I needed to share these excerpts from “The Courage To Create” by Rollo May
"We are living at a time when one age is dying and the new age is not yet born . . . To live with sensitivity in this age of limbo indeed requires courage.
We are called upon to do something new, to confront a no man's land, to push into a forest where there are no well-worn paths and from which no one has returned to guide us.
This is what the existentialists call the anxiety of nothingness. To live into the future means to leap into the unknown, and this requires a degree of courage for which there is no immediate precedent and which few people realize. . .
This courage will not be the opposite of despair. We shall often be faced with despair, as indeed every sensitive person has been during the last several decades in this country. Hence Kieregaard and Nietszche and Camus and Sartre have proclaimed that courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.
Nor is the courage required mere stubbornness -we shall surely have to create with others. But if you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also you will have betrayed our community in failing to make your own contribution to the whole.
A chief characteristic of this courage is that it requires a centeredness within our own being, without which we would feel ourselves to be a vacuum. The "emptiness” within corresponds to an apathy without; and apathy adds up, in the long run, to cowardice. That is why we must always base our commitment in the center of our own being, or else no commitment will be ultimately authentic.
The word courage comes from the same stem as the French word coeur, meaning "heart.” Thus just as one's heart, by pumping blood into one's arms, legs, and brain enables all the other physical organs to function, so courage makes possible all the psychological virtues. Without courage other values wither way into mere facsimiles of virtue.
[Creative courage is] the most important kind of courage of all. Whereas moral courage is the righting of wrongs, creative courage, in contrast, is the discovering of new forms, new symbols, new patterns on which a new society can be built. Every profession can and does require some creative courage. In our day, technology and engineering, diplomacy, business, and certainly teaching, all of these professions and scores of others are in the midst of radical change and require courageous persons to appreciate and direct this change. The need for creative courage is in direct proportion to the degree of change the profession is undergoing. But those who present directly and immediately the new forms and symbols are the artists -the dramatists, the musicians, the painters, the dancers, the poets, and those poets of the religious fear we call Saints.
[The artists] . . . they give us a “distant early warning “ of what is happening to our culture . . . The artists thus express the spiritual meaning of their culture.
. . . Whatever sphere we may be in, there is a profound joy in the realization that we are helping to form the structure of the new world. This is creative courage, however minor or fortuitous our creations may be."
"The part in us that creates is the precious part, the sacred. It is the part in us that is willing to be vulnerable and that feels alive embracing the emptiness from which creation grows." -Michele Greco