Creativity is the force that allows the bringing about of order from chaos.
A kind of reverse entropy. The ability to pluck something from nothing.
It is the breaking of some fundamental laws of thermodynamics.
Which is pretty cool, when you think about it.
In Julian May’s Exile/Milieu cycle, Creativity is the strangest of the ‘metapsychic’ super powers that evolve in the human race, and beyond. Yet it another one, like Coercion that occurs naturally in normal people. Coercion occurs latently as charisma or animal magnetism. Creativity occurs latently as, well, creativity.
For those blessed with the operant power, creativity takes the form of being able to change the form of molecules, transforming matter at a chemical level. It can be used for sci-fi fireballs, camoflauge, and at least once in the direct, mind to mind, hormone to hormone, stimulation of metapsychic sex.
This basic transformation of the fundamental formulas of matter is of course magic.
One of my favourite things about the notion is that May presents the more mundane form of creativity, making art or writing or anything else, as being the same thing, just a matter of scale.
Which makes it very un-mundane, which is the truth of the matter.
When you take a blank page, and build something out of it, you are taking a chaotic, disordered field of possibilities and choosing a path through all those possibilities.
We are told by the scientists (also creatives, taking inspiration from experimentation and weaving wonders from it) that ordered states naturally dissolve into disordered ones. There is a tendency to destruction in the universe. Not in explosions, necessarily, but just a natural erosion, as energy trickles outward aiming toward that big turquoise smear we’ve already looked at.
But that’s not what we do.
We choose a path through the chaos, building structure. Not just houses and streets and bridges, but words and pictures and other forms of magic.
We create, and nature destroys.
Which sounds ironic, given the damage us humans wreak.
But when I say we, I don’t just mean humanity.
I mean life. All life. From bacteria to buffalo.
Life is creativity, constantly making and building new routes through the universe. Carving evolutionary rivers and streams.
Creating order from chaos, and even using chaos to create that order.
Evolution is the ultimate in creativity, a nearly endless force for change and imagination, just by throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Which is beautiful.
Like when I sit down and take the time to make and create and build something. To write or doodle or fiddle with my melodica.
Even if it’s rubbish, it’s still creative.
It’s still making something out of nothing.
And it’s still magical.
Apologies for all liberties taken with science.
Illustration by Anna-Kaisa.