Monday, November 22, 2010

Being Creative, Being There

It has taken me quite a bit of time to put my thoughts on this one together, because it is an extremely difficult area to treat. What do we mean to be creative?

I hold reality to be infinite, and hence incomprehensible to mankind - man or women of any kind - given the finiteness of our senses. We have difficulty already with what we can see - this is why the early Europeans made such a big deal about their "discovery" of the "new" world. The world is always there, but their discovery belated (and some would wish never). We have already made some discovery peering into the dark skies or deep into inner spaces. Some may even have claimed perception of another world, in another mind or mind-frame. So, in this sense, creating is nothing but the "discovery" of that which is already there in the first place but which our senses have not been able to reach before (to paraphrase an old beer advertisement). So, in this sense, being creative is to be there first, and return to tell the tale. (Unable to return and tell a good story sends one to the madhouse.)

Being creative, therefore, means to have seen another world or another aspect of the world and to be able to describe the "new" world in such a way that human beings can find applications to remove yet another level of uncertainty of life on earth.

For creativity, therefore, I give high marks for the "creation of the world" stories which are probably reflective of the height of human imagination, reflecting the most intense of human anguish. The myths, the religious as well as the so-called scientific, the latter being extremely hard to provide the evidence as well, or to prove or to show concrete results. All "creation" stories and theories are based on faith, religious or scientific.

The importance of stories or theories is that they provide a tentative basis for explaining why certain things happen in a certain way or not in a certain way. They help us to understand ourselves and the world around us, and life as we know it to be.

I am sure all of us are brought up on one set of stories, and by the time we die, we would probably have created our own little stories or amendments to the traditional stories for retelling to our grandchildren (by then, our children would have their own competing stories to tell). Traditions (folk, religious or historical) can have a significant influence on creativity by weighing it down, but for the imaginative, it may provide a fallback for some ways to take flights of fancy.

There are but three ways of trying to be creative. The first is to see a table with an optimal number of four legs, figure whether it can stand on three (which we know it can) or two (which we do not know). The second is to see a table and a chair and try to figure out whether there is a furniture that lies between a table and a chair (you figure it out). The third way is to "dream of things that are not and ask why not?" as per George Bernard Shaw. The third way of course is open-ended, as varied and as far as the mind can go.

If mind is the constraint, then how do we think when we want to get creative? (I believe we are back to square one as far as this post is concerned.)

There is an infinite number of layers of existence right before our eyes, our noses, our ears, our fingers, our being.

I am sure many of us have experienced all kinds of weird stuff in our dreams, and are unable to explain, recall or use, so we simply dismiss them.

It is unfortunate that the stuff which we all acknowledge to be creative are only those stuff which strikes a cord in the heart of every person (and hence comes down as stories or myths) or which could be made into useful products (and hence comes down as stories or urban legends). The genius is the person whom we salute as whom we are not.

If therefore we were to put aside the commercial aspect of life, then I would there to venture that most of us are creative in our way of living, venturing into all avenues which we are not able or unwilling to disclose to the rest of the world, our own secretive world of great intimate knowledge and great intimate feelings and emotions as we explore our own little world to our own little self. This must have been how all the great religious ones felt when they felt inspired by the divine and expressed those emotions in terms which the ordinary people even today tend to hold to ridicule.

The way to be creative therefore is to unrestrained which means also not to seek public approval which means also to be an introvert. So, by definition, the creative world is understated. The only lament that economic and industrial leaders have over creativity is over commercialisable creativity - this lament is more a reflection of greed rather than of conceit.

Be there, and there will be creativity.

6 comments:

walla said...

2/2

When is a table a chair?

A four-legged table of standard height to us is a stool to a giant.

When is a chair a table?

A four-legged stool of standard height to us is a table to a midget.

.......................................

What is between the table and the chair?

In a disney world where furniture animate to become spirited beings, the word 'furniture' does not arise; possibly in its place, the word 'people'. To tables and chairs, human beings are the furniture of their world because a piece of furniture is defined by the application assigned to its form. Without the application, it has no meaning and, apart from its form, may not be distinguished from any other existences. Furniture is to human beings in a human world as human beings are to furniture in a furniture world.

Since the terms 'furniture' and 'human beings' may be exchanged with any other entity, we have therefore democratized the entire universe in one stroke.

Obviously anyone who can think of this is completely sane because s/he has seen other possible worlds and yet has been able to return and narrate them with intricate modesty.

.....................................

Means should normally increase over time but the young don't have means when they can and the old have means when they can't (or don't wish to).

Normal living may thus be defined as the confounding process of mismatching means and desires.

Which also explains the premium paid to mind over matter, over time.

And creative elucidations thereof.

.....................................

Artists, ad-men, architects and automotive designers are creative people. But common to their creativity is technicality. To create they need standard domain tools. Otherwise what they create may only satisfy themselves and not attract enough recognition by others to win sufficient rewards for their labour in order for them to continue to be creative in an increasingly expansive (and expensive)mode.

