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Chapter2:Creativity,Genius

Creativity,Genius
Creativity
1

Thetrueselfisthecreativecentrewithinus.
2

ThecreativemindbringsforththeEternalPresentoutoftheunlimitedtheordinarymind
bringsforthmereechoesoutofitslimitedpastexperiencesalone.
3

Aworkiscreativeifitisoriginallyconceived,thatis,iftheprocessofgivingitsbasic
andfundamentalideasbirthisanintuitive,illuminating,andinspirationalone.
4

Itisamistaketobelievethatthiscreativitycomesonlybyasuddenflash.Itmayalso
comebygraduateddegrees.Thedifferencedependsontheresistancemet.
5

Theoriginalcreativemindinitiatesitsownideas,butwheredotheycomefrom?You
mightaswellaskwheredoesallinspirationcomefrom.Therearedeeperlevelsofthe
humanconsciousnesswhichfeedtheinspiredpersonattimes.Itisbeyondemotionand
beyondthinking,althoughweexpressitspromptingsthroughthesethings.
6

Noartistreallycreatesanything.Allhecandoistotrytocommunicatetoothersinturn
whathasbeencommunicatedtohim.
7

Ifhesucceedsintransmittingthroughthemediumofhisworksomethingofthe
inspirationhereceives,behepriestorartist,heistrulycreative.
8

Atrueartistwillsearchforformsworthyofhisinspiration,itsbeautyandpower.
9

Thosewhowrite,paint,draw,compose,andsculptshouldbringtheircreationsfrom
spheresofinspirationwhichareradiantwithlight.Yettoomanydotheveryoppositeand
presentuswithmisshapenfigures,patterns,poems,andmusicalpieceswhichnullify
hope,meaning,andorderandenshroudgloom.
10

Thecreativepowerofman,workingthroughimaginationorsensitivity,hasbroughtto
birththemusicalcomposition,thepaintedpicture,thewrittennovel,andothergreat
formsofart.Theyaretheformswhichmovefeelingandinspireaction.
11

Theartistwhoisinspiredbynothinghigherthanthethirstfordollarsandcents,fameand
notoriety,powerandinfluence,willneverproducethehighestpossibleart.
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Itisthetaskofacreativethinkertogiveoutnewideas.
13

Thecreativefacultyshouldbecultivatedanddevelopedasbothagreataidto,andan
expressionof,spiritualgrowth.
14

Theprocessesofmeditationareanalogous,uptoacertainpoint,totheprocessesof
artisticcreation.
15

Theneedofselfexpressionincreativeeffortisparamountwiththeartist.Hisjobishis
joy.Thisinnerrelationshiptohisworkisimportantandsatisfying.
16

Itisnotenoughforthewriter,thepoet,thepainter,orthecomposerofmusictobe
original,forsomemenhavefoundoriginalformsofmurderandofrobbery.Moreover,
insanityhasnotseldompassedamongtheartistsfororiginality.Alsoithasbeen
associatedwithexhibitionismandwithneuroticism,withthedesireforpublicity,todraw
attentiontooneself.Inshort,itcanbeamaladyoftheego.Hewhoistrulyoriginallearns
tothinkforhimselfandespeciallytobeawareforhimselfresistingtheinfluences,the
suggestions,andthepressuresofhissurroundings.Allhumanbeingsaredestinedto
developuntiltheyacquirethiskindoforiginality,forthentheywillcomeclosetothe
fulfilmentofthemainpurposeofhumanexistence.
17

Originalityiscertainlyandeagerlytobewelcomed,butwhenitmeanssacrificing
everythingworthwhile,whenitsrevolutionisaggressiveonlyinordertosurprisebyits
uglinessorshockbyitscoarseness,whenitbecomesmeaninglesstotheaudienceand
insultingasasocalledartisticproduction,itoughttobefirmlyrejected.
18

Whyshouldwenotgiveagreatgeniusalittleextralatitudetobreaksociety'srules?Ina
fewyearshewillbegoneforeverbutthepowerofhisworkwillcontinuetoimpregnate
somanymindsforsolongatime.Anditisthisthatreallymatterstous,nothisbrief
peccadilloesorshortcomings.
19

