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Personally I think that ideas and creativity and problem-solving come from that same bit of us which remains constant no matter what. There’s creativity, sure, in the monkey mind, which may also be the bit which Vic Reeves refers to, but it’s a creativity which needs to be harnessed and managed. It’s mischievous and playful and often destructive; monkey is not very interested in building things. The ideas which he or she come up with are likely to be myriad, random, and largely crap, since monkey doesn’t have any quality control, no respect for the law, and precious few morals either, and we will have to pick out the good bits and make them work.

Our “inner self”, on the other hand, tends to be constructively creative, intensely engaged with the world as it is rather than as we would like it to be, complete in itself, resilient, and open.  It can manage change because it doesn’t find it scary, and can perceive it dispassionately as a necessary response to changed circumstances rather than as something to be resisted at all costs. It can devise, structure, test, refine and offer complete solutions without any apparent intervention from us.

During periods of change it can be hugely helpful to get more in contact with this “other” part of us. When change is imposed from the outside and is the result of traumatic events, life changes such as the loss of a job, a relationship, a loved one, our health, the feelings of falling apart can be enormously distressing and scary.  It’s arguable that, horrible as it is, this falling apart, this liquefaction into the post-caterpillar “bug soup” phase is necessary, that it forces us to give up bits of ourselves and old, embedded ways of being which no longer serve us. But it feels like a death, another bereavement as we lose, besides the original loss, our “old self” as well.

It’s hugely comforting to get in touch with the us which remains “us” no matter what, the bit which is not so bothered by change, which is not threatened by having to metamorphose and shed bits of “us”, which can see that there is a future no matter how unlikely it seems. It’s the bit of us which is not daunted by the prospect of change or chained in place by force of habit or overwhelmed by fears and demons from way back when. It’s our good angel, as opposed to our monster.

More tomorrow.