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What Is the Source of Creativity?

April 12, 2010

This is a great TED presentation by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling book, “Eat, Pray, Love”.

As she considered the daunting task of continuing her writing career in the wake of a smash hit, she began to wonder about our cultural expectations and assumptions about creativity. More importantly, she began to ask about the source of that creativity. Her conclusion is that what our culture decided post-Enlightenment is that creative genius must come solely from within human beings. This idea has also led to the stereotype of the tortured artist, living on the edge of an often self-destructive lifestyle.

Ms. Gilbert rejects that idea as an ideal or something we should settle-for. She argues for reclaiming more of a classical idea of creativity coming from alongside and from outside of a human creator. While she doesn’t come at this conclusion from a Biblical worldview, I really resonate with what she says because I know the True Source of creativity.

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