In sanscrit there is no word for stealing, or is it thief? This from a friend who knows. I know no sanscrit. Apparently a thief if known as “One who does that…” and it is known that ‘that’ is stealing. IN any event, where do we draw the line when our survival is now based on some form of theft from nature or others? I copy here from a post I saw on facebook of a conversation between UG and someone unnamed.
There is no such thing as creativity at all. All that people do is imitate something or the other that already exists. Only when you do not use anything as a model, what emerges can be called creativity and that cannot be used again as a model for future acts of yours. And there it ends. If you look at human faces or even those leaves–no two faces are the same, no two leaves are the same.

*Behind the changes in nature there seems to be some kind of plan or purpose, don’t you think?

I don’t see any plan or scheme there at all! There is a process–I wouldn’t necessarily call it evolution–but when it slows down then a revolution takes place. Nature tries to put something together and start all over again, just for the sake of creating. This is the only true creativity. Nature uses no models or precedents and so has nothing to do with art per se.

*Do you mean to say there is nothing to the creativity of artists, poets, musicians and sculptors?

Why do you want to place art on a higher level than craft? If there is no market for an artist’s creation, he will be out of business. It is the market that is responsible for all these so-called artistic beliefs. An artist is a craftsman like any other craftsman. He uses that tool to express himself. All human creation is born out of sensuality. I have nothing against sensuality. All art is a pleasure movement. Even that (the pleasure) has to be cultivated by you. Otherwise you have no way of appreciating the beauty and art that artists are talking about. If you question their creation, they feel superior, thinking that you don’t have taste. Then they want you to go to a school to learn how to appreciate their art. If you don’t enjoy a poem written by a so-called great poet, they forcibly educate you to appreciated poetry. That is all that they are doing in the educational institutions. They teach us how to appreciate beauty, how to appreciate music, how to appreciate painting and so on. Meanwhile they make a living off you. Artists find it comforting to think that they are creative: ‘creative art’, ‘creative ideas’, ‘creative politics’. It’s nonsense. There is nothing really creative in them in the sense of their doing anything original, new or free. Artists pick something here and something there, put it together and think they have created something marvelous. They are all imitating something that is already there. Imitation and style are the only ‘creativity’ we have. Each of us has our own style according to the school we attended, the language we were taught, the books we have read, the examinations we have taken. And within that framework again we have our own style. Perfecting style and technique is all that operates there. You will be surprised that one of these days computers will paint and create music much better than all the painters and musicians that the world has produced so far. It may not happen in our lifetime but it will happen. You are no different from a computer. We are not ready to accept that because we are made to believe that we are not just machines–that there is something more to us. You have to come to terms with this and accept that we are machines. The human intellect that we have developed through education, through all kinds of techniques is no match for nature. They (creative activities) assume importance because they have been recognized as expressions of spiritual, artistic and intellectual values. The drive for self-expression is born out of neurosis. This applies to the spiritual teachers of mankind too. There is no such thing as a direct sense-experience. All forms of art are nothing but an expression of sensuality.
* Is there something more to self-expression U.G.? Having had a tremendous experience of some kind you want to relate it to somebody or maybe just replay it to yourself? Is there anything to this over-riding need to express oneself?

There is no such thing as my experience and your experience. When you experience something you think it is something extraordinary and naturally the need arises to share that experience with somebody else. When you and I go out for a walk you naturally look at something that you have not looked at before and it is something extraordinary for you. And when you say to yourself this is something extraordinary that you have not seen before there is a need for you–which is a part of your self fulfillment–to share that pleasure with somebody else. Whatever you experience has already been experienced by someone else. Your telling yourself, ‘Ah! I am in a blissful state,’ means that someone else before you has experienced that and has passed it on to you. Whatever may be the nature of the medium through which you experience, it is a second-hand, third-hand, and last-hand experience. It is not yours. There is no such thing as your own experience. Such experiences, however extraordinary, aren’t worth anything.

