Seeing we call it painting.
Hearing we call it music.
Reading we call it poetry.
And living we call it life.
So art is an attempt to capture life.
Everyone loves Toy Story, the movie that made Pixar a multibillion-dollar studio and revived Walt Disney. There is an immense appeal in having our various creations come alive and play with us, whether Woody, Buzz Lightyear or Jessie. They want nothing more than that the child in us might take time out to celebrate life by playing with them.
When you become your characters, and your characters become “you,” you enter a whole new dimension of being. You are both creation and creator, and you have achieved a kind of immortality.
In multiple spiritual traditions, we find the notion of the Creator entering the world as one of His / Her creatures. In Hinduism, Vishnu dismembers Himself to become us and comes back together when we re-member him.
In Judaism, God makes a clay figurine by a riverbed, and breathes life into Adam until he becomes “a living soul.” In Christianity, the Logos, the Creative Force behind the universe, becomes Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, “the Second Adam and the Firstborn of a new creation.”
Core to these stories is the concept of kenosis, where the Avatar, or descent of God, pours Himself out, literally emptying himself, to become one with His creation. The Avatar comes back again and again when things become too chaotic to usher humanity back to their original divinity.
Whenever we create something, whether a painting, a sculpture, a poem, a movie, or even a piece of code on a mobile app, we have to empty ourselves and become what we are playing with, such that it begins to take on our life, our image.
The world we inhabit is incomparably beautiful. Just study the other planets in the solar system. The infinitely repeating fractal patterns around us are exquisite, as even a quick study of the Mandelbrot Set will reveal. Even when humanity systematically depletes the environment; you can see pleasing patterns within an oil spill.
As we rediscover that we live in a kind of paradise, we can awaken from apathy and begin to enjoy the immense diversity and possibility all around us, as well as the beauty within each of us. For example, many of us, in even the densest urban areas, can walk out and find a park nearby.
Why not celebrate that you a part of something awesome and vast, truly glorious? You are a child of the universe, a child of creation. Our Divine Mother and Father drained themselves in you, such that you might relish the radiance of your own stardust.
In truth, we are all created to create, and we will never be truly happy until we find out how to be creative in life.
If you look at our basic humanity, we are the tool-making animals with opposable thumbs, the animals with the gift of gab and the animals that are never satisfied to keep things the way they are. Steve Jobs put it best when he invited his colleagues “to make a dent in the universe.”
Our imagination is the portal to our divinity and to entirely new dimensions.
In the ancient story, mankind was building a tower to heaven. The jealous God portrayed got a bit unnerved, as He realized that the people could actually do it, if they only threw themselves wholeheartedly in it. So He confounded the nations with many languages, as we read in the account of the Tower of Babel.
When we realize that we are, at bottom, creators, we can begin to discover our destiny in life. We may do it with canvas, clay, dance, drama, words or code. We need merely find our proper medium, and get going.
As we choose a creative life, we will begin to realize that we are actually the star in our own movie, and that we have awoken up to our leading role. We are on the screen, in the audience cheering us along and in the projector, capturing all the magic frame by frame.
We chose to forget that we were the camera and the audience, so that we could plunge into our character assigned by Central Casting. We even forgot that we wrote the script, and in our many improvisations, actually remember something thought out a long time ago.
As you begin to see that all the characters surrounding you are another “you,” you will begin to open up and truly love them. Why cause them to suffer, except in jest. Why not make it a love story, and use your ingenuity to ensure a happy ending?
If you are wondering where to start, you can simply walk over to the nearest Apple Store, which is appearing all around the world, including places like Paris and Beijing. If none are accessible to you, try visiting their website and studying the gorgeous graphics and videos. I single them out, as their creator, Steve Jobs, gave his life to change the world, to empower us all to live more creatively.
As computers have gone mobile, Apple has succeeded with the iPhone in actually making it a creative platform. The latest versions have lenses equal to those of the best professional cameras a few years back, as highlighted by their posters depicting visual masterpieces. Camera and film have all gone digital. You can build your own library and store the images on the Cloud to show your friends anytime, anywhere.
You can even write Haiku and gorgeously illustrate them with Zen Brush 2, an app built for the iPad. You can replicate any musical instrument with GarageBand or edit the movie you create with your iPhone camera on iMovie.
Wake up as a creator by using anything around you to express yourself. You don’t need to be especially talented. You just need to have a hearty appetite for fun.
Related article: Life as Art, Art as Life
Artists are those of us who give ourselves permission to play, and who take that play seriously.
Do something just for the fun of it… today!