My friend Jim Martin told me recently, that sometimes “the creation pour[s] out of you like you channeled an elder god…Sometimes you are the conduit through which it comes and other times you drag it the fuck out of yourself.”
In my experience the work is almost always dragged out, and it does not go quietly…
It seems that the “gods” are not only capricious, sometimes they are malevolent. Sometimes I feel as though I am but the recipient of their malice and ill-content. And, sometimes I am the undeserving vassal upon which they bestow their most priceless treasures. But, more often than not, their communication comes so rarely that I’ve learned not to consider it or to count on it at all.
The poem pictured above be came from an essay I wrote on a day that the work had to be dragged out kicking and screaming, and I was almost too tired to wrestle with it. I’m not sure who won the fight, maybe I did. If so, it was a luke-warm victory. The work that emerged was tepid but, at least it was something. It was honest. It was earnest, and that is enough.
Some days we manage to steal fire from the gods. Some days we must be content to simply roll the boulder up the hill again and again.
Some days are better than others. Indeed, as the poem suggests, “Some days are like this”…
Perhaps, we can take solace in the fact that an encounter with “Resistance” confirms the correctness of our path.
Steven Pressfield explains that “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” Here, Pressfield points out that “The universe is not indifferent. It is actively hostile”. He says that
“When you and I set out to create anything – art, commerce, science, love – or to advance in the direction of a higher, nobler version of ourselves, we uncork from the universe, ineluctably, an equal and opposite reaction. That reaction is resistance. Resistance is an active, intelligent, protean, malign force – tireless, relentless, and inextinguishable – whose sole object is to stop us from becoming our best selves and from achieving our higher goals”.
However, Pressfield also says that just as the universe is actively hostile, “The universe is also benevolent.” He says that “Your work-in-progress generates its own gravitational field, created by your will and your attention. This field attracts like-spirited entities into its orbit.”
The “entities” Pressfield describes are our “Ideas.” Ideas are entities of “Assistance”. And, Assistance is a force equal and opposite to “Resistance”. As Pressfield writes “Assistance is the universal, immutable force of creative manifestation, whose role since the Big Bang has been to translate potential into being, to convert dreams into reality” – a magical alchemy of attention and intentionality.
The Resistance can never be vanquished. The “work” is always a “work-in-progress”, for we, ourselves are always a work-in-progress. But, it is the work performed WITHIN the process that attracts the Assistance we need. Some days we will parade in triumph. Some days we will limp, bruised and broken. But, we will always live to fight another day…
Take refuge in the rebellion against “Resistance”
Take refuge in the strength garnered through the struggle
Take refuge in the entities of Assistance…
Duane Toops is a husband, a father, a writer, an artist, and a poet, who sometimes makes podcasts, videos, and blogs. He has a B.A. in Religion, an M.A. in Humanities, and is ever in the process of practicing the path.