I was listening to an ex nun being interviewed.
She had dedicated her life to becoming a nun.
Every second of her early life had been about trying to obey the rules.
Trying to learn every detail necessary to become a nun.
After thirteen years she eventually made it, she was a nun.
She took the vows to dedicate her life to the service of the church and nothing else.
And several years later all that suddenly went pop.
She didn’t want to be a nun anymore.
She struggled, she hoped it would pass, but it didn’t.
And she had to go through rejecting everything her life had been about.
And being rejected by it.
But the most powerful part for me, was what she said happened next.
She said “When I lost my religion I found my faith”.
That’s so great it’s worth repeating.
“When I lost my religion I found my faith”.
In other words, all she’d previously believed in, wasn’t really god, it was just religion, church, a set of rules, a system, a formula, concepts.
She couldn’t truly experience god while all that was in the way.
To experience god she needed to clear all the concepts out of the way.
She had confused a system with god.
And she had worshipped the system.
But the system was just the middleman.
And she found she didn’t need a middleman, god was inside her, god was everywhere.
But not everyone is like her.
Many people do need a religion.
They don’t experience god, so they need someone to say it’s okay.
They need an authority figure.
Like a parent, or a teacher, or a boss.
Someone to say what they’re doing is right.
The trouble with that is, we don’t develop our own experience of right.
We learn what someone else has told us is right.
Amazingly, it even exists within the creative fields.
People believe that only their hero, their agency, or their ECD, is the authority on what’s creative.
So they can’t be creative without the approval of that authority.
If an awards jury says it’s right, it’s right.
If the creative director says it’s right, it’s right.
If the client says it’s right, it’s right.
If Campaign says it’s right, it’s right.
But maybe, based on that nun’s experience, we don’t need middlemen.
Maybe we can find what’s right for our self.
Maybe we can find creativity everywhere like she did.
Maybe what we think is right won’t be right for an awards jury, or the ECD, or the client.
But just because it’s wrong for them doesn’t mean it’s wrong per se.
It might just mean it’s inappropriate.
At that place and that time for that person.
Because those people have their own particular set of beliefs that they’ve learned to believe in.
Freedom to think for ourselves comes from remembering a religion is just a religion.
It isn’t the truth.