Our society is built on creative freedom, but today that freedom has diminished in Europe and is under attack in the United States. As we will see in the course of posts on this site, the loss of that creativity would pose threats to us on many levels: individually, we can be either passive consumers or active creators; economically, we can compete by lowering the cost of labor, or by creating new technologies, goods, and services; socially, we can live in the past or create the future; and most importantly, culturally we can keep alive in the West a moral and creative center in the heart of each individual, or we can surrender that role—that responsibility—that resides in each of us.
You might wonder, why would creativity be under attack? Isn’t creativity an unquestioned good? But a particular form of creativity can be a serious challenge to the status quo; it has the potential to bring forth new worlds, but in doing so it can also destroy old worlds. Those who remain attached to old worlds are not interested in seeing them destroyed.
Visionary Creativity is a particular type of creativity that is paradigm shifting in its essence. It changes the rules of the game and in this sense it is very different from ordinary, everyday creativity. It is the type of creativity that we associate with figures like Vincent van Gogh, Igor Stravinsky, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Lynn Margulis, J. K. Rowling, and Steve Jobs. It not only created the great works of art, science, technology, and industry of the past, it is at work at this very moment creating our emerging world as we move deeper into the twenty-first century.
This short piece is adapted from Visionary Creativity: How New Worlds Are Born by John Lobell. Order from Amazon.