Attention to the inner workings of our psyche can help us make creativity central to our lives.
Thoughts on Creativity – by Jean Houston
They say that ideas are a dime a dozen. They are not. Ideas are diamonds, and they are stocked and stored in the great structure that we call our mind-body system. Beneath the surface crust of ordinary consciousness, we are all filled with ideas and associations linking with other ideas–the very stuff of evolution moving in us to emerge as innovation.
Our deeper mind is making associations all the time.
It’s just that we generally don’t inhabit enough of ourselves to become aware of them. What is it about people who do inhabit more of themselves? Why is it that they can take things from the outer world, put them together with things from the inner world, and create something new.
Part of the secret of creativity is learning to look at things in different ways. Children are very good at this, as their minds have not yet hardened into set patterns. You may have heard of the little girl who had been trying for days to insert a rope-belt into her pajamas. One hot day she came in from playing and went to the freezer to get an ice-cube. Looking at the ice-cube, it occurred to her that if she wet the rope and froze it into a horseshoe shape, she could slide it through the open band of her pyjamas.
When most of us tramp through the fields and get burrs on our pants, we pull them off, being careful not to let them stick to our fingers. But one man looked in a different way at those prickly burrs adhering to his trousers.
Not too long after, he invented Velcro. Johann Gutenberg watched grapes being pressed and thought, what if you pressed letters that way? That was the beginning of the printing press, which led to this book and everything else you read. Creativity has to do with really noticing the things that are without, letting them bloom in the great within, and being available to the possibility of novelty.
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