Who we most deeply are is mirrored in our artistic work. Our need for mirroring simultaneously attracts us to and repels us from our creative callings and relationships. It is one of life’s great dilemmas.
Artist’s block and lover’s block flow from the same pool. Often, we fear deeply the very thing needed to create original art, to experience intimate relationships, and to live authentic lives: we are frightened by the impulse to be fully revealed to ourselves, and to others, as this most often entails exposing the unacceptable shadowy aspects of our humanity and risking rejection.
Mirrors in all their manifold guises permit us to safely see and experience ourselves in reflection and become better acquainted with the rejected, ostracized aspects of our personalities. In The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness, Lawrence Staples explains how creative work is one of the few places where we can truly express, witness, and reclaim lost aspects of our authentic selves.
Topics explored in The Creative Soul include: opposites and creativity, the creative instinct, our unique identity, some elements of creativity, some prerequisites of the creative process, la petite mort, the patriarchal/matriarchal conflict, giving voice to the many lives within, dreams and active imagination as triggers to creativity, creativity as an inner parent, creativity within bounds, the creative gap, the power of small, creativity and independence, art and the quest for wholeness, therapy as art, fear of self-revelation blocks creativity, intimacy and creativity, the importance of mirroring, creativity, guilt, and self-development, creativity and loneliness, life and the tension of opposites.
Within us a treasure beckons. This is what we spend our lives pursuing. What slows and distracts us is not the object we long for, but where we search. To find this precious gem, we must eventually return to our own creative spirits.