The greater a person is, the more time it takes for people to recognize him – because when a great person is born, there are no criteria to judge him, there are no maps to find him. He has to create his own values; by the time he has created the values, he is gone. It takes thousands of years for a creative person to be recognized, and then too it is not certain. There have been many creative people who have never been recognized. It is accidental for a creative person to be successful. For an uncreative, destructive person it is more certain.
So if you are seeking something else in the name of creativity, then drop the idea of being creative. At least consciously, deliberately, do whatsoever you want to do. Never hide behind masks. If you really want to be creative, then there is no question of money, success, prestige, respectability. Then you enjoy your activity. Then each act has an intrinsic value. You dance because you like dancing; you dance because you delight in it. If somebody appreciates, good, you feel grateful. If nobody appreciates, it is none of your business to be worried about it. You danced, you enjoyed – you are already fulfilled.
But this belief of being uncreative can be dangerous – drop it. Nobody is uncreative – not even trees, not even rocks. People who have known trees and loved trees know that each tree creates its own space, each rock creates its own space. It is like nobody else’s space. If you become sensitive, if you become capable of understanding through empathy, you will be tremendously benefited. You will see each tree is creative in its own way: no other tree is like that, each tree is unique. Each tree has individuality. Each rock has individuality. Trees are not just trees, they are people. Rocks are not just rocks, they are people. Go and sit by the side of a rock – watch it lovingly, touch it lovingly, feel it lovingly.
It is said about a Zen master that he was able to pull very big rocks, remove very big rocks – and he was a very fragile man. It was almost impossible looking at his physiology. Stronger men, very much stronger than him, were unable to pull those rocks, and he would simply pull them very easily.
He was asked what his trick was. He said, “There is no trick. I love the rock, so the rock helps. First I say to her, ‘Now my prestige is in your hands, and these people have come to watch. Now help me, cooperate with me.’ Then I simply hold the rock lovingly…and wait for the hint. When the rock gives me the hint – it is a shudder, my whole spine starts vibrating – when the rock gives me the hint that she is ready, then I move. You move against the rock, that’s why so much energy is needed. I move with the rock, I flow with the rock. In fact, it is wrong to say that I remove it – I am simply there. The rock removes itself.”
One great Zen master was a carpenter, and whenever he made tables, chairs, somehow they had some ineffable quality in them, a tremendous magnetism. He was asked, “How do you make them?”
He said, “I don’t make them, I simply go to the forest. The basic thing is to inquire of the forest, of trees, which tree is ready to become a chair.”