The Process of Creation

If we look at our fields  of Mythology, Systems Science and theories of the creative process, then we see that they all follow the same pattern of how things are created. We can see interesting parallels of how a few parameters enable new things to emerge.

Mythology provides us with the simplest answer:

In his book “The Act of Creation”, Arthur Koestler summarised the patterns of the classic creation stories. You may have heard of them as Belly of the whale, the Night Journey, or the Death-and-Rebirth motif.

The following content contains spoilers.

Here is their common script as summarised by Arthur Koestler:

  • “Under the effect of some overwhelming experience, the hero is made to realize the shallowness of his life, the futility and frivolity of the daily pursuits of man in the trivial routines of existence.

  • This realization may come to him as a sudden shock caused by some catastrophic event, or as the cumulative effect of a slow inner development, or through the trigger action of some apparently banal experience which assumes an unexpected significance.

  • The hero then suffers a crisis which involves the very foundations of his being;

    • he embarks on the Night Journey,

    • is suddenly transferred to the Tragic Plane — from which he emerges purified, enriched by new insight, regenerated on a higher level of integration.”

If we were to translate these elements, we could call them

(1) equilibrium = the hero follows his routine

(2) a shock to the system = the crisis = the call to action

(3) the hero’s journey, and

(4) the hero returns transformed.

This structure is also the classic story structure. It’s a form of disruption, awakening and transformation.

But enough of mythology. let’s get more secular. Let’s take a ride, and let’s have science match this pattern.

In systems science, we also start from an equilibrium, which receives a shock to the system and which disrupts our state to lead to a transformed and grown state.

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