Creativity

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Creativity is the ability to synthesize, from disparate aspects of disparate things, creations which are aesthetically good, true and/or beautiful (phenomenologically and/or functionally). It is suggested by many in a variety of fields that now is a time of creative drought, while others argue that now is a time of creative drought. In either case, most discussions of creativity advocate its fecundity, and that advocacy expresses itself in three forms: Educational Creativity, Cultural Creativity, and Spiritual Creativity.


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Educational Creativity

Educational creativity is expressed primarily within the confines of institutionalized educational systems: schools.

Some advocate that education should take place outside of educational systems. Mark Twain is famous for stating, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." Likewise personal education has reached to the highest levels of learning with such movements as autodidacticism, which is encouraged by several organizations of independent scholars throughout North America, as well as a more recent surge by online-based scholars learning through the internet.

Recently Ken Robinson has been a visible advocate for creativity in schools and education, with two TED talks on the subject. Additionally we've seen Adora Svitak address this situation from her unique point of view as a young child. All of these talks focus around the premise that creativity is most commonly stifled by fear. Children are capable of high creativity, due to their inability to feel fear of rejection or criticism the way educated adults do. These talks advocate the support of creative individuals and their pursuits as they grow and develop, fostering them into people who love what they do and do it well.

The fostering of creativity flies in the face of much of standardized education in place today due to the rigorous specialization that begins at early ages and general favoritism for the sciences, business, and law over the humanities and the arts.


Cultural Creativity

The term "cultural creatives," coined in 2000 by Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson in their book, "The Cultural Creatives," solidified and explained cultural creativity by focusing on the creative aspects of emerging generations in a kind of sociological reflection on the infusion of creativity in newer generations' social activity. Cultural creativity is the interweaving of creativity into the sociological fabric of groups and subcultures.

The concept of counterculture in a contemporary 21st century sense echoes this inherent creativity within the operation of the groups themselves. This is exemplified in many new subcultures and microcosmic neotribal movements such as those related to: Burning Man, psychedelics, off-the-grid efforts, sustainable living, low-impact building, TED, 4chan, net neutrality, steampunk, neospiritualism, neoshamanism, anti-corporatism, Zeitgeist, Evolver, raw/organic/vegan/local food, bicycling conclaves, music festivals, and many more. All of these have a larger and more pronounced interest in maintaining and growing creative fecundity in their endeavors than in other more mainstream subcultures and groups, and that dedication to creativity is often implicit and essential to the identity of the subculture or group.

Spiritual Creativity

Spiritual creativity is thoroughly represented throughout art, music, dance, and architectural history to humanity's earliest days. It has often been called "listening to the Muse" or "Divine inspiration." This is not specific to any religion and is not necessarily, but often is, related to belief in some kind of higher power or the collective consciousness at large as a kind of singular mind.

Generally this form of creativity transcends the power of description via words, but more to the point it is creativity sourced from an unknown Otherness, resting outside of the ego, often nestled in a kind of wonder or mysticism. Even atheists experience this in the concept of the muse or in dreams. Spiritual creativity covers all that in which the source is unexplainable or yet to be explained.

Terence McKenna advocates "following the shamanic thread" in his lecture, "Opening the Doors of Creativity," where he explains that it behooves humanity to reach back into our history and follow the office of the shaman, who had ultimate access in his/her time to spiritual creativity. This is the same unexplainable thread that others call "the Muse" or "Divine inspiration." Like in a very different genre, poet Saul Williams's "Coded Language" demands that his creative peers listen more directly to this collective consciousness, rather than be dragged down political and social norms that degrade creative abundance.


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Author: Ora Uzel