The Creative Process ( Audio Book )

The Creative Process – Thomas Troward / Chapter One

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The book contains 9 chapters , Total length 2hrs 10min

THE CREATIVE PROCESS IN THE INDIVIDUAL

BY T. TROWARD

1915

FOREWORD

In the present volume I have endeavored to set before the reader the
conception of a sequence of creative action commencing with the formation
of the globe and culminating in a vista of infinite possibilities
attainable by every one who follows up the right line for their unfoldment.

I have endeavored to show that, starting with certain incontrovertible
scientific facts, all these things logically follow, and that therefore,
however far these speculations may carry us beyond our past experience,
they nowhere break the thread of an intelligible connection of cause and
effect.

I do not, however, offer the suggestions here put forward in any other
light than that of purely speculative reasoning; nevertheless, no advance
in any direction can be made except by speculative reasoning going back to
the first principles of things which we do know and thence deducing the
conditions under which the same principles might be carried further and
made to produce results hitherto unknown. It is to this method of thought
that we owe all the advantages of civilization from matches and
post-offices to motor-cars and aeroplanes, and we may therefore be
encouraged to hope such speculations as the present may not be without
their ultimate value. Relying on the maxim that Principle is not bound by
Precedent we should not limit our expectations of the future; and if our
speculations lead us to the conclusion that we have reached a point where
we are not only able, but also _required_, by the law of our own being, to
take a more active part in our personal evolution than heretofore, this
discovery will afford us a new outlook upon life and widen our horizon with
fresh interests and brightening hopes.

If the thoughts here suggested should help any reader to clear some mental
obstacles from his path the writer will feel that he has not written to no
purpose. Only each reader must think out these suggestions for himself. No
writer or lecturer can convey an idea _into_ the minds of his audience. He
can only put it before them, and what they will make of it depends entirely
upon themselves–assimilation is a process which no one can carry out for
us.

To the kindness of my readers on both sides of the Atlantic, and in
Australia and New Zealand, I commend this little volume, not, indeed,
without a deep sense of its many shortcomings, but at the same time
encouraged by the generous indulgence extended to my previous books.

T.T.

June, 1910.

CONTENTS

I THE STARTING-POINT
II THE SELF-CONTEMPLATION OF SPIRIT
III THE DIVINE IDEAL
IV THE MANIFESTATION OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE
V THE PERSONAL FACTOR
VI THE STANDARD OF PERSONALITY
VII RACE THOUGHT AND NEW THOUGHT
VIII THE DÉNOUEMENT OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS
IX CONCLUSION
X THE DIVINE OFFERING
XI OURSELVES IN THE DIVINE OFFERING

I say no man has ever yet been half devout enough,
None has ever yet adored or worship’d half enough,
None has begun to think how divine he himself is, and
how certain the future is.
I say that the real and permanent grandeur of these States
must be their religion,
Otherwise there is no real and permanent grandeur.
–WALT WHITMAN.

CHAPTER I

THE STARTING-POINT

It is an old saying that “Order is Heaven’s First Law,” and like many other
old sayings it contains a much deeper philosophy than appears immediately
on the surface. Getting things into a better order is the great secret of
progress, and we are now able to fly through the air, not because the laws
of Nature have altered, but because we have learnt to arrange things in the
right order to produce this result–the things themselves had existed from
the beginning of the world, but what was wanting was the introduction of a
Personal Factor which, by an intelligent perception of the possibilities
contained in the laws of Nature, should be able to bring into working
reality ideas which previous generations would have laughed at as the
absurd fancies of an unbalanced mind. The lesson to be learnt from the
practical aviation of the present day is that of the triumph of principle
over precedent, of the working out of an _idea_ to its logical conclusions
in spite of the accumulated testimony of all past experience to the
contrary; and with such a notable example before us can we say that it is
futile to enquire whether by the same method we may not unlock still more
important secrets and gain some knowledge of the unseen causes which are at
the back of external and visible conditions, and then by bringing these
unseen causes into a better order make practical working realities of
possibilities which at present seem but fantastic dreams? It is at least
worth while taking a preliminary canter over the course, and this is all
that this little volume professes to attempt; yet this may be sufficient to
show the lay of the ground.

