Connecting You: Inviting the Muse with David Pressault

Dancer and Analyst David Pressault takes on that illusive energy called inspiration at our next monthly gathering, April 21-22. Read our Q & A and come prepared to be inspired!


Why is inspiration illusive and unpredictable for many of us?

First, inspiration is invisible and so we aren’t always aware when it’s there. Also, as we’ll see in the lecture with the etymology of the word, we are dealing with the idea of letting in breath/air or like philosopher Yvan Michaud suggests it’s like something gaseous.

How can Jung’s view of the psyche help us gain a deeper appreciation of dance and other art forms?

Jung’s view of the collective unconscious invites us to ponder the possibility that art gives voice to unconscious personal and collective material. In this perspective, the function of art can be better understood. Jung saw the value of Art as a way to bring to consciousness the changes that are operating in the collective unconscious and are beginning to push up to consciousness. We can see this repeatedly in history with social movements, where artists are often at the forefront of these changes. Through their art work, artists can portray different ways of seeing the world and in so doing, invite society to consider energies and archetypes that were/are not yet part of collective consciousness.

How does creativity and art help one individuate?

In a sense, when art is creative, and I’m not talking about entertainment here, it asks one to position the Ego between the conscious and unconscious psyche. This positioning invites one to listen, consider and give voice to unconscious material. Both Individuation and Art invite a sort of “dialogue” where the conscious standpoint is flexible enough to consider and let in unconscious material.

Where does your inspiration to create and perform dance come from?

Much of my inspiration comes from listening to music but also doing nothing, having a shower, a night time walk around the city or in nature, going to a magazine shop and browsing images etc.

How can we become more aware of our creative impulses and follow them?

Like any inner process, we have to listen and pay attention to the different energies that come up to consciousness. I will give many tips on how to cultivate inspiration in the lecture.

How do we get in the way of our own inspiration and creativity?

I think often certain complexes come in the way of our creativity. Also, certain family, social, religious beliefs can come in the way of our need or impulse to give voice to what is inside of us. One example is the social belief that spending time being creative is self-indulgent.

You were working on a Master in dance at UQAM when you started the Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts’ training program. How did you become interested in Jung’s work?

I became interested in Jung’s work when I first went into analysis in my mid-twenties. I was then dancing professionally but also on a search for spiritual meaning. Analysis helped me find myself and I discovered unsuspected talents and ways to be in the world which transformed me as a dancer and artist. Also, Jung’s view of the psyche, especially with its concept of wholeness touched me in a way that no other spiritual or philosophical view did. In a sense, I didn’t know it then, but I had found my spiritual home.

What kinds of activities can we expect to fuel our creative fire at the workshop on Saturday?

In the workshop we’ll go deeper into some of the ideas proposed in the lecture and how to cultivate our own creative fire. We’ll look at inner “models” we might unconsciously have of what it means to be creative. Often these come from how we were trained as artists or what we hold as beliefs that help or hinder us when involved in the creative process. We’ll also talk about the inner value and outer value of being creative and what it means to be doing something with our inspiration. The Workshop will be interactive and involve self-questioning and reflection. In short, the workshop is about saying YES to our inspiration and finding ways to keep that fire alive.

Everyone wants to find the inspiration to live an extraordinary life, but does one find inspiration or does inspiration find us?  Where does inspiration fit in the ordinary-ness of everyday life?

I think that the extraordinary life is the life we dare to create. The path we take, which isn’t always “extraordinary” seen from the outside, must resonate as true to us. Finding this path requires one to listen to what inspires us. I would say that we can cultivate inspiration, go looking for it and at the same time be open to it and let it also finds us. It’s not a “this or that” but a “this and that”.

Register Now

Inviting the Muse: Inspiration and Creativity
Friday, April 21, 7:30-9:30 pm
Orpheus Theatre, SAIT (located in Campus Centre)

The Creative Process (Workshop)
Saturday, April 22, 10-4 pm
Heritage Hall, SAIT, Room TBA

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