The Creative Journey: Creativity as Soul Work
© 1999 by Isabella Colalillo Kates

Creativity is a process of becoming rooted in our Soul. It is also a process of awakening latent Soul energies. The Soul’s main attributes are harmony, concrete knowledge, devotion (to an ideal) and order.

Perennial philosophy perceives the Soul as the intelligent, underlying aspect of the lower personality suggesting that the Soul-self belongs to the realm of “higher mind”. When we engage in an act of creation, that is not ego based, we are doing the work of the Soul. The innate creator is connected to and expresses, through creative activity the personal  aspects of our Soul nature. The innate creator encourages us to take risks, to do things in ways that give us pleasure, that nourish our life, that offer us ways to open up and expand our timebound self.

If you ask yourself, what are the ways in which I am creative, you may discover many things you do that express the Soul’s ways through the Creative Juices of your Being.

We are all creative beings. How do we know this? For one thing, we all knew how to grow our bodies. We also use various modes of creativity to solve life’s problems. Creative problem solving helps us engage the energy  of  personal growth and transformation so we can forge relationships with self-Self and with the self-Self in others.

The basis of all creative work is partnership: partnership with the self, with the Soul and with the self and soul in others. You are successful in establishing such life enhancing intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships in the measure that you actively use your personal creativity.  The more you agree to take ownership of your own creative way of being and doing, the more you inspire and are inspired. You become a broadcaster by simply being in partnership with your creative Self; you automatically broadcast your creative essence to others-- your co-workers, friends, family and students.  In other words, as a creative person you become a lighted place, a note of sound in the vast darkness.  If you do not use your creative power and allow it to lie about unused and unappreciated, anyone can and will pounce on it and abuse your  personal creative potential.  Robert Bly, the poet and social activist says that people, largely by default, give up their unused creative power to politicians and other cultural vultures who quickly gobble it up and use it to wage war, to oppress and control the minds and hearts of others.  To redress this negative power imbalance we need to become creators rather than consumers. By changing our orientation from consumer to creator we change ourselves and leaven the world around us.  Imagine a world where everyone is exercising their personal creativity? If we can't imagine such a world then we have a long way to go.

A creative person wants to use creative juices creatively not destructively. Construction is a hallmark of creativity. We each have a sacred responsibility, a covenant if you will, with our Soul,  to use our creativity for our own growth. Each one of us is a point of light, not only within the Soul of humanity, but also within the larger Soul of cosmic intelligence. We come to earth to use and express this light. Personal creativity is the visible expression of our light.

The Soul is light. Its voice is a silent one. It speaks to us through intuition, inspiration and deep emotional states. These are the creator's modes of perception and expression. When we experience great beauty, great sadness or anything that tugs hard at our emotions, we are entering through a Soul door and learning to partner with the Soul.  The more vividly we can do this the more we  expand our connection from the local (material) plane which is three dimensional  to the Soul's holistic plane.  The Soul  exists on a higher dimensional plane and has access to wider perceptual faculties. Great works of art and music move us to transcendental perception. We literally feel inspired, taken up by the Soul's breath to a heightened perspective. Great art or  music makes our hearts soar until we feel the vibrational touch of the song of the Soul. . When we choose to take time to express our feelings and  inspirations through art forms (writing, dance, music, song, visual art, photography, etc.), we intentionally forge  a stronger, higher connection to the Soul.  And, most importantly, we expand our Soul’s light into our human light . In so doing we help broaden the light of humanity and contribute to more integration between the material and the spiritual dimensions of being. Through our creative works we contribute to the nourishment of the world Soul and enhance the health of the community of consciousness

Neither you nor I can survive without Soul nourishment.  Creativity feeds our Soul and brightens our Spirit. Creativity speaks many  languages of the Soul-- languages that enliven and nourish our very being. Our self-actualisation and creative growth, our transformation from ordinary to extraordinary beings, depends on the quality of our relationship with our higher creativity. To the degree that the Soul represents the aspect of our sublime nature we activate our sublime self by surrendering to creative activity.  To create is to be. (I create therefore I am) Creative activity makes use of the knowledge and fruit of our  human experience. We grow as Souls. Personal creativity is Soul work. Our Soul  knows about this connection. Creativity helps us to re- awaken this knowing

As children we are very connected to our personal creativity and are in touch, however briefly, with the Soul's voice. As we grow, we may forget or even repress this connection, and go through life pretending we are ordinary. We learn quickly to repress our divine longings, our divine nature. The majority of people end up consuming other people’s creativity to stay alive. But this is not enough. If we want to be wholly awake we need to stop pretending we are ordinary. If pretend too long we become ordinary; ordinary means uncreative. For most it also  means being unhappy, unsettled, unactualized, violent, ill or diseased. An uncreative person feels disconnected from the body, mind, heart and the soul. In time, even the  spirit feels alienated and alien.  How many of you have experienced such feelings? How many people do you know who  live this way? Most people have--at one time or another-- felt deeply disconnected, sad and alienated from self and others. I would diagnose this state of fragmentation and alienation as a state of unused creative energy.  It is like choosing to live in the dark when all we need is to walk outside and bathe in the sunlight.  Plato used the same metaphor in his image of the cave. And until we re-reawaken to the fact that we choose to live in these disconnected states of being we continue to descend into deeper states of darkness-- the state of un-created chaos.

