Make Believe Reality

Have you ever thought about the word creativity? What does it mean to create? What does someone do who is creative?

The word creative comes from L. creatus, pp. of creare “to make, bring forth, produce, beget,” related to crescere “arise, grow” (see crescent). The verb creare means “to create, appoint, cause, set up”.

This is from the present active L. credo meaning “I lend, loan; I commit, consign, entrust to; I trust, confide in, have confidence in; I believe in, trust in, give credence to; I believe.” From Proto-Indo-European *ḱred dʰeh₁- (“to place one’s heart, i.e. to trust, believe”), compound phrase of oblique case form of *ḱḗr (“heart”).

Interestingly, Latin for heart is cor or cordis (think coronary or cordial) which literally referred anatomically to the “heart” and figuratively to the “soul, mind”.  The -do in credo comes from the PIE *dʰeh₁- which means “to put, place, set” (whence also Latin faciō). The present active infinitive L. credere means “to believe”.

In this way L. credo means to “do with your heart”.

It would seem that creativity requires that, first and foremost, you must believe.



Assert Your Inner World

“There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.” -Hermann Hesse

To be is to be perceived. Perception is not a quality of the world, but of our mind.

Hesse is referring to the creative imagination, our ability to stipulate and synthesize original thoughts, or in this case concepts, to render new and original experience.

Concepts are not found in experience; we apply them to experience.

In short: When these words are perceived, concepts of understanding (categories, classifications, definitions) are brought a priori to experience in order to render it intelligibly. These a priori concepts of understanding mediate between subjective judgments of perception (derived from a posteriori sensations and a priori pure intuitions) to yield objective judgments of experience. You do not have direct access to external reality. Think of a priori concepts of understanding as the ‘interpretative lens’ or ‘conceptual structure’ used to intelligibly render and organize and categorize experience. The a priori concepts of understanding being applied determine the objective concepts of experience, and anything objective can be freely disputed by asserting alternatives.

I believe Hesse is asserting that the mind, being independent and a priori of experience, can choose to create and stipulate its own conceptual interpretative system for rendering experience from reality.  So that ‘when we change the way we look at the world, the world we look at changes.’

He is saying that people fail to question the concepts or ‘mental images’ dogmatically dictated outside them, viz. by society via convention, culture, routine, etc., and assert the freedom of their creative mind. When these patterns are broken new worlds will emerge.

Advance Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
-Henry David Thoreau

Remake the World

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”  -Ray Bradbury

This quote inspires the hell outta me. Remake the world. Fashion it according to the inner. What is the inner? Is it lust worthy? Is it wonderfully made? What does that inner life look like? How does one accumulate enough of these miniature worlds to reconstruct a wholly new reality?

Is it mood that determines the direction? Passions? Motivations? What is it in someone, in myself, that fuels the furious fire inside? Where is that spark?

What must I do? Huddle in libraries? Nestle in books? Must I write? Endlessly? Ceaselessly without tire? How to fashion the imagination? The infinite?

The more defiant and questionable and adventurous you are, the larger your world. The gaping green grass spans as far as the eye can see.

Question everything but the wild. Never tame yourself.

Remake the world.

Imagination. What a wonderful concept. What is imagination? The faculty that imagines. That creates something from nothing. That extends beyond the reach of time and necessity and constraints of realism. It falls endlessly forward and backward. Forms and substance, concepts and ideas, personalities and character, comedy and tragedy.

Is it sad that I cannot paint a story of imagination? I need to water this latent faculty, this dormant world. It exists wholly independent, barely existing at all. Where is this place where monsters smile? Before I wake  each day, I want to write down ten impossible ideas. I want to force the option and make them exist in the imaginary.