I would like to share some thoughts about creativity and it’s greater role in the world. When i first started thinking about it I didn’t appreciate what a rich and complex subject creativity is, and how important it is to all of us. I think a greater understanding of creativity will provide a tool for understanding our role here on Earth as well as the future of our species.
Creativity is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Everything that we know that exists, as well as many more things we do not yet understand is the result of the creative process. As Terence McKenna noted, the universe is an artist, always creating more novel and complex works, from the biggest galaxies to the smallest subatomic forces. In our more medium sized human life, all the achievements of humanity- every artwork, work of architecture, invention, relationship, or meal we sit down to together is a result of this same creative process.
As individuals, we have created and continue to play a critical role in the everyday creation of our outer lives, inner feelings and our relationships with other individuals and the world. We are personally engaged in the act of creation, as we create our lives here on earth and importantly also our internal world. We are all potential creators at all times.
Most of us are not consciously aware of this most of the time. We are busy with our lives. But create we do, consciously or unconsciously. This fact alone makes creativity a very important subject for all of us, even those who don’t consider themselves artists or inventors or someone else who is “authorized” to create. We are all creators and involved with this process so a better understanding of creativity will hopefully help everyone.
The Creative Unconscious
Where does this creative force come from? In this essay I propose the existence of a global human creativity field, which we are all connected to at varying degrees. There are many ways this field connects us, including by way of word-of-mouth, direct experience, with media, the internet, and most importantly by a subtle field of energy that is all around us that I will call the Creative Unconscious.
The concept of this creative field, is similar to Carl Jung’s model of the Collective Unconscious. The Creative Unconscious contains energy or “information” that is a result of tens of thousands of years (and possibly many more) of human creative activity and is always connecting to people all around the world at all time and places.
If this seems far-fetched, just look at the animal kingdom. The model of a species sharing an information field that contains species-wide information is everywhere. In our daily lives we almost take for granted their behavior, but the actions like birds flying south for the winter over thousands of year old coastline and huge schools of fish swimming in perfect synchronization is amazing and yet unexplained by mainstream science. It is easily explained however by the theory of morphic resonance and the work of Rupert Sheldrake.
I imagine that if animals have these fields, surely humans do. We have countless experiences of this in our daily lives, such as when we are at large gathering of people like a sports game or concert and we feel the collective energy of the crowd. We think about our friends or family and then the phone rings and it is them.
There are also many examples of simultaneous scientific discoveries occurring over distance throughout history . The telephone, the airplane, the light bulb, calculus, and general relativity were all discovered by different people at the same time in different places. Therefore, these principles of multiple discovery and morphic resonance in human and animal worlds as well as my own personal experience give me enough to go forward and look at actionable applications of the Creative Unconscious concept.
Connecting to the Creative Unconscious
Hopefully we all can remember the experience of being engaged in a creative activity and being caught in the creative flow, where the work seems to flow effortlessly from us, where we lose our normal experience with time and can spend much longer than usual focused and happily creating. That is one experience of being connected to the creative field. Another is when we have been working for a long time on a problem or project and we are stuck. We take a break, relax, and then out of nowhere the solution comes to us out of nowhere, and we shout, “Eureka!” We can thank the creative field for that.
But unfortunately most of us are not connected to the field much anymore. It’s not like when we were kids and everyone was finger painting and singing songs without any self filtering. For most adults, there is an idea that creativity is somethings reserved for the “artists” and regular people should just live regular adult lives of work, family, leisure, and consumption.
This way of thinking leads to many unhappy unfulfilled lives, because life without creativity means life without progress, no new invention, or ways of thinking. Lack of creativity leads to work feeling like a mind numbing chore, to relationships feeling stale and lifeless, and to society that is numb and soulless. In my opinion the only way to feel as individuals or as a species that we are making progress is through connecting to the creative process.
The Role of Creativity in Saving the World
In today’s world we have some very big problems facing us as a collective human race. The threats of global total warfare, destruction of the environment, overpopulation and totalitarianism are just a few of the problems we as a species are going to have to solve if we are going to survive the rapidly approaching new era.
What are the solutions? Hell if I know. As Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” I certainly don’t have the solution to war, and I believe that these big solutions may not have been discovered yet by anyone. However, we are going to need some very creative new ideas to survive, and we need them soon. To survive as a species, we will have to create a new way of thinking and being as people, to change into a species of peace and collective world stewardship. This transformation of humanity will require a huge amount of creative energy.
In my model of the Creative Unconscious, every time we engage in the creative act we add a tiny bit of our creative energy and information to the creative field. It’s like we as humans are charging up the creative field when we interact with it. Now while I will never be able to come up with a cure for war myself, maybe if we all do our part to charge up the creative field, one day in the future some really smart person or people will be able to to use our collective energy to receive the solution and give us all a chance for the next era.
The Creativity Challenge
Personally, this model of the Creative Unconscious and our role in helping to save the planet helps give me direction and motivation far greater than my own personal ambition. I want to do my best to help. Therefore I thought to do my part more consistently and productively I decided to commit to the Creativity Challenge. I will create and publish one creative work every week for a year. I will produce music, writing, video, and whatever else the Creative Unconscious instructs. I also will try to do a lot of collaboration with old friends and new. I believe the power of a group of people reaching their creative potential is exponentially more powerful than the power of the individuals of the group working independently. Just look at the Beatles.
I am doing this project for several reasons. First is personal- I would like to live more of my life in the creative flow. I have noticed that I feel the best when I am doing something creative, especially working on my own music. Yet I struggle to get going on projects, I take too long to finish them, and I put them down too often, resulting in not getting enough creative energy in my life to feel really great. Having a weekly deadline will certainly motivate me to keep working, and it will also hopefully create a great new habit that I can keep for the rest of my life.
I also am doing this to help motivate and inspire others to do their own creative work. We all need to work together on this global creativity project, and I can help people get started on their work. Hopefully this project will motivate and inspire others who will in turn spread the spirit of productive creativity further.
I invite anyone who is inspired by these ideas to join me on this project, and get in the habit of living more in the creative flow. The world needs us to do this. Please email me with any creative ideas you have that I can help with, collaboration proposals, etc. I want to support you however I can.
Have a creative day, everyone!
Joshua MacCluer is a versatile performer and coach in demand worldwide as a performing musician in a wide range of styles, educator, performance coach, producer and arranger. He is currently the Principal Trumpet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and was previously a member of the Saint Louis Symphony for 9 years.
Josh is a leading coach of peak performance in music. Incorporating techniques from many diverse yet interrelated areas, he approaches training for performance in its complete form. Excellence in performance comes from looking for every possible technique to maximize the efficiency, speed, and permanence of performance training. As Director of Peak Performance Coaching at TransVolve Accelerated Learning, Josh is passionate about finding the optimal philosophy, techniques, and technology for learning and mastery of top performance.
Please visit Josh’s website at www.joshuamaccluer.com.
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