Listening to one’s heart

We have seen that the creativity that causes the I of the I-subject to exist is not given magically and suddenly - it is a process. It is commonly taken for granted that creativity is born in one’s head, from awareness, reflexivity, reason, or willpower. The danger of a creativity born of awareness, reason, willpower is of its being only the implementation of the historical roots and existence of the I-subject. Creativity, instead, is born from the heart. Speaking of the ‘heart’ is a metonym: the heart in place of the I-subject. The whole I-subject becomes creative. We may believe that the thought and the word express the creativity attained, but the process is subterranean, difficult to understand in its progression.

Access to the creativity on the part of the I-subject is not only taking one’s life into one’s hands; it is doing this, while acknowledging to what extent the external is a part of the I-subject. The I-subject is not a Leibniz-monad, the investment in the world is an inevitable, regular part of its being, not only of its historical existing being, but also of its starting from itself.

Perhaps words do not do full justice to the core issue we are dealing with. When the I-subject accesses creativity, it cannot disregard the parents, the partner, children, job, career, cultural, social, and political realities. Because it exists on its own, creativity inevitably includes also the investment in the other and in the world. But it will do this in a creative manner, not submitting itself to the situations, but actively supporting its vision and creativity. That is where the ‘dialogic’ vision, as Morin (1982) would say, is born between the I-subject and the other.

The relationship with reality

We have stated that creativity is a process, not only because of the density with which the I-subject gradually authorizes itself to be itself, but also in the confrontation with reality, which triggers and at the same time manifests the process of the I-subject.

Reality exists, with its rules of functioning. Believing that it exists only in accordance with the observer compromises the confrontation. If reality were only created by the observer, we would have to ask ourselves why the observer creates that particular reality. Unfortunately, there is often a shift in the reality of one’s own lived experience, or fantasy, or desire, or opinion. One cannot maintain that the I-subject can create reality on the basis of what it wants or desires.

If, on the other hand, reality is given as existing, with regulations that function independently of the I-subject, then the confrontation with reality becomes a criterion in the process of the I-subject. The passive acceptance of the environmental, cultural, and social reality is not, however, the criterion. If that were the case, we would have the adaptation or support of the I-subject.

We have all experienced how the ‘reality’ of other countries or nations might be considered more consonant with oneself; how we might follow impossible love in spite of clear signs that it is unreciprocated; the uncontrollable panic in a tunnel, or on the underground train, or in traffic; the spasmodic search for someone who can be a ‘respondent’; the unacceptability of the death of a loved one; the upheaval when dealing with the diagnosis of cancer. Reality is not always negative, or dramatic; at times, it is pleasant and acceptable; but our confrontation with reality always represents a criterion to read the consistency of the I-subject. The confrontation with reality' never goes in one direction only, take it or leave it; it is the elaboration on the part of the ‘consciousness of consciousness’.

It is not important to establish a priori what the result should be of the confrontation with reality. Establishing it upstream risks drastically causing a move to moralism or indifference. It is more respectful to consider that each I-subject follows its process, and illuminates the confrontation with the needs that are relevant at that moment. Fantasizing about other nations, deluding oneself about an impossible love, panicking in a tunnel, seeking a respondent, not accepting death, being upset about a tumour, are all procedural ways of elaborating reality' on the part of the single, concrete I-subject. As such, they should be respected.The fact remains, however, that often reality is like a loud slap that, on the one hand, raises the problem, and, on the other, hurts.

Accepting the confrontation illuminated by the ‘consciousness of consciousness’, means taking possession of concrete reactions as expressions of the I-subject’s process towards consistency'. Even simply reading the confrontation with reality helps, and sustains the process of the I-subject. Making possible the confrontation with reality means not only having one’s perspective present, and measuring its feasibility, but also moving beyond what reality seems to indicate as possible or feasible. Moving beyond is typical of the creativity of an I-subject who starts from its own consistency' and proceeds onwards, in spite of the difficulties and obstacles. It is always possible to move onward, accepting the consequences of the confrontation, without magic or omnipotence.

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