After the egoic self-contraction is dissolved, after I discover the One Self, and after I identify my own Unique Self expression, how do I create with originality? Creativity is the conscious emergence of novelty out of the Ground of Being. Unique Self acts creatively as it evolves.
Q & A
The following is a transcript of an excerpt from a dialogue between Joe Perez and Marc Gafni in July 2012 (audio file available for download at the bottom of the page).
Joe: Define creativity.
Marc: What is creativity? Creativity is the emergence of something new. It is emergence. Creativity wells from – as emergence does – from everything that came before it, but then adds something which is undeniably new, original. It adds a uniquely original unfolding or evolution or emergence which is the creative unfolding. Something is creative. Creation ex nihilio, the wonderful medieval phrase. Nothing doesn’t mean from the void, but from no thing. When you access the ground of being itself, Source, you create something new which has never been seen, manifested, or appeared before. Source, no thing, is the infinite creative ground.
The ground of reality is infinite creativity. That’s what creativity is. When we talk about the creative act we talk about the unfolding evolutionary emergence of that which is new, deeper, higher than anything that came before it.
Joe: Creativity is also a very broad topic, ranging from everything from biological reproduction to high art, all forms of culture, language, production of fine art, music, movies. Where to begin?
Marc: Creativity is the creative advance of novelty. That’s how Whitehead talks about it. Let’s talk about why Unique Self is so important here. What does the artist do? The artist opens up a new space of insight. The artist is often avant garde. The artist is revealing a space of insight that we might know exists but are not able to evoke or imagine. The artist opens that space so that we can in some sense see it, comprehend it, imagine it.
When you realize this, you realize that art and creativity is deeply connected to Unique Self. Unique Self is the unique perspective of the individual which is always presence. The individual is not lost, a separate and isolated individual. The individual sees himself as part of a larger context.
Unique Self always sees through a unique set of eyes. I am enlightened. I am awake. I see myself as a unique context. True Self always sees through a unique set of eyes, and that unique set of eyes is my Unique Perspective. That unique perspective is how I see things, the source of creativity. Creativity is my original, unique gift and contribution, which emerges from my Unique Self and is a function of my unique perspective.
My Unique Self is my unique view, my unique worldview, which is exciting to understand in a deep and real way. Unique Self from this perspective is the locus of creativity. Creativity is a function of Unique Self. The evolving creativity of the cosmos awakens to itself and moves one step forward through the uniquely creative act which is a by-product of living your unique self. Unique Self acts creatively in a unique form and fashion as it evolves.
Joe: What do people who think of themselves as creative do differently that sets them apart? And what can people who don’t think of themselves as creative do to boost their creativity?
Marc: It’s so important to point out, which is implicit in your question, that creativity is not limited to the plastic arts. We tend to think of creativity as connected to paper, wood, and other forms of the physical arts which emerge from the senses. That’s a very limited dimension of creativity. Creativity involves the creation of a new dimension in consciousness, a new set of insights. Whenever there is an evolution to the new, the more original, in a way that’s higher than anything that was in the past, that’s creativity. Creativity takes place in all quadrants – all social structures. Creativity takes place in the physical development of the individual, the emergence of new ideas in the culture, and in the human being, ascending to higher levels of emergence. Creativity takes place in all these quadrants. So first a person needs to realize that they can be not a very good painter and yet be incredibly creative. We don’t want to limit creativity to art.
The single best way to open up creative imagination and therefore creative talents is to learn how to take more and more perspectives. An artist is one who is able to take a perspective that the broader society is not able to see. As you learn to take more perspectives, you deepen your perspective. The creative takes place in you, and you create spaces of insight that foster great explosions of gorgeous creativity.
File: 16.8 MB
Learn more about Unique Self and Creativity:
- See Your Unique Self: The Radical Path to Personal Enlightenment (Integral Publishers, 2012)
- Dialogue: Ken Wilber, Andrew Cohen, and Marc Gafni on Kosmic Creativity