There Is No Failure In Spiritual Creativity

The blank screen.  Staring at me right now.

Every letter I type, though, darkens it.  Focuses it.  Turns pure potential and light into startling limitation, but also into life.

That’s the scary part for so much of us.  Why destroy the white paper, the blank screen, the untouched canvas?  They’re so perfect, so beautiful in its blank potential.  The black we throw on them could just as easily destroy them as bring them to life.

In fact, it’s in life that all the danger that exists.  God created the world multiple times, each time deciding he need to scrub it out and start over.  Only in this iteration deciding to stick with us, stick with it to the end.

If God can’t create without messing up, how can we hope to?


Except that’s not the full story, is it?  Did God actually make failed worlds?  Is that even possible?

Of course not.  The world before this one that the Kabbalists and Chassidic masters taught us about, where all the lights couldn’t be contained by their vessels, it wasn’t even actually destroyed.  We use the word “before” because it’s convenient for us to use, but in truth it exists beyond space-time, and thus is eternal.  It was simply the prerequisite for this world’s existence.

Even the Garden of Eden, the Rebbes teach us, was not a “mistake” where poor Adam failed in less than 24 hours.  It was all a setup for something greater.  We had to fall, become even more imperfect creatures before we could rise above where Adam had started.  This time, not gifted with everything Adam had been given.  This time, given thousands of years to evolve, one generation being held by the successes and failures of the ones before it.


They take it even further, of course, the Kabbalists and the Chassidim.  They don’t see anything as a mistake when seen from God’s perspective.  Everything that happens is part of a paradigm of growth, not of two-dimensional, failure-and-success rising and falling.


Some might say, the ones who point at us foolish believers, that it would be only a deranged God would create a world that had to be scrubbed clean a few times.  That the world is a sick place, that it was never worth creating, that anywhere that the Holocaust can happen, where there are starving people, rape, genocide, plagues, and so much more, God could not exist.  God wouldn’t fail.

We hear the same argument for why we shouldn’t create.  Often from the religious people themselves.  Often from ourselves.  Saying, “You put words on paper, you write on that screen, you paint on that canvas, and you’ll inevitably fail in some way.  Why create when you could let the perfect potential exist?  You’ll only hurt people.”

The angry people who point at the believers, the believers who point at the creators, they’re all speaking truth, but from the wrong paradigm.  They see every horrible thing, and every negative reality, through the paradigm of failure and success.

[sc name="ad-300x600"]

But that’s not how God works, and that’s not how reality works, and that’s not how creativity works.

God made the world through the paradigm of growth.  His creations aren’t failures.  That world that was broken apart by too much light still exists, affecting this world, lighting it up as we feel overcome by the darkness around us.  It is that light that we use to elevate ourselves to the point where we’ll rise above Adam.


And so it is with the blank screen and its black letters.  Your “failure” is not a failure.  You are looking at it from the perspective of a creator, and so you are looking at your work from above.  There is no failure.  From below, for the people on the ground, it may seem that way.  But you’re in a place beyond space-time when you create, beyond the question of failure.

You’re living a paradigm of growth when you create, even if you don’t know it.  You are living God’s paradigm.

Your “failures” are simply the lights that will elevate the creative work that emanates from you in the future.  You are beyond space-time because no piece of creation exists on its own, it is part of the patchwork of infinite creativity in which every bit put onto the screen informs every other bit.  Even when you scrub the screen clean, even if your creation is destroyed after it’s revealed, its light will spread.  In fact, it is so powerful, so painful, this world couldn’t contain it and so it now has to enter new creations: ones that able to handle its power.


Of course, first we need the paradigm of growth to be able to enter this reality.  Seeing each creation as perfect is just as wrong as seeing it all as potentially imperfect.  The point is that we’re going somewhere, that there’s a destination, even if it’s one infinitely beyond our worldly comprehension.

The tragic state of the world would be completely unacceptable if God wasn’t taking us somewhere.  So too with our creations.

That yes, some worlds will have to be “destroyed” in a very superficial sense, but that they are part of the locomotive to the end of the world.

Obsessing that each piece of work is perfect is like living in the world of Chaos, where there is no beginning, middle, or end, where creation cannot possibly exist, and where the world below is ignored for the sake of the world of creativity.


No, the point is that we live in the world of process, and so some of our work won’t belong in this one.  The point is not to see it as a failure, but as part of the bumps on the road to creativity, the ones that will raise you higher, to a higher place.  The way we feel more turbulence when we first take off, because it’s in the rising that the rough winds exist.

The world may see it as failure, and that’s fine.  Those who do are living the lives of creations instead of creators.  Let them, and be sad that we live in a world where people think that it’s preferable to accept an animal’s viewpoint than that of God.

And in the meantime, keep creating, keep growing, keep rising.  You are on a spaceship that’s taking you beyond space, beyond the horizon, beyond what anyone can imagine.  Why on earth would you ever want to get off?