mind has the spirit of a warrior. The warrior throughout history
has embodied the qualities of clear intent, fearlessness, determination,
and a willingness to conquer new territory. A warrior goes into
battle with the purpose of conquering the enemy. The enemies of
a creative mind are rutted mental pathways, laziness and lack of
purposeful intent to create.
quintessential warrior is the martial artist or Zen archer. What
is so remarkable about the Zen tradition is that the martial arts
were born because Zen monks needed to defend themselves yet did
not want to cause harm or carry any weapons. As a result they trained
and disciplined their own body and mind into serving as their weapon.
They also relied upon their opponent's weaknesses to succeed. It
is the opponent who defeats himself, the martial artist is so disciplined
and mindful during battle that he allows this to occur. The martial
artist does not have inflexible habits that prevent him from making
the appropriate move in the moment. The Zen archer becomes one with
the target, knowing that he, the bow and the target are one. The
arrow represents his will and when perfectly aligned pierces the
wonderful example of the creative warrior is that of the British
mathematician, Andrew Wiles, who solved Fermat's last theorem. I
watched an excellent documentary on his creative process and was
very moved by his dedication to resolve this "insoluble"
problem. Though Fermat stated that he had resolved this problem,
no one could find the proof in his writings.
is the simplest of mathematical equations: x2 + y2 = z2. In 1637,
French mathematician, Pierre de Fermat, said that this equation
could not be true for x3 + y3 = z3 or for any equation xn + yn =
zn where n is greater than 2. Though at first glance it would appear
that a computer could solve this, to date no computer program has
been able to devise the mathematical proof in formula form that
solves for all numbers, nor is any computer capable of doing so.
employed several methods in resolving this problem that to my mind
qualify him as a creative warrior. First, he did not rely on a computer
to do the calculations, but used his own mind to run through the
variables and their results. Second, this proof took more than seven
years of his life, working completely alone.
Third, his dedication
to the solution was undaunted by any of the numerous failures he
suffered, even the humiliation when his first proof was found to
have a fatal flaw. This flaw was circulated throughout the entire
mathematical and scientific community. He showed pure courage when
he continued to work on a problem that none of his peers was willing
Wiles recounted the moment of his final inspiration he was visibly
moved and emotionally overcome. The missing element was understood
in a flash of intuition, as is most monumental creative work. True
inspiration is a gift that is not lightly received or casually discounted.
As a result of his continued dedication, self-discipline, willingness
to explore new territory, and open mindedness to intuit the answer,
he accomplished what no one else had dared to try. Great achievements
are brought to fruition in this way.
embody the qualities of the creative warrior you simply need to
adopt the following attitudes:
clear in your intent to design a work of art or resolve a problem.
Know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish.
resolved to see the solution through to the end. Time is not a
factor, nor are any roadblocks.
the courage to venture into the unknown, even if you don't understand
where you're going or why this new path will lead you to your
are three simple attitudes that will allow you to accomplish anything
you desire. Consistent creativity depends upon them. If developed
as commonplace modes of thought, you will acquire the character
traits and produce the works that genius realizes.