“Is Creativity a Licence for Debauchery or a Connection
Or ‘Why are Artists so often promiscuous?’
Tonata……. Good evening my friends. J held one question in mind some time ago after seeing a play about a local artist. J’s questioning centred round part of the Christian concept about the idealism of humankind compared with what is more often the actuality – what happens in real life.
Part of a general theory in higher religions is that what separates or differentiates humankind from the other animal kingdoms is the ability of mankind to create. I am not saying that animals do not make things, for of course they do. Birds build their nests, beavers build dams, most animals have their safety areas – in that sense they create. But that ability is nothing compared to the creativity of mankind. Creativity in humankind is not just to make the environment more comfortable but it is an expression of profound thought and emotion through painting, sculpture and through music. In that creation there is an expression of something beyond words, or something that takes many words to begin to do justice. It is a communication at a deeper level. And it is this that differentiates, at so many different levels, humankind from the animal kingdoms.
One idea is that man is made in the image of God, and as God is the Creator, so this aspect of humankind is the spark of God within.
The questioning that J had in his mind was that although you might expect someone of great creativity to have a greater expression of the Divine, you often find that the life style of so many artists is something to be desired concerning their morals. They say they need a freedom, a freedom to express and a freedom to explore, not to be constrained by moral codes or social mores and behaviour. And when they revel in their freedom then creativity takes place. To restrain that lifestyle means their creativity is constrained. Unfortunately that freedom tends to involve experimentation with chemicals, with excitement and with relationships – so moral constraint is often very tenuous.
The local artist in question seemed to take a pride in his promiscuity, claiming that he would have sexual intercourse with all his models. He justified it in all sorts of ways, and his tally went into several thousands! There was little regard for the damage he would cause to his models, for having had his time with them he would discard them, and their relationships with those closest to them would suffer. He had no respect for them but had only lust and promiscuity in the name of freedom of expression and of art. So his creativity as the aspect of the Divine within seemed to be at odds with his spirituality and most people’s moral understanding.
I understand it as a matter of Chakras. And I speak only of the main vortices of energy in the body. There are many vortices, some very small and others quite large, but I understand a Chakra, as compared with any energy vortex, as where that vortex goes through all levels of being of that body, from the physical level through to the spiritual. But to confuse things, I see seven levels of being for each chakra, and although the chakras are given seven colours, these are ascribed to them only with regard to the physical level. So the Root chakra is red and the Throat chakra is blue, but at each of the levels of being each chakra has its other colours. So to try not to confuse things, if I say the Root chakra at the blue level then that is different from the Throat chakra at the red level.
Even though all chakras are energy vortices, the Root chakra is to do especially with ‘energy’, that is energy and procreation. The sacral is to do with emotions and stability of emotions, the yellow with connectedness, the heart with harmony, the throat with magic and the Will, the third eye with insight and knowledge and the crown with spirituality and blessing.
So concerning that creativity of the local artist, of course we are looking at the Root chakra, but the Root chakra at the blue level is where the energy of creativity is engendered and needs to be released at the Throat chakra of expression. But where there is imbalance, where there is no discipline or development of all levels of being, then you find the energy is twisted, certain aspects are shut off. So the lust of the physical level develops in the same way as the creativity of artistic expression. There is no insight; there is no spirituality present to balance that energy of desire. There may be a hardening of the emotional levels or even a shutting down. Connectivity is only focused on the opposite sex. Harmony is shut off so there is a disharmony or disrespect with those around. There is a creative expression but at the expense of himself, his spiritual growth and the damage he does to others.
This is seen also with many politicians, where the emphasis is very much more on the Word Going Forth rather than creative expression. Where there is no development of the other levels of being then the energy is warped, and the power that often goes with the politician finds expression in sexual activity and dominance. It is often seen by members of the opposite sex as an aphrodisiac and a further justification for promiscuity.
So although creativity is an aspect of the Divine, in many respects so is harmony, so is atonement or at-one-ment, so is emotional maturity, so is wisdom and blessing. So to single off one aspect of divinity is unwise and unhealthy.
In times long past it was considered that in some ways an artist was also a priest and their artistry an expression of their spirituality, in songs of worship, in icons or pictures of the saints. There can indeed be a resonance within the artist and their own spirituality grows as they express their creativity. If there is not a spirituality present then there is idleness, a seeking of an easy way. So if there is a shorter way or experience through drugs or sex then it is surely taken rather than the discipline of years of training like in Zen.
Creativity does indeed mark humankind off from animal kind, but creativity is not a measure of spirituality.