Before I go into this week’s topic & offer a practical exercise to try – let me announce what I have going on for November (all offers are for KAP grads or those currently enrolled in KAP level one only, please) :
I’ll be offering 5 classes starting November 30th (all 4 levels of Theurgy & Thaumaturgy and Creative Enhancement) – at a 30% discount per class/level or all together as a bundle. Email me (therev23<at>gmail<dot>com) for more information or to register.
I’m also offering all of the pop-up classes (Kuji-In Reality Hacking, The Lazy Jedi’s Guide To The Galaxy, Back To The Present, The Lazy Force Ghost’s Guide To The Multiverse, Cosmic Physical Culture, Surfing The Circuits, The Abundance Sessions, 3 Realm Monte & the upcoming A Gentle Stroll In The Shade : Practical Shadow Work For The Rest Of Us) ala carte & at a donation-based tuition (take it anytime & pay what you think is acceptable). Email : therevdr23(at)gmail(dot)com for more information & to register.
Please note that I’m taking a headcount for the upcoming A Gentle Stroll In The Shade pop-up class, so if you’re interested in me teaching a laid-back approach to practical Shadow Work that anyone can plug into their daily routine – please let me know via email (as I gauge start times for pop-ups based on desirability). This will follow the standard pop-up structure – multiple classes (approx 30 mins-1 hr per class) uploaded & available at everyone’s leisure. Feel free to ask me any other questions. Thank you!
Also, really quickly – fellow KAP instructor & my friend Michael Groblewski was kind enough to write up some reviews for some of my classes. I’d like to share them (also note that I have a FREE/secret-ish upcoming pop-up for anyone who reviews any of my classes – please contact me to be added) :
I never was interested into western initiatory magick and ritual magick that much. This
course made me reconsider. First time I really got on a deeper level why to do all those
rituals, like kabbalistic cross and lesser banishing ritual. The explanations on all of those
are far more extensive and deep than anything else I am aware of, very detailed, and easy
to follow. And all of this innovative material is being delivered with much humor and wit and
humility, while also making clear Paul is speaking from extensive and deep experience
along the initiatory path.
May well be my favorite Offshoot-Class.. Great hybrid of transurfing, chakra work and the
ancient Kuji-Mudras, delivering on the energetic as well as manifestation side of things.
Really extensive course, it took me quite some to integrate most of it (maybe I’m slow,
though). I perceive this as an entire Qigong system, even a bit like a KAP 1,5 or 2.5 in
some aspects. Like a streamlined qigong best of the best. Really improved my well-being
and energy levels, as well as clarity of mind and emotions.
What I liked (like in all of Paul’s courses) is the modular approach, and that techniques can
be stacked, layered, and flexibly distributed over the day playfully.
I have done almost all of Paul’s “inofficial” popup-classes so far (as well as all official ones
that can be found on the KAP-site), and I can attest they are excellent, entertaining, and
very useful and effective.
I am still constantly deepening his material, it’s much, even though very streamlined, and
by now has become a significant part of my cultivation practice, especially on the qigong
side of things. Re-listening to some classes almost constantly, and several times, there is
much in there.
To sum it up, i love all his stuff, as well as the audio-format, and i recommend anyone to
join if the topic seems interesting.
Now, without further ado…on with the show :
I appreciate everyone’s patience as I finished up my October art challenges. Now, we should be back to weekly posts.
Let’s continue with the theme of creativity, if you’ll indulge me.
The question that always comes up is “Why?”
Why should we care about creativity?
Why should it be a part of our spiritual path (and/or a lack of one)?
Why do art and spirituality seem to have deep connections? From classic Buddhist & Taoist illustrations (most notably to me : The Ox Herding series & The Vinegar Tasters – both of which I bring attention to in all of my classes), elaborate mandalas, to Medieval monastic iconography, grimoire sketches & even modern Vedic & Neo-Tantric Art. Artistic outlets seem a perfect foil to cultivation practices.
Within my Creative Enhancement course – I break creative breakthroughs into 4 categories : physical, mental, emotional & energetic/spiritual.
So, if you’ll allow me – I’d like to answer the question of “why creativity matters” in 4 brief parts.
I’d like to start with, perhaps, the most subtle reason, but to me the most obvious : emotional transmutation.
