Reflections on the creative wound...
My scope and fluency with my emotions determines the scope I have to create worlds of wonder and horror. My emotions orient me with different concentrations of story and meaning and amplify how I perceive my world and my place in it.
...The more separate I perceive myself from the worlds I’ve seen, the less likely I will be to create my own version of that fractal of soul. If I find no meaning in the flowers of a meadow or stars in the sky, how will I collect my own unique gifts and stories within and release them to the beloved around me with the butterfly hope that my presence, expressed through my world, might brighten their day.
World building is about projecting our sense of self and what could be better, or what could be hopeful, into the future and the outer space beyond our imagination and internal thought. We venture into the realm of sharing vision, and dare to believe that not only will we be seen, but also treasured and renewed.
When my vision is clouded with self-doubt anger sadness worry rage terror guilt shame these emotions make me doubt my past actions and current self. This connects me to my future with a similar bleakness and that makes it that much harder to create.
We lose the tools we do not use and most of us believe that messy and playful creation is childish.
When we expect perfection from ourselves we forget to include that which is imperfect outside of us. When I feel blocked in my creativity and sense of belonging, I will reach out and pull too hard on you or push too far and alienate myself from those who might create bridges back towards me. The infinity loop of loneliness completes and compounds when I see that my village is missing and I am alone.
The Dis-ease of a creative block can also influence how I interact with other creators. Instead of envy, a healthy emotion that shows me someone ahead of me that I want to be more like, I may find myself jealous, an entirely darker emotion that makes me want to take away what someone else has if I do not believe I can also access it.
This ultimate expression of eliminating someone’s belonging can be seen in zero-sum games and thinking which result in chronic recreation of weapon-centered play that require us to symbolically or virtually take the life of various projections of deviancy in order to believe ourselves response-able and even possessing specialness. A false sense of recentering happens when we push someone below or away from us. We take that moment of more powerful and believe this to be a feature of our strength and agility instead of a reflection of our wound and insecurity.
Is it possible that the specialness we crave is a reflection of the chasms and caved in tunnels of our psyche and forgotten sense that we as humans might be enough just as we are. Bile and blood, broken and breathing in the stench and ecstasy of life we conquer ourselves out of the dying wish to find greater meaning in each other than the consuming hunger to belong eating us alive within.
Creativity and community are interlocked for better or worse. Creating outwardly and feeling alone inwardly can confuse us with a sense of self annihilation. When I offer my best, and I feel avoided, erased, or even tolerated (vs celebrated), I am plunged into the deepest darkness of lost expectation. The community I seek and sing through my worlds for are those who welcome and see my offering as more than enough in my own creative development. My heart longs for the butterflies that paralyze my stomach, to transform into a village of butterflies that land on me like I (or my worlds) are the flower they’ve been thirsty for all their metamorphasized life, bringing a sense of being held from every direction as not only worthy but home.
Construction and destruction are also interconnected. The high of completion and releasing perfection for “minimum viable product” can often be met with a collapsing sense of worthiness if the balance of seeing and being seen is not held.
In order to save some sense of self when the reflection embodied (in the world or those around us) does not help us see ourselves and each other with more love, annihilatory instincts respond with a cleansing Forrest fire, and we erase the dream with relief. Those who have taken life and symbolically or literally faced their own death with surrender recognize the life-death-life cycle of true mythos and lore and begin anew like the potters apprentice and the throwing wheel.
This pit of the stomach feeling, so vacuous and powerful can be so unpleasant, we avoid it at all costs and disassociate from the breath-freezing terror like the feeling itself is the harm we need distance from (instead of a symptom of a growing chasm of misunderstanding between us and our village). But alas, Matter and meaning can neither be created nor destroyed and we are returned to this terror by our subconscious in our dreams or nightmares, depending on the degree of overwhelm and separateness we sense ourselves in. Stress dreams or nightmare are interpreted by some to be an expression of our fears manifest in the only place we can’t control our thoughts. The energy of this pain is only transformed by active intention and a surrender to giving the light and healing to the world around us we are also seeking ourselves.
In the cycle of collaborative creation, conflict often emerges as we eclipse our visions of where and what the most true world between us might look like. In the pain of missed witness and faith in our vision from our fellow collaborators, We can react and revenge on each other out of the wish that others will truely empathize with our own wound. But what we forget, at the cost of our own lives in real life, is that the ones who are wounding us or ignoring us, are often even more wounded than we can imagine. We believe them or ourselves incapable of true empathy and we forsake our knowing that we most often have way more in common with each other than different.
It’s like one desert getting angry with another for not having enough water. We are all parched with the hunger that comes from chronic un-belonging, a side effect of a diss integrating village possessing wisdom and purpose that even our grandparents know less as they grow older. nursing homes and chronic and impulsive use of multiple ways to entertain our brains and our emotions without the interaction with a thing bridging us back into relationship, are symptoms of this un belonging culture we have manifested out of our own pain avoidance. The core belief? I hope that someday it might be different and better, because someone else will make it that way. In this way we disassociate from any sense of purpose or responsibility.
What if someday was now? The mythos and movies often hint at this idea, attempting to land us in the present moment so that we can choose differently and behave from a place of unattached hope. How could today be That moment we’ve been waiting for? because the truth is today is that moment and so is tomorrow. But first we have to feel on purpose with the things we avoided out of fear we would lose ourselves entirely. Consider how much tomorrow will even be better if today is embraced as the only day that will ever exist.
