Hi all, I have finally completed my first two waves of assignments, so now I have some time to get back into this blog. I have had a few of these blogs saved as drafts, but I didn’t post them as I was ashamed of their lack of detail. During week three and four, we learnt about the concepts of the creative personality and the active imagination.
The lecture in week 3 was presented by author John Harman. In the lecture the relationship between creativity, imagination and vision was discussed. The goal of creativity is to create something that works, and through creativity, imagination is fostered, which leads to vision and leadership. Vision was described as an anchor in times of chaos. Creativity can be inhibited by lack of faith however, such as perceptual confinements, cultural confinements, personal confinements and organisational confinements. In order to overcome these confinements, one must have faith in their domain relevant skills, which is really knowing your stuff, and having task motivation, which is an intrinsic desire to create. The process of creation involves:
1. Preparation- This is brainstorming and planning.
2. Concentration- focusing your mind on the task at hand.
3. Incubation- Stepping away from the task and letting your mind go elsewhere.
4-. Illumination- The “eureka” moment, when your cognitive pathways lead back to the task at hand and provide enlightenment of the task.
5. Verification- testing your creative piece.
Inhibitors of creativity were highlighted, such as certainty, fear of change, lack of self-knowledge, undue focus on rewards, lack of faith, assuming, snobbery and being a artistic groupie, and cynicism.
The lecture finished on a long held belief of mine, which is fortune favours the prepared.
The tutorial focused more on the set reading, which dealt with the creative personality (The Creative Personality, n.d). While creative individuals are unique and come from all “walks of life”, Jungs reading claims that creative individuals have to ability to move from one extreme to the other, and often encompass two extremes in one personality (The Creative Personality, n.d).
For example the ten complexities of individuals are:
1. Creative individuals have a great deal of physical energy, but they are also often quiet and at rest (The Creative Personality, n.d).
2. Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).
3. Playful and disciplined, yet responsible and irresponsible at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).
4. Creative individuals alternate between imagination and fantasy at one end, and are rooted in reality at the other (The Creative Personality, n.d).
5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).
6. Creative individuals are also remarkably humble and proud at the same time (The Creative Personality, n.d).
7. Both masculine and feminine, creative people pull the strengths from both gender roles (The Creative Personality, n.d).
8. Creatives are both traditional and conservative, and rebellious and iconoclastic (The Creative Personality, n.d).
9. Most creative individuals are extremely passionate, yet can be extremely objective about it (The Creative Personality, n.d).
10. Openness and sensitivity exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also a great deal of enjoyment (The Creative Personality, n.d).
I found these forms of complexity very interesting, as they highlighted the desires of creatives to harmonize differing aspects of extremes. Instead of picking one side and mastering it, creatives try to harmonise in the middle ground and master the principles of both (The Creative Personality, n.d).
The terms feel familiar to the Five fold laws of Japanese martial arts schools. The Goju-ryu style of karate means hard-soft, and most schools follow a tradition of harmonising two contradictory states of qualities (Friday & Seki, 1997). For example, the five fold laws consist of:
-Motion and stillnes as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).
-Origination and manifestation as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).
-Offence and defence as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).
-Emptiness and reality as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).
– Yin and yang as one (Friday & Seki, 1997).
Origination and manifestation as one are interesting, as they are essentially meaning imagination and creativity as one act. The task must be planned and executed. Without either there is no creative act. It could be seen that practise in these philosophies may help excersise a creative individuals mind and spirit.
An example of a creative individual in Japanese history is Miyamoto Musashi. From the age of thirteen to twenty-nine, he participated in over sixty mortal duels and emerged undefeated in all (Wilson, 2004). However, his later life is dedicated to the study and production of arts and crafts (Wilson, 2004). The kaijo monogatari gives an account that Musashi was tasked with a painting of Daruma in the presence of the lord of the Hosokawa clan, but unsatisfied with his work he retired for the night (Wilson, 2004). However, just as he had nodded off, the solution came to him and he rushed out to finish the painting in lamplight (Wilson, 2004). It came out as he had desired (Wilson, 2004). Over his life, musashi is said to have created countless works, however during the Meiji restoration and the fire bombings of Tokyo they were mostly lost (Wilson, 2004).
Musashi’s creativity is evident in accounts of his fights too. For example, while being rowed to Funa island to partake in a much anticipated duel, Musashi crafted a wooden sword from a boat oar, and went on to defeat his steel-wielding combatant in a mortal duel with it (Wilson, 2004).
Friday, K. F., Seki, F. H. (1997) Legacies of the Sword: The Kashima-Shinryu and
Samurai Martial Culture. Honolulu, HI, USA: University of Hawaii Press.
The Creative Personality. (n.d.). Retrieved from:
Wilson, W. S. (2004) The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi. Boston,
Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications.