The creative process moves in a spiral. There is a cycle to it, just as there is a cycle to the seasons. In that sense, it moves in circles. But the cycle does not come back around to the same place, even as Planet Earth does not come back around to the same place as it circles the sun. The sun is moving through space, so while there is a circular motion to Planet Earth’s movement around the sun, there is also forward movement. For us as human beings, the forward movement in the cycles of our life creates an ascending spiral. If we think of the circular movement of the cycles of life as being on a horizontal plane, then it is the vertical movement, the ascending movement, that creates the spiral. So just when we think we have arrived and really got it together upon completing a cycle, we have to remember there is another cycle before us in a new place. There is more to know and more to experience at a higher level. There is more to become in the living of our life.
It is possible at the end of a cycle for people to believe that all is complete, that life has gotten as good as it can be; there is no more to learn, there is no more to become, and so there is some kind of “bailing out” on the creative process. And while it may look like you can stand still, the reality is that you cannot just tread water in the living of life. If you are not going up, you are going down.
In spiritual circles, people say they have had an awakening, or they have had a rebirth. But if it is an awakening, there is the rest of the day. If you have been reborn, there is the rest of your life. So there is always more, and there is always something that rightly fades into the past in a person’s experience. That is certainly true from a physical standpoint: we don’t take all the physical substance we ingest along on our journey. It goes through and gets passed on, one way or another. All of it! Either through the process of digestion and elimination or through incorporation into the cells of the body that eventually die and are eliminated and replaced. There is something that keeps moving in the creative process. For most people, there is a tendency to be identified with the physical body. But the reality is that there is nothing physical that continues with you in your life past a period of seven years.
Of course, we don’t want to be bailing on the creative process, along with all the physical substance that is being shed. We want to be identified with what is continuing to ascend. What is moving in the ascending creative process, given that all the physical substance that we tend to think of as ourselves is bailing out along the way? There is something that keeps moving. How glorious is that? You can call it what you will. Spirit. Life. The creative process. Apparently it is us, because as long as we are alive and conscious, we are still here.
Our attitude toward our future is a critical factor in the ability to move in the creative process. Do you believe that there is something wonderful in your future? How would you describe it? I suppose if you are of the right age, you might be thinking about children and a family. At another age, it might be a career or some kind of accomplishment, a place to live, a way to be, somebody you are going to meet, something that is going to be fulfilled, maybe something pleasurable to be experienced.
So here we are, in this present moment, planted here in the space-time continuum, with a sense of the future. The present moment is a remarkable thing, because while there is an ascending process, we never leave the present moment. It all just comes to focus right here. And how we let it come to focus and how we play in the present moment makes all the difference in how the process unfolds.
We are setting our trajectory in the present moment. That trajectory is set by the direction we are facing now. In that sense we are like a rocket. If a rocket is pointed straight up, it will go up and come back down, more or less in the same place. That is the purely spiritual approach to life. A person may attempt to ascend up into nirvana or enlightenment, by whatever name. But if that is the only aspect of their spirituality, they are likely to find themselves landing right back in the same place they started. Certainly you would not point a rocket down. That would not make any sense at all, even though people occasionally do something similar in their own lives. They plumb the depths of depravity and despair.
Some people take the more or less horizontal approach to life. Their efforts are directed toward making progress in this plane of existence, without reference to any altitude or higher perspective. They are plowing through life, colliding into people and circumstances as a rocket aimed horizontally would collide with trees, buildings and mountainsides.
There is a trajectory for a rocket that will send it into orbit around the earth. And given that the earth is moving, that circling of the globe becomes a spiral. In this simple metaphor for a human life, our key is to find the optimal trajectory that will send us into orbit. That optimal orbit has us participating in the ascending spiral of the creative process.
For us as human beings, where we are pointed has a lot to do with two things. The first is your openness to something wonderful to come to you out of the future. The second is what you are doing about that now. So do you have a sense of possibility for your future? If you do not, your rocket may be pointing horizontally, or even down. And if you do have a sense of possibility about your future, are you putting it off? If it is wonderful, are you doing it right now? Why isn’t it being fulfilled right now? I understand that many things that would be fulfilling take time. If it involves a new house, it may take time to build the house. If it involves finding a new person to be with you in your life, perhaps that takes time. But the essence of that experience, whatever it is—the joy of it, the glory of it, the welcoming of it—is available right now. Are you putting that off?
There are two contrasting principles of the creative process, which are both operative. The most obvious principle is that there are experiences that manifest over time. If you are the kind of person who puts off fulfillment, you will be waiting for that manifestation to be fulfilled. And so the experience of fulfillment will be like a mirage that you will never actually experience. You have probably had the experience of driving down the road in the desert and seeing what looks like a pool or lake. And as you get closer, it disappears. You look out further and there is another one, further away. Until you approach it and it, too, disappears. Soon you realize that they are all mirages. They are not real. In the same way, if we keep putting off the fulfilling experiences of life, they will never happen.
So what is that glorious life experience that we aspire to? And what might be stopping us from embracing it and totally embodying that right now? In this hour, in this time right now, individually we all have that opportunity. We all have the opportunity to take whatever it is that’s way out there in some imagined future and bring it here, into this present moment. Are you really serious about whatever that glorious thing is? If you are really serious, are you going to let it be part of your life right now? This employs a second principle of the creative process—everything that could happen in the future of a person’s life can be experienced in essence now.
Approaching life like this calls upon us to experience a paradigm shift. It calls upon us to let go of whatever dead weight we may be carrying around with us, whatever it is that is looking to be shed from us while we move forward in our ascending spiral; to shed whatever sense of impossibility we may have—the attitude that it couldn’t happen, it’ll never be, but I’m working on it anyway. We could be working on something we think is impossible, and I don’t think it will ever happen. Or we could be embodying the essence of the glory that we have to experience right now, and thereby having that experience.
Whatever the essence of that experience is, it is available right now. If it is a wonderful relationship you are hoping for, you can be that wonderful friend right now. You can be that loving person who is available for a loving relationship. If it is a new house, you can be totally at home right now, loving all of what it means to truly be at home. You can go build a house later, but you could be at home now. I have a dream of the Dome at Sunrise Ranch full of four hundred people every week. That is a wonderful dream. But what am I doing with the people who are coming now? Anything that would be possible with four hundred people, we could do, in essence, right now with these people. What would that be?
And so it is with all the dreams in life. If they have real meaning to us, it is because we give them meaning. And the way we give them meaning is to start living them right now. We find a way. It seems to be easy for a person to put their dreams on hold. “I’ll get to it…” Years ago, they were passing out “round tuits”—little circular objects with those words on them, giving people permission to put off fulfillment. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have much meaning if you don’t find a way to start doing it right now. You may want to be a rock and roll star, but if you don’t start singing and have the experience of being a rock star right now, is that ever really going to happen? We should distinguish between real dreams and visions for our life and imaginations that we are really not committed to.
Not all dreams that people have are meant to come true. But all people are given true dreams by the universe. And if we open to those dreams and begin to live them right now, we experience them. That attitude toward our dreams sets the trajectory for our life. It sends us into orbit. It rockets us into the ascending spiral of a creative life.