“I’ve just got to be me.”
Card messages in the Illuminated position.
(originality, style, articulation, rendition, phrasing, design, statement, announcement, publication)
- You are continually inventing yourself. If the results you are getting don’t satisfy you, rework and reinvent! It is a matter of fitting the pieces together in a different way.
- Invention brings ideas into words, images, sounds, and then form. Are you capturing what you imagine and trying to describe it? Do so!
- Originality is seldom outrageous to be effective. Precise articulation of something new and different is!
- The first act of Being is that of Expression. It begins the cycle of choice and the questions that go with them.
- “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein
- “Every mind which has given itself to self-expression in art is aware of a directing agency outside its conscious control which it has agreed to label ‘inspiration’.” Norman Lindsay
- “Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment.” Pearl S. Buck
- “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” Pablo Picasso
Card messages in the Shadow position.
(apparition, mirage, illusion, fabrication, facsimile, simulacrum, withhold, hide, silence, conceal, suppress)
- The “mean time” is the place of current fantasy disconnected from the tangible world yet real in your mind. A lovely place, but it is a state of ego-built exile that remains safe but unfulfilled. Why are you holding back or holding out?
- Corruption of imagination requires only inaction.
- Saying nothing is not bad when you have nothing to say, it is mimicking the words or style of another in order to gain approval from others that may kill your authentic creative talent.
- “The desire for self-expression afflicts people when they feel there is something of themselves which is not getting through to the outside world.” Fay Weldon
- “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King
- “Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
- “Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.” Madonna
Relevance in the Michael Teaching
As one of 4 Axis in the Michael Teaching, Expression is the first phase of exploration in being in a body. When an Essence emerges from its Devic evolutionary phase, a new individual is born…it is created anew. Or to plagiarize and distort the Evangelical concept “born again.” At the time of the first incarnation as a human, the mind is a blank slate since the databank of past experience can only refer to the rudiments of the animal or molecular connection to the planet. It is the mind that begins the accumulation of information. Learning is the key element under this stage. And the flavor of learning is a constant experimentation with the environment itself and within it.
Expression has, at its base, the motivation to explore and define identity; the way a person reveals themselves. This process is the first phase in stepping into a new realm of consciousness. Exploration in invention, in words, or in any form of communication which conveys identity. This is who I am…at least for the moment. Much of the influence of the Expression Axis then falls under the broad heading of what to include and what to exclude into your reality or palette to create with. It involves discerning what things are and how to allow them to function in your makeup.
Expressive Overleaves are imbued with on-off, in-out, switches. The Overleaves that fall under the Axis are designed to act as the first level filter of forming an identity and whether to share it all, how much to it to share, and what it is they want to share. Underlying all of these factors is a constant weighing of significance or value each successive prototype expresses accurately the sense of person-hood you are trying to convey. Personal Truth is what is continually discovered and refined. As Miles Davis, the incredible jazz composer and trumpeter, “sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”
Any Expressive quality, and to whatever degree it plays a part in the Overleaf configuration of an individual, enhances or demurs needs relating to identity. If a person were to be lacking any Expressive Overleaves, it might be fair to assume that self expression is not a major concern of focus for that lifetime. However, there are those souls who rig the game and provide no internal force or stabilizer and make Expression without any of the requisite Overleaves facilitating, their objective. Thus, the opposite extreme might also be true; that to face self karmic issues of expression, one might make the bar very high by hindering themselves knowing that success would have come as a greater victory in that lifetime. In this rare circumstance, it might be humorously phrased, “we now attempt the impossible with nothing.” Perhaps an overstatement and not that extreme, of course; but really a stretch to say the least!
In America, where individualism is prized and media bombards the collective airways with collisions of non-stop expressions of information, there is a constant reshaping of fashion and opinions which seldom allows one time for introspection to arrive a true sense of your relationship to it. Do I agree? Is this what I like or what I need? How much of that idea or product or desire genuinely reflect my thoughts and feelings? Constant inundation from the outside might germinate a minute hint of Self but it is likely to bury it under an avalanche of expectations i.e. cultural imprinting.
Yet the Freedom of Expression, in particularly that of speech and religious exercise, facilitate the continual shaping and reshaping of both the individual and society. In a way we might refer to it as “hearing ourselves think aloud” which is a feedback loop which helps refines our ideas and our sense of Self.
Expressing a thought or a viewpoint is always the first step in the stages of development followed by action, then feedback, then conclusion. Each stage ramps up to a new level of understanding and refinement. And if fortunate, success, perhaps wisdom, and most gratifyingly happiness. Regardless of achieving these, one evolves none the less.
During times of Paradigm Change, ideas that are new and unrefined begin a cycle of novelty or “out-of-the-box” thinking that propels us down an entirely new avenue of exploration. Musical trends have shown us historically how this process occurs. It can be seen in other artistic and innovative forms: literature, technology, philosophy, and superficially fashion. But in all of these, unique expression of an emerging self, commonly called a trend setter or inventor or rebel, they define themselves as they convey who they are through what they do or how they appear. That process is, of course, communication.
When information becomes superficial then true expression takes a back seat to mimicry. Copying and conformity is also a form of communication, but it renders one as part of a chorus mouthing a similar anthem. The ultimate goal of Expression and the communication of it is to find one’s own voice, one’s own song and sing it on the stage they make for themselves. That stage could be a expansive as a nation, or a intimate as a whisper to a single friend or child or even a journal.
But the choice in self expression depends upon a person’s willingness to share who they are and what they do. Express yourself!