What is Creativity?

You ask me, ” WHAT IS CREATIVITY?”

For the mystic, his very existence is creativity. He walks, and that is creativity. He talks, and that is creativity. He remains silent, and that is creativity. Buddha, sitting in silence, is far more creative than Rabindranath writing poetry, far more creative than Picasso doing his painting, far more creative than Moore working on his sculpture… just sitting silently!

So, creativity has nothing to do with creating something, creativity is simply the presence of God. Those who are fortunate enough to come in contact with a buddha’s silence will be transformed; they will know what creativity is. He has not done a thing and miracles have happened. He has not uttered a word and the message has been heard. He has not moved, but he has transformed you. He has not even touched you, and you are no longer the same.

At the ultimate peak of being a mystic, creativity is just a climate. Lower than that is the poet; then creativity brings great songs, sculpture, architecture, poetry, music, painting. And even the scientist, the lowest in this categorization – lowest because he works with the lowest form of existence, matter – even the scientist, when he is creative, has a few glimpses like the mystic.

For example, Albert Einstein: he has said many times that “All my insights happened when I was not working at all, in fact when I was not. All my great insights came to me from some unknown source.”

The great scientist, Eddington, has said, “When I started working as a scientist I used to think of the world as matter, as only matter. But the more deeply I went into it, the more a few things started happening to me which are incomprehensible in terms of science, mathematics, calculation, measurement. And those things have revealed one thing to me: now I can say that the world resembles more a thought than a thing.”

All the great scientists… I am not talking about the technicians: they are lower than the scientists, the fourth category, the last, the SUDRAS, the untouchables. I am not talking about the technician. The technician has no flight, no insight, no visitation from the beyond. He simply knows how to do a certain thing; he is an adept in ‘how-toism’. He turns everything into a method. The technician is not a scientist.

The scientist is one who very rarely, but still, reaches to the peaks of the mystic. The poet is a visitor there more often, and the mystic remains there. For the mystic creativity is a climate, for the poet it is great activity, for the scientist even more so: it is materialization of something which is immaterial, great work. It took almost twenty years for Albert Einstein to formulate the Theory of Relativity – GREAT work. The insight happens in a split second, but then you have to work it out, you have to prove it through experimentation.

The poet needs no proofs; you never ask for proof. The scientist is asked for proofs, experimental proofs, and the experiments may take years. Sometimes it has happened that the insight is there but the experimentation has taken years and years. Still a few of Albert Einstein’s theories are not yet proved by experimentation. They are just theories, with every possibility of being proved true, but with no way to prove them this way or that, for or against. Still no experiment is possible.

For example, Albert Einstein said that time is such a relative phenomenon that if a passenger leaves the earth on a spaceship at the speed of light – the speed of light is immense, almost inconceivable: one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second… if a spaceship leaves the earth at that speed, then the person who is moving in that spaceship will never age. If he is young, twenty-five years old, he will remain twenty-five years old. Even if he comes back after twenty-five years, all his friends on the earth will be fifty years old, he will simply be twenty-five, because at that speed time stops.

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Now this is simply a theory, an insight; we have not yet been able to devise a spaceship which can move with that speed. But scientists say that theoretically it seems right – but only theoretically. Now how did Einstein arrive at it? — because there is no possibility for experimentation. Obviously, it is not the conclusion of an experiment; you cannot do any experiment. No spaceship is there which moves with such speed. In fact, it may never be possible to have such a spaceship; there are difficulties.

The most difficult thing is: whenever a thing moves at that speed it turns into light. At that speed the heat is so much that no spaceship can move at that speed, because the heat would burn it out. Just the friction — one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second — the very friction would be enough, and the spaceship and the passengers would all be reduced to light, they would burn out. But maybe someday we can find something which does not burn out, which remains intact, and the passenger can move at that speed.

Then scientists think that Einstein is right: at that speed, time stops. And if time stops you cannot age, so it is possible that a man may leave on a spaceship, and when he comes back his children will be older than him, or even his grandchildren will be older than him. If he comes after eighty years, all his children will be gone, his children’s children will be older than him, and he will have remained exactly at the same age, with no change, with no difference, as if not a single moment had passed.

Now this is a pure theory; they call it ‘pure physics’. How did Einstein arrive at it? It is an insight; it is a mystical experience. Albert Einstein had a few mystical experiences. All his other theories were also conceived in the same way; they have all been proved right, slowly slowly, by experiments. Maybe this too is right.

Even the scientist comes to truth only when he is not, the poet comes to beauty when he is not, and the mystic comes to God when he is not.

The scientist can only be approximately true, because the moments are very rare and very fleeting. The poet can be a little more sure, on a more firm ground, because the moments come often. But the mystic is absolutely certain, hence his declarations.

The Upanishads say AHAM BRAHMASMI, I am God! Al Hillaj Mansoor declares ANA EL HAQ! I am the Truth! These are not conclusions; these are not arrived at through thought processes. These are intuitions, experiences of the ultimate revelation. Mansoor had become one with truth; he was no more separate.

So, creativity has three layers; the ultimate is the mystic: he lives in a climate of creativity. The poet, once in a while, brings some treasures from the beyond; the scientist, also very rarely, but whenever he can visit the Ultimate; he brings something precious to the world. But one thing is certain – mystic, scientist or poet, whatsoever comes into this world comes from the beyond. To bring the beyond is creativity. To bring the beyond into the known is creativity. To help God to be manifested in some form is creativity.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Gautam Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune, India.

Discourse series:

The Guest

Chapter #11
Chapter title: Let your aloneness become a dance
6 May 1979 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘creativity, art, music, poetry, dance, mystic, poet, scientist, silence, transformation’ in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Book of Wisdom
  2. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  3. The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol.1-2
  4. The Heart Sutra
  5. Hari Om Tat Sat
  6. YAHOO! The Mystic Rose
  7. Unio Mystica
  8. Om Mani Padme Hum
  9. Just the Tip of the Iceberg
  10. From Personality to Individuality
  11. From Unconsciousness to Consciousness  

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