Creativeness has two different aspects, and we describe it differently depending on whether we focus on one or on the other. These are the inner and the outer aspect. First, there is the primary creative act in which the human being stands face to face with God, so to speak; and second, there is the secondary creative act in which he faces other people in the world.
The first aspect is the creative conception, the primary creative intuition, in which a human being hears in his mind the symphony, perceives the pictorial or poetic image, or is aware of a discovery or invention as yet unexpressed. In this primary act, the person stands before God and is not concerned with realization.
If knowledge is given to me, that knowledge is at first not an actual book written by me, not a scientific discovery formulated for other people’s benefit to be part of human culture. In the first instance, it is my own inner knowledge, still unexpected, unknown to the world and hidden from it. Only this is my real first-hand knowledge, my real philosophy in which I am face to face with the mystery of existence.
Then comes the secondary creative act that is connected with the human being’s social nature – the realization of the creative intuition. A book comes to be written. At this stage, the question of art and technique arises. The primary creative fire is not art at all. Art is secondary, and in it the creative fire cools down. Art is subject to law, and it is not an interaction of freedom and grace, as the primary creative act is. The human being, in realizing his creative intuition, is limited by the world, by his material, by other people. All this weighs on him and dampens the fire of inspiration.
There is always a tragic discrepancy between the burning heat of the creative fire in which the artistic image is conceived, and the coldness of its formal realization. Every book, picture, statute, good work, social institution is an instance of this cooling down of the original flame. Probably some creators never succeed to find expression; they have the inner fire and inspiration but fail to give it form. And yet, people generally think that creativeness consists of producing concrete, definite things. Classic art requires the greatest possible adherence to the cold formal laws of technique.
The aim of creative inspiration is to bring forth new forms of life, but the results are the cold products of civilization, cultural values, books, pictures, institutions, good works. Good works mean the cooling down of the creative fire of love in the human heart, just as a philosophical book means the cooling down of the creative fire in the human spirit. This is the tragedy of human creativeness and its limitation. Its results are a terrible condemnation of it. The inner creative act, in its fiery impetus, should leave the heaviness of the world and “overcome the world.” But in its external realization, the creative act is subject to the power of “the world” and is restrained by it.