Evolving the Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2006 by K. Ferlic,   All Rights Reserved

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Evolving the Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines

Evolving the Twelve Steps into a creativity vehicle

No an awareness of the creative spirit

A vehicle to recreate one’s life

Why always recovering

We are all in the same proverbial boat

Standing between two worlds - an inner and an outer

Be open to feeling

Evolving the Twelve Steps into a creativity vehicle (Top)

In reading the following discussion about the evolution of the Twelve Step programs into a creativity vehicle, some may feel I am overly critical and do not do justice to the power of the Twelve Steps and the good they have provided people. Some may even say I don’t really understand them or their use to be so critical and desire to change something that works.

Actually the reverse is true. Because they are so powerful and provide such a marvelous opportunity for individual to recreate themselves, I looked to them as a starting point. I looked to see what they did not provide from a creativity perspective, that is where one’s creativity and creative spirit is held sacred, to see what additions or changes needed to be made. In reality, it wasn’t until I read about the life of the founder of the Twelve Steps that I realized where they did not adequately address the individuals creativity. You can judge for yourself in your own life as to whether I was successful or not. However if you wish to recreate an aspect of our life the Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines can help you to do it.

As stated in the occasion for creating the Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines, when I saw the Founder of the Twelve Steps was unable to find a way to allow his creative spirit to freely express itself, I looked to see where the Twelves Step did not hold the individuals creativity sacred. As discussed, the question was, “Can the Twelve Steps be ‘retooled’ or evolved into a creative tool that can allow one to recreate one or more aspects of their life, no matter what those aspects may be, if not their whole life.” Also, in the back of my mind was possibility of finding a way for the participants in the Twelve Step programs to find a way to become free of their addiction as opposed to always recovering.

No awareness of the creative spirit (Top)

When the Twelve Steps were revisited with the creativity perspective within my new awareness about the Founder, I found several things. The most important of which was how the individual human was perceived. Although not directly stated, the view of the human inherent within the Twelve Steps is that of the Founder’s view and how society viewed the human during the Founder’s life. I found no awareness of the existence of our creative spirit and the need for this creative spirit to express itself.

A vehicle to recreate one’s life (Top)

A second thing I realized was that I did not initially recognize the Twelve Steps for what they really are. That is, a vehicle to recreate an aspect of one’s life. In particular, to recreate a life of sobriety. One of the key issue in creativity and accessing one’s creative power and ability is the need for a safe place for one’s creative spirit to freely express itself the way it needs to express itself to the extent of sobriety. A Twelve Step program provides such a place.

Application of the Twelve Step approach is actually a very powerful creative act of recreating one’s life. Although not packaged as a creative process to be readily recognized as such, the Twelve Steps reflect many of the things one needs to do for any creative process. From a creativity perspective, the Twelve Steps are not presented in a way to fully capitalize on the creativity inherent within the Steps. In essence the intent of the Twelve Steps is to maintain sobriety or freedom from the addition while living in the world as it is. The intent of the Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines is to recreate one’s life and one’s world were an addictive behavior is unnecessary. The two intentions are quite different and will require different things to be done.

The problem we face is to recreate ourselves where the addictive behavior and addictive thinking is no longer needed. However, recreating ourselves true to our creative spirit may make us unacceptable to the world in which we find ourselves. Here lies our problem. We either need to set out to change ourselves to become true to ourselves and our creative spirit and create a world in which we can live that truth and face the pain that change may give to us. Or, we adapt ourselves to the world as it is. Here we suffer the pain of denying the essence of our being and our creative spirit as we try and live in the world. Here we try to suppress or numb the pain we feel because of what we deny and risk some addictive behavior if not an addiction. The issue is do we face the pain of creation or the pain of denial or try and run away from pain of any type.

I realized that although the Twelve Steps were actually a powerful way for one to recreate their life, the Steps did not go far enough to honor the creative spirit that was giving rise to the illness. That is, the steps did not provide all what the creative spirit was asking. The Twelve Steps ask one to surrender to a higher Creative Power, actually God in the Twelve Steps, as the individual understands God. The workings of something higher than one’s ego is in itself is a brilliant realization on the part of the Founder. However, that step does not go far enough in this realization. They ask the individual to fit into the world as it is. The individual is asked to fit themselves to into what the world believes and they have been enculturated to believe about the themselves and Creation.

