By Matthew Fox, October 9 2019
Today’s science is finding that the whole universe is permeated with the power of creativity. Physicist Brian Swimme puts it this way: “If you let hydrogen gas alone for 13 billion years it will become giraffes, rose bushes and humans.” This is another way of saying that everything has within itself the power of creativity, the power of giving birth, the power of surprising us.
Just how prevalent are the powers of creativity in the universe? Thomas Berry sees creativity as intrinsic to the very process of evolution:
“The emergent process, as noted by the geneticist Theodore Dobzhansky, is neither random nor determined but creative. Just as in the human order, creativity is neither a rational deductive process nor the irrational wandering of the undisciplined mind but the emergence of beauty as mysterious as the blossoming of a field of daisies out of the dark Earth.”
Furthermore, Berry writes, the creativity of the evolutionary process “follows the general pattern of all creativity.”
For me evolution is another word for creativity, the birthing, dying, and re-birthing of forms and beings everywhere.
Sri Aurobindo believes that “the supreme creative stimulus” occurs in the great ages of literature worldwide when there is a “pouring of a new and greater self-vision of man and Nature and existence” into humanity, one that expands the human soul and mind. Perhaps a new creation story provides such a new “creative stimulus.”
Berry believes that a wildness constitutes the origins of creativity:
“Wildness we might consider as the root of the authentic spontaneities of any being. It is that wellspring of creativity whence comes the instinctive activities that enable all living beings to obtain their food, to find shelter, to bring forth their young: to sing and dance and fly through the air and swim through the depths of the sea. This is the same inner tendency that evokes the insight of the poet, the skill of the artist and the power of the shaman.”
Notice how human creativity is part of the creativity of nature and a tension between chaos and order is part of it. Too much order—or too much chaos—can kill creativity. Creativity requires a unique dance of chaos and order. Berry believes that the universe established “a creative disequilibrium expressed in the curvature of space that was sufficiently closed to establish an abiding order in the universe and sufficiently open to enable the wild creative process to continue.”
The curvature of space guarantees creativity–one more evidence of the great bias the universe holds in favor of creativity.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet, pp. 40-43.
Banner Image: “A Thousand Mirrors” – a chaos of soap bubbles. Photo by Lanju Fotografie on Unsplash
Meditations: How wonderful is it to realize that Creativity is embedded into the work of evolution, the awesome unfolding of the universe and our home, the Earth?
How important is it that we guard our Wildness so that we can nurture our Creativity? How does one go about honoring and guarding our wildness? What are the obstacles that prevent us from doing that?
Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet
Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.LEARN MORE