In Dynamics of Faith, Paul Tillich writes, “characteristic of a symbol is that it opens up levels of reality which otherwise are closed for us.” Art and, more generally, creativity are types of symbols. They represent that which humans want to express. Therefore, creativity is one of the most important aspects of being human because it allows us to reach these other levels of reality which would be otherwise unattainable, and it would be a horrible waste to not explore and develop our creative capacities.
Human beings are the creative animal. No other creature on Earth has the capability to create in the way we do. We are able to express ourselves through various mediums which represent our deepest intellectual, emotional, and spiritual ideas that would otherwise be impossible to show. Tillich says “all arts create symbols for a level of reality which cannot be reached in any other way.” This ability to reach other levels of reality is solely ours which was given to us from God Himself, the Creator of the universe. It is an exclusive capability that humans have so we are able to understand and explore what is beyond the physical realm.
Creativity does not only allow us to express ourselves, it allows us to understand ourselves as well. Tillich says that a symbol “not only opens up dimensions and elements of reality which otherwise would remain unapproachable but also unlocks dimensions and elements of our soul which correspond to the dimensions and elements of reality.” Through creativity and symbols we humans have the capability to explore our souls. Without this ability we would not be able to understand ourselves or the existence of other realities.
Creativity is a divine gift given to us by God to allow us to understand that which is beyond us. Human beings do not exist merely to live and stay alive, we also exist to create. This ability is a power unlike any other. To be able to create means that we can move beyond ourselves, beyond the restrictions of this world, to see, explore, and express ourselves and the other levels of reality.
To create is to evolve on an individual level. Through creativity we are able to understand ourselves. It allows us to grow in ways that nothing else can. Creativity is the exploration of our individual souls. To not explore creativity is to condemn ourselves. By not creating as God has given us the gift to, we forfeit the potential for self-actualization and the exploration of the universe on all of its levels.
If we do not develop our creative capacities, we are saying, to ourselves and to the universe, “I am content.” Contentment is the danger we humans face that will bring our progressive efforts to a halt. If we become content, then we have no need for self-evolution; no desire to explore the other levels of reality. If we desire to be content, then we have no desire for progressing humanity any further.
Creativity is our way of individually progressing. Through our own creative methods, mediums, and ideas we are able to see the universe further. Not only that, but we are able to allow others to see it as well. Creativity is a divine gift from God. If we waste that gift, we will fall short of the potential God has given us.