Creativity and The Origins of the Universe


It’s all in there, waiting, just waiting in the time before time, the universe, our universe, packed unimaginably tight, indistinguishably tight, packed into a single point, a point infinitely smaller than a grain of sand, the rawest of raw materials awaiting the miraculous complexity of a single atom, all the solids, liquids, and gasses that will come from those atoms, the stuff of the stars, planets, and moons, indeed entire galaxies and clusters of galaxies and the cosmic winds, the lines that will become horizons and the edges of door frames, the planes that will become meadows and the surfaces of alpine lakes, and the volumes that will become oceans and mountains and bathtubs full of splish-splashy toddlers, the light that will erupt in the east each morning and flood through the kitchen window, the future debates over what to call Pluto, the weight of autumn and the promise of spring, Orion’s Belt and Cassiopeia, up and down, near and far, left and right, the carbon atom, the water molecule, semiconductors, bacteria and viruses, fish and flowering plants, the early nervous system, indeed consciousness itself—the awareness of being aware—packed in there, too, packed in there with memory and with language and with all those sparklers of emotions—love, grief, and anger rubbing shoulders with the asteroids and the dark matter and the futures solar flares and photographs turning yellow in the future attics, the possibilities of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Lao Tzu cohabitating in dimensionless space, the cave paintings of Lascaux, the Pyramids of Giza, the sculptures of Bernini, and the painting of Kandinsky, soulful jazz improvisations igniting reverent onlookers, waterfalls spectrumming through the colors of the rainbow and the unrepeatable configuration that is you, all this floating in that awesome sea of nothingness, packed, simply PACKED, waiting, just waiting like an unlit match on a shrine box, waiting like the bedrock in a fault zone, waiting like a landmine in a jungle, feeling in its own strange way the feeling of being so intensely small, hot, and dense, having absolutely no way of knowing what it will become and yet becoming everything, everything we know and everything we don’t know is in there, with no need to reconcile or repress anything, simply waiting for that improbable moment, that nudge, that flick of the wrists, the magic words uttered and BOOM!

The universe as we know it began.

Austin Hill Shaw is a creativity expert, author, writer, architectural designer, and mapmaker of creativity across art, science, and religion. He specializes in helping others tap into and utilize the creative life force in everything they do. He can be reached at

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