As humans we can invite a level of creative energy into our present moment that is qualitatively very different from the functional roles that existence demands of us. Creative energy does not exist as we exist within the conditions of everyday life. JG Bennett taught that creative energy is a cosmic energy acting to transform conditions that would otherwise lead to the running-down of intelligence at all levels. As a mystic and teacher of both the conundrum and the potential of our age, he understood creative energy as the source of the uncertainty needed to allow freedom to enter into the complexity-matrix of the functional working of things. Not only are our lives richer and more responsive to needs beyond our own limited set of wants and urges when the cosmic force of creativity enters, but within the greater cosmos there is a need that we serve in embodying the potential to transform uncertainty through our experience. He did not intend, I think, that we should therefore go drumming-up uncertainty, willy-nilly, of our own accord. He taught from his own experience that when we have a question that arises out of our own inner need to know, and that if the question truly required a new understanding not already existing in the world of fact, then it was an increase of being that was needed to contain a possible that new understanding. Although, this itself was no guarantee. This increase of being had to include uncertainty, because it is uncertainty that stands apart from already arrived at forms and calls upon a new level of intelligence. Moreover, for Bennett “intelligence” was not something inert that could be easily measured, nor was it something that implied “head-brain” thinking alone. Intelligence enters our sensing, our feeling, our thinking to create a time-space container where an impression of something greater than the material of the container itself is given form. He drew inspiration throughout his life, it seems, from his early boyhood encounter with Hinton’s ideas about “Flatland” and seamlessly wove together mathematics and the spiritual teaching of GI Gurdjieff and, later in life, with that of the Sufi master Hasan Shushud into a practical teaching of creative awakening.
A basic and beautiful modality for inviting the creative energy to enter is through simply what we call “play”. Play is creation in the present moment. The more deeply rooted we are within the sense, feeling and thought potential of the present moment, the more we open ourselves to play as a spontaneous infusion of creative intelligence. Of course there is effort involved in becoming more deeply rooted in our present moment. The second law of thermodynamics is merciless in its diffusion of energy. Nothing stands on its own without also bearing the stress and strain of material forces. Yet, the joy, the awkwardness and sometimes even the grotesqueness of play opens our field of awareness to more readily accept who we are beyond the limitations of role and expectation imposed upon us by the functional world. As adults, however, we tend to understand play in a very different way than most children do. As adults, those forms of play that the great machine of culture draws our attention to as fitting are largely result-based, status-type contests of skill that draw one’s attention outside of the present moment of embodiment. In adult life, the real skill that becomes increasingly difficult and increasingly necessary is to be attentively present in sensing, in feeling, in thinking. In short, to have a present moment that is a living substance and to continue to learn through the moment to hold our energies of experience together more coherently.
The challenge of the idiotplayers is to draw upon the great wealth of traditional teachings in a way that is both respectful to the source of the teaching and which also invites the spontaneity needed to keep these teachings alive and relevant within the present moment of individual and collective living. To have the inner attitude of play, for example, even when approaching the sometimes daunting sacred gymnastics of GI Gurdjieff de-conditions our habitual fears of failure in the face of challenge. As well studying such like forms of body, feeling and mind attentiveness as the Gurdjieff movements, the idiotplayers aims to invite a container where improvisation in music, storytelling, poetry, visual art and drama can be practiced as a means of self understanding. We intend this space, idiotplayers.org, to be a place of musing about important ideas, of sharing some of our artwork, of reporting on our workshops and of connecting with the larger community engaged in similar work.