If we are going to be talking about creativity on this here blog, then we need to delve into what it means to create. A good place to start a discussion oftentimes is with clarifying the words we use. For your viewing pleasure, a condensed definition below:
Cause to come into being. Something that would not naturally evolve. Not an accident. That means it’s an active process and not a passive observance. To create means participation and a person to implement this action.
Oftentimes we think we have done something so unique. Something that no one else has ever thought of before: a cool invention, a stylin’ outfit, a tasty recipe, etc. While these creations are neat and/or truly unique, we are creating from already created things. What did you use for your creative project? What materials did you use? What about before there was cotton to make that trendy blouse or wheat to make the flour for that double layered chocolate cake? Where did that stuff come from? If creating means causing something unique to come into being, then how come we just made stuff using already created raw materials? Can we call that creating? Are we the creator? Who made the first blueprint for creativity? The first building plan and why?
So we are doing projects using existing materials, but how did these things come to exist in the first place? There needs to be a way of creating nothing into something, nothing into cotton and flour. I believe the nothing-into-something situation came from the Great Creator, from God. He “needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create. God creates freely out of nothing” (*CCC 296). Good old St. Theophilus says it well:
If God had drawn the world from pre-existent matter, what would be so extraordinary about that? A human artisan makes from a given material whatever he wants, while God shows his power by starting from nothing to make all he wants. (CCC 296)
I’m not saying that human creativity isn’t cool…cause it is definitely awesome. I just wanna talk about why our creativity even matters. Our creative ability is our connection to the Creator (aka God). Have you ever considered that creativity is spiritual? Think about it… and if you think I’ve gone off the deep end, I will try to better explain myself in another post later.
Ok, so God did this. He created us. But why? Great question. Here’s my attempt at an answer. God is love (1 John 4:16b) and since “the measure of love is without measure” (**St. Francis de Sales) God created us out of free and unselfish love. “Out of the ‘surplus’ of His love He created us. He wanted to share his endless joy with us, who are creatures of his love” (***Youcat p.14).
Well, as this post is winding down, you may have noticed that I’ve committed a faux pas. I’ve introduced one of the two universally known topics which effectively kill polite conversation: I’m talking about religion. God stuff. At least I’m not getting into politics (the other universally known topic that kills a convo)! I do love me some light banter about ganache and tea cups, but I wanna talk about more. Real life stuff to ponder over now and then is important.
*CCC: Catechism of the Catholic Church is a text containing the fundamental Christian truths, a reference book on life and stuff.
**St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622): a distinguished bishop, spiritual guide, founder of a religious community, and Doctor of the Church.
***Youcat: Youth Catechism: Check it out. It’s got pictures and flip book style stick man and a visual appealing setup for the topics covered.