My father told me If I was not crashing then I was not riding hard enough. But of course only when training not when racing.
I was a skateboarder for over 20 years and I do not know of any other sport that you crash so much! And yes it makes you much better at crashing in return it makes you a faster rider because of your skill of knowing how to crash.
I did a CX race in Berlin last year and got the biggest cheer from the crowd when I thought it was a good idea to go over the bars and taste the sand.