A bit of a denser post today.
Recently I wrote a dissertation on perceptual changes that occur through the regular practice of eastern philosophies and mind-traditions (yoga, meditation etc), and how this may affect the creativity of a dancer or dance artist. For any of you philosophers out there – I used Maurice Merleu-Ponty’s theory of perception and expression as my main point of exploration. For those of you who aren’t philosophers, this theory basically says you perceive what you express and you express what you perceive, or even simpler – you become what you think and you think what you become.
you perceive what you express and you express what you perceive, or even simpler – you become what you think and you think what you become.
Through this whole process I learnt that absolutely everything comes down to perception, which is the way we see things and the way we view the world around us. I got so deep into explorations of consciousness that my brain hurt and a few times felt like I had stumbled across the meaning of life (although I promptly forgot it everytime).
After a particularly inspiring conversation with my dissertation tutor last week (big shoutout to LR, who has done more than he can possibly imagine), I have decided to share with you all some of my findings.
The Psychology of Creativity
creativity is not a trait, but rather a way of seeing the world
The last chapter of my research was about creativity. It focused on creativity as a state of mind, produced by consciousness, that is a constantly developing mode of perception (I told you it was dense). VERY basically, this means that creativity is not a trait, but rather a way of seeing the world that is relative to the individual.
In psychological terms, there are two ways the mind can achieve a creative outcome.
- Top down processing. This is essentially deciding on a creative outcome and working towards it – the role of the inventor.
- Bottom up processing. Described as searching for something undefined, using remote inspiration to find meaning for what is already at emerging – the role of the discoverer.
I concluded that in order to achieve the best creative outcome, the individual would need to use their inner discoverer and inventor simultaneously and allow them to work in conjunction with one another.
It’s known that creative breakthroughs often occur when a problem is seen in a new way or from a fresh viewpoint.
With regard to Eastern philosophy, I tied these concepts together with the notion of Purusa. Pursua is known as pure consciousness, beyond the physical form. T.K.V Desikachar (world renowned yogi), says that identifying with Purusa enables the practitioner to see things as they really are, allowing for ever developing modes of creativity to surface.
Obviously it takes more than just being ‘aware’ of Purusa to really know it. True awareness of pure consciousness comes from years of meditative practice and relentless conscious inquiry. However, the more an individual aligns themselves with the concept of Purusa, the more they wil begin to understand and control the notions of the discoverer and inventor.
identifying with Purusa (pure consciousness) enables the practitioner to see things as they really are
It is almost without doubt that there is a strong relationship between spiritually, creativity and the arts. Identifying with Purusa allows for a broader perspective, creating limitless possibilities for the inventor and the discoverer.
What can you create in life if you align yourself with these concepts? Using the awareness of something greater than ourselves, and living within the vibrations of discovering and inventing.