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© 2012-2017 Stan Schaap. All rights reserved.

stuff I couldn’t do without

A Beautiful Mind

Dune Pond at SunriseI could make photos without ever using a lens but I could not produce anything worthwhile without a creative state of mind. As a photographer that’s my most valuable asset, the stuff I couldn’t do without. I don’t have to worry that it could be stolen from me because it cannot be acquired by anyone. It’s all there already in timeless perfection and I am the only obstacle that will ever stand between me and my enjoyment of it.

Beautiful things are made and appreciated by a beautiful mind.

In its natural state the mind is absolutely beautiful and nothing but creativity itself. That’s something I can trust, because we’re all equal in this capacity. The problem is, as usual, that I am unconsciously blocking the natural state of mind. The block in my awareness cannot be removed by fighting or denying it, because that would only reinforce my unawareness, which makes everything seem separate, specific, troublesome and problematic.

Letting Go

The block can only be removed by letting go.

Letting go is total, if only for a moment. It means I’m standing here empty handed, willing to acknowledge that I know nothing, and trusting that my innocence is my protection. I have experienced such a moment not before I was at the bottom of a deep mental crisis, without seeing any way out. That was my starting point, but it doesn’t have to be so dramatic, of course. I can do it at will now, if only I remember that this is what I really want.

I’m not a very good swimmer, probably because I don’t feel comfortable in water. I remember, however, my first experience of floating in water on my back. I needed to trust my natural buoyancy, relax, and commit my whole body, including my head, to the water. It couldn’t be done by keeping my head separate from the water. This willingness to trust totally and unconditionally is the state of mind needed for letting go.

Depending on my willingness the result of letting go may vary in intensity but it’s always a remarkable improvement in consciousness and clarity of vision. It can be a moment of bliss and deep inner peace, being fully awake but not dependent on whatever seems to happen in the body or the outside world.

Letting go is the secret ingredient of every creative act.

Imagination

A creative state of mind has not the slightest trace of anxiousness about it. Trust is already a sign of inner peace. Peace is the experience of an unobstructed mind, which also will give more insight and awareness. Imagination is letting this mind play freely with its images. It’s not a petty me pushing buttons. I am out of the way, just observing. As far as I know, this ‘me’ person may not even exist, being just a misunderstanding.

Imagination can be given free rein by daydreaming.

Thought and experience are not the only things that sanction human values. The values that belong to daydreaming mark humanity in its depths. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, page 6.

Images come from the mind, not from the so-called outside world, which is nothing but another image formed by the mind.

Stan

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