate from the whole, and there is no need to seek and search for any destiny on my own. Things are happening, the world is moving--call it God...he is doing things. They are happening of their own accord. There is no need for me to make any struggle, any effort; there is no need for me to fight for anything. I can relax and be."
The essential man is not a doer. The accidental man is a doer. The accidental man is, of course, then in anxiety, tension, stress, anguish, continuously sitting on a volcano. It can erupt any moment, because he lives in a world of uncertainty and believes as if it is certain. This creates tension in his be-ing: he knows deep down that nothing is certain.
The moment you start seeing life as non-serious, a playfulness, all the burden on your heart disappears. All the fear of death, of life, of love--everything disappears. One starts living with a very light weight or almost no weight. So weightless one becomes, one can fly in the open sky.
Zen's greatest contribution is to give you an alternative to the serious man. The serious man has made the world, the serious man has made all the religions. He has created all the philosophies, all the cultures, all the moralities; everything that exists around you is a creation of the serious man.
Zen has dropped out of the serious world. It has created a world of its own which is very playful, full of laughter, where even great masters behave like children.
As you move above to the fourth center--that is the heart--your whole life becomes a sharing of love. The third center has created the abundance of love. By reaching to the third center in meditation, you have become so overflowing with love, with compassion, and you want to share. It happens at the fourth center--the heart. That's why even in the ordinary world people think love comes out of the heart. For them it is just hearsay, they have heard it; they don't know it because they have never reached to their heart.
But the meditator finally reaches to the heart. As he has reached to the center of his being--the third center--suddenly an explosion of love and compassion and joy and blissfulness and benediction has arisen in him with such a force that it hits his heart and opens the heart. The heart is just in the middle of all your seven centers--three centers below, three centers above. You have come exactly to the middle.
There are two types of creators in the world. One type of creator works with objects - a poet, a painter, they work with objects, they create things. The other type of creator, the mystic, creates himself. He doesn't work with objects, he works with the subject; he works on himself, his own being. And he is the real creator, the real poet, because he makes himself into a masterpiece.
You are carrying a masterpiece hidden within you, but you are standing in the way. Just move aside, then the masterpiece will be revealed. Everyone is a masterpiece, because God never gives birth to anything less than that. Everyone carries that masterpiece hidden for many lives, no knowing who they are and just trying on the surface to become someone.
Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it. God himself has created you; you cannot be improved.
First meditate, be blissful, then much love will happen of its own accord. Then being with others is beautiful and being alone is also beautiful. Then it is simple, too. You don't depend on others and you don't make others dependent on you. Then it is always a friendship, a friendliness. It never becomes a relationship, it is always a relatedness.
You relate, but you don't create a marriage. Marriage is out of fear, relatedness is out of love. You relate; as long as things are moving beautifully, you share. And if you see that the moment has come to depart because your paths separate at this crossroad, you say good-bye with great gratitude for all that the other has been to you, for all the joys and all the pleasures and all the beautiful moments that you have shared with the other. With no misery, with no pain, you simply separate.
These tenses--past, present and future--are not the tenses of time; they are tenses of the mind. That which is no longer before the mind becomes the past. That which is before the mind is the present. And that which is going to be before the mind is the future.
Past is that which is no longer before you. Future is that which is not yet before you. And present is that which is before you and is slipping out of your sight. Soon it will be past.... If you don't cling to the past...because clinging to the past is absolute stupidity. It is no longer there, so you are crying for spilled milk. What is gone is gone! And don't cling to the present because that is also going and soon it will be past.
Don't cling to the future--hopes, imaginations, plans for tomorrow--because tomorrow will become today, will become yesterday. Everything is going to become yesterday. Everything is going to go out of your hands. Clinging will simply create misery. You will have to let go.
In a cinema hall, you look at the screen, you never look at the back--the projector is at the back. The film is not there really on the screen; it is just a projection of shadow and light. The film exists just at the back, but you never look at that. And the projector is there. Your mind is at the back of the whole thing, and the mind is the projector. But you always look at the other, because the other is the screen.
When you are in love the person seems beautiful, no comparison. When you hate, the same person seems the ugliest, and you never become aware of how the same person can be the ugliest and the same person can be the most beautiful.... So the only way to reach to truth is to learn how to be immediate in your vision, how to drop the help of the mind. This agency of the mind is the problem, because mind can create only dreams....
Through your excitement the dream starts looking like reality. If you are too excited then you are intoxicated, then you are not in your senses. Then whatsoever you see is just your projection. And there are as many worlds as there are minds, because every mind lives in his own world.
Listening is one of the basic secrets of entering into the temple of God. Listening means passivity. Listening means forgetting yourself completely--only then can you listen. When you listen attentively to somebody, you forget yourself. If you cannot forget yourself, you never listen. If you are too self-conscious about yourself, you simply pretend that you are listening--you don't listen. You may nod your head; you may sometimes say yes and no--but you are not listening.
When you listen you become just a passage, a passivity, a receptivity, a womb: you become feminine. And to arrive one has to become feminine. You cannot reach God as aggressive invaders, conquerors. You can reach God only...or it will be better to say; God can reach you only when you are receptive, a feminine receptivity. When you become yin, a receptivity, the door is open. And you wait. Listening is the art for becoming passive.
