What is the Creative?

We wondered from our last dialogue, is there a flow of meaning in between us as a mesh instead of distinct and separate parts? How can we create a new culture based on an understanding of what it means to be part of the wholeness of meaning? To answer these questions, we attempted to answer what is the creative? Whereas creativity is a noun, the creative is an adjective.

Thus, the creative is being creativity. Being Creativity is a process. It is a form of play. It begins in thought as a play of images, words, sounds, and any form of sensation even feelings. In this play of thought, we learn new things and ways of thinking. What scientists call chance, poets may call serendipity. These words are neighbors. Some words are intimate lovers, others family members, other words strangers to each other, but they all form part of the continuum of meaning. When we speak and even write these kind of ‘research’ papers, we try so hard to define our words in so far we can say… There is no room for misinterpretation.

The idea that we can define our words so well that we can win an argument is so far from the truth. We’re constantly being blinded by the falsity of our assumptions. What you assume I am saying from what I am writing is dependent on my ability to express my thoughts and your interpretation of what you assume I mean. If these assumptions are wrong, mine or yours, then what is being communicated isn’t the truth but an actual play of thought. Where neither you or I am wrong.

An example of this happened during our dialogue, I said that the author is alive and someone else said that the author is dead. Both of us meant that the author lives because the one who experiences the poem is living the author as myself or that the author is dead because it leaves being the author and becomes myself. As you can see, if we dwelled on the basic assumption, either the author is dead or alive, we wouldn’t agree at all. However, we listened further and found out that both of us meant that the both author lives and dies in oneself. That’s why thinking about texts as precise pieces that communicate exact meaning is based on false assumptions which in turn create a false rationality.

Rationality isn’t rational because rationality is a consequence of play thought. We assume that rationality is serious play though, but is it? Rationality is dependent on our ability to create and to assume correctly.  Assume incorrectly and the created won’t be truth, it will be an interpretation of the truth, but the person who expresses such truth… It is the truth for them as they assume what is needed for it to be true. The only way to arrive to Truth is to allow the play of thought to be as creative as it can be to the point that creativity becomes a process of creative love, a kind of selfless creativity.

This process is sometimes referred as the ‘creative flow.’ A moment is space where there is no ‘me’, but the process of being one with what is being created. Artists and scientists well know about this creative process. Anyone who devotes time to do an activity that consumes their thought into a concentrated form of play has felt this flow. Mark McGuinness writes about how poetry in practice is a creative flow: “it is the absorption in the creative process.”[1]“Poetry in Practice: Creative Flow – Magma Poetry,” accessed July 19, 2017, https://magmapoetry.com/archive/magma-34/articles/poetry-in-practice-creative-flow/. McGuinness writes that Isaac Asimov experienced this flow daily and had to be dragged at night to rest. He would get lost in his creative play. I am right now in that process. I have dragged my breakfast near my computer. I want to keep writing…

The creative play isn’t exclusive of artists, but any person who is engaged in a process that entails creativity can feel this. Scientists aren’t as distant from poets. Poets are artists-scientists, whereas scientists are scientist-artists. Both engage in the creative process as a play of thought. These thoughts are words, images, sounds, etc. When we think, we are constantly creating new meaning. It is when you say, ah… I finally get that problem. That moment was a realization due to the creative play of thought. Our words aren’t independent, but all interconnected in a web or network of meaning.

For that reason, it is important that we learn that the process of thought is a creative play. If understand this, our assumptions about the world won’t be as rigid and as polarizing as they are now. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t Truth. It means that there is little t truth and big T Truth. It doesn’t mean that the Truth is open to interpretation. It means that little t is open to interpretation but big T isn’t. For example, little t is my belief that a person is being racist. This little t can be argued and can be open to interpretation, but big T is not as easy to disrupt. Big T is that gravity affects me and pulls me down to Earth when I jump. Little t is the consequence of a local process and Big T is the consequence of a global process. Little t is an implicate process and Big T is the explicate process. Let’s use mathematics to clarify little t and big T.

