When I sit here in my cabin I am reminded of the motto of the Mac Dowell Community in New Hampshire, USA. It is :-'Freedom to Create'.
To see the word freedom again is so reassuring, it being the connecting energy that both begins and finishes my conclusions on Life as an experience. At Mac Dowell, artists, architects, composers, film makers etc. are given individual cabin studios, where they can be free to focus on their work, gaining inspiration ........ but from what exactly?
Freedom is a little understood concept I think. It is easy to say, but difficult to experience. What is this freedom that is to be found? How is it acheived there and how does it inspire creativity? As far as I can see it being alone in a cabin may not necessarilly give you freedom, in fact it may give the things that haunt you an opportunity to come to the front. One of my own observations on creativity is that if one is consciously in fear of another's reactions to your work, creativity is spoiled and somehow polluted with what one feels others may want to see or hear. Insidiously an encroaching mould of familiarity begins to eat into your private creative world, clouding or diluting those spontaneous and in my case mostly unexpected desires to express myself. Where did this all come from? Well I'm sure a childhood of being made to believe I was born with sin has something to do with it, that and a general social platform based upon years of judeo christian logic and teachings.

So how can I be free to create, or just free in general, or are they the same? It seems to me that my lack of freedom revolves solely around the social world, that feeling of being watched and judged. If I am honest I can identify a social cause to just about all of my problems in coping with this experience of life, barring illness, famine and environmental collapse. To be able to completely abandon the social would I say be impossible and undesirable, but it would be good to be able to step outside it from time to time.The answer must lie in acquiring the mental ability to identify where the lack of freedom lies, challenge it, forgive yourself for not living up to standards set by others, dismiss it as unimportant, and then use that freedom to express whatever is in you.

We can all build our own Mac Dowell spaces, without having to run away. By identifying how social influence frustrates who we alone are, we can find our own Freedom to Create, Freedom to Live.

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