Saturday, October 13, 2012

Signs and Guideposts for the Creative Life

Sometimes we find ourselves wishing for more stillness, serenity, control, or order in our lives.  Those are good things - they have their benefits.  But then Friedrich Nietzsche comes along and says "One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."

As I mull over this quote, I think of elements of chaos that he may have been referring to: upheaval, dissatisfaction, confusion, hunger, conflict, exploding energy, pain, excitement, disorganization.

An image from nature that might be relevant is the way a butterfly comes into being.  When the caterpillar goes into its pupal stage, I used to think that it just shed it's external skin, somehow made some wings, and popped back out - like changing outfits.  But then many years ago I learned that when it pupates, it undergoes total transformation.  The internal organs and bodily tissues lose their integrity, become a cellular soup, then reorganize into the organs and structures that will be needed by the butterfly.  That concept blew me away.  

Are you able to think of instances when you've observed something amazing that has come from  utter confusion or disaster?  Have you recognized chaos within yourself that later resulted in the creation of something deeply alive and totally unexpected?

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