Forthesakeofafewpossiblegeniuseswhomightappearamongthem,thehordesof
pseudo,mediocre,uninspired,oruntalentedartistshavetobeendured.Alas!wewait
andwaitfortheirmasterpieces.Mostperhapshaveashallowsincerity,beingyoungand
luredtoartasaseeminglyeasymeansofmakingalivingoracquiringfamebutthey
havetoolittleknowledge,norealcreativityatall,andonlyacapacityforimitation.This
explainswhytheirworklacksqualityandwillpassaway:animitatedeccentricityisnot
freshdiscoverynortruevisionoftheuniverse'sorder.
20

Theirselfconsciousattemptstoappearoriginalmayjustifycriticismbutatleastthey
showappreciationoftheideathatoriginalityiscreative,isaripplefromthehigherlevels
ofourbeing,issomethingtobeadmired,valued,andsoughtfor.
21

Tobecreativeinthefullsenseitisnotenoughtoputthethoughtintowords:thepicture
mustsummarizeandsuggestit.Bothmustgodeepdownandtouch,evendisappearinto,
theStillness.
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22

Tostimulatehiscreativityinwhateverfieldheengagesin,heshouldbringamoreloving
interestintoit.Forinstance,theartistwholoveshisworkislikelytobemorecreative
thantheonewhoengagesinitwithoutsuchfeeling.
23

Thetwothingswhichanyoneneedstobecomecreative,whetherinanyofthearts,
sciences,orcrafts,inprofessionalskills,orevenintheartoflivingitself,arefirst,the
instrument,andsecond,theinspiration.Technique,talent,abilityarenotenough.
Originality,freshness,greatpower,geniuscomefromabove.
24

Theartist,thewriter,orthecomposerwhofeelsthatheisgettingintohisstrideona
pieceofwork,feelsalsoanexultantjoy.
25

Anartisticproductionthatisreallyinspiredmustgivejoytoitscreatoratthetimeof
creationequallyastoitspossessor,hearer,orbeholder.Ifitdoesnot,thenitisnot
inspired.
26

Theimaginationcanpeopleaman'satmospherewithcreationsthataredevilishor
heavenly,candrawothermendownwardorliftthemupward.Beingacreativeartistdoes
notentitleanyonetocompletelicenseorjustifyhisclaimtobeingthehighesttype.There
areotherconsiderations.
27

Hisartismadeoutofhisinnerlife.Ifthatiscrooked,insane,orhorrible,ifthoughtsand
feelingsareinatangledmess,thenthepoems,pictures,ormusicwillcorrespondtoitand
bejustasdistortedorunbalanced.
28

Letamanwithdrawfarenoughfromtheactiveworldandtheimpetusforcreativework
willwithdrawwithhim.For,belongingnomoretothatlife,helosesinterestinit.
29

Itisnotonlythemysticandthemeditatorwhomaypassthroughadarknightofthesoul,
butalsotheartist.Hemayfindthathiscreativefacultyseemstohavedesertedhim.
Eitherhewilldonoworkatallordiscontinuewhathehasbeentryingtodoandchange
toadifferentworkinwhichhecansummonupaninterest.Heknowsthatonedaythe
phasewillpassandthismaybeinamatterofdays,weeks,ormonths.
30

Anothercauseofunequalvalueinproductions,ofdeteriorationinformandspirit,isthat
theartistorwritermayoutlivehiscreativepowers.
31

Thosesterileweeksareknownbyeveryartist,whenwordsaredraggedoutfromthepen
asthoughtheywereteeth,andwheninspirationturnsdisappointinglyintoamirage.
32

Mostofusknowthatinspirationflickersoritsimplydriesup.Atsuchtimestheobject
isusuallyputasideuntilthelightreturns.Thisprocedureisquitesensiblefromapractical
workingstandpoint.However,itignoresthefactthattherearelayersofconsciousness,
andthatwhenonelayerdriesup,it'sworthwhiletopenetratethedeeperoneforitexists.
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Genius,inspiration,technique
33

