This post is formatted to reflect an original journal entry.


I find that I am prone to more frequent bouts of spontaneous creative activity lately. This thrills me. Makes me feel soulful. What does that mean, anyway–soulful? Integrated? Aligned? Deeply and holistically expressive? Yes. Back to alignment. Makes me think of the Peterson book. Maslow, too. I think alignment has a feeling, or a series of associated feelings–an aesthetic, if you will. Perhaps, the kind of cognition that results in spontaneous self-expression is part of that overall experience. A thought: the locus of one’s values–of one’s aligning principles–can surely be internal. How does creativity really contribute? As a source? An implement, or a tool? I suspect the latter.

I return again to my vision of a future self. (I wonder if I haven’t been spontaneously expressive because I’ve been thinking more about the future lately. Making plans. Feeling excited. Sensing possibility.) A vision that’s whole, totalizing. To think of it is a soulful experience, everywhere felt, accompanied by twinges of ecstasy. It is like a spark of life. Do we all have an inborn method for aligning ourselves, for taking charge of our own becoming, promoting our own growth and desire to flourish? Maslow says, “yes.” At higher need levels. I’m interested in the role of creativity in such matters. Much to think about.

Back to spontaneity. Maslow. I am going slowly through his journal because I don’t want to finish it. So good. Illuminating. Humorous. Sometimes, sobering and sad. But, I am always drawn in, to the degree that I refrain from reading him at bedtime. My mind fills with ideas too quickly. I switch to May’s Power and Innocence instead. Calm and filling. Maslow appreciates spontaneity, especially spontaneous acts of creation. An integral part of self-actualization, the epitome of self-expression. I can see why–it feels so whole. As a writer, I feel right in my own skin when I create spontaneously. All is present in my writing and jives effortlessly, almost without thinking: rhythm, intellect, metaphor. It feels ultimate.

Another question that came to my mind yesterday regarding Maslow: If he is right about the existence of a hierarchy of needs–or, at least, “levels” in the evolution of consciousness, integration of self, etc. (which I am certain he is)–is it possible that too much technology can keep us stuck at lower need levels? The way it warps our interactions. Approval, belonging, identification. Seeking them all differently. My intuition tells me, “yes.” Someone with a lab should test this.

Journaling late at night. Lounging in bed listening to 70s rock. Dire Straits, “Six Blade Knife.” In my heavy rotation these days, along with Hall & Oates, “Sara Smile.” I saw Jeff Beck in concert last Sunday night, in addition to Paul Rodgers from Bad Company. Love me some Bad Company. I wish there were more musicians like them today. The ability. The uniqueness. The spontaneity. I am so moved by music. (I don’t know how people do things in the quiet.) I feel like I am always moving, always living, always creating to the soundtrack of my life. Lo Air. Church & Funk. Both, all music. Deep house and chilled electronic were the heaviest influences. But, Patchwork was spontaneous. Just demanded, suddenly, to be written while I was busy doing chores. Part of my soundtrack. The B-side. That which creates its own music. I had no idea I was going to write that until just now. Sometimes, I think I should stick to journaling in the mornings because of its vivifying effects on my intellect. The B-side. I like it. How interesting: Maslow, May, and Peterson all use music metaphors to describe Being, or B-cognition, as Maslow calls it, the most fluid means of engaging with the world. Maybe they all hear the same tune.

Thank You…

To esoterica from Existential Ergonomics, Theatre and Art, and petrel41 from Dear Kitty for nominating The Used Life for blog awards. I would encourage everyone to check out their content.

Additionally, I would like to thank a dear friend of mine, who also happens to be an incredibly talented artist, for sharing a drawing inspired by Lo Air. Thank you, Tim, for making such a beautiful contribution to this project! It will be appearing in the original post very soon.

And, thank you all (because I haven’t said this in a long time) for being here and for participating so generously in The Used Life!

15 responses to “B-Sides”

  1. I have enjoyed this very much, in part because I was able to experience my own inner creativeness while participating in your spontaneity!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed it too. I do a lot of driving and have been listening to lectures on Jung. Maslow sounds great. What book are you reading? I know bits of his philosophy. On the hierarchy, I am completely repressed by financial lack, with occasional threat of losing my home. I do feel subdued by the situation, chained. I don’t feel differently than others who have abundance, so it’s not a status issue. If I’m getting it right, Jung might suggest something of a social standing that roots my anxiety. I’ll let you know when I discover my error! In some ways, it makes my art better, because of the closeness to disaster hauls up an amazing amount of emotion. Plus, the art itself becomes escape from reality, which can also be a problem, a very difficult problem.

    Liked by 1 person

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