Monday, June 29, 2015

Emuna and the Creative Process


Many people can't see a connection between emuna and creativity; what does one have to do with the other? Well, psychologists have been studying creativity for decades, and they've done hundreds of studies to understand the creative process. What these researchers wanted to know is how do people come up with new ideas? How did Einstein come up with the Theory of Relativity? How did Picasso paint such beautiful pictures? The thinking was that if they could somehow understand the creative process, then they'd be able to teach other people how to access higher levels of creative thinking and innovation.

But the studies came back inconclusive, because the creative process is not something that man builds, it's something that's given to him as a gift from G-d. When they asked all the Nobel Laureates, and the other creative geniuses, how they came up with their innovative ideas, they all said the same thing - they didn't know! They were just kind of sitting there one day, or woke up one morning and poof - somethingnew bubbled up from their creative unconscious mind.

Ok, at this point you may be wondering why I'm telling you all this; after all, you're not an aspiring Einstein, or Picasso, and you really just want to serve G-d and live a good life. So why do you need creativity? What does all this have to do with emuna anyway?

Jeremy Dean is psychologist who thoroughly reviewed the creativity research and wrote a book about it.  One of the things that he found is that when a person wants to create something new, he first has to let go of his existing knowledge base because his fixed knowledge base inhibits his creativity. 

We need creativity in our service to G-d because G-d is also beyond human knowledge and beyond the limit of what we “know” that He can do. The purpose of our lives is actually to get to know G-d, and to form some sort of connection with Him; but to have any hope of actually doing this, we have to go into the world of creativity and abstract thought, and let go of our logic and our “knowledge.” That doesn't mean that we completely discount and ignore science, but rather that we use science as a starting point, or a springboard, to help us to get to G-d.

So how does a human being perceive G-d? Click here to continue...

Also featured this week:

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Shema: Loving Hashem

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Get it Right!

Racheli Reckles - Caitlyn and the 50th Gate

Have a wonderful day!
Dr. Zev Ballen