Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Creativity and Thought Methods

File:Possible Self-Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci.jpg
Leonardo da Vinci

Creativity has its set of principles and there are many.

At the same time, there is another realm of methods having to do with thinking, with logic and analysis. To be good at creativity it would help to also understand thought methods.

In Diverse philosophy these thought skills are called “Range Thinking”.

Range thinking is a highly flexible system of analysis that employs difference and diversity as a key point of departure. In this sense, Creativity and Range Thinking are siblings in the same worldview family. They both focus on differentiation.

And because of this, a creative personality would benefit greatly from a study of thought methods. And you will find that the techniques of analysis themselves will boost creativity.

 Here are some simple notes on Range thinking -- which is diverse thinking that is oriented toward methods and strategies of solving problems. Anti-diverse thinking opposes variety and difference in its methodology; it sticks to singular concepts and methods.

Below are some ideas on range thinking:

1] if there is a singular cause for a problem, consider a range of alternatives, do not make quick decisions
2] often situations are more complex -- look for multiple causes, multiple effects
3] look for multiple behavior in the world, multiple perception, multiple evolutionary paths
4] look for multiple solutions, multiple strategies
5] accept that when applying strategy to a complex problem that you may have opposite and conflicting approaches applied to different parts of the problem
6] build institutions that address diverse themes that are capable of multiple views and methods though working for a unitary, overall goal

The basic thought models for range thinking would include thinking in terms of:
1] dualities and the precise bias in a duality in a given situation, and how it evolves
2] collections of disparate things
3] wholes, complexities, and systems, and coordinating a world of diverse elements
4] the new, and how the new and old work together
5] evolution, development, processes
6] generating a diversity of elements from a fused or “subsume” situation, as opposed to coordinating an already existing variety of elements
7] resolving the problem of simultry and other problems of time and evolution such as spatial vs. temporal diversity, momentia

The attitudes of range thinking might include: 
1] seeking practical solutions
2] avoiding one-sided extremes, seeking a dynamic balance
3] using contradictory strategies and tactics in a complex problem though having a general unified goal and method
4] being creative
5] using flexibility
6] pushing for change and the new
7] looking for workable transitions between old and new

In Diverse Philosophy these concepts are essential: 
1] differentiation, the force and process that creates difference. It may be helpful to break differentiation into these four categories: individuation, duality, evolution and chaos.
2] undifferentiation, the force that suspends differentiation in the interest of creating a stable organization
3] forming of coordinated whole, a Diverse Whole which is a balance of differentiation and undifferentiation, for the goal of a flexible, evolving whole.

Related to differentiation and undifferentiation is the thesis of the Subsume, methods here include: 
1] methods of returning to a Subsume via an Emply, a Subsume is a fused whole that is at the very beginning of an evolutionary process. Differentiation starts from a Subsume, breaks it up and creates individual entities and parts. To Emply is a mental act that allows us to return to a Subsume state and grasp its focus on the whole rather than the parts. We must Emply at times because we must escape the sheer clutter or warfare or chaos in a condition of differentiation that has become unhealthy. A new psychological state is required.
2] identifying negative differentiation vs. positive differentiation in a historical process; negative differentiation is difference created which is results in warfare, sectarianism, chaos, elitism, alienation etc.; positive differentiation results in connection, harmony and wholes.
3] when returning to a Subsume we keep the historical gains, continue to accumulate them, but at the same time make the circular return to the initial whole so that you can create a new whole with a new organizing principle. In other words we return to a Subsume mindset to learn its behavior and stress on a whole, we then come back to the present to find a way to reorganize it into something healthy; we are not destroying the advances made, merely reorganizing and repurposing.

1] It should be noted that there are different levels of connection. Some groupings are merely collections or “eclections”. Some groupings are combinations, other groupings are systems. Before the state of collection there is just chaos, atomism or “disparation” -- meaning many disparate things with little relation.
2] Human beings are often concerned with Wholes, often with specific kinds of wholes called  “Systems” that must function well-- Economies, governments, whole minds, healthy individuals, whole planet etc.
3] The trick is to unite diversity with a whole and yield a Diverse Whole. This kind of whole has difference, chaos, and change within it. And a new type of organizational form is required for this new kind of whole. (Kollects ,which come in a range of forms)
4] Wholes breakdown, so we must periodically create new ones by reorganizing the whole, accounting for new elements and conditions, and removing some old obsolete elements.
5] The earlier we catch a problem, the better off we are. When we wait until a crisis and then grasp we have a problem that is not intelligent behavior; wisdom is when we can anticipate a problem and then act upon it in a non-crisis stage. Intelligent people often exhibit this waiting behavior, they live only in the immediate, they are dogmatic, they learn only by great suffering which comes from a catastrophe. Catastrophe thinking is not true thinking; it only reacts.

Duality is a very important range thought method, so here are some themes: 
1] Note the bias in a duality and its switching as conditions change. The Ne-bias is the secondary pole of a duality.
2] Learn the types of duality. In some, the bias is always the same, as in Value Dualities such as good/evil, right/wrong, true/false, beautiful/ugly etc. In a Practical Duality, we have a bias that change with conditions. The Value Duality aims us toward an evolutionary goal or principle. The Practical Duality helps us manage the practical issues in our lives.
3] Note that a Practical Duality must be balanced but this balance is a dynamic balance and thus has an imbalance within itself too.
4] And be aware that in some processes you are focusing on the imbalance, even creating it for a special reason, for example, in personality formation you might be seeking the imbalance to bring out unique character traits.
5] Last point is to grasp that a duality is a concept, a pure singular concept and not an actual material thing. Things are composites by definition, ideas can be isolated little “loci” – little ethereal thought things, if you will.

So for example, when we say man and woman are opposites, we are not saying the whole being of a man is opposite to that of a whole woman, only aspects are. Duality refers to aspects not a whole. Errors often get made because people equate a duality with the whole being or thing or system or even a doctrine of ideas. But a duality is just one aspect of something, we abstract it into an abstract loci. So do not use a duality to break up a whole or to pit two wholes against each other.

Lastly, as a thought method, it might help to understand that Diverse thinking is a process that gathers up different views and assimilates them into one framework. It synthesizes continuously. It is the one paradigm that keeps evolving by incorporating other paradigms. It is a paradigm of paradigms.

Differentiation leads to the creation of new, unique and individual ideas and theories. At the same time differentiation leads to individuals studying the concepts of others and then borrowing elements to form larger wholes. The differentiator and the assimilator drive things forward.

Cage Innoye

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