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http://www.ikedaquotes.org/creativity

12 February 2015

The energy of creativity is like a fire that transforms all kinds of obstacles into opportunities for dynamic new growth and advancement. To strive even higher, to do even better—the creative process is a desperate struggle to go beyond what we were yesterday. It is a battle against resting on our laurels, against the fear of losing what we have. It is an adventure into unknown territory. Unless we view things with our hearts, we can see nothing. But if we look at the world with a love of life, it will reveal its beauty to us. The life and essence of art—whether it be painting, music, or dance—lies in expressing through a wellspring of emotion the universal realm of the human spirit. It is a melding of the individual and the universal. That is why great art reaches out beyond ethnic and national barriers to move people all over the world. The emotion generated by a work of art, be it poetry, painting, or music, may be that tangible, unquestionable feeling of a broadening of the self. It is a feeling of fullness, borne from a mysterious rhythm, a kind of flight toward the infinite, lived as a sharing, an exchange, whose source is our interior world. Art is to the spirit what bread is to the body: a necessity without which it cannot renew itself. It is important that we have the inner richness to be able to look up at the stars or the moon and compose a poem once in a while. When we open wide our minds and fix our gaze on the universe, we fix our gaze on our own life.

A truly beautiful person is one who is good at discovering beauty. The institutions of human society treat us as parts of a machine. They assign us ranks and place considerable pressure upon us to fulfill defined roles. We need something to help us restore our lost and distorted humanity. Each of us has feelings that have been suppressed and have built up inside. There is a voiceless cry resting in the depths of our souls, waiting for expression. Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside yourself. Culture is an elevated expression of the inner voice which the different peoples of the Earth have heard in the depths of their being, a voice which conveys the vibrant compassion and wisdom of the cosmic life. For different cultures to engage in interaction is to catalyze each other’s souls and foster mutual understanding. This thing called life—with the exertion and concentrated thought of a novelist writing a novel, with the sweat and perseverance of a painter plying his brush, seated before the blank paper of the instant and the future, one creates a new portrait of oneself. Life is a vigorous task to be engaged in. How aware are we of our own inner life, our spirituality—something so intangible yet so priceless? How much effort do we make to perceive that which is not obvious, which can neither be seen nor heard? I believe the exploration and enrichment of the human spirit is what determines our very humanity. The eyes of a poet discover in each person a unique and irreplaceable humanity. While arrogant intellect seeks to control and manipulate the world, the poetic spirit bows with reverence before its mysteries.

Music could perhaps be called the most truly human form of dialogue we are capable of. Though people may differ in the color of their skin, the language they speak, their customs and ways, or the material culture which surrounds them, the power of music makes it possible for them to instantly communicate and respond to each other’s innermost feelings. Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself. Never for an instant forget the effort to renew your life, to build yourself anew. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway of life itself. This is not an easy task. Indeed, it may be the most severely challenging struggle there is. For opening the door to your own life is in the end more difficult than opening the door to all the mysteries of the universe. Buddhism teaches that the heart is like a skilled painter. Both art and our lives are faithful expressions of what is in our hearts.

http://www.ikedaquotes.org/creativity

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