Eckhart on Creativity

There’s a particular dimension where creativity arises.  It’s a little bit like the wick burning the flame, and its sustenance is the oil – it’s in an oil lamp, and you are the flame.  All the analogies, by the way, are very deficient, but it’s just a distant approximation to get you into a sense of what that place is.  So you are the flame, and you feel your way into the very source – down the wick into where the oil is, inside yourself.  That’s the place, the source, so if anything is new, creative, then it has a fragrance of the source.

Somehow, humans, even humans who are still very much identified with their mind, many of them are touched by when they see or hear or whatever – come into contact with – something that came out of that deeper level, whether it’s a work of art, or a piece of music, or it could just be somebody talking.  And the words come from that deeper level.  It could just be somebody who has a good sense of humor – even that is already a form of creativity.  Spontaneous humor is to suddenly see something that one wouldn’t normally see – a connection between two seemingly unconnected things, and suddenly you connect them and everybody laughs.  Some people have that. Some people have one small area in which they can be creative, and that can be enough to provide you with fulfillment and an income, for the rest of your life – and to contribute that gift to others.

Great stand up comedians, for example, have that gift.  Of course, not everything they say is spontaneous, but when they prepare their stuff, they have to be creative.  Now I don’t know if anybody here has tried to be a standup comedian, but it’s difficult.  Many people try.  It’s hard to be funny.  But some have it, and it’s amazing – those few that have that gift.  And there too, the sense of humor is spontaneously something arises, and there it comes.  It’s being in touch with that.  It’s wonderful to be able to be in touch with that, and feel the power that flows from there, out into this world.  Now for that, of course you need some kind of vehicle, because the power needs to flow into some kind of form.

You can touch that place also, within, and it may not flow into creativity, because you have not developed a vehicle for it.  The very same power that gives rise to creativity can also manifest itself in different ways that we would not call creativity.  It could be a healing power that comes into effect the moment you enter into relationships with others.  Healing in a wider sense, not just physical healing.  You will not suddenly become a great musician if you have never touched an instrument, just because you touch that place within yourself.  It’s not going to manifest as a great scientific discovery in my case, because the vehicle is not prepared for that.  My mind is not prepared for that.  It doesn’t even work that way.  So for me to expect to come up with the Unified Field Theory that Einstein didn’t come up with – he tried after the theory of relativity, he tried for the rest of his life to come up with that – I am not going to come up with that.  It’s very unlikely.  The vehicle has not been prepared. I am not going to be a great pianist, because I don’t know how to play the piano.  So no matter how deeply I go within, it’s not going to flow into that.  You need to prepare the vehicle for creativity.

More important than that is the place – to be able to go within to that place of vibrantly alive stillness, where creativity arises.  And you can go in there, and if there’s no vehicle, it will not express itself in any form of creativity, not any conventional form of creativity.  But it may actually express itself in different ways.  I just mentioned one, which is an outflow in human interactions – and outflow of – very hard to put a word to it, but you can sense it, when you meet a person who is present in the interaction.  It’s a different energy frequency that operates.  And that is healing.  It is so formless that it does not require a previously prepared vehicle.  You can just be.  And you emanate Being.



theliamo 18th November 2011 8:09 am

there are a few passages here that are badly put together, i appreciate what is being said and agree and admire the info, but it is difficult to appreciate it as wisdom when it is so hairily put together.

kay 18th November 2011 11:02 am

Many thanks, Eckhart. This touches me exactly where I am today. I appreciate your creative, healing expression.

victor 18th November 2011 11:03 am

Eckhart Tolle is a spirtual master.
He knows what he is talking about.
He is one who knows that he knows.

kay 18th November 2011 12:42 pm

Nicely stated, Victor.

k 18th November 2011 3:40 pm

Spring makes red and white flowers appear on the trees,
But the spring that is the origin of colors is colorless.

Understand what I have said, and give up all talk;
Run to the Origin without color and unite yourself to it.

Annihilate yourself before the One Existence
So that thousands of worlds leap out of you

And your pure existence flames out of itself
And goes on and on birthing different forms.

Of course, none of these forms will last.
Happy is the one who knows this mystery!

Happy is he who gives his life to know this!
He leaves this house for another far more radiant.

You cannot understand this mystery through reason;
The Way to Knowledge winds through suffering and torment.

If you do not feel pain, you do not look for healing.
The soul that does not live in God is not alive.

