Guiding Principle 6) Embracing Creativity rather than Competition: Moving with the Creative Spirit

As a compliment to the other five “Grounding Principles” of the Rural Revitalization and Empowerment Strategy (RRES) the JRLU has a strong emphasis on individual empowerment and Spiritual development. Therefore it is necessary to add an additional Principle that recognizes the potential for the creative mind, as compared to the competitive mind-set. This principle underlies the entire philosophy and motivations of the Reverence for Life University. Even though this principle is being added in this specific case of the JRLU, the ideas contained can really apply to all of the cases for utilizing the RRES. However, this principle applies most readily to the individual so was not deemed to be part of the overarching “macro” principles of the RRES.

This principle essentially puts the two ideas of “creativity” and “competition” at two opposite ends of a spectrum. We view that the concept of “Reverence for Life” should only acknowledge the competitive mind-set as a point of departure. In our view the competitive mind pervades the worldly, human condition. However, there is no need to analyze, evaluate, assess or bemoan the prevalence of this in the our world today. The only value it provides is to become aware that it is not the basis for an advancing life and actually contradicts the workings of the natural world and universe. It is obvious, when one considers carefully, that the creative mind opens all realms of opportunity.

Once an awareness of the competitive is re-alized, complete mental and spiritual focus should be on the creative plane. All Jamaican Reverence for Life courses, programs and curriculums are grounded in the principle of creative potentialities.

To further expound on this we have included some powerful quotes from a book that spawned a global movement. The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. Wattles’s book nearly 100 years after being published catalyzed a creative explosion with the recent movie and book The Secret. This treatise might likely be one of the most concise and powerful essays espousing on the idea of moving from the competitive mind to the creative mind.

It is not in our interest to debate the contentious idea of “Getting Rich”. Wattles provides a compelling argument that can be evaluated by each reader. Our interest is to extract Wattles primary thesis in his book regarding the creative mind.

Traditional and contemporary education has created an environment and training ground for a mentality of competition. Students are “measured” against each other. This mind-set appears have become the primary limiting feature as one observes contemporary societies. Competition “appears” to “rule”. This mind-set condemns us to a desperate condition, as highlighted by Wattles, that can only be countered through a transformation in thought and Spirit.

“On the competitive plane, the struggle to get rich is a Godless scramble for power over other men; but when we come into the creative mind, all this is changed”. (Wattles, 1910).

The “mad scramble” does not just exist for the pursuit of money.

The following excerpts from Wattles provide more evidence about how we can be set free from the degrading influences of the competitive mindset and tap into the incredible potential of the creative plane of existence.

“Moral and spiritual greatness is possible only to those who are above the competitive battle for existence; and only those who are becoming rich on the plane of creative thought are free from the degrading influences of competition. If your heart is set on domestic happiness, remember that love flourishes best where there is refinement, a high level of thought, and freedom from corrupting influences; and these are to be found only where riches are attained by the exercise of creative thought, without strife or rivalry.”

Creative thinking and pursuits ensure that one´s opportunities and successes are not a matter of chance.

“The mind that seeks for mastery over others is the competitive mind; and the competitive mind is not the creative one. In order to master your environment and your destiny, it is not at all necessary that you should rule over your fellow men and indeed, when you fall into the world's struggle for the high places, you begin to be conquered by fate and environment, and your getting rich becomes a matter of chance and speculation.”

In our contemporary world, the competitive mind seems to be king. The following quote emphasizes the need to be vigilant of the mental trap of the competitive mind. Wattles then cites the “Golden Rule” that can provide a way out.

“Beware of the competitive mind! No better statement of the principle of creative action can be formulated than the favorite declaration of the late "Golden Rule" Jones of Toledo: "What I want for myself, I want for everybody."

Vigilance and persistence are important to maintain the higher mental ground afforded through the creative mind, but Wattles in other parts of his essay points out that stress or worry will only stifle the process. The following excerpts provide some guidance.

“But remember that your thought must be held upon the creative plane; you are never for an instant to be betrayed into regarding the supply as limited, or into acting on the moral level of competition.”. . .

“Whenever you do fall into old ways of thought, correct yourself instantly; for when you are in the competitive mind, you have lost the cooperation of the Mind of the Whole.”

The guiding principle of embracing our creative potentials aligns perfectly with the ideas and feelings associated with JRLU. The founding curriculums in The Practice (personal empowerment), art, experiential learning, innovation in rural agricultural and economic development and experiential tourism are primarily based on opening people’s minds and hearts to the creative potentials that lie within. 

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