Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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The Urge to Create

I am blessed to have some very creative LJ friends. There are photographers, parents, writers, jewelry makers, painters, organizers, teachers, musicians, theologians, philosophers and body workers. It is a pretty amazing group.

The common thread of these people is their desire to create. I now believe that there is an innate drive for humans to create. Somewhere I read that the basic requirements for living were shelter and warmth. These will keep a person alive, but this is not enough to truly thrive. At some level the full expression of existence demands a form of personal expression. The stamp of "I AM" is programmed into our beings. The suppression of this urge is done at the detriment of the individual. The outlet of this urge promotes the growth of the individual.

Life is a play of polarities. The polar relation of creativity is destruction. The combination of the two is transformation. This duly acknowledged, I will cover the creation/destruction relation in another article. Another polarity is the inward/outward relation. While creativity has a rightful role in both inward and outward expression, I believe that the most manifesting is the outward. I am informed of this by my own observations of human nature. Creativity is most satisfactory when there is the possibility of recognition by others. Just knowing that somebody, some day, will see the result of creativity is enough to satisfy this need. There is a hair to split here. I speak of the recognition of the creative act. The ego's part in this is ancillary. Yes, some people do like to have their egos stroked in recognition of creative output, but this is not the norm. Most recognition happens outside of awareness of the ego of that recognition. The ego's chasing of recognition can be categorized as a sickness. In my estimation, this would destroy the creative urge, crippling the spirit of the person. Fortunately, the majority of people pursue recognition with a spirit of giving to an unseen "public". However unconscious, outward expression is the prevalent mode for creativity.

This is a good place to introduce my "wall-paper" theory. Humans crave change and contrast. The human attention is transitory, seeking fresh sights and sounds for it's delight. The continuous viewing of one object, no matter how beautiful, is not satisfactory to the human mind. The wall-paper of life must change. Those people who accept the same continuous stimuli are seen as deviant. We punish people by removing variety. Witness the modern penal system. We pity those, who by disease or injury, are left in a vegetative state. Humans will resist being "wall-papered" by life. To keep sanity and soul, people will create in any way that they can.

The need to create something is the source of the shadow of creativity. People will seek some expression of themselves. The suppression of this has the same results as pushing the air out of one end of a tubular balloon. The air will go to the other end of the length. Just as there is no way to completely flatten a balloon, the human desire to create cannot be completely squelched. The balloon can be flattened by popping it, allowing all air to escape. Sadly, this is the malevolent path that people do take to quiet the output of others. Those merely suppressed, by focused authority or environment, will find a way to create. The outcome can be reactive, violent and destructive. The greater the suppression, the greater the eventual explosion. The platitude of "live with it" or "get over it" is not enough. Creativity will happen. The serial killer is an artisan in his own right. The mob riot is a song of rage. It is incumbent on us, as a family and society, to recognize the needs while they are small and benign. The proper channeling of creation can prevent the shadow from fully expressing it's darkness.

Darkness does have a place in creation. There is a tremendous power stored in the shadow. Several years I was told that I should be writing. At that time I struggled mightily with thoughts of madness and death. I told myself, "I cannot write of what I know. Who wants to hear about madness?". Now I do write. My own shadow is still there. Now the darkness informs my writing, adding wisdom and insight. There are artists who's works are simultaneously very dark, even as they peers into the depths of the human experience. Sometimes it is difficult to look, read or listen to these creations. This is OK. The artist is creating for themselves and for those who are capable of sharing the vision. Deep down, the darkest of works are created with the mantra of "somebody will see this, somebody will recognize this". I will write more about shadow another time. For now, I will say that shadow is crucial part of creation. Without the darkness, there cannot be light.

The thought that originally peaked my interest in creativity was the apparent disparity of numbers between those who create and those who consume. Commercial interests create movies, books, and television shows. We, the consumer, sit back and take in the results of their work. The commercial pursuits come with the hooks of social manipulation. Advertisements are accepted as a necessary evil of the media. The partaking of non-advertising forms of entertainment involves a surcharge. Books and movies come at an additional monetary price. Anyway, this is another article also. The point is that I thought about the ratio of creative people to consumers. On the surface, the difference seemed dire. Then I considered that creation was a human drive. We all create in some way. The commercial pursuits are merely the $$$ driven top of the iceberg. The recognition of the talents of my LJ friends brought home the realization that there is an incredible output of ideas, art, music and life. Many among us turn their backs on the commercial creations. The fruits of their denial are a blossoming of their own creative pursuits. There is no true disparity of numbers, as we do all create in our own ways.

"In the beginning God created heaven and earth." So says Genesis 1:1. I say that God is still creating the heaven and the earth. We stare into the same void. We maintain our sanity and soul by seeing the void as a place of potential. What are we to do on this earth? What is our purpose? Merely create the best you can. On the sixth day, you too will say, "behold, it was very good".
Tags: creativity, divinity

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