Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Basic Overview of Creativity

Social Creativity is based upon Individual or Personal Creativity,

Technically, there is no such thing as “group creativity” or “collective creativity”! We may be working in groups in creative projects but we must grasp that creativity is essentially a personal act where individuals make their unique contributions whether big or small, foundational or specific. We can always, if we try, trace back the source of a creative element to a Human being. Groups, organizations, collectives, institutions and so on do NOT create. They represent relationships between people but are not the people themselves, these things may have principles, missions, ethics, values and so on, but only people represent these interpreting, deciding, applying and fixing problems.

(And a parallel thought for another discussion, these entities do NOT feel either. It is the Humans in these formations that feel, love and care. Things and structures do not have these attributes, these things may have principles, missions, ethics, values and so on, but only people represent these.)

The following discussion is rooted in experience with personal creativity. For any social activist or Social Genio, one must return to the basics of creativity because they translate to external social issues. These are the exact same methods one would use in changing a culture and society. (For more ideas and information, please take a look at the ebook, Glossary of Creativity and the collection of articles in the Creative Technique Series)

So without any more delay by way of introduction let’s ask, “What is Creativity?”

We might say that creativity is about difference. A Difference but a very Different difference!  

A difference that is unique which can be produced through an intentional creative process but also quite by accident, and more, by an intentional and accidental process -- which is what we prefer for we would like our creativity to be available, guided, reliable, improvable and disseminated.

This special difference might be called a “Differum”, if you will, a unit of difference. Creativity would then be a process by which we create Differum. The more different the Differum, the more unique the Differum, the more creativity there is.  

But all of this is academic, boring and obtuse. And this does not get us nearer to the meaning of creativity.

Why?! Because creativity is a behavior, it is a feeling, it is a way of being. If you discuss creativity as products, you end up discussing it from the outside like a researcher. You cannot really know creativity by observing its results; you must go inside to truly know it. At the same time this is possible for ALL of us, because all of us have the neurological equipment to be creative, even if our jobs or school systems have denied this to us.  Genio is democratic, available to all, in this sense, creative genius is dispersed throughout the whole Human gene pool.

Creativity is an experience above all. An experience hardwired into your brain, possible in you and me and even “them” too. Creativity arises from various parts of your neurology; it is a perception, feeling, method.  

Creativity is a spirit, a force, and life itself. It bursts out. It breaks through all barriers set up within your mind and outside of it. Creativity batters down the doors and walls. That is what creativity is – a force, a spirit, life itself that will not be contained.  

Since we live in an age that suppresses creativity or distorts creativity into the mis-creative, we must see the act of creativity as a form of liberation. Add to this that the creative mind is rebellious by nature and we get an explosive situation for established authorities.  

So after we grasp this important point, then we can get to the “technical” issues of creativity.

But first what is a Genio? A “Genio” is a Human who has developed high creative skills, but everyone has inborn Genio skills that can be developed, thus everyone can be a Genio. “Genio” simply means creativity in this language here. “Genio” comes from the same root word as “genius”.

Genio also just means creativity. Genio is an essential force of the Diverse. Genio is the essence of the process of differentiation in the cosmos. Genio created our Diverse reality. Genio is in all things, Genio is in all Humanity.

Creativity ultimately comes from Nature and the cosmos for Humans are not the only creative force which exists. In fact, our creativity is derived from Nature; ours is simply conscious and planned while Nature’s is spontaneous yet remarkably skillful at the same time. 

Biological evolution is creativity, DNA is creative. If you examine Nature you will find great overlap between natural creativity and Human creativity in methods and techniques, believe it or not! DNA, for example, uses the same techniques that Humans use and it seems to have a curious parallel to storytelling, to the way a story teller creates and modifies stories through a random process and utilizes a vast inventory story elements.

Creativity is a kind of magic, it is an everyday magic, ubiquitous magic that inhabits everything. It can be understood, analyzed, catechismed, converted to curriculum, taught, disseminated far and wide. It is a profound power to which all have access. And it is closer to the true essence and power of the cosmos than logic or analysis. Nature does not think or deduce or categorize, but it does innovate and mutate, and it even imagines in its own way of mutation, accident, recombination, randomness and chaos.

And when we are creative we actually feel our connection to this core energy and dynamic of all things. Art, invention and discovery return us to our beginning, and to the beginning of all things, they remind us what life is, where life comes from, how we are to live life, why we are made the way we are, who we are.

Creativity is a very complex topic to write about. When you try to narrow it down, it gets away from you. Creativity is a vast subject covering psychology, emotions, neurology, philosophy, art, theology, ethics, techniques, society and culture and more. Because it is about behavior and our brains it cannot be easily pinned down like economics or government. Creativity is a perception that looks at an infinity of things, and sees creativity in all things too. Creativity seems almost limitless in scope. It is a universe looking out upon a universe trying to create new universes.  

