CREATIVITY: Unleashing the Forces Within

by Osho

Creativity has nothing to do with any activity in particular -- with painting, poetry, dancing, singing -- it has nothing to do with anything in particular. Anything can be creative; it is you who brings that quality to the activity. Activity itself is neither creative nor uncreative. You can paint in an uncreative way, you can sing in an uncreative way. You can clean the floor in a creative way, you can cook in a creative way.

Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach -- how you look at things.

So the first thing to be remembered is, don't confine creativity to anything in particular. It is the person who is creative -- and if a man is creative then whatsoever he does, even if he walks, you can see in his walking there is creativity. Even if he sits silently and does nothing -- even non-doing will be a creative act. Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree doing nothing is the greatest creator the world has ever known.

Once you understand it -- that it is you, the person, who is creative or uncreative -- then the problem of feeling like you are uncreative disappears.

Not everybody can be a painter -- and there is no need also. If everybody is a painter the world will be very ugly; it will be difficult to live! Not everybody can be a dancer, and there is no need. But everybody can be creative.

Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing it is not purely economic, then it is creative. If you have something growing out of it within you, if it gives you growth, it is spiritual, it is creative, it is divine.

You become more divine as you become more creative. All the religions of the world have said God is the Creator. I don't know whether he is the Creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become. When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So he must be the Creator because people who have been creative have been closest to him.

Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it -- whatsoever it is! irrelevant of the fact of what it is. Then you will know that even cleaning can become creative. With what love! Almost singing and dancing inside. If you clean the floor with such love, you have done an invisible painting. You lived that moment in such delight that it has given you some inner growth. You cannot be the same after a creative act.

Creativity means loving whatsoever you do -- enjoying, celebrating it! Maybe nobody comes to know about it -- who is going to praise you for cleaning the floor? History will not take any account of it; newspapers will not publish your name and picture -- but that is irrelevant. You enjoyed it. The value is intrinsic.

So if you are looking for fame and then you think you are creative -- if you become famous like Picasso, then you are creative -- then you will miss. Then you are, in fact, not creative at all; you are a politician, ambitious. If fame happens, good. If it doesn't happen, good. It should not be the consideration. The consideration should be that you are enjoying whatsoever you are doing. It is your love affair.

If your act is your love affair, then it becomes creative. Small things become great by the touch of love and delight.

But if you believe you are uncreative, you will become uncreative -- because belief is not just belief. It opens doors; it closes doors. If you have a wrong belief, then that will hang around you as a closed door. If you believe that you are uncreative, you will become uncreative because that belief will obstruct, continuously negate, all possibilities of flowing. It will not allow your energy to flow because you will continually be saying, "I am uncreative."

This has been taught to everybody. Very few people are accepted as creative -- a few painters, a few poets, one in a million. This is foolish! Every human being is a born creator. Watch children and you will see: all children are creative. By and by, we destroy their creativity. By and by, we force wrong beliefs on them. By and by, we distract them. By and by, we make them more and more economical and political and ambitious.

When ambition enters, creativity disappears -- because an ambitious man cannot be creative, an ambitious man cannot love any activity for its own sake. While he is painting he is looking ahead; he is thinking, 'When am I going to get a Nobel Prize?' When he is writing a novel he is looking ahead, he is always in the future -- and a creative person is always in the present.

We destroy creativity. Nobody is born uncreative, but we make ninety-nine percent of people uncreative. But just throwing the responsibility on the society is not going to help. You have to take your life in your own hands. You have to drop wrong conditionings. You have to drop wrong, hypnotic auto-suggestions that have been given to you in your childhood. Drop them! Purify yourself of all conditionings... and suddenly you will see you are creative.

To be, and to be creative, are synonymous. It is impossible to be and not to be creative. But that impossible thing has happened, that ugly phenomenon has happened, because all your creative sources have been plugged, blocked, destroyed, and your whole energy has been forced into some activity that the society thinks is going to pay.

Our whole attitude about life is money-oriented. And money is one of the most uncreative things one can become interested in. Our whole approach is power-oriented and power is destructive, not creative. A man who is after money will become destructive, because money has to be robbed, exploited; it has to be taken away from many people, only then can you have it. Power simply means you have to make many people impotent, you have to destroy them -- only then will you be powerful, can you be powerful.

Remember: these are destructive acts. A creative act enhances the beauty of the world; it gives something to the world, it never takes anything from it. A creative person comes into the world, enhances the beauty of the world -- a song here, a painting there. He makes the world dance better, enjoy better, love better, meditate better. When he leaves this world, he leaves a better world behind him. Nobody may know him, somebody may know him, that is not the point --but he leaves the world a better world, tremendously fulfilled because his life has been of some intrinsic value.

Money, power, prestige, are uncreative -- not only uncreative but destructive activities. Beware of them! And if you beware of them, you can become creative very easily. I am not saying that your creativity is going to give you power, prestige, money. No, I cannot promise you any rose gardens. It may give you trouble. It may force you to live a poor man's life. All that I can promise you is that deep inside you will be the richest man possible; deep inside you will be fulfilled; deep inside you will be full of joy and celebration. You will be continuously receiving more and more blessings. Your life will be a life of benediction.

It is possible that outwardly you may not be famous, you may not have money, you may not succeed in the so-called world. But to succeed in this so-called world is to fail deeply, is to fail in the inside world. And what are you going to do with the whole world at your feet if you have lost your own self? What will you do if you possess the whole world and you don't possess yourself? A creative person possesses his own being; he is a master.

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About The Author

This article has been excerpted, with permission, from "Creativity: Unleasing the Forces Within" by Osho, who is one of the best-known and most provocative spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. 1999 Osho International Foundation. All rights reserved. Published by St. Martin's Press, NY. For more information, visit www.osho.com  

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