A couple of things in this letter to you today. One is about use of language (because language matters). One is that I have news about my next book!
I say this because of two recent examples. In both situations, my spotlighting of the issue caused intense reactions by the people who use them. Clearly they are invested in the language in ways that are unhelpful both to examination of the language and the understanding that language drives emotion and action. (Also, for the manifesty people, 'manifestation'.)
The first example is Malevolent Creativity.
I saw this on LinkedIn. It transpires that there is a relatively new branch of academia in which people talk about creativity as being malevolent.
Here's the problem with that:
Creativity cannot be malevolent. It is not an actor. It is the state of being creative; said state is used by an actor. It was first used in the 1800s to describe a state of being imaginative.
The critical point here, in case you missed it, is that the state is 'of being creative'. But it doesn't tell us who is being creative. Creativity is not creative. The person being creative is using creativity.
The term 'malevolent' means, 'wishing evil to others'. So if creativity is not an actor, how can creativity wish evil to others? How can creativity be anything, whether evil or comedic or inspiring or [insert thing]?
Those who use and defend the phrase malevolent creativity are blocked artists in my opinion. They're twiddling their nipples, getting funding to do nothing useful. They are better off engaging their own creativity to do something amazing in their own right.
The big-picture problem with the phrase is that it's a short step from telling people that 'creativity' is malevolent to outlawing creativity. That's what happened in the Middle Ages. Art was outlawed for fear that it would be confused with pagan worship. Almost all artistic practice was destroyed. That's what the Renaissance was: The rebuilding of creative practice in service of art.
I'm calling it now: It's a day, not far away, in which art will be outlawed for fear it will be confused with terrorism, racism, conservative perspectives or whatever it is that the ruling class decides is cancel-worthy this week. I'm calling it now because that's the pathway that malevolent creativity takes us on.
Instead of examining the actor doing the nasty stuff, which is the proper domain for discussions about their uses of creativity, this bullshyte area of study plonks it into studies of creativity.
This vision is misaligned. It is a desperate attempt to create something new out of an old, worn-out trope. To get funding. To make universities somehow relevant.
What it does is divide humans into "those who are helpfully creative according to the ruling class's definition of helpful", and those who are not.
Study how people use creativity, fine. Don't tell us that creativity is evil.
As an aside, the phrase also assumes that evil exists. Evil exists inside a specific religious context. Without that religious context, the notion is irrelevant.
There are so many problems with it.
Humans are inherently creative. Every problem you solve, you use creativity to do it. That problem might be getting an apple tree to grow; it might be wiping people out of existence. Remember the Hermetic Laws: Everything exists on a spectrum.
For calling this out, I was told that I have "a blockage in how you view creativity". Yeah ok, mate. What I have is Reality in front of me.
Language IS. Language changes, yes. But every word in the language carries a history that imparts itself to those who use it whether those people realise the history or not. Read Work: The last 1000 years to really understand that.
The other example recently was in a Facebook post where a friend of mine made a comment about how her husband texted her that she had 'ruined (son's) ability to play independently'. I pointed out that blame is problematic. The result was a tidal wave of justification from both parties about how this is not the case. I got loads of stuff about intention and awareness... and painting a dog poo gold. What the justification attempts to hide is a pattern of abuse, and it allows all parties to enable the continuation of that abuse.
Uh, yes the phrase is blame. "You ruined" is finger-pointing, and finger-pointing is blame. Blame is an illness. If you eradicate it, all relationships improve.
So my point today, my good love, is use your language intentionally. The things you say belie your beliefs. If you pay attention, then you'll say a malevolent person found an innovative way to trip someone over, and you'll say this child has forgotten how to play independently.
Both of them incite curiosity, do they not? That's as it should be. Curiosity creates questions and questions enable deeper understanding.
Woman as Artist is being released this month, in eBook format.
You'll get another Letter from me a couple of days before, with links and more information, so you can go plonk it on your favourite device and start reading.
For those of you who prefer hardcopy, the hardback edition will be released just in time for Christmas... it's about two months away.
Business by the Moon is now available on Kobo
Business by the Moon is now available on Kobo, and you can get that here. I'm planning a new, perpetual moon calendar to go with it. Those of you who buy the book will be able to get a copy of the perpetual calendar at a huge discount. So keep your eyes peeled for that (once I've solved the production partner question).
- Bring your energy home. This is an online session that will teach you to bring home and re-integrate the energy you've given away to others over your lifetime. It can have dramatic effect, including you rediscovering who you are. It's especially useful if you've ever been in a codependent or emotionally abusive relationship of any kind. Tickets on Eventbrite, you pay what you can.
- Tarot readings at Hallett Cove Shopping Centre, 22-23 October. The Saturday is 10 am - 2 pm. The Sunday is 11 am - 2 pm. They're free for you. They're the short version but it's a grand way to get your cards read, especially if you never have! Come say hi if you're south of town.
- Tarot readings and Shamanic conversations at the Universal Light (Body Mind Psychic) Expo 29-30 October, at Adelaide Showgrounds. Two huge days inside an amazing expo. My friend Tobias is the shaman who is offering guidance alongside me. Come see us! Tickets here.
- More events to be announced! :)
I'm in the process of creating more new works. I've recently contributed to a poetry anthology, also being released by Lionstower/Mount Books. That one is about endings but it's got an ocean theme. If there's one thing I love reading more than clouds it's the sea, so this was really good fun. I'll let you know when that's going to hit stores.
There is another work underway, too, which is rooted in weather patterns. I'm going to keep that under wraps until it's done. Nevertheless, this little artist is writing whenever and wherever she can.
I also have a pet project to create and help maintain and uplift happy writers. In my experience, writers' societies are a lot of useless crap for people who aren't newbies wanting to get started. Happy Writer is the idea of creating a community of writers without physical boundaries (like, where you live). If you're interested in this not-for-profit venture, which is not even an infant (it's basically a foetus), reply and let me know what excites you.
Next time I write to you, I'll be filled with stories of long-distance train travel with an almost-two-year-old. Most people think I'm mad. Actually, I think I'm mad. But if you don't take the adventures when they come along, life would be pretty boring, wouldn't you agree?
Lots of love