"Genuine art -... is simply the activity of nonaggression." (Dharma Art by Chogyam Trungpa)
When I first read this line I didn't get it.
"I'm not aggressive!" I said heatedly to the book.
But especially when I'm doubting myself, when I have fear, I experience a type of aggression.
- First and foremost, I'm mean to myself. I criticize myself and put myself down. This is most certainly aggressive and has no useful outcome. It is not good fodder for creation. It stops me in my tracks.
- I compare myself and my work to others. Here is another destructive move which either ends with my thinking that I am less-than or better-than, neither of which mean anything, both of which are an injustice to myself and the other artist.
- I feel competitive, like I have to somehow top another artist's work/success, to prove myself.
None of these mind messes make me happy, make me productive or lead to creating fine art. They are aggressive toward myself and others, and not helpful...except as signals that I'm not clear. It's not that I'm a bad person or an aggressive person. These are inner reactions I experience when I'm doubting myself.
So I think that's what Chogyam Trungpa means. No aggression toward self or others. Rather an open heart and a sense of presence, not really related to self or other.
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