From Krishnamurti’s Book QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question: What is true creativity and how is it different from that which is so considered in popular culture?
What is generally called creativity is man-made – painting, music, literature, romantic and factual, all the architecture and the marvels of technology. And the painters, the writers, the poets, probably consider themselves creative. We all seem to agree with that popular idea of a creative person. Many man-made things are most beautiful, the great cathedrals, temples and mosques; some of them are extraordinarily beautiful and we know nothing of the people who built them. But now, with us, anonymity is almost gone. With anonymity there is a different kind of creativity, not based on success, money – twenty-eight million books sold in ten years!
Anonymity has great importance; in it there is a different quality; the personal motive, the personal attitude and personal opinion do not exist; there is a feeling of freedom from which there is action.
But most man-made creativity, as we call it, takes place from the known. The great musicians, Beethoven, Bach and others, acted from the known. The writers and philosophers have read and accumulated; although they developed their own style they were always moving, acting or writing, from that which they had accumulated – the known. And this we generally call creativity.
Is that really creative? Or is there a different kind of creativity which is born out of the freedom from the known? Because when we paint, write, or create a marvellous structure out of stone, it is based on the accumulated knowledge carried from the past to the present. Now, is there a creativity totally different from the activity that we generally call creativity?
Is there a living, is there a movement, which is not from the known? That is, is there a creation from a mind that is not burdened with all the turmoils of life, with all the social and economic pressures? Is there a creation out of a mind that has freed itself from the known?
Generally we start with the known and from that we create, but is there a creative impulse or movement taking place that can use the known, but not the other way round? In that state of mind, creation, as we know it, may not be necessary.
Is creativity something totally different, something which we can all have – not only the specialist, the professional, the talented and gifted? I think we can all have this extraordinary mind that is really free from the burdens which man has imposed upon himself. Out of that sane, rational, healthy mind, something totally different comes which may not necessarily be expressed as painting, literature or architecture. Why should it? If you go into this fairly deeply, you will find that there is a state of mind which actually has no experience whatsoever. Experience implies a mind that is still groping, asking, seeking and therefore struggling in darkness and wanting to go beyond itself.
There is a complete and total answer to the question if we apply our minds and our hearts to it; there is a creativity which is not man-made. If the mind is extraordinarily clear without a shadow of conflict, then it is really in a state of creation; it needs no expression, no fulfilment, no publicity and such nonsense.