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December 19, 2013 at 11:35 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

On The Creative Mind

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This Author

What does it look like to be creative? To be original? Is it possible to be either? Are they the same? As an artist, these questions plague my creative life. Can I use an idea from another's work, but in doing so consider myself original? Or does the very act of considering said original artist's idea make me simply a reporter? And if that is the case, what does it say about a civilization that can't seem to produce anything original any longer?


The creative mind exists outside of our culture and civilization. It has dropped out. The creative mind occupies a space reserved for the individual alone, not the sprawling mass of social zombies crawling and drooling for attention every second of every day.

The creative mind understands that our society has no room for originality any longer, as it does not sell. It sees the almighty filter that has been placed upon our once bright and evolving minds, the veil that has become ever more impenetrable as we allow it to sit upon our face. This veil reads one thing, and one thing only: Will the mob respond?

There is so little creativity today because of this veil of economic despair, this house that currency built. We once thought that competition would create innovation, that opposing forces would garner increasingly unique ways of defeating our opponents, but we were bright-eyed and stupid. We never considered the corrupting agent that is profit, the modern gallows of creativity.

When those who choose to be a creator in this life ask the question, "Will the mob respond," all creativity is lost. The only way to answer that question with any certainty is to look back, to venture into obscurity, and the past holds nothing but infrastructure. There are lessons to be learned and nothing more. The creative mind does not view the past as a wealth of potential profit, but as a bridge to modern ingenuity, a look at what needs to change; never an end, only ever a means.

The creative mind understands modern originality can never come from the past, only from the moment; never from popularity, only from individuality.

The creative mind understands and embraces its capabilities. There is no humbling oneself at the alter of social acceptability for the creative mind, no capitulating to weaker minds driven by insecurity and fear. In order to continue functioning as a creative force, the creative mind distances itself from the purveying weakness of the time. In modern terms: The creative mind distances itself from the mob, understanding full well that life is better experienced from outside the masses, where the view is not cluttered by hands outstretched in constant anticipation of the next distraction.

There is too much noise for creativity to live inside modern civilization. The Starbuck's express, Facebook posted, twerking masses of today exist only to consume, clouding the judgement of the creative mind, for creativity cannot exist when surrounded by blank walls. The creative mind needs jumping off points; needs bright, vibrant minds to feel alive. The mob can never provide this. The social-media blasters of the world are shallow husks dressed in human skin, akin to parasites feeding off the lifeblood of the creative mind. They are full of the creation of lesser minds, scared off by thoughts outside of their daily consumption.

The creative mind understands and embraces its worth and potential effect on the world, shedding moral ambiguity to reveal innate and exacting creative prowess.

This is never to say that the creative mind can function alone. Nay, that is the road to insanity that grounds out brilliance. The creative mind needs other creative minds in order to flourish, minds that are capable of comprehending the scope in which true creativity operates. This is a rarity indeed, but such relationships so often are.

Though sociability is necessary to clarify the existence of the creative mind, distinct individuality must remain in order to maintain sanctity. Herein lies the difference between an assemblage of creativity and that of the mob. While the mob exists only to exert corresponding wills upon themselves, the creative mind revels in crashing endless wave after endless wave of unique will upon the shores of discernment. The mob bends and bows only to the loudest voices, the prettiest smiles, while the creative mind revels in the tempest that is philosophical discussion. While the mob plays at having an opinion, the creative mind actively formulates ideals; agreeable dispositions need not apply.

These creative conclaves exist only outside the mob, never within, and are followed by hurried excuses to return to respective canvases, creativity boiling up through every pore.

The creative mind understands that creativity is aggregate, a natural opium to which there is no resisting. The creative mind yearns to be creative, requires it in order to feel even the slightest peace. There is no blockage of this creativity; no writer's block; no blank canvas; no stopped reel; no unplugged keyboard.

Creativity burns desperately within the creative mind, a yearning need that hurts the very foundation of said mind when not released. The creative mind MUST create or it will most certainly whither and fade.

In as much as the creative mind remains forever creative, special care must be taken to remain relevant. Creativity that remains in the past can have no bearing on the present, for it is lost to the inevitable passage of time. It is in this enigmatic limbo that the creative mind must participate, must learn the value of a discerning mind.

Though the creative mind must live outside the mob in order to remain creative, simultaneous participation is also required. In order to recognize the light, one must embrace the dark; to recognize themselves through the haze of mediocrity, understand what ignorance feels like; to know truth, live the lie.

The introspection derived from milling about the mob serves only to solidify the creative mind, for it is motivation to change. The creative mind seeks not only to create, but to have that creation consistently build upon itself. As a consequence of this, the world must be viewed, however inconsequential the viewing may be.

I say to you, creative minds: Do not bend to this, the hollow world in which we live. The creative mind sees the towering corporations crippled by corruption, the gangly governments starving for approval, and the mewling mob anxiously fearing life, sees them and strives to make them better.

Make this world better.

More from E.M. Wollof from SLN Others Are Reading


  • Tell me, fellow traveler: Am I seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, or the tunnel at the end of the light?

  • A poignant choice of wording in fellow traveler, David; an entity that works within a group while still maintaining individuality.

    If you are truly asking my opinion, I would avoid the tunnel.

  • There's a tonal element as well as immediacy to your writing that reminds of Raoul Vanigem -- who wrote the challening work "Revolution of Everyday Life." Keep writing!!

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