A New Use of Language

I don’t paint a picture I allow the picture to paint me” Carl Jung (1875-1961), Founding Psychologist

and

Images are the language of the Psyche

Our world is constituted by our language which for most of us is words in the English language.

Therefore all current meaning, truth and value are man made by outside influences. They affect our conditioning by well meaning parents, teachers and work. We wonder who we are!

The language of images can come from dreams, fantasies and imagination. Images are symbolic representations that have meaning at the individual level. They help us choose what to be. This may be more important than what we choose to do. Image guide us to the self understanding.

All the Arts are involved in Image making.

As humans we operate by psychological laws that state we are alive. Energy gives us life and can be called life energy or as Jung preferred Psychic Energy. We don’t have psyche, we are psyche which means we have a potential for awareness, an unlimited capacity for knowing all. Most of us don’t apply this potential therefore we are in a state of unknowing. Jung called this the Unconscious as opposed to the conscious. What we know is the tip of the iceberg. What we don’t know, what we are unaware of is the vast bulk of the iceberg under water.

Jung suggested the goal of life is to bring all that is unconscious to the level of consciousness. Then we are made whole. Wholeness is the goal and images can chart the progress of every human life to this end.

Words can of course convey images but mostly they are weak. There are exceptions in the case of poets but they are few and far between. The weakness of words is their multi-meanings. For example the word hand “on the other hand” and “hands up!”.

This situation leads to poor communication especially between opposite personalities, cultural difference and ideologies from east and west.

The language of images speaks to the heart in the same way dreams are pertinent to the dreamer alone. Here the images become symbols that have meaning. They chart the course of individual human life.

Symbols are different to signs. For example a stop sign only signals stop. A symbol can be a form of energy that Jung called Psychic Energy and has meaning at the individual level.

Symbols are universal such as the circle.

Cross, Snake and Cube. Young children draw the Sun as symbol without being taught. Here they express an Energy which is without words.

If they add form and colour to their expressive symbol the emotional impact deepens. Such expression becomes a form of therapy and therefore healing. Here a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here the alternative language of images and symbols can enrich a human life.

The adage of children drawing the sun can be carried into adulthood through what Jung called Active Imagination. At the expressive level a symbol be downloaded by simple scribble. This should be done in less than thirty seconds. This differs from the doodle which takes longer and allows the ego to take over and distort the meaning. When this happens the doodle can be described as outside in. The thirty seconds scribble can be described as inside out.

As a Visual Artist I birth Symbols on a daily basis, imbuing them with the addition of form, colour, subjective expression and claim them as beautiful. This quest for beauty contracts with the ugliness of this world. The poet Keats invented the saying “Beauty is Truth and Truth is Beauty”.

The search for beauty cannot be objective. Beauty is a by-product of imagination, fantasy and the dream.

These have no role in the conduct of our secular and materialistic world. Our present world brings depression failure and illness especially mental illness.

Image and symbol sees the world in terms of myth and legend. They can be seen in the Visual Arts, Poetry, Music and all Creative Expression.

When this expression takes place a new way of seeing the world comes into being. It is based on stories and human imagery.

This is very different to seeing the world in terms of a mathematical framework and structural regularities.

Instead of seeing this world from above it needs to be balanced by seeing each individual world from below, using dreams which contain images and symbols.

It is time to choose!

We have to make sense; we have to transform chaos into cosmos. The challenge is to develop freedom and Creativity.

The present world is full of desires and this is done collectively. All our knowledge is crowd knowledge, all our meanings which are collectively misunderstandings, are crowd understandings. Crowd survival is the name of the game.

To be truly modern each individual must go it alone. Thus the modern is basically a Dreamer who communicates inwardly through the use of symbols.

We do this through the innocence of becoming where we choose our own values and thus energise ourselves.

Then life opens out into a broad plateau of peace which can be described as the peace that passes understanding.

Here lies true meaning which should be the goal of every human life.

It is time to choose!

Creativity as Reflection

A combination of science and materialism has removed reflection as a right of passage in human growth and development. Reflection is defined as consulting with oneself and given to meditation. It is the quiet time of the mind.

Before what can be called the advent of the modern era especially based on science a quiet time could be sought in nature and natural things. This gave rise to reflection allied to meditation and imagination. This was a possible quiet time waiting for expression. As the poer Wardsworth said,

“The music is my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.”

and

“It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time as quiet as a Nun,
Breathless with adoration;”

With the scientific removal of reflection, along with meditation and imagination, life became endless activity, extraverted behaviour and the ills of anxiety and depression. The term “burn out” was invented.

With this increased activity came domestic violence on an epidemic scale.

A creative environment based on reflection, meditation and imagination became harder to find. It can be said the wells are drying up.

