Creativity, spirituality and the exclusion of non-believers
Releasing the Creative Spirit: Unleash the Creativity in Your Life is the second book I have read that equated creativity with spirituality. (The other one is The Tools: 5 Tools to Help You Find Courage, Creativity and Willpower… It should have been called “Everything I Needed to Know about Creativity I Learned in Sunday School.”) I guess that makes sense, especially if you are religious. After all, God is the most creative spirit available. He is so creative, he even created creativity. (I am not sure on what day He created it, but there it is.) Anyone who is a child of God must be creative, unless that trait skips a generation.
God is also love, and in order to create in this world, there has to be some sort of love involved, even if it is only the love wasted on a one-night stand. The other similarity with creativity and spirituality is that they both seek to elevate a person into self-actualization or a higher plane, or rather through their practices, the person seeks to elevate his or her life. (Spirituality is different from its institutionalized practices for some people.)
The problem with this approach is that it leaves those out who don’t believe in God. Even with the pandering statements of “or whatever you believe and even if you don’t believe in any God…,” it makes the message less accessible for those who are looking to increase creativity not be converted. No matter how many qualifying phrases are put before God, they only end up accentuating the fact that the author thinks that God is the most important thing to the success of any creative endeavor.
None of this would be a problem if the books came out and said what they were. Those who do not want to be indoctrinated into a religious/pseudo-spiritual experience through the reading of this particular type of book could more easily avoid such indoctrination. Those who do seek out this type of message can find themselves edified and confirmed in their beliefs.
This doesn’t mean that there are not lessons to be learned; it just means that they are more difficult to find and that the lessons tend to be more basic than someone who might have education in creativity really needs.