The Value of the Creative Mind

Raise your hand if you’re guilty of taking your creative mind for granted (I just did). It is a gift that should be appreciated everyday like family and friends and the star-filled sky.

Some go so far as to say it’s something worth fighting for.

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separeates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.”

John Steinbeck – East of Eden

Well, hell yeah.

Don’t you fear what you don’t know
Just let that be your room to grow
You’ve got to fight for your mind
While you’ve got the time

Ben Harper – Fight For Your Mind


Comments ( 8 )

  1. Replyjennifer
    I LOVE this post, Jonathan! The Ben Harper quote, makes me think how little we do know what's in our own mind, and we do have to fight to learn it! And, in some instances stop fighting. Brings to mind a quote another blogger posted some time ago: Creativity comes from a place of no rules. Hope the writing is going well!
    • ReplyJonathan
      So glad it struck a chord. I hit that Steinbeck quote and it hit me how little we celebrate our creativity -- in all its forms. We have to fight the constant barrage of external forces to be able to delve into our own minds. When we do it and recognize it, it's magic. The writing is moving forward steadily. I'm only about 6 months behind getting my novel out to beta readers, but I'm pleased with where it is. Thanks for the well-wishes.
  2. ReplySarah
    Don't know what I'd do without my free mind, my humanity. Steinbeck quote=AMAZING. I wholeheartedly agree...and what's so bad about being human, anyway? Okay, don't answer that.
    • ReplyJonathan
      Sometimes it's hard to unburden my mind from the interference from outside channels, but I sure can tell when it's happening. East of Eden is a must read.
  3. ReplyHarley
    LOVE this post and LOVE Ben Harper. Nice.
  4. ReplyElisabeth Black
    Hmmm... I never thought of creativity as something to fight over. I never dreamed of it as something someone could take away. Is he describing freedom of expression, perhaps? Or am I just totally missing something?
    • ReplyJonathan
      I think it's more than just freedom of expression, though that is integral to the thought. This line:
      And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.
      seems to go beyond curtailing expression; I took it to mean that we are in a daily fight to think for ourselves in the face of interference from the ideas put forth by religion and government and any other entity that promotes group think at the expense of exercising our minds. Does that make any sense?

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