Creativity is a natural process that we all exhibit. Whether it is used depends on the channeling and direction of mental energy. In an academic setting, the goal is to arrive at an answer or conclusion with accuracy. The question and corresponding answer could be respresented as two end-points. The separation distance or intermediate steps between a question and conclusion is proportional to the knowledge required to prove the claim.
The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line segment which connects each point. All information that is relevant to the claim resides on the line segment. Sometimes, an instantaneous leap is made between each point. This leap is known as intuition. This linear approach tends to act in opposition to creativity. For creativity is a radial projection from the sphere of known information. That is, creativity implies divergence of the mind. A dose of daydreaming or diverging from reality is beneficial to shift our life forward.
That is not to say a convergent thinker is not creative because we all rely on both poles to gather and organize information. Everyone uses a proportion of convergent and divergent thought processes; it exists along a spectrum.
A strong convergent thinker would be percieved as less creative because any information that is not on point wastes more time and energy. But this depends on which area of interest is emphasized. The academic system is convergent; therefore, creative individuals may oppose its usage. No system is perfect because humans are imperfect. Yet, we need such variance in our though processes to optimize and balance society as a whole.
There are infinitely many rays that can project from a point. If the projection is loosely connected to the initial point, then it loses support or relavancy to the conclusion. For this reason, the analytic approach is ideal in terms of problem solving within a sphere of known information. To expand the current sphere of knowledge as a whole, we require creativity as long it exists within the realm of reason. This follows if the creative process works in sync with science.
Sometimes, we learn for the sake of learning with no endpoint in sight. Creative domains such as art and music are saturated with people who enjoy the process rather than arriving at a certain destination or conclusion. The more divergent the process becomes, the less likely a goal or result is valued. In this case, the intermediate zone defines the reward.
There is a distribution of convergent and divergent processes spread throughout nature. The alignment and organization of the cosmos attributes to the convergence and divergence of various forces. It is all presumed to have begun with an explosion of matter (chaos) or divergence. The following processes illustrate how each pole manifests within the univserse.
The segregation and dispersion of matter throughout space is divergent and conversely, the congregation and organization of matter is convergent. The energy releasing from the sun consists of nuclear fission (divergence) and nuclear fusion (convergence). The affinity of a two opposing charges is convergent whereas the repulsion of two like-charges is divergent. The chemistry or bond that exists between humans is convergent whereas instability and incompatibility is divergent. Contemplation or introversion is convergent whereas extrapolation and extroversion is divergent. Disorganization is a divergent process whereas organization is a convergent process.
These patterns exist all throughout nature - including our own mind. Nature is always tending towards a state of equilibrium. If this was not the case, the universe would collapse. Each force must work in synchrony to maintain the totality of all the forces and energy contained within the universe.
To visualize the process, imagine the relationship between an atomic nucleaus and our ability to condense information into a denser state. The affinity of electrons to the nucleus is directly proportional to the distance from it. Therefore, the forces become much weaker well outside the nuclus. Taking a creative leap into the unknown is analogous to the affinity of an idea to our known repository of knowledge. Any idea that diverges too far into the distance is assumed to be loosely connected to the original point. It is possible that the connection will strengthen once our repository of knowledge expands. Creative geniuses such as Tesla, Einstein, and Newton were not afraid to go against the grain and project well into the chaotic unknown.
Consider the connection between emotion and creativity. Emotion is a divergent process because it creates chaos or increases entropy within the human system. Notice that the surge of energy that comes along with euphoria increases the rate of mental processing. If mental processing increases beyond the limit of experience, it follows that the system becomes more chaotic. It becomes progressively more difficult to filter information in such a state, which fosters creativity. When everything becomes dull and slows down, it is very difficult to express creativity. Therefore, the act of creativity is tied to energy levels; however, there is an upper and lower bound.
Shifting into the throes of phychosis is verging on the upper bound - a limit where creative ideas can no longer be effectively organized. In such a state, the mind shifts to the outer fringes where chaos resides. Once the process of equilibrium breaks, the mind becomes very scattered, disorganized, delusional, and outside the realms of reason. Because phychosis is a divergent process, creativity accelerates; however, it passes a certain limit. That is, the mind can no longer effectively organize information to be coherent. If processing speed increases such that information becomes convoluted, phychosis ensues. Effective creativity could then be defined as the ability to organize chaos by pulling it from the unknown into the known.
Every time we step into a new or unfamiliar environment, the external world is initially chaotic. The more we adapt to various enviornments, the faster we acclimate to unfamilar environments. The potential for creativity is higher in chaotic environemnts because new stimuli is being processed. It is not necessarily true that the potential is activated because chaos may trigger anxiety. Too much anxiety depresses creativity. If the level of chaos increases too rapidly, the working memory is unable to filter the information constructively. Negative emotions could work in opposition to creativity because it destroys the expression of energy over time.
The act of creativity depends on where the mind travels. The mind must wander beyond the known boundaries of reality to enter the realm of creativity. Creativity could also be viewed as the acceptance of the unknown without much apprehension. Once apprehension becomes too overbearing, creativity is lost. Yet, creativity solely depends on the confines of reality which was influenced by our predesessors. It all began at a point. Therefore, creativity is not original by itself. This post is only as original or accurate as the experiences that have led to this point. Therefore, any projection into the unknown begins outside the mind.