The creative self

Does creativity come from within the self? Do you own it? Or does it come to you? Is it external?

Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat Pray Love fame) suggests in this talk that the modern, Western notion of the self-contained artist has led to a great suffering among creative people. She calls for a reinstatement of the ancient Greek idea of the ‘daemon’ or Roman idea of the ‘genius’ which provided explanations of creativity as something external to the self. I don’t think you have to be on-board with her spirituality to find her suggestion intriguing. It’s an entertaining reflection on the way we think in the West about the self and creativity.


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