For the sake of simplicity the issues of creativity here are divided into these various groups below.  

Lack of creativity is the issue in this age, so the first point about creativity is its unleashing, that is, the creativity of our creativity.  

To be creative we must make an “etherial break” with the logical mind; we must exit the realm of abstract reason with its absolute rules and strange prejudices and paranoid dogma. Then other realms of the psyche gain freedom and act independently. Sensations, emotions, sphere mind, subconscious, memory, morality, wisdom, the doing mind and more are liberated. This revolution frees all realms and creates some chaos. But this act ends the dominion of the rational mind and allows the creative mind to rise, and very importantly to cooperate with other minds in its projects. Just the freedom of other spheres will lead to creativity – sensation, memories, emotions, dreams, voices will spark new ideas.  

The ethereal break in social creativity is the same. Movements and activists will need to redefine themselves in this new epoch and break with the overly intellectual behavior of the past that resulted in hierarchy and dogma.

The creative mind is one mind that works out of various places in your neurology (right brain and prefrontal cortex). When the free creative mind is ready, it can return to the logical mind and establish a new relationship with it. The two can work together to finish projects. Further, all the sub-minds may be used in a project or experience; the creative mind may be working with many other perceptions at once. We get a kind of general brain improvisation happening. 

In social creativity this can evolve in a division of labor per project where various personnel are engaged in differing tasks representing different psychological and neurological needs and functions.

There are many issues of technique as the list below shows: 

Singularity, Flash, Metaphor, Rule Formation and Rule Rejection, Randomness, Recombination, Juxtaposition, Re-Purposing, Novelty, Non-Imitation, Absurdity, Reversing and Inverting, Play, Humor, Story Writing, Generality, Intuition, Vagueness and Imprecision, Wholes, Form, Collecting, Excepting, Induction, Mystery, Word, Subsume and the Emply, Distinction, Synthesis and Whole, Re-paradigm, Structural similarity, Singularity to complexity, Thinking in Dualities, Vague Whole Word, Chaos , Filling in Gaps, Grammatical rule breaking, Suspension of theme/content/pre-existing idea, Explaining the New, Improvisation, Metaphors and Models and much more. (Please see Glossary of Creativity and the Creative Technique Series for elaboration on these methods.)

In Social Creativity all of these methods are used. All of these issues above are important; it is hard for the author to say a few are more important than the rest. Randomness is essential in developing an alertness and openness toward spontaneous possibilities. Suspension of preconception is highly important. Reversing and inverting is essential.  Synthesis and whole is important for many new things come from thinking in these terms. The Subsume idea of returning to a sort of vague whole state of mind is highly critical. But flash thinking and other skills are necessary too. One just does not know which technique will be key to making a breakthrough or leap. You just don’t know, so you are forced to keep developing and expanding your techniques the whole of your life. So creative technique are themselves the subject of creativity. And the problems of life, society and history give us no respite from creativity. 

Related to the above list are the issues of overall management of the whole mind. 

Here we find that simple improvisation to make a creative product may develop into a higher, more complex skill of improvising your various sub-minds all together in the service of a project or goal. Particularly, in challenging situations we learn to improvise the whole brain to solve a problem. (Please see article, Your Mental Diverse is Composed of Many Minds in the ebook On Diverse Philosophy)

There are other issues of management having to do with techniques of meditation and disconnection, juggling multiple awareness, focus vs. improvisation, wisdom vs. doing, conscious behavior vs. subconscious behavior and so on. 

The creative mind cannot be separated from all other minds, so we must develop a way of looking at overall behavior, and this leads to methods of overall management. All the other sub-minds can aid the creative mind in its goals and interests, but at the same time the creative mind will have to be one player in an ensemble that has purposes beyond just creativity. 

So here a thesis of creativity has limits as all things do in a Diverse. But at the same time creativity now makes a leap from its narrower goals to the larger task of creativity applied to the whole of brain management, and to the improvisation of our whole mind as a creative technique itself. 

In Social Creativity, these principles not only apply to individuals but also to a social organization as a whole. A kind of division of labor appears in projects.

There are literally hundreds of issues about psychology when it comes to creativity. These themes are not necessarily creative techniques in themselves but they are essential in the maintenance of creativity. We are primarily dealing here with emotions, identity, ego and etc.

Below is a list of some of these issues, some major, some minor: 
Ego, self confidence, rebellion, joy and depression, voice and external messages, the subconscious, sensations, memory, wisdom, mystery, intuition, view of time, other people, doldrums, creative will, rational and not rational, directness, emotions and dysfunction, fear, anger, love, love of work, idealism, emptiness, etheria, self identity, fecundity, the future, gender, rights, morality, improvisation vs. plan, self inspiration, Isothink, fantasy mind/child elaboration, multiple projects, moment circling, momentia, multiple perception, self growth, perfectionism, personal myth, popularity vs. creativity, power, random lifestyle, Reality, illusion and Tanginot, boredom, sleep, diet exercise , fasting, managing temptations, diverse thought methods, range thinking, your creative tree, transcendent emotions, vapor to structure, destruction/violence/force, limits and creativity, forcing creativity, margin of acceptance, stress and creativity........and many more issues. 

