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Leveraging More on Your Inner Creativity – Meditating on the Four Stages of Creative Energy Cycles in Your Life

All of us are fundamentally creative, and contain within us the spark of spiritual “Eros” which impels us toward acts of creativity in our life. WHAT we create depends upon the cycles and patterns of creativity that we set up or built as habits. What I want to do in this article is outline the four basic stages of a creative cycle, and then reflect upon how we can go about using this understanding to become more positively creative in our life.

The four stages of a creative cycle

Stage 1 – The activation of latent Eros within ourselves– The first stage of a creative cycle is when the natural creative spiritual energy (Eros) within us becomes activated in some way. At this stage our creative energy has no form, it is pure potentiality that can become any number of things depending upon which way we direct it.

Stage 2 – The formation of images, thoughts and feelings within our creative imagination – The second stage of a creative cycle is when our imagination starts to build structures and images which our creative energy can then energize and animate. Whatever intentions, pictures, thoughts, beliefs perspectives and other mental structures that we habitually hold in our mind become energized by our natural inner creative energy.

Stage 3 – The formation of speech – Based upon the activity of our creative imagination, we then develop a sense of inhabiting a particular type of “reality”. In reality this “reality” is largely an imaginative construct that we project upon our outer world, but it appears to us to be quite real. Based upon this perception of a particular type of reality we then speak in such a way that affirms and confirms that reality. The statements “I can never find happiness” and “I am being challenged by my circumstances to create my own happiness” are both words that affirm a certain imagined reality, and re-enforce that “reality” to the person saying them. Here speech can refer to actual spoken words, or to the content of our daily “inner dialogue” that we have with ourselves in our mind each day.

Stage 4 – The creation of acts in the world– Based upon our imagination and  speech we then engage in actions. These actions are physical articulations of our creative imagination and the content of our speech. We act in accordance with what we imagine, think and say to ourselves and other people.

Positive and Negative Creative Cycles

So, based on our understanding of the above we can see that what we choose to imagine and what we choose to say really determines the direction that our natural creative energy or Eros takes in our life. Negative and paranoid imagination and speech will create a negative and paranoid world. Life-affirming and positively directed imagination and speech will create a positively experienced and life affirming experience.

Some Practical Points to Begin Integrating

From the above insights we can see that our habitual imagination and speech play a crucial role in the reality that we sculpt and create from the “raw” creative energy that we have been given by the universe. With this in mind spending a few minutes a day over the next week asking yourself the following questions may be helpful:

1.       What is my imagination building right now with the natural creative energy that it is being fed with from spirit?Is what it is building in my mind helping me or hindering me in my path to happiness and inner wellbeing?
2.      What has my speech (outer or inner) over the last hour or two been showing me about the way I am expressing and manifesting the creative energy in my life?Is what I am saying helping me to bring more energy into my life, or is it limiting me unnecessarily?
3.      How deeply am I aware of the power of my on creativity?In what ways can I begin to value and appreciate my innate creative power more?

© Toby Ouvry 2011, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

A Mind of Ease Awareness and insight Enlightened love and loving Integral Meditation Meditation and Psychology Motivation and scope

On the Three Types of Relational Love and How to Integrate Them Into Your Life

What does it mean to be expressing love fully in your relationships? There are many ways to answer this question, but one answer deriving from classical sources is that you should aim to have three types of love functioning fully in your day to day interactions with others and yourself. These types of love are eros, filia and agape.

Here is a brief explanation of what each of them are in the context of relationships

Eros – This put simply is the creative spark that arises between two people or between ourselves and  something that we love. This is most commonly thought of as the romantic love between lovers which over time may lead to the biologically creative result of a baby, but it can just as validly be understood as  other forms of creativity. For example an intellectual spark between two people in a platonic relationship that inspires both of them to become more creative, dynamic and inspired in their life and work.
Most commonly this type of love is felt between a man and a woman (in a sexual or non-sexual context), because the interaction of masculine and feminine energies is an important aspect of the arising of eros. However, between two people of the same sex who both have well developed masculine and feminine energies it is perfectly possible to have a very inspiring “erotic” relationship, although this has a quite different meaning and connotation from the common usage of erotic!
Essentially to have eros in your relationships means that they are regularly supplying you with a source of creative inspiration in your life. Conversely to give filialin your relationships means to provide others with creative inspiration.

