Sub specie Absolutus - Under the aspect of Absolute

Mechanisms of creativity

Universal mechanisms of creative dialogue with the World

The hierarchical system of mechanisms is outlined to account for the creative dialogue that may occur between personality and the objective world. It is proposed that each level of creative interaction manifests itself through opposite, mutual complement pairs of mechanisms: 

The axiological (Idealization vs. Problematization), cognitive (Decentration vs. Simplification), emotional (Identification vs. Meditation), behavioural (Self-actualization vs. Personification).
This unified system of opposite mechanisms manifests itself as a “double helix of creativity” and allows to consider the process of bringing into existence as an assembly of complement elements and constructing to the whole.
The dynamic multilevel system of mutually connected mechanisms is a generated matrix and core structure of the creative vision and creative attitude toward the world. Also, it may serve as an effective method for finding and solving diverse life problems and conflicts, as a method of stimulating creative activity, or as a form of creative self-training and meditation.

Creativity manifests itself as the real essence of being. That is why its main laws and mechanisms can be concluded from the most general and universal principles of the structure and development of the world.  However phenomenological wealth and variability of nature do not allow us to speak about the identity of things, but only about the unity of continuity, unity of certain rules of changes (Wolman, 1965).  Namely mechanisms of evolution and creativity reflect universal processes of transition and serve as invariant patterns of change.
It is no wonder that today the leading researchers of creativity show increasing interest in its philosophical, essence and global questions (Hofstadter, Floistad, Feldman, Csikszentmihalyi, Gardner, Barron, Stein, Sternberg, Simonton, Torrance, Runco). Besides today some authors elaborate on the general theory of creativity - called cryptology (Isaksen, Murdock, Magyari -Beck).

Some both the simplest and the most generalized principles should be laid down in a basis of organizing framework. Such a universal category as interaction can be considered as one of the basic conceptions of creativity theory. This idea is put forward and is supported by many authors (Amabile, 1983; Csikszentimihalyi, 1988; Gardner, 1993). Moreover, the necessity of a more steadfast study of space of creative interaction and peculiarities of its various types is emphasized: additive, synergetic, modifying (Albert, Runco, 1990).
It is especially essential to realise that the space of creative interaction represents the completely special type of coherent, coinciding reality, having its own, specific laws. Thus the subject and object manifest themselves not as opposite poles, but as inseparable parts and aspects of the whole. Moreover, any change in one pole leads to changes in the other. This specific space of a synergetic resonance is guided by the laws of universal order, by the definite rules or grammars of harmony and beauty. It gets new dimensions and appears as a special kind of environment, saturated by new opportunities.
Besides, the creative interaction has an immanent recursive character. Such numerous copies and models which are produced by the definite set of generative rules still interact among themselves, guided and submitted to the same basic laws or "generative grammars" (Chomsky, Anisimov).
 In the most general sense, creativity can be considered as mutual reflection and mutual enrichment of systems, therefore new essences and forms are born.  Thus mechanisms of creativity can be understood as the highest level of manifestation of the fundamental principles of nature, and the basic patterns of changes and evolution.
At a social-psychological level, it is revealed as creative interaction of the person with the world, other people, and self. Thus the dialogue between a person and the Absolute, Supreme values, Culture, Mystery, History, Virtual future and Domain has a special significance. At the same time, the universal structure of dialogue penetrates all levels of complexity and manifests itself in polycyclic interaction of hemispheres of a brain, in mutual penetration of conscious and subconscious, logic and intuitive, abstract and imagery, in a spontaneous combination of diverse, especially opposite, ideas and images.

The recursive character of creative self-consciousness allows to reflect and to contain the opposite poles and the whole space of interaction. It presumes the persons to overcome narrow frameworks of ego, to rise over dialogue and to find the centred state, the integral vision of self, world and their relations. Thus the person occupies a position of centre (Assagioli,1965), centre of pure awareness, experience and will, centre of self-organizing, transformation and choice, a centre that allows pronouncing courageous and sacramental creative word -"Fiat"!

The answer to the question "How is creativity possible?” can be addressed by revealing the basic mechanisms of creative activity - definite groups and links of operation,  repetitive patterns of changes, rules of manipulation of internal and external stimulus.
Definition of the basic mechanisms of laws, interrelations and processes is the supreme and final aim of every science.  On the one hand, it allows to substantially simplify the complex phenomena and to achieve a high level of understanding of their vital essence. On the other hand, it makes it possible to transform a system of mechanisms to system practical techniques and by that to facilitate the realisation of energy of knowledge.
So it is possible to suggest  that :
  - there are  specific social-psychological  mechanisms  of creativity that are formed  and manifest themselves in creative dialogue person with the world;
  - the unified,  hierarchical system of creative mechanisms reflects an integral system of universal evolutionary principles and mechanisms;
  - this same system of mechanisms lays on the basis of varieties of a person’s creative manifestations. 

