Space to Think

So thinking can develop

On Creativity

A happy coincidence coming across the two references below; one by accident in browsing some blogs, the other in my reading of a favoured author.

In help people be creative John Cleese advocates a “tortoise enclosure where your tortoise mind can come out to play”: boundaries of space and boundaries of time; an oasis in which to ‘play’.  Creativity comes from our unconscious so we need to ensure we are not interupted.

I was also struck by David Bohm (On Creativity, 1996: 48) writing about the relationship between art and science. He reflects on the significance of new ideas disrupting preconceptions about the world.

… in the long run it is less important to learn of a particular new way of conceiving structure abstractly, than it is to understand how the consideration of such new ideas can liberate one’s tought from a vast network of preconceptions absorbed largley unconsciously with education and training and from the general background. It seems to me that with regard to this question of preconceptions the situation should be baskically similar in every field of creative work, whether this be scientific, artistic, or of any other nature. For by becoming aware of preconceptions that have been conditioning us unconsciously we are able to perceive and understand the world in a fresh way. One can then “feel out” and explore what is unknown, rather than go on, as has generally been one’s habit, with mere variations on old themes, leading to modifications, extensions, or other developments with the framework of what has already been known, either in one’s own field, or in a closely related form in some other field. Thus one’s work can begin to be really creative, not only in the sense that it will contain genuinely original features, but also in that these will cohere with what is being continued from the past to form one harmonious, living, evolving totality.

All this serves to remind me of the importance of structuring time and space in ways that avoid, at least temporarily, the tyranny of the routine and the well worn track; to develop and maintain strategies to systematically pause, abandon the drive to perform or deliver, and permit heterodox thoughts, images, or feelings. And to find ways to stimulate and fuel heterodoxy through deliberate admission of the products of the worlds of others’; thinking from other discourses and constructions built on alternative sets of assumptions.

Daily I experience and observe the lack of such disciplines.

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September 13, 2010 - Posted by | Bohm, creativity, Uncategorized | ,

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