The individual is not asked to address and explore their own inner creative power and to recreate themselves and their world as necessary. It does not address that each of us are made of the same “stuff” of Creation as all of Creation. It does not address that whatever powers we ascribe the external Creative Power is also inside of us for we all are the “stuff” of Creation. It does not ask the individual to challenge their belief in the outer creative power as it has been presented to them by their world. This is not to challenge or refute in the negative sense. Rather it is to check to see if there is not a more accurate understanding about the outer creative power that will better serve what the individual desire to create. The question was, “How does one come to see and understand that having creative power to change one’s life and one’s world lies in developing and intimate relationship with one’s own creative spirit?”

The third and most profound thing addressed how and why the Twelve Steps participants talk about always recovering rather than being cured. It is the difference between always recovering versus always creating. In always recovering, the focus is on the past. The focus is not on the future and what is possible. They do not see themselves as always creating and free to create whatever they choose. Rather, they see themselves bound by the past rather than the past only being the vehicle to give them the awareness they now have. As a vehicle that has served its purpose, the past which no longer serves can be discarded.

Rewriting the Twelve Steps to more appropriately address the creativity principles inherent in the steps was straight forward. Adding the missing pieces was also addressed quickly. However the reason why addictions are seen as an incurable illness is a little more difficult to explain and understand. It has to deal with the nature of Creation, the creative process itself and that we do create what we experience by what we think and believe.

Why always recovering (Top)

What is not realized by individuals is that Creation is not done alone. We need another or others to create what we desire. It has been said, “No man (person) is an island.” But the real connection we have with each other and the need for each other is much deeper and more profound than our conscious mind can realize and normally comprehend. What gives rise to the belief that one is always recovering from an addiction and the addiction is incurable such that you can never get free from it is the creative process of Creation Itself.

To understand the creative process of creation one needs a creativity perspective. The issue is you need the other or others provided through the Twelve Step program to support your creative effort to obtain sobriety. The support of another or others is essential in any creative action and what we desire to create. On this note, we can give and get conscious or unconscious support and we can give and get conscious or unconscious obstruction of our creative efforts.

As seen from the creativity perspective the Twelve Steps do not seem to realize that one is always recovering because some part of their world is always asking them to deny a truth of their being and live in the pain of that denial. Not necessary a conscious pain but a deep pain that one can feel within their being. It is such that one seeks to numb or suppress that pain. However, the Twelve Step group asks the individual, consciously or subconsciously, to be true to themselves and become free. So, the individual becomes caught between the need to live between two worlds. Realizing this does not make the pain go away. Rather there is a shift in awareness. It is a shift from the pain caused by the denial of one’s true essence to the pain one needs to endure to create a new world were they are free to live their truth

Most of us are successful in what we desire to create because we have at least the subconscious support of others. When we live the way people want us to live, our creative efforts are much easier for we have their support to create what we desire. There are still obstacles but the overall effort is much easier for, as a minimum, people unconsciously support our effort. However, when we try and create a way of being or something others do not want or like, there is a tremendous resistance which can arise. Consciously, you will experience their non support through some type of objection which they communicate directly to you or through some overt or covert non support of your actions. Often there will be a clash of wills. The subconscious objection is more subtle and can be perceived from an awareness of feelings.

It needs to be understood, we are all interconnected. Both modern quantum physics or understanding how music is made each provide a way to understand exactly how this connection is possible. These concepts are discussed elsewhere on a related web site under the topic of Creativity Physics. Each of us are in constant and active communication with the collective. If what you desire to create goes against the collective thinking you will feel as though you are a rocket trying to escape the pull of earth’s gravity. The feelings are real for you are trying to pull away from that collective thinking. You feel its pull as a level of tension or pain within your being. You may be experiencing something that does not feel right but you just don’t know what it is you feel and why you feel what you do. You may be drawn to numb that feeling.

The essence of this understanding is that addictions arise when we try and numb the pain we feel when we are unable to be true to our creative spirit within our being and what that spirit desires to create when its desire is somehow, in some way, opposed to the way others want us to create. To create what we desire, we need to have someone give us conscious or unconscious approval and the space to create what we desire and hold that space for our creation to survive otherwise we will feel the pain. There needs to be someone, or something, to call us forth. For many, it is the pain itself, loneliness, fear, desperation, and the like, that calls one’s creative spirit forth to create something new. But then we are creatively reactive. We react to protect ourselves from the pain. Rather than be creatively proactive to find something that better serves us we wait for pain or discomfort. To run away from something is different than running toward something. When you run away from something you can run in almost any direction. When you run toward something, you only run in one direction. Because of the strength of the pull of the collective, few have the conscious strength of will to go forth and create something new simply because what exists is not serving one’s creative needs.

