We all come into the world endowed with abilities — characteristics, capacities, potentialities — that differentiate us (as humans) from all other species. The same potentialities also distinguish each of us as a unique individual, different from everyone else. Intrinsic to one's potentialities are roles to fulfill, work to do, new ideas to create, that are uniquely his or her own; and that he or she must accomplish in order to be genuinely successful, and to feel good about himself or herself.
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.
Ironically, most of us seem ignorant of our uniqueness and our individual endowments. Inadvertently, we tend to entrust parents, teachers, mentors, experts, authorities, siblings, peers, and friends to define for us who we are. As a result, most of us never discover ourselves; never get in touch with our true beings; never consciously recognize and never able to carry out our innate responsibilities; never feel personally and deeply fulfilled.
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; 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 other pathologies.
If, therefore, we are to successfully solve the global epidemic of meaninglessness and its attendant psychological, social, economic, political, and ecological problems, it is essential that everyone is able to connect/reconnect with the most fundamental aspect of the human — able to develop and to beneficially engage his or her natural abilities, able to accomplish his or her particular mission, able to fulfill his or her potentialities and satisfy the real need of human nature — and, thus, to genuinely feel good about himself or herself.
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.
Beyond self-fulfillment, enabling everyone to become who they really (naturally, inherently) are, we shall release vast streams of otherwise dormant creativity to solve our current difficulties and revitalize the planet.
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 are a cause for global concern. Widely reported and deeply disturbing trends include:
Conventional wisdom typically interprets these tragic conditions as personal crises — the results of psycho-social factors — the solutions to which are to be sought in 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 misconception of human nature, the institutions and ways of life that we have built on that misconception, and their increasingly tragic consequences.
To the extent that fundamental misconception of human nature is valid, resolving the chaos the world is experiencing and building the much-desired viable planetary future require a new, authentic, and transformative way of thinking about ourselves.
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 assumed “human propensity to evil.”
Based on assumptions of human inadequacies, various person-focused, person-centered solution strategies have been proposed and tried. These include: correction; counseling; deterrence; incarceration; indoctrination; internment; motivation; punishment; rehabilitation; reward; therapy; and others.
The limited success — 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 support E. F. Schumacher's hypothesis that humankind is facing a metaphysical crisis, but inadvertently tackling the symptoms of that crisis.
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 increasingly dire consequences — psychological, social, economic, political, ecological.
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.
A fundamental shift in thinking, setting right the way we define ourselves and the purpose of our life requires us to:
Here are three critical shifts:
IMPLICATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS:
Homo Creativus is more than a theoretical construct; the authentic understanding of humans as potential-actualizing beings has far-reaching psychological, social, economic, political, and ecological implications. Here are five vital implications and conclusions:
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 — this global tragedy — include:
The precarious state of the world is all to obvious. A terrible combination of mutually reinforcing psychological, social, economic, political, and ecological 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:
Dire and deeply troubling!
What is even more troubling is the growing ineffectiveness of traditional sto 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 much desired viable and sustainable global future, 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 strident, clamor for fulfillment. The more obvious of these are:
Contrary to the usual view, the chaos and life-threatening difficulties the world is experiencing 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 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.
The fundamentally new understanding of the difficulties the world is experiencing — Global Creativity Crisis — further underscores the futility of planetary recovery efforts that overlook or, perhaps inadvertently, that continue to ignore the most essential and most valuable human quality.
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.
Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature confirms the foregoing assumption and underscores 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 and the book's implications for worldwide actions.
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Time to Rethink Human Nature