Creative Play Quotes

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The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
C.G. Jung
Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
Without this playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.
C.G. Jung
The creative writer does the same as the child at play; he creates a world of fantasy which he takes very seriously.
Sigmund Freud
When we treat children's play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that's to be found in the creative spirit. It's the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.
Fred Rogers
But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano / act / paint / write a decent play?" Yes . . . the same age you will be if you don't.
Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity)
Serious art is born from serious play.
Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity)
The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.
Neil Gaiman (Make Good Art: Inspiration for Creative People)
It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.
D. W. Winnicott (Playing and Reality)
If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play
John Cleese
The creative mind plays with the object it loves.
C.G. Jung
You cannot reconcile creativeness with technical achievement. You may be perfect in playing the piano, and not be creative. You may be able to handle color, to put paint on canvas most cleverly, and not be a creative painter...having lost the song, we pursue the singer. We learn from the singer the technique of song, but there is no song; and I say the song is essential, the joy of singing is essential. When the joy is there, the technique can be built up from nothing; you will invent your own technique, you won't have to study elocution or style. When you have, you see, and the very seeing of beauty is an art.
J. Krishnamurti
Fine, you fun-vampire. I’ll take my scroll over here and play by myself. (Kat) Fun-vampire? What is that? (Sin) That would be you sucking all the fun out of life. (Kat) You have the most interesting terms for things. (Sin) Yes, but notice mine are creative, unlike the so stellarly named Rod of Time. (Kat)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
Skill in any performance whether it be in sports in playing the piano in conversation or in selling merchandise consists not in painfully and consciously thinking out each action as it is performed but in relaxing and letting the job do itself through you. Creative performance is spontaneous and ‘natural’ as opposed to self-conscious and studied.
Maxwell Maltz (Psycho-Cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life)
Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Play is just another version of work
Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology)
The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." [Keynote Address, University of the Arts, 134th Commencement (Philadelphia, PA, May 17, 2012)]
Neil Gaiman
And what is wrong with playing with words? Words love to be played with, just like children or kittens do!
David Almond (My Name Is Mina (Skellig, #0.5))
Please let him come, and give me the resilience & guts to make him respect me, be interested, and not to throw myself at him with loudness or hysterical yelling; calmly, gently, easy baby easy. He is probably strutting the backs among crocuses now with seven Scandinavian mistresses. And I sit, spiderlike, waiting, here, home; Penelope weaving webs of Webster, turning spindles of Tourneur. Oh, he is here; my black marauder; oh hungry hungry. I am so hungry for a big smashing creative burgeoning burdened love: I am here; I wait; and he plays on the banks of the river Cam like a casual faun.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
The old ways are dead. And you need people around you who concur. That means hanging out more with the creative people, the freaks, the real visionaries, than you're already doing. Thinking more about what their needs are, and responding accordingly. Avoid the dullards; avoid the folk who play it safe. They can't help you anymore. Their stability model no longer offers that much stability. They are extinct, they are extinction.
Hugh MacLeod
Music shouldn't be just a tune, it should be a touch.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
How come when girls play with gender it's a sign of strength and when boys play with gender it's a sign of weakness?
Lori Duron (Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son)
One difference between spiritual and ego law is that spiritual law is very playful and creative, while ego law is fixed and routine.
Sonia Choquette (Trust Your Vibes: Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living)
Oscar Wilde said that some things are too important to be taken seriously. Art is one of those things. Setting the bar low, especially to get started, frees you to play, explore, and test without attachment to results.
Rick Rubin (The Creative Act: A Way of Being)
THE SEX & CASH THEORY - The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the task in hand covers both bases, but not often. This tense duality will always play center stage. It will never be transcended.
Hugh MacLeod (Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity)
As long as life continues, the creative challenge is to tussle, play, and make love with the present moment while giving your unique gift.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
What drove me? I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that's been done by others before us. I didn't invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It's about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how-because we can't write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That's what has driven me.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
If you’re going to create, create a lot. Creativity is not like playing the slot machines, where failure to win means you go home broke. With creativity, if you don’t win, you’re usually no worse off than if you hadn’t played.
Scott Adams
What do you mean, 'playing really creatively'? Can you give me an example?" "Hmm, let's see ... you send the music deep enough into your heart so that it makes your body undergo a kind of a physical shift, and simultaneously the listener's body also undergoes the same kind of physical shift. It's giving birth to that kind of shared state. Probably.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
TEN GUIDEPOSTS FOR WHOLEHEARTED LIVING 1. Cultivating authenticity: letting go of what people think 2. Cultivating self-compassion: letting go of perfectionism 3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness 4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark 5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: letting go of the need for certainty 6. Cultivating creativity: letting go of comparison 7. Cultivating play and rest: letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth 8. Cultivating calm and stillness: letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle 9. Cultivating meaningful work: letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to” 10. Cultivating laughter, song, and dance: letting go of being cool and “always in control
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
-I'm not creative like you.- -Of course you are!- -I don't sing or draw or act or play an instrument. I can't make things.- -That's not what 'creative' means, you know. Creativity is in everything.-
Lisa McMann (Island of Fire (Unwanteds, #3))
Pretending doesn't require expensive toys.
