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On Creativity

The Creative Process

In childhood, our dreams, art and play carry weight. Our attention flitters between our inner imagination and the outer world. We experience emotions clearly, and feel what we do and do not want. As adults, this creative process can become muddled. Art becomes something that is silly or perfectionist. There is pressure to fit in to social groups as an adolescent, and into roles of provider, worker, citizen, as adult. Often we adopt roles, rather than carving out our own.

But we are – each of us – beautiful creations made by God. In His/Her own image, we are co-creators. We have a profound impact on ourselves, each other, and our environment. There is worth in diving into our own richness, into the messy areas of our minds, emotions, bodies.

Art is a great tool for self discovery and enrichment. In this day of mass production and specialization, it is refreshing to have a hand in a creative process from inception to culmination. Even if it is simply baking bread, we smell the yeast, tense our muscles as we roll, see the smooth curve of the tanned crust as it rises.

Our thoughts are allowed to wander during the creative process, and it is beneficial to listen. As we attune to our inner life, we may hear a myriad of voices, including the well-known inner critic. Like a teacher calling on children with raised hands, we can choose which voices to listen to, and when.

The Creativity Movement

There is a creativity movement afoot. Individuals seek stress relief through yoga, guitar lessons, and clay modeling, while corporations seek innovative workers with team-building and lateral thinking workshops. Many activities are a result of the meeting of Eastern and Western Worlds – martial arts, feng shui, meditation. What once was foreign is becoming commonplace.

Society is speeding up its rate of change. The internet and globalization are heating up competition. Ideas travel faster. “Mix up” and “Mash up,” current hip words, refer to musical and visual art sampling and combinations of existing elements. It’s a sort of popularity contest for globalization. Will homogenization be the result? Will we allow the current dominant elements—dark, sharp, crude and cruel video games—to win? How do we honor tradition and give it a proper place? Can we converse clearly about which cultural elements are important to us, and which we can do without? In doing so, could we replace war, a blunt tool which fights for a total win of the cultural struggle?

Look at the structures and interiors we build now. Some beautiful, graceful. Many boring and blocky. Think about the workplace from which ideas are built— too much complacency, depression, inefficiency. How many workers are enabled to shut their eyes, envision, and create? How much of our earthly creation is inspired by God, and how much is done with our eyes and hearts closed?

Research at the nano-scale, or very smallest levels at which humans can interact, will allow a revolution in materials and biologies. Like Legos, we will grow our tools, environments, perhaps even our selves. Like the rapid change we have experienced with computers and information technology, we will experience bewildering growth in our creative powers. The mindset from which we create will become far more important.


May we find our vision, learn our way, define our path, and meet our purpose.