What of a world that lacks creativity? Such a world—if it can even classify as such–what would it mean to us? French philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes, famously started doubting the most obvious beliefs about himself and the world around him. His grand hope was to find a premise—a most fundamental belief—that could not be denied without self-contradiction, and would serve as a basis for his epistemological system of thought.
There is little that I can think of that is more maddening than reaching such a place of frustration that you begin to deconstruct all of the thinking things you think. What sort of mind? What sort of genius does it take!? It’s the creative potential that boils and overflows in some people.
But what of a world without creativity?
Let’s, in Cartesian fashion, start from our most basic beliefs about the creative world and work our way backwards. Subtract the cars, the computers, the boats, the chairs, and the houses. Similarly, we can’t forget to remove our canine and feline friends, the atmosphere, and all the stars and planets too. In fact, we have no place in a world lacking creativity. I’ll let you continue the trend as far back as you can possibly imagine. Maybe yours ends with God, or maybe it ends with an eternal universe. Possibly you trace it back to absolutely nothing; back to a creative void.
Just as much as a world without creativity is a non-world, a life without it is a contradiction in terms. What would I be without any creative potential? There would in fact be no I to be. It’s not just that the world would be grayscale, or that I would sink into some deep depression. Working with and recognizing these sorts of concepts and states-of-being require just the creative possibility I wouldn’t have at my disposal.
And this is truly maddening.