Fred Rogers (You Are Special: Words of Wisdom for All Ages from a Beloved Neighbor)
If little else, the brain is an educational toy. The problem with possessing such an engaging toy is that other people want to play with it, too. Sometime they'd rather play with yours than theirs. Or they object if you play with yours in a different manner from the way they play with theirs. The result is, a few games out of a toy department of possibilities are universally and endlessly repeated. If you don't play some people's game, they say that you have "lost your marbles," not recognizing that, while Chinese checkers is indeed a fine pastime, a person may also play dominoes, chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks, drop-the-soap or Russian roulette with his brain.
Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues)
A scientist, an artist, a citizen is not like a child who needs papa methodology and mama rationality to give him security and direction; he can take care of himself, for he is the inventor not only of laws, theories, pictures, plays, forms of music, ways of dealing with his fellow man, institutions but also of entire world views, he is the inventor of entire forms of life.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Science in a Free Society)
I believe in always being open to learning more through exploration of everything available and following one's sense of curiosity, creativity, and playfulness.
Jay Woodman
Music is the fastest motivator in the world.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Yell. Jump. Play. Out-run those sons-of-bitches. They'll never live the way you live. Go do it.
Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You)
In defense of geeks," Justine said, "they're great in bed. They fantasize a lot, so they're really creative. And they love to play with gadgets.
Lisa Kleypas (Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor, #2))
To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition
Albert Einstein
Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can play weird-- that's easy. What's hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple complicated is commonplace--making the complicated simple, awesomely simple--that's creativity.
Charles Mingus
No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone. The accidents happen, we’re not heroines, they happen in our lives like car crashes, books that change us, neighborhoods we move into and come to love. Tristan and Isolde is scarcely the story, women at least should know the difference between love and death. No poison cup, no penance. Merely a notion that the tape-recorder should have caught some ghost of us: that tape-recorder not merely played but should have listened to us, and could instruct those after us: this we were, this is how we tried to love, and these are the forces they had ranged against us, and these are the forces we had ranged within us, within us and against us, against us and within us.
Adrienne Rich (The Dream of a Common Language)
As a woman lives them, she will understand more and more of these interior feminine rhythms, among them the rhythms of creativity, or birthing psychic babies and perhaps also human ones, the rhythms of solitude, of play, of rest, of sexuality, and of the hunt.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
सिर्जनात्मक अभिव्यक्तिको सामर्थ्य तथा सौन्दर्य तिनको शब्दसञ्चालन शिल्प तथा अनुभूतिको कलात्मक सम्प्रेषण नै रहेछ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
कवितामा प्रयोग भएका कतिपय शब्दहरू कागजमा स्थिर रहँदा पनि म तिनलाई गतिशील देख्ने गर्दछु ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
भाषा भनेको दृष्य र सङ्गीतको सम्मिश्रण रहेछ । हामी दृष्य र सङ्गीत बोल्दारहेछौँ ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
ठ्याक्कै आफू नभएर आफ्नो हिँडाइमा आफैंले छेकेर अदृष्य बनाएका दृष्यहरू नै कविताका अर्थ हुँदा रहेछन्‌ ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
कविता पढ्नु र अझभित्र पसेर कविता अध्ययन गर्नु एउटा योग हो भन्ठान्छु, म । यसलाई काव्ययोग भन्न पनि सकिएला ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
अन्य भाषाका शब्दलाई कविताबाट झिकेर नेपालीमा चोब्दै राख्दै गरेर मात्र नहुँदोरहेछ । तिनलाई पखालेर, धोएर, कुँदेर, सकेसम्म सिँगारेर जतनसाथ राख्नु पर्दोरहेछ ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
सिर्जनाको अनुवाद गर्नु भनेको प्रतिसिर्जना वा अधिसिर्जना गर्नु रहेछ ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
Left-nostril breathing shifts blood flow to the opposite side of the prefrontal cortex, the right area that plays a role in creative thought, emotions, formation of mental abstractions, and negative emotions.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
कविताको अनुवादमा दुईवटा कुराको सन्तुलन अत्यन्त आवश्यक हुनेरहेछ । पहिलो, मूलभाषाले अनुवाद हुने भाषामा गर्ने हस्तक्षेप र दोस्रो, त्यसलाई जोगाउन खोज्दा कविको मूल शैलीमाथि अनुवादकको हस्तक्षेप ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
Think of those fingers as abilities. A creative person may write, paint, sculpt, or think up math formulae; he or she might dance or sing or play a musical instrument. Those are the fingers, but creativity is the hand that gives them life. & just as all hands are basically the same - form follows function - all creative people are the same once you get down to the place where the fingers join.
Stephen King
I will not stop singing the Muses who set me dancing.
Anne Carson (Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides)
The opposite of play is not work—the opposite of play is depression.” He explains, “Respecting our biologically programmed need for play can transform work. It can bring back excitement and newness to our job. Play helps us deal with difficulties, provides a sense of expansiveness, promotes mastery of our craft, and is an essential part of the creative process. Most important, true play that comes from our own inner needs and desires is the only path to finding lasting joy and satisfaction in our work. In the long run, work does not work without play.”2
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
All art is a work in progress. It’s helpful to see the piece we’re working on as an experiment. One in which we can’t predict the outcome. Whatever the result, we will receive useful information that will benefit the next experiment. If you start from the position that there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, and creativity is just free play with no rules, it’s easier to submerge yourself joyfully in the process of making things. We’re not playing to win, we’re playing to play. And ultimately, playing is fun. Perfectionism gets in the way of fun. A more skillful goal might be to find comfort in the process. To make and put out successive works with ease.
