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What is true creativity?

What is true creativity? And how is it different from that which is
celebrated in popular culture? What is generally called creativity
is mostly man-made: painting, music, literature, both romantic and
factual, all the architecture, the marvellous technology, and all
those who are involved in all this, the painters, the writers, the
poets, the philosophical writers, probably consider themselves as
creative. A nd we all seem to agree with them. That’s the popular
idea of what is a creative person.

Do you agree to that? I think we all see that, that all man-made
things most beautiful, the great cathedrals, temples and Islamic
mosques, some of them are extraordinarily beautiful. I don’t know if
you have seen them, and if you have, they are really marvellous…
And the people who built these were anonymous, we don’t know who
built them. They were only concerned with building, writing, the
bible, and all that. Nobody knows who wrote them. But now, with us,
anonymity is almost gone. And perhaps in anonymity, there is a
different kind of creativity.

It is not based on success, money, and twenty eight million books
sold in ten years, and so on and so on. The speaker himself at one
time tried anonymity because the speaker doesn’t like all this
fussand nonsense. He tried to talk behind a curtain! And it
becamerather absurd. So anonymity has great importance. In that
there isa different quality, different - this personal motive
doesn’t exist, the personal attitudes and personal opinions, it is a
feeling of freedom from which you are acting. But most creativity,
as we call it, is man-made. That is, this creation takes from the

Right? You know the great musicians, Beethoven, Bach and so on, it
is from the known they act. And the writers, philosophers and so on,
also have read, accumulated, developed their own style and so on,
always moving, acting or writing from that which has been
accumulated, known. And this we call, generally, creativity. Now is
that really creative? Please, let’s talk about it. Or is there a
different kind of creativity which is bornout of the freedom from
the known? You understand my question?

Because when we paint, write, create a marvellous structure out of
stone, it is the accumulative knowledge, whether in the scientific
field or in the world of art, human art, there is always this sense
of carrying from the past to the present. Or imagination, romantic,
factual, moral and so on. Is there creativity that is something
totally different from this activity that we call generally
creativity? You are following? We are asking, and I think it is
rather an important question to go into, if you are willing, whether
there is an action, there is a living, there is a movement, which is
not from the known. That is, is there a creation from a mind that is
not burdened from all the turmoils of life, from all the social
pressures, economic and so on, is there a creation out of a mind
that has freed itself from the known?

And it can then use memory. You understand? Knowledge. But we start
with knowledge and that we call creative. But we are suggesting that
there is a creativity which is not born out of the known. When that
creative impulse, or move ment takes place, it can then use the
known. But not the other way round. I don’t know if you are
following what I am saying. If you don’t mind some time, try, or
find out whether the mind can ever be free from the known - the
known being all the accumulative experience, remembrance, the
knowledge that one has acquired, the impressions and so on, if the
mind can be free from all that. And in that very state of mind
creation as we know it may not be necessary.

You understand? A man who has a talent for writing feels he must
express himself, he develops his own style, the way he writes,
Keats, and so on and the others, they have this impulse to fulfil,
create. Perhaps their own lives are not all that beautiful - like
Michelangelo, Raphael and all those people. Sorry to quote these
names, I am not learned but I have visited many museums when I was
young, I was pushed into it and all that, and the remnants of all
that remains.

And I have talked to a great many artists, writers, friends and so
on. It seems to me that all our creation in the scientific world,
knowledge, human art, it always from a point, from a talent, from a
gift, and that gift is exploited to its fullest extent. Like a
musician who has a gift, a protege, he becomes tremendously
important. And we common people admire all that and wish we had some
of that. As we haven’t got it we run after them, we almost worship
them - the conductors, you know the game that goes on.

And when you begin to question what is creativity, as the questioner
is asking, is it something totally different, which I think we all
can have. Not the specialists, not the professionals, not the
talented, gifted, I think we can all have this extraordinary mind
that is really free from all the burden which man has imposed upon
himself, created for himself.

And then out of that sane, rational, healthy life, something totally
different comes. And that may not necessarily be expressed as in
painting, architecture; why should it? You follow? If you have gone
into this fairly deeply, and I hope you will, you will find out that
there is a state of mind which actually has no experience whatsoever.

Because experience implies a mind that is still groping, asking,
seeking, and therefore struggling in darkness, and wanting to go
beyond it. But a mind that is very clear, not confused, has no
conflict, has no problem. You understand? Has no problem.

