John Mackey and Marc Gafni Discuss Creativity and Unique Self

Conscious Capitalism meets Your Unique Self

In this first video discussion of a seven-part series, both authors of exciting new books, these two visionary leaders meet to discuss how their ideas can make an impact on people’s lives in a way that matters. Specifically in this video, John Mackey and Marc Gafni explore the creative impulse that drives our lives’ highest expression and purpose. They discuss how, whether in business innovations or moments of play, we can enter flow and access the freedom where we feel those nagging questions of life’s ultimate meaning and purpose fall away in the lived expression of Unique Self. As Marc Gafni says in this video, “We are all artists. We all have a tapestry. The process of self-creation, of creating the tapestry of my life is the highest form, not only of purpose and of ability, but of delight. It’s the place where purpose meets delight.”

Join the two visionary authors in conversation…

Marc Gafni: The first idea I’ll throw out… is creativity, the big idea of creativity. What is it, why does it matter?… Creativity coming at you, John Mackey:

John Mackey: Ok. Well, I think creativity is at the essence of what it means to be a human being. I think if you get into the deepest core of what it means to be a human, it’s creativity. Creativity and love. We’ll talk about love later, I suppose. But, if you look at children, they are amazingly creative. They’re imaginative. They haven’t had that creativity rejected or turned off. And, so, I think we are happiest when we are being creative in some form or fashion. There are many ways express creativity–not just in traditional ways through music and fine arts and filming and things like that, photography. But, business can be a form of creativity. Play is a form of creativity. We can bring that into our lives in many, many different directions. I think it’s particularly important in business. A word that’s a synonym for creativity in the business world is innovation. The companies that are most innovative, such as in Apple computer, which is a highly innovate company, or Google, tend to become highly successful. I think that’s one of Whole Foods’ markets. For a food retailer, we’re a very innovative, very creative company.

Marc Gafni: Yeah, creativity… Let’s just start there. I mean, you talk about creativity is the place where you’re happy. Right? And, part of the big question we all ask, why am I here? The meaning of life? When you’re in the middle of a creative flow, that question doesn’t exist. It’s gone.

John Mackey: No, it’s gone. I mean, everything’s gone because when you’re in the creative flow, you are in the flow, you are in the moment. You are creativity manifest.

Marc Gafni: You are there. I like the second thing you said as well, which is so important. Because when we talk about creativity, everybody thinks about third grade art class. There I was in third grade art, and it didn’t quite work. For me… Mrs. Parrish. Third grade art class was a disaster. And, so, I thought for a long time, well, I guess I’m not creative because, you know, art is about doing that classic arts thing. And, then you begin to realize as you get older, it’s just such an exciting revelation, that we’re all artists. And, that we all have a tapestry. And, the process of self-creation, of creating the tapestry of my life is the highest form, not only of purpose and of ability, but of delight. It’s the place where purpose meets delight. I’m creating. I’m on-purpose. I’m delighted. The question of the meaning of life falls to the way-side, and I’m expressing reality in a way that no one else can. I’m the creative face of reality, of all of reality. The place where what people sometimes call God or Source or All-That-Is or the Ground of Being, or whatever you want to call it, or just reality, a nice neutral word, is created, playing, for me. And, that’s an incredible sense of both purpose and delight.

John Mackey: I think the highest form of your creativity is the creation of your Unique Self, your individuality. In a sense, your life is your greatest work of art, and we should approach it that way. Friedrich Nietzsche, it’s one of his insights, that we can create ourselves; and therefore, once we become aware of that, we become responsible for it. And, we have an obligation or a responsibility to create the most authentic self that we can possibly be.

Ken Wilber on Kosmic Creativity

This video was recorded in preparation of the Integral Spiritual Experience 3 on Kosmic Creativity.

Welcome to the Conscious Eros, Creativity, and Relationships Portal.

Watch the video and read the summary below:

When someone asks you if you are a creative person, most people think of the fine arts. Of course, classical artists are an expression of creativity, but a very limited one. Creativity is the revealed manifest nature of essence. We have actually evolved our understanding of creativity.

In the old world, we thought God created the world in six days and then stepped. Now we have evolved your understanding, now we say that the personal God force – the personal face of the evolutionary process – initiated the world in a big bang. We now know scientifically that creation myths were speaking of something real: a singularity, a moment of radical emergence.

Creativity initiated by source goes on. There is a ceaseless creativity within the cosmos itself. As Whitehead liked to say, one of the three features of reality is the creative advance of novelty. In every second newness is born. Creativity is the nature of reality itself.

The one thing we know about ultimate reality is that it is creativity. Why is there something rather than nothing? Creativity. It is the manifest face, the revealed quality is essence. It is something happening now. When you awaken to your own essence, you awaken to your own creativity. Your life is embodied art.

You are a unique letter in the cosmos scroll writing a unique story in your sacred autobiography. You are responsible for the artistic tapestry of your own life. Self-creation is the ultimate creative act of the human being. And it needs to contain within it your unique creative gift.

Whether we are coming from a secular perspective, an Eastern religious perspective, or a theistic perspective where there is a creator God who we are invited to imitate God, so too are we ceaselessly creative. Creativity is the core of who we are, not just to have more complexity but more truth, goodness, and beauty.

Stroke the first stroke on the canvas of your life. Create ceaselessly with radical delight.

Our journey as evolutionary artists is a dance of creativity

Multicolored Ink Drop by posterizeby Marc Gafni

Do you know that you are the evolutionary artist of the next stage of your life and the life of the world?

Do you know that personal creativity is your doorway into the creativity of the Kosmos?

Do you know that creativity is your birthright?

Do you know that higher consciousness is naturally more creative and less fearful?

Do you know that what you create through your mind, heart and body transforms all of us and all of life?

This is a truth of dramatic importance: Each of us is participating in a great dance of creativity. Our journey as evolutionary artists involves every aspect of life — from the words we choose to the love we make. And that journey begins when we recognize how our own creativity is actually an expression of the evolutionary love-intelligence of all that is. The Vedic and Tantric traditions of Hinduism, the Sufis sages, and the philosophers of Kabbalah reminded us that divinity is creativity. The Buddhist sages have invited us to the liberated free-functioning creativity of the compassionate Bodhisattva. The Judeo-Christian teachers have invited us to imitatio dei to be like God, even to be as God.

Just as the great love-intelligence emanates worlds out of its own being, we are invited to turn into our own center, and find that world-creating source within ourselves. From there, we can become co-creators of a transformed world.

You are creative because consciousness is inherently creative. The mysterious Eros that animates and drives the evolutionary unfolding is at this very moment creating and recreating all of reality anew in every moment. That Eros, which lives in you, as you and through you, acts creatively through you the moment you give your consent to it.

It is our delight and obligation to answer the call to evolutionary creativity — and its fulfillment.

The next great movement of evolutionary love is waiting for you — for each of us — to identify and manifest your unique creativity. It is asking you to recognize yourself as the artist of your life, and then to broaden your artistry until you are creating in the service of All that Is.

Are you ready to respond to the great invitation and obligation to evolutionary creativity, in the service of our own evolution, and the evolution of all that is?

If you are then you have begun to wake up and that is simply fucking awesome!

Enlightenment of Fullness — Yetzir and Yetzirah

Looking for more on the wisdom tradition that aligns you with your deepest creativity?

In a three-part excerpt from the long version of Soul Prints, Marc Gafni writes that we can transform and raise our passion and artistic creativity into a powerful drive for the sensual and the holy, realizing that, in a redeemed world, they are one and the same.

As long as our spirituality remains vapid and empty, we indeed need to repress the more primal, creative passion, lest it overwhelm us. Primal passion unrealized is soul print or Unique Self destiny unrealized.

Yetzer and Yetzirah: Raising the Primal Sparks of Creativity and Passion

by Dr. Marc Gafni
from The Way of the Dragon in the long Soul Prints.

Part I.

In biblical spirituality, information about God is relevant for one reason only. Information about God is information about us.

We are commanded to be little Gods – to imitate God. Just as God stood at the abyss of darkness and said let there be light, so are we commanded to stand at the abyss of our darkness and say let there be light. A little bit of light dispels so much of the darkness.

Further, just as God is a creator – creating, sculpting, painting, composing a gorgeous physical world – so, too, are we invited to create, to sculpt, to paint, and to make music.Mozart, Bach, Schubert, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo created.

And yet, creativity is still viewed as suspect by much of the religious community. Art per se and artists to be sure are suspected of being amoral at best and, more probably, immoral. Acting, painting, sculpture, song are held in both high esteem and moral disdain. Why?

The answer, which we have already introduced in our earlier discussion, emerges from an understanding of the deep linguistic and conceptual relationship between the biblical myth terms Yetzer and Yetzirah. Yetzirah means creativity; Yetzer is best translated as primal instincts, including but not limited to libido (Freud), the drive for power (Adler, Nietzsche), and the need for meaning (Frankl).

In the Hebrew language, which is the ultimate source of all biblical myth thought, Yetzer and Yetzirah are the same word, linked etymologically and conceptually. The point: I cannot create without connecting deeply to my most primal instincts.

In my earlier twenties, I attended for a short time a prestigious drama workshop in Greenwich Village in New York. When we would be preparing for a murder scene in a play, we would do exercises to help us access the murderous rage lurking untapped in the corners of our souls. I cannot create drama about murder without unlocking the murderer in myself.

To create anything – and certainly for the ultimate creation, the creation of myself – I need to be able to access the most primal passions of my being. Herein lies the attraction and the danger. My primal instincts when not integrated into my fully developed self are often not channeled properly and can potentially destroy worlds.

Witness Germany. My mother, who was there, told me almost every day as I was growing up that the same people who gassed Jews in the morning, listened, with great primal passion, to Mozart in the evening.

In response to this psychological reality, Biblical myth spirituality taught: “Who is heroic, he who is (Kovesh) conquers his Yetzer.” And if the price is also to sacrifice certain forms of creativity, so be it. Better to be moral, holy, and not creative, than creative and immoral.

And yet having to choose between the primal passion of creativity and morality is far from satisfying!