Rick Rubin (The Creative Act: A Way of Being)
Genetic randomness had already determined how much talent I’d been allotted, and destiny’s randomness would account for my share of luck. The only piece I had any control over was my discipline. Recognizing that, it seemed like the best plan would be to work my ass off. That was the only card I had to play, so I played it hard.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
To be an artist is to recognize the particular. To appreciate the peculiar. To allow a sense of play in your relationship to accepted standards. To ask the question “Why?” To be an artist is to risk admitting that much of what is money, property, and prestige strikes you as just a little silly.
Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity)
I hate when people act like music is nothing but wild creativity," Logan said. "That's bullshit. It's also about counting and measuring and calibrating. If you do it right." He passed his hand over my MP3 player sitting on the bed between us. It was playing Mozart to help my concentration. "And if you do it really right, no one can tell how hard it is for you. You can let them believe it's magic, because that means you must be magic. You're worth worshipping.
Jeri Smith-Ready (Shift (Shade, #2))
Let’s face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And finally, why doesn't "buick" rhyme with "quick"?
Richard Lederer
The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art. To women he is half vivisector, half vampire. He gets into intimate relations with them to study them, to strip the mask of convention from them, to surprise their inmost secrets, knowing that they have the power to rouse his deepest creative energies, to rescue him from his cold reason, to make him see visions and dream dreams, to inspire him, as he calls it. He persuades women that they may do this for their own purpose whilst he really means them to do it for his. He steals the mother’s milk and blackens it to make printer’s ink to scoff at her and glorify ideal women with. He pretends to spare her the pangs of child-bearing so that he may have for himself the tenderness and fostering that belong of right to her children. Since marriage began, the great artist has been known as a bad husband. But he is worse: he is a child-robber, a blood-sucker, a hypocrite, and a cheat. Perish the race and wither a thousand women if only the sacrifice of them enable him to act Hamlet better, to paint a finer picture, to write a deeper poem, a greater play, a profounder philosophy! For mark you, Tavy, the artist’s work is to shew us ourselves as we really are. Our minds are nothing but this knowledge of ourselves; and he who adds a jot to such knowledge creates new mind as surely as any woman creates new men. In the rage of that creation he is as ruthless as the woman, as dangerous to her as she to him, and as horribly fascinating. Of all human struggles there is none so treacherous and remorseless as the struggle between the artist man and the mother woman. Which shall use up the other? that is the issue between them. And it is all the deadlier because, in your romanticist cant, they love one another.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
And so we use them for a kind of pleasure which can be called "fun." But it is not the creative kind of fun often connected with play; it is, rather, a shallow, distracting, greedy way of "having fun." And it is not by chance that it is that type of fun which can easily be commercialized, for it is dependent on calculable reactions, without passion, without risk, without love. Of all the dangers that threaten our civilization, this is one of the most dangerous ones: the escape from one’s emptiness through a "fun" which makes joy impossible.
Paul Tillich (The New Being)
A lot of habitually creative people have preparation rituals linked to the setting in which they choose to start their day. By putting themselves into that environment, they start their creative day. The composer Igor Stravinsky did the same thing every morning when he entered his studio to work: He sat at the piano and played a Bach fugue. Perhaps he needed the ritual to feel like a musician, or the playing somehow connected him to musical notes, his vocabulary. Perhaps he was honoring his hero, Bach, and seeking his blessing for the day. Perhaps it was nothing more than a simple method to get his fingers moving, his motor running, his mind thinking music. But repeating the routine each day in the studio induced some click that got him started. In the end, there is no ideal condition for creativity. What works for one person is useless for another. The only criterion is this: Make it easy on yourself. Find a working environment where the prospect of wrestling with your muse doesn't scare you, doesn't shut you down. It should make you want to be there, and once you find it, stick with it. To get the creative habit, you need a working environment that's habit-forming. All preferred working states, no matter how eccentric, have one thing in common: When you enter into them, they compel you to get started.
Twyla Tharp (The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life)
Creativity always comes a surprise to us; therefore we can never count on it and we dare not believe in it until it has happened. In other words, we would not consciously engage upon tasks whose success clearly requires that creativity be forthcoming. Hence, the only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity that it will turn out to be
Albert O. Hirschman
कतिपय अवस्थामा अन्य भाषामा लेखिएका कवितालाई तिनको शैली जस्ताको तस्तै अनुवाद गर्दा ओल्लो भाषामा त्यसले हस्तक्षेप गर्दो रहेछ र त्यहाँ नमिल्ने र कुरो नबुझिने वाक्यांश भएर आउँदो रहेछ । र फेरि त्यस किसिमको हस्तक्षेप हुन नदिन ओर्तिरकै भाषामा चलिरहेको संरचनामा अनुवाद गर्दा मूल कविको शैलीमाथि अनुवादकको हस्तक्षेप हुन पुग्दोरहेछ ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
Feedback doesn’t tell you about yourself. It tells you about the person giving the feedback. In other words, if someone says your work is gorgeous, that just tells you about *their* taste. If you put out a new product and it doesn’t sell at all, that tells you something about what your audience does and doesn’t want. When we look at praise and criticism as information about the people giving it, we tend to get really curious about the feedback, rather than dejected or defensive.
Tara Mohr (Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead)
A certain kind of exhaustion sets in from having to constantly explain and justify one’s existence or participation in an artistic or creative realm. What a privilege it must be to never have to answer the question "How does it feel to be a woman playing music?" or "Why did you choose to be in an all-female band?" The people who get there early have to work the hardest.
Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl)
It doesn't matter if people are playing jazz or writing poetry -- if they want to be successful, they need to learn how to persist and persevere, how to keep on working until the work is done. Woody Allen famously declared that "eighty percent of success is showing up." NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts) teaches kids how to show up again and again.
Jonah Lehrer (Imagine: How Creativity Works)
To be playful is not to be trivial or frivolous, or to act as if nothing of consequence will happen. On the contrary, when we are playful… everything that happens is of consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcome of open possibility. To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion. To be playful is to allow for unlimited possibility.
James P. Carse
The principle I always go on in writing a novel is to think of the characters in terms of actors in a play. I say to myself, if a big name were playing this part, and if he found that after a strong first act he had practically nothing to do in the second act, he would walk out. Now, then, can I twist the story so as to give him plenty to do all the way through? I believe the only way a writer can keep himself up to the mark is by examining each story quite coldly before he starts writing it and asking himself it is all right as a story. I mean, once you go saying to yourself, "This is a pretty weak plot as it stands, but if I'm such a hell of a writer that my magic touch will make it okay," you're sunk. If they aren't in interesting situations, characters can't be major characters, not even if you have the rest of the troop talk their heads off about them." (Interview, The Paris Review, Issue 64, Winter 1975)
P.G. Wodehouse
अन्य भाषाका शब्दलाई कविताबाट झिकेर नेपालीमा चोब्दै राख्दै गरेर मात्र नहुँदोरहेछ । तिनलाई पखालेर, धोएर, कुँदेर, सकेसम्म सिँगारेर जतनसाथ राख्नु पर्दोरहेछ । सिर्जनाको अनुवाद गर्नु भनेको प्रतिसिर्जना वा अधिसिर्जना गर्नु रहेछ।त्यसैले मैले यहाँ शब्दको अनुवाद गरेको छैन । अर्थ वा भावको वा अझ त्यसभन्दाभित्र बरू ती शब्दहरूले छेकेर बसेका दृष्य र सङ्गीतहरूको अनुवाद गर्ने प्रयास गरेको छु ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
Just as medieval culture did not manage to square chivalry with Christianity, so the modern world fails to square liberty with equality. But this is no defect. Such contradictions are an inseparable part of every human culture. In fact, they are culture’s engines, responsible for the creativity and dynamism of our species. Just as when two clashing musical notes played together force a piece of music forward, so discord in our thoughts, ideas and values compel us to think, re-evaluate and criticise. Consistency is the playground of dull minds.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
innovation resides where art and science connect is not new. Leonardo da Vinci was the exemplar of the creativity that flourishes when the humanities and sciences interact. When Einstein was stymied while working out General Relativity, he would pull out his violin and play Mozart until he could reconnect to what he called the harmony of the spheres.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
I'm trained as an architect; writing is like architecture. In buildings, there are design motifs that occur again and again, that repeat -- patterns, curves. These motifs help us feel comfortable in a physical space. And the same works in writing, I've found. For me, the way words, punctuation and paragraphs fall on the page is important as well -- the graphic design of the language. That was why the words and thoughts of Estha and Rahel, the twins, were so playful on the page ... I was being creative with their design. Words were broken apart, and then sometimes fused together. "Later" became "Lay. Ter." "An owl" became "A Nowl." "Sour metal smell" became "sourmetal smell." Repetition I love, and used because it made me feel safe. Repeated words and phrases have a rocking feeling, like a lullaby. They help take away the shock of the plot -- death, lives destroyed or the horror of the settings -- a crazy, chaotic, emotional house, the sinister movie theater.
Arundhati Roy
Many questions come to mind. How influenced by contemporary religions were many of the scholars who wrote the texts available today? How many scholars have simply assumed that males have always played the dominant role in leadership and creative invention and projected this assumption into their analysis of ancient cultures? Why do so many people educated in this century think of classical Greece as the first major culture when written language was in use and great cities built at least twenty-five centuries before that time? And perhaps most important, why is it continually inferred that the age of the "pagan" religions, the time of the worship of female deities (if mentioned at all), was dark and chaotic, mysterious and evil, without the light of order and reason that supposedly accompanied the later male religions, when it has been archaeologically confirmed that the earliest law, government, medicine, agriculture, architecture, metallurgy, wheeled vehicles, ceramics, textiles and written language were initially developed in societies that worshiped the Goddess? We may find ourselves wondering about the reasons for the lack of easily available information on societies who, for thousands of years, worshiped the ancient Creatress of the Universe.