Recovering our personal creativity, reconnecting to the innate creator means choosing to do our Soul’s work. The more we engage our higher creativity through creative activities we regain our balance, begin to heal, to grow and to expand our human potential. Active personal creativity is a mode that restores our holistic sight, our holistic growth.  Creative movement has the ability to shift us out of ego based consciousness (darkness) to Soul based consciousness (light). We become lighter when we create. Creativity is a shamanic activity moving us between worlds--inner and outer worlds. I feel a  sublime joy after I writing a poem or story, after painting or sketching, after taking photographs. These creative modalities of seeing and reflecting help me maintain a balanced perspective on life and  the nature of experience.

Rather than repress our sublime nature, we can choose to express it, own it, chew it, see with it--hold it daily in the palms of our hands.  I think it takes more energy to disown our creative energy and keep it locked away than to simply let it flow and do what it loves to do. There are many ways to disown our Creator: we do it out of neglect “ I have no time to be creative”, out of fear “I don’t know how to use my creativity; out of laziness, "It’s too hard to try”; out of shame, “People will laugh at me, laugh at  my work!”; out of critical denial, “My work is no good/ not good enough!” Why do we persist in silencing our creator and give quality airtime to the natural critic? What has the critic ever done to make you feel whole, happy or balanced?   It is one of the sad facts of life that all of us develop a  nasty critical voice early on.  Like a cacophonous sound that drowns out a beautiful tune we learn to pay attention to a growing chorus of critical voices. The critic begins to inhabit our consciousness and negative self-talk, becomes a habit. Very early in our life we quickly internalise the critical voice and its fear based message.  In fact we learn to "create" our critic. Notice that I said “learn to create”--we use our creative energy for negative creative output. The critical voices use our innate creative energy in destructive ways that imprison the Self, cutting it off from the Soul’s light. Not only do we create this critic, but we actually give the critic sovereignty over our life!  Without thinking, we give away our personal power to others, and learn to speak with a false voice. The more we do this the more we become derivatives rather than authentic beings A derivative is someone who is derived from other people’s opinions--a DOPO. I think we got our English word dope from this acronym. Who wants to be a dope their whole existence? And yet millions choose this.

When we decide to re-connect with our personal creativity, we begin to take back our personal sovereignty, our personal power. In time, we learn to hear and speak with our natural voice. As we regain the ability to listen to the silent voice of the innate creator we recognise the grammar and tone of the Soul's Voice. By turning on our creative juices, we take up the Soul’s work. The bonus here is that we then have the chance to re-connect with our personal purpose and have a fighting chance at actualising our personal destiny.

Imagine a world made up of sovereign, creative individuals, doing their own thing!

How do we re-connect with creative potential? The journey begins with, re-cognizing how you are creative and making time to explore the imagination. The imagination is the human sense organ that uses our creative juices to make life and society grow and flourish. Without the imagination we would be bits of inanimate matter. Imagination literally means to "invoke magic" (in+mago). We perceive magic as the ultimate power--so the human imagination is the ultimate source of power for each of us. No one can live without a modicum of imaginal power. As we cultivate the imagination we enrich our soul/spirit partnerships. Cultivate the imagination through dreams, daydreams, wonderings and inspired moments. Wonder is a quality of the child that many adults, in their grown-up (read: darkened ) withdrawn states have forgotten. Begin to wonder and all else flows. Wonder is the seeding ground of the imagination-- the movement forward towards seeing multi-dimensionally. Creativity is the process of the imagination engaging the journey of reconnecting the Self with the Soul's vibration. It is a musical journey. It is a process of integration and harmonisation from a lower to higher dimensional plane. Another way to say it is that we begin to octavise our being by vibrating at a higher light mode. We move from a lower octave to an ever higher octave of being, seeing and doing. Artists, especially great artists vibrate at a higher light frequency-- their human eyes constantly reflect this light.

As we reclaim our creativity, we become lighter and lighter, finer and finer, more and more attuned to the soundlight of the Soul and  in time broadcast our light through many dimensions.

The Soul

There are many descriptions of the Soul from many different traditions. In western esoteric traditions (i.e. Theosophy) we have descriptions of the Soul as a part of an actualising hierarchy of increasingly subtle vibrational levels of consciousness. I include here a description of the Soul from the esoteric writings of Alice Bailey, the founder of the Arcane School

Alice Bailey’s writings identify 3 fundamental aspects and 4 basic attributes of the Soul.  The Soul is perceived as the intelligent, underlying aspect of the lower personality Soul-self belonging to the realm of “higher mind” or Soul self.  The Soul contains three aspects and four attributes.

The Three Aspects of the Higher Soul

a. Will/Purpose (the cultivation of which stimulates the will to good, beauty and service)
b. Love-wisdom (the consciousness of unity with self, group and eventually the whole)
c. Active intelligence (innate creative activity and compatibility)

The Attributes of the Soul

a. harmony (experienced through conflict)
b. concrete knowledge ( capacity for concrete thinking)
c devotion ( to an ideal)
d. order ( ability to organise and work rhythmically)

This profile of the Soul qualities and attributes, is sometimes referred to as “rays” that color every human personality so that each person is “dominated by some particular type of energy which serves to make him distinctive among his fellows, and which produce the differences among human beings” (Bailey, l954: 24) .

There are seven rays, seven chakras and seven  levels of ensoulment.

University of Seven Rays

The etching above is by Samantha Katz