Don't be clever, otherwise you will remain the same, you will not change. Half-techniques on the path of love and half-techniques on the path of meditation will create much confusion in you. They will not help....
But to ask for help is against the ego, so you try to compromise. This compromise will be more dangerous, it will confuse you more because, made out of confusion, it will create more confusion. So try to understand why you hanker for compromise. Sooner or later you will be able to understand that compromise is not going to help. And compromise may be a way of not going in either direction, or it may be just a repression of your confusion. It will assert itself.
Never repress anything, be clear-cut about your situation. And if you are confused, remember that you are confused. This will be the first clear-cut thing about you: that you are confused. You have started on the journey.
When thousands and thousands of people around the earth are celebrating, singing, dancing, ecstatic, drunk with the divine, there is no possibility of any global suicide. With such festivity and with such laughter, with such sanity and health, with such naturalness and spontaneity, how can there be a war?...
Life has been given to you to create, and to rejoice, and to celebrate. When you cry and weep, when you are miserable, you are alone. When you celebrate, the whole existence participates with you.
Only in celebration do we meet the ultimate, the eternal. Only in celebration do we go beyond the circle of birth and death.
A man's true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the nonessential the essential. The nonessential remains nonessential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more confusion.
The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped. All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that, as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie's way to hide.
See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth--there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears, and what is left is the truth.
One moment it was there, another moment it is gone. One moment we are here, and another moment we have gone. And for this simple moment, how much fuss we make--how much violence, ambition, struggle, conflict, anger, hatred. Just for this small moment! Just waiting for the train in a waiting room on a station, and creating so much fuss: fighting, hurting each other, trying to possess, trying to boss, trying to dominate--all that politics. And then the train comes and you are gone forever.
A fool is one who goes on trusting; a fool is one who goes on trusting against all his experience. You deceive him, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you. Then you will say that he is a fool, he does not learn. His trust is tremendous; his trust is so pure that nobody can corrupt it.
Be a fool in the Taoist sense, in the Zen sense. Don't try to create a wall of knowledge around you. Whatsoever experience comes to you, let it happen, and then go on dropping it. Go on cleaning your mind continuously; go on dying to the past so you remain in the present, here-now, as if just born, just a babe.
In the beginning it is going to be very difficult. The world will start taking advantage of you...let them. They are poor fellows. Even if you are cheated and deceived and robbed, let it happen, because that which is really yours cannot be robbed from you, that which is really yours nobody can steal from you.
And each time you don't allow situations to corrupt you, that opportunity will become an integration inside. Your soul will become more crystallized.
Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach--how you look at things....
Not everybody can be a painter--and there is no need also. If everybody is a painter the world will be very ugly; it will be difficult to live. And not everybody can be a dancer, and there is no need. But everybody can be creative.
Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative. If you have something growing out of it within you, if it gives you growth, it is spiritual, it is creative, it is divine. You become more divine as you become more creative.
All the religions of the world have said God is the creator. I don't know whether he is the creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become.
When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So he must be the creator because people who have been creative have been closest to him. Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it--whatsoever it is!
Buddha has chosen one of the really very potential words--shunyata. The English word, the English equivalent, "nothingness", is not such a beautiful word. That's why I would like to make it "no-thingness"--because the nothing is not just nothing, it is all. It is vibrant with all possibilities. It is potential, absolute potential. It is unmanifest yet, but it contains all. In the beginning is nature, in the end is nature, so why in the middle do you make so much fuss? Why, in the middle, becoming so worried, so anxious, so ambitious--why create such despair? Nothingness to nothingness is the whole journey.
What meditation does slowly, slowly, a good shout of the master, unexpectedly, in the situation where the disciple was asking some question, and the master jumps and shouts, or hits him, or throws him out of the door, or jumps over him....
These methods were never known. It was purely the very creative genius of Ma Tzu, and he made many people enlightened. Sometimes it looks so hilarious: he threw a man from the window, from a two-storey house, and the man had come to ask on what to meditate.
And Ma Tzu not only threw him, he jumped after him, fell on him, sat on his chest, and he said, "Got it?!" And the poor fellow said, "Yes"--because if you say "No," he may beat you or do something else. It is enough--his body is fractured, and Ma Tzu, sitting on his chest, says, "Got it?!"
And in fact he got it, because it was so sudden, out of the blue--he could never have conceived it.
The child can become conscious only if in his past life he has meditated enough, has created enough meditative energy to fight with the darkness that death brings. One simply is lost in an oblivion and then suddenly finds a new womb and forgets completely about the old body. There is a discontinuity. This darkness, this unconsciousness creates the discontinuity. The East has been working hard to penetrate these barriers. And ten thousand years' work has not been in vain.
Everybody can penetrate to the past life or many past lives. But for that you have to go deeper into your meditation, for two reasons: unless you go deeper, you cannot find the door to another life; secondly, you have to be deeper in meditation because, if you find the door of another life, a flood of events will come into the mind. It is hard enough even to carry one life....