(Published in The Daily Guardian July 20, 2020)
Being creative is one of the most important reasons we are here on this Earth. Many people question the reason they are born. Is it just a coincidence you are here? Are we only a statistic or a mere blip of insignificance in human history? Nothing can be further from the truth. There are basically two things that are important about life and everything else is a derivative of these. To love and to create.
In many books about ‘near death experiences’ or NDEs there is an interesting similarity that many people experienced. They were asked two questions in common by a Being of Light or a Higher Power when they were declared clinically dead and their souls returned to the spirit world briefly before returning to their bodies. The questions are – what did you learn about love? How did you use your God given talents to help the world? That’s pretty much it. Of course, there are other things that happened during the NDEs but that is something for another article.
Here we are going to look at the second question in more detail.
Each of us comes to this earth with some inherent talent. Everyone has heard the phrase ‘hidden talent’. A talent is always connected to some creative quality in a human being. Whatever it is. Writing, painting, singing, music, business, politics, diplomacy, philosophy, acting, love, relationships, parenting, cooking and the list goes on and on.
Many times the real ideas or creative bursts come to us in moments where we are logged out of this virtual world. Endless sessions on WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, etc. etc. are entertaining for sure and if used properly can be a source of new ideas and information. But they need to be used in moderation because too much of these stifles our creative pursuits.
This means it is important for us to have periods when we switch off our phones, TV, computer and Internet. Reestablish our relationship with our creativity and with nature. The mind and heart need to be at peace for creative imprints to be made upon them. Creative imprints often come from higher planes of consciousness and higher dimensions. Many of the worlds greatest artists, businessmen and inventors say they got their ideas from dreams or from what seemed like a coincidental ‘idea’ that just randomly popped into their minds. Many of these enter the mind during the hypnagogic state of mind when you are just on the verge of falling asleep.
The hypnagogic state can provide insight into a problem. Many writers, artists, scientists and inventors such as Beethoven, Salvador Dali, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton have credited hypnagogia and related states with enhancing their creativity. So remember to pay attention to this state of mind just before sleeping and if possible keep a notebook and pen near your bed.
Other states of mind like when you are not focussing on your thoughts such as during a shower or driving are also times when ideas frequently come into our minds.
But simply having ideas is not being creative. Creativity is a marriage between ideation and innovation. These words are often used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. Ideation is getting ideas, but innovation is executing these ideas in a practical manner. Both are needed for creativity to be a successful and game changing force.
Every product you see around you or that you use in your daily life is the result of somebody’s creative action. It is not enough to merely have an idea. What if Steve Jobs dreamt of making a cool mobile phone that had a camera and other things and then just forgot about it? What if the Wright brothers had an idea of a machine that could fly but did nothing to make it into a reality? These are just two examples. The world is a better place today because of the creative entrepreneurship of many people.
This is also what will give people the ultimate satisfaction in life. Not just money, power, position or fame. These should never be the goal. The goal should be to do something that helps the world in some way. A book you write could change lives. A movie you make could stop wars. A song you write could increase compassion. A business you start could employ thousands. A product you manufacturer could change the way the world works. It all starts with an idea for something new or an idea to make something better. But action is needed to make it a part of people’s lives.
The recent global pandemic and lockdown which is still going on is a reminder that looking inwards and becoming more compassionate and creative can and will make our own lives better. In the process, new ideas have emerged already. Online meetings and online education have become the norm. But there is still a lot of ideation and innovation that is yet to come. Creative action will come that will change the way we live, work and play. New industries will emerge and the world will become a better place ultimately.
We now recognise that we are all in the same boat and that global problems affect everyone. This is a great opportunity and a great awakening – spiritually and creatively. Most great periods in human history were preceded by either pandemics or wars or both. This period is no different. If new creative action is taken by more and more people, the world that emerges from this cocoon of creative and introspective opportunity will be better and brighter.
Now briefly let us look at the first question that was asked to NDErs.
What did you learn about love?
It is said that to “swim in a sea of love” is the source of creativity and that love is the creative dimension and creative energy that surrounds us and binds us. Love becomes us. Life’s a journey to realise and remember that truth. When we give and receive love in its divine form which means an unconditional love that is when magic happens and our creative action becomes more effective and is able to touch not only the mind and the heart but also the very soul of everybody that comes in touch with that creative action.
Love is a strength and power that resides everywhere but needs to be tapped into and when combined with our creative action the world will become better, happier, wealthier and stronger in every way.
Prashant Solomon is a Delhi based author and businessman
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