An Insider's Guide to the
Perceptual Revolution
Creative Potential
Power Drains
Static/Creative Imbalance

The Basics

Everything in this reality expresses the interplay of two fundamental forces, including us.  The first of these is the dynamic aspect, or the creative principle.  Without creativity, there would be no option of things changing form; things would remain as they are eternally, making qualities like imagination and innovation irrelevant.  On the other hand, without some order in this sea of potentiality, life would lack all consistency: there would none of the lasting distinctions that allow us to experience the nuances of a certain aspect of existence. 

Enter Creativity’s counterpart, the sustaining principle—a cosmic force that expresses itself in human awareness as Intent.  Just as all things in motion must eventually come to rest, what is possible must be held in a steady form before consciousness can reflect on it.  Boundaries and structure represent limitations at one level, but without them, existence couldn't form into clear patterns.  If all consciousness was infinite, there would be no such thing as sentient beings; the Whole would be perfectly aware of its totality. Thus, the great irony of the Universe is that only through limitation can it explore all of its immeasurable possibilities.  Without the dualities of potential and actual, bound and boundless, fluidity and crystallization, reality as we know it would not exist.

By the same token, a perfect and unified Consciousness would not be able to experience progression from one state to another. Fortunately for us, we are extremely limited in this world, and this allows for all kinds of adventures.  The only thing that counteracts the immensity of our true potential and subconscious knowledge is Intent, an ineffable force of binding and preservation. Each of us walks an endless tightrope between change and permanence, actual and possible, confidence and doubt; this static/dynamic balance is just one of the exciting ways that the human psyche mirrors the basic laws of the Universe. 

The Creative Potential

  All sentient beings possess an innate force called creative power—a living energy which is the source of all patterns of Intent.  We access this power by focusing the attention, directing vital energy to resonate in specific ways.  These energetic relationships cannot be described; they can only be explored through feeling.  Purpose is the ineffable intermediary between awareness and decision, the force through which we express a desire to enact change to the universe at large.  Consciousness gives birth to a specific purpose, focusing our attention on possibilities so that they may be realized more fully.  Intent takes this to the next step, giving form, substance and intensity to what we have conceived.  Intent brings a possibility from the implicate world of the psyche to the explicate: conception becomes manifest.  The end result of the process is a projection, a pattern of Intent which we have shaped from our own creative power.

  The Creative Potential is the total amount of creative power that each being has available to shape into Intent.  This state of potential never changes, but the level of overall power that we can consciously use at any given varies according to certain factors.  Some of these factors are beyond our control; others can be influenced to increase or decrease the potency of the Intent which we project.  The most crucial variable is the state of our consciousness: how we invest creative power in specific beliefs, perceptions, and purposes.   

  One might ask, "If our potential is really all that incredible, why do we appear to be so limited?  What happens to all of our hidden power?"  The awful truth is that it all goes into normalcy; we use all our magic up maintaining the endless mundane details of our existence, never realizing that their utter consistency arises from something miraculous.  Human beings actually use most of their reserves of creative power making sure that their lives remain structured, comfortable, and full of familiarity.  This applies to almost everyone alive, from "Joe Status Quo" to individuals who consider themselves deeply mystical.  Even those who have advanced to a high degree of mystical ability must divest untold amounts of creative power into maintaining structure in their reality. People who have an extraordinary level of creative power available to them still only have access to a fraction of their true potential.  Thus, we cannot expect to free our full potential while living—we can only aspire to a lesser degree of enslavement.

It takes an exorbitant expenditure of creative power to generate the Intent needed to stabilize our consciousness in a "normal" state.  Most people find it hard to wrap their minds around this one, because we have all had it drilled into our heads that reality is simply a given, something that is there whether we like it or not.  In fact, the nature of reality is largely a function of our perceptions, or as Carlos Castaneda put it, a matter of where we place our attention. 

As sentient beings, we choose the elements of human consciousness that we assemble to produce our awareness.  Intent attempts to obeys our commands, doing the best it can to affirm what we ask of the world through our wishes, beliefs, and expectations.    It's easy to take for granted the multitude of details that allow us to live in a world which almost always falls within our expectations of what it will be.  What few people in our society realize is that all of us divest an incredible amount of creative power in efforts to maintain continuity within our inner and outer realities.  If we could select a tiny fraction of these overriding patterns, and instantly free up the creative power that maintains them, the level of Intent available to us would be inconceivable.  The bad news is, it's not that easy.  It has taken years of toil for us to establish the basic framework that gives a sense of permanence to our lives; if and when we decide to change what we have made, we must summon an equal amount of inner power to unmake it. 


  Binding is the moment of interface in which we crystallize personal power into Intent.  When we focus our will on a belief, expectation, or purpose, we bind a tiny part of our creative power to that moment of awareness.  This raw, dynamic energy "settles" as we refine what we think, feel, and want.  Eventually, it enters into a kind of partial stasis.  Personal power, a force whose nature is constant motion, settles into a structure.

