“I did not discover relativity by rational thinking alone.” – Albert Einstein
Image courtesy of Alicepopkorn
Creativity is the vehicle by which we achieve much in life. We are often creative when we resolve business negotiations, when we solve problems, when we somehow organize a group of friends to all meet together for a night out, when we cook a meal and when we experience new spiritual insights. Creativity can be a great source of joy for us. It opens up new possibilities and allows us to make sudden leaps in many different aspects of our lives.
Creativity extends far beyond limited disciplines such as the fine arts of drawing, painting, sculpting, literature and music. To limit one’s notion of creativity would in itself be decidedly uncreative. The scope of creative activity is practically infinite.
What is Creativity?
Creativity can be defined as the discovery of new meaning or a new context of thinking. Notice how this definition is purely non-material. Creativity is something that happens within consciousness and only afterwards does the product of creativity eventually become manifest in material reality. As conscious human beings we are each potentially powerful forces of creation.
Creativity usually finds expression in a product. There are two key modes of creative expression. The more commonly recognized mode is outer creativity. Examples of outer creativity are art, music, literature, and new laws of science. The less commonly recognized mode of creative expression is inner creativity. It is also much more subtle. Examples include a happier and more holistic way of being, the transformation of the contexts in which we live, becoming more loving in one’s life and placing less conditions upon that love.
Thus creativity is immensely important in the process of further self-development. For example the very name of a particular form of Buddhist meditation is Insight Meditation. The aim of this type of meditation is to uncover insights into the nature of reality. The resultant “Aha!” moments of inner creativity are an immensely powerful impetus for personal growth and development.
What is the Creative Process?
Amit Goswami, in his fantastic book – The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist’s Guide to Enlightenment – shares some very interesting thoughts on the nature of creativity. Goswami is a theoretical nuclear physicist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon. He appeared in the popular movie What the Bleep Do We Know?
In his book Goswami explains that all creativity occurs in a process of four stages. First is preparation. This may include gathering all available data regarding a particular issue. Second is incubation or unconscious processing. This allows the unconscious to process thoughts without collapsing them. That is, allowing thoughts to spread in possibility and thus give one many more options from which to choose.
Third is the moment of insight, or the “Aha!” experience. This represents a discontinuous quantum leap in thought, the collapse of the quantum wave function to a creative solution when consciousness selects from among the propagated possibilities. The final stage is manifestation. The new creative insight is expressed in the lived life.
How Can We Become More Creative?
As I mentioned at the beginning creativity is a powerful force in our lives. It is through creativity that we can achieve what it is we want in life. However, there will always be roadblocks on the path to our dreams. If we do not posses the necessary persistence to avoid despair we will give up. We will fail to take the time to allow our unconscious to process possible solutions to the roadblocks.
This is important because quantum physics tells us that it is consciousness that will collapse any single solution. The more time we give ourselves to allow possibilities to propagate the further along the possible paths of solution our unconscious can travel. The further our unconscious travels the more creatively discontinuous the solution. To be able to do this we need to be both totally committed to our dreams and calm.
Calmness allows for the exercise of free will to select from the multitude of possibilities in the quantum wave of pure potential. In calmness there is a slowing down and a shifting of consciousness away from immediate local signals. This allows our consciousness to expand and the gap between thought and action increases. A freer exercise of choice and thus creativity becomes possible.
Meditation is one way we can deepen our sense of calmness and openness to life. A consistent meditation practice will begin to manifest many positive effects in day-to-day life. During meditation practice sessions one regularly enters into states of deep calm. In this way we can learn to remain calm in the face of day-to-day stresses outside of our meditation practice.
Openness is the image of Heaven.
Calm is the image of earth.
When open, one accepts all.
When calm, one perceives all.
When open, one can accept people.
When calm, one can deal with events.
When openness and calm are practiced for a long time,
Our heart is clear.
Open acceptance and calm is how Sages achieved,
The Tao of Heaven and Earth.
– The Book of Balance & Harmony, Li Tao-ch’un, 12th century
What are your thoughts on creativity? Please share them in the comments below.
This article was written by Stephen Cox. Stephen writes daily at Balanced Existence where he shares the knowledge and insights gained from his personal journey of holistic health and wellbeing.