CREATIVITY AND TANTRA
A poem, a novel or a painting can express itself as powerfully as a tantric mandala. The creative processes spring from deep in the unconscious together with the peaceful and wrathful deities. The terrible Mahakala is as much an aspect of our nature as the green and lovely, Tara. In modern writing, beauty is seen as a complex analogy that moves from a conventional purity of image to a sombre mirroring of man's own fragmented nature.
Herman Hesse understood this. His portrait of the Steppenwolf is the portrait of a man divided in himself. Writers of the past - Dostoevsky, Shakespeare and Flaubert expressed their complex natures in throwing up images of the same peaceful and wrathful deities appearing thinly masked as the characters of novels and plays.
Tibetan Buddhism, like creativity, recalls these deeper levels of being. Jung understood this process too in the method of individuation that he initiated in his patients. He saw, by means of the transformation of symbols of the unconscious – the alchemical symbols, mandalas, the flaring dreams of the disturbed – messages that could alter the quality of living. Jung’s own understanding of the quarternity, aspects of the Mother, and the darker side of the self, all mirror the deities present in the meditational practices of Tibetan Buddhism.
These meditational practices – concentration upon the peaceful forms of Chenrezi or Manjusru, or the consuming quality of the wrathful Mahakala purify the elements of mind. They prepare the ground for an openness that dawns in the clarity of shunyata. What began as intense form, from the depths of mind, is understood as radiant and empty. In this light of transformation, aspects of meditation, creativity and psychology merge into a whole. The mind is laid bare of it’s tortuous dramas and masks of the actor. Then one is beginning to be free.