Beyond hedonistic urges of overflowing ourselves with pleasure and comfort, a deeper question emerges from the liminal bridge of both life and death meeting as friends or foes in our imagination. Will my enoughness remain enough after I’m gone? The haunting and howling question of legacy and impact on those who will remember or forget who we are after we are gone decends like a murder of crows cawing their alarm and concern with vigor. We are sombered by the cold reality that no matter how much we try to ensure our benevolent identities survival in the minds of those closest to us, we can never truly know beyond our last breath how much we made it better for those we leave behind and how long they will reflect the stories of HOW we tried instead of how we died.
The world or worlds we gave are a symbolic Polaroid of our persisting need to know ourselves and each other. A Rorschach of seeing meaning in the darkness of our occluded eyes strapped into an experience of not physical and not really here right now. As world creators, We wish to be known and reflect each other in our brilliance instead of as strangers passing in the night. Our worlds are a flag we hang on the doors to our username castles recruiting and inviting our heart and soul tribe home.
How do your worlds reflect the tribe you long for? If you were to create a world today as if tomorrow will never exist, what would you make? How quickly do you lose faith in that vision and how might you dare greatly and take the next step towards it even if it takes you ten years to see it complete?
What if safe was not what we think it is? What is safe really meant wounded, because only if we’ve experienced pain and fear do we know that we want safety? What if the thing that brought us to a place of seeking safety embodies the velocity of thrust and trust we have to use to transcend our outcast identity? Our sense of belonging waiting beyond that wall with open arms to include ourselves in the center of whatever that belonging might look like. When does the womb that protects us and nurtures us become the monster that consumes us and eventually the tomb and and mummification that confines us in a perpetual nightmare of someday and not right now?
If safe meant death, would courage mean life?How do we become the example that we are waiting for to model something better than where we are at and who we have become? What would be the first step on that journey of being someone who took the opportunity that others walked away from?
Creating worlds that elicit inclusive connection and play requires a growing mix of internal belonging and external learning. Practicing sitting with what’s uncomfortable, seeing what may be happening on the outside of us as reflection of the changing tides within, allows the emotional polarities of our hearts to release the whimsical Bob Ross inside of all of us, and consider who we want to become right now. If our greatest fears and most daring dreams were to bear the genius of our awakening right now, what is the risk we might take to be long more to this planet and each other?
What did one swamp say to the other? Me too.
When we descend beneath and beyond the thirsty desert of our souls, we encounter a tunnel of doubt that turns so dark, all shrink and distract with any means necessary to get away from this place save the most naive and courageous among us. We crawl away from this darkness grinding our teeth in the agony of separateness and a protective belief in the polarities of existential fate or atheistic randomness emerges to validate this predictable sentence of doom. Dust to dust they used to say. Are we now reduced to the perpetual meaninglessness of zeros and ones?
Fate is just a misunderstood destiny waiting for us to wake up and FEEL the path beneath our feet. If actions speak louder than words, what does “hope for the best and prepare for the worst” really say about us and what we believe? What if the break down we all fear in ourselves and our world is really just a wormhole of possibility in our need to break through the shelf of our most safe and also self-limiting beliefs?
When we say I can’t or I’m not, we show all those around us the tangled knots of our self-belief. These words often indicate Binds we tie ourselves in and re-tie each time we utter those words to remain a certain way. These binds thickly replace the effervescent bonds previously broken through all the micro-conflicts of old that slowly became macro-chasms of resigned hopelessness.
If the more fluid and fragile bonds returned in some miraculous “undo” button trick of life renewal, might they look like rainbowy spider webs or scripting links that delicately reflect us as the source and center of the life we are honored to embody? These collapsed cavernous spaces in our most secret thoughts of true self-identity are reflected in the rope like binds we expect of others and ourselves to “feel” secure. These braids witching braids twisted so tight mummify us to wait for the freedom to chose our path at some future moment beyond this one. The “second-coming” of future hope always just over the horizon. One more mountain of skill building or knowing the right people to climb before I’m safe or before I’m gone.
We wait so long for meaning and contact with those who celebrate us just as we are, we give up on creating a myriad of bridges to find our tribe. We forget that we can’t NOT be world creators, because we always have been. Every human on this spinning ball was created by the earth holding us together through our feet in this very moment. My feet and tender toes just a pile of dirt and rocks away from yours, right now. If we could feel the contact like electricity radiating through spider web threads of soulful connection between us right now, would we be empowered to co-create the diverse earth of tomorrow with curious abandon and playful delight?.
The audacity of believing we are not accidents of biology and lust is so dangerous to the status quo we all but drown ourselves in the consumption of things and distracting activity. The cost of owning and seeing everything without pausing to process and feel the pain we accrue as we consume with purposeless hunger increasingly costs the price of our health and village for the instinctual relief of hurting inside a little bit less.
[World Prompt idea:
For the clever,
And the curious
And the hungry
And the kind
For the lonely
And the longing
And the youngest
And the wise
Make a world to show us all way to keep horizon an Inclusive and happy place. Invite me as collaborator and I’ll add your door to this place. Leave your own question at the end of your world with this challenge. ]
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These are reflections on VR community design experiments, collaborations, and my individual user experience. How do we connect through the virtual reality medium in a way that enhances our connection with self and our real life relationships?