photo of RUMI courtesy of: spiritualnotreligious.blogspot Rumi art from glad.is
You know by now that I find many words of wisdom in the poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi – a man who was born in the year 1207 in Afghanistan, which was at that time a part of the Persian Empire. ( Just as a frame of reference, time-wise, the year that Michelangelo began painting the Sistine Chapel was 1511. ) Until the age of 37 Rumi was a brilliant scholar and teacher. His life changed dramatically when he came to know a wise, wandering man who was a dervish. Shams of Tabriz became a god to Rumi and with their friendship, for Rumi, there came a new kind of spiritual enlightenment.
One of my all time favorite quotes from Rumi is this, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
I have several of my own interpretation of that sentence, found by applying it to various situations. I will allow you to have yours….but I can assure you that the intent of the quote, coming from Rumi, can only be good and purely spoken. It seems that no matter what my needs are at any given time for a meaningful quotation, I only need to open my Rumi book and one or more appropriate ones appear to me. His words are timeless.
I can absolutely apply this quote philosophically to life, to love, to any number of human conditions, to painting, or to any kind of creative endeavor. Simply put, it says that you must think outside the box and that there are no rights or wrongs in creativity, no mistakes, only the doing that comes with inspiration.
People always want to have creativity defined. Well that can’t be precisely done. There are so many aspects and variations and manifestations and incarnations of it that after a while it becomes lime green jello. But I would imagine that creative people – the most creative people – have a few things in common. Things both you and I have observed – not really mysterious things at all. Early indicators of exceptional creativity in young children include an extraordinary descriptive vocabulary, an attention to detail and laser focus not always found in small children, early reading, constant questions, taking things apart, risk taking, a love of adventure, building collections of beloved specimens and treasures such as bugs or stones, and endlessly searching for new ideas.
Creative ones of any age read a lot – voraciously. They challenge existing ideas. They are gifted beyond the norm with many talents; along with that goes an advanced intellectual ability and a higher IQ. Therefore they can see or imagine multiple perspectives and they are always learning. They are generally quite imaginative, unusually curious, and in the time-worn phrase, they constantly think outside the box. They see the world in a unique way. They are less concerned with making mistakes and they acknowledge little wrongdoing – in fact there are no mistakes, only learning experiences.
I suppose creative thinkers can also be narcissistic, eccentric in the extreme, endlessly amusing and somewhat crazy but that discussion is for another time. That crowd is still out partying and have not come home yet.
Rumi says, “Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street. I took it as a sign to start singing, falling up into the bowl of sky.”