creativity

Tao and Creativity

Question: 
What is the relation between the Tao and process thought?
Publication Month: 
March 2013
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

The questioner no doubt recognizes remarkable congeniality between Taoist thought and the contemporary tradition of process thought in the West. Taoism, like Buddhism, is an ancient process tradition like. But whereas Buddhism was a conscious rejection of a dominant substantialist mode of thought, the Tao seems more to articulate established sensibility. Probably process thinking has been native to East Asia for a very long time. 

Word and Wordless Prayer

Question: 
Is process prayer with or without words?
Publication Month: 
December 2012
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Either and both. There are many important questions that are not decided by holding the process perspective. People from many different spiritual traditions can make use of process categories to clarify, deepen, and enrich their traditions. The process perspective allows us to honor this diversity. Difference does not lead directly to judgments of truth and falsity or to the need to rank the positions. Difference as such vastly enriches the world.

Co-creators and Our Aims

What difference does it make whether one thinks that God offers us a distinct aim towards which we aim in each moment or that we ourselves are co-creators with God of our own aims? This may seems like a purely speculative question, something for scholastics. But I believe how we answer this question may shape how to relate to creativity and to God.

Creativity in American Philosophy

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Creativity and Initial Aim

Question: 
If God offers the occasion an initial aim for its becoming, is any deviation from that initial aim merely a declension from the perfect lure of God? If so, what creativity can there be? —only success or failure to realize a goal presented from without. And that isn't genuine creativity.
Publication Month: 
December 2005
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

Whitehead and Freud's Theory of Eros (Love) & Thanatos (Death)

Question: 
In the later more sociological Freud, there is a great emphasis on Love (or Eros) which, as a newcomer to Process thought and theology, I cannot help but think of as a vision of the process God. Freud, however, found it necessary to balance Love with Death (aggression), and he describes the universe as the arena in which the battle of Love and Death takes place. I am reluctant to follow Freud in affirming this second power, but at the same time I find it difficult not to feel it is needed. In particular, I find it hard to understand why God's (Love's) persuasive power would not be more effective were there not this countering power. In fact, I find it difficult to understand why persuasion toward the good would not be completely effective minus some countering contrary power.
Publication Month: 
March 2010
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

Of course, the categories that arise in one system are not likely to be identical with those that arise in another. But all systems must account for both coming into being and ceasing to be, both life and death, both construction and destruction. In Whitehead the pair of terms might be creativity and perpetual perishing.

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