Q: What is creativity?
Deva Mohan, action is not creativity, inaction also is not creativity. Creativity is a very paradoxical state of consciousness and being: it is action through inaction, it is what Lao Tzu calls wei-wu-wei. It is allowing something to happen through you. It is not a doing, it is an allowing. It is becoming a passage so the whole can flow through you. It is becoming a hollow bamboo, just a hollow bamboo.
And then immediately something starts happening, because hidden behind man is god. Just give him a little way, a little passage, to come through you. That is creativity: allowing God to happen is creativity.
Creativity is a religious state. That’s why I say that a poet is far closer to God than a theologian, a dancer even closer. The philosopher is the farthest away, because the more you think, the greater the wall you create between you and the whole. The more you think, the more you are. The ego is nothing but all the thoughts accumulated in the past.
When you are not, God is. That is creativity.
Creativity simply means you are in a total relaxation. It does not mean inaction, it means relaxation, because out of relaxation much action will be born. But that will not be your doing, you will be just a vehicle. A song will start coming through you – you are not the creator of it, it comes from the beyond. It always comes from the beyond. When you create it, it is just ordinary, mundane. When it comes through you it has superb beauty, it brings something of the unknown in it.
When the great poet Coleridge died he left thousands of poems incomplete. Many times in his life he was asked, “Why don’t you complete these poems” – because a few poems were missing only one line or two lines. “Why don’t you complete them?”
And he would say, “I cannot. I have tried, but when I complete them something goes amiss, something goes wrong. My line never falls in tune with that which has come through me. It remains a stumbling block, it becomes a rock, it hinders the flow. So I have to wait.
Whosoever has been flowing through me, whenever he again starts flowing and completes the poem it will be completed, not before it.”
He completed only a few poems. But those are of superb beauty, of great mystic splendor. That has always been so: the poet disappears, then there is creativity. Then he is possessed. Yes, that is the word, he is possessed.
To be possessed by God is creativity.
Simone de Beauvoir has said, “Life is occupied both in perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is maintain itself, then living is only not dying.”
And the man who is not creative is only not dying, that’s all. His life has no depth. His life is not yet life but just a preface; the book of life has not yet started. He is born, true, but he is not alive.
When you become creative, when you allow creativity to happen through you, when you start singing a song that is not your own – that you cannot sign and you cannot say, “It is my own,” on which you cannot put your signature – then life take wings, it upsurges.
In creativity is the surpassing. Otherwise, at the most we can go on perpetuating ourselves. You create a child – it is not creativity. You will die and the child will be here to perpetuate life. But to perpetuate is not enough unless you start surpassing yourself. And surpassing happens only when something of the beyond comes in contact with you.
That is the point of transcendence – surpassing. And in surpassing, the miracle happens: you are not, and yet for the first time you are.
Osho, Unio Mystica, Vol 1, Ch 6, Q 1 (excerpt)