Now the first thing in any investigation is to have some idea of what you
are looking for–to have at least some notion of the general direction in
which to go–just as you would not go up a tree to find fish though you
would for birds’ eggs. Well, the general direction in which we all want to
go is that of getting more out of Life than we have ever got out of it–we
want to be more alive in ourselves and to get all sorts of improved
conditions in our environment. However happily any of us may be
circumstanced we can all conceive something still better, or at any rate we
should like to make our present good permanent; and since we shall find as
our studies advance that the prospect of increasing possibilities keeps
opening out more and more widely before us, we may say that what we are in
search of is the secret of getting more out of Life in a continually
progressive degree. This means that what we are looking for is something
personal, and that it is to be obtained by producing conditions which do
not yet exist; in other words it is nothing less than the exercise of a
certain creative power in the sphere of our own particular world. So, then,
what we want is to introduce our own Personal Factor into the realm of
unseen causes. This is a big thing, and if it is possible at all it must be
by some sequence of cause and effect, and this sequence it is our object to
discover. The law of Cause and Effect is one we can never get away from,
but by carefully following it up we may find that it will lead us further
than we had anticipated.

Now, the first thing to observe is that if _we_ can succeed in finding out
such a sequence of cause and effect as the one we are in search of,
somebody else may find out the same creative secret also; and then, by the
hypothesis of the case, we should both be armed with an infallible power,
and if we wanted to employ this power against each other we should be
landed in the “impasse” of a conflict between two powers each of which was
irresistible. Consequently it follows that the first principle of this
power must be Harmony. It cannot be antagonizing itself from different
centers–in other words its operation in a simultaneous order at every
point is the first necessity of its being. What we are in search of, then,
is a sequence of cause and effect so universal in its nature as to include
harmoniously all possible variations of individual expression. This primary
necessity of the Law for which we are seeking should be carefully borne in
mind, for it is obvious that any sequence which transgresses this primary
essential must be contrary to the very nature of the Law itself, and
consequently cannot be conducting us to the exercise of true creative
power.

What we are seeking, therefore, is to discover how to arrange things in
such an order as to set in motion a train of causation that will harmonize
our own conditions without antagonizing the exercise of a like power by
others. This therefore means that all individual exercise of this power is
the particular application of a universal power which itself operates
creatively on its own account independently of these individual
applications; and the harmony between the various individual applications
is brought about by all the individuals bringing their own particular
action into line with this independent creative action of the original
power. It is in fact another application of Euclid’s axiom that things
which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another; so that though
I may not know for what purpose some one may be using this creative power
in Pekin, I do know that if he and I both realize its true nature, we
cannot by any possibility be working in opposition to one another. For
these reasons, having now some general idea of what it is we are in search
of, we may commence our investigation by considering this common factor
which must be at the back of all individual exercise of creative power,
that is to say, the Generic working of the Universal Creative Principle.

That such a Universal Creative Principle is at work we at once realize from
the existence of the world around us with all its inhabitants, and the
inter-relation of all parts of the cosmic system shows its underlying
Unity–thus the animal kingdom depends on the vegetable, the vegetable
kingdom on the mineral, the mineral or globe of the earth on its relation
to the rest of the solar system, and possibly our solar system is related
by a similar law to the distribution of other suns with their attendant
planets throughout space. Our first glance therefore shows us that the
All-originating Power must be in essence Unity and in manifestation
Multiplicity, and that it manifests as Life and Beauty through the unerring
adaptation of means to ends–that is so far as its cosmic manifestation of
ends goes: what we want to do is to carry this manifestation still further
by operation from an individual standpoint. To do this is precisely our
place in the Order of Creation, but we must defer the question why we hold
this place till later on.

One of the earliest discoveries we all make is the existence of Matter. The
bruised shins of our childhood convince us of its solidity, so now comes
the question, Why does Matter exist? The answer is that if the form were
not expressed in solid substance, things would be perpetually flowing into
each other so that no identity could be maintained for a single moment. To
this it might be replied that a condition of matter is conceivable in
which, though in itself a plastic substance, in a fluent state, it might
yet by the operation of will be held in any particular forms desired. The
idea of such a condition of matter is no doubt conceivable, and when the
fluent matter was thus held in particular forms you would have concrete
matter just as we know it now, only with this difference, that it would
return to its fluent state as soon as the supporting will was withdrawn.
Now, as we shall see later on, this is precisely what matter really is,
only the will which holds it together in concrete form is not individual
but cosmic.

