Your Better Self > Our Primal Quests > Quest Comparisons > TET Model for Comparing > Creation as Cornerstone

Creation: The Cornerstone Quest

Quadrant Location

Creation, the willing of something new into existence, requires considerable personal effort. This effort starts prior to the discovery of what is to be created. Then it continues by organizing the creative process in psychological, social and practical terms. Finally there must be a follow through to completion of the creation so that the result «works» and is «right».

Use of the self is significant at all stages, and so this Quest must be assigned to the lower half of the Y-Axis.

Creation is marked by a state of «working in flow» during which the creative output is generated. The experience has been described in numerous settings, cultures and religions. It involves a detachment from surroundings, a forgetting of self, and an absorption such that time does not matter. The state is enjoyed. So the flow state indicates a transcendence of current reality.

It is evident that the Quest must be assigned to the upper half of the X-Axis.

So the Creation Quest is placed in the lower right quadrant. It differs from the others in that it exists over a range as explained below: see the shaded ellipse in the TET diagram.

ClosedMore on «Flow» and normal Creativity

Locating Two Forms of the Creation Quest

Work «In Flow»

At one extreme of the Creation Quest, there is regular work «in flow» in which the output is broadly predictable, expected or part of a known discipline. The work may be performed within any profession or occupation, or by a dedicated craftsman. The work may be artistic in nature—novel writing, composing, painting—but artists have no monopoly on creation or creativity. Whatever the work, the person becomes absorbed in their task even if it seems to an outsider to be unexceptional or repetitive in nature. This absorptive state of mind indicates more detachment of the self: i.e. it is higher up the Y-axis.

Work «in flow» demands a lesser state of transcendence because it can apply to almost any work. The work is still subject to certain conditions: the level of challenge must be right, tools and other inputs must be satisfactory and available as required, the conditions for carrying out the work must be conducive (e.g. few intrusions, tolerable temperature, not too much noise). All this makes it evident that current reality impacts considerably. The degree of transcendence is unlikely to be as much as found in Enlightenment. Still it is probably more than Salvation or Meaning. So it is probably in the upper half of the X-axis, but only just.

So Work «in flow» is placed in the extreme upper left corner of the lower right quadrant.

Creation via «Supreme Courage»

At the other extreme is a rather different Creation Quest process. There is still flow, but with an additional requirement that can be characterised as «supreme courage». Here the person takes on a major challenge, often against convention and without much social support. The result is an intense struggle with obstacles at every turn, many seemingly insurmountable. The process demands tolerance of a degree of pain, frustration, sheer slog and uncertainty that is found unreasonable and unacceptable by most. The necessary tenacity and imagination demands the use of all personal resources, including putting the self fully into play and at risk. This means minimal detachment of the self: i.e. it is lower down the Y-axis.

Creation «via supreme courage» is about bringing one big thing after another into existence against all the odds, against the social consensus and even against evidence. There is a mix of intense inner concentration, tolerance of extreme uncertainty, imaginative leaps, focused determination and resistance to temptations to take the easy way out. Present reality is recognized but regarded as irrelevant, except to be used. This profound distancing from current reality, while operating effectively within it, means that the Quest is located at the far end of the X-axis.

So Creation «via supreme courage» is placed in the extreme lower right corner of the lower right quadrant.

ClosedCreative Success is Not about Hard Work or Skills

Originally posted: 13-Jul-2012.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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