We all come into the world endowed with abilities — capacities — that are unique to each of us. Intrinsic to everyone's abilities are work to do, duties to perform, and roles to fulfill that are peculiarly one's own; and that one must accomplish in order to genuinely feel successful.
To the extent that we are able to recognize, to develop, and to engage our natural abilities in productive and beneficial functions, we experience our lives as having meaning and significance. We feel good about ourselves.
Where, for whatever reason, we are not able to develop and to meaningfully engage our natural abilities — not able to maximize our creativity — we, naturally, sense our lives as deprived: meaningless; unsatisfactory; unfulfilling; without purpose; without direction. Historically, that tragic sense of deprivation has been the lot of the vast majority. And that, humanistic psychologists believe, explains why we are experiencing so many psychological problems: meaninglessness; futility; anxiety; self-doubt; depression; mental illness; suicide; addictions; avarice; destructiveness; hatred; violence; and more.
If, therefore, we are to solve the global epidemic of meaninglessness and the resultant psychological, social, economic, political, and ecological problems, it is essential that everyone be enabled to realize his or her potential — to accomplish his or her particular mission — and, thus, to genuinely feel himself or herself successful.
Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature — a foundational resource for self-understanding and personal development — puts you in touch with your innermost being and the authentic purpose of your life; so you can use the resulting personal insight to build a life that is really you: authentic, genuinely successful.
Ours is arguably the best of times. Summary review of the current state of the world indicates, among so many blessings:
But, how could "the most brilliant civilization in human history" entail so many crises:
How could "the highest standard of living the world has ever known" leave practically everybody deeply unhappy: anxious, worried, scared and, in many cases, despairing of the future?
Rhetorically: "Why is it that the better things are, the unhappier people are becoming?"
The sorry state of the world and the resulting deterioration of the human condition remain a cause for global concern. Widely reported and deeply disturbing trends include:
Conventional wisdom generally interprets those tragic conditions as personal crises — the results of psycho-social factors, the solutions to which are to be sought at the level of the immediately affected individuals or groups.
Analysis and synthesis of the insights that are brought together in Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature challenge assumptions of personal inadequacies; identifying, instead, the systemic root of the crises: fundamental misconceptions of human nature, the institutions and ways of life that we have built on those misconceptions, and their sometimes tragic consequences.
To the extent that this conclusion — fundamental misconceptions of human nature — is valid, resolving the chaos the world is experiencing and building the much-desired viable planetary future require a new, different, and authentic way of thinking about ourselves and the purpose of our life.
There, in a nutshell, is the crux of Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature — a shift in the way we define ourselves and the purpose of our life.
Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature seeks to ignite worldwide conversations and spur actions on five vital global recovery and regeneration issues:
Conventional explanations of the sorry state of the world attribute our difficulties largely to human inadequacies — to "innate depravity" or to assumed “human propensity to evil.”
Over time, based on assumptions of human inadequacies, various person-focused, person-centered solution strategies have been proposed and tried. They include: correction; counseling; deterrence; incarceration; indoctrination; internment; motivation; punishment; rehabilitation; reward; therapy; and others.
The limited success and, in many cases, counterproductivity of conventional punitive, correctional, and remedial approaches call into question the underlying assumption of those approaches — human inadequacies.
Analysis and synthesis of the insights that are brought together in Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature suggest that the world is facing a metaphysical crisis but, inadvertently, tackling the symptoms of that problem.
Metaphysical crisis, as the term is used here, is fundamental misconceptions of human nature, the institutions and ways of life that we have built on those misconceptions, and their (sometimes) tragic psychological, social, economic, political, and ecological consequences.
To the extent that fundamental misconceptions of human nature is valid, if we are to successfully resolve the dreadful situation the world is in and to achieve a viable and sustainable planetary future, the logical and necessary starting point is to set right the way we think about ourselves and the purpose of our life.
Setting right the way we define ourselves and the purpose of our life is, quite simply, a (paradigmatic) shift in thinking from the generally accepted economic conception of human nature to humankind as nature made us.
Homo Creativus, the truth about human nature, is one side of the global recovery coin. The other side, of course, is thoroughgoing reorganization of society, the economy, politics, and governance so that everyone is able to realize his or her potential — able to recognize, to develop, and to engage one's natural abilities in meaningful and worthwhile functions.
Fourth and Finally:
Seven billion "locked treasure chests" are a terrible waste the world can no longer afford, ignore, or condone!
The obvious referent here is the vast majority of people who live and die without ever realizing why they lived at all. Everyday illustrations of this colossal waste include:
The precarious state of the world is all to obvious. A terrible combination of mutually reinforcing crises threatens our very survival and the planetary future, unless appropriate solutions are found — and within sufficient time.
In near-total despair of the future, leading global observers variously portray our predicament as:
Erich Fromm's gloomy but all too prescient observation succinctly summarizes the global dread and growing despair. Fromm's words:
The Inquiry, a BBC podcast, warns that:
Dire and deeply troubling!
What is even more troubling, however, is the growing ineffectiveness of traditional approaches to apprehend the seemingly many and life-threatening crises. Hence the twin questions:
Contrary to popular belief, the modern crises and the global predicament are not “economic,” “social,” “political,” or “environmental” crises, per se. Our difficulties are not separate crises, either. And they are not due to widely assumed “human depravity” or “human propensity to evil.”
Analysis and synthesis of the insights that are brought together in Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature identify our underlying, but unnoticed and unsuspected predicament — Global Creativity Crisis:
To the extent that Global Creativity Crisis is valid, if we are to successfully resolve the dreadful situation the world is in, and to achieve the viable and sustainable global future that everyone wishes to see, the logical and necessary starting point is to correct the prevailing misconceptions of human nature that, evidently, are at the root of many (probably, most) of our difficulties.
The book for our time, Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature calls attention to higher-order human needs that, ever more stridently, clamor for fulfillment. The more obvious of these are:
Contrary to the usual view, the chaos and life-threatening difficulties the world is facing are not separate crises. Analysis and synthesis of the insights that are brought together in Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature suggest that the modern crises and the global predicament are, fundamentally, a Creativity Crisis:
To the extent that this conclusion — Creativity Crisis — is valid, the logical and necessary starting point for planetary recovery and regeneration is to set right the way we define ourselves and the purpose of our life.
If we can assume that people are quintessentially creative and primarily driven to fulfill their potential, and that failure to nurture that attribute can result in its decline and atrophy, can result in the stifling of one's growth and development need, and can even result in undesirable behaviors, then most of the difficulties the world is experiencing stand explained.
Analysis and synthesis of the insights that are brought together in Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature confirm the foregoing assumption and underscore three vital actions for nurturing and developing psychologically healthy and socially responsible human beings:
Significantly more attention to creativity and inner development of people — including, in particular, ethical, moral, social, and ecological responsibility — with economic consumption and material well-being as the means to those ends.
Goals for mankind and Planet Earth that everyone sees as universally beneficial to both humans and nature and, therefore, worthy of the commitment of their time, talents, and creative energies.
Social-economic-political systems in which all the Earth's (currently) seven billion inhabitants are able to develop and to contribute their natural abilities and, thus, to experience their lives as having meaning and significance — to genuinely feel good about themselves.
There, briefly, are the reasons for Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature, as well as the book's implications for worldwide actions.
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Humankind: As Nature Made Us