Thursday 17 November 2022

Why is it so difficult to find a creative path - day by day, year by year...?

It is my impression that most people are deeply frustrated by life because they neglect their own creative needs. 

I am aware that these creative needs are more powerful in me, and always have been, than in most; and that I am more-than-usually aware of them. Yet, so far as I can see, everybody has them - and they are usually utterly-starved, indeed wilfully so. 

Perhaps because it is so difficult to find our own creative path - exactly because it must be our own - it is common to react by a kind of aggressive refusal to try, and a determination that neither shall anyone else be allowed to try. 

This attitude is revealed in the single-minded triviality of so much social life, conversation and activities (including almost all of the content of social media); and by both the content of mass media (lying 'news', dull-celebrity, incredibly-stupid gossip etc.) and by the avidity with which most people consume it. 

To me; this is revelatory of a harshly fanatical attempt not-to-think, to intoxicate and overwhelm oneself with analgesic stimulation. 

Even among spiritual people; it is obvious that most seek an analogous state of crushed-self, not-thinking, anti-creating... indeed, there are large and vigorous strands of Christianity that are strongly set-against individual creativity; and even in the mainstream it is assumed that permissable creativity must take-place within a narrow-mesh web of rigid constraint - if it is not to be demonized as demonic.  

My view is that as Children of God with agency; we just-are creators - however partially and imperfectly: and this represents much (not all) of what is divine in us. 

Furthermore, it is what God most wishes from us; as indicated in the Fourth Gospel when Jesus describes his disciples as Friends, and not as Servants. 

I understand this to show that Jesus wants to work-with Men who have taken-on the same kind of primary creative agency as he himself had; and as God has. 

Therefore, we should not and cannot be contented with a life in which our own creation is annihilated - and this discontent will not be ignored nor suppressed.

Yet it is difficult to find one's own creativity! Difficult on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour basis; and difficult in a strategic (year-by-year) sense. So difficult that it takes up a great deal of effort for relatively little result!

Why so difficult - if it is a divinely-ordained task? 

First; because our mortal lives are for learning, primarily - rather than sustained and complete achievement (which is, anyway, impossible in this entropic world).

(However; even partial and intermittent creative success is taken-up eternally, when we are resurrected into Heaven - so it is certainly 'worth doing'.)

But the core difficulty is because each us us is strictly unique in terms of our creative potential, circumstances, and needs. 

Nobody else can tell us what we ought to do, beyond making suggestions; and there is no short-cut to discovering it. 

We may have helpful hunches, and can work from innate disposition and availabilities; but that learning method we term trial-and-error, with monitoring and a willingness to repent and correct, is the only possible strategy.    

That is what seems to be required; and therefore it is required that each man and woman will need to make honest effort to satisfy their own creative needs; or else fail in this very important job of mortal life. 

And this must be undertaken as often as possible; in the here and now, time and again - as well as across the arc of mortal life. 


Jack said...

The Ahrimanic work culture is an enormous part of it. People accept soul-crushing drudgery as the essence of life, even going so far as to see dissenters from this view as childish and immature. This crushes the self-confidence and self-appreciation essential to creativity.

I see it in my mum, who is always happiest whenever she's doing something creative but ends up putting herself down with meaningless, arbitrary perfectionism & holding herself to external standards; and is constantly depressed by the thought that soon she'll have to go back to exhausting herself at work, which gives her a bleak view of life in general.

Creativity is still possible even in the conditions of an industrial and post-industrial society, however. I have a poetry collection called Iron Moon, English translations of contemporary poetry written by Chinese workers; despite its mostly bleak subject matter, the energy and quality of the poetry is excellent. And this in the midst of one of the most aggressively Ahrimanic societies.

Jack said...

Speaking of creativity, and poetry in particular, reading your post today inspired me to finish off this little poem. It's something of a Brexit and anti-EU poem, though still topical/relevant as it describes the European situation as it stands. I've put it in a presentable image form you can see here—

The figure in the background is Concordia...
My poem isn't fantastic literarily speaking, but I think it's enjoyable enough and has a deeper meaning than is first apparent.

Bruce Charlton said...

@J - I don't mean creativity to be understood in the restricted sense that is usual - arts and sciences etc.; which are very much concerned with material manifestations for public consumption.

Ultimately, creativity means something much more like thinking from our true selves - Barfield's Final Participation, or what I term Primary Thinking. It relates essentially to the spirit and divine creation.

cae said...

@Bruce - You know, I can totally understand that a person's engagement in/results of "thinking from our true selves"/"Primary Thinking" might likely be something deeply personal or 'between him and God'...

...But honestly, I would be extremely grateful if there were a description, of some particular instance of your own engaging in such "thinking" creativity, which you would be willing to share as a specific example of 'process/results' (so to speak).

Because, while I comprehend the concept in intuitively abstract terms - I simply cannot even imagine the 'how' of 'implementing' this sort of '"true selves", "Primary Thinking" "creativity"' -
- so, even to the slightest degree, some distinct description of a practical nature (the 'doing' of it/what it 'looks' like) would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you,

Bruce Charlton said...

@Carol - My best advice would be to word-search this blog for these phrases; and see if there is anything among the posts I have already written that helps to clarify things.