You try it. Such a mind has no need to express, talk - I am talking,
sorry! The speaker is talking not because he wants to impress you, or
anything of that kind, which is too silly, or persuade you to
certain attitudes, opinions and judgements, it is a kind of friendly
communication with two people who are concerned with all this
enormous complex life, who haven’t found a complete total answer to
all this. And there is a complete and total answer if we apply our
minds, our hearts to this. So there is a creativity which is not
man-made. Don’t please say, that is god-made, that has no meaning
either, because if our own minds are extraordinarily clear, without
a shadow of conflict then that mind is really in a state of
creation, which needs no expression, no fulfilment, all that
publicity and nonsense.

Barring writing what would amount to an academic dissertation on
this subject - hardly appropriate on a jewelry making forum:

creativity could be defined as expressing one’s perspective,
impressions or conceptualization of something tangible, intangible or
ethereal through the media of ones choosing; Simply - making
something new and different without constraint for which there is no
absolute, authoritative definition nor standardised measurement of
one’s unique product.

if you desire an objective academic discussion Wikipedia has a
fairly concise and frequently edited entry on divergent approaches to
the question, and a good bibliography from various academic genres
and leading world-wide scholars that explore the fabric of
creativity’s etymology, philosophy, interpretation and speculation.

Or is there a different kind of creativity which is bornout of the
freedom from the known? You understand my question? 

Well, Varsha, now you went and did it. One of those questions that
goes on endlessly. Usually fun, though…

I believe it was Kierkegaard who postulated that no human can reach
farther than the collective consciousness. He or she might be in the
forefront in some way, might be ahead of the crowd, but nobody can
just pop up with Star Wars technology out of thin air. We are all a
product of the human condition in the time we live. I would steer
you to Zen and the Tao for guidance in the thoughts you discuss. It
concerns itself with the nature of man, conciousness and nature and
how it all fits together quite well. That’s what Zen is - the
philosophy of consciousness and the universe as humans occupy and
perceive it.

Personally, I do understand your question. I would define freedom
from the known as death, though.

My truest creative moments happen when I quietly listening to
infinite intelligence and creative divine mind. The secret is


i believe firmly that true creativity can be learned. i believe
creativity can be nutured through trial and error and learning to
ask the appropriate questions of the most importantly relative person
that is present with you at all times wherever you go. i believe
inspiriation is a formula that is 99% persperation and 1% ethereal
other stuff. i also believe most people are lazy and want the
answers given to them, which is why there are so many who finish
thier educational pursuits with out posession of the ability to think
thier way out of a paper bag, remember you are paying the system to
present you with not the know ledge to teach yourself how
to think .

best regards

Its when your feminine and masculine sides work together.

as in…“This mud hut could use a little sprucing up Dear” Fast
forward a few thousand years…The Chrysler Building.

Could you have the Chrysler Building without first having the Mud
Hut? I don’t believe Man is capable of the Big Bang, if that was your

Maybe creativity is inspiration powered by determination. I don’t
know that there’s anything ‘true’ about it. It just is. It either
succeeds or fails. Or both.

Hey Coit,

My truest creative moments happen when I quietly listening to
infinite intelligence and creative divine mind. The secret is

Sometimes the short answer is the best, Keep listening.

Jo T

I must admit that I found the question a little difficult to follow
as it was rather long, but I persevered to the end.

Our creativity is the result of our experiences, based on things we
like, or a reaction against things we don’t like, combinations of
all sorts of things our minds put together, creating concepts,
shapes, etc that definitely come from what is known.

To create from the unknown, from a completely empty mind would need
some sort of hypnotism to temporarily delete all our thoughts and
experiences - and then we might come up with something interesting,
or we might not come up with anything at all as there is no point of
reference from which to be creative. We are not God and so I don’t
believe personally that it is possible to be creative from the
unknown - that’s if I understood your question correctly.

Does that make sense?


Anything new. Anything that would not exist without you there to
have made it. Any designer is creative, but so is a mother who just
figured out a way to explain why it gets dark at night or a
programmer who just figured out a way to slice 10 clock cycles off
the main program loop. I doubt if there’s anyone who hasn’t, at one
time or another in their life, been creative. AS far as art goes, my
favorite saying was off a coffee mug offered by the Wire Artist

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art lies in
knowing which ones to keep”