- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Tarcher; First Edition edition (June 4, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585420948
- ISBN-13: 978-1585420940
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,378,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Creative Life: 7 Keys to Your Inner Genius Hardcover – June 4, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
God is creative, and we are creative. That's the premise of Unity minister Butterworth's straightforward and inspiring guide to living a creative life. Although he uses the Genesis account as the book's organizing principle (his seven steps parallel the seven days of creation and rest), this is not a particularly Jewish or Christian book. Rather, Butterworth draws on teachings both Transcendentalist and New Age God is creativity, God is us, God is in us, etc. On the first day of creation, God said, "Let there be light," and Butterworth claims that seeking the inner light is likewise the first step in developing a creative self. He also dwells on the phrase "Let there be," suggesting that readers should take that phrase as their motto: "No suggestion of effort, no strain, no hurry... just let." The overall premise of the book is very, well, creative; Butterworth's use of the creation account in Genesis as a template for human creativity is surprisingly compelling. The exercises he includes at the end of each chapter, however, disappoint. Butterworth urges the newly creative to take a 10-minute breather in the park each week, for example, and to make a written list of their greatest disappointments in life. Such suggestions are predictable and virtually indistinguishable from those in many other self-help book. Still, on the whole this guide will speak to those who want to live a more intentionally creative and spiritual life.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Butterworth, a Unity minister, has one main premise: that God is in all of us and that all that is creative can be tapped as long as we open ourselves to that Godhead. For his latest book, whose spiritualese some readers may find grating, he has divided his thesis into seven working points corresponding to the seven days of creation. Butterworth explains each day's inspirational meaning and offers a series of exercises to help readers release the creativity associated with it. Although somewhat Christian, Butterworth's contentions will not be embraced by the fundamentalist crowd. He avers, for instance, that the creation story is an allegory, and he specifically separates Jesus from Christ, positing that Christ is actually a part of all of us and that Jesus was just more able than most people to find the Christ within. Appropriate for public libraries whose patrons want to understand the connection between spirituality and creativity.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Review: The book is built around the metaphor of the seven days of creation in Genesis. The basic reading of that part of the Bible is also done in a literary rather than a literal way. Each chapter builds around one day of creation, and ties the lessons back to human creativity. Many helpful submetaphors are contained in each chapter, such as to the combining of minds on the Internet.
"Like God, our creative powers are infinite," says Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo in his introduction. The book isn't quite that strong. It basically argues that the unfilled potential that God has created can all be tapped by humans.
"Let There Be Light." This text is seen as an encouragement to look for inner illumination for the right path. "Love . . . is what we are." "Love is the awareness of light and you naturally project light in a kind of healing influence."
"Let There Be Firmament." "To the person with an unshakeable faith that something wonderful is going to happen, something wonderful is happening." You have to believe in the potential before your mind can take it seriously.
"Let the Dry Land Appear." " . . . [T]he dry land is the mental image of formed thoughts." You need to "see what can be." You are encouraged to create visionary views of what could be in practical detail. I thought that this section worked best of all those in the book.
"Let There Be Two Great Lights." "God can only will the full expression of your powers and capacities." This argument seems convoluted, rather than expressive to me. God can do anything. Any existing limits in humans can be changed by God.
I suspect that many readers, if they are like me, will find this book coming close to arguing that each human's relationship to God is closer to being a peer one than many believe. Sections like this one create that issue. I found all this exhaltation of humans relative to God to be unnecessary to improving personal creativity. The language quoted in this book from the New Testament rightly emphasizes that Jesus pointed out that His ways are open to us.
The best parts of the book are the submetaphors. For example, in coming into contact with your on intuition, you are encouraged to think about the light within as being able to be influenced by a rheostat or a radio tuner. Then, there are exercises to use those metaphors to inspire more creativity. Based on my work with hypnosis and creativity, these are exceptionally fine metaphors and superb directions for using them.
If you find the Genesis metaphor gets in your way (as I suspect it will for many), my suggestion is that you skip over those parts when you get to them. You will still find much solid information here about being more creative. For example, the material in the chapter on "Let the Dry Land Appear" is very similar to that in Think and Grow Rich, and will provide new perspective on those ideas for people who have enjoyed that fine book.
The exercises in each chapter are well worth doing, and you would get almost all of the benefit possible from this book if you simply did them. So if you read the book, be sure to take the time to do the exercises.
A fundamental flaw in the book is to act as though the reader lacks basic experience in being creative. In fact, almost everyone has been very creative many times in her or his life. The material here would have been much more helpful if it had built more on those successful experiences.
After you finish the book, think back to those times when you have been most creative. What did they have in common? Do you routinely try to recreate those circumstances? How can the elements that worked well be combined in new ways?
Aspire to perfection in some important area . . . and you may approach it closer than anyone has ever done before! Be sure to leave a map to follow your journey though, when you take that route.