We create out of recycled thought, yet don’t often think of it this way.
We base learning on what was once learned. Knowledge built from prior knowledge. We base method on methods that have come before. Certainly it is not a bad thing, but one to be admired. Why?
One thing humans can do very well is learn from others. Borrow like an artist! In fact, most professions start the creative or scientific process by borrowing from somewhere else. One idea sparks another.
We layer on top of the ideas of others. We build upon to improve or take the idea on a transformative journey.
Raindrops in Spiderweb as Art
Since we borrow so freely, what is truly new then? When we discover, we may just find, even by accident. How often do we find the unknown? Create the unimaginable? Few do or ever will, but the many before have laid the groundwork and the path to follow. Never do people design from thin air, even when designing as an individual. Experience always influences.
Ernst von Glasersfeld asserted that “knowledge is constructed actively by an individual in a way that fits one’s experience, that provides a viable explanation of one’s experience.” source Google Scholar.
At least when we do repeat or recycle, we do it with a twist – that of being an individual. And each individual does it in their own unique way.
Then you have this quote from George S. Patton, “If everyone’s thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.” At least being an individual with unique experiences keeps everyone from thinking exactly alike.
Some make holes in the fabric of pioneering for others to repair, and in research, that leads to remarkable discovery with innovation and breakthrough. (Shamelessly, pardon my obvious verbal and pictorial pun.)
Nature as Inspiration
Some steady, lay a foundation and make things easier to play their role. And some come full circle, veer off in tangent and add more color and interest to life. Some pretty incredible things get created too.
Still more thoughts on creativity to come. Having engaged in many a creative pursuit, I have a tendency to look at the process quite often. I often wonder what makes some more creative than others. Creativity seems as natural to humans as breathing and is a part of everyone’s repertoire of existence. Some just shelved it as everyday pressures and responsibilities became the way of life. Oh to have a childlike curiosity and play…
See Relax Like a Creative Pro from yesterday to catch up on the series.