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Open letter to science editors


The Ground of Creativity

One of the spiritual realities for which one must account in a philosophy or theology is that of creativity. Creativity is a reality that we both sense and experience in ourselves and others.  As humans we obviously have this dimension, but is there another source or ground of this marvelous aspect of our experience?

To his significant credit, Rupert Sheldrake has wrestled with the aspects of physical and biological morphology, and as one of the world's foremost thinkers has given this question some deserved thought.  In a conference-seminar where we were both lecturers and where the existing paradigms in the public consciousness were significantly challenged he suggested both in a lecture and in discussions that there seem to be four general possibilities.  These four basic sources or explanations for the ground of creativity are:

  1. Chance or possibility
  2. Traditional God/Creator
  3. Random mixing of Platonic forms
  4. The physical universe itself is a living intelligent organism

1. Chance or possibility.  In the godless, (no creator) "scientistic" or evolutionary paradigm the ultimate ground or explanation of creativity, of course, lies in the paradigm's overarching reality of chance or possibility.  Along with matter as we know it, life, intelligence, love, morality, aesthetics, and other human dimensions, creativity is just the first in a series of "happy accidents" that have developed to give us our humanity and reality as we know it.  Well, who is to say that it couldn't happen? Me, at least.

2.  Traditional God/Creator.  Probably not much needs to be said about this, because this is becoming less and less believable, and more and more repugnant to those that believe in the nobility of humankind, and are less and less enchanted with the traditional definition of God.

3. Random mixing of Platonic forms. Not sure what this means exactly, but the key word must be random.

4. The physical universe itself is a living and intelligent organism. This is one of those grandiose propositions that have such widespread appeal because they are so sweeping and extensive. This is really just a new wrinkle on an old doctrine called pantheism, but more and more non-mainstream thinkers and scientists are going there. It excuses them from dealing with the messier aspects of reality, such as suffering and the origin of evil, and they can just concentrate on their work in a more sterile spiritual environment.

What about the idea that the originator of the series of creation is, was, and always will be totally and only human and we are descendants? Doesn't the ground of creativity lie just where we currently experience it—in human beings?

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