Geniusflashesfromfactstoconclusion,whileargumentslowlylaboursstepbystepin
sortingthemout.
34

Whatisitthatmanifestsitselfduringthecreativemomentsofgenius?Acurrentofforce
fromtheOverself!Itsinspirationactsasacatalyzer,thatis,itreleasesthecreative
imagination,whichsetstoworktoprovideanappropriateformforitsmanifestation.
35

ItisfromthislevelofconsciousnessjustbeforethatoftheOverselfthatallgreatartand
allgreatideasderive,presentingthemselvestotheconsciousmindasinspirationsor
intuitions.
36

AllgreatdramadidnotdiewithShakespeare,andallgreatphilosophyhasnotperished
withPlato.Perhapstherearebrightersoulsthantheirswaitingtobebornduringthis
century.Theinfinitestorehousewhencegeniusdrawsitswealthisnotlessinfiniteinthe
twentieththanitwasinthesixteenthcentury.
37

Thegeniusisbothreceptiveandexpressive.Whathegetsintuitivelyfromwithinhe
givesoutagainintheformsofhisartorskill.
38

Themostvaluablecontributionwhichanyartistorwritercanmaketotheworldistolet
himselfbecarriedawaybyinspiredmoodswhenhecangiveutterancetotheOverself's
voice,radiateitsbeauty,dispenseitswisdom,andshowitsbenignity.
39

Theartistmustraisethecupofhisvisionalofttothegodsinthehighhopethattheywill
pourintoitthesweetmellowwineofinspiration.Ifhisstaroffairfortunefavourshim
thatday,thenmusthesurrenderhislipstothesoftlureoftheambercoloureddrinkthat
setscareaflyingandrestorestothetonguetheforgottenlanguageofthesoul.Forthese
sibyllineinspirationsofhiscomefromaskythatisbrighterthanhisown,andhecannot
controlit.
40

Theinspiredindividualdoesnotneedtorehashanddeliverotherpeople'sideas.His
poweriscreativethroughhismedium,truthorbeautyarebornanew.
41

Hecreates,nottoexpresshissmallpersonalityassomanyothersdo,buttoescapefrom
it.Foritistothedivinewhichtranscendshim,whichisloftilyimpersonal,thathelooks
forinspiration.
42

Theinspiredmandoesnotworkinordertosubmithispagestothefinetasteanddelicate
noseoftheliterarycriticsnordoeshewritetoentertaintheboredortoprovidefresh
subjectsforthetittletattleofparlourandclub.HewritesbecauseheMUST.
43
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Thesupremelygiftedartistwhoworksprimarilyoutofpureloveofhisartwhetheritbe
writing,painting,ormusicratherthanoutofloveofitsrewards,sometimesapproaches
andarrivesatthissameconceptthroughanotherchannel.Suchageniusunconsciously
throwstheplumblineoffeelingintothedeepmysteryofhisbeing.Heisliftedbeyondhis
ordinaryselfathismostinspiredmoments.Hefeelsthatheisfloatinginadeeper
element.HereceivesintimationsofthepuretimelessrealityofMind,whosebeauty,he
nowdiscovers,hisbestworkshavevainlysoughttoadumbrate.Theflashofinsightis
grantedhim,althoughifheisonlyanartistandnotalsoaphilosopherhemaynotknow
howtoretainit.
44

Theactorwhoneverloseshisownegointhepersonageheisportrayingmaybeamanof
muchtalent,buthemaynotbeagenius.
45

Theartisthasthisadvantageovertheintellectual,thatherecognizessooner,obstructs
lessoften,andobeysmorequicklytheintuitiveprompting.
46

Iftheartistbecomestrulyinspiredhewillnotseektobringhorrortomenbutrather
beauty.Thiswillbesowhateverwayitshowsitselfcolour,sound,word,orform.The
finalstepisnotwithbeautyforitsownsakebutforwhatitpointsandleadstothe
beautifulConsciousnesswhichawaitsman,theinnerbeauty.
47

