Creativity

Creativity is often understood as an instrument exclusive of the arts. Yet, creativity is an important asset to every aspect of life. A great example is on the field of relationships. Dynamic creativity can be used to communicate with others in an ever increasing effective way. Even the very effort of communicating something creatively clarifies our own understanding of the topic being conveyed. This because, indeed, in order to be able to communicate something clearly, one before must have clarity about it himself.

“Normally, the test of greatness in the arts is the ability to state deep feelings and perceptions simply, clearly, and well.”J.Donald Walters

To develop creativity it is important to understand the very essence of it. True creativity comes from intuition, which demands a neat balance of clear reasoning and calm feeling. Intuition means to increase one’s awareness of truths that lie already deep within his very self, beyond mental and emotional bias. This is why many great artist such as G. F. Handel, speak of creativity as an act of listening and receiving. The mind and the heart then work as filters to “translate” this subtle inspiration into an objective creation. Hence the need for a clear mind and a calm feeling. For indeed one could not even succeed at listening to this inspiration if the static of restlessness and confusion are altogether muffing the silent whisper of intuition.

Yoga and meditation are used as tools to develop clarity of reasoning and calmness of feeling and art itself is used as a tool to develop creativity.

“We need intuition, and not merely keen intelligence. Without intuition there is no way for us to transcend the limitations of human nature and know things as they are.

It is in this sense, indeed, that we need the arts – not as a kind of vent for pent-up emotions, but because the arts, more than most other activities, can help us to develop intuition and to direct it wisely.”J.Donald Walters

Arts, moreover, play a fundamental part in Education for Life, as they serve as an instrument to develop not only creativity but also sensitivity, intelligence, empathy, sincerity, self-awareness and many other important values that will serve the child during his entire life.

Singing, for example, can help to understand the importance of the human voice as a medium of self-expression. With dancing the attitudes of the mind can be brought to the surface by relating them to body movements. Painting can be a mean of drawing out feelings which, once objectified, might be emphasized if the feelings are constructive, or positive redirected if they are destructive. Acting can be used as a tool to learn how to get in touch with one’s feelings and to express them in a clear and healthy way.

“When I first heard about the kind of plays they do, I thought it was way too much for the kids. I don’t just mean how elaborate it is; I’m talking about the plot: “The Story of St. Francis,” “The Life of Buddha,” “Krishna the Beloved.” I mean, we’re talking elementary school! But as usual, the teachers know what they are doing. The kids are thrilled to be involved in something profound, rather than the kind of plays children often have to do. By acting it out, they really get the point of what makes a great person great: courage, dedication, selflessness, love. And they remember it. For years afterwards, I hear them talking about things they learned from the plays and using what they’ve learned as a standard for their own lives.” LWS Parent, Palo Alto

Last but not least, children are also instructed in how to develop more mundane but perennially useful, skills such as carpentry, computer technology, public speaking, salesmanship, and much more.