“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.”
Creativity in Western Society
I worry when I look around me at the lack of creativity in our Western society. Now in order that I can articulate this correctly, it goes something like this. Our western society encourages individualism and pre determination, it has to, because it is what the whole basis of democracy and capitalism is based on. The economy encourages individuals to think outside of the box so that they will flourish as independent economic leaders. It stops here though, because an individual cannot think outside of the box when their soul is not nourished. The soul is the essence of the individual
and in order for it become individualised and healthy, it needs to be creative. Our Western culture seeks religion to satisfy the growth of the soul and therein lies the problem. Religion does not feed the soul, nor can the answers be found there. Religion serves as a community support system, but it wrongly purports that in order that a soul is to be nourished, it will be religion that will be able to do that.
I look to the Communist states and the renouncing of religion and I see incredible writers, poets, philosophers, engineers, filmmakers come out of these states. Russia has produced a phenomenal amount of important creatives; the names are too many. Has the fact that this society asked individuals to look into themselves for creative purposes, as opposed to looking to religion made this a point of difference? Religion has a place and a stance, and I'm not making any comments on the economic viability of one system over another, I am simply commenting on the formation, creation, development of the soul, and if religion is really a necessary element in the fostering of this. I think not. The soul is the essence of every individual human, and the soul needs to be nourished and the only way that it can do this successfully is through creative practice. Eliminate the creative practice from a human, replace it with dogmatism and didacticism of sorts and the soul diminishes.
We are after all, individuals because of the individual soul that we do have. The soul is the essence of who we are. Vanilla is an essence of the cake that gets prepared, it is a small part of the cake, but a very important part; it gives the cake flavour, character, an individual quality that
A Soul Brought to Heaven, William Adolphe-Bouguereau-1878 distinguishes it from other cakes. That is the soul. What happens to the soul when we die then? Well, the blueprint of the soul remains, call it the legacy, the creativity that had been made, formed, played with in life. For the cake, it is the recipe that lasts. The analogy might be a little far fetched, but I see similarities.
So, as with the vanilla essence, one's soul is the final element in the formation of the individual. Take the vanilla essence away and the cake is bland, take the soul away and the individual is bland.
I strongly feel that this is why there is such a major problem with creativity in the Western world. Too many people's souls are not nourished enough. Religion cannot be the sole feeder to the soul. Art, dancing, films, stories, can and will suffice nicely, and even better for the soul is when the individual embarks on a creative process to make these all happen in some form or another. If creativity became a natural part of everyone's life then life would be different. It doesn't matter what that creativity looks like for each person, but it should exist as a priority, it is after all, food for the soul, and the latter, a diamond in the making.