Merlin Stone (When God Was a Woman)
If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so that we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Right-wing women have surveyed the world: they find it a dangerous place. They see that work subjects them to more danger from more men; it increases the risk of sexual exploitation. They see that creativity and originality in their kind are ridiculed; they see women thrown out of the circle of male civilization for having ideas, plans, visions, ambitions. They see that traditional marriage means selling to one man, not hundreds: the better deal. They see that the streets are cold, and that the women on them are tired, sick, and bruised. They see that the money they can earn will not make them independent of men and that they will still have to play the sex games of their kind: at home and at work too. They see no way to make their bodies authentically their own and to survive in the world of men. They know too that the Left has nothing better to offer: leftist men also want wives and whores; leftist men value whores too much and wives too little. Right-wing women are not wrong. They fear that the Left, in stressing impersonal sex and promiscuity as values, will make them more vulnerable to male sexual aggression, and that they will be despised for not liking it. They are not wrong. Right-wing women see that within the system in which they live they cannot make their bodies their own, but they can agree to privatized male ownership: keep it one-on-one, as it were. They know that they are valued for their sex— their sex organs and their reproductive capacity—and so they try to up their value: through cooperation, manipulation, conformity; through displays of affection or attempts at friendship; through submission and obedience; and especially through the use of euphemism—“femininity, ” “total woman, ” “good, ” “maternal instinct, ” “motherly love. ” Their desperation is quiet; they hide their bruises of body and heart; they dress carefully and have good manners; they suffer, they love God, they follow the rules. They see that intelligence displayed in a woman is a flaw, that intelligence realized in a woman is a crime. They see the world they live in and they are not wrong. They use sex and babies to stay valuable because they need a home, food, clothing. They use the traditional intelligence of the female—animal, not human: they do what they have to to survive.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
The secret killer of innovation is shame. You can’t measure it, but it is there. Every time someone holds back on a new idea, fails to give their manager much needed feedback, and is afraid to speak up in front of a client you can be sure shame played a part. That deep fear we all have of being wrong, of being belittled and of feeling less than, is what stops us taking the very risks required to move our companies forward. If you want a culture of creativity and innovation, where sensible risks are embraced on both a market and individual level, start by developing the ability of managers to cultivate an openness to vulnerability in their teams. And this, paradoxically perhaps, requires first that they are vulnerable themselves. This notion that the leader needs to be “in charge” and to “know all the answers” is both dated and destructive. Its impact on others is the sense that they know less, and that they are less than. A recipe for risk aversion if ever I have heard it. Shame becomes fear. Fear leads to risk aversion. Risk aversion kills innovation.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
We lived on 82nd Street and the Metropolitan Museum was my short cut to Central Park. I wrote: "I go into the museum and look at all the pictures on the walls. Instead of feeling my own insignificance I want to go straight home and paint." A great painting, or symphony, or play, doesn't diminish us, but enlarges us, and we, too, want to make our own cry of affirmation to the power of creation behind the universe. This surge of creativity has nothing to do with competition, or degree of talent. When I hear a superb pianist, I can't wait to get to my own piano, and I play about as well now as I did when I was ten. A great novel, rather than discouraging me, simply makes me want to write. This response on the part of any artist is the need to make incarnate the new awareness we have been granted through the genius of someone else.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Circle of Quiet (Crosswicks Journals, #1))
In its confounding of the logic that maintains terms like high and low, or base and sacred as polar opposites, it is this play of the contradictory that allows one to think the truth that Bataille never tired of demonstrating: that violence has historically been lodged at the heart of the sacred; that to be genuine, the very thought of the creative must simultaneously be an experience of death; and that it is impossible for any moment of true intensity to exist apart from a cruelty that is equally extreme.
Rosalind E. Krauss (The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths)
कविताको अनुवादमा दुईवटा कुराको सन्तुलन अत्यन्त आवश्यक हुनेरहेछ । पहिलो, मूलभाषाले अनुवाद हुने भाषामा गर्ने हस्तक्षेप र दोस्रो, त्यसलाई जोगाउन खोज्दा कविको मूल शैलीमाथि अनुवादकको हस्तक्षेप । कतिपय अवस्थामा अन्य भाषामा लेखिएका कवितालाई तिनको शैली जस्ताको तस्तै अनुवाद गर्दा ओल्लो भाषामा त्यसले हस्तक्षेप गर्दो रहेछ र त्यहाँ नमिल्ने र कुरो नबुझिने वाक्यांश भएर आउँदो रहेछ । र फेरि त्यस किसिमको हस्तक्षेप हुन नदिन ओर्तिरकै भाषामा चलिरहेको संरचनामा अनुवाद गर्दा मूल कविको शैलीमाथि अनुवादकको हस्तक्षेप हुन पुग्दोरहेछ ।
Suman Pokhrel (मनपरेका केही कविता [Manpareka Kehi Kavita])
The basic recurring theme in Hindu mythology is the creation of the world by the self-sacrifice of God—"sacrifice" in the original sense of "making sacred"—whereby God becomes the world which, in the end, becomes again God. This creative activity of the Divine is called lila, the play of God, and the world is seen as the stage of the divine play. Like most of Hindu mythology, the myth of lila has a strong magical flavour. Brahman is the great magician who transforms himself into the world and then performs this feat with his "magic creative power", which is the original meaning of maya in the Rig Veda. The word maya—one of the most important terms in Indian philosophy—has changed its meaning over the centuries. From the might, or power, of the divine actor and magician, it came to signify the psychological state of anybody under the spell of the magic play. As long as we confuse the myriad forms of the divine lila with reality, without perceiving the unity of Brahman underlying all these forms, we are under the spell of maya. (...) In the Hindu view of nature, then, all forms are relative, fluid and ever-changing maya, conjured up by the great magician of the divine play. The world of maya changes continuously, because the divine lila is a rhythmic, dynamic play. The dynamic force of the play is karma, important concept of Indian thought. Karma means "action". It is the active principle of the play, the total universe in action, where everything is dynamically connected with everything else. In the words of the Gita Karma is the force of creation, wherefrom all things have their life.
Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism)
It is only by demanding the impossible of the piano that you can obtain from it all that is possible. For the psychologist this means that imagination and desire are ahead of the possible reality. A deaf Beethoven created for the piano sounds never heard before and thus predetermined the development of the piano for several decades to come. The composer's creative spirit imposes on the piano rules to which it gradually conforms. That is the history of the instrument's development. I don't know of any case where the reverse occurred.