As an alleged artist, I know this from the inside out. It’s hard to accept even though reading it makes me feel good for some reason I cannot understand let alone explain. I felt compelled to re-post it here since I have nothing much to say at the moment but a lot of what we call ‘feelings’ that attaching words to will only create a little drama. So there you are. Something to ponder..

thank you

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21 Responses to Stolen

  1. Branko says:

    Thanks Louis… This is a great topic. Lately I find myself reading about creativity all the time. I guess i avoid the pure frustration that comes with making stinky art… I am always searching for better ways of “doing” creativity – Sharpening the Instrument ! teaching and lecturing on creativity is a thriving business. Hmmm πŸ™‚ I always get stuck on “How to”
    Do you still find yourself wanting to paint ?
    It is mind blowing how u.g. picked up on your writing talent. My wife is reading goner again!
    I have never seen her read a book twice… I see that Nic has put up some long road movies of U.G. on you tube. Really amazing to see how soft U.G. actually is/was.
    I enjoyed reading your interview with some non-dual type magazine. Your writing sticks out like a sore thumb on that (non-dual) scene/site… It is quite funny reading some of the other fluff after reading your interview. You could post it here if you can… It is a good read!
    I am sorry if it sounds like i am suffering from some kind of fanboyism.

    • louisbrawley says:

      Boss, any fanboyism is welcome in this world. I need to write more and this sort of thing gives me the juice, otherwise I get caught in the wheels, in the spokes, under the gears of the NYC froth and nonsense. If by the way, you happen to live in the LA vicinity, can you clue me in to any book store other than Bodhi Tree and Mystic Journey that may be willing to carry said tome? I contacted the two of them, but would like to do something out there in August while I’m staying in Venice Beach. Thanks meistro.

  2. nic says:

    what did tom waits say about music? we are all walking around doing bad impersonations of each other….

    • louisbrawley says:

      Picasso too, something like “Style is copying the other artists and fucking it up in your own way.” I’m sure he said that his own way too, but that’s my style in’t it?

  3. nic says:

    i am fond of UGs opinion of art. the art world would like you to belive that some paintings or art have some meaning beyond what they or the viewer choose to give it. they, like the financial world, have created a specialist language, to bambozel people, and justify what is really a rich mans ,grown up ,version of trading baseball cards.

    • louisbrawley says:

      You got that right man. The most bizzare thing is to overhear a conversation about the pricing on these things, paintings I once admired for the sense of humor or sarcasm or just the sheer beauty,
      “Oh yes, I bought it from Jane last year for 500. I’m asking 700.”
      “That sounds right.”
      We’re talking 500 and 700 thousand dollars or Euros here, and I’m standing there simply amazed at what I am witnessing. It’s all an arbitrary game of value for these people. Makes me wonder why I make any art at all. Anyway, that’s another matter. When I look at your work I’m glad it’s there so that’ll have to do. There are artists I see at every fair that make looking at art worth it despite all the nonsense happening around and to it.

  4. Branko says:

    Yeah, it is kind of cool to see it as just a craft… This Helps me to get out of wanting “inspiration” and mystical states… Heres “the bird” gesture to mystical states!
    The art world is easy to fool… You just need a black turtle neck (In most disciplines) Your book sales will go up three fold, i’m sure.

    Dear Louis, I am not californian dude! Don’t know what gave you that impression dude…
    I am an aussie, mate. I recommended your book to an independent book store during my last holiday. The cool bookstores are dying fast down here.
    You should get your ass down to australia for some of the writers festivals… You should speak
    at some of these things. I am sure they are not as pretentious and snotty as the yankee ones are.
    Get out of that funky old non-dual scene man… Thats for the birds man! πŸ™‚

    • louisbrawley says:

      Sorry Branko, didn’t mean to imply. Can you tell me the name of the bookstore you were in? I can send them an email with some links to distributors … I’d love to come ‘down under’ and so some readings. Any excuse to talk about the old man.

  5. Barry Evans says:

    Hi Louis, as no-one’s mentioned “entertainment” here yet, I will;

    so regardless of whatever might-have, does or will take place in you vis-a-vis creativity Louis,
    for a non-dual seeker who’s been feeding on a diet of endlessly regurgitated, re-packaged or processed, dry, colorless, humorless, (hey, “humor” means fluid in Latin…..juicy, viscous, sometimes mercurial perhaps) technical, cliche writing, every page of “Goner” oozez with juices of many varieties; I can’t comment on the subject matter coz it’s just too awesome to explain, but after a few days of the most deliciously enjoyable reading experience I’d known in donkey’s years, I discovered that there’s a rhythm in the writing which kinda makes it musical; like the best books I’ve read, this book draws the reader into a movie experience…………in my opinion it’s an oasis in a desert of dry nondual manuals, as is U.G.
    If the seeking is to continue till death, then lets at least have some good quality moments in our miserable lives;
    The book takes me into some kind of world where U.G. is; I can’t quantify or describe anything about what happens to me in that experience, but It’s been a hell of an amazing thing for a ragged old seagull who’s been picking away at the garbage dump of nondual books, Goner is the equivalent of a medieval feast with acrobats, minstrels. clowns and dancing girls, while at the head of the table…………………..


