David Lynch, the creator of the cult TV series Twin Peaks and a host of arthouse films, has spoken widely about the knowledge and creativity benefits of meditation. He followed the same “TM” tradition as the Beatles and Deepak Chopra, popularised from the ancient Vedas of India by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Meditation links to knowledge and creativity
At ICR, we too affirm the link between meditation, knowledge and creativity for seekers of whatever faith background - or none.
Last time we touched on the interior and exterior aspects of knowledge.
Wisdom is the interior aspect of knowledge. Understanding is the exterior. Understanding lets us comprehend and enter into meaningful exchange with the external authorities, ranging from people with some knowledge to specialists and experts in their field. With understanding, we can identify who knows what their talking about and to what degree. The content might be anything from a scientific concept to a political argument. On the other hand, wisdom lets us “hear” the interior teacher, and intuits the ideas inspiring all human conception. Wisdom allows us to tap the source of universal ideas conceived by the great thinkers down the ages. This is not about studying their books and works from the outside in, but finding the common source of the inspiration through meditation, and knowing the essence.
Real knowledge should be able to communicate what it’s on about. One part of real knowledge should be integrated with every other part and with the whole.
Then the knower has integrity.
Wisdom and understanding should develop together in balance. Otherwise the result is someone supposedly full of mystic insight whom nobody can understand. Or somebody who articulates information like a hurricane but lacks inner conviction and coherence between one set of views and another.
Real knowledge should be able to communicate what it’s on about. One part of real knowledge should be integrated with every other part and the whole.
Then the knower has integrity.
Our hardware is the brain and central nervous system. Our software is our thought system.
Computers have hardware and software. So do humans in a way. Our hardware is the brain and central nervous system. Our software is the belief or thought system that guides our living. Computers have systems software which, in turn, runs application software - or apps. Wisdom and understanding together comprise the “pure” knowledge of our thought system, which operates the applied knowledge behind our actions : opinions and skills.
Like “apps”, these opinions and skills enable us to address specific tasks and challenges, including responding appropriately to different individuals in a variety of contexts. Opinions are for relating to other people - the interpersonal world. Skills are for grappling with things - the technological world. Summing up :
Knowledge is the marriage of wisdom and understanding, applied as opinion and skills.
Engaging the creative process is the other deep benefit of meditation. Like babies born from their mothers’ wombs, cultural creations also gestate in the womb of time.
We can discern four stages of the creative process : will-purpose-plan-implementation.
Will is the originating impulse that renews civilisation by replacing old cultural forms with new ones. This happens with fashion, art styles, technological inventions, aspects of institutions and even whole societies.
Purpose is the consciousness of this creative impulse as co-creation, co-llaboration, co-operation - i.e. working together for some end. All true purpose is common, and for the common good. Meditation enables the individual to own will and share purpose. Wisdom discerns will. Understanding consciously communicates purpose.
Plan is the articulated blueprint for the common enterprise. The highest order plans are global in scope. Will is purpose subjectified - as in empowering leadership. Plan is purpose objectified - as in a document. The document could range from a universal climate convention, to a business or social enterprise plan, to a household budget.
Implementation executes a plan over a period of time. Analogy can be found in a play and a symphony. A play is a script with beginning, middle and end existing at once in their entirety. When turned into a dramatic performance it may take hours to unfold. The musical score of a symphony also exists in its entirety as sheet music, but can take hours for an orchestra to perform.
A plan visions a desirable end, but this end is achieved through a sequence of events. If timing of the part is wrong, there is a discordance - like the last scene or movement mingled with the first.
Till next time.