I think a creative outlet is critical for mental health. Whether it’s painting/drawing, writing poetry or prose, whatever the outlet, it’s very important for thinking people. To sit alone with colored pencils or paints and create something from your own consciousness regardless of the fact that it may be an image of something you see in front of you, or something that is entirely imaginative, is a form of meditation. You get lost in the moment. You are (at that time) living in the Eternal NOW. There are no thoughts of past or present. No worries of the future, no fears, no anxieties. The same with writing, whether it’s a piece of prose such as this, or a romantic poem, you must be totally present in order to accomplish what you have set out to do. I think this is one of the most important aspects of creativity. You cannot be thinking of other things – superficial distractions.
Over the years I have known people who have committed suicide. Some were acquaintances, some were friends of friends, and others were historical figures that were brought to my attention because of some trait they had that was similar to my own. In many cases the ones of most interest to me, committed suicide because they couldn’t handle the challenges and pains of our world culture. They were sensitive people usually artists of some kind, often self-medicating, who finally succumbed to the weight of their depressions.
I often empathized with them. I recognized those sensitivities and pains that led them to actively turning off the lights and leaving. But I was always saddened by the fact that this world needs such sensitive people to infect it with their sensitivity and tenderness. The brutishness of this place needs the artistic vision that these damaged people could bring to the zeitgeist of the world. Much like any organization that seems to be failing, the better people need to stay the course, and not throw up their hands and say, “fuck it, I’m outta here.”
Of course as I have aged and developed a broader awareness of time and the world around me, I recognize the deeper reasons for their departure. I also understand that the brutishness of the world is only fixed by the small daily decisions of good people through an evolutionary process, i.e., “We cannot change the world today, but we can change the world of tomorrow, by the way we act today.”
Elevating our behavior, our personal interactions with others, has a direct effect on future outcomes. Unfortunately at this level of material existence, short-timed and short-sighted, we can seldom hope to see the real fruits of our labor. But everything we do in life has a ripple effect that reaches out across time and space to make the entire Cosmos a different place because we are living actors in an ever changing diorama. We are powerful, and deep. And we are creative beyond anything we could ever imagine as mere human animals with spiritual potential. We are timeless, if we so choose.
This is where our creativity comes in. Each one of us is completely unique. We may have some similarities with others, which completes this multi-dimensional jig-saw puzzle, but we are a totally one-of-a-kind piece in this Universal puzzle. We were made to create, and create uniquely.
This is a critical aspect of our mental health, as is the fact that we were made to share our unique experience with others in order to further wholistic growth of this entire system of “us”. From this vantage point, it is no longer odd that being creative is healthy and that it anchors us in the Eternal Moment of Now. In our creativity, we are timeless and spaceless. And we are ONE with all around us.
Sensitivities are often indications of pain. Pain comes because we often do not have the tools to needed cope with the world around us. Creativity is an important tool for expression, to share experience, joy, love and interest in something other than us. It touches other people’s lives and makes us all better for it. I interpret the statement in the Bible that says we are made in the “image of God” to mean we are created to be Creators. It is our nature to create from our own unique perspective, and contribute to a future we cannot yet see. Herein lies our own personal salvation.