Does a bird create itself?
There are two common answers to that question: Someone might say God created the bird. Another might say the evolutionary process created the bird.
Either way, it is clear that the bird did not create itself.
Therefore, however the bird was created, the bird was an effect of a cause.
To be clear, my greater point has nothing to do with religion or science. It has only to do with bringing your attention to the obvious fact that a bird is not its own origin. It's origin preceded it.
But, does a bird create its nest?
Let's say you saw the bird creating the nest. So, yes, the bird created the nest.
However, if the bird was the result of a creative cause, then by extention, what the bird creates must also be a continuing effect of that same creative cause.
Therefore, in this analogy, our bird cannot claim so called personal credit for creating the nest. (Maybe a little, but only from the most narrow self-centric point of view).
And now we come to the central point. Are nests all that different than works of art?
Is it true that artists are also creative in a similar manner as nest-building birds are?
Just as our analogous bird, the artist cannot claim personal credit for what he or she creates. (Maybe a little, but only from the most narrow me-centric point of view). Because the artist, like the bird, is merely an effects of a prior creative cause.
And so, from the 30,000 ft level, as they say, there is no isolated, or special artist creating anything. There is only the universe expressing itself..
There is a third answer to the question of how the bird was created. And that is the creative intelligence of the universe created the bird and the nest. By saying “creative intelligence of the universe” I am not inferring a supreme being such as is promoted in the theory of intelligent design. Rather, I am pointing to the fact that the universe expresses itself intelligently. The benefit of describing creativity this way is that it employs evolution and natural selection as its process but also recognizes the presence of an intrinsic intelligence that pervades all life. Philosopher Alan Watts suggested that the individual human being is a particular focal point in which the universe expresses itself as the true Self.
Patrick Howe, Artist, Author and Educator