There are some people who hear the word CREATE and wake up, as if a new flashing music has begun.
This lone word makes them see something majestic and untamed and astonishing.
They feel the sound of a Niagara approaching.
They suddenly know why they are alive.
It happened to me one day in 1949 when I was 11 years old. I was boarding a bus in upstate New York for a full day’s ride back down into New York City. I was sitting by the window as the bus pulled out of a parking lot, and I opened the first page of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, a perfect children’s book.
The word CREATE wasn’t on that first page, but I felt it. It sounded like a great bell in my ear, and I knew I was in a different world.
I’ve been writing about the creative life for some time. For me, this life is a far cry from the pallid oatmeal of “peace through avoidance.”
The creative life is not about slogans and systems. It is about EXPERIENCE.
It’s about diving in. It’s about a kind of transformation that shreds programming and gets down to the energy of the Fire.
Most people don’t want to travel to that grand arena because they have been trained like pets by some sector of this society to be good little girls and boys.
The truth is, if people want to live the creative existence, they have to be willing to destroy—and the main thing that awaits their destruction is their own illusions and their commitment to the World of Nice where doily power is the only power. Where that tired phrase, “the approval of others,” is the guiding precept and the stick of fear.
The creative life isn’t about little changes done in little penguin steps. It’s about putting your arms and your mind around Deep, Big, and Wide Desire. It’s about making that Desire come to life.
99% of the world has been trained like rats to adore systems. Give them a system and they’re ready to cuddle up and take it all in. If they have questions, or if they want to argue, it’s about how to tweak the system to make it a little better. And with every move they make, they put another blanket over the Fire Within.
Maybe you once saw something truly free that didn’t care about consequences, and it blew you away and turned on your soul’s electricity for an hour.
Maybe you’re sick and tired of bowing and scraping before a pedestal of nonsense.
CREATE is a word that should be oceanic. It should shake and blow apart the pillars of the smug boredom of the soul.
CREATE is about what the individual does when he is on fire and doesn’t care about concealing it. It’s about what the individual invents when he has thrown off the false front that is slowly strangling him.
CREATE is about the end of mindless postponement. It’s about what happens when you burn up the pretty and petty little obsessions. It’s about emerging from the empty suit and empty machine of society that goes around and around and sucks away the vital bloodstream.
People come to the brink, and then say, “I’m waiting for orders. I’m looking for a sign. I want the signal that it’s okay to proceed.”
People pretend they don’t know anything about imagination, about how “it operates” (as if it were a machine), about what it can do, about where it can go, about how it can take them into new territory. They feign ignorance.
“I want to stay the same, and I’ll do anything to maintain that.”
It’s a test of loyalty. Do you want to remain faithful to an idea that is just a small piece of what you can be, or do you want to take the greater adventure?
The propaganda machines of society relentlessly turn out images and messages that ultimately say: YOU MUST BELONG TO THE GROUP.
The formula is simple. Imagination transcends the status quo. Therefore, belong to the group and avoid the possibility of transformation.
Day after day after day, year after year, the media celebrate heroes. They inevitably interview these people to drag out of them the same old familiar stories. Have you EVER, even once, seen a hero who told an interviewer in no uncertain terms: “I got to where I am by denying the power of the group”?
Have you ever heard that kind of uncompromising statement?
I didn’t think so.
Because it’s not part of the BELONGING PROGRAM, the program that society runs on to stay away from the transforming power of CREATION.