Ifhecomposes,paints,sculpts,orwritesasthelightwithinshowshimthethingor
thoughttobedepictednotasopinion,bias,oruntruthurgeshimhewillbetruly
inspired.
48

Thereisthisqualityaboutaninspiredwork,thatyoucancomebacktoitagainandagain
anddiscoversomethingfreshorhelpfulorbeautifulorbenedictory.
49

Suchaninspiredproductiongivesoutaformofenergywhichmakesthosewhocan
receiveitwithenoughsympathyfeelandseewhatitscreatorfeltandsaw.Thereisan
actualtransmission.
50

Theinspirationwillcometotheextentthatheletsgoofhimselfwhenheopensthepiano,
tothedegreethatheforgetsthatheistheartist,thewriter,whenhetakesupthebrush,
thepen.
51

Perhapsitisamatterofsustainedpowerofconcentration.Perhapsthegeniushasthis
abilitytomaintainsteadyandunbrokenconcentrationuponthepartplayedwithouta
breaksothatthoughtsofselfconsciousnessorofwhattheaudienceisthinkingdonot
havethepowertoenterin.Therefore,theartistwhohassuccessfullymasteredtheartof
meditationshouldbeabletotransferthequalitiessodevelopedtotheworkofcreationor
ofcompositioninhisartandthusattainastateofgenius.Fortositwithoutmoving,
intenselyconcentrated,heldcompletelybytheobjectofconcentration,isonewayof
providingpartofthenecessaryconditionsforartisticcreativity.
52

Hisobjectiveistoreceiveacommunicationwhoseinspirationremainspure,uncoloured,
andundistorted,whereastoomanyothersusetheirartasapretexttoputforwardthe
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twistedconstructionsorillusoryimaginationsoftheirownlittleegos.
53

Hewillexpresshimselfandhisaspirationsfullyonlywhenhe,hisbody,andhisthoughts
areunified.
54

Itwouldbehardtofindandstatenewmetaphysicalorspiritualtruthatthislatedateof
humanculture.Butabrilliantmindmaystateitinsuchanunexpectedandperceptive
wayastogiveittheforceofanewrevelation.
55

Artisticcompositionandproduction,aestheticstyleandmethod,involvetheartist's
freedomifheistodoreallyworthwhilecreativeworkoriginatinginhisowndeepest
innerlife,thatofhissecretspiritualidentity.Hemustbedeterminedtokeep
uncommitted.
56

Ifimaginationispermittedtowanderunbalanced,unchecked,totallyfree,itmayleadto
genius,inspiration,ortolunacy,disorder.
57

Sensitivityandpassivityareneededtoabsorbinspiration.Iftheyarenotinborn,theywill
havetobestudiedandcopiedforalongwhilebeforetheycanappearoftheirownaccord
andbetrulypersonal.
58

Thecreationsofinspiredartdeserveappreciationforthatwhichisbeyondtheirtechnical
excellence.
59

Heiseveralertforthatfaintbutfascinatingbeginningofanintuitivethought.
60

Thoseartproductionswhichemergefromthishigherstateofconsciousnesshavea
qualitywhichtheotherkindlack.
61

Whatevermediumanartistworkswith,whateversoundsorwordsorsights,and
whatevertechniquehedevelopsandapplies,hestillneedsbothconcentrationand
inspiration.
62

ApetcatoftensettledonthelongandbroadcuffofMuhammed'ssleevewhenhewas
writing,thusinterruptinghisworkinArabia,butabutterflyoccasionallysettledonthe
pencilofW.H.Davies,thetramppoet,andperhapsassistedhisversemakinginalittle
Kentishcottage.Yetwhoknows,thepausesofinactionmayhaveallowedMuhammedto
relapseintomeditationandthus,indirectly,assistedorenrichedthesubsequentwriting.
63

Thesingergiftedwithavoicewhichcanexaltandinspiremen,theartistendowedwitha
talentwhichcompelsthemtopauseandbehold,mayeachbeusedasachannelforthe
Overself.
64

Thequalityofsublimeinspirationdistinguishesthetrueartistfromthemeretechnician.
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65