System of universal mechanisms of creativity

The creative interaction between the person and the world has a complex, multi-level character, which reflects the universal structure of all integrative objects. This fundamental, united structure is reflected in a hierarchical creative attitude of the personality, which includes axiological, cognitive, affective and behavioural components, where the first component is not the highest separated level of the structure, but its basic system-forming factor,  the core and centre of the organization.  Each of these components manifests itself through the means of the appropriate pairs of opposed, complement mechanisms of creativity:

                                                          Table  Double Helix of Creativity Mechanisms 



is understood as seeking, vision and revealing of the ideal nature of the object, mental construction of its ideal image in which supreme values are harmoniously blended and the vital contradictions are resolved. It is a new opportunity of finding, fulfilment of supertask and ideal plan, generation of daring hypothesis, the embodiment of a pragmatic and aesthetic ideal, the realisation of the ideal final result.

is a revelation, discovery and intensification of vital contradictions of the object,  problem finding and problem construction. It is perception and searches for shortcomings, blanks, discord, asymmetry and imperfections of objects.  It is a strive for the splitting of  the united object,  finding opposite, complementary features of phenomena, as vision and anti-objects, its dark sides and  “shadows”.

Realization of the bunch pair of opposed mechanisms "Idealization - Problematization" manifests itself as a process and ability to reveal a vital problem, which reflects the contradiction between ideal and reality, capacity to use the energy of tension and asymmetry.  It reveals as the ability to consider conflict and problem as a creative challenge and to resolve them by effective, elegant and human way guided by ideal task and plan.



manifests itself in a personal ability to create different approaches toward an interaction object, to change one's mind and to take into account various points of view.  This mechanism represents the process of mental replacement of habitual connections by different unusual ones, undermining and deviation from traditional patterns of thinking, destruction of traditional notions, mental inertia and stereotypes overcoming. It is the process of generating various ideas and images and mental manipulation and their transformation.

is understood as getting rid of something complicated inconsequential, tangled, insignificant and confusing, as achievement of clarity and elegance of the form and at the same time depth and accuracy of the contents. It is the ability to concentrate upon the essence of an object, express its complexity by means of simple, separate notions. It is the capacity to choose and select combinations based on criteria of hidden order, harmony and beauty.

The bunch of mechanisms “Decentration – Simplification”  is a generation of multifarious ideas and choose the most elegant and useful things.



is aloofness and feelings of isolation from the outer and inner world, maintaining necessary distance from the object of interaction, impassive and fresh perception of its nature, real relationships, its harmony, beauty and symmetry. It is a vision of the world and oneself in a new way through familiarization or making familiar things and phenomena to be strange.    

is realised by means of active immersion, the embodiment in objects and their circumstances, blending with them and experiencing emotional resonance. By means of this mechanism, personality is absorbed in the object of material and non-material nature transfers into them and gets to know their internal impulses and circumstances.  This striving to be similar to another object is expressed by the Sanskrit formula:  “Tat twam asi” ("That you are"). 

The bunch  “Identification- Meditation”  manifests itself as making the strange familiar and the familiar strange.                                                      



is understood as a process of the most complete and long-lasting revelation and development of one's personal potentials, as a need in unified self-realization of creative possibilities. Mechanisms of self-actualization reflect not only free and spontaneous self-expression of a subject, but its internal activity, ability to make efforts, and come with an initiative aimed at the self-mobilization, and maxim realization of one's own creative potential. Integrated self-fulfilment involves a realization of one's own creative potential, designs,  plans, ideal models.
It is 
powerful  self-unfolding and creative self-fulfilling, spontaneous self-expression of creative potential,  self-mobilization and enhancing self-empowerment and 
self-assertion, high-spirited expression of the deeper, authentic and creative Self.

is an ascription of human properties to objects of
the outer world, endowment them with the characteristics of the subject and ability to self-development, recognition of their independence and their right to self-determination. It is the realisation of the principles of non-action and non-intervention and strategy “Let it happen”. It is letting objects go, getting them right on free activity, letting them take their own direction. At the same time, it is the art of waiting, release and activation of unconsciousness. 
Thus, if superconsciousness is impersonated by the idea of Divine force or Muse, that means that unconsciousness is impersonated Intuitive Self or Inner Advisor. Besides this mechanism manifests itself as a creation of self-generating and self-developing structures - a certain unified internal and external patterns - which independently move to an ideal goal.

The bunch  "self-actualization-personification” manifests itself as alternation of spontaneous activity and stops for optimum use of the energy and possibilities of internal and external structures.                    

Authors of the paintings: J. Warren, M. Escher, E. Taylor, R. Olbinski, W. Siudmak,  Z. Beksinski, M. Parkes.


Sergey L. Markov. Mechanisms of Creative Dialogue With the World. Paper presented at the 105th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. Chicago, 1997.

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