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Effect on writing

Hi people,

First let me say I am a writer.

It seems now that the neurotic search for "identity" is gone(me, Antony, the writer) which informed much of my work in my past. My mind seems clearer to focus on the writing itself and things like revision. I was a real slacker when it came to revising or rewrites. I can now write 2 or 3 versions of the same thing with no effort! Not life changing perhaps but a sign that something is happening. I'm happy with it. Writing has ceased to be "therapeutic" as it were. Thank God! It seems that while my mind was preoccupied with "using" writing or any art for that matter as a means of justifying my existence, the work suffered and its no wonder to me I never got very far with it. Now I feel more engaged with what I am doing even with things apart from writing. The people I share my work with have noticed this change. I used to "live in my work" as the saying goes. It was a way of hiding and I feared that the stripping away of that would cost me the creative impulse. However I see that that's not true. The truth is creative people thrive on being engaged with life.("The more life the better" as Henry Miller might say.) and what I get through the looking is what informs my work now. I've always liked John's comment to the effect that one must to look at your life to see the changes the looking brings. Never mind the rest.

Thanks John and everyone.

Thank you for sharing, Raindog49.

I'm a painter but I haven't been able to paint for years. Not any good work, anyway. I've been badly depressed and it's hard to put your mind to it when your life is in total crisis. And there's the numbness it brings, you don't feel a thing and don't care for a thing. But I was very curious what John said about the world being a wild and seemingly chaotic place. It was in one of his earlier retreats I watched online. I have had similar experience and I've tried to express it in my paintings. There are forces in action we don't quite understand and never control. It's a a view that reminds me of the Romantic movement in painting in the 18th and 19th centuries, like the Hudson River School in US. The awe inspiring, sublime landscape. It's similar inside. Mind is quite incomprehensible. But I'm a sort of control freak and it's huge problem for me. I always wanted to live in small controllable place where I feel safe. It's all about safety. Now, if looking brings me safety in the end, it might change my painting, too, along with my experience of life.

And it's very interesting to contemplate what kind of culture and art it will bring to the world if/when it spreads. It seems that the issues of identity through art you mentioned would come to an end, and the neurotic forms of expression and the urge to shock, perhaps. There's no telling what happens, but it might be the new renaissance. Perhaps we'd be able to really express something about the real beauty in the world again, beauty having been banned from art for so long.

I can't tell from experience since I haven't painted much since I encountered John's message a year ago. I look forward to see what happens. I hope I will be able to paint again as it has been my main interest since childhood and I might even have something what I believe to be relevant to say through my paintings.


Effect on composing

I'm a composer and I've found that writing music generally "flows" out of those rare times in my life when I am not engaged in constant fear/anxiety, which is pretty rare. But the looking is definitely working for me, as I recently finished two new orchestral pieces that I know would have never come out of me otherwise. Now I am back in a period of anxiety and lack of self-confidence. I find I fear success almost as much as I fear failure, so I usually do nothing, write nothing, etc.

I am curious how much "identity" plays a role in all this, as I was recently telling a friend that I feel like I haven't truly discovered "my" style of music. I am good at imitating other composers, but the music I write isn't really "me" yet. Perhaps it never will be... Perhaps identity will vanish with continued inward looking, or perhaps it will grow stronger and I'll develop my own unique style? I honestly don't know what to expect, but for me, the only thing that matters is being free of the emotional charge of anxiety that surrounds my craft.


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