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9/25/2006

What Is Creativity?



A honeybee lands on the edge of a flower. He dips his foot in the pollen. His foot gets very sweet and sticky. He dips the other foot in. Later, you find the bee floating in the flower, drowned in sweetness

At midnight, a moth lands on the rim of your wine cup. You are already asleep. The moth leans down to breathe the bouquet and is intoxicated. She keels over and drowns in the wine. The next morning, you find a moth in the bottom of last night's merlot. "A pity," you say. But you can't conceive of what it's like from the moth's point of view

Are you a more intelligent bug? A bug who crawls from one flower to another, barely tasting, barely sampling the sweetness? A little here, a little there, comparing this one to the last, looking for a better taste, a better fragrance, a better place to die? What kind of intelligence is that?

There is never failure in the present moment. In the present moment, there is only success. Success means the sweetness, the intoxication, of total immersion.

Failure becomes possible where there is comparison: comparision with something in the past, some historic achievement projected into the future as the ideal. Comparison with the past divides the mind and prevents creativity.

Creativity is our spontaneous response to the unique ambiance of this moment, where there is not the slightest trace of past or future. Now is a once and once-only configuration of elements. The work of creativity is to penetrate the essence of this Now.

When our awareness is immersed in the incomparable Now, we are whole. Our awareness becomes so simple and solid! This wholeness and solidity of attention in the present moment is "genius." Going deep into Now, our attention plays with the subtlest most interior threads of time and space. Our atttention penetrates to the very core of Now, which is eternal silence. When we tap the ocean of silence in the core of the moment, all the power of the universe unfolds within us. Creation happens. The universe re-creates itself through our attention. In "great" works of art, we feel the presence of God, because the artist is immersed in Presence.

The creative artist is non-competitive: for competition is based on fear, fear of failure and inadequacy. This fear depletes the genius of attention by comparing present to past, self to other. Competition cannot create, it can only imitate. The competitor wants to accomplish only what someone else has accomplished, but a little bigger, a little faster, a little sooner. The competitor responds not to the present but to the record of the past. The competitor misses the divinity of this moment, the infinitity of Now, because the competitor is always looking for something more. How could there be more?

This moment, this cup of wine! Don't taste. Drown.