Tapping into the collective

Purple nude, acrylic on board, 30×20, www.carolineallen.com

As writers, sometimes we tap inadvertantly (and sometimes consciously) into collective thought. As we’re writing, we become channelers. We’re not in control. I think it’s an artist job to channel, not only our own truths, but those affecting society.

Sometimes, the collective thought we tap into is one of great negative force. We write a terrorist scene in a novel and we’re bombarded by dreams of terrorism, great waves of anger hit us like a dry wind. We write a rape, and we’re hit with universal truths about rape. We create a character who is gay and facing discrimination, and we feel overwhelmed with worldwide discrimination against the gay community.

The more we delve in the writing, the more detailed we get, the more likely we’ll be channeling more than just our own novel.

First, please don’t deny this dark stuff . Why as a society do we force down negativity, deny it, use pharmaceuticals to make it all better? What kind of artists are we if we just live in a “happy place”?

Simply recognize you’ve tapped into something bigger than yourself. Know that it may not be your own negativity; it may be a larger societal one.

I am writing about Pearl in a final final revision of Earth. She is deeply psychic. This scares the people around her, and they treat her badly. As I delve deeply into Pearl, and detail her life, her own fear and her anorexia, I have started to feel this greater force of anger, of oppression. I can feel that there are still women everywhere being knocked down for having deep intuition. So much hatred of the feminine. Some politically correct folks at this point might think: I have anger and that’s bad. Or, if I tap into this collective anger, I’m adding to it, so I must shut it down.

First, anger isn’t bad; often it’s the most appropriate, passionate reaction you could ever have. Secondly, it may not be just my anger. I suspect because it feels so big and I know my own psyche from years of studying it, that it isn’t only MY anger. It’s women’s anger. Feminine anger at oppression. Divine feminine anger.

Just as denying my own anger would be oppressing my own passion, denying a greater collective anger is how we all get into these shut down creative places. How many people are artists or artistically inclined out there and are not doing their art? It’s widespread collective repression!

So, what about if I take that collective anger, and I turn it into poetry. What if I write about it? This is why I’m so passionate about being an Artist. We create, delve, explore and transform through the written word, and I think we actually heal these societally wounded places.


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2 thoughts on “Tapping into the collective

  1. Great points Carrie. I think that when we dive into our writing we do scratch the surface of universal truths, good and bad. Sometimes we don’t even know we have these angers, passions or joys until we write about them. I’ve found this to be true in my fiction and non-fiction writing.

    When we limit ourselves to the surface stuff, I don’t think we engage our readers as much as when we go to the deeper place. If we write about universal truths that our characters are going through, they touch a chord in others, and isn’t that the nature of art?

    I think we can do this with our writing, our businesses/careers and other pursuits in life.


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