The Creative Force
There is an eternal drive within every human to create something. This drive is inescapable. It is the dynamo of life. It is wrapped up in sexual attraction and reproduction at the most fundamental level, yet beyond that, manifests as a conscious will to engage with reality, to experience, to experiment and to ultimately enhance our life experience with our soul expression.
This force within us is divine in nature. It is that reflection, man made in God’s image. We are ‘Atoms of God’. Not God as a whole, but waves upon the ocean, replete with the universal qualities of Great Spirit. We ourselves are artworks and we seek art within our lives. We hunger for it. We celebrate it.
What is Creativity?
These grand statements must be accompanied by a small exploration of creativity and art. In all my searching and teaching, I have found creativity at every turn, in every action, every word and every thought. On the less familiar side, we are creating just by existing. Our breath creates effects in our body. We can calm our mind and relax our body or live in a constant state of stress or panic. We have control over this if we choose to. Our thoughts create perceptions and experiences. We choose how to react by the choices we make. Our thoughts influence our physiology and our health. It is said that thoughts create the things in our lives, that life reflects who we are and what we think about. Thoughts are electric and electricity creates magnetic fields. What, therefore, are we magnetising toward ourselves? We get to choose what we focus upon and perhaps that is what creates the tapestry of our lives. As we move outside of ourselves, creativity moves into more familiar territory.
We have thoughts about the world around us. As children we instinctively begin to make things, destroy things and make them again. We wield pens and crayons, dance with abandon, construct fantasy universes in the woods and gardens of our lives and climb mountains that are really molehills. As we grow, we learn to direct that energy into more constructive means. We are still creating with our thoughts and perceptions but that energy emanates outwards into practicing skills like cooking, drawing, sports, music and writing. The creative urge within us is strong. It is wrapped up in every thought, word and action that we are. Creativity is our nature.
The Suppression of Creativity
Unfortunately, it seems that at some point, we begin to allow our creativity to be suppressed. Not in all ways because that would be impossible, but we are pulled away from it and taught to focus on other things. Creativity is put into boxes, one labelled ‘art’, one labelled ‘acting’, one ‘music’, another ‘dance’ and neatly stored in lessons separate from more academic pursuits. Creativity moves from being our nature into an object, a talent and sometimes an exclusive pursuit. The gatekeepers appear. Teachers and parents directing or halting the flow of our creative urges with misplaced words, lack of money to invest or lack of emotional support. If we are lucky, there may be a tradition of art, a heritage and history, or a particular school that favours creative pursuits.
As we are siphoned into academic classes at school, we are expected to learn to write, but that writing is poked and prodded. It is highly analysed, overcooked and forced into a set of constricting rules. Things have to have structure, form and syntax. Stories have to make sense. We are taught beginnings, middles and ends even though life itself rarely displays such qualities. Exams and attainment are moved into centre stage and we forget that all of our thoughts, words and actions are creative – even the maths problems, the essays on Chaucer and the experiments with sulphur.
Before we disappear down a creative hole of despair, we must look at how creativity is flourishing and how to avoid being eaten by the Nothing. The Nothing appears in The Neverending Story. It is a creature of despair that consumes the world of fantasy and imagination within humanity. This world has no boundaries because it grows out of us, it is our infinite capacity for invention and dreaming. The Nothing grows in power because humans give up their hopes and dreams. They stop creating, thinking that life is about something else.
In other words, we start chasing survival, money, houses, jobs, careers, and families without perceiving the inherent creativity within all these wonderful activities. Beyond that, a good many of us stop creating at all in any conscious way. We become consumers of other people’s creativity. We watch movies, television, listen to music, go to shows, scroll social media but rarely engage in our own creative space. This is where the slow creep of despair sets in. The Nothing begins to eat away at us without us noticing. But it is all an illusion.
Creativity is everywhere. It is existence. It is nature and it is our nature. There is so much creativity going on at all times on all levels. People are taking photos and making videos left, right and centre. Home-made movies are becoming incredibly popular. Producing music has been released from the clutches of the record companies and the opportunity to learn any kind of creative skill is at everyone’s fingertips. There are genius innovators at every corner producing digital content for every kind of taste and countless courses appearing everywhere.
Yet, if all our wonderful imaginings are experienced on a flat screen, is there a difference in the experience if not the perception? Art is meant to be seen, touched, lived, breathed in and heard live so that the vibrations of that experience travel directly through the senses instead of being filtered through a digital medium and rendered less real. Social media is full of wonderous things but we must not get so sucked into it that we forget about our own creativity. We must learn to rise above the addictive judgement and approval system that is inherent within these vortices of human distraction.
I have often thought that the success and harmony of humanity upon this earth can be found in our ability to allow ourselves to create and experience creation. There is no doubt that creativity spans the entirety of perception. Whether we are bathing in a sound journey, allowing pulses of healing tones to wash through our energy, meditating in silence, bouncing in a crowd of thirty thousand at a festival, sitting at home writing a daily journal, baking birthday cakes, dreaming up characters and worlds, gathering pretty rocks on a beach, we cannot escape the creative pulse within us.
If we can learn to see that everything we do is creative, then we can learn to create a sacred creative space for ourselves and reveal that infinite and unlimited voice within us that calls us forwards to enjoy life, to play and make things. This, I believe is the destiny of our species. To rediscover our true selves, to explore our creative powers and realise that the world we live in is produced by each and every one of us.
In part 2 I will explore creative recovery, soul writing and the importance of sacred space and what the future may hold!
Matt Rivers is a singer, songwriter, musician, poet, teacher and writer of words. He is passionate about rediscovering our inner creative flow, adding love and beauty to society and looking after our wonderful, amazing planet. If you are interested in attending one of his Soul Writing sessions check out the workshop page.
Grab a copy of his new book Note to Self: Writing to Reveal Your Soul exclusively on Amazon Kindle.