There is another side to this creative exploration than what comes from within us. There are two sides to expansion of one’s identity. The one we are generally most aware of originates in our own action, deliberately exploring not only the shadows of familiar space, but also new storehouses of knowledge, experience and wisdom. It is a seeking that is of man. However, there is a second source for our nurture and growth. It comes from outside of our box and it is itself a gift to us if we will receive it. It is the gift of God. Thus we are the sum of both our exertion and His revelation leading to beautiful discoveries as we create.
Some of you who may read this do not believe in God, or a god, or anything outside of man to aid in the creative process. I urge you to take a look to the past. I learned something interesting from Elizabeth Gilbert recently. As she spoke on the creative process and how it played out in her writing, she spoke of the Greeks and the Romans who both believed that art was created with the aid of something outside of man. This was news to me as my study had yielded nothing along this line. My time with the Greeks had only come to show me that the word for “create” was not used in conjunction with anything we would label as art. In fact, until the Renaissance, the word was considered to be the domain of God alone. But I digress… She discovered that the Greeks referred to this aid as a “daemon”. More interesting, the Romans referred to it as a “genius”, a word we are quite fond of today. Isn’t it fascinating that genius did not refer to man at its inception? It is man at the advent of humanism in the Renaissance that began to use the word genius to refer to his identity.
Personally, I believe it would do us all much good to look outside ourselves. Open yourself to the guide who may point the way to creative inspiration. You may call him muse, inspiration, genius… I call Him God.