" The greatness of art is not to find what is common but what is unique.
..........Isaac Bashevis Singer

"You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled then something
has been lost"..........Martha Graham

 

 Uniqueness of Self

"If a man don't go his own way, he's nothin."
........Montogomery Clift

"Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique
and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never
be done".........Benjamin Mays

"There is a vitality, a life force, that is translated to you into action, and
because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium,
and will be lost." - Martha Graham

Uniqueness of a being is defined for the purpose of this work

as referring to the special or unique attributes of that particular

individual being in terms of distinct built in ( wired in ) as well

as learned or created, and expressed abilities/ constructs

and experiences.

"All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same
with  animals   and  with  human beings.  The reason Wakan Tanka  ( Great
Mystery) does not make two birds, two animals, two human beings exactly
alike is because each is placed here by Wakan Tanka to be an independent
individuality and to rely upon itself......Teton Sioux ( Native American )

"A human being is indeed a unique because our knowledge of human beings
 comes from our transcendence, that is, our ability to rise above ourselves and
make ourselves the subject of our own knowledge."...... David Roemer

“Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain.
Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.” ― Alan Moore
 

Personal Validity is closely associated with one's uniqueness simply because each

one of us models our own self and the world around us in different ways , there-

fore the belief about one's uniqueness is quite central to the conception of one's

Personal Validity.

This may appear to contradict the generally held belief that human beings conform

to well known social / cultural / religious groupings . Thanks to the current

educational systems this belief is generally true,  compounded with the fact

that for the basic need of survival the individual has to conform to social /

religious / professional norms & beliefs, consequently the individuality and

uniqueness of that being tends to get suppressed and submerged in the

sea of general conformity and agreement.

"Kierkegaard's works continuously focus on the superficiality of
"the crowd" attempting to limit and stifle the unique individual.
Kierkegaard attacks the conformity and assimilation of individuals
 into an indifferent public, " the crowd". Although Kierkegaard attacks
 the public, he is supportive of communities where individuals keep
 their diversity and uniqueness."......from wikipedia.org
 

"I am grateful that my horizons were not narrowed at the outset"
.....Jessye Norman

This work encourages an individual to be aware of the compelling social and

cultural forces and values that tend to impose and trap all their subjects

to conform into a uniform pattern of behavior.  Again this does not mean

that one rebels against every social and cultural pattern, but only to be at

the very least conscious of the effect of these upon oneself, so that these

do not suppress an individual's uniqueness and thereby one's potential.

" The great law of culture is : Let each become all that he was
created capable of becoming"......Thomas Carlyle

 

1. Inbuilt Uniqueness

" Every child is an artist, the problem is how to keep the artist in the
child as he grows up "..............Pablo Picasso

Individuals are however not born in this state of agreement . The brain

of humans is a fairly general purpose system and has the potential of

learning , acquiring and adapting to almost any kind of beliefs, cultural

constructs, ideologies and paradigms . [ Within certain limits , which will

vary from individual to individual and also depends on the motivations

or goals that drive those individuals.]

"Like snowflakes, the human pattern is never cast twice. We are
uncommonly and marvelously intricate in thought and action".
...............Alice Childress

Despite our general purpose hardware , there are certain tendencies that

come pre-wired, that is, within the hardware itself . These commonly

manifest themselves as certain motor skills, or show up as talent in fields

like music or art or logic etc. or also may manifest themselves in certain

uncommon experiences that can not be categorized .(It is now known

through physiological studies that the neural network of the brain has a

considerable degree of randomness in its structure, that is, a variation

from individual to individual exists, hence the belief being projected

here is not without support of facts.)

These tendencies ( even if not utilized or developed, but exist as a

potential ) which are inherent in the structure, are by definition

labeled here as "inbuilt uniqueness" of an individual being .

 

Many, if not most beings discover these tendencies during the course

of their 'education' or even otherwise, and subsequently, professional life

also mostly takes the path setup by these tendencies .( As it should be

for most individuals .)