    • louisbrawley says:

      Thanks Barry. I’m trying to get the book into some stores in LA, doing readings etc and see that no matter what I say, people in the non-seeking world take one look and say “Spirituality”. Then there is the frustration of looking at the titles and content of the ‘spirituality’ book sites and stores where I’m listed and feeling like a mangy old Indian street dog at a puppy show. What to do? Your note and others like it answer that question… “shut up and write more.”

      • Barry Evans says:
        Hi Louis, here’s a link to the page selling your book at Waterstones, a major High Street and internet bookstore hear in the UK: there’s no synopsis and no reviews; is it possible to do something about that? and if so, how many other such outlets might benefit from similar additions? Barry

      • Barry Evans says:

        Hi Louis, you may or may not be interested in this link; it’s an internet T.V. channel (Conscious TV): the guy (Ian McNay) interviewed UG 20 years ago; that interview currently has 7500+ hits on “You Tube”; there’s tons of interviews with all kinds of spiritual/esoteric folks, including all the current major non-dual players, and they do have a section featuring authors; they might well be interested in your book and maybe your story: Barry

      • louisbrawley says:

        Thank you for all your leads Barry,

              I’m trying to set up readings in LA and so far only one bookstore, Mystic Journey has accepted. I have to jump through some hoops just to do this one event and spend some money and bla bla bla… my god I hate publicity. Anyway, I’m doing what I can but I will look at that option since I know the interview you are talking about. It would help as also someone ‘down under’ tells me there would be opportunity there to do some reading as well. Of course it’s a long way to go but what a great excuse. In the end its not about the money, or is it?  UG used to say it was, but he was a liar of the highest order!

          Please continue to forward any suggestions Barry. I’m trying to follow through with these things.

        All the best,



      • come to battembang and give a reading there to 5 cambodians, and a few slightly confused backpackers.

  6. Barry Evans says:

    Hi Louis,

    is “non-duality / advaita” the only market place your book is aimed at?


  7. Barry Evans says:

    No doubt you’ve thought about this, but I’ll mention it any way; what about re-titling your book for possible access to a different market………like “the extraordinary death ( or “end”) of an extraordinary man” or something;

    I know that since reading your book as well as other UG writings (which reading “Goner” has inspired), the fantasies evoked by the word “death” have a noticeably different quality than previously known, much less frightening for one thing:

    My guess is a lot of folks would also appreciate even just that possibility alone:


    • louisbrawley says:

      Dear Barry,
      If only I had that option! For now I have to deal with what is there, the words will take it where they will, coming from the pool of common consciousness that distorts and garbles all images and words, bending them to the common perceptions about things. Trying to get across anything about UG immediately places me into categories I cannot avoid no matter what I do. He implored me not to put him into “That filthy frame of the religious man.” I tried and I tried and no matter what, that is how the situation will be percieved. There is a lesson in that for me. I have no choice but to give up trying to control and carry on or waste my energies fighting an uphill battle. I can at least pick my battles . With that in mind I plan on writing another book where perhaps I can twist the words more in my favor. It’s all a work in progress.


  8. Charlotte says:

    Hi Louis,
    For me, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that art is not creative in the way we would like to believe. But how is nature creative? DNA replicates. It gets broken. Mutations happen. Species change. Yet always on the basis of what was before. Similarly, it seems to be accidental which genes from which parent will be expressed. But does that make it “creative?” Or is there “stealing” going on here too?
    Of course, there isn’t the same thought system running parallel to the “action” anywhere else in nature. Which makes it more functional…
    But creative? What am I missing here?

    • louisbrawley says:

      Hey Charlotte, my take on these things is loose and fast but UG never cared much about specific meanings, he was more interested in cutting of intellectual hair-splitting. I think by creative he was talking about the unpredictable energy of life outside all these cultural ideas.

  9. Charlotte says:

    Yes. Your answer makes my question suddenly seem very funny. Ha!

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