That old “creative” State of Mind…Art vs Science…the big picture

Read this blog yesterday entitled

Richard Florida state of mind
Radicals and bankers both think Richard Florida is talking to them
By Mike Smith

It got me thinking…then in the evening before going to my bed I did my “motivational” reading cause it is so tough being a creative being in a world where the scientific class rules with its rational state of mind….by the time I finished reading my motivational read I not only felt a whole lot better but I felt that the author had replied exactly as I would if I had not read his brilliant insight first.

Let me being with a summary Mike’s blog and then reply to it by copying/quoting the author of “ZEN and the ART of making a Living”. Mike, of course both BANKERS and Radicals both think Richard Florida is talking to them for ” Talent makes Capital Dance” .  And the word is capital, my friend. The world is dominated by capitalists. Scientifically based capitalism…not natural capitalism…..that is a whole different ball game. Nevertheless lets strip it down to the fact that ideas drive innovation, as Richard also says and without the creative idea or in-spiration you ain’t got nothin” but the same old same old and who is investing in that these days?

oh, yeah, everybody around the globe…you say. Richard says “The task ahead of us,” he tells the group, “is reinventing this system for mobilizing human intelligence, human talent, human creativity.” At first Mike responds with his heart and is game. Then he begins to play the game of anaylsis paraylsis. His rational left brain kicks in and he starts to get cynical and critical and plays the game of either/or either globalization or no globalization. He gets negative.

I recall looking up the source of the word globalization some weeks back only to find the Wikki saying that the idea of such has been around since the time of the Romans. Seems he is also stuck on the word WEALTH. Well, could we just flip into a bigger left brained mindset and use the word abundance or would that take us to the edge of the slippery slope of creativity where there is an abundance of ideas and the idea that our sole purpose is to CREATE. Shockin eh? Big picture thinking…reminds me of art school days/daze where we would debate endlessly the different  philosophies like Sartre’s Being and Nothingness vs Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged….yada..yada…

At that point Richard says…“What if we began to value the 45 per cent of people in Canada in what we call the service economy?” asks Florida. “How do we turn those jobs in coffee shops and nail salons into creative, collaborative jobs?”This gets Mike going again…an interesting idea…but what is the answer?  He states “I don’t know. Maybe someone could point me toward the session on prevention of union busting?” BAM, we are Back to the future rationality of the science of politics…

Me, I go off into a day dream about Zen monks and mindfullness. Clearly I could not debate Mike on his disillusionment for Richards “capital-C Creatives”  idea – although I know only too well where he is coming from. I am glad, however, that he appreciates the fact that Richard has opened the doors of perception, albiet the gates of HELL for some,  for that is the role of the creative mind. “To wake people up”  if I can qo with McLuhan’s definition of the artist.

Let me now share the ‘irrational” creative state of mind response that resonated with me at the end of another money grubbing day. It resonated like a gong at the end of a good meditation session.It is from the book ZEN and the Art of making a Living” by Laurence G. Boldt

“The Natural Art of Human Living”

The Great German author Thomas Mann wrote “Art is the spirit in matter, the natural instinct toward humanization, that is toward the spiritualization of life” Mann’s conception of art as a natural instinct toward humanization, or spiritualization, provides a bridge uniting the fine and the practical arts, the spiritual life with the art of creative living. The impulse to humanize, the movement “toward the spiritialization of life” is the origin of art, the progenitor of all that is noble in the creative arts, in science, in humanitarian service, indeed, in all fields of endeavor.

This conception unites the work of Gandhi with the Japanese tea ceremony, this mission work of Albert Schwietzer with Mozart’s Magic Flute, Navaho sand painting with the great cathederals of Europe , the work of Mother Teresa with that of Albert Enstein with that of the anonymous but devoted local elementary school teacher. All of these are art because they spring from what Mann calls the “natural instinct toward humanization” Setting aside for the moment the issue of the relative merit of these or any other works of art, we can recongize this natural impulse as their common origin.

Following your natural instinct toward humanization is the road to your art, your life’s work. This is another way of saying, “Follow your Bliss”. While we tend to think of art as something for the privileged few, Mann’s conception recognizes art as the natural expression of our humanity. As such, art is not exceptional, but ordinary. In many traditional cultures, it was expected that all people were, or ought to be, artists. In regaining our naturalness, we regain our humanity and our art.

There are significant differences in the relative value of the arts and in the quality of their execution. Nevertheless, there is something to be gained in the recognition of the one impulse that gives rise to all the arts. Major or minor, epic or commonplace, the arts are works of the spirit. They are acts of love that unite and “spiritualize” our lives. On the other hand, Leonardo da Vinci said “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art”, no matter the virtuosity of the technique employed. All true art ought be celebrated for the sake of impulse to humanity that gives it birth. This impulse is itself the art, it is what makes life worth living and more, than that, a thing of wonder, glory and splendor. (…..or as the dadaist said: “Every thing I spit is ART”…………..)

In their contemplation, the genuine arts call out our humanity. If we study the arts with a view toward recognizing the underlying patterns, the ever-recurring Universal archetypes they evoke, we cannot help but recognize that the GROUND FROM WHICH THEY EMANATE IS THE UNIVERSAL GROUND OF BEING, in which man, the earth, the universe and all things reside. The Ever Becoming of this Being – the grand play of creation in which we are privileged to participate -is itself the Great Art to which all of the lesser arts point. As the sunlight reflects and recalls the Sun, so the radiance of the arts reflects and recalls the Great Art of Infinite Being, Ever Becoming Naturally. ”

So be it. Mike if you want an image on that cosmic concept check out my website Maybe next year I will be lucky enough or privileged enf or have a JOB enf that allows me to attend Creative Spaces and Places. Here’s looking at you kid….


2 thoughts on “That old “creative” State of Mind…Art vs Science…the big picture

  1. Last I checked, grape Kool-Aid lacks vitamins, minerals, and pretty much all nutrients for the holistic wellness of the body and mind.

    Snarkiness aside, even the most creatively gifted people recognize the value in pragmatism and seeing socio-economic circumstances for what they are, rather than what they are not. This blog posting seems to try escaping that grounding.

    And to respond to this quote: “as Richard also says and without the creative idea or in-spiration you ain’t got nothin” but the same old same old and who is investing in that these days?”

    Evidently, the most sound investors are sticking to the same old, same old — food staples, gold futures, etc. — because these tend to hold their own steadily (if not at a lower capital yield) in ways that taking huge financial risk in untried ideas probably do not. There can certainly be an equilibrium between these two extremes, but all things being where they are now, sound money is leaning heavy on the tried-and-true old ideas rather than the unknown devil.

    • Dear Samantha, thanks for your comment! Awesome feedback. much appreciated. Alas,
      I wish I could say that the ideas I tried to express in my blog were my own but I have to thank many CREATIVE authors who introduced these pesky thoughts into my mind o sphere:
      Bill Gates – Business at the Speed of Thought
      Kevin Kelly – New Rules for the New Economy
      John Nasbitt – Mindset! Reset your Thinking and See the Future
      Malcolm Gladwell – Blink – the power of thinking without Thinking…
      Derrik de Kerkhove- BrainFrames, technology, mind and business
      Marshall McLuhan – Culture is our BUSINESS
      what can I say…you are what you eat, read, click!

      A Macrobiotic Organic foodie, Alkaline water drinker, form filled creative thinker!

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