There are some things about creativity that have been on my mind. I have been trying to hone in on the qualitative experience of the creative moment… what does it feel like to be creative? What kinds of qualities distinguish the feeling of being creative from other types of feelings, like the feeling of ‘producing’, ‘innovating’, and so forth? What makes a creative moment creative?
It seems to me that in the experience of the creative moment, there is always a place where knowing runs out… where consciousness finds itself in a state of openness, as if surrounded by space. In particular this feeling seems to be accompanied by the sense that the normal boundaries of the ego are loosened, expanded/expended, but not yet replaced or filled with anything. This is specifically true with respect to the actual genesis of the creative activity, while during the activity this sense can be replaced with a feeling which Mihály Csíkszentmihályi called ‘flow’.
In every case that I can think of (for myself, that is), creative moments are states of being characterizable by a sense of potential, of a sort of future-coming-into-the-present — but notably always without knowledge or specific anticipation. It is a very hard state to even think about because it seems that thinking itself — at least in the normal, ego-centered thinking of much of daily life — is suspended, as if in the air. And even in thinking ‘about’ the creative moment, there is almost a lacuna of consciousness around the creative moment itself, as if consciousness met a border that it could not cross with its normal configuration… so I have the feeling that it is as if some part of consciousness travels ‘underground’ or perhaps ‘above’, into the ‘sense of awaiting’ that permeates the surrounding ‘space’.
You can see that the normal tendencies of speech have a hard time when applied to a moment which seems to transcend encapsulation. One usage of languge serves to delineate, define, demarcate, depict, circumscribe, form, or otherwise pinpoint (alchemically this would be representative of the Earth element). My initial questions are, in a sense, Earth questions, with language leading towards and assuming this Earthy aspect. Yet by its very nature the object of the inquiry is perhaps unable to be Earthed – so I find a contradiction even in the asking of the question. Thus a paradox: if it were possible to actually describe in words the qualitative essence of a creative moment, the creative moment itself would necessarily remain undescribed, even de-described.
Therefore some questions:
Is language as evocative rather than descriptive enough of a tool to allow thinking about creativity to proceed?
Do all creative moments share some specific qualities, perhaps at a meta or meta-meta-level? Or is it impossible for creative moments to be bound at all by any possibile prescription?
With respect to the individual experiencing a creative moment, what kinds of processes occur qua the experienced sense of self/other? That is, what happens to the sense of self in such a moment?
Related: Are creative moments ever something that can be ‘mine’ in the same way that I can speak about (a perhaps naive) experience of ‘my’ pain, ‘my’ thoughts, and so forth?
Also related: To what extent do ‘others’ play a role in creative moments that ‘I’ experience?
Lastly: If we were seers, able to perceive the activities of the spiritual worlds, how would we describe what is experienced by a single human being in a creative moment?