John Baldock at Alpha Studios in Western Australia has well over fifty (50) years of experience in developing creativity at an individual level. He is a visual artist and uses spontaneous scribble as a source of image making. His advanced psychological training enables him to use the thinking of Carl Jung in the development of creativity. He is the author of “God can be Downloaded” which details many years research into creative thinking.

Allow him to take you on a journey of the mind if you are willing to undertake the steep learning curve from death to life.

Creativity is intrinsic to the human condition. It needs to be expressed if development is to occur.

J.K. Baldock

Creativity and Creative Development – John Baldock.

Creativity is an individual human activity. Nations and Institutions can reap the benefit of but in themselves cannot be creative. Here creativity is defined as birthing the new. Only individual human perceptions can birth the new. And this faculty of perception is a birthright and it can be taught. Current political ineptitude has destroyed the birthright for many. Creativity at the individual level is currently destroyed by the relentless impositions of what can be called the “Outside in”. This is where people come to depend on facts coming to them from so-called experts whether religious or financial. Dependence on others is a sure way to foil. Be independent and sure of yourself. That way leads to “Inside out” and provides the best solution to problems.

Changing from “Outside in” to “Inside out” may entail difficult personal choices but the rewards are worth it. For example, energy flow may increase moving from static to creative. At the creative level, illness and disease may disappear. Certainly, prosperity will increase. There are three legs as it were to creativity. They are reflection, meditation and imagination. All destroyed by political ineptitude. Reflection is based on who we truly are.

The MYERS BRIGGS Type Indicator (or M.B.T.I) indicates out personality based on neurological strengths and weaknesses. For example, an individual who prefers thinking as the dominant mode of sorting data may be weak in the feeling function and have trouble in relationships. Here feeling does not equate to emotion. According to Jungian Psychology, both thinking and feeling are rational functions. Emotion is regarded as irrational. While individuals tend to deny psychological weaknesses in their personality, these so-called weaknesses are the very source of creativity. This is because while they are low and repressed in the psyche, out of them come movements of energy that lead to creative development.

The Pioneer Psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) believed in the integration of opposites as the means to become whole. Meditation involves closing down all outside distractions. Such meditation has been practised in the East for many years but is less followed in the West. Westerners get caught in distractions because it gives them a sense of control. Such control is an illusion. The contribution of meditation to creativity is to allow energy to flow. There can be no creativity without energy.

Imagination is an important human attribute that relates to creativity. Embedded in the word “Imagination” is the word “image”. Carl Jung said that “Image” is the language of the psyche. As such “Images” communicate with the self, such “Images” come from neurological functions as they relate to “Inside out”. People have been conditioned away from this state with “Outside in” the dominant mode of education, employment and the living of life. Very few people live their lives, most have their lives lived for them by the Society in which they live.

Imagination based on “Images” is not highly regarded by Western Society. It is called subjective and passes into the realms of dreams, vision, mythology, fairy tales and Ancient History. Dreams are rich in “Images” and can be meaningful when allowed to be themselves through a process called “Active Imagination”. Here “Images” relate to the Dreamer by informing, warning and communicating from “Inside out”.

Myths and Fairy Tales become stories of meaning and purpose. Based on dreams, they become icons of human experience over many centuries. Music and Poetry are seldom taken to provide meaningful experiences, but they are full of energised “Images” that relate to human concerns.

Without reflection, meditation and imagination working together to produce meaningful “Images”, the Western World suffers from mental ill-health.

The current supremacy of Science means that the “Image” making facilities have been neglected. Balance is required. This involves moving from over-reliance on “Outside in” to “Inside out”.

The economy and money is important. So is the internal mental state of individuals who call for good mental health.

Whenever Creativity and Creative Development comes up for discussion, the question arises of where to find teachers. They are few in number, obliterated by neglect. Claremont School of Art in Western Australia was a powerhouse of creativity but was closed by the government of the day.

Extensive research was saved and sent out of Australia to countries that have recently emerged with power and prosperity. Such countries have become powerful because they appreciated the application of creativity to Commercial Development. They still need to apply creativity to the life of the individual at the mental health level. But because of the appreciation of creativity and actively developing creative teachers, they are making progress. It would be a shame and unnecessary if Australia lags behind.

In conclusion, creativity taps into hidden energies that lead to wholeness. The human psyche will not tolerate imbalance. This imbalance can be associated with illness and disease, angst and general anxiety.

John Baldock at Alpha Studios has over fifty years of experience as a teacher of creativity on a scientific basis of psychological testing. Allow him to help you.

John Baldock – Artist, Teacher, Author. Wattle Grove WA.
December 2018.
[email protected]