How Having a Gun Pointed at You Can Teach You The Greatest Secret of Creativity

3 times in my life someone has pointed a loaded weapon at my face as an active threat to shoot me.

  • Once I was robbed on a beach in Mexico by a group with shotguns.
  • Once I had a pistol pulled on me by an angry Russian
  • Once I was robbed at gunpoint in Brooklyn New York

Now, all three of these instances were, in the long run, fairly harmless. No one died. No one was even hurt in any one of these. In each instance, I, and the other parties who I happened to be with, complied with the demands of the gun holder and each of them left without any actualized violence.

But as I think back to all three of these occasions, an otherwise unique feeling arises. There is just something different about the sensation of having a gun pointed at you. It eschews description and that piques my curiosity.

Some years later in an intensely psychedelic phase of my life, I began to learn about the concept of manifestation. The term was made most popular by the self-help sensation “The Secret” a book whose title made it ripe for mockery. Even to this day when I talk about manifestation, I can’t help shush my conversational companion and say “Shhhh! It’a secret!”

But manifestation does not need to be so esoteric. In fact, if one were to translate the ideals of manifestation from the right to left brain, it might simply be called “efficacy”.

In short, manifestation is simply the act of bringing a thought from the realm of the imaginary to the realm of reality. Whether the process wears the lexicon of elemental magic or project management is largely a matter of personal taste.

Within the idea of manifestation lurks a term: “The Field of Probability” (or sometimes “The Field of Potentiality”. I tend to use them interchangeably, though I am sure a distinction could be made).

The term also appears in a litany of other disciplines, from soft to hard, from practical to fantastical.

It is one of those ideas that not only finds application in multiple facets, but is encapsulated so well within its three-word-name, it’s avoided vernacular re-branding by the different disciplines.

A field of probability is, at its basic level, the mathematically defendable chance that a certain action will happen in a certain space at a certain time.

In theoretical physics, it is the chance that a particle has of appearing as either a wave or a proton at the moment it is observed.

In esoteric conjuring, it is the space created by ritual and preparation where magic can take place.

And when a gun is pointed at you, it is the small cylindrical vector in space that extends from the tip of a barrel to the front of your brain case and on to eternity.

The wondrous thing about a field of probability is that even though the physical properties of the space may not change in any measurable way, the effect of that space can change radically with circumstance.

That is why having a gun pointed at you is so crucial in this experiment; once you feel a muzzle train on you, the sensation is far more intense than if someone had turned a garden hose on your face. Yet nothing in the air has changed. The molecules between you and that gun have not shifted. There is no electricity, no vision, no strong or weak force emanating from that space.

So what then, is the force in play here? One could argue it lives only in perception, but so what? It has real effects. Real consequences. Why avoid qualifying and quantifying its effect?

Here is another example of a field of probability that you have most likely encountered:

You are driving down a windy road at night. Suddenly, and for no reason connected to your mood or circumstance, it becomes clear to you how easy it would be to drive your car off one of the curves.

You aren’t depressed. you aren’t suicidal. You may even be in a good mood. Yet the potential for the action pushes its way into your conscious mind, causing you to picture a grisly scene.

And the more obvious the danger (say driving by a wall vs driving by a cliff) the more the thought intrudes. Your ability to stay within the lines of a road has not changed.

You have no reason to fear that you will involuntarily guide your vehicle into the abyss, yet the possibility is present. It affects you.

Now think statistically: For every X number of people who drive by that cliff, how many might be suicidal? How many might be having a bad day? What number do you need to get to before one of those people decides to take the field of probability up on its offer? There’s one morose measurement.

The field of probability flirts with concreteness, but its reliance on chaos level variables keeps it in the soft sciences (or whatever you might choose to call them).

Yet human intuition has shown over and over again that it can comprehend the variables of a field of potentiality better than any computer (so long as it is rooted in reality and not relegated to a chess or jeopardy board).

Potentiality and probability are equally applicable to destruction and creation. The space at a desk where a writer sites every morning is as fertile as the garden of Eden for new ideas, stories and the like.

It is his life circumstance buttressed by morning ritual and the muse’s ear that turns this small spot of the planet into a cradle of creation.

But this is far more complicated than just pointing a gun at something. So, if you are going for the easy route, you might want to just get the pistol.

Humans are unique in our understanding of this concept. While that may not be the case for much longer, for the moment, it is our connection with this intuitionally accessed stream of energy that we continue to thrive on this planet.

The more you become conscious of the fields of probability in your life, both creative and destructive, the more they will yield their power to you.