Chapter 4 - Creativity and Gnosseology
The creative act exists immediately in being: it is the self-revelation of the powers of being. The creative act justifies, but is not itself justified; it is based upon itself and requires no foundation upon something outside itself.
The man of the world’s creative epoch, who is conscious of himself as a creator, is always a revolutionary as regards a creativity subject to law, normative, culturally-differentiated, since creativity can be neither obedience to the law nor obedience to redemption.
Mysticism stands out beyond the very contrast between the transcendent and the immanent. For mysticism, God is both transcendent and immanent, but at the same time neither one nor the other.
Everything Dionysiac strives toward the elimination of the contrast between subject and object; in the Dionysiac element the subject passes into the object.
In its essence, creativity is painful and tragic. The purpose of the creative impulse is the attainment of another life, another world, an ascent into being. But the result of a creative act is a book, a picture or a legal institution. Movement up or down is projected on a level.
Herein lies the painful and tragic contrast between the aims of creativity and the results of creating. Instead of being, culture is created. The subject does not pass into the object; the subject disappears in objectivization.
The dawn of the creative religious epoch also means a most profound crisis in man’s creativity. The creative act will create new being rather than values of differentiated culture; in the creative act life will not be quenched. Creativity will continue creation; it will reveal the resemblance of human nature to the Creator. In creativity the way will be found for subject to pass into object, the identity of subject with object will be restored.
Creativity in art, in philosophy, in morals, in social life, exceeds the limits of its own sphere, is not to be contained in any classic norm, reveals an impulse towards the transcendental. The creative man of today can no longer create science and art in the classic manner, just as he cannot play politics according to classic norms. In everything he strives to go to the limit, to the end, to pass all boundaries. Literature ceases to be only literature; it would be new being. Within the separate sphere of culture and its values the power to hold itself is lacking; the creative upsurge towards another type of being puts an end to the division of culture into a row of separate fields. At the heights of culture the question is put whether culture is the way to another kind of being or retention in the middle way, without any transcendental way out. Art is transformed into theurgy, philosophy into theosophy, society into theocracy.
It is an integral, not a divided, spirit which lies behind the creative act; an upsurge towards another kind of being, towards the heights. This is not a sort of inner experience or some inexpressible communion with God. This is a fully expressible creative upsurge of man, revealing itself in the world-object.
True immanentism must first of all recognize the immanence of perception in being and the possibility of creative development into higher states of spirituality, which are seen as transcending the given state of being. True Christian trancendentism means that this world transcends man and that God is immanent in man.
By its profound nature perception cannot be only an obedient reflection of reality, an adaptation to the data at hand; it is also an active transfiguration, giving meaning to being, the triumph in being of the world-reason, the sunlight within being.
Creative knowledge is an existential act, an act of ascension into being.
In the creative act the subject enters into the object, and man reveals himself dynamically in the cosmos.
True creativeness is theurgy, God-activity, activity together with God. But it is important that we understand that the problem of theurgy is not a problem of Christian creativity, of Christian culture.
In the strict sense of the word, there can be no Christian creativity, and Christian culture is impossible. We face the problem of Christian being rather than Christian culture, the problem of transforming culture into being, science and art into a new heaven and a new earth.
There never was a truly Christian culture. Culture was created outside Christianity; its only deep connection with Christianity was in the fact that in culture obedience to the results of sin were so strongly evident and sin was redeemed by the tragic difference between the creative idea and its results.
And in his culture, beginning with technics and economics and ending with the sciences and the arts, man, as it were, sought redemption from his sin, but his creativity was not theurgic. In the sweat of his brow man creates culture but cannot attain what is necessary for his creative nature.
What man needs is a new heaven and a new earth, the transition of the creative act into another kind of being. This is the way of theurgic creativity.