If you’re human it stands to reason that you’ve been through emotional turmoil. Robert Anton Wilson used to say, “Under the present brutal and primitive conditions on this planet, every person you meet should be regarded as one of the walking wounded. We have never seen a man or woman not slightly deranged by either anxiety or grief. We have never seen a totally sane human being.” We all have been through various level of unsettling times & we all have various methods of dealing with emotions that can get stuck or are difficult to deal with. Some methods are certainly more successful than others.
I have had many students mention that certain meditative practices bring up some “negative” emotions. I always try to remind everyone that the practices themselves don’t bring on emotions, but bring attention to certain emotions that have been hidden and need to be addressed. Also, this would be a good time to remind everyone that Dr Morris had a background in Transpersonal Psychology & that different modes of therapy should not be eschewed. Israel Regardie used to recommend that no one undergo The Great Work until having a couple of years worth of Reichian therapy and/or certain aspects of Jungian analysis. Of course, everyone should decide for themselves what works & doesn’t for themselves, so hard & fast rules are eschewed for more general guidelines. You know yourself better than I ever could.
Art therapy has been a growing field of healing methodologies for some time now. I have seen many counselors and therapists use comics or painting to connect to people who otherwise would be more difficult to find inroads to. Speaking from experience – the few therapists that I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years quickly have realized that using comics, art & writing easily bypassed any residual armoring that I may have had, almost instantly got me to open up, and rapidly led towards catharsis.
Writing and drawing leads towards a meditative state of concentration. During these moments both insights and hidden emotions can jump pass normal, baseline conscious awareness into the front of the line.
So, without further ado : here is a method to incorporate into your daily routine, as you see fit.
Several years ago, Tim Gula, shared an artistic/meditative method that he learned from the legendary comic book artist/illustrator Moebius (Jean Giraud). Later, he learned that Jack Kirby and other wildly creative artists used/use similar techniques. It’s often called Automatic Drawing & an upgraded version was used by Austin Osman Spare to create his Alphabet of Desire & magickal sigils. Basically, you clear your mind with a blank piece of paper in front of you & begin making marks. Often, it’s best to make circular, elliptical & spiral marks. Basically, you just allow the arm to move the pencil across the page as it sees fit – letting the subconscious guide the process without any conscious input or editing. Don’t raise the pencil off of the paper – let the hand go faster than you can think. You might shade in certain areas, sometimes you’ll go into lines and back and forth into zigzags. Whatever comes forth – allow it. Keep going until the page is full or it “feels done”. It might just be incomprehensible scribbles or spirals. This is OK. It’s not a method that should be judged. Whatever comes out is what was meant to come out. Let it be.
It might be easy to write this off as simply a warm-up exercise. A trifle to loosen both the hand and the mind, and that’s true on one level. But, like most of the great things in life – it has multiple uses. First, it reduces stagnation within the artist. This was the intended use by Moebius. Artists develop styles and the hand tends to move in repeated patterns. There is an old video of Todd McFarlane & Rob Liefeld (comic book creators who came to prominence in the 90’s – and who I also have a great deal of affection for) available. It shows the two creating a character based on prompts from Stan Lee (legendary co-creator of most of the Marvel universe). What’s interesting is that their hands move in an almost mechanical fashion when they’re drawing. They’re playing to their strengths and drawing things that they’ve done over and over again hundreds of times. It looks effortless, but it all comes from repetition. As we’ve said previously – that can be beneficial to everyone’s repertoire (and please note – this is a state of mind/being that transcends the medium – while I often use the example of drawing – it can play into any creative endeavor). However, an artist who never meets any challenges (much like in life) grows stagnant & bored. So, this is a way of allowing the hand to free itself from mundanity & open up to new ways of moving.
This brings us back to the original premise of this post. Because, within that opening up – there is another level of discovery that comes up. As the hand frees itself, based on the mind/body link, so does the mind. And, as the mind frees itself from repetitive thought processes – it allows things below the surface to come bubbling up. New thoughts, old thoughts, new emotions, old emotions & things that can’t be readily described or defined.
And again, creative processes are often interdisciplinary. So much so that creative business types – often have their best ideas while painting. Some writers find that playing music helps them open up. A lot of artists like to dabble in other mediums.
So, give this method a shot & see if it can’t help you open to new ideas. And with those ideas, be prepared for some emotional content to come up. And when it does – take those emotions and put them into your work. Like Bruce Lee said, “We need emotional content.” The best artists make us feel & they do that by allowing their own feelings to be present when they create & to be instilled into the work.
Once again, you might just start to notice how much of your life is yours to create.
UNTIL NEXT WEEK…
Same KAP Time. Same KAP Channel.