Creativity

The eyes of a poet discover in each person a unique and irreplaceable humanity. While arrogant intellect seeks to control and manipulate the world, the poetic spirit bows with reverence before its mysteries.

This thing called life–
with sweat and thoughtfulness
as a novelist writes a novel,
with sweat and perseverance,
as a painter plies his brush,
seated before the blank paper of the instant and the future,
one creates a new portrait of oneself–
it is a vigorous task to be engaged in

Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself.

Music could perhaps be called the most truly human form of dialogue we are capable of. Though people may differ in the color of their skin, the language they speak, their customs and ways, or the material culture which surrounds them, the power of music makes it possible for them to instantly communicate and respond to each other’s innermost feelings.

Culture is an elevated expression of the inner voice which the different peoples of the Earth have heard in the depths of their being, a voice which conveys the vibrant compassion and wisdom of the cosmic life. For different cultures to engage in interaction is to catalyze each other’s souls and foster mutual understanding.

Buddhism teaches that the heart is like a skilled painter. Both art and our lives are faithful expressions of what is in our hearts.

The institutions of human society treat us as parts of a machine. They assign us ranks and place considerable pressure upon us to fulfill defined roles. We need something to help us restore our lost and distorted humanity. Each of us has feelings that have been suppressed and have built up inside. There is a voiceless cry resting in the depths of our souls, waiting for expression. Art gives the soul’s feelings voice and form.

Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside yourself.

How aware are we of our own inner life, our spirituality-something so intangible yet so priceless? How much effort do we make to perceive that which is not obvious, which can neither be seen nor heard? I believe the exploration and enrichment of the human spirit is what determines our very humanity. Such enrichment provides an inner compass that can lead civilizations to greatness.

The times when I have most intensely felt and experienced the inner reality of creation have been those times when I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into a task, when I have carried through with that task to the very end. At such times, I experience a dramatically expanded sense of self. I can almost hear the joyous yell of victory issuing from the depths of my being.

This sense of fulfillment and joy is the crystallization of all the effort-each drop of sweat, each tear-expended to reach that moment. Life’s inherent creativity, its dynamic vitality, is brought to the surface only through the strenuous exertions of a life of consistent action.

Such a way of life will meet with storms and heavy rains, times of seeming defeat. But the creative essence of life is never crushed or vanquished by such things. It is sustained by knowledge of the brilliant rainbow whose bright arch will eventually stretch across the inner expanse of your being.

Indulgence and indolence produce nothing creative. Complaints and evasions reflect a cowardly spirit; they corrupt and undermine life’s natural creative thrust. When life is denuded of the will to struggle creatively, it sinks into a state of hellish destructiveness directed at all that lives.

Never for an instant forget the effort to renew your life, to build yourself anew. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway of life itself. This is not an easy task. Indeed, it may be the most severely challenging struggle there is. For opening the door to your own life is in the end more difficult than opening the door to all the mysteries of the universe.

But to do so is to vindicate your existence as human beings. Even more, it is the mode of existence that is authentically attuned to the innermost truths of life itself; it makes us worthy of the gift of life.

There is no way of life more desolate or more pitiful than one of ignorance of the fundamental joy that issues from the struggle to generate and regenerate one’s own life from within. To be human is much more than the mere biological facts of standing erect and exercising reason and intelligence. The full and genuine meaning of our humanity is found in tapping the creative fonts of life itself.

The struggle to create new life from within is a truly wonderful thing. There is found the brilliant wisdom that guides and directs the workings of reason; the light of insight that penetrates the farthest reaches of the universe; the undaunted will to see justice done that meets and challenges all the assaults of evil; the spirit of unbounded care that embraces all who suffer. When these are fused with that energy of compassion that pours forth from the deepest sources of cosmic life, an ecstatic rhythm arises to color the lives of all people.

As you meet various trials and difficulties, thus polishing all the many facets of the jewel which is life, you will learn to walk that supreme pathway of humanity. Of this, I am confident, and I am confident too that those who embrace life’s native creativity now stand and will continue to stand in the vanguard of history. Bringing the creativity of life to its fullest flowering is the work of human revolution. Carrying out this kind of human revolution is your mission now as it will be throughout your lives.

Source: Words of Wisdom

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