Sometimes, I meet a person and I’ve already heard something about them from someone else. Consequently, my opinion of them is tainted no matter how hard I try for it not to be. A few years pass by and I still hold that assumption about them until something happens and I am put into a situation that includes them. I realise that nothing I heard about that person was true and all of the assumptions I had made about them based on what I had heard were shattered. The sad thing is that that could have happened earlier had I not listened to the person who told me the bad stuff. I’m sure we’ve all experienced something along these lines.
I recently read a book by John Adair called “The Art Of Creative Thinking: How To Be Innovative and Develop Great Ideas.” Adair talks about the importance of testing assumptions in creativity:
“We have all had the experience of taking something for granted as the basis for opinion or action, and then subsequently finding that we had made an assumption – probably an unconscious one – that was unwarranted. Watch out for these preconceptions! They are like hidden sandbanks outside the harbour mouth. Preconceived ideas are the ones you entertain before actual knowledge. The really dangerous ones are those below your level of awareness.”
Adair likens our thought patterns to light-rays and explains that light-rays travel straight – they may do so for very long, across vast interstellar spaces but they are deflected (or, bent) when they come into the field of influence of a star or any other massive body. Us humans are social thinkers, and the greatest thinkers tend to be people who prefer solidarity because they feel the need to distance themselves psychologically from the ‘powerful influences of received opinion.’
Albert Einstein said, ‘Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity, opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.’
There is so much truth there in the last two statements you read!
If we want to be truly creative thinkers and make truly creative change by producing truly creative works (whatever they are) it is important that we test all assumptions that we may have knowingly or unknowingly accepted as truths.
We can also, just generally, apply this exercise to our daily walk with Jesus. Maybe you have accepted some false assumptions about yourself and your life, or ideas about how your art should be created or presented. Ask him to reveal those to you today. A vision of who Jesus really is (and not who culture says he is) will revolutionize your world and all your creative thinking! I PROMISE!