Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"The meaning of life is discovered through creativity and the knowledge that we are interconnected with the entire natural world. When we deny this, meaning is shattered." - Marija Gimbutas

"Creativity always dies a quick death in rooms that house conference tables." - Bruce Herschensohn

"The great spiritual and political viewpoint of the West is that we are all equal and are all capable of developing into the same end product. Anybody who bothers to examine the facts can easily see we are not all equal. What we really are is not so much equal as unique. None of us is the same as anybody else. In this uniqueness is a profound Spiritual Realization: Life is infinitely creative and requires uniqueness for creativity." - W. Brugh Joy, fully William Brugh Joy

"Most forms of human creativity have one aspect n common: the attempt to give some sense to the various impressions, emotions, experiences, and actions that fill our lives, and thereby to give some meaning and value to our existence... The crisis of our time in the Western world is that the search for meaning has become meaningless for many of us." - Victor Weisskopf, fully Victor "Viki" Frederick Weisskopf

"In art there is liberation. the essential in artistic creativity is victory over the burden of necessity. In art man lives outside himself, outside his burdens, the burden of life. Every creative artistic act is a partial transfiguration of life." -

"The answer to the accumulating casualties of the welfare state’s “war” on poverty is the home-grown, grass-roots, all-volunteer army of ordinary people armed with food, books, skills and a determination to make a difference. The entrepreneurial creativity that catapulted this nation to a position of global leadership can now be harnessed to do for community what it did for productivity. When we provide imaginative, entrepreneurial alternatives to the welfare state, we won’t need to confront it. It will simply wither away. And the rewards of this work are a bounty of spiritual renewal: an abundance of love, meaning and connectedness." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"Creativity is neither a product of neurosis nor simple talent, but an intense courageous encounter with the gods." -

"Creativity can replace conformity as the primary mode of social being. We can cling to that which is passing, or has already passed, or we can remain accessible to - even surrender to - the creative process, without insisting that we know in advance the ultimate outcome for us, our institutions, or our planet. To accept this challenge is to cherish freedom, to embrace life, and to find meaning." - Stephan Nachmanovitch

"Creativity is a flower that praise brings to bloom, but discouragement often nips in the bud." - Alex Faickney Osborn

"Ultimately, our purpose is to be so alive, compassionate and creative in our own lives that the whole universe quivers with excitement and enthusiasm and brings forth a new spirit, a new possibility, in our midst. Our purpose is to be both the womb and the midwife for the birthing into our world of a holy spirit filled with new potentials for life and creativity. We exist in order to quicken the creativity and spirit of our world so that new worlds, new wonders, new blessings may emerge... To truly appreciate the meaning of life, we must be prepared to let the meanings we have known stand in the presence of new insights and be transformed. We have no final answers, only the questions that lead to further discoveries, creativity and emergence. We are here that life may discover, know and express itself more abundantly for the blessing and fulfillment of all creation - past, present and potential." - David Spangler

"Our purpose is to live in harmony with those cycles [birth, growth, death and regeneration] to develop our peculiar organs of consciousness and creativity to add to the beauty, love, humor, diversity and general interest of the world." - Starhawk, born Miriam Simos NULL

"Most important, novelty and creativity are unrecognizable unless they emerge from order." - Ross A. Webber

"Originality is the essence of true scholarship. Creativity is the soul of the true scholar." - A. J. Ayer, Alfred Jules Ayer

"Whatever it is that we value in life – relationships, creativity, learning, aesthetic experience, food, sex, travel – the call to seize the day is the call to appreciate these things while we can and not to put them off indefinitely. Some things require work and time, and often the best choice is not to do today everything you want to do before you die. The true spirit of carpe diem is not to panic and try to do everything now, but to make sure every day counts. The wisdom of carpe diem is that time is short, this is the only life we have and we should not squander it." - Julian Baggini

"Could it be that liberation, not knowledge, is the true end purpose of human life and even its meaning? And might this liberation be achieved through non-rational means: power, sexuality, revolution, resignation, creativity, compassion, or solidarity? If this predicament is not so much ignorance (of something) as bondage (to something), what must we be liberated from, and what are we therefore liberated for?" - Stephen A. Erickson

"God does not make clones. Each person is different, a tribute to God’s creativity. If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we must accept people as they are and not demand that they conform to our own image." - Henry Fehren

"Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don't let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity." -

"Our society has progressed largely because of our creativity and inquisitiveness – and because we’re competitive. We’re driven by the desire to develop products and services which are more ingenious than what others have put forth. Competition is inherently good, but when it is tainted with excess greed or negative motives, there can be harmful results. How we compete is very important to our Souls." - Tom Gregory

"Proximity to the crowd, to the majority view, spells the death of creativity. For a soul can create only when alone, and some are chosen for the flowering that takes place in the dark avenues of the night." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life." -

