Creative vagueness

When we attempt to understand the nature of creativity we inevitably come face to face with some pretty nebulous states, it’s a bit like entering a mass of different kinds of cloud with different hues and shapes. Jumping straight into the cloud we come across one of the most mysterious aspects of creativity and the most impervious to rational analysis. Intuition is a central and vital part of being in a creative frame of mind and a good example of nebulous and hard to define. Even when you are in an intuitive state of mind it is hard know it as such at the time.

How are you intuitive?

One way of relating to intuition is that it is the times when you just know something in it’s wholeness without having worked it all out in your head. You just know what the situation is or what someone is going through or what is needed right now. Every aspect of the topic or situation is appreciated as a whole in a tangible and direct way. When intuition is functioning well there are no interpretations or abstract commentary that tells you what is going on in a roundabout way.

Intuition is a kind of wisdom that brings all your faculties together

Intuition is not only about the mind but the body too. It is a great combiner and integrator which brings the bodies memories and sensory understanding together with the mind as an integrated whole. When this happens you can have an intuitive knowing, your body is part of the input which gives you clear indications as to whether something is true or untrue or how things are. The intuition can give you a direct and immediate sense of whether a particular situation will inevitably lead to tragedy or good fortune. From this point of view intuition is a kind of wisdom state which directly reads situations and knows likelihoods and possible outcomes.

Body mind integration

This is a state of mind/body awareness in which everything you know or have experienced about a topic comes together into a fresh and direct knowing, it is alive to the situation and it’s implications. This aspect of intuition being fresh, alive and connected is very important in the creative process. Intuitive perception is not merely a mental computation which happens very quickly but something quite different, it is a more all inclusive and subtle knowing or taking something in. One of the extraordinary things about the intuition is that it draws on many faculties and senses and emerges as something completely different and new.

Exploring the clouds

It is sometimes hard to know how you came into an intuitive knowing, but certain conditions are needed for it all to come together. To be in an intuitive state of mind five particular qualities or frames of mind all need to be present simultaneously. Each of these is also as amorphous as clouds. They are a sense of openness, poised relaxation, a sense of integral expansiveness, pliancy or flexibility of mind and a sense of nuance or subtlety. Each of these qualities can be exercised and developed in their own right. When they are all there together being in an intuitive state is more likely to arise.

Become expansive

Although each of these five qualities are essential, the mysterious nature of an expansive frame of mind is perhaps the most important. A sense of expansiveness allows for a sense of wholeness or gestalt where different aspects of the mind can spark off each other and augment each other without being at odds. This synthesis and mutual relationship between such varied functions as conceptual thought, imagination and practical experience are only possible in a state of general expansiveness. When you are closed down or narrow in your perception it feels just like that. Being able to recognise and tell the difference between a sense of expansiveness and being contracted and being able to make a shift to expansiveness is essential to both intuition and creativity.



  1. I always find it takes a good 3-4 days off work to get to that point – ‘the sense of expansiveness’… luckily I have 2 weeks off now and will perhaps kick start it with your workshop tomorrow eve!

  2. Juliet Morton

    Recently I’ve been discovering more and more sounds that tie in with all the harmonic knowledge I’ve built up – and am mystified at how my fingers work without me consciously calculating what I need to play i.e. when doing an exercise in all 12 keys one at a time, not thinking consciously ‘I need the sharp eleven next’ or whatever. I’m seeing patterns and learning them aurally, with the right side of my brain, maybe?. Where have I been for the last 3 hours??? Not conscious (of the time, anyway)…
    Does this make sense atall?

    • Yes it makes sense. Sounds like you’ve moved on from doing the keys by rote into something that follow the rhythm but is organically alive, wonderful.

  3. Hi Elza
    Thanks for your comment.

    The workshops I’m leading in the next few months are in London. For more info about them go to

    I loved the look of the work you are doing at your pottery studio, very beautiful and inspiring.

  4. What I was reading is so true and I would love to learn more about this. I would like more info on the dates and cost of these workshops. It is also for a friend who might be interested. Elza