The valley spirit, undying
Is called the Mystic Female
The gate of the Mystic Female
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth
It flows continuously, barely perceptible
Utilize it; it is never exhausted
–The Tao Te Ching
One can argue about the designation of various aspects of our personalities or perceptions, but I’ll leave that for the more politically minded. For myself, I find terms like adult and child, male and female, to be useful so long as we aren’t dogmatic, or declare that terms are things and that our potential as human beings are limited thereby.
To look at the art of art, the craft of accessing creativity, demands sufficient language and symbology that we can express things that cannot quite be put into words. The Yin and the Yang flow into each other–follow either far enough, and they transform, and there is no wholeness without both.
Let’s look at this in terms of “Writer’s Block”. Define this as ANYTHING that interferes with the overall flow of creation and success:
You don’t read and research
You don’t write your minimum daily/weekly output.
You don’t polish
You don’t submit.
You don’t continually re-submit
You don’t produce your minimum monthly output of finished work.
You don’t progress toward your 10,000 hours of work.
Usually, people think about one piece of this, the actual creation of raw text. That’s fine, because this is indeed a weak link, without which the entire “upward spiral” of skill and career progression stagnates (and by the way, if you cannot translate this to ANY arena where you wish to improve your skill, please look more deeply. “The Machine” or “The Garden” works for any discipline I’ve ever seen. Please challenge me on this if you cannot see the application, and I’ll try to help).
Let’s say you have a daily output goal of a page. Not at all bad. Quite about a book a year. Most of the time, if you freeze up and cannot do it, it is because you are comparing the book “in your mind” to what is coming out on the page. OUCH! Your mind dances with perfect dreams, and what comes out on the page is drek.
Yeah, well…it’s supposed to be. It’s FIRST DRAFT, friends. You have to grasp that the “editor” part of your personality is ALWAYS smarter than the “flow writing” part of your personality–you’ve probably read 100 pages minimum for every page you’ve written, and that means that one half is always “smarter”–but not wiser. Wisdom would be understanding the PATTERN of creativity: input, work, paring away the dross, polishing, continuing, in a constant cycle. Constantly seeking to improve the individual pieces, understanding that all the conscious work is just keeping your little monkey-mind busy so that what Stephen King calls “The Boys In The Basement” can do their magical work.
If you look at these as Male and Female, Yang and Yin, the Known and the Unknown, we dance around something that cannot be directly addressed. Only the most advanced Yogis or Martial artists can access this deep flow state while simultaneously maintaining full conscious awareness. This is rareified territory indeed. For most of us, we have to switch back and forth between the two. In a small percentage of either gifted or highly experienced (or highly trained) people, a “waking dream” can be summoned, where both the editor and the creator, the Male and the Female, are present simultaneously. This is rare, seriously.
Your success in reaching your full potential depends upon balancing the two. Neither is whole without the other. Both have genius about them, both have limitations. Change the labels if you need to, but if you get stuck on the words, I suggest that you are letting the part of you that wants to keep you from growing distract you from the work by attaching an emotional charge to a symbol. Beware.
Those who can move back and forth, examine life from either position, appreciate how easy it is for people “stuck” in one or the other position to either be blocked, or produce mountains of crap without the ability to comb through it for the diamonds of genuine insight or craft that ALWAYS pop up, often unconsciously, if we just do our work: read, write, polish, get feedback, continue. That loop, cycling between conscious and unconscious as demanded, checked daily, weekly, or monthly to be sure you stay on track.
This works. It isn’t the only way, but it is central to the success of so many exceptional men and women that if you are NOT at the level you crave, you would be well advised to give it a chance.