Drives and motivations

There is a common perception, probably with roots in different romantic views, that trouble drives creativity.

Driven by beliefs and the shadow

It seems true in a limited way. If there are strong attachments to certain beliefs, and a correspondingly strong shadow, then these beliefs and shadows can certainly be a strong drive in our lives. Neurotic drives, often coming from fear.

I believe I am not lovable, and spend my life trying to find acceptance through creating a certain persona and achievements. I believe the world needs my insights and ideas, and spend my life developing and sharing them with the world.

There can be wonderful gifts here, but also a good deal of stress.

Motivated by wholeness, enjoyment and empathy

As we work with examining beliefs and recognizing projections, these belief- and shadow-driven motivations weaken and have less force. The go more into the background, and some may erode away completely.

Here, the motivations that come into the foreground may include curiosity, interest, enjoyment in exploration and manifestation, compassion, empathy, and the enjoyable surprise in discovering what comes out of me in the different ways I engage in the world.

This may correspond roughly to the centaur level in KW’s framework, where we find ourselves as the larger whole of body and psyche. It may also correspond to the green and second tier level, characterized by less of the fear driven motivations.

Spirit flowering

Then, as we find ourselves as soul and the witness, and even more so if there is an awakening to realized selflessness, there is a sense of personal motivations eroding allowing clear space for Spirit flowering through and as our human life.

In realized selflessness, seeing and seen arises with no I anywhere, allowing Spirit a more free and full manifestation in our human life (although there may still be traces of old identities and beliefs that limits this flow somewhat).


At each of these transitions, our old and familiar drives and motivations are less potent and convincing, they go into the background and may erode completely. At the same time, the new motivations may not yet have emerged clearly. It may take a while to reorient, allow these new motivations to come to the foreground, and become familiar with them and how they function in our life.

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