The Road to Creativity

The Road to Creativity

Creativity is a topic that has been studied and debated for many years and from many perspectives.

Any attempt to identify the essence of creativity raises questions about the nature of human thought, rational or irrational, and consequently, its relationship to language.

“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” (Werner Heisenberg) The main idea is not to “resolve” the issue of creativity for it is, by its own definition, open ended.

Rather it is to raise awareness that the issue exists. So many times technocrats and scientists, neuroscientists in particular, state that there are ultimately answers for everything including the beginning of time.

In schools, instead of inspiring children to question, the learning process has been reduced to answering test questions. How do these two issues relate?

While the arts are slowly and progressively pushed aside as being less significant, science is taught in such a way as to have children think that for every question, there is an answer.

This may lead the child student to believe scientists know or can know everything. A better education for children might focus on what scientists do not know and why they do not know it.

Sometimes there are no answers. Metaphysical, hypothetical, and/or abstract questions need to be addressed. Perhaps because I am older, I recognize what we have encouraged our children to lose is precisely what we need to develop, not only in our schools, but in all realms, from science to art to diplomacy.

Under attack is creativity. While still in childhood, we naturally begin to shed the ability to express wonder and surprise and are encouraged to do so by our instructors. Analysis sets in and instinct/spontaneity/creativity is squelched.

‘Creativity’ may be viewed in this new age of fiber optics and cyberspace as an oddity, half feared and half distrusted but surreptitiously peaking its head out demanding attention.

The sixth sense needs to be heeded. Perhaps that is the most important function, the goal, of the artist.

That is, to “transport the mind in experience past the guardians – desire and fear – …to the…rapture of seeing in a single hair ‘a thousand golden lions.” (Joseph Campbell)

Or to translate this idea into the classroom, we need to learn how to teach accuracy while preserving imagination in our students.

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