What is The Creativity Gap?
Is the world really simple, miserable, and solid all the way through?
I think no. The world is absolutely full of meaning. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
I studied philosophy and then worked in Silicon Valley and Hollywood. But, you never really leave behind where you grew up.
On my mom’s side, it was Louisiana swamp mystics. On my dad’s side, it was folksy writers, turkey hunters, and lonesome poets. While each side is very different (and that’s reflected in my early memories of my parents), they both knew myth in their bones.
It’s a sort of cosmic irony that “myth” has come to mean “not true.” While logic is the truth in the particular, myth is the wholistic truth. They are the invisible stories that guide our lives. And it’s easier to see the stories that shape our consciousness when the modern spectacle isn’t blinding you.
My great uncle Claude on my mother’s side was the first in my family who could even read. He broke his leg one summer and couldn’t work the farm, so he uniquely had the time. He became obsessed with the strange, archetypal stories in the Bible. So much so that he became a “traiteur.” A Cajun healer. Sick people came from all over to visit him.
His son (Uncle Junior, also a traiteur) took live call-ins to heal sick people on the University of Lafayette’s Cajun French-language TV channel. To this day, he lives in a shack somewhere in the swamps of Louisiana, taking desperately sick visitors.
Call that “the placebo effect” if you like (as if that explains anything) — I’ve heard some unbelievable stories.
I left that strange place behind. But I couldn’t help but notice how hollow the modern world is in comparison. Despite all our comfort, ease, and power, we’re missing something…. Vitality. Embodiment. Myth.
That’s why I’m writing these essays. I’m trying to bridge mythical meaning with the modern world.
Put your email below for mythic essays in your inbox (almost) weekly
But it’s not idle philosophy — this is urgent.
The next decade will see the arrival of artificial intelligence that dwarfs the minds of men. This will be a catastrophe for what gives our lives meaning. Millions of jobs will disappear, and many will feel useless. In the face of that, we need to return to the mythopoetic and stories. Or, without that, as many people predict, the mismatch between our morals and our technological power will be the death of humanity.
We can’t deny what’s going on.
The meaning crisis is a silent epidemic. 63% (this is correct) of young people have major depression. The materialist put the iPhone in your pocket but failed to tell you what you should value. We’ve defaulted into valuing whatever is convenient for people who want our attention and dollars.
Deep down, we feel there is more to the world. I can sense it in almost every person I talk to. The Creativity Gap is that space between our deep intuition and the materialist lies that we've been indoctrinated to believe.
Even our buildings insist that the world is only made of lifeless matter. But, we know that it's really made of what matters. In these temples, we have no problem believing in (and worshiping with our money and attention) corporations or the government. But we suddenly have trouble believing in powerful abstract entities when they might give us courage, hope, and meaning. Why is that? Because it’s easier to make money on depressed, confused, and isolated people. Let’s fight that.
There are other ways to look at the world — non-naive, rational ways — that still reveal a world full of story, myth, heroism, and meaning you can hardly stand it.
I write to figure things out as I go. I'm no expert in theology, psychology, evolution, biology, or myth, but I always strive to ground my thoughts in both science and myth.
Join me in stumbling into a new way of seeing the world.
Welcome to The Creativity Gap.
Put your email here for creative essays in your inbox most Saturday mornings
Here is the essay that most fully explains my philosophy (so far):