Nietzsche summed this up quite well in one of his aphorisms noting that a rumbling stomach quickly dampens man’s awareness of himself as a spiritual being. The aphorism also reveals a stark dichotomy that has burdened man’s consciousness recently.
We are fundamentally spiritual beings, potentially divine, made in the image of God, yet everywhere we are constrained by nature and its biological processes, including entropy and death.
A part of us yearns to transcend the natural world as another part of us incessantly struggles with the necessity of biological necessity of survival. The former seems to beckon from within while the latter batters us from outwith.
This apparent dichotomy has led to a bifurcation of reality into the natural and spiritual realms within consciousness.
It is worth noting that this divergence is primarily a problem of consciousness, not reality. The natural and the spiritual are both part of Creation, with the former being a subset of the latter.
Thus, it is probably closer to the truth to view everything in the natural world as essential parts of the spiritual world. The two worlds we perceive are deeply connected through spirit.
The necessity the natural world imposes upon us is also profoundly spiritual because of the significant challenges it presents. Will we allow a rumbling stomach, a headache, heartache, or other ailment to derail us from awareness of our true selves as beings, or will such occasions inspire us to seek learning and meaning that may help draw us closer to our true selves?
The key to this question lies in freedom and creativity. At one level, we may respond to the challenge of necessity through invention by employing our creativity in the natural world to limit, overcome, control, manipulate, or influence the natural world in ways that benefit us biologically. Such inventive creativity is pragmatic. In a nutshell, down-to-earth.
There is nothing inherently wrong with such creative invention as long as the awareness of the spiritual reality of the natural world remains intact. The problem is it often does not.
Thus, necessity not only becomes the mother of all invention but confines such invention to the natural world in consciousness, thereby reducing man’s awareness of himself as a spiritual being and the reality of Creation. Within such consciousness, man strives to become a master manipulator of the natural world rather than a co-creator in Creation.
If necessity is the mother of all invention, then spiritual freedom and love must be the mother of all Creation.
Invention may alleviate man of the apparent tyranny of the natural world and its seeming determinism, but it is only meaningful if it helps draw man closer to the reality of spirit, that is, to the reality of man’s innate ability to self-determine regardless of the seemingly deterministic pressures of the natural world and its necessity.
Revisiting Nietzsche’s aphorism, invention responds to the necessity the rumbling stomach imposes by inventing agriculture, mass food production, refrigeration, etc., but these wonderful inventions can become potentially harmful if they begin to blind man to the reality of himself as a spiritual being.
Creativity can also respond to the rumbling stomach via invention, but it does so from spiritual freedom and love that has transcended the rumbling stomach long before it conjures forth the invention that will satiate the necessity the rumbling stomach imposes.
Put another way, man’s freedom via invention lasts only as long as the stomach remains satiated. Man’s freedom via creativity understands that man’s true being remains free to love and co-create regardless of whether the stomach is satiated. Seen this way, overcoming necessity is always a matter of spirit rather than nature because nature is fundamentally a part of spirit.