I recently listened to a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the renowned Author of Eat Pray Love, entitled Your Elusive Creative Genius. As an aspiring writer and story teller I must say I thoroughly enjoyed her talk, and found her exceptionally well spoken. She shares freely about the pressure she faces on a daily basis due to the fact that her book has ‘made it’ and the fear that she faces that potentially, that would be as good as it gets, and that she may have already achieved the highest point of her career. The point of her talk is really to try and shift the thinking about creativity from an internal, incredibly personal, and highly exhausting process to more of an external, slightly less personal, and easier to achieve process. To illustrate this she takes us on a journey back, to pre-renaissance times before humanism crept into society when people were more spiritual in their outlook, and believed that creativity was not necessarily an internal trait, but an external force called a ‘genie’, which visited them and blessed them with their creative work. If your work wasn’t too good, it was your genie’s fault, and if it was wonderful, you couldn’t take too much credit for it either, meaning that people were a whole lot less narcissistic as a result.
As a Christian, as much as I don’t necessarily agree with the concept of creativity being a genie, I can fully identify with creative idea’s coming to me from God, and I can see how from a secular standpoint this would almost be a laughable proposition. But then when you think about history and the fact that humanism, or man’s shift of focus from the spiritual, to man and man’s accomplishments, you start to realise that there was a huge chunk of history where the latter; focus on self with very little elements of spirituality, was completely unheard of.
Her talk highlights something else for me, in that, it’s all well and good excluding spirituality from your life on the basis that some would say that it’s not rational or measurable or scientific, but has it been good for humanity? Our focus on self has propelled us down the paths of ambition, and depression, and personal gain for hundreds of years, and as much as we have achieved amazing things as human beings since the renaissance times, are we not missing out on the sheer simplicity, but also limitless possibilities of a time where spirituality was an integral part of life.
The world today is driven by technology, from work to home, technology is the central hub of everything we do. Big technology companies like Google, Microsoft, and IBM are releasing new Artificial Intelligence every day. We are in constant contact and connection with each other. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook mean that we are always connected, always informed, and always receiving information. The advertising world is shifting away from utilizing things like television commercials and billboards, to advertising through Social Media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. We are bombarded with product information all day long in every social interaction we have, but the messaging is so subtle that we sometimes don’t even realise it. Advertising has evolved so much that now companies can use user analytics to target people’s specific likes and dislikes. ‘Humanism’ has reached an all-time high, but human beings are at our unhappiest, More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED. There are addiction centers for technology addicts. Narcissism is at an all-time high in the age of ‘me’ but we are unfilled, lonely isolated, and unloved.
As someone who has worked in IT my entire career, I can safely admit to being a complete techno-geek. I am not trying to paint technology as the ultimate evil at all, in fact, so much good can be achieved by using great tech! I do believe though, that we are trying to fill a void in our lives with things that only leave us starved and isolated, and hungry for more.
According to biblical principles, human beings have been created as threefold beings; body, soul, and spirit. The things of this world, created and then perfected by man satisfy our fleshly desires. But what is it that satisfies our soul? What if it’s nothing that this world can offer us, what if it’s entirely about the connection between our creative man, the soul, with our ultimate creator?
Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf formulated the idea in the 80’s that our minds could influence our brain, the thoughts we think ultimately affect the physiological condition of our brain. These ideas were not well received by some back then, but now this is relatively well received in modern day psychology. You are what you think, and your thoughts can leave physical impressions by means of neural pathways in the brain that cause things like compulsions and habits. Now, if ‘you’ can influence your own brains physiological state, are you not more than just the body you live in, and are we not ignoring a giant chunk of who we are as spiritual beings? We live for the now, we want instant gratification, and we completely forget about the eternal.
If you are struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression, or feel unfulfilled and isolated and want to know more about how you can start the journey to living a more holistic and integrated life using age old principles that have left people’s lives completely changed, reach out, we’re here to help you take the first steps on the journey to discovering what your soul is longing for…. You are loved, you are wanted, and you were created for more than this.
Disclaimer: All hyperlinked posts are not the authors own, nor are they associated to Jrevolution, they serve the purpose of giving credit to the outside sources and providing additional research material to the reader.
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