The issues are legion. We are complex beings, with a many sides to ourselves. When we assay creativity and seek its maximum functioning, we are confronted with an overwhelming array of issues. 

These issues apply to movements and organization and activist personalities too. Problems of emotions, ego, confidence, health etc will arise in the social realm too. Whether you are talking about an individual or a group the themes and techniques are the related.

One large set of issues simply has to do with making a creative product. Beyond the above list of simple creative techniques, we also have to develop methods for assembling all of our output, our warehouse of parts into a singular thing.

This can be challenging, the topics are varied: 
Problem solving, production stages, thread and sphere mind together, singularity to complexity, systematizing, managing fecundity, retaining mystery and openness for development, termination of work, two track strategy of form and content, managing Social Creativity, types of feedback  and more issues

It is important to realize that there are two types of creativity. The first type which is largely missing in culture is that of “pure” creativity which the author speaks primarily about. The other form of creativity is more of an “assisting” power that provides skill, information, science, logic, systemization and detail, the so called “left brain” features. This second creativity cannot make a creative leap, it does not have that capability and that was never intended by Nature to be its function. This other set of skills does not initiate but it finishes, it does not provide the inspiration but the plan, it does not generate the vision but it fixes the holes and gaps, it does not produce the essence of the work but it does systematize the work, it cannot practice magic but it is an excellent mechanic.

The simple and pure creativity is innocent, the complex and logical creativity is worldly. They each need each other. When pure creativity rejects worldly creativity it fails, its projects languish in an amorphous unfinished stage. When worldly creativity rejects innocent creativity because of its naivety, it runs out of work and falls into unemployment because it is not the source of new ideas.

In a social organization, we of course must be aware of the two concepts above. Some people may specialize in one form rather than the other, many will have to learn both mindsets, and projects will evolve from one phase of creativity to the next, and then perhaps back again.

Personal creativity is greatly affected by social behavior and social institutions. Issues include education in creativity, emotions, psychology, use of multiple minds and self identity.  This topic also includes social conditions that suppress creativity such as Polythea, media vertigo, myth substitution, consumerism etc. Other topics include theft of creativity, suppression of invention, Genio rights, the rise of mis-creativity and dis-art, Historical Differentiation and creativity, features of thread mind culture, the need for a Genio culture and its institutions, the concept of a Geniotariat, the Rights of the creative, the Future as art, ending the crisis of creativity and more.  
Education is a very, very important issue in this category.

From this connection of personal creativity to social organization we then enter easily into the topic of this book Social Creativity. This topic leaps to social activism and change from an initial position of social critique and the reforming of an institution here and there. When Social Creativity breaks into its own as an independent realm then we begin examining issues such as power, organization, techniques of leadership, stages of reform and revolution and more.

Another very important set of issues is connected to personal creativity, these are discussions about Self Genio and creativity, how they are closely related. Personal transformation is a creative process, and while we have rules having to do with emotions, identity and psychology, we also have techniques that draw upon creative theory itself. In other words, the basic themes of creativity apply not only to ideas or art or inventions but also to self development too. The themes include psychology, emotions, spirit, identity, individuality and personal ethics.

From re-creation of self, we pass to recreation of a movement then to recreation of a society and culture. Movements and nations have identity problems, emotional issues, the need for psychological techniques. So what is necessary for an individual is also necessary on a mass scale. Self transformation applies to nations, minority groups, cultures, genders…

Clearly, all of these general topics and specific issues have direct application to social activism and social processes.

The topics and material for personal creativity are extensive. And all of this must become familiar for a Social Genio, if she or he is to become successful. A social activist is compelled to have a double life, one personal, the other social -- one foot in the realm of personal creativity and the other in the world of Social Creativity.  This is an ideal of course, if it is practically possible to execute, the advantage is that one activity counteracts the negative tendencies of the other -- the personal keeps one from straying from the principles of creativity into an unconscious slide into “politics” and “ideology”; the social keeps one’s perspective from falling inward so that one retreats into a warm and shielded room. Personal creativity can be devoid of social connection and social concerns, it can be absorbed in the personal project and its many issues per stage. These are highly satisfying joys but the accomplishments do not change the world, there are other joys having to do with truly connecting with other Human beings, helping another person and building a better world. Personal creativity in itself is not necessarily selfish; it is more self absorbed, it is not unethical just distracted, not anti-social just disconnected, at least for the moment.

Cage Innoye

To learn more about Social Creativity please look at the free ebook, “Social Creativity and Revolution” by Cage Innoye

And please look at articles on this blog: Diverse Philosophy

And the website: Axxiad News

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