Creativity Does Not Need Appreciation
The biggest mistake we make is when we look for appreciation from people who are way below our intelligence levels. Since they survive on manipulations, they try to sell it at a higher price. As we cannot stoop down to that level, they become stingy. We then end up judging ourselves and take it to heart. That is the reason why Bhagavad Geeta advised for developing indifference towards appreciation and negative remarks both. It is widely known that appreciation gives greater energy to work but it has an extremely bad side as well which can make a person unproductive and useless.
The zeal can be created by ourselves through deep mental poise. After all, why do we have to depend on an external source to remain original? Our inner nature is creative and it must go on irrespective of whether we receive applause in turn.
Look at the nature: it is a great book and we all must read it thoroughly. Can we say that nature is less creative than human beings? She is engaged continuously in a non-ending process of evolution, perfecting even a tiny flower in the midst of her vastness. The grass, as an ancient Sanskrit saying goes, is crushed by the bullocks working in the field and whatever is still left is uprooted by the farmer and burnt by the sun; yet within a few days it continues its growth. This steadiness makes it eligible to be offered to the deity as per the Vedic tradition.
In the poem Sonar Tori (The Golden Boat) Tagore suggests that there is no place for an individual in the boat but the rower is ready to accommodate the gift that the individual may like to unfold. Such is the attitude of the society. It can gladly accept what we want to offer for its benefit but along with the gift if the giver requests for his own acceptance, the society shrinks: where is the place? After all, too tiny the boat is! There is not so much accommodation left for a person to ride it though space is not a problem for the gift he brings along. The sooner we realize this truth the better it is. Our action would then flow like a stream without waiting for any approval.
How do we nurture our creative spirit? The most important thing is to ignore those who talk about people and events. If we spend time with them engaging in gossips the mind starts looking for such outlets more often and slowly it becomes a habit. Then one day we may find that a large majority of the time is spent on such mundane issues.
The second step is to combine meditation with work. This helps us accept the work we are doing as a part of the meditation. The contents and the outcomes then naturally improve.
Finally, the work that we perform will have to be offered as a prayer, meaning, like a prayer our job we have been pursuing will end. In other words, when we engage in prayers, we do not wait to see whether our prayers are accepted or not. Similarly, we do not have to wait for the results of our action. We move on to the next. This way a sense of detachment is developed and at the same time no vacuum is created. The biggest source of distraction is this vacuum which tries to continue its own existence, if allowed once, and makes us aloof towards work. This is how the creativity in us is lost.
Creativity is something like a water body hidden somewhere behind the rocks and looking for outlets through multiple sources, howsoever narrow the passages are. We must allow them to emerge so that the spontaneity is maintained. Multiple streams may be emerging simultaneously and at some point, all of them might be inter-mingling. Let that be so. That is the way we should understand one reality from different angles and finally, realise that our isolated understanding of different phenomena is actually inter-connected. This is how an in-depth understanding is developed and the work that we leave behind holds an element of originality and immortality.
The same logic applies to pursual of different spiritual practices and paths. Ramakrishna said, it enables the mind to negate the stereotype and develop vast richness in the understanding of the same reality. Narrowness dies and universal brotherhood develops. The whole universe which is hidden within manifests in entirety. And that is the grand union of the individual with the universal spirit.
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