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The Nature Of....Creativity

The Nature of….Creativity

Creativity is, as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it - a ‘form of enchantment’. The nature of this enchantment is so unique and filled with endless possible expressions that you can’t help but inspire (i.e, take a deep breath) when you feel it.

Even so, the true nature of creativity can be evasive - what exactly IS it? Is creativity a thought? Is it a feeling? Is it the action that results from the feeling? Is it the ‘end product’ of the feverish urge to write, paint, draw, sing, make or CREATE in whatever way it chooses to make itself known to us?

The nature of creativity I feel begins from a very deep place within, but at the same time - it is light and airy, and extremely free. It’s the vehicle on which the innate longing of the soul to be seen, heard, and understood travels from deep within the heartspace out into the world. It represents the nature of love, the same urges which spur us on to make the first move on a love interest urging the artist to clear off the table and unearth the long-forgotten paintbrushes.

Bhakti yoga is the yoga (union) with this very form of desire - the aspect of practice which delves into the beginning nudges of the very innate human urges of the soul to exist, to thrive, and to create. To simply exist is not the way of Bhakti. Bhakti requires us to befriend - to court - those deeper facets of emotion and desire which ultimately are the origins of our being.

Because creativity is desire. Desire is creativity. The two are intertwined & inseparable. The desire to grow, to expand, to pro-create, to push our cells & DNA into the future and ensure they LIVE on - this is all at the root of creative urges. Regardless of where the initial desire to create might seem to stem from - underlying all of creative inspiration is a deep love and longing to preserve & evolve life. There’s a reason creativity dries up when we are depressed - that longing to preserve & sustain life has dried up too. Igniting creativity, finding something to be EXCITED about pursuing, and then directing all of our lifeforce energy & awareness (with the help of meditation) towards it, leads to the natural reversal of the conditions which create depressed or low states.

In Yogic thought, the Swadhistana chakra (sacral chakra) is the creative centre, the hub of these creative urges, of cohesion & covalence. In the physical body, this is LITERALLY where new life begins. Two separate entities becoming one - and isn’t that what creative work asks us to do? To recognise the links, the connections between two previously ‘disconnected’ things (quotation marks as all things are connected), and then to create the conditions for them to merge together?

In many ways it feels like creativity is our last available avenue for exploring intuitive wisdom - the more disconnected we are as a society from ourselves and our true nature, the less likely it is that our creations will hold any weight at all. It’s interesting too to think about the fact that in a way, all creative work is essentially non-original. By drawing together existing concepts and ideas, we’re simply forming connections - not conjuring brand new matter out of the air. The connection or association might be new - those few notes of a song might never have been used together in exactly THAT order, in exactly THAT rhythm, in exactly THAT key - but as musical notes are limited to the basic 12-note scale structure we know (just as language is limited to the letters of the alphabet), in a way creativity is still bound by the very structures we use to express it.

In this way, the nature of creativity is the same as the nature of connective tissue in the body - it is the cohesive bond which holds separate parts together, bringing structure, meaning & integrity to otherwise completely separate & isolated parts.

Lastly, the nature of creativity is also to challenge habitual thinking - to ask us, kindly, patiently, to consider that MAYBE there is another way of viewing the world, or the particular situation at hand. It asks us to look beyond the pathways our minds have carved out for us to think, the ones which have been laid out for us, and to explore what lies beyond them - not in fear of, but in curiosity and dedication to the incredible potential that we have as the residents of human bodies - if only we embraced it.

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