We form an addiction or an addictive behavior because we have to numb the pain we feel when we can’t find the support to live our life differently that we do. In a Twelve Step program, one chooses to recreate their life and to live their life differently in order not to allow the addiction to rule their life. The individuals currently in the addict’s life cannot support the life changes for the addict to become free of their addiction for they are the one’s helping to hold the addicted individual to a way of life that causes the addiction to arise. Rather, the addict needs that other individual provided through the Twelve Step program to give permission and the support needed for the addict to live their life more in line with the true nature of their being. The result is a way of life where the addict can maintain sobriety with the assistance of the individuals in the Twelve Step program. The illness itself provides the excuse and permission one needs to have to be different and to live in a way other than what people would like the individual to do.

There are few reasons in society where one can say “no” without incurring the displeasure of others. Illness is one of the few reasons we can give to another for not doing something they want us to do and not incurring their displeasure for our actions for the illness seems to be beyond our control. So it is only natural that illness becomes the vehicle to say “no” to something even to say no to life itself.

The Twelve Steps provide an individual who supports the addict’s creative effort to create a new life - one of sobriety. The individual’s in the Twelve Step Program who themselves are as recovering addicts are seen as individuals who can understand addicts and what they face. Yet, that ability to understand and freely support the addict’s creative effort to create a life of sobriety is not because they are recovering themselves and most individuals think. There is a deeper reason.

We are all in the same proverbial boat (Top)

It is true that recovering from one’s own addiction makes one more attune to the problems faced by another. But that is not the real reason why a recovering addict can support the efforts of another addict to become free. Not all who recover, or are recovering, can support another’s recovery. Rather, the individual who can support another’s recovery, knowingly or unknowingly, is in touch with their own creative spirit. Each of us have a creative spirit that desires to be free to unfold true to itself. When one is in touch with that creative spirit one can fully understands the problem of another because each of us are in the same proverbial boat. We are of the same essence. We all face the pain of the denial of our own truth in some way. We all have to deny our truth in some way to have a physical experience. All that is different is how we have choose to focus our attention and awareness in what we desire to create.

When one becomes intimate with their own creative spirit, one is able to look at another’s life and see how that individual’s creative spirit has become bound. What is not understood is that creativity is the language of consciousness and what we create with, and in our life, reflect what our creative spirit is trying to communicate. In that realization, one can learn to speak/understand the language of the creative spirit. In that understanding, one will know how they have to become to create the space for that individual’s creative spirit to become free.

Probably the most important realization relative to the creative process about the Twelve Steps was the recovering addict has a common set of similar experiences with the addict from which to communicate and support each other. But the same is true if, and when, you see each of us as a creator who is only stuck in an addictive pattern of mind that has expressed itself in a particular physical addictive behavior. When you take the addiction to the level of creating an experience based on what one thinks and how one has learned to respond to the world, you find you have a common ground for any problem another faces. All you lack are the details of the experience. You don’t have to be a recovering addict to support the addict becoming free of their addiction but it helps because you know some of the particulars they face.

The reverse is also true. You cannot give what you do not have. If you have never stepped into your own creative power to see and experience how we create our experiences by how we think and how we believe we need to respond to the world, you will have difficulty supporting any individual to recreate themselves and their world free of any behavior - addictive or otherwise. One is always recovering for the Twelves Steps do not go far enough to address the fact we are only creating and we need to see ourselves for the creators that we are.

Standing between two worlds - an inner and an outer (Top)

Because the addict is not free to live a completely different life, one in which the addiction does not exist, they bridge two worlds. One world pushes them into a way of living that gives rise to the addiction and the other is to live without the addiction. Hence the addiction appears incurable for they are trying to live between two worlds and it is difficult to stand between these two worlds to manage one’s life without the support the Twelve Steps program provides.