Heinrich Neuhaus (The Art of Piano Playing)
There is something scary about letting ourselves go. It means that we will screw up, that we will relinquish the possibility of perfection. It means that we will say things we didn’t mean to say and express feelings we can’t explain. It means that we will be onstage and not have complete control, that we won’t know what we’re going to play until we begin, until the bow is drawn across the strings. While this spontaneous method might be frightening, it’s also an extremely valuable source of creativity…the lesson about letting go is that we contain our own creativity. We are so worried about playing the wrong note or saying the wrong thing that we end up with nothing at all.
Jonah Lehrer (Imagine: How Creativity Works)
right nostril is a gas pedal. When you’re inhaling primarily through this channel, circulation speeds up, your body gets hotter, and cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate all increase. This happens because breathing through the right side of the nose activates the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” mechanism that puts the body in a more elevated state of alertness and readiness. Breathing through the right nostril will also feed more blood to the opposite hemisphere of the brain, specifically to the prefrontal cortex, which has been associated with logical decisions, language, and computing. Inhaling through the left nostril has the opposite effect: it works as a kind of brake system to the right nostril’s accelerator. The left nostril is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax side that lowers blood pressure, cools the body, and reduces anxiety. Left-nostril breathing shifts blood flow to the opposite side of the prefrontal cortex, to the area that influences creative thought and plays a role in the formation of mental abstractions and the production of negative emotions.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
Telling a lie is an act with a sharp focus. It is designed to insert a particular falsehood at a particular point in a set or system of beliefs, in order to have that point occupied by the truth. This requires a degree of craftsmanship, in which the teller of the lie submits to objective constraints imposed by what he takes to be the truth. The liar is inescapably concerned with truth-values. In order to invent a lie at all, he must think he knows what is true. And in order to invent an effective lie, he must design his falsehood under the guidance of that truth. On the other hand, a person who takes to bullshit his way through has much more freedom. His focus is panoramic rather than particular. He does not limit himself to inserting a certain falsehood at a specific point, and thus he is not constrained by the truths surrounding that point or intersecting it. He is prepared, so far as is required, to fake the context as well. This freedom from the constraints to which the liar must submit does not necessarily mean, of course, that his task is easier than the task of the liar. But the mode of creativity upon which it relies is less analytical and less deliberative than that which is mobilized in lying. It is more expansive and independent, with more spacious opportunities for improvisation, color and imaginative play. This is less a matter of craft than of art. Hence the familiar notion of the 'bullshit artist'.
Harry G. Frankfurt (On Bullshit)
The Cosmic Director has written His own plays, and assembled the tremendous casts for the pageant of the centuries. From the dark booth of eternity, He pours His creative beam through the films of successive ages, and the pictures are thrown on the screen of space. Just as the motion-picture images appear to be real, but are only combinations of light and shade, so is the universal variety a delusive seeming. The planetary spheres, with their countless forms of life, are naught but figures in a cosmic motion picture, temporarily true to five sense perceptions as the scenes are cast on the screen of man’s consciousness by the infinite creative beam.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi)
There are two powerful fuels, two forces; motivation and inspiration. To be motivated you need to know what your motives are. Over time - and to sustain you through it - your motivation must become an inner energy; a 'motor' driving you forward, passionately, purposefully, wisely and compassionately... come what may, every day. Inspiration is an outer - worldly - energy that you breathe and draw in. It may come from many places, faces, spaces and stages - right across the ages. It is where nature, spirit, science, mind and time meet, dance, play and speak. It keeps you outward facing and life embracing. But you must be open-minded and open-hearted to first let it in and then let it out again. Together - blended, combined and re-entwined - motivation and inspiration bring connectivity, productivity, creativity and boundless possibilities that is not just 'self' serving but enriching to all humanity and societies...just as it should be.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
Live in the world without any idea of what is going to happen. Whether you are going to be a winner or a loser, it doesn’t matter. Death takes everything away. Whether you lose or win is immaterial. The only thing that matters, and it has always been so, is how you played the game. Did you enjoy it?—the game itself? Then each moment is a moment of joy. ALSO BY OSHO INSIGHTS FOR A NEW WAY OF LIVING SERIES Awareness: The Key to Living in Balance Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within Intimacy: Trusting Oneself and the Other Intuition: Knowing Beyond Logic Maturity: The Responsibility of Being Oneself OTHER BOOKS Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic The Book of Secrets India My Love: A Spiritual Journey Love, Freedom, and Aloneness Meditation: The First and Last Freedom
Osho (Joy: The Happiness That Comes from Within)
Call it the Human Mission-to be all and do all God sent us here to do. And notice-the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. 'And God said to them...' Eve is standing right there when God gives the world over to us. She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure. All that human beings were intended to do here on earth-all the creativity and exploration, all the battle and rescue and nurture-we were intended to do together. In fact, not only is Eve needed, but she is desperately needed. When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him" The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
Stasi Eldredge (Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul)
I wrote every day throughout my twenties. For a while, I had a boyfriend who was a musician, and he practiced every day. He played scales; I wrote small fictional scenes. It was the same idea - to keep your hand in your craft, to stay close to it. On bad days, when I felt no inspiration at all, I would set the kitchen timer for thirty minutes and make myself sit there and scribble something, anything. I had read an interview with John Updike where he said that some of the best novels you've ever read were written in an hour a day; I figured I could always carve out at least thirty minutes somewhere to dedicate myself to my work, no matter what else was going on or how badly I believed the work was going.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
And was it not perhaps more childlike and human to lead a Goldmund-life, more courageous, more noble perhaps in the end to abandon oneself to the cruel stream of reality, to chaos, to commit sins and accept their bitter consequences rather than live a clean life with washed hands outside the world, laying out a lonely harmonious thought-garden, strolling sinlessly among one's sheltered flower beds. Perhaps it was harder, braver and nobler to wander through forests and along the highways with torn shoes, to suffer sun and rain, hunger and need, to play with the joys of the senses and pay for them with suffering. At any rate, Goldmund had shown him that a man destined for high things can dip into the lowest depths of the bloody, drunken chaos of life, and soil himself with much dust and blood, without becoming small and common, without killing the divine spark within himself, that he can err through the thickest darkness without extinguishing the divine light and the creative force inside the shrine of his soul.