Eventhemostinspiredmysticneedstechnicalskillanddevelopedintellecttoconveyhis
messageadequatelytohisreaders.Themorehelacksthem,themoreinarticulatewillhe
benomatterhowstronghisinspiration.Themorethatadequateexperienceand
competenttechniquearemissingfromhisequipment,themorewillhefailtofulfilhis
ownintentionandthelesswillhisreadersbeabletogatherinwhatevervalueshe
representstothem.Toknowisonethingthetalenttopresentwhatyouknowisanother.
66

Itistruethateducationgivesamanthepowertoexpressinwordformsorartistic
productionswhathethinksorfeels.Itisalsotruethatanuneducatedmanmayhaveafar
deepercontentmuchmoreworthexpressing.Butunlessthelatterisabletoradiatesome
ofthiscontentbysilentlook,glance,ortouch,hewillactuallynotbeabletogiveothers
asmuchastheformer.
67

Theartist,thecraftsman,orthewriterwhohasmasteredhisprofessionaltechnique
remainsaworkmanifhestopsthere.Butifhelearnstoenterintothespiritualpartof
himself,ifhepractisesgoingintoitscreativequietbeforehebeginsproducinganything,
hebecomessomethingmoreandhisproductionbecomesinspired.
68

Inmatterandmanner,incontentandtechnique,insubstanceandstyle,theproductionsof
thefaultlessartistwhoisonlytechnicallycompetentwillneverequalthoseofthe
faultlessartistwhoisalsospirituallymature.
69

Thecreativemindneedsseveralconditionstopromoteitswork.Amongthemsecrecy
duringconceptionandsolitudeduringinspirationarehelpful.
70

Thecreativepoet,writer,orartistwhomeditates,evenforashortwhile,beforehiswork
beginsgainsproportionatelyinthevisibleresults.
71

Thecreatorofinspiredmusic,poetry,pictures,andbooksmustworkaloneifhis
productionistokeepitshighquality.Ifheworksinagrouphehastostruggletokeephis
inspiration,aswellastoavoiddistraction.
72

Theskilloftheartist,craftsman,poet,painter,composer,orwhatevermustmeetand
unitewiththeinspirationoftheglimpse:thenthereistruecreativityinhiswork.
73

Theartisthastwofunctions:toreceivethroughinspirationandtogivethroughtechnique.
74

Inspirationforawriterdoesnotnecessarilymeanthatthesentencescometumbling
throughlikepouredwater,orforapainterthatthebrushstrokesrushacrossthecanvas.It
may,butalsoitmaynot.Whatitdoesmeanisaninflowfromadeepersource,neithera
calculationbytheintellectnoramovementbytheegoisticemotion.Itsfirstsignisthatit
isreallyasmoothflow,whethersloworrapidorwaitedfor.Itssecondsignisafreedom
fromdoubts,thepresenceofcertainty,sureness,andasenseofrightness.Itsthirdsignis
thequietjoywhicheitheraccompaniesorendsthework,foritistrulyacreativeact.
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Theauthorwhoasksforlightonthesubjectsinhisbook,whopraysforguidanceinthe
writingofitandforinspirationinthedoingofitwhenthelittleegocannotseeitsway,
cangaintruthandpowerfromonhightodoareallyoutstandingcreativejobifheknows
thetechniqueofinducingthe"InteriorWord"tospeakwithinHim.ThisVoice,heardin
meditation,issocompellingandsoinspirationalthatitwillprovideallthatheseeks.
76

ThesuperiorartistinChinaismoreofamentalistthanhisWesternequivalent.Forhe
doesnotjustsitdownandpaintwhathesees,whethermodelorlandscape.Hesitsdown
quiteafewtimesbutmakesnoattempttorecordwhathesees.Heletshismind'seyedo
that.Whenthetimecomestopaintthepicture,heremainsaloneinhisstudioand
transfersthementalrecord.
77

Foranaestheticworktobeborn,oneshouldfirstturnthemindinward,getitquiet,and
thenletthemindgobackandletthesensesrevealwhattheycanoffullandrealbeauty.
78

Thehappyandunusualsatisfactionwhichthecreativeworkerofanykindandespecially
theartistorwriterfeelswhenhehasbecomedeeplyimmersedforhoursinaparticular
pieceofworkisaremoterippleoftheblissinwhichthesecondselfisalwaysitself
immersedandtowhichhisprolongedconcentrationbroughthimnearer.Againandagain
throughthisconcentrationhestumblesagainstandunwittinglyopensadoorinhismind
whichgivesaccesstotheantecourtoftheOverself.Inthecreativeexperiencehebegins
tofindfulfilmentbutinthespiritualhecompletesit.
79

Whathefeelsisonethingwhathecanexpressisanother.Thedistancebetweenthese
twodependsonhiscommandoftechniquenotlessthanonhisreceptivitytoinspiration.
Thegreatartistisgreatinboththeserespects.
80

Thewayathoughtisexpressed,thestyleinwhichateachingisconveyed,possessesa
valuewhichishighlyexaggeratedbytheintellectualisticortheartisticbuthighly
undervaluedbythemysticandascetic.
81

Althoughtechnicalequipmentisnotallthereistothepracticeofart,itmustbemastered.
Withoutit,inspirationsuffersfromafaultyordeficientmedium.
82

Creativework,insofarasittrulytouchesthedepthsandheightsofinspiration,takesour
mindsoutofourpersonaltroublesandthusgivesustemporarypeaceforitbringsthe
impersonalOverselfintocontactwithourtroubledpersonandthecontactprovidesus
withahigherpointofview.Thosemomentsofartisticinspirationwhenthemind
becomesalmostincandescentarealwaysmomentsofintenseconcentrationandrapt
absorption."Itisfromthisconditionoftheirbeing(trance),initsmostimperfectform,
thatPoetry,Music,ArtallthatbelongtoanideaofBeautytaketheirimmortalbirth."
Lytton'sZanoni
83

Inspirationgivesamanthestrengthenedfaithandvirileforcetoworkbuthehimself
mustfindthewordsorsoundsfortheresultsthewrittenpoemormusicalpiece.
84

Creativeinspirationcanchargewords,sounds,paint,orstonewithmagicalpower.
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85

Thecompositionistechnicalbuttheinspirationismystical.
86

Skillwiththeuseofanauthor'spendoesnotnecessarilyindicateahigherconsciousness.
87

BuddhasaysintheLankavatarasutra:"Mahamati,itislikethemasteryofcomedy,
dancing,singing,music,luteplaying,painting,andotherarts,whichisgainedgradually
andnotsimultaneouslyinthesameway,Mahamati,thepurificationoftheTathagataof
allbeingsisgradualandnotinstantaneous."Yearsofpracticegivethesculptororthe
painteradexterityofthehandwhichisamarvelforwitnessesofhiswork.
88

Ageniuswhopossessespoortechniqueanddeficientmechanismwillneverbea
completemasterofhisart.Hisproductionswillalwaysbeimperfectones.
89

Hewhoputshisskillsasacraftsman,anartist,orapublicservanttotheserviceofhis
essentialself,hisdivinerself,putsthemtothebestuse.
90

Goodartisnotcompleteunlessithasbothpraiseworthytechniqueandinspiration,form
andcontent.
91

Awriter'sorartist'svaluedependsnotonlyonhistechnicalequipmentbutalsoonhis
beingmanipulatedbytheOverself.
92

Ifhelacksthisinspiredcreativenesshewillproducemeretoystoentertainpeople,not
spiritualtreasurestoenrichthem.
93

Thetrueartistthatistosay,theinspiredartistmustnecessarilybesparseinhisoutput.
Soalonecanhekeepupthechoicequalityofhiswork.
94

Thetruthcanbeputinshortplainwordsandshorteasysentencesoritcanbeputin
polysyllabicwordsandlongwindingsentences.Itisnotthehigherpowerwhichusesthe
onekindortheother,buttheauthorhimself.
95

Theinspirationcomesfrombeyondtimetheformulationinthought,picture,pattern,or
soundtakesplaceintime.
TheNotebooksarecopyright19841989,ThePaulBruntonPhilosophicFoundation.

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