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Why This Book

Creativity. Human Development. Self Discovery, Depression. Suicide. Psychology. Counseling. Therapy.

Foundational Resource for Personal Success

We each come into the world endowed with abilities — gifts, talents, capacities — that are unique to the individual. Intrinsic to everyone's natural abilities are things to do, roles to fulfill, that are uniquely his or her own; and that he or she must accomplish in order to be and 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. 


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 satisfy the real needs of human nature — 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, thus, able 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!

The Great Paradox of Our Time

Earth Charter. Poverty. Hunger. Refugees. Migrants. Ecological disaster. Environment.Climate change.

Ours is arguably the best of times. Summary review of the current state of the world indicates, among so many blessings: 


  • The highest standard of living the world has ever known.
  • Record variety of goods and services.
  • Eradication of hitherto incurable diseases.
  • Unprecedented levels of material well-being.
  • Healthier lives; longer life spans. 
  • Jet travel.
  • Computers; the Internet; mobile phones and tablets.
  • Real-time communication across the globe. 
  • Virtual reality. 
  • Artificial intelligence. 
  • And, of course, a vast array of scientific breakthroughs. 


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 Human Predicament: Its Everyday Manifestations

Climate Change. Global Warming. Species Loss. Sustainability. Modern Crises. Ecological Disaster.

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:

  

  • "Institutionalized fear."  

  • "Emotionally disturbed children."
     
  • "Troubled youth."
           
  • "Busy-yet-bored employees whose hearts are not in the work they are doing." 
          
  • "Turned-off students” who say they "hate school," or describe their academic experience as "boring."
        
  • "Honored and well-educated but without ever having experienced what it means to be truly alive.”
        
  • Many people who have everything they ever wanted but, self-reportedly, "feel empty inside," still look for "something" they say is "missing" in their lives.
           
  • Worldwide "epidemic" of  stress, depression, burnout, and emotional breakdown. Resultantly, addictions, substance abuse; and the growing popularity of anti-depressants and various psycho-therapeutic procedures that, purportedly, “restore balance” in the lives of their users.
         
  • Prisons around the world that are “overflowing with inmates,” and mental hospitals with “cases.”
          
  • "Hundreds of troubled young people who have so much to live for [but decide to] take their own lives every year.” 
        
  • "Ever more people today [who] have the means to live but not the meaning to live for.”   
        
  • "The Forgotten Four-Fifths," who have neither the means to live nor the meaning to live for. 
         
  • “Most of us [who] go to our graves with our music still inside, unplayed, [unheard].” 

  • Mass uncertainty and anxiety in "a world where no one knows what to expect next."


Conventional wisdom typically interprets these tragic conditions as personal crises the results of psycho-social factors; and 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 misconceptions of human nature, the institutions and ways of life that we have built on those misconceptions, and their increasingly tragic consequences. 


To the extent that 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, 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.  

5 VITAL CONVERSATIONS FOR GLOBAL RECOVERY AND REGENERATION

Human nature. Psychology. Philosophy. Psychiatry. Therapy. Counseling. Creativity. Modern crises.

Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature seeks to ignite worldwide conversations and spur actions on five vital global recovery and regeneration issues:


  1. Homo Creativus: The Real Need of Human Nature.  
     
  2. The Great Waste: Seven Billion Locked Treasure Chests.   

  3. Global Creativity Crisis: World's Underlying but Unsuspected and Unnoticed Crisis.

  4. Higher-Order Human Needs that Clamor for Fulfillment: Identity. Meaning. Authenticity. Purpose.

  5. The Logical and Necessary Starting Point for Global Recovery and Regeneration. 

Creativity. Critical Thinking. Language. Culture. Public Policy. Modern Crises. Economic Development

1. Homo Creativus: The Real Need of Human Nature

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.


Simply put:

  • Many life-threatening difficulties the world is experiencing are, ultimately, the consequences of attempting to build human civilization on a view of human nature that is seriously mistaken or, at best, inadequate.

 

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: 


  1. Rethink the prevailing, but ecologically unsustainable and imminently suicidal, economic model of man: This is the belief that material possession and consumption are the goal of life.


  2. Recognize, promote, and mainstream the real need of human nature and the authentic goal of life: Maximization of everyone's inherent potentialities with economic consumption and material well-being as means to that end.  


Here are three critical shifts:


  • From:
    Homo Economicus — Humankind, as economists think we are; or want us to believe we are. 
  • To:
    Homo Creativus — Humankind, as nature made us; or as we really are.

  • From:
    Human beings as inherently or primarily: rational-calculating; individualistic; self-interested; financially motivated; competitive; adversarial; materialistic; consumption-driven.
  • To:  
    Human beings as inherently or primarily: subjective; valuing; emotional; compassionate; altruistic; potential-actualizing; purpose-driven; community-seeking; collaborative.  
         
  • From:
    Wealth accumulation, material possession, and economic consumption as the goal of life and the ultimate measures of success.
     
  • To:
    Awareness, development, and engagement of one's natural abilities in meaningful and beneficial functions as the goal of life, the real need of human nature, and the true measure of success. 



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:


First:

  • To be able to reach and contribute one's inherent potential is the authentic goal of life — the real need of human nature — the most satisfying state of being and the ultimate criterion of a genuinely successful life.



Second:

  • The best hope of planetary recovery and regeneration is a social-economic-political system in which everyone is able to maximize his or her potential able to recognize, to develop, and to engage his or her natural abilities in meaningful and worthwhile functions. 

 


Third:

  • The belief that feelings — meaning, emotion, love, altruism, kindness, trust, compassion, cooperation — can be taken out of life, suppressed, or repressed utterly misrepresents what it really means to be human; and may be the root cause of many of the psychological problems that are ruining the lives of countless millions of people around the world. 


  • It might not be an exaggeration to suggest that the global epidemic of meaninglessness and rising rates of depression, anxiety, suicides, violence, and other mental health challenges are symptoms of the (existential) pain, the anguish, of being born Homo Creativus but raised Homo Economicus.  



Fourth: 

  • No standard of living, however high, and no amount of prosperity, even if it were equitably distributed, can justify the incalculable damage that is being done to the ecosystem, as well as to human dignity, by the seriously flawed assumption that human life is driven by money, possession, and consumption. Continuing to hold on to that assumption can only hasten the much-dreaded catastrophic planetary demise.



Finally:

Human nature. Psychology. Philosophy. Psychiatry. Therapy. Counseling. Creativity. Modern crises.

2. The Great Waste: Seven Billion Locked Treasure Chests

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:  

  

  • Billions of geniuses who never achieve their potential — billions of richly endowed men and women who live and die unrecognized either by themselves or by society .   
     
  • Successive human civilizations, including our own, that selectively recognize, selectively develop, selectively celebrate, and selectively reward certain human abilities;  and, perhaps inadvertently, ignore an infinite array of human potentialities and possibilities. As a result, an inestimable number of human abilities that, as yet, are not recognized, not developed, and not productively engaged. Still other human capabilities that are artificially constrained by ignorance and circumstances, pitifully underdeveloped, grossly underutilized.
       
  • Most people who never find their authentic life’s purpose — the vast majority of us who live and die without ever knowing who we really are and why we lived at all.
         
  • "Ordinary" men and women who don't seem to believe that they have the potential to positively affect the world — to make significant contributions to society and the planet.
         
  • So many cultures, societies, institutions, and organizations where it is not safe to be original or different. Consequently, masses of people who are virtually stripped of their natural aptitude for imagination and creativity, and who therefore function on minimal capacities for excellence.
         
  • The dominance of tradition and entrenched views and values in many institutions and organizations, where established knowledge is cherished to the exclusion of creativity — where new ideas are suspect, and seldom get a hearing.  
     
  • Incalculable number of great ideas that simply perish with no record — trampled by ignorance, fear, cruelty, or jealousy; stifled by psychological and socio-cultural pressures both within the individual and his or her society; starved to death by "benign neglect" or by lack of resources, encouragement, and support.   
     
  • Erroneous but generally accepted belief that creativity is a matter for the arts and music — a belief that tends to discourage people who work in other areas and disciplines from developing and engaging their natural abilities, since they do not believe that they are creative.
     
  • The unfortunate division of humanity into the creative few and the "uncreative" many — distinctions like "genius," "creative individuals,' "honor students," "best and brightest," "gifted and talented," etc. that set a few individuals apart, while discouraging the vast majority from ever discovering or ever realizing their own personal genius and creativity.
     
  • The rise of individualism and economic self-interest. Correspondingly, growing disdain for the notion that the primary purpose of human life is to create — to bring about something original and beneficial that serves the greater good.  
       
  • Finally, the tangled web of life-threatening and mutually reinforcing global crises. Resultantly, "a world where no one knows what to expect next."  

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3. Global Creativity Crisis: World's Underlying Crisis

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: 


  • "evolution or extinction"    
  • "change our ways or perish"   
  • "species maturation or collective suicide"  
  • And so on. 


Erich Fromm's gloomy but all too prescient observation succinctly summarizes the global dread and growing despair. Fromm's words: 


  • "This time, mankind is at one crossroad where the wrong step could be the last step."    


A United  Nations report on the environment and a BBC podcast, The Inquiry, warn that: 


  • We are not heading for another mass extinction; we are already in one — and the rate is accelerating.


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:


  • Are the modern crises unsolved because they are impossible, or too difficult, to solve?   
        
  • Or, might it be that we've been tackling the wrong problems?


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:


  • This is the inability of the vast majority of people to realize their innate potentialitiesinability to discover, to develop, and to engage one's natural abilities in significant and beneficial functions and, resultantly, a global epidemic of meaninglessness of which many psychological, social, economic, political, and ecological crises are the symptoms, or facets. 


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.

Human nature. Psychology. Philosophy. Psychiatry. Therapy. Counseling. Creativity. Modern crises.

4. Higher-Order Human Needs that Clamor for Fulfillment

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:


  • Spontaneous awakening of people, worldwide, to their inherent worth as humans; and, correspondingly, the right to actualize to develop and meaningfully engage one's natural abilities.

  • Growing cross-cultural, cross-gender, cross-generational sensitivity to higher-order human needs: identity. Meaning. Authenticity. Purpose.

  • Growing sense of one's uniqueness with a special work to do, role to fulfill, duties/functions to perform, purposes/missions to accomplish, and contributions to make for the common good.

Creativity. Modern crises. Global warming. Climate change. Wars. Hunger. Poverty. Refugees. Migrants

5. Logical and Necessary Starting Point for Global Recovery

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: 


  • This is the inability of the vast majority of people to reach their full potential — inability to recognize, to develop, and to engage one's natural abilities in meaningful and beneficial functions. Resultantly, widespread sense of futility (meaninglessness), of which many (probably most) psychological, social, economic, political, and ecological crises are the symptoms. 
     

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.

Politics. Economy. Philosophy. Critical Thinking. Problem Solving. Change. Transformation

Call to Action

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:     


One:

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. 


Two:

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.


Three: 

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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