“Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher. It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a higher station morally, ethically, or spiritually.
The working artist will not tolerate trouble in her life because she knows trouble will prevent her from doing her work. The working artist banishes from her world all sources of trouble. She harnesses the urge for trouble and transforms it in her work.”
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
Where to begin …
Which is also how the writing of the text of All Is Chosen began – every day. Sitting down and listening, and then sorting, and then sitting back in the chair to allow just the right word to reveal itself. Then lean forward again and write, letting what would flow … flow. Not stopping for misspelled words or missed punctuation marks. When the flow stopped, getting up and going upstairs and getting a coffee or glass of wine, depending on the time of day. Then coming back to the writing table and reviewing what was written to date. Correcting; editing; re-reading and then re-editing.
Closing the computer and leaving the room until the next day. And then listening for the flow and repeating. It is the creative process in action. It is the same with painting, only instead of images and composition, it is words and a different type of composition.
Both require listening for and to the unknown, to let it flow through whatever has become the template of expertise that allows one to paint competently, to write competently. Years of training in expertise so that you can forget the expertise and let the unknown take form from the formless into the template of words or the images/colors/text.
It took about four months of writing early every morning to complete the text, after decades of research, study, and inculcation of the work itself. It’s over 120 pages long, but some of the pages have one sentence in the center, and some of the pages have a couple of paragraphs. The text is visually captivating – I wanted to put just enough on each page that the reader could open to any page and take away a thought to ponder that would hopefully deepen understanding, deepen connection with the true self. And in order to have a chance at contributing that to a reader, I had to be experiencing it for myself. So much of the words emerged from the creative source, which utilizes the intellect, but emanates from the eternal.
In order to create, one has to consistently deal with the ego’s resistance to the unknown. The ego has no place for itself in the unknown, and so panics for survival in a trillion myriads of disguise, all seductively reasonable to the intellect, all designed to thwart you from courting the unknown, the true essence of yourself. For when one is aligned with true essence, the ego is out of a job. That terrifies the ego, and we interpret that terror as belonging to us. Authenticity is true expression and if the ego participates at all, it is at the service of authenticity.
So, sitting early each morning and listening for the unknown, allowing the unknown to take form, requires a stalwart determination to deal with my own inner resistance.
In the words of Mr. Pressfield, this is the war of art.
Have to do it.