Filia – Filial love is classically the love between siblings, but it is also a common way of bonding between friends. Here the two people find strong ways of non-sexual bonding with each other that provides a source of mutual support, enjoyment and potential growth for each other. The ideal with filial love is to have the both parties on an equal footing in the relationship and a sense of mutual respect.
So, with images love the ideas is to be seeking and finding respect, support, self esteem and enjoyment from your friendships, and likewise seek to give these things to the people whom you share your life with.

Agape – One of the archetypal images of agape is the mother and child (eg: Mary with the baby Jesus), but more broadly speaking agape is empathetic or compassionate love. Agape seeks to understand and sympathize with its object like a parent caring for a child, seeking as Saint Francis would say “To understand rather than to be understood”. To give agape in your relationships with others is a wonderful thing, and likewise learning to receive it is an important source of sustenance.

So, using these three type of love as our model, our relationships should contain healthy elements of giving and receiving the following:

Eros – Creative inspiration.
Filia – Support, enjoyment, bonding, esteem building.
Agape – Empathy, compassion and healthy sympathy.

Working with these three types of love

Here are some possible ways to start working practically with these three types of love in your relationships:

  • Firstly we can simply look at our current relationships and appreciate the people who are currently providing us with these types of love in our life right now.
  • Secondly we can look for ways that we can actively increase the amount of eros, agape and filia to those we love.
  • Thirdly if it feels as if there is something lacking in your relationship with someone close to you, reflect upon which of the three types of love is most lacking. Having had an insight on this, then try and increase that particular type of love in the relationship through your actions.
  • Finally, practice agape, filia and eros toward yourself each day. Support yourself, inspire yourself, understand and have compassion for yourself!

© Toby Ouvry 2011, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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Christmas Post: Three of the Central Teachings of Jesus, Three Types of Love to Practice, and a Winter Solstice Meditation

Hi Everyone,

Well, its Christmas time, which is essentially the celebration of the birth of Jesus, so I thought it might be a nice time to reflect on his teachings in this post. Cynthia Bourgeault in her book The Meaning of Mary Magdeline: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity (recommended reading) outlines three of the central mystical teachings of Jesus. When I say mystical teachings I mean instructions that are meant to be practiced in order to bring about inner transformation:

1) Gnosis– The letting go of, or detaching from the egoic self and its self-centred concerns

2) Abundance  – Letting go of the concerns of the egoic self enables us to access the unlimited resources of the Kingdom of Heaven (found within our own hearts), thus tapping into a source of unlimited of universal abundance

3) Relational Love– This is basically the special ability of learning to love in relationships (to lovers, family, friends, pets etc…) to teach us how to spot and let go of our egoic self (thus teaching us Gnosis), and thereby access a direct personal experience of the abundance of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is something that we find within ourselves. There is something about the nitty gritty of learning to love in relationships that opens our hearts in a real and tangible way that cannot be achieved by loving God in an abstract or meditative way. 

Three types of relational love

Christmas, lots of opportunities to meet with family and friends and practice relational love. Here are three main types of relational love, they all really interpenetrate each other in an organic way:

  • Eros, or erotic love– The creative and passionate love most commonly associated as being between lovers, but can also exist in other situations. For example if we have someone with whom we share a common cause, our creative efforts to further that cause could be considered a type of non-sexual Eros in relationship.
  • Agape– The love that empathizes with others,  feels keenly their suffering and practices compassionate understanding and care.  The classic image of this would be the mother caring for her  child, but it infuses any situation where we open our hearts to others with compassion.
  • Philia– So called brotherly or sisterly love, found between literal brothers and sisters, spiritual brother and sisters, between good friends.

Christmas can be a time to consolidate and rejoice in all of these wonderful expressions of relational love.

Winter Solstice Meditation recording

Christmas was superimposed on an older pagan festival, the Winter Solstice, which is celebrated on the 21st/22nd December. Last Tuesday We did a Winter Solstice meditation which you can listen to here:

[audio:|titles=Winter Solstice medi Dec 21 2010]

Or download the entire meditation and talk here:

Winter Solstice talk and medi Dec 21 2010

All proceeds from the class went to the Riverkids Project , a charity dedicated to stopping child trafficing in Vietnam. If you feel guided to, you could spread the love a little more this christmas by visiting their website and making a donation 😉

Thanks for reading, and have a great Christmas!

Yours in the spirit of relational love,


Overview of upcoming events, classes and workshops with Toby in January