Stick

CREATIVITYP1040211 - Copy

Will

Choice

Psyche

Abstract Thought

See below for an explanation
of these terms.

A common misconception is that only artists are creative. Creativity is fundamental to human beings and the desire to be creative drives all of us.  Creativity does not necessarily mean writing books, composing music or painting pictures. Some people make gardens, others raise families or find creative satisfaction through their careers. For some, simply living is an art in itself, involving knowledge and skills that can be constantly refined. There are as many outlets for creativity as there are individuals.

Will

We engage our will from the simplest act such as raising an arm to following through on momentous decisions. Observe it in operation when you get up in the morning. It may be lovely to lie in bed but at some point the decision is made to go from being horizontal to vertical.

When we direct our will towards achieving a goal we usually expect some benefit. This is perfectly reasonable under normal circumstances but is counter-productive when it comes to creativity. When we expect something, we draw on the past and project it into the future. We can only expect something that we can conceive of, and we can only conceive of it based on past experience. Creativity requires will to be directed without expectation of results, otherwise it reinforces what already exists and nothing new can occur.

Choice

Choice when viewed from the perspective of the Threads is different to choice from the perspective of the Stick. In the former, stimulus and response follow one another in an unbroken sequence whereas in the latter there is a gap between them. This gap depends on consciousness. In habitual mode, we are swept from one thing to another, but if we are alert enough we can be aware of a stimulus as it is occurring and stop ourselves reacting to it immediately. The opportunity then exists to consider our options before responding. Conscious choice enables us to respond to things in a new way rather than the way we have always reacted.

Psyche

We use the term Psyche to describe a person’s unique individuality. This is the quality of being which is essential to them, often discernible when they are babies and constant throughout their lifetime.  Old people speak of looking in the mirror and being surprised to see a wrinkled face look back at them because inside they don’t feel any different to the way they felt when they were sixteen. This is Psyche. Despite everything that has happened to them in the course of their life something has remained the same.

Abstract thought

Abstract thought is different to associative thought.

The associative mind governs our everyday existence. It identifies things (when you look at a tree it says ‘tree’ internally), strings thoughts together, recycles the past, plans for the future and so on. If you observe what is going on in your mind at any moment you will find it busily at work, running a constant commentary composed of words and images. It is what we normally refer to as ‘thought’ and we couldn’t operate in the world without it.

Abstract thought is concerned with the distillation of things, before they are clothed by associative thought, and with things that exist in potential. Artists reach into this realm to get at the essence of something they want to convey on canvas, and authors talk of becoming restless when a book is pending before they even know the subject matter. An idea can hover in the back of our mind for years and at some point we have to make a decision as to whether we are going to do anything with it. There is often a reluctance to do so because we know that hard graft will be required to bring it into being; but if we turn our back on it something in us knows that we have wasted an opportunity.