We have now come to a stage - a state - which, to me, is probably the most exciting. This is the state of no-mind, no-nothing, the void. While it may be natural to think that after death - after the end of something - there is nothing - or could there is anything - what, to me is quite interesting and exciting is that it could be the beginning of something - which I am always inclined to think - that it could be something new.
When something disappears, it disappears from sight or any one of the senses that perceives the thing or phenomenon. It depends on our ability to see or to sense.
If we were to try to understand how things come into existence in this world, it is our own sense of perception, our own sense of detection, and, I would add, the strength of our memory to retain what we have perceived or how we perceive. I am always conscious that there are many things that are happening right in front of me but, if I do not see them, they do not exist for me. Even if I am absolutely mindful, there is still my sphere of perception at any moment and the level at which I am perceiving. There is also the rate or pace of perception - how fast I can perceive at any one time. And I have come to realise that what we perceive, in the end, depends on our mental preparedness to perceive or observe, the sharpness of our focus and the power of our concentration. Or, are we simply just "absorbing" everything into ourselves, as most of us are apt to say?
Against a blank canvass, what comes out or what comes into our minds?
I am keenly interested in this because I try to indulge in this phenomenon called creativity. People are now no more interested in "thinking" - they want thinking "outside the box." They are no more interested in creativity - they want a "new paradigm."
So, how do we go about it? It goes right back to the point I have touched on before in one of my earlier posts about how we think. If I may reposition the sequence of thinking here, we start with (1) Wonder at the world: how to understand the wonders of the world and how to explain them. Myths and stories are then created. This may be considered primitive because it is probably the oldest form of knowledge, but I won't sniff at it because, if we are to wonder at the universe and the immense greatness of the skies as the Hubble Telescope can should us and the immense intensity of the inner world that the electronic microscope can show us, we continue to be dabbling with myths and stories insofar as trying to articulate our understanding or realisation of nature to the person next to us. The String Theory or the Big Bang Theory, for example. Or, what Stephen Hawking is trying to articulate about his perception of nature. They may put old myths to the world, but they themselves may just be new myths. (2) The most arrogant are probably what I would call the "hard" scientists - the "natural" scientists - those who work with data about the natural world. Those data are "hard" only insofar as they are filtered by their measuring instruments. Sure, at that level of observation or abstraction, they can put together what they think is a coherent sequence of cause-and-effect which they called "theory." But, at a deeper or greater level (which nobody knows yet), they could be entirely mistaken - as history has shown. Of course, in the land of the blind, the one-eye jack is the king - which goes to show the importance of knowledge - to know what other people know; or the importance of wisdom - to know what you do not know, and to know what others do not know as well. (3) It is the dissatisfaction with the narrowness of logical thinking that Edward de Bono comes up with what he called Lateral Thinking as a juxtaposition to logic - to show that there is a way out of this quagmire and into the land of the free and easy by having the confidence to link what appears at first to be unconnected entities and with effort to throw away the prejudice and try to look at the essence of each individual entities and find a connection at the core or centre. (4) The No-Mind stuff then takes the mental exercise one step further into the void and see if anything would come of it, not without trying, but without the mistake of putting the hackneyed foremost in one's mind all the time and thereby blocking any new insights that may arise automatically in one's mind with the natural passage of time without any distraction from the mundane world where every little bits and pieces or elements of life may turn into a potentially disruptive spoiler of one's effort to see a new perspective or a new image of the ordinary. Remember, in absolute reality, nothing changes and everything is unchanging, by definition. It is only our mind that changes.
In my mind, it is not easy to be creative, if we want to be strict about creativity. It is easy to do the same old stuff a bit differently. It is easy to do a slight change by modification or repackaging or rebranding - it is still the same old stuff. It is very difficult and challenging to come up with something that is entirely different, for it must satisfy a new thereto untapped demand or desire or fancy of human beings. To be "out of the box", one probably has to be out of the normal ordinary mind which means that one can seek no approval from anyone, not even oneself, if you have not probably understood yourself. This is why many of us buy into new products because you say "This is exactly what I want or what I have always wanted but could not find until now."
It is my guiding principle, when I am trying to be creative, is to use myself as a benchmark as a test as to what is really needed, for if I can satisfy myself, I am sure there will be another who also needs it. I read that Stephen King wrote the horror thrillers because he likes horror thrillers and could find no good horror thrillers for his enjoyment. While market research may be great, but I think there is no greater source of truth or inspiration than the depth of one's own being.
Therefore, when I contemplate death in my earlier posts, I wasn't just thinking about the end of a life or the end of an object, but also the end of a time, the end of an era, the end of an idea, the end of a phenomenon, the end of an economy, the end of a business cycle.
In our current attempt to transform the economy, are we really in the state of a new beginning with new thinking and new ideas and new paradigms or are we still stuck in the same old rut in the same old tattered mat with the same voices crying for the same old milk while the poor maid is trying to pacify those voices by promising that many nice things are coming their way or are surely coming their way? As you can tell from my postings on those topics, I do not think that we have done more than just shuffling feet to make some noise.
I am more concerned with individuals - which means individual readers of this blog and this post - and to be helpful by providing some pointers as to how to get each one of ourselves going and moving ahead, despite the rough terrain that each and everyone of us have to traverse on our own.
I am convinced that the world does not need geniuses. The world has always been run by normal people with average skills and average exertion. But the world does need one and, if lucky, two geniuses to get it going. In the current era, we have seen the wonders done to the world by the many geniuses of Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, Gordon Moore, Andy Grove, etc., who I reckon are all babies of the Hippy era. So has the current crop of babies, big and small, lived beyond the comfort of their finger-activated otherwise stationary world in front of flickering lights training their little minds to a narrow group of mental signaling traffic. Would the best that they can think of be within that lighted box, or will it be something that is earth shattering?
So, at the point of the void after death is the point of the void of a new beginning. This is the point of the greatest source of creativity, and the degree of the greatness of the creativity will be defined by the degree of the blankness and the degree of the absence of memory of the past but with the greatest attention to what is right in front of our noses.