Fractals, recently mathematically described by Benoit Mandelbrot[2]Eric W. Weisstein, “Mandelbrot Set,” Text, accessed July 19, 2017, http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MandelbrotSet.html., are geometric forms closest to what we see in nature. These fractal forms at a first glance might appear to be chaotic geometric figures (such as a cauliflower heads, costal lines, and pine cones) but they are not. Through fractal, we can generate “unlimited complexity”. David Bohm and David Peat, in their book Science, Process, and Creativity[3] David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order and Creativity (Routledge, 2010)., describe this process as a generative order. The generative order is a global (general) process from which we unfold local (particular) processes.

We’ve heard ideas like these before, such as the universal and the particular in philosophy. In mathematics and through sound, we’ve seen and heard it through a Fourier synthesis where one “global” soundwave combined with another “global” soundwave produces a complex “local” wave: “Once you know the harmonic content of a sustained musical sound from Fourier analysis, you have the capability of synthesizing that sound from a series of pure tone generators by properly adjusting their amplitudes and phases and adding them together.”[4] “Fourier Analysis and Synthesis,” accessed July 19, 2017, http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Audio/fourier.html.

These latter concepts are of great relevance because philosophers and artists, even scientists, are trying to understand big T ideas without realizing how little t ideas affect the result of their analysis. David Bohm illustrates us through the implicate and explicate process that we cannot dislocate the global from the local: it is all a fluid mesh of meaning. If something disappears, although once thought to exist, it is because there was an enfolding of the implicate.  If it appears, although once thought not to exist, it is an unfolding of the implicate.[5] To read more about David Bohm’s perspective, please start with his book On Creativity and then follow it with a more in depth view that informs my synthesis of implicate and explicate: David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (Routledge, 2005).

For example, let’s say that the explicate process would be the Newtonian worldview. It is about series of distinct and separate objects that interact with each other and move in different trajectories after integrating. However, the implicate process would be like quantum mechanical field theory as it is being discovered:



Quantum theory is a part of the whole but it had remained invisible to the explicate process (Newtonian Physics) until just recently. Quantum theory actually acts contradictory to what we would’ve learned for centuries was big T (Newtonian Physics). It doesn’t mean that the explicate process is false, therefore no longer big T, but it means that big T has an explicate and an implicate process as well, let’s call it a superimplicate process.[6]I’m drawing from the concept superimplicate order described by Bohm and Peat in Science, Order and Creativity. Therefore, big T has inside of it another big T but it enfolded as a little t before it unfolds as a big T.

A superimplicate  process could have an superimplicate process again as well, as a fractal process of big T discoveries all though which have come to be because little t has allowed the creative space for a previous implicate big T to now become explicate. The implicate process is revealed at first as a little t, but as time goes by and we begin to realize, little t is actually big T… It leaves the implicate process and enters the explicate process or Big T realm.

I’m being very broad and combining two ideas in an exploratory manner; what you have just read previously is currently little truth. What distinguishes a little t from a big T? It is much more than consensus. T is not democratic. Big T is T no matter everyone chooses to ignore it. It starts as a little truth set upon someone’s gaze, but as time goes by, little t becomes more difficult to dismiss as an assumption. In a dialogue, four people arrive to the same conclusion but that doesn’t make little t, big T. Big T is arrived through centuries of history and our ability to create new discoveries that prove without a doubt big T assumptions to be true insofar supported by little truths. It is a mesh of little truths woven together through time and placed in a network of evidence that supports it. Evidence is not democratic. Evidence is not a power-play nor a use for profit thing. Evidence comes from evident to the mind, the latin evidentia.

Little t are assumptions our minds need in process to experience a creative play of thought. In order to have big T, we need little t. In more scientific terms, an explicate process is composed of implicate processes that are invisible to the naked eye. Thought as an implicate process might remain invisible as one creates, but that doesn’t mean thought (the implicate process) disappears as we are creating new meaning. It means that we are not paying attention to the implicate process and are concentrated in the explicate process which would be the process of doing such work.

