Q: My moments of freshness and creativity sometimes seem like bubbles in my chest, like boiling water, arising into awareness out of nowhere and going back into nowhere. And so I feel lost, and empty.
A: Bubbles don't come from nowhere. There is a whole heap of processes behind the shining of that temporary form. There is water, heat, a container, a human (probably) setting it all up, an intention, a purpose...... Or a child delighting in the rainbow colours floating on the breeze as he blows through the ring his uncle gave him - a surprise present, in the park, for his birthday...... You see all these previous conditions?
Nothing appears in a vacuum. Dependent origination--a chain of causality. But we can wear it lightly, not like leg-irons!
Q: And when bubbles pop, what goes where?
A: Wrong question; it doesn't matter. The context will continue, more bubbles form, just as thoughts rise and fall in the mind. They're not destroyed. It's not Armageddon, this rising and falling, but there will be a future from where you're looking--you just don't know what it is yet.
Everything begins and ends from your looking: that's the centre--for you, for each of us. It's the place of origin of the chain of causation, and the ending of it.
Which is why I keep turning your attention to the place you are looking from, resonating from, feeling from. Symbols are great tools because they evoke it, bypassing the Thinker and burrowing into the soft flesh of the psyche. (Oooooh--what an image!)
One of the structural principles of Causation is that every happening is an interplay of 3 forces: the initiating, the responding, and the unifying. Identifying these at work is Higher Intellect. It works together with Higher Emotion, each capacity fine-tuning the other. Attention to abstract principles such as how three forces interact in life, will cultivate this kind of Intellect.