We may decry commercialism as crass to the exalted domain of creativity for its own sake but someone has to pay the bill in order for the rest to continue.

As with policies, sustainability is the overriding imperative. No point blazing a trail like a meteor across the dark sky only to fizzle out at the nearest pond. The world lives the dreams of rainbows and their pots of gold.

Which explains the cycle of global financial crises. Starting when the dollar was decoupled from the gold standard, wealth then became a function of printing money. Literally.

.......................................

http://is.gd/hAIFh
http://is.gd/hAJ8V
http://is.gd/hAJIn
http://is.gd/hAKys
http://is.gd/hALed
http://is.gd/hALA7
http://is.gd/hAM0i
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http://is.gd/hAMuF
http://is.gd/hAMVq

(and no, i did not forget)

Guat Hoon said...

Dear Walla,

Could I have 1/2?

Thanks.

Guat Hoon Yap

walla said...

Dear Guat Hoon,

I have tried many times to post it; it appears but then somehow disappears!


1/2
If we say that our mind including our senses as input receivers are the only constraints preventing us from being more creative about other worlds, then when we use it to hypothesize there are other worlds, we will be doing no different than those others who hypothesize about creationism in its manifold forms.

It's just a degree of intensity about faith of mind over matter.

......................................

As individuals, we are limited not just by the limits of our minds but also by the limits of our time. Consider daVinci. He must have studied how birds flew and then creatively drew his ideas on flight. Wouldn't he be mightily surprised if he could appear today to see his ideas of flight become colossal realities in the skies? We can imagine how he would excitedly grab the nearest aeronautical engineer and ask for an explanation, showing his notebook with their sketches and his scrawls written in reverse. In turn, we would ourselves be equally surprised if in fifty years time, those of us around today can experience teleportation.

Not just mind over matter, but also epoch over mind.

.......................................

SO in an exercise of faith-based curiosity, we may next ask if there is universal creativity independent of time.

Creativity has been studied, and by the standard method of analytical decomposition by which mankind advances knowledge in all spheres, it has been broken down into types. P-creativity or psychological and h-creativity or historical. Suffice to say, people associate a creative idea with the domain in which it may be deemed to reside. By extension, new ideas may be created when one idea morphs into another type in a different domain.

http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/11443_01_Henry_Ch01.pdf

Yet, the curiosity and desire to mimic what is observed that must have driven daVinci is no less in property characteristics experienced by any creative person here today. Likewise, in the future. Technologies may catalyze and push the processes a bit further but the base to return is the sum root of the human spirit.

Therefore, universal creativity binds all across the river of time and is only different in the degrees of sophistication in which it is manifested.

.......................................

A standard-type table has four legs in a three-dimensional world. Can it stand stably on one leg in a zero-dimensional world? Suppose the world is eleven-dimensional, as required by m-conformal superstring theory. Must it then have ten legs in order to fit standard industrial design? Perhaps in our exercise to decrypt such puzzles, we can also understand why the american poet Auden had said poetry was form chasing words chasing form in a perpetual dance.

---------------------------------------

Our limitation as humans is knowledge. Not just that we don't have enough of it. But that we are also enslaved by the way we view, experience, analyze and conclude about all our worlds using it. We create an edifice of knowledge but fail to realize that when we have completed our construction, it has actually enclosed us within walls of our own creation.

walla said...

1-2/2

Creativity has been studied, and by the standard method of analytical decomposition by which mankind advances knowledge in all spheres, it has been broken down into types. P-creativity or psychological and h-creativity or historical. Suffice to say, people associate a creative idea with the domain in which it may be deemed to reside. By extension, new ideas may be created when one idea morphs into another type in a different domain.

Yet, the curiosity and desire to mimic what is observed that must have driven daVinci is no less in property characteristics experienced by any creative person here today. Likewise, in the future. Technologies may catalyze and push the processes a bit further but the base to return is the sum root of the human spirit.

Therefore, universal creativity binds all across the river of time and is only different in the degrees of sophistication in which it is manifested.


A standard-type table has four legs in a three-dimensional world. Can it stand stably on one leg in a zero-dimensional world? Suppose the world is eleven-dimensional, as required by m-conformal superstring theory. Must it then have ten legs in order to fit standard industrial design? Perhaps in our exercise to decrypt such puzzles, we can also understand why the american poet Auden had said poetry was form chasing words chasing form in a perpetual dance.


Our limitation as humans is knowledge. Not just that we don't have enough of it. But that we are also enslaved by the way we view, experience, analyze and conclude about all our worlds using it. We create an edifice of knowledge but fail to realize that when we have completed our construction, it has actually enclosed us within walls of our own creation.

walla said...

http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/11443_01_Henry_Ch01.pdf

Guat Hoon said...

Walla,

Many thanks for responding.