last twenty years or so, spiritual/new age authors have sent this
to readers: "You have something broken about you and I can fix
a newer, truer message must be heard: "You are here to deliver
a beautiful gift to
the world - and it's a gift that benefits everyone. Remember it,
and get on with it."
only skin deep, yeah yeah yeah...
COLLOQUIAL TERMS, we use the word creativity to mean
that someone has the gift of artistry. It describes the ability
to think up new or unusual ways of doing things - decorating a
home, painting a picture, solving a problem, etc. The spiritual
definition differs slightly. If you have Creativity in your garment,
you actually think differently and see the world through a unique
lens. You don't just juxtapose old ideas or objects in a new way
- you develop NEW ideas and objects.
From The Invisible Garment:
Moon in Creativity
You are a master of developing new ideas, thought patterns and
designs. This may take many manifestations in your life. You
may be an artist or a designer, you may be a revolutionary politician
or personal guidance worker, or you may simply be eccentric.
The thing you need to know about yourself is that our most trustworthy
quality is your unique ability to reinvent yourself and the
world around you. Until you have a real grasp of this aspect
of yourself, you may be very lonely, because you think differently
from most people. You are much more interested in new ways and
new ideas than you are in status quo. That makes school and
standards ways of learning boring for you. However, when you
do find teachers whether academic or life teachers) who recognize
Creativity as a positive quality, you will shine.
If you want to allow Creativity to live through you, you must
develop the habit of emptying your mind. My friend, poet Betty
Luceigh describes Creativity not as a quality, but as a realm:
To enter the Creative Realm,
you must leave behind everything
Otherwise, when you exit, you will have nothing.
This idea corresponds to my never-ending warning against programming
your dreams. Many dream teachers ask their students to actually
set an intention before going to sleep, so that they will dream
the solution to a problem, for example. I suggest that if you
try to program the dream, you limit the possibilities of the dream
realm. Dreaming is itself an act of Creativity, if and only if
you enter the dream realms fully prepared to receive without expectation
of what you may experience.
So it is with Creativity. New ideas and forms don't come from
rearranging old ones. They spring spontaneously from an artesian
well of possibility. With Creativity in your garment you have
learned to place your mind in the flow of that well and allow
new ideas to take seed therein.
Creativity, in other words, requires a touch of insanity. One
cannot clutch to old ideas and be creative. One cannot demand
to be in control and be creative. One cannot be fearful of change
and be creative. Creativity requires mental freedom in order to
merge with the not-yet - the formlessness of potential.
Let's look at three people who hold Creativity as the primary
thread in their invisible garments: The Dalai Lama, Walt Disney,
and Werner Erhard.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, certainly lives
the principle of Creativity. I love to listen to him speak, especially
when he is being interviewed, because his spontaneity and simplicity
speak louder than his words. He never fails to amaze me with his
answers to difficult questions. He knows how to purify any complexity
down to its most essential components. Because of the time he
spends in meditation, which requires empty mind, that flow of
formless potential runs through his consciousness without being
dammed. One senses when listening to him speak, that he has no
fear, no need to control, no tension in his heart. Creativity
pours through his every sentence.
Walt Disney, of course, mastered Creativity.
Disney is quoted to have said, "It takes courage to accomplish
anything." He truly feared nothing. He pioneered every category
of the entertainment industry that he entered: animation, multiple
layered camera techniques, techni-color, theme parks. Interestingly,
late in his life he stated that the thing he wanted to be remembered
for was founding the California Institute of the Arts, an unparalleled
college-level program for artists of all media, with a completely
innovative approach to artistic training. Possibly more than any
contemporary artist, Disney had the ability to flow into the future
(the not-yet) and come back to the present with ideas and forms
that would carry humanity toward a world of hope, imagination,
peace, and lovable mice!
Werner Erhard was a "mouse of a different color."
His personal journeys and self-investigations gave birth to EST,
a process which resulted in individual and organizational transformation
for thousands of clients. This innovation in thinking helped shape
an era of world-wide social and cultural change in the 1970's.
He is quoted to have said that through EST (Erhard System Training),
personal transformation creates a clear distinction between changing
an existing model and creating an entirely new model. Creativity
certainly got its chance to live in our culture through its emissary,
What a perfect definition of Creativity: an activity which creates
an entirely new model.
While very few of us will allow Creativity to express itself through
us as clearly as The Dalai Lama, Walt Disney, and Werner Erhard,
anyone who has Creativity in his or her garment carries a unique
opportunity to create an entirely new model. I often
borrow Brian Swimme's phrase: we are living in a crisis of imagination.
Virtually all the "problems" our world faces stem from our own
errors and our lack of imagination. We humans fit ourselves much
too easily and infinitely too willingly into old boxes. Creativity
needs to be unleashed in our cultures. New forms, new concepts,
new paradigms need to be unveiled.
If you have Creativity in your contract, take a deep look at your
Do you think too small?
Do you empty your mind often enough?
Do you allow new ideas to seed themselves in your mind?
Do you have the courage to express Creativity in your life?
Your gift to the planet is more important than you can imagine.
Unleash yourself! Let the Creativity take you to new heights.
If you do not have it in your life, find people who do wear Creativity
in their garments. One of our most important "jobs" in this world
is to support people in living authentically. Find ways to strengthen
the birth of our new dream by supporting Creativity in your community.
Let me close with a story.
Steve Chen and Chad Hurley had taken their digital film camera
to a dinner party. They made a short film and wanted to share
it with the guests. They became frustrated, because they felt
that they SHOULD be able to share it via the Internet. No matter
what they tried, they found the process too complicated. Eventually
they stopped trying to make the existing technology do what they
wanted, and instead invented a software that would allow them
to send the video to their friends.
Every guest at the party loved the idea of sharing home videos
via the Internet. At first it was just this small group who shared.
Then they began telling their friends, and like wildfire, the
idea spread. The technology had to expand to meet the demand for
Chan and Hurley officially launched YouTube just a few months
later, in December 2005. By June 2006 (six months later) the site
had become so popular that about 60,000 videos were uploaded daily.
Fifty million videos are posted on the site at any given time,
They tried to use what already existed. It didn't work. Creativity
awakened in them and they not only developed a new idea and a
new form, but it became one of the most popular trends in recent
history. Some of the videos uploaded are, of course, embarrassing
and silly. Some are nothing more than visual blogs (although many
of those are brilliant.) But most are beautiful artistic sharings.
YouTube became a completely new venue for film artists who have
no other outlet.
That's what I'm talkin' about! Creativity, when allowed to speak,
brings unexpected, delightful results.
© Connie Kaplan, 2006