Co-creation is the most important concept I’ve ever learned. In any endeavor, strive to co-create and you’ll never go wrong.
Some people believe that the world is nothing but a big bang, a random collection of molecules and atoms thrown together, and nothing more. This is the materialist view of life, that we are “nothing but” the cells that happen to make us up. We are our physical material and nothing else. In this way of thinking, everything can be objectified. There can be in this worldview no good or evil, right or wrong, beautiful, true, or anything worthwhile. It just is. Materialism is objectification, because all are objects, not subjects and there is no free will or creation. Materialism is nihilistic, because it destroys the life of the spirit, it destroys the subject. Materialism destroys us. Looking at life purely through the lens of science is materialist objectification and it’s dangerous to us and to society.
An opposite point of view, equally as troublesome, would be that the self, and the self alone, creates the world. You and I, under this point of view, create our own reality by ourselves. Our cells and biology according to post-modern subjectivism don’t define us at all. Most modern people think this way. We are the subjects, and in this way of thinking the fact that we “exist” precedes what we actually are, in our “essence” like man, woman, child, etc. This is a radical and diabolical form of subjectivism whereby every person has their own version of “the truth.” From a spiritual point of view, this is a type of pure spirit, or gnostic spirituality, ungrounded by physical reality, by nature, by tradition or revelation, or by the incarnation. The post-modern subjective world of radical individualism is the world we are trying to live in now, though it’s obvious that it’s not working and is causing a lot of pain and misery.
A 3rd Way: Co-Creation
A 3rd way of looking at things, one which I recommend because it conforms with reality and will lead to a harmonious and happy life, would be called “co-creation.” In this view, there is an objective reality present in nature, and it us up to us to work with it to co-create our lives. Co-creation combines the previous two points of view, it is both objective, in that it recognizes material reality, but on the other hand it is also subjective, in that it also recognizes the sovereignty and free will of the individual subject. Co-creation creates harmony. This harmony, through co-creation, could also be called logos in Greek, or the order of the universe. When we connect with logos, we are connecting with God, the creator of nature.
We are not doomed in life, though we may have been born with some challenges. We may face major hurdles in material reality. But we can always take action to slowly make it better, or deal the best way possible. On the other hand, you and I cannot do whatever we want. It’s dangerous to think this way. I’ll never be an NBA basketball player. Not gonna happen. The key is to create with what is there and make things better.
When we become co-creators we are both object and subject, and this is harmony. The spirit is saved, but so is the body. When Wordsworth wrote a beautiful poem what he was doing was re-uniting the language of the physical with the language of the spiritual. He co-created through the logos, and what we got to enjoy was the beauty of his work. I hope we all strive to do the same this year.
For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.
‘One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.’
- William Wordsworth
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