Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hang on to your Belief Systems

Hang on to your Belief Systems. They are about to be Challenged! —By Grady Harp

Now and then along comes a book that opens our eyes to viewing the world from a completely new perspective, and after reading such a book, the way we react to events in our lives is altered—for the better. Such is the experience that happens to the reader fortunate enough to encounter GUILT WITH A TWIST: THE PROMETHEAN WAY by Dr. Lawrence H. Staples, a Jungian psychoanalyst who just happens to write very well indeed!

In Dr. Staples’ words: "We have to sin and incur guilt if we are to grow and reach our full potential." He goes on to explain that the message of this book "is inspired and informed by the myth of Prometheus. Myth tells us Prometheus stole fire from the gods and made it available for use by humans. He suffered for his sin. Zeus had him chained to a rock where an eagle pecked and tore daily at his liver. But human society would have suffered if he had not committed it. Thus, the life of Prometheus portrays a mythological model for guilt that is different from the conventional view. The Promethean model of guilt suggests the importance of sinning and incurring guilt in order to obtain needed—but forbidden things."

Staples explains how our conventional view of guilt keeps us 'good', providing a safe fence behind which we can function without the fear of doing bad things. But he quickly dismantles that belief by citing examples from not only mythical but also historical figures whose 'sins' resulted in changes that benefited society as a whole. His theory is that if we cannot sin and suffer guilt, we cannot fully develop our potential as human beings. Often, by taking the risk of sinning against conventional norms and incurring guilt we can become unique givers to the whole of society and potentially be the catalyst of great change, as in the case of Prometheus.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Creative Gap

by Lawrence H. Staples

The energy that observes the boundaries, and the energy that attempts to break through them, are equally limited. We never reach perfection, but we get closer by the creative transformation that occurs in the tiny gap between acquisition and expression, between expression and editing, and between editing back again to acquisition. Creation occurs not in perfection, but in the gap between perfection and imperfection. Perfection is the enemy of creation. If reached, it would stop creation, because creation would become irrelevant. Creation actually depends on an inability to reach perfection. Maybe God does not want a perfect world, or a definite plan or purpose, because he knows that would put an end to his creating. This would be in agreement with the belief of evolutionists that there is not an intelligent design because all the mistakes found in nature argue against it. Maybe God just likes to create and does not want to stop doing something he likes. Perhaps, God imposes limits upon himself so that he, as the Creator, will not work himself out of a job. It is a strange paradox. If I may be bold enough to speculate and withstand its blasphemy, perhaps God is not perfect. Perhaps, God is an evolutionary creative process just as life and nature appear to be. Creation seems to be a permanent condition. Perhaps, that is what Aristotle meant, when he said that the only thing permanent is change.

In writing, the Creator appears by deduction to lie in the gap between the last word and the next word. In music, the Creator lies in the gap between the last note and the next note. In art, the Creator lies between the last brush stroke and the next. We do not see the Creator but we know he is there, implied in the words and images that are produced, unless we think we are it. In that case, we are in danger. It is in this gap, where creation occurs, that we find the Creator, if we are lucky. It is in this gap where the duality of existence comes close enough together to constellate the Creator who sparks our creative production. In this gap is the present moment when all creation occurs. If we are away from the present moment, we are separated from the precise time when the gift of creation is given to us.

Sometimes we have physical conditions that provide us with a direct experience of this creative process. When this happens, the creative process is no longer a theory. We know it directly. This can be seen in a condition known as atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heart rhythm experienced by many. When a person is in atrial fibrillation, he will usually experience a return to normal heart rhythm. Doctors use the word conversion to describe this phenomenon, which often mysteriously happens of its own accord. When it does not happen medication or shock bring about the conversion. Often, but not always, that works.