Consider the mathematical creativity and complexity of Bach, Escher, and Gödel; were they aware of their play of thought and its generative process in process to produce such art (considering math as an art)? I dare not assume, but through Douglas Hofstadter’s work… I can assume that these artists as poets of music, figures, and math were unfolding the implicate process for us to observe.[7] There is a profound relationship between the arts and mathematics. See Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (Penguin, 2000). Poetry is a way to understand meta-thinking through the manipulation of language to its most flexible extensions, while also conserving the essence of being. As I said, poetry is much more than just words ordered in a lyrical way. It is a very profound and philosophical way of expressing ‘what is’. As poets and mathematicians, we try to express the inexpressible. We do that through the perception of the most evident, but invisible due to our distractednesss of ‘what is’. We perceive more of ‘what is’ through an openness to the creative flow of meaning to the point that the creative act is ‘selfless’, otherwise expressed as ‘we’re being a creative flow’. Douglas Hofstadter’s explicates the concept of meta-levels in such a way that the super-implicate process can be understood as a meta-level going deeper (in complexity, near chaos, like fractals), implicately, rather than higher.

Our challenge today is to determine Big T, which are supported by a network of little t which may in turn unfold into Big T & again & again. Big T are established by our ability to create pathways of evidence that raise without doubt, not because of reason, but because of evidence (such as mathematical models do) that we are beholden to Big T. The difference between reason and mathematics is that while reason assumes to establish truth based on assumptions, based on emotions and complex language. Mathematics has to work on a proven assumption though a lanaguge bare to its bones to be regarded as true. It then has to be tested, again and again, for inconsistencies. If those arrive, then something is not right. It is not right to assume something to be right, if there are inconsistencies.

Reason is full of inconsistencies because it has to assume to assume. Our universities order us to write in a very particular manner in order to prevent inconsistencies. That’s a PhD, a very intense study of something to defend an idea that is only a little t. It is ridiculous that we ‘ignore’ the whole to prove a so called rational assumption based on so many previous assumptions we do not know if they are T in broader contexts (they might ring true, but not be T). Whereas the particular is necessary to form basic assumptions to function pragmatically in our complex world, without the universal we are lost in deconstruction and lack of coherent meaning. That’s why we need more mathematics and poetry.

Mathematics has to prove its basis on reality (into abstraction) to assume, and then if disproven, it has to be understood why it mustn’t be assumed. If the assumption is false, all reasoning is false. That’s why our rationality is so dangerous. We try to be but fail at it most of the time. Don’t assume I’m saying that we should become rational computers. On the contrary, we should start to accept that we are not rational. Nonetheless, the enlightenment principles have helped us get this far but now these principles are keeping us hostages to an impossible ideal. The rational is fused with emotional behaviours. Therefore, false assumptions create false thought based on a rationality that is faulty.

Mathematics could fall into these inconsistencies insofar we allow mathematics to become more verbose. A verbose mathematics is poetry, but when we read poetry we are aware that we are not being rational. Poetry is half-philosophical, half-emotional, half-rational, and half-intuitive. Mathematics is also being half-philosophical, half-emotional, half-rational, and half-intuitive. Mathematics takes language to its bare formalogical bones (quite particular), poetry gives it not only flesh but painness (quite universal). In mathematics and poetry, we create to disrupt assumptions in order to create a True model of the world. You could say the same thing of other sciences and arts, but again, what is poetry? What is mathematics? How does mathematics apply to poetry? How does poetry apply to mathematics? That is where the answer lies in order to forward this idea into other subjects.

So far, we’ve established the possibility that the external (explicate process) to be external insofar there is a recognition that the external is indivisibly made of the internal (implicate process). Rather than thinking in objects and subjects, we would think about explicate and implicate processes. The use of the word process shifts from ob/sub/inter/ab–jects (throwing[8]To visualize how words are family members, follow the tree of etymological relationships of the words with the suffix –ject: “Word Root Of The Day: Ject | Membean,” accessed July 19, 2017, http://membean.com/wrotds/ject-thrown.) to –poiesis[9]“Where Does the Word Poetry Come from? | Being Poetry,” accessed July 19, 2017, http://beingpoetry.com/inquiry/where-does-the-word-poetry-come-from/. (the process of creation).

Now that we’ve dwelled in the creative, our next question would be… How do poets and mathematicians construct meta-levels of creativity? How can artists create levels of meaning that explicate the implicate processes? How does little t become big T? Are we prepared as a civilization to be open to a dialogue where there is no winner of a debate? Can we dialogue in such a way that what is important is to create new meaning rather than being right? How can mathematics and poetry become part of our everyday activities in such a way we find meaning closer to Big T rather than little truths? Is this an exercise in vain and postmodernism is here to stay or can mathematics and poetry blend as a beautiful haiku that explicates the implicate? I won’t assume either yet.

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