Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
About Elizabeth Gilbert
The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some large topics. Her next fascination: genius, and how we ruin it. Full bio and more links
In towering splendor once I stood
A regal monarch of the wood,
My branches once reached to the sky
See me now but do not cry.
The Creator’s work has yet to cease
I’ve become a shelter for bird and beast,
And when at last I fall to the Earth
The life I leave will inspire new birth;
A seedling springs forth from the ground
Nature’s cycle goes round and round.
– S. Edward Palmer, Spirit Tree
A monk asked Chao-chou Ts’ung shen (777-897) (Joshu),
“Has the oak tree Buddha nature?”
Chao-chou said, “Yes, it has.”
The monk said, “When does the oak tree attain Buddhahood?”
Chao-Chou said, “Wait until the great universe collapses.”
The monk said, “When does the universe collapse?”
Chao-chou said, “Wait until the oak tree attains Buddhahood.
– The Gateless Barrier, The Wu-Men Kuan (Mumonkan), Translated by Robert Aitken, Case 37
Many people believe that creativity is something you either have or you don’t, and if you are amongst the happy few, you’ll use your creativity to create difficult art the general public won’t understand but your creative counterparts will love.
But; creativity is of vital importance to every act you’ll ever do. Art or no art. The usage of your creativity can change every action you’ll ever do from ordinary to extraordinary.