Are you creative?


Finding Buddha -2

In the first part of this series I discussed how our life is a constant struggle and how ‘Creative Thinking’ can help us sail through this struggle. Before we understand ‘Creative Thinking’, we need to understand what is creative and what is not creative.

We all are born as ‘creative’ individuals. It’s a myth that we are born intelligent. Intelligence is what we develop. First, we are creative. I have never seen anyone calling a bird ‘stupid’ or an animal ‘idiot’. You never call a tree ‘dumb’. God doesn’t make us dumb or idiot or stupid. We are born as creative individuals. It’s in our DNA. Our DNA is nothing but accumulation of impressions, over millions of years. The fact that we have survived, despite insurmountable odds, proves that we are basically and essentially creative beings. Yet our society is divided between creative and uncreative people. If you are a musician, painter, writer or a photographer, you are considered creative. On the other hand if you are in a programmed, structured, assembly-line job you are deemed uncreative. But what has one’s job got to do with creativity? What can be a bigger lie than this? Look at the this social fraud closely. Music, painting, photography, writing are all skills. People who practice these are as skilled as a driver. With practice they become better. It’s only when a musician uses his music to discover his own tones, his own melody, his own song that he becomes creative. A driver who uses his driving skills to explore new territories, new routes and a unique way to beat the traffic that he becomes a creative driver. Whether you are a watchman or a scientist in NASA, you can be creative.

Assume that you are the world’s most uncreative person. A banker, a CA, an engineer, a lift man, a delivery-boy or someone who is in a routine,structured, mundane job. Same routine. Same struggle and no scope to be creative. Imagine, one fine morning, you wake up in a jungle with a note that there is no way out. No map. No directions. No skill set to survive in a jungle. Now, visualise the jungle with its complexities, all kinds of creatures, nobody to communicate with, no sense of direction or time. Think hard. How do you slowly start becoming aware of the jungle? How do you slowly discover Jungle’s unique sound? You can now smell distinct fragrances of the jungle. Everything comes into focus. You are not outside of this jungle, hence you can’t be judgemental about it as you are the jungle. Whether you live or die will have no bearing on the dynamics of the jungle. You are as important or unimportant as a tiny insect on the trunk of a banyan tree. None reacts to your scream for help. none understands your language. None loves you. None cares for you. Yet you can take whatever you want. You can kill anyone and there are no sentences for that. Killing is not a crime. Stealing is not a crime. Yet there are consequences of all your actions. There are trees, fruits, streams, fish, animals, oxygen, everything you need to survive. You can consume anything you want with full awareness that you can also be consumed by anything. Be it an animal or that nature.

What’s the first thing you do? Explore. You try to figure out what’s around you. Then you walk to explore further. You start experimenting with things – the leaves, the wood, the fruits. You try various fruits and decide which is best suited for your survival. You make things to protect you. You create fire to keep yourself warm. You have to cross a stream and you can’t swim. So, you either learn to swim or you learn to make a bridge. Both require a design and engineering. By and by, you learn both. By and by, you learn to devise your own tools. You learn timing, in sync with the nature. With more experience and understanding of the jungle, you learn that you are not responsible for the jungle’s unique design and architect and it’s the jungle that’s responsible for you. Your sole purpose is to experiment with the jungle’s resources and create your own ecosystem which protects you, keeps you warm and helps you keep healthy. And for this purpose you explore, experiment, design, build, rebuild and so on. And it’s you, who is creating all this. There is no map, no self-help book, no DIY kit. How come a man who was a bored, uncreative CA or an engineer or a postman or a McDonald’s salesman, and who the world considered uncreative, has suddenly become so creative? Because there is nothing between you and the nature. You are creating your own survival on a moment to moment basis. You don’t worry about what terrain you crossed, you are thinking about the terrains challenges of the future. You are right in, right here, finding ways to survive. Ways not based on anyone else’s advise, but on your own unique experiences. In this jungle, you are the most creative person. You are inventing fire, shelter, weapons, tools and bridges. You are discovering food, time and space. Without any support from the family or the society. And how? Would it be possible if you aren’t born creative?

This proves that nobody is ever born uncreative or stupid. It proves that creativity is in our DNA. It doesn’t suit God’s large design to have uncreative people. Like small insects keep ploughing the soil to keep it alive and fertile, human beings are required to plough mother nature to keep it alive. So, the first prerequisite to be a human being is creativity. If one goes by the principles of Hinduism, a creature needs to be reborn millions of times before he is gifted with the powers of a human – the supreme creative creature. Which is you. And I. We are born creative.

This is the second part of a blog-series on ‘creative thinking’ titled. In next part I’ll discuss what is not creative.

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