She seems like a soul, but does not deserve the name:
She has not been made alive by the Beloved.

The soul is given life by the four-elements
Like a lamp that burns through the night:

k 18th November 2011 3:57 pm

The light is from oil and wick, it is not eternal.
While the oil exists, the lamp burns, but then goes out.

The one made alive by God will never die.
He lives through God and not through gold or bread.

God is the Light, the Eternal Source of Lights.
The Light is causeless, as is His fiery radiance.

Like gold, God's value comes from His pure, perfect essence

This is a poem by Sultan Valad, the son of the great sufi poet Rumi.
It is very worth while to understand. The reference to red and white in the beginning is very significant. It is sort of a symbol or reference to show that it is of veritable value to seekers who have a mystical foundation. It is a marker that shows the path to truth.
The mystical world is awesome. It is so much more than what we would be able to conceive and thus try to manifest in this dimension that is ruled by darkness.

k 18th November 2011 4:25 pm

theliamo, I these times it is important for the true seeker to use discernment, this is why I rely on the teachings of the ancient masters more than I do the new age teachers. I have found as I continue my time in solitude, introspection, meditation and reading, that much of what is presented by the new age teachers is not exactly the truth. A person is established as a enlightened teacher and people blindly accept everything they say and write. It is easier to do than to go through the painful process of finding their own truth. It is easier to be a sheep than a lion that roams alone. Everything I read is put through a filter that resides within my gut. I have found that that filter is reliable. Everyone should trust their gut instincts and develope that filter, especially in these times. But, this takes courage.

Dreamweaver 18th November 2011 5:56 pm

k, I agree with what you say. I have been expanding my spiritual search most recently, which has brought me to this site. In my search, I have come across many who resonate with me and then upon further study, find I can not relate. I have come to the the conclusion, that I am very open minded and at the same time very much the skeptic. I appreciate what everyone has to say, but I do not attach myself to anothers knowing. I stand alone in my beliefs.

k 18th November 2011 7:21 pm

Dreamweaver, thanks....thank you for giving me hope that I am not the only one. The path to the truth and to knowing ourselves and the cosmos is solitary and not so easy. Few are able to make that plunge, but the times I spend in the other world makes me aware that the suffering is worth it.

k 21st November 2011 7:34 pm

Sometimes I have to stop and laugh at myself for being so intense.
Over time trying to understand myself and the world around me, I have come to think of some of the ideas of the New Age teachers as being not true. This at first irritated me, but then I realize I would not have dove so deep and worked so hard to understand if it had not been for ideas that were presented that I felt were not right. I had to get to the bottom and prove to myself that some of the ideas were not right. It is like the confusion and obscurity the alchemists used. It was not really to prevent "the vulgar" from knowing anything, it was to challenge the seeker to search for knowledge and in the process to finally realize the knowledge is inside,to learn not to trust any source outside of oneself for the truth. It is like the seeker goes on a treasure hunt and in the end finds that all the clues end up leading to his pocket. In the end...only the seeker will know the truth and I guess that is the way it is supposed to be. So, now the idea "you attract what you are" though not true, it served its purpose.

Dreamweaver 21st November 2011 9:04 pm

k, it is a good thing to be able to laugh at oneself. I tell my husband, I am the funniest person I know, I tickle myself. I have gone to comedy shows before and I know I am throwing the comedian off, because I am laughing at my inner dialogue, about what he is saying and it's usually not at the intended punchline.

Yuvaraj Aravindan 6th December 2011 6:55 pm


Thank you for your article of different dimension of creativity. It is awesome, a great insight.

I would like to share with you about myself. I am a seeker of truth on and off. Interested in practising Osho's dynamic meditation,Zen's feeling the running as a meditation and Jiddu's self awareness. Your article on sense of spontaneous humour, relating two unrelated things to create the humour is one of the qualities i have since my childhood. As you had said rightly, creativity needs a tool to express, in my case I am never a painter or singer or dancer but I can make anything humorous continuosly for any long time. As you had also mentioned rightly, I never made any small effort to do this, infact truly to say, it is difficult for me not to get humorous thoughts even during serious conversations. From your article, felt a great satisfaction as i can understand myself that I have one of the forms of creativity. Thanks a lot once again. Please let me know if anything more on this I can explore.


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Author Information

Eckhart Tolle

Spiritual Teacher and author was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey.

Books from Eckhart Tolle

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