Every being's brain is uniquely wired in the sense that certain things are quickly

or easily grasped and yet others rejected . The words talent or predilection do

refer to this inherent tendency to prefer certain kinds of behavior patterns,

situations, locations or certain kinds of people.  Apart from the brain structure,

there also are certain qualities inherent at the time of birth that are part of

the supra-conscious that are unique to each individual.

"The pre-conscious psyche,  for example, that of a new born infant - is
not an empty vessel into which, under favorable conditions, practically
anything can be poured.  On  the  contrary,  it  is a tremendously comp-
licated, sharply defined individual entity which appears indeterminate
to us only because we cannot see it directly. But the moment the first
visible manifestations of psychic life begins to appear, one would have
to be blind not to recognize their individual character, that is, the
unique personality behind them." ..............C. G. Jung

A fundamental step towards enhancing one's Personal Validity is the

recognition of the manifestation and potential of this inbuilt uniqueness

" One fact which must be appreciated for applying this theory is the essential
individual  uniqueness  of  each  of our  minds, of each of our   brains.  It is no
easy work to analyze either one's self or someone else.   This theory is not,
cannot be,  a miracle key to a given  human mind.   It is devilishly hard work
digging  up  enough  of  the  basic  facts  and enough   of the  basic programs
and  metaprograms  controlling each mind  from within  to  change its poor
operations into better ones. This theory can help one to sort out and arrange
stored information and facts into more effective patterns for change. But the
basic  investigation  of self or of other selves is not  easy or   fast.  Our built-in
prejudices,  biases,  repressions  and  denials  fight   against  understanding.
Our Unconscious automatically controls our behavior. Eventually we may be
able  to  progress  farther.  It  may  take  several generations of those willing
to work on these problems."..Dr John C Lilly.
Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer

The potential of this inbuilt uniqueness can be realized and developed further by

" living it " or in other words experiencing , expressing , experimenting , exploring,

conceptualizing  and  modeling   this  uniqueness  through  our  general  purpose

faculties ( the components of our structure that are basic , fundamental and

common in an " average " human being, like the rational, intuitive,

instinctive, intellectual, emotional, etc ).

 

2. Acquired Uniqueness

"Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the
 friends you choose for you will become like them"....Clement Stone

" I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything,  and
by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of
not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale
compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker." -- Stanley Kubrik

 

A very significant part of what one becomes depends on what one learns/acquires

or is made to learn/acquire through one's environment consisting of the physical

environment ( home, city/village, country, planet etc.) and other beings ( parents

teachers ,  neighbors ,  siblings ,  peers,  animals etc.) From day one a being is

bombarded through sensory inputs and these are organized in such a way by

the  mind so as to fulfill the primary goal of survival of the being.  Added to

that is the role  played  by  other  beings who will not only "teach" how to

organize these sensory inputs "meaningfully" but also how to "control one's

behavior " ( or sensory output ) so as to "agree" with them.

"There is nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a
school. It is in some respects more cruel than a prison. In a prison, for
example, you are not forced to read books written by the warders
and the governor."........George Bernard Shaw

This  external  control   becomes  so  dominating  that  even if a being looks at or

interprets something differently, he is forced to give it up or suppress it. This is not

difficult since our structure is fairly general purpose, however this does suppress

our unique way of looking at things.

"When all think alike, then no one is thinking"........Walter Lippmann

Despite  the  fact that most of our concepts and models are learned from external

sources,  yet the same concepts are understood and interpreted in different ways

not only due to inbuilt factors  but also to the way these are acquired, that is, the

role played by the physical environment and the beings associated with the process.

For example,  a person's  concepts   and  experiences  about  animals  is  bound  to

be very different if he/she has spent a lot of time in a jungle full of wildlife than

from a person who has seen and experienced animals only in a zoo.