If you’ve dabbled in other books about Creativity, you may have noticed most teachers call the Creator of a work “a Creative.” This title seems to work well, in place of calling everyone folks, or Creative people, or artists, and then parsing out inventor, musician, writer, singer, etc. However, when I was working on my graduate degree, I coined a new term: “Creativist” because it resembles the word activist, and fully encompasses all of us who have become intimate and deliberate with our passion for Creativity. The title, “Creativist” infers a vaster understanding of and dedication to human Creativity for the benefit of the collective. We borrow from the ancient Hippocratic oath, the physician’s creed:
I swear by Apollo the Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.
To hold my teacher in this art equal to my own parents; to make him partner in my livelihood; when he is in need of money to share mine with him; to consider his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they want to learn it, without fee or indenture; to impart precept, oral instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the physician’s oath, but to nobody else.
I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.
Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free. And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets.
A Creativist will take this oath:
“I swear by the forerunners of Creativity, that I will observe and keep this oath, to the utmost of my power and judgment. With regard to contributing to the collective, I will devise a plan and follow it through according to my judgment and means. If I faithfully observe this oath, may I thrive and prosper in my Creativity and may humanity benefit from my effort and love.”
It’s a simple, gentle way to stay the course in the darkest of hours, during which includes when one finds herself baffled by Creastination, (a better name for procrastination) or tempted to “sell out.” When we remember our calling, our commitment to the greater good, the umbilical cord that feeds us, we reconnect and fulfill the mission of Creativity in a more satisfying way. The by-product might be to get unstuck, finish what we start, but it is absolutely not the focus. The emphasis rests on touching the mystical pool of all Creativity, the force that transforms us, the power that births stars, that splits cells, that unites humanity.
Reciting the Creativist Creed is not mean to be a cure-all. In fact, it would be hypocritical to assign a formulaic fix or generalized panacea when everyone’s process is different. Delivering the Creed is merely an exercise meant to conjoin us and to help us shift our attention from product to process, reminding us why we Create. To connect to our deeper self, to connect us with others, and to connect us to the universe at large. We become part of the greater whole when we tap into our Creativity—and ultimately—this brings meaning and depth to our individual lives as it improves society.