CREATIVITY: Personal, Gaian, Cosmic

It is arrogant for humans to claim creativity as their unique contribution to “the whole”, which I will name: Cosmos; a “smaller whole” being Gaia.

Recognizing beauty and elegance in reality, humans have ascribed cosmic creativity to forces/entities they call Divine/Gods.

Creativity is carelessly ascribed as an attribute of a creator, a god or human artists, inventors, or innovators.  Although many acts of creation appear to arise from a “creative” individual, it is more a confluence of creative processes leading to its manifestation in a creation/product – that is recognized and appreciated by others. The human vehicle for creating does leave its unique mark on the original product; but without the milieu within which a human creative act occurs, the act would not be “creative”.

The insight behind this essay was partly triggered by my reading THE CREATIVE SPARK: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional, by Augustin Fuentes. This book is exceedingly rich in recently discovered details about human prehistory. Fuentes also successfully counters (IMHO) the claims by Steven Pinker and others that primates and humans are intrinsically violent-in-nature, which is being reduced by “civilization”.

The conceptual schemes linked to terms such as violence, force, oppression, exploitation, aggression are very complex and can’t be easily untangled. The debate, as represented by Fuentes and Pinker, is highly dependent on definitions and intentions to propagandize.

Also, Artist and trainer, Robert Fritz, distinguishes creativity from the human process of creating, which can be learned. Fritz’s conceptual scheme, The Path of Least Resistance, provided me with the valuable concept of “societal environments”.

Consider: The emergence of humankind with its unique creative competencies is, itself, a major act of Gaian creativity.  Let us not be arrogant and believe that the “best” of the current state-of-humankind was/is the intent of Gaian creativity. Given the many negatives resulting from humankind’s lack of adequate comprehension about the spinoff- consequences of “creativity” (not humankind’s fault- creativity is always experimental and risky), WE [humankind] must become more intelligently intentional when participating in our own emergence. If we were to leave it to Gaia or God to save us, we would be a cosmic failure, but a puppet.

Our scientific hypotheses of biological evolution don’t include (or account for) creativity.  Evolutionary theories are statistical in terms of the rate and incidence of mutations, which are then selected by the “chance” environment at the moment-of-mutation.  If cosmologists were making biological evolutionary theory they would have proposed  “dark intent” effecting the otherwise “random” mutations and selective environments.

Science also has the proclivity of rejecting anomalous evidence until they have discovered a “mechanism” to account for it [see the history of continental drift and plate tectonics].

Unfortunately, most of our religions ask us only to live “good lives”, in accordance to human created, but considered “sacred”, rites & rules. If we do this, God will reward us – with eternal life (of under-determined quality).

As our trending forecasts dim, many with scientific perspectives dig down into their relevant, personal activities and look to “higher forces” to enable a positive Big Story. Here, I propose, that a few of us shift our intention to looking Beyond Big Stories, to Think Beyond Big and discover/create how we can creatively marshal our contemporary knowledge and competencies to UPLIFT ourselves (by our bootstraps) to a level of distributed knowledge/competencies within the whole human global population, to “solve our problems”.

Actually, this will entail recognizing that we don’t face “problems” and that the “problem/solution paradigm” is inadequate, and contributes to our difficulty.  We need to OLLO to collectively comprehend ALL essentials of our Planetary Problemateque and then push to create a viable Solutionateque (commensurate with the Problemateque).

I have been exploring this alternative for 5 decades and have many details to contribute. I don’t have a detailed program for our future, which is impossible to construct. I can present my ideas/insights for study, comprehension, evaluation, and modification.  I don’t present them to be automatically “accepted” and “followed”.  This can be divided into two major domains:

Big Stories within Big Stories – alternative Scenarios in many Stages; starting from 2017 for years, decades, and centuries.  I will not provide more details here, but I have thought of a few alternative paths to consider.

Very long term visions for the future of Humanity/Gaia.  This is not to imagine alternative “Utopian States” resulting from our surviving our Crisis-of-Crises. Not “State” as in Nation, but “state” as in all the details of relevant reality at any “period”.  Instead, this is to imagine visionary futures resulting from many creative/innovative actions by Gaia, other species, and future emerging humanity. Again, not that we can provide concrete details; but to create a context whereby our actions these next years, decades, centuries, and even millennia, can be placed.

In analogy, imagine our ancestors, who survived the catastrophe which made most dinosaurs extinct, trying to imagine a future state like ours today, in 2017. Or, go back further and imagine our single celled ancestors trying to imagine multi-cellular organisms. What I am asking is that we try to imagine ahead of 2017 to a time where commensurate changes have occurred in Gaia.

One variation: humanity learns to seaf the emergence of “higher cognitive functioning” in many other species – with their own uniqueness (not all like human cognitive functioning). Gaia emerges to an analog of an “organism” – A Planetary Intelligence – and begins to interact with other planetary intelligences in the universe.  Before the 4 billion year (from-our-present) death of our sun, we have moved Earth to a safer place.  This is not a variation of Cowboy Western Science Fiction where humans colonize and exploit other biospheres, having not changed “human nature” over many millions of years.  Future Gaia may not be “human centered”, although our influence, now, will be an important historical event. Humans, as biologically conformed today, may no longer exist.

IT IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT TO EMPHASIZE: I am not proposing a shifting of attention for our immediate challenges and crises (dangers & opportunities) to diversionary activity focused around esoteric fantasies of some far off future.  Indeed, for almost all humans, they will devote most of their time and energy to minute-by-minute activity in their perceptual/behavioral wrlds – BUT WITH A SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT EMPHASIS. With a small portion of their lives, in quality OLLO activity, they will create a much more relevant context for their choices-of and manners-taken for actions in their local settings.

Also, the initial exploratory activity will be taken by a very small percent of humankind, by volunteers who comprehend and commit to their mission – but not necessarily “full time”. They will never be able to impose their proposals on large populations, so there is no top-down threat.  The bulk of humankind will learn to comprehend, accept, and themselves (one by one) participate in Up2Met, the name I give this “movement” – by a process invented/implemented by existing (at the time), active members of Up2Met.

What I imagine we need, and propose as a starting process, is consistent with a recent call by the P2P Foundation: “We must create on the same scale as we can destroy“.   While they propose Big Stories, I propose we must go Beyond Big Stories.


Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.