Hermann Hesse
Here’s what I like about God: Trees are crooked, mountains are lumpy, a lot of his creatures are funny-looking, and he made it all anyway. He didn’t let the aardvark convince him he had no business designing creatures. He didn’t make a puffer fish and get discouraged. No, the maker made things—and still does. European film directors often enjoy creative careers, during which their films mature from the manifestos of angry young men to the rueful wisdom of great works by creative masters. Is an afternoon siesta the secret? Is their vita just a little more dolce? We’ve taken espresso to our American hearts, but we haven’t quite taken to the “break” in our coffee breaks. Worried about playing the fool, we forget how to simply play. We try to make our creativity linear and goal oriented. We want our “work” to lead somewhere. We forget that diversions do more than merely divert us.
Julia Cameron (Walking in This World (Artist's Way))
The next phase of the Digital Revolution will bring even more new methods of marrying technology with the creative industries, such as media, fashion, music, entertainment, education, literature, and the arts. Much of the first round of innovation involved pouring old wine—books, newspapers, opinion pieces, journals, songs, television shows, movies—into new digital bottles. But new platforms, services, and social networks are increasingly enabling fresh opportunities for individual imagination and collaborative creativity. Role-playing games and interactive plays are merging with collaborative forms of storytelling and augmented realities. This interplay between technology and the arts will eventually result in completely new forms of expression and formats of media. This innovation will come from people who are able to link beauty to engineering, humanity to technology, and poetry to processors. In other words, it will come from the spiritual heirs of Ada Lovelace, creators who can flourish where the arts intersect with the sciences and who have a rebellious sense of wonder that opens them to the beauty of both.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
The twin aspects of genius, the passive and the active, are possessed by the fully realized artist; they also form the necessary equipment of the Adept. Yet in very few people are these twin aspects manifested. Nearly everyone has a capacity for the passive aspect, which involves some sort of appreciation of aesthetic values. There are few people totally unresponsive to the beauties of nature, and none at all that is not responsive to its ferocious manifestations.Fewer are able to respond profoundly to the beauty of natural phenomena, and fewer still to so-called works of art. It takes a degree of genius to respond to such manifestations the whole time. Artists in this category are among the saints, some of whom thrilled with rapture at the constant awareness of the total unity, harmony, and beauty of things. Such were Boehme, Ramakrishna, etc. Some yogis are immersed in an unsullied and vibrant bliss derived from the incessant contemplation of this 'world-bewitching maya'4-the breath-taking wonder of the great and glamorous illusion which surrounds us. On the other side of the fence, on the side of active or creative genius, there are yet fewer. Active or creative genius means nothing less than the ability to translate the wonder or the terror of the great lfla (the great play of life) in terms of visual, tactile, audible, olfactory, or some other sensual presentation of phenomena. But there is a third aspect of genius which is yet more rare. It is the ability to open the door of the theatre and admit the influences from outside, from the swarming gulfs beyond the grasp of the mind, and accessible only to the magical entity whose fantastic feelers can snare the most fugitive impulses as they flash through the holes in space, the kinks in time, to be reflected in the magic mirror of the artist's mind.
Kenneth Grant (Outside the Circles Of Time)
We shouldn't let our envy of distinguished masters of the arts distract us from the wonder of how each of us gets new ideas. Perhaps we hold on to our superstitions about creativity in order to make our own deficiencies seem more excusable. For when we tell ourselves that masterful abilities are simply unexplainable, we're also comforting ourselves by saying that those superheroes come endowed with all the qualities we don't possess. Our failures are therefore no fault of our own, nor are those heroes' virtues to their credit, either. If it isn't learned, it isn't earned. When we actually meet the heroes whom our culture views as great, we don't find any singular propensities––only combinations of ingredients quite common in themselves. Most of these heroes are intensely motivated, but so are many other people. They're usually very proficient in some field--but in itself we simply call this craftmanship or expertise. They often have enough self-confidence to stand up to the scorn of peers--but in itself, we might just call that stubbornness. They surely think of things in some novel ways, but so does everyone from time to time. And as for what we call "intelligence", my view is that each person who can speak coherently already has the better part of what our heroes have. Then what makes genius appear to stand apart, if we each have most of what it takes? I suspect that genius needs one thing more: in order to accumulate outstanding qualities, one needs unusually effective ways to learn. It's not enough to learn a lot; one also has to manage what one learns. Those masters have, beneath the surface of their mastery, some special knacks of "higher-order" expertise, which help them organize and apply the things they learn. It is those hidden tricks of mental management that produce the systems that create those works of genius. Why do certain people learn so many more and better skills? These all-important differences could begin with early accidents. One child works out clever ways to arrange some blocks in rows and stacks; a second child plays at rearranging how it thinks. Everyone can praise the first child's castles and towers, but no one can see what the second child has done, and one may even get the false impression of a lack of industry. But if the second child persists in seeking better ways to learn, this can lead to silent growth in which some better ways to learn may lead to better ways to learn to learn. Then, later, we'll observe an awesome, qualitative change, with no apparent cause--and give to it some empty name like talent, aptitude, or gift.
