April 17

Creativity and Genius

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Blog | 1 Comment

A friend posted this video on facebook about creativity. It features the author of “Eat,Pray, Love” Elizabeth Gilbert discussing creative genius. It is an excellent video, and I highly recommend that anyone reading this make time to watch it. A link is posted at the end of this blog.

I have never read “Eat, Love, Pray” nor do I have any desire to, even after watching the video. But her talk makes so much sense, and I relate to it in many ways. She discusses how creativity comes, how one copes with its passing, or reaching heights that may never be attained again. And in brief, she discusses the ancient belief that genius comes from without, enters you, and moves on. As wacky as it may sound, in many ways I agree.

I write a little. Besides my articles and my blog here, I have two books that I have been writing, leaving, and returning to. Admittedly, one has about twenty-five pages and was started several years ago. The other has less, and was started about a year ago. And then there are these meditations I’ve been writing, one of which is posted on this site. I have about twelve of those. So saying I write may be an overstatement.

But there are times when the urge hits me, like while I was watching this video. The words come, and often it doesn’t even seem like it’s me writing them. And sometimes when I go back and read them, they do not feel like my words. What’s more, writing frequently comes easy. I write an article in less than an hour usually. It was the same in college most of the time.

Additionally, if I don’t write when the urge hits, it’s gone, and often doesn’t come back. Lately if I think of a topic for a meditation, I do my best to get it into the computer as quickly as possible. It is something like the poet Ms. Gilbert refers to in her talk, who grabs the poem by the tail and pulls it back in. That’s how I feel at times. Like the words are escaping me, and I have to get them in, replay them once or twice (it often happens when I am driving) and get them in the computer when I get to the office or back home.

Ms. Gilbert discusses the Greeks as first naming these inspirations, thought to be entities of a kind. And of course I would not debate that. But I have often read in Buddhist and Taoist writings of the inner Buddha, or the inner Way writing through you, painting through you, or creating through you. And I believe the inspiration of the Greeks and the Eastern religions are the same, and that this speaks to its credence.

As someone who loves psychology, I could probably find logical, maybe scientific, explanations for these things. But I also believe the unconscious is powerful, and that although we understand some things at times, there is still much left to mystery. And hell, sometimes I’m an atheist, and other times I believe wholeheartedly in the metaphysical.

So what is the point of this blog? Well, for one, I related to the video, and as I believe we are much more alike than different, I guess I believe you will too. Also, being creative in any way usually contributes to one being happier. As such, I hope this blog directs you to the video, which maybe inspires you to be creative today or tomorrow.

I have too many papers to grade, plenty of reading to do, and by all rights I shouldn’t have taken the time out to write this let alone watch the video. But I did. I hope you take some time out of your busy schedule to create.

Enjoy.Elizabeth Gilbert Talk on Creativity

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 17th, 2009 at 7:17 PM and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Creativity and Genius”

  1. Review: Eat, Pray, Love - Blog - William Berry, MS, CAP on August 16th, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    [...] life’s trouble and the meaning of her life, or of life in general. The book is a huge success (in another article I discuss Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creativity. Interestingly, I wrote it almost a year ago to [...]

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