"To be fertile in hypotheses is the first requisite [of creativity], and to be willing to throw them away the moment experience contradicts them is the next." - William James

"The primordial experience is the source of [creativity]… In itself it offers no words or images, for it is a vision seen “as in a glass, darkly.” It is merely a deep presentiment that strives to find expression. It is like a whirlwind that seizes everything within reach and, by carrying it aloft, assume a visible shape." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"Creativity is harnessing universality and making it flow through your eyes." - Peter Koestenbaum

"Neither power nor wealth, neither education nor ability, neither gifts of creativity nor stores of human energy can insure against the reality that suffering will be our companion at some time during our journey. It is a presence as inseparable from the human condition as food and oxygen are from human life. It is part of our legacy." - Paula Ripple, fully Paula Ripple Comin

"In the creative vision of God the individual is present as a whole in his essential being and inner teleos and at the same time in the infinity of the special moments of his life process. Of course this is said symbolically, since we are unable to have a perception of or even an imagination of that which belongs to the divine life. The mystery of being beyond essence and existence is hidden in the mystery of the creativity of the divine life." -

"To say that God exceeds the powers of our comprehension is not to say that we do not know God. We know empirically the actual, present, dynamic working of creativity in our midst, progressively creating, saving and transforming the personality of man when required conditions are present. Therefore we know God and know him more intimately than any other, because he is so deeply involved in our existence. But to know God thus does not mean that we can construct in our imagination a picture of him or comprehend the depth and fullness of his being." - Henry Nelson Wieman

"Creativity is the retention throughout life of something that belongs properly to infant experience: the ability to create the world. . . . By creative living I mean not getting killed or annihilated all the time by compliance or by reacting to the world that impinges; I mean seeing everything afresh all the time… When we are surprised at ourselves we are being creative, and we find we can trust our own unexpected originality." - Donald Woods Winnicott

"Originality is the essence of true scholarship. Creativity is the soul of the true scholar." - Nnamdi Azikiwe, fully Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, aka "The Zik of Africa"

"Creativity is a gift, some say, but not a gift that survives without practice." - Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori & Anthea Barron

"The use of creativity as an instrument for personal and social gain is by no means the whole story. In its deeper philosophical implications, creativity is a quest for meaning. It is an attempt to penetrate the mystery of the self, and perhaps the even greater mystery of Being." - Frank Barron

"Creativity isn't about brilliance. It's about exuberance, focus, and fearlessness." - David Bohm, fully David Joseph Bohm

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." - Ray Bradbury, fully Ray Douglas Bradbury

"Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity." - Chuck Jones, fully Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones

"If sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities, it's because they lead to the knowledge that you own your own body (and with it your own voice), and that's the most revolutionary insight of all." -

"The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail." -

"As we have seen over and over again, whenever church and state enter into partnership, human freedom is restricted, intellectual growth is stifled, and education is formalized and routinized to exclude and smother innovation and creativity." - Gerald Alexander Larue

"Throughout history, individuals have solved apparently impossible problems during moments of intense inner clarity. Variously called inspiration, peak performance, creative insight, and higher creativity, such moments produce illuminated understanding, which can then be shaped, revised, and carried forward by skill alone." - Helen Palmer

"Love is emotion that issues into action and often employs the greatest powers of creativity." - Irving Singer

"Our species is unique in its great creativity with respect to meaningfulness. Our systems of meaning vary tremendously from moment to moment, from one individual to another, and from society to society." - Irving Singer

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual." - Arthur Koestler

"True creativity often starts where language ends." - Arthur Koestler

"Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous." - Bill Moyers

"It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science." - Carl Sagan

"Love… is the only truly real and lasting experience in life. It is the opposite of fear, the essence of relationships, the core of creativity, the grace of power, an intricate part of who we are. It is the source of happiness, the energy that connects us and that lives within us… It is elusive... We are afraid that we will never have it, that if we find it, we will lose it or take it for granted, fearing it will not last." - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"All larger organisms, including ourselves, are living testimonies to the fact that destructive practices do not work in the long run. In the end, the aggressors always destroy themselves, making way for others who know how to cooperate and get along. Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity." - Fritjof Capra

"Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties." - Gail Sheehy

"Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything." - George Lois

"Committing to our creativity is an act of faith, a promise that we will keep at it despite our fears and failings and despite whatever obstacles we find in our paths." - Jan Phillips

"I will master something, then the creativity will come." - Japanese Proverbs

"Four things are required to develop generosity of spirit: (1) The intention to serve God in all our affairs. (2) The belief that if that intention is honored, the Universe will provide all that is required materially and spiritually for our success. (3) The understanding that we receive as we give, and that our own creativity is enhanced through mentoring others. (4) Practical groundedness. God can’t deliver the lottery jackpot unless we buy a ticket!" - Joan Borysenko