Beyond Brushstrokes

At a recent lecture, Carl Jung Circle Center chair Rose Yenko introduced author-psychologist Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD, a well-known professor at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.

“The Carl Jung Circle Center has its milestones with Jennifer who has been with us on several occasions. In 2014, we had our Walking with Jung Conference. In 2016, when we had our Salubungan Conference. In 2018, we had our Gratitude Session for our postponed Dream Tending Certificate course. And now, in 2019, Jennifer gives us her insights on Deep Creativity. We welcome her to her second home.”

“We chose the word ‘principles’ to suggest our fundamental thoughts, the underpinnings of the union of depth psychology and creativity. These are themes rather than definitions. These are convictions rather than truths. These are perspective rather than facts. They are the way we see the creative world and our place within it. And we offer the visions to you,” Dr. Selig remarked.

The principles of Deep Creativity are the following:

1. Idiosyncratic. We are each unique.

2. Archetypal. Our individual psyches have universal, mythological patterns.

3. Alchemical. We transform ourselves as we create the world anew… and we renew ourselves.

4. Receptive. We open ourselves to the grace of inspiration.

5. Responsive. We offer our creative responses in gratitude for all we have received.

6. Emotional. We are moved by creativity itself in all its expressive manifestations.

7. Healing. Our creative acts heal others and ourselves.

8. Aesthetic. We see and hear beauty everywhere.

9. Autonomous. Our psyches create all the time, and often to our surprise.

10. Attentive. We create and extend the breadth and depth of our field of attention.

11. Mysterious. We are partially unconscious, creating in partnership with the “Great Mystery.”

12. Participatory. We do not create alone. God, the god or goddesses, the Muse, the Force, the Source, or the Universe creates along with us.

13. Reciprocal. “We are both subject and object, both seer and seen, creating with and for a Thou who is creating with and for our I.”

14. Embodied. We come to and with our senses.

15. Ensouled. “We are ensouled beings creating within an ensouled world.”

Here are some comments from the participants who chose principles that resonated deeply with them.

“In my opinion, Jennifer Selig put into words what we as creatives do on a daily basis. We are already very attuned to the creative forces. I like what she said about the Divine. ‘We do not create alone.’ Creativity is not about art. We create all the time. We create our lives, our relationships,” said Oliver Roxas, an artist-creative person.

“I particularly resonated with the principle Alchemical, The 15 principles helped articulate my personal experiences in writing the play Halo-Halo Tayo: The delicious and colorfully complex Filipino Soul, a play highlighting the distinctive archetypes embodying patterns of behavior that characterize the Filipino as a people,” said playwright Ruby Villavicencio Paurom.

“In a play putting down in words and sentiments in the form of a script it only part of an astounding process. The transformations process does not stop with the audience. The performers are themselves transformed… All elements (The staging, the recounting, the recollection of its making) come together and reach the audience to produce an effect, an interpretation, myriad reactions that create a transformation… A mystic nebula that would recur, refine, re-energize, re-spark, recoil,” she said.

“Deep creativity opens to an endless, amazing path that is best not understood but lived out.”

“Deep Creativity is attentive,” said psychologist Gayle Certeza. “We feed our creativity with everything that happens inside us and around us. For us to write, paint or create — we need to pay attention. We need to set aside our things to do and follow the advice of the authors and turn our loving attention, our fixed gaze and compassionate noticing to what’s inside us and the world around us. Attention is the starting point of any creative work.

“Deep creativity is healing. Happiness and wounds are the fuel of our creative work… Working with your wounds to write, paint, make music or create is part of the healing process. And the creative work you produce can also help others, who are going on the same path, heal.”

We are all creative in our individual ways, in diverse fields and various activities.

Our creativity is heightened when we express our thoughts and opinions, our vision in work. Parents and teachers are so important in creating the environment for children to grow and think and express themselves as individuals.

When we breathe in and breathe out the world, our unique psyches manifest the universal, mythological patterns of the archetypes. When we are moved by beauty in the form of music, art, dance, theatrical performances, or nature such as the ocean, a mountain, a flower, trees, a rainbow, the sunrise and sunset, the moonrise or starry skies, our creativity is enhanced and we are transformed.


Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.