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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Creativity Retreats: Questions part three

Jamna: "You said that creativity can help solve all sorts of problems in peoples lives and you referred to the benefits it has in maintaining good mental health that is apparent in other cultures/countries.  So can it help with depression?"
Michael: I would separate the two simply because this is exactly what we have done as a civilisation. Of course we have developed art therapy as a sort of diversion from grave problems which exist. I know from real life experience that so called indigenous people think that westerners (and I mean here peoples who have adopted what we now call Globalisation which is a metaphor for greed and acquisition) .......that westerners are mad. Well, I guess you've heard all this before; that we have separated ourselves from Nature and see it only as exploitable resources which allow us to produce and consume more, etc etc. Currently India is a prime example. And as for our seas? Well, have we fallen asleep as a species? I reckon so.
A better way to understand this would be to join Eleanor Darley's creativity retreat in the Autumn, 'Hunting the heart of the Blue Deer'
She has worked with indigenous people in Mexico, with children especially, and has recounted to me some of her experiences. Much like the Native American Indians, they have a sort of inbuilt healing culture with ceremonies and rituals which address the fundamental issues of life, its twists and turns when they occur. I have witnessed Lakota healing ceremonies and have seen what we would call mental issues just, well, dissolved. I have also attended a beautiful coming to womanhood celebration where a young girl just danced in proud happiness for a hour inside a huge circle of people, in happiness for her first 'Moon'
So those are my thoughts. Just little examples of the enormous differences which exist, thank God, still on our planet.
Cultures we can refer to in search for meaningful solutions to our problems of collective madness.
There is a huge Aboriginal gathering at this moment in the Northern Territories of Australia. Those people are trying to remember;to bring back their cultural heritage, as are the Maoris of New Zealand and the NA Indian peoples, African peoples too. 
And the nearest we can get to it? I feel that it's only going to be possible to get back to those blue clear spaces as individuals now, because so called western culture has gone to far.
How do we do this? We must love and respect Nature, beauty,and search for the poetic within ourselves. And that creativity, to create beyond ourselves, is a path along which we might be able rediscover these treasures which are only hidden. They have not fully disappeared yet, but the western mechanistic drive towards domination would want to eradicate such heresy in the same way as they will destroy Gezi Park in Istanbul.
There's a great film about these issues I have just watched. I'll send you a link to it (when I can find it)

"To find out more about Starstone's creativity retreats, please visit" or contact Michael at

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