The root of our addictions and addictive behaviors is ultimately a result of the fact the creative spirit within our being is not free to create and express itself true to its nature and what it desires to experience. The primary reason why we do not see our creative spirit for what it is and what it desires to create is there is an assumption about the nature of the human being that humanity has made and we all tend to accept.

If you summarize all that has been said about what it means to be human, the best humanity has done to date to say about itself is that (1) we are spiritual beings having a physical experience and that the physical is not our “true” state of being, and (2) we are all fragments of the Creator, created in Its image and some how less than the Creator because we are only fragments. Some will go so far to say that God lives in each of us because we are fragments of God. Within this understanding, we have the powers of God within one’s own being, but not necessarily in the measure of God since we are only a fragment, not the whole.

Yet, where humanity has gone with these understandings, as powerful as they are, is that it has left us believing that we are not the creators of the world we experience and/or the experiences we have. We see ourselves only as a participant in a world created by another. That other, of course, being God, in whatever form we understand God whether that God lies within or ourside our being. These understandings have not relieved people of their addiction. Additionally, those individuals who have had an experience of God based on these understanding of what it means to be human, such as the mystics, seem powerless to change the world. Often the mystic seems powerless to change their own world even though they perceive and believe they have accessed God if not claimed to be God as many Eastern mystics have done.

Be open to feeling (Top)

To get to the root of an addiction at its deepest level is to realize several things. Whether you believe what is said here and/or all the things claimed by humanity are true or not, does not matter. You will have to feel the truth and hence the recommendation made elsewhere in the Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity approach to let feelings be your measure of truth.

On this point, pain is a feeling and there is something pain is trying to communicate to us. It is essential we learn to understand the gift that pain has to offer and is inherent in any pain we feel. In keeping with the recommendation, you will need to let your feelings measure the truth as to whether or not what is said here is true. One realization that needs to be made to get to the root of an addiction is that we create our experiences and the world we experience by how and what we think and believe but we create that world collectively. We agree to a collective experience in the form of a physical experience of being human.

By incarnating as a human being, we “buy into” what humanity thinks and believes about being human and what a human is at the time we incarnate. We then live our lives within this collective understanding wondering why life is not different from what it is. A part of our being knows it can be different but we don’t know how to act in that deep knowing to make our life different that what it is. It is much as discussed in the two stories under the topic “The Human Condition as seen from the Creativity Perspective.”

You can look at this as playing in a sandbox. Once you choose to play in the sandbox, the sand itself determines how and what you can create. By becoming human, we choose to limit our creative power and ability to have a physical experience as a human and create based on what we think a human can, and cannot do, and what a human is, and is not. So there will always be a level of pain in being human for we have to deny a part of our being to have a human experience. Yet, we can change what it means to be human for we have already proven that by going to the moon and returning.

The Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines are used to direct you out of your addictive thinking and to create and develop a strength of will within your own being such that you are strong enough in your creative efforts such that you no longer rob yourself of your own creative power. You become strong enough to not need the support of another to live true to your being. Rather, you become a light unto yourself.

You will still need others to give you the experience you desire to have but you no longer need them to hold the space for you to live true to your being. Rather, you are strong enough to create that space and hold that space for your creative effort by yourself. You no longer deny what you need to do to live true to yourself and no longer look to another to give you something you appear to lack. Rather, you have the strength to do what needs to be done.

It has been demonstrated that humanity is capable of escaping the pull of earth’s gravity to explore the heavens beyond the limit of the sky we see. But an individual did not do it by themselves. They had the help of others. The same is true for each of us. The understanding of how to escape the pull of the collective unconscious is now available to each human. Each of us, if we choose to do so, is capable of accessing the creative energy and creative power to escape the pull of the collective conscious to live true to who and what we are. We can access the energy to explore the heaven that is beyond the limits we place on our own thinking to explore the true nature of the universe around us and the depth and breadth of our own creative powers. What will free us from addictive behavior? It is the freedom to do this exploration and live with what we find, whether it is judged good or bad and whether it is pleasurable or painful.

However, what needs to be emphasized is that although you find the strength of will within your being to not need another to give you what you lack, you will need another and others to create the experiences you desire. That is an inescapable fact about Creation. So whenever someone enters your life, no matter who they are, ask yourself, “Why have I called this individual into my life and what is the experience I desire to have with them?” The answers will come and you may be surprised at what you discover. And that discovery will make all the difference in your life.

Related topics
Dealing with the root of many addictions and illnesses

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