The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Furnace, Not the Sparks

Last night at a dinner gathering, a lady told me
that she was exploring Kundalini yoga, and I
asked her why.  She said that she wanted to
discover the “real” her, and to learn about
advanced powers of mind.  She had invited
me to comment, so while I usually keep my
mouth shut about such things, I decided to
share some thoughts.

Thirty years ago, the “Faces of Science Fiction”
book profiled me, and I offered a thought on
creativity I learned from one of my early teachers:
 the primary creative act is the work itself.  
That is the art.  Books, screenplays, poems,
whatever are not “art” in that sense--they
are “objects of art”, by-products of artistic
process, “sparks flung out of the furnace of
creation.”   We must concentrate on the
feast itself, not look backwards or sideways
at the trail of bread-crumbs we leave behind.
Pay too much attention to the results, and
you shift the objects from peripheral to
foveal focus, and fall into the dream rather
than lucidly moving through it, creating as
you go.

The same is true in the realm of the physical.  
The body  you have  is nothing but the result
of living, eating, feeling, moving and thinking
in certain patterns.  Align action, emotion,
and intellect in one way and you produce
one result.  In another way, we get another
result.   But the results are interesting,
but secondary to the process.  Pay too
much attention to the results, and you
can become frozen in place.

I say this because according to Sri Chinmoy,
the “siddhis” or powers attributed to disciplines
like Kundalini yoga are the same thing.  
All sorts of bizarre synchronistic phenomena
routinely happen to meditators.  They
are great fun, but I’m not interested in
debating whether they are “psychic” or
not.  Why?  Because you shouldn’t pay
much attention to them in the first place.  
Your attention needs to be on the twin
questions: who am I?  What is true?

Do that, and the rest follows beautifully.  
Try to “develop powers” and at the least,
you are distracted by the shiny toys.  At
the worst?  Well, every fairy-tale and
supernatural story about evil wizards
is nothing but a metaphor for the corruptive
power of the Chase.  All world cultures
have these stories.  I doubt that is an accident.

Don’t chase after the finished product.
Just be who you are, every day, in
every moment, and from the corners
of your eyes notice if the results are
in alignment with your values.  If not,
shift behaviors.  If so, motor on.  

Enjoy the view.  Life is short:  have fun!


(p.s.--I currently have room for two
coaching clients in my schedule.  If
you are interested, FIRST please visit
look at “Steven Barnes’ Life Coaching”
to understand how this is handled.   
Then...get in touch and let me know how I can help!)


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