Marvin Minsky (The Society of Mind)
Your Creative Autobiography 1. What is the first creative moment you remember? 2. Was anyone there to witness or appreciate it? 3. What is the best idea you’ve ever had? 4. What made it great in your mind? 5. What is the dumbest idea? 6. What made it stupid? 7. Can you connect the dots that led you to this idea? 8. What is your creative ambition? 9. What are the obstacles to this ambition? 10. What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition? 11. How do you begin your day? 12. What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat? 13. Describe your first successful creative act. 14. Describe your second successful creative act. 15. Compare them. 16. What are your attitudes toward: money, power, praise, rivals, work, play? 17. Which artists do you admire most? 18. Why are they your role models? 19. What do you and your role models have in common? 20. Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you? 21. Who is your muse? 22. Define muse. 23. When confronted with superior intelligence or talent, how do you respond? 24. When faced with stupidity, hostility, intransigence, laziness, or indifference in others, how do you respond? 25. When faced with impending success or the threat of failure, how do you respond? 26. When you work, do you love the process or the result? 27. At what moments do you feel your reach exceeds your grasp? 28. What is your ideal creative activity? 29. What is your greatest fear? 30. What is the likelihood of either of the answers to the previous two questions happening? 31. Which of your answers would you most like to change? 32. What is your idea of mastery? 33. What is your greatest dream?
Twyla Tharp (The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life (Learn In and Use It for Life))
One of the most beautifully disturbing questions we can ask, is whether a given story we tell about our lives is actually true, and whether the opinions we go over every day have any foundation or are things we repeat to ourselves simply so that we will continue to play the game. It can be quite disorienting to find that a story we have relied on is not only not true - it actually never was true. Not now not ever. There is another form of obsolescence that can fray at the cocoon we have spun about ourselves, that is, the story was true at one time, and for an extended period; the story was even true and good to us, but now it is no longer true and no longer of any benefit, in fact our continued retelling of it simply imprisons us. We are used to the prison however, we have indeed fitted cushions and armchairs and made it comfortable and we have locked the door from the inside. The imprisoning story I identified by the time the entree was served was one I had told myself for a long time. “In order to write I need peace and quiet and an undisturbed place far from others or the possibility of being disturbed. I knew however, that if I wanted to enter the next creative stage, something had to change; I simply did not have enough free space between traveling, speaking and being a good father and husband to write what I wanted to write. The key in the lock turned surprisingly easy, I simply said to myself, “What if I acted as if it wasn’t true any more, what if it had been true at one time, but now at this stage in the apprenticeship I didn’t need that kind of insulation anymore, what if I could write anywhere and at any time?” One of the interesting mercies of this kind of questioning is that it is hard to lose by asking: if the story is still true, we will soon find out and can go back to telling it. If it is not we have turned the key, worked the hinges and walked out into the clear air again with a simple swing of the door.
David Whyte
If we think of eroticism not as sex per se, but as a vibrant, creative energy, it’s easy to see that Stephanie’s erotic pulse is alive and well. But her eroticism no longer revolves around her husband. Instead, it’s been channeled to her children. There are regular playdates for Jake but only three dates a year for Stephanie and Warren: two birthdays, hers and his, and one anniversary. There is the latest in kids’ fashion for Sophia, but only college sweats for Stephanie. They rent twenty G-rated movies for every R-rated movie. There are languorous hugs for the kids while the grown-ups must survive on a diet of quick pecks. This brings me to another point. Stephanie gets tremendous physical pleasure from her children. Let me be perfectly clear here: she knows the difference between adult sexuality and the sensuousness of caring for small children. She, like most mothers, would never dream of seeking sexual gratification from her children. But, in a sense, a certain replacement has occurred. The sensuality that women experience with their children is, in some ways, much more in keeping with female sexuality in general. For women, much more than for men, sexuality exists along what the Italian historian Francesco Alberoni calls a “principle of continuity.” Female eroticism is diffuse, not localized in the genitals but distributed throughout the body, mind, and senses. It is tactile and auditory, linked to smell, skin, and contact; arousal is often more subjective than physical, and desire arises on a lattice of emotion. In the physicality between mother and child lie a multitude of sensuous experiences. We caress their silky skin, we kiss, we cradle, we rock. We nibble their toes, they touch our faces, we lick their fingers, let them bite us when they’re teething. We are captivated by them and can stare at them for hours. When they devour us with those big eyes, we are besotted, and so are they. This blissful fusion bears a striking resemblance to the physical connection between lovers. In fact, when Stephanie describes the early rapture of her relationship with Warren—lingering gazes, weekends in bed, baby talk, toe-nibbling—the echoes are unmistakable. When she says, “At the end of the day, I have nothing left to give,” I believe her. But I also have come to believe that at the end of the day, there may be nothing more she needs. All this play activity and intimate involvement with her children’s development, all this fleshy connection, has captured Stephanie’s erotic potency to the detriment of the couple’s intimacy and sexuality. This is eros redirected. Her sublimated energy is displaced onto the children, who become the centerpiece of her emotional gratification.
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence)