Tag Archives: Creativity

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Nothing much to say today so I offer you this beautiful piece of background music to play while you carry on doing whatever you were doing. Sometimes listening to pieces like this really gets my creative juices flowing. Maybe it could do the same for you. Have a wonderful day!

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Vemödalen: The Fear That Everything Has Already Been Done

First things first, watch the short video below.

How does that video make you feel?

At first glimpse it made me sad. It seems to indicate that our lives are bound to be unoriginal. That all experiences have already been experienced.

I’ll concede that to a certain extent every photo has already been taken. And every joke has already been told. Every snowflake may be different but it is still just snow.

But two people looking at the same picture, or hearing the same joke will not experience it the same way. A single event can have infinite experiences. Perhaps from this perspective it is impossible to be unoriginal. It is not our creations that define our uniqueness but rather our experiences.

Many photos in the montage certainly share the same theme but I would think that if you look deeper they will tell vastly different stories. Another perspective is that since you can only ever know how YOU experience events, it is impossible to tell if someone else has had that exact experience. Originality is thus an obsolete concept.

This video highlights that if you try to convey to others the appearance of being original, of being a trendsetter, or being unique in your creations, you will inevitably discover many who are just like you. Especially on the level of things. There is this human tendency to group things together in the belief it helps us process the world more effectively. It is through such labeling that people are robbed of their depth, especially in the eyes of others.

As most end up failing obtaining a satisfactory sense of self from others we are forced to look elsewhere for meaning. It is a journey that we all share and perhaps the single example being unoriginal.

Why have we designed our lives to be filled with so much mind numbing routine?

I am pretty sure that no one enjoys it. Though I can see how people get comfort from it. Having a routine creates the illusion that you know what’s going to happen from one moment to the next. But it’s this banality that stifles any real human progress.

Jason Silva described it as egonic adaptation in his signature shots of awe video called Awe. “We have eyes that see not. Ears that hear not.” We live in those pathways that are already mapped in our brains and don’t actually live in the real world at all.

I can feel it every day that I come to work. I drop my daughter at daycare, then I drive to work, travelling all of the same roads every morning. I listen to the same radio station. Come to my desk and take off my jacket and boots. Put my lunch in the fridge and then go get my medium double double from the cafe. Finally I come back to my desk and start to work. Or often become disinterested in my work and write something like this post.

But even this writing exercise is starting to feel routine.

I actually don’t understand how everybody else doesn’t feel the same way. Everyone pluggin’ away in their cubicles, headphones on, staring at their monitors, completing some excel spreadsheet or powerpoint presentation. Doesn’t anyone else feel imprisoned by all of this? I mean no ones forcing me to do this but I have been on this path for so long…

I long for everyday to be original.

I want to do something creative.

I want to fully appreciate my surroundings.

I want off of this assembly line way of living!

As each day passes I feel closer and closer to making big changes in my life but I am still frightened by the possibility. Without this revenue stream we would definitely have to sell our house. I would have to find some other way of making money but I don’t even know what I want to do. I would be impacting my families life without any kind of plan.

I do have ideas that pop into my head from time to time like:

  • There’s an outline of an epic novel that I want to write though with limited writing experience I am not sure I could ever adequately recreate what I am envisioning.
  • There’s an idea about redesigning the art of brainstorming using my knowledge of spirituality to help everyone access their true creative side.
  • I had an idea about using data from social networking sites to map spiritual trends around the world.

But for now I just continue to practice my spirituality and my patience. Perhaps if I am completely silent my next steps will be revealed to me. Or maybe not, or maybe they already have…

Is Creativity An Active Or Passive Exercise?

If you are creating from your mind it is most definitely an active, exhausting exercise. It requires a lot of work, and focus, and self criticism of the product as it is developing. Satisfaction comes from the final product but the process is not enjoyable.

If you are creating from your heart it is a passive, observational exercise. It requires a letting go of any preconceptions of what it should look like. It is inward activity. The deeper your connection with your inner self the more easily the creation flows through you. It is a very enjoyable exercise and requires little effort.

Unfortunately most of my creative efforts are active exercises. Perhaps a line or two comes to me naturally, but then my mind takes over as I build around it.

Occasionally, my writing is just a brain dump. If I am angry or frustrated and just need to get it out of me I will just sit down at a keyboard and start writing. I edit nothing and just let the anger flow. It is a cathartic exercise but does not contain much beauty.

Last week was somewhat of a bad week for me. A couple of things happened to me that left my feeling quite stressed and very isolated. With nowhere to turn outwardly I almost automatically turned inward and found momentary peace. It was while I was in this state that I decided to pick up my guitar. As I started to play Brown Eyed Girl for my daughter I could feel that my creative side was active. I was pretty much putting no thought or effort into the song but the words were coming out flawlessly and I was more on key than was normal. It felt strange. There was a connection there. I felt for the first time that I had tapped into the true source of creativity. It didn’t last but it’s like new world has opened. I can’t wait for the next time!

What Am I Supposed To Think?

This is the question that blocks my growth. Some moments or days I am endlessly asking myself this question.

I become an infinite loop of validating that my thoughts in a particular situation are representative of the person I wish to be, or think that I am. I fear that if I don’t perform this double and triple check my very identity will drift off and become something bad, something very far from where I want to be.

It’s like I am constantly righting the ship.

The random nature of the mind makes this an incredibly tiring activity. I am sure there are many techniques one could perfect to train the brain to be more efficient in it’s thinking. Prior to becoming spiritual I forced my thinking to become more positive. I wrote down my better qualities and carried them around with me. In my tougher times I would repeat positive phrases dozens of times.

And this worked to a certain extent. Repetition was the fuel of my negative thinking so it makes sense that it could be reversed. However this still empowered the mind as the determining factor of my inner peace. And the randomness of the mind is still there.

I suppose it is that inherent randomness of thought that enables creativity.

It allows new ideas to emerge. It is this total freedom to create without boundaries that the mind loves. As soon as we place limitations, rules and boundaries around thought our mind rebels. Almost like a teenager, you tell the mind not to think something and it will think it until the cows come home. And because we are trained to identify who we are with what we think our anxiety goes through the roof. Compounding this is that the emphasis on identifying with thoughts is growing exponentially in our culture.

There is popular buddhist saying “What we think we become”, however the end of that quote is often left off and it changes it’s meaning entirely. It follows “When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” While the shortened version of this quote seems to emphasize controlling your thoughts, when heard in it’s entirety it seems to point away from that. To free yourself of thought is to be joyful.

In order to really change this world you need a free mind.

When you’re that true self who can watch the mind without getting wrapped up in it’s content brilliant ideas will flow through you. Perspectives that remained hidden before will be revealed. You will have an understanding of the whole that’s required to transform this planet into the utopia it was meant to be.