Blog: Analyzing Creativity
Mauritius has come out first in South Saharan Africa for its creativity. It is necessary to understand the ingredients of creativity to appreciate the genius that is the mark of our society. We are mostly imitative by virtue of the education we have received. Once a project has been successful hundreds of followers repeat the formula ad nauseam and finally the individal or the country's economy becomes exhausted.
When Bob Dylan was most determined to stop creating music, he was overcome by a strange feeling. In fact, at a certain stage of Dylan’s evolution as a poet, singer and lyricist, he felt he could not write for the first time in years, he did not need to worry about his next song. Dylan told his manager that he was going to start working on a novel. He felt the itch of an imminent insight, the tickle of lyrics that needed to be written down. Once Dylan began, his hand did not stop moving for several hours.
"I found myself writing this song, this song, this long piece of vomit, twenty pages long"
By using the word 'vomit' he was describing the uncontrollable rush of a creative insight, that flow of associations that can't be held back.
Creativity is not negation of past achievements. In fact the creative person is someone who is deeply involved with a sense of the past, but at the same time can think out of the box. The essential ingredient of every act of innovation is the sumtotal of what has been created by others to which the innovator adds his or her dimension. It may be that a certain handicap forces the incumbent in a direction which is creative. Hans Asperger who first identified the Asperger syndromein 1944 said that Aspergesian children tended to have an encompassing preoccupation with a narrow subject which dominates their life. Some children with the syndrome become obsessed with nineteenth century trains or drip coffee makers.
'It seems that for success in science andart a dash of autism is essential,' Asperger wrote. "The necessary ingredient may be an ability to turn away from the everyday word with all abilities cannibalised into the one speciality".
Creativity depends on how successfully we can override the voice of the censor within us. The censor is the voice of control, constraint and inhibition. The one who creates is one who dares, dares to say those things people do not want to hear, to think what others may be afraid of even apprehending.
Children are effortlessly creative because their censors don't yet exist. When the brain matures we become too self conscious to improvise, too worried about saying the wrong thing or playing the wrong note.
Being deeply encultured and being weighed down by too much conventional wisdom blocks one's creativity. While there is need to know the subject of discovery, a strong element of the unknown will help to unblock the creative energies. It is the improvising talent in the midst of the unknown that is fostered by the novelty of situations. Scientists or poets who become creative wage a war against the unknown while their knowledge is itself challenged by its incompleteness.
Group creativity is not just the result of a collection of individual talent. Instead, it is a chance for those talents to exceed themselves to produce something greater than anyone thought possible. When the right mixture of people come together and when they collaborate in the right way, what happens can often feel like magic. But it's not magic. There is a reason why some groups are more than the sum of parts. The biggest problem we need to solve now requires the expertise of people from different backgrounds who bridge the gaps between disciplines. Unless we learn to share our ideas with others, we will be stuck with a world of seemingly impossible problems.
Creativity is not the invention of something new out of nothing. It is just a question of a different perspective at times.