  It might be best to begin discussion of the binding principle in terms of personal growth.  Any decision to make a change in our identity begins with a moment of creativity, in which we realize that something is possible that we did not know how to do before.  It is only through our Intent, however, that we sustain the new possibility so that it becomes a fixed reality.  Changing the psyche is a little like running a construction crew: our creativity draws up a blueprint, and then enlists the aid of Intent to get the job done.  While we ride the shifting currents of cognition to open new doors in our understanding, Intent does all the "grunt work" of holding arrangements of ideas in place long enough for us to isolate them and choose what to emphasize.  When we feel satisfied with a new installment (or simply lose interest), creativity’s part in the process fades away until only Intent is left, sustaining that form in the inner world.

Each time we bind Intent in new ways, we use up creative power.  The basic power is still there—our Creative Potential can't change, it can only be allocated and reallocated—but once we have given it form, that power will be tied up until we either change or undo the pattern.  Our most weathered patterns of thought, feeling and behaving actually consume the most creative power, but they are generally so ingrained that the draining effect is undetectable.

Discernment in Unbinding

  Recovering misdirected creative power is a process of deliberately, and systematically, releasing our hold on a specific projection.  Caution and discretion are crucial when directing the energy of unbinding.  The patterns of Intent which provide the most structure are often responsible for much of the joy and hope in our lives, so targeting projections only on the basis of their rigidity can be hazardous to your existential health.  If a given change would result in some type of personal growth but would compromise other areas of your well being, it may not be the time to address that area. 

Intent is wasteful when it prevents us from increasing the level of happiness and meaning in our lives.  Some of these projections can be traced back to an isolated moment or brief period of time, but others have a more ongoing history.  As you might have guessed, approaching the latter type tends to be a more grueling challenge than the former.  The most deep-rooted patterns of Intent have formed gradually, growing stronger and more focused through ongoing reinforcement.  They become not only more resilient but also more complex, as they take on elements of the many "versions" of oneself which develop over time.  This boils down to the fact that, once again, there is no "magic bullet" when it comes to cultivating creative power.  Significant progress toward this goal happens gradually, as we meditate on the course of our lives up to the present and our current sense of identity.

  Recognizing a wasteful projection is only the first step toward reclaiming the energy it contains.  From this point, there are a number of ways to proceed.  One approach is to divert energy away from the pattern, just as we might quell unwanted feelings.  This puts the core self clear of the influence for a time, but like emotional repression, it only addresses the short-term problem.  Since all of our selves are ultimately stuck with one another, those fragments that we try to throw away have a way of eventually returning.  The true healing is far more difficult, but results in lasting resolutions that fill one’s being with a deep sense of completion.  After you have determined that a projection of Intent is wasteful, the next step is to identify the aspects of your identity which sustain it.  Often, this is a point in your development at which your understanding took a wrong turn.  This is the main object of the healing.

Power drains

  People use vast amounts of their innate Power in a constant repetition of certain patterns of Intent.  Many of these are not necessary for survival or pleasure, but people repeat them endlessly.  There are various reasons for this.  Often, the current mold is deeply ingrained that a person is closed off to any alternatives.  When a person does recognize other patterns, fear  is the most common reason to not pursue them; fear of social condemnation, of losing hard-won security, or of becoming vulnerable to harm.

  When we channel most of our creative power into maintaining these record-loops (the ego's agenda for our lives), we forego innumerable possibilities for personal growth.  Our sense of self, the course of our experiences, and our awareness of reality might appear ordered and safe, but at a great cost.  This idea is also valid when we take it in a psychological context, without the metaphysical element of Intent 

The static-creative imbalance

  Humankind currently suffers a severe imbalance between the creative and sustaining aspects of consciousness.  All too often, dominant social paradigms throughout the world value conformity over inquisitiveness.  Arriving at a final destination in our beliefs is seen as a sign of strength and progress, and being willing to regurgitate popular opinion counts for more than trying to consider aspects of the truth which don’t fit into that consensus. 

ocial conditioning is the single greatest agent of humankind’s deficit of creative power, but free will plays a significant role.  Each individual is endowed with the ability to choose—to act in conformance with the broader society or to be an agent of change.  Individuals have the power to question their thoughts and behaviors; the societal entity, lacking any true cognizance, is ruled by the least common denominator. Those who say "You ask me, I blame society," they really mean that they think a lot of individuals accept wrongheaded norms. The problem is people choosing to believe in a glaringly flawed satus quo.


Social change begins and ends not with a mass, but with the choices of people.  When millions of people for the same candidate in an election, they do not all have the exact same reason for making that choice.  In this vein, the static-creative imbalance in modern society is a personal problem with social implications.  We cannot address every social crisis as if we were dealing with a single "group entity;" sometimes, there are too many personal distinctions to build a true status quo.

Next: Identity


© 1999, 2003 by Lucius R. Ringwald.  All rights reserved.