In itself the Essence of Matter is precisely the fluent substance we have
imagined, and as we shall see later on the knowledge of this fact, when
realized in its proper order, is the basis of the legitimate control of
mind over matter. But a world in which every individual possessed the power
of concreting or fluxing matter at his own sweet will irrespective of any
universal coordinating principle is altogether inconceivable–the conflict
of wills would prevent such a world remaining in existence. On the other
hand, if we conceive of a number of individuals each possessing this power
and all employing it on the lines of a common cosmic unity, then the result
would be precisely the same stable condition of matter with which we are
familiar–this would be a necessity of fact for the masses who did not
possess this power, and a necessity of principle for the few who did. So
under these circumstances the same stable conditions of Nature would
prevail as at present, varied only when the initiated ones perceived that
the order of evolution would be furthered, and not hindered, by calling
into action the higher laws. Such occasions would be of rare occurrence,
and then the departure from the ordinary law would be regarded by the
multitude as a miracle. Also we may be quite sure that no one who had
attained this knowledge in the legitimate order would ever perform a
“miracle” for his own personal aggrandizement or for the purpose of merely
astonishing the beholders–to do so would be contrary to the first
principle of the higher teaching which is that of profound reverence for
the Unity of the All-originating Principle. The conception, therefore, of
such a power over matter being possessed by certain individuals is in no
way opposed to our ordinary recognition of concrete matter, and so we need
not at present trouble ourselves to consider these exceptions.

Another theory is that matter has no existence at all but is merely an
illusion projected by our own minds. If so, then how is it that we all
project identically similar images? On the supposition that each mind is
independently projecting its own conception of matter a lady who goes to be
fitted might be seen by her dressmaker as a cow. Generations of people have
seen the Great Pyramid on the same spot; but on the supposition that each
individual is projecting his own material world in entire independence of
all other individuals there is no reason why any two persons should ever
see the same thing in the same place. On the supposition of such an
independent action by each separate mind, without any common factor binding
them all to one particular mode of recognition, no intercourse between
individuals would be possible–then, without the consciousness of relation
to other individuals the consciousness of our own individuality would be
lost, and so we should cease to have any conscious existence at all. If on
the other hand we grant that there is, above the individual minds, a great
Cosmic Mind which imposes upon them the necessity of all seeing the same
image of Matter, then that image is not a projection of the individual
minds but of the Cosmic Mind; and since the individual minds are themselves
similar projections of the Cosmic Mind, matter is for them just as much a
reality as their own existence. I doubt not that material substance is thus
projected by the all-embracing Divine Mind; but so also are our own minds
projected by it, and therefore the relation between them and matter is a
real relation and not a merely fictitious one.

I particularly wish the student to be clear on this point, that where two
factors are projected from a common source their relation to each other
becomes an absolute fact in respect of the factors themselves,
notwithstanding that the power of changing that relation by substituting a
different projection must necessarily always continue to reside in the
originating source. To take a simple arithmetical example–by my power of
mental projection working through my eyes and fingers I write 4 X 2. Here I
have established a certain numerical relation which can only produce eight
as its result. Again, I have power to change the factors and write 4 X 3,
in which case 12 is the only possible result, and so on. Working in this
way calculation becomes possible. But if every time I wrote 4 that figure
possessed an independent power of setting down a different number by which
to multiply itself, what would be the result? The first 4 I wrote might set
down 3 as its multiplier, and the next might set down 7, and so on. Or if I
want to make a box of a certain size and cut lengths of plank accordingly,
if each length could capriciously change its width at a moment’s notice,
how could I ever make the box? I myself may change the shape and size of my
box by establishing new relations between the bits of wood, but for the
pieces of wood themselves the proportions determined by my mind must remain
fixed quantities, otherwise no construction could take place.

This is a very rough analogy, but it may be sufficient to show that for a
cosmos to exist at all it is absolutely necessary that there should be a
Cosmic Mind binding all individual minds to certain _generic_ unities of
action, and so producing all things as realities and nothing as illusion.
The importance of this conclusion will become more apparent as we advance
in our studies.

We have now got at some reason why concrete material form is a necessity of
the Creative Process. Without it the perfect Self-recognition of Spirit
from the Individual standpoint, which we shall presently find is the means
by which the Creative Process is to be carried forward, would be
impossible; and therefore, so far from matter being an illusion, it is the
necessary channel for the self-differentiation of Spirit and its Expression
in multitudinous life and beauty. Matter is thus the necessary Polar
Opposite to Spirit, and when we thus recognize it in its right order we
shall find that there is no antagonism between the two, but that together
they constitute one harmonious whole.

 
 

 

Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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