Before, I maintained narrow definitions – I thought heroism was only for the warrior and creativity only for the artist.
Recently, I’ve realized that these aren’t just grand gestures of the few. Canonized stories exist to show us idyllic possibilities for our own lives.
In transitioning out of youth, I now see the responsibility of adulthood – to make heroism and creativity more commonplace in everyday life. And even if an entire civilization makes every one of their acts heroic and creative, the profundity of this will not be lost to relativism. It is this constant striving for heroism and creativity, against our internal weaknesses, that make life worthwhile.
There’s something purifying about isolation and corrupting about society and collective opinion. Ancient eskimo tribes initiated their Shaman, their spiritual leaders, with months of forced isolation.
The Shaman were built temporary shelters away from the tribe and lived there with a minimum of food and water. The Shaman experienced ecstatic states and hallucinations – they were thought to die and return from the underworld with a bounty of spiritual enlightenment. This intensity of vision cannot be reached while coddled by the comfort of a tribe.
Human interaction suffers from regression to the mean. Most get lazy and forget their ideals. Too few willingly surround themselves with those who demand excellence from them.
Even when we do accept the challenge, we are met with technical adversity. Wisdom is the most difficult thing to communicate. Unlike other forms of knowledge, wisdom cannot be transmitted directly.
In fact, attempts at documenting and teaching wisdom, in the form of religion, have mostly backfired. Religious institutions deteriorate over time as the gap widens between the present and the formative revelation. Even though all religious texts point to the same thing – the universal yearning for an understanding of what transcends us – they have instead more often been used as justification for division and conflict.
Most of my philosophical rants have a note of cynicism – but I’m surely not a pessimist. I’m optimistic in my belief that everyone has inside of them what they themselves need. The goal of life should be to remain an individual despite the tempest of societal pressures and continuously refresh your outlook by accessing the creative centers within yourself.
The goal should be to purposely lose track of time at least several times per day.
Also, was just thinking of the different application areas for human creativity.
Abstract thought in the form of story-telling, writing and theory. Physical craft, where matter is subject, such as wood-working. Athleticism and bodily movement, where human is subject, such as ballet and Jiu Jitsu. And, now digital craft, like video-editing and, increasingly, software entrepreneurship.
I do think human creativity manifests itself in everything. The activities mentioned above are just deliberate pursuits meant to cultivate, showcase, and heighten human creativity.
Somewhere in all of this is the religion that I subscribe to.