Hi all. This is a piece I wrote a few months ago about technology and creativity and how they relate to making change in the world. Thought some of you might like it.
We seem, as a human family, to be on an unprecedented precipice. We have headed down a road called “progress” based on people as units of production. For sure, on this journey, we have created solutions to challenges facing the human species. Yet, somehow, building systems based solely on production has led us away from our deep and vital interconnection as a symbiotic relationship with the Earth and one another. On the progress path, we have begun to see ourselves as separate from and different than, rather than part of a powerful and profound interconnected whole. This disconnect, I call, “Separation Syndrome.” It is the disease of disconnected consciousness. This disease has manifested to a crisis level—we are facing the possible extinction of the human species—and at the very least, a huge devastation to life as we know it.
This precipice, though, is a gift if we look to it as a wake up call—a call to action. It is the call to reconnect, redesign, and reclaim our potential. Seen through a spiritual and creative lens, it is the opportunity to redefine ourselves and our society as people of purpose, not just units of production.
Recognizing this, we begin to think differently, and therefore, creatively. To solve the problems facing the human family, it requires us to be creative beyond limiting thoughts, beliefs, and systems—in other words, to create or rather, recreate, our relationship with ourselves, the Earth, and one another. Life itself is a creative process. Therefore, activism, in order to be relevant, must be a creative process.
Anywhere in Nature that there is stagnation, there is an unhealthy system. The same is true for our minds. I know that “meaning” only exists in our minds. We create meaning. It is not arbitrary; it is as fluid and diverse as the art we create and the lives we live. Knowing this, we can create meaning that heals, beautifies, and strengthens our world.
To create, we use tools and resources. Technological tools are evolving at a rate that humans can barely keep up with. Get a technological tool today, it will be “new and improved” in a few months. Technology in and of itself is benign—it is given meaning and life by how we create it, with it, what we use it for, and how it might end up using us (for example, the amount of time people spend on computers to connect with one another instead of connecting in person.)
Technology is a tool. As with all tools, it can be used to hurt or heal, to destroy or restore, to overwhelm and devastate or inspire. Technology at its best takes not only from the intellect of our brains, but also the courage to honor the powerful wisdom of the heart. One example is the difference between nuclear power plants and everyone replacing lights with energy-efficient light bulbs (which the energy saved would make it completely unnecessary to build another nuclear power plant.) Both nuclear power plants and energy efficient light bulbs involved a creative process, only one hurts (radioactive for thousands of generations to come) and one heals.
At this critical time, rethinking our place in and relationship with this Cosmos is vital. This creative thought process has led to a “green” movement. “Green” is to remember that we are not separate from the Earth. Rather, to remember that we come from this Earth and return to it. That every single breath we take literally connects us to everything that ever has been, is, and ever will be. And this isn’t just some philosophical idea; this has been proven scientifically. What we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves.
Utilizing ”green” concepts, ideas, and materials demands that we think “outside the box” which is what creativity is all about. It calls us to view our lives and our world from a unique perspective. This perspective, both figuratively and literally, creates an expansive view for us to create from. It becomes the living embodiment of a co-creative process.
So, in the face of massive erratic climate change, loss of biodiversity, extinction of species and cultures, pollution of air and water, and the seeming never-ending list of crisis, as artists, we have the opportunity to create solutions on a scale like never before.
I have been drawing, writing poetry, and crafting since I was about 3 years old. Not surprisingly, I have never viewed myself or the world in a linear or boxed way. I am designed to experience and express through a creative lens. Creative expression has also helped me work through my feelings of deep grief and rage as a result of witnessing, experiencing, and feeling the impact of what we are doing to the Earth and to ourselves.
Our lives—life itself—is a call to create, create, create. When we create with connected consciousness, we weave a fabric of profound beauty, inspired innovation, celebration of diversity, and in the process strengthen the whole—of which we are a magical part. The only limits are the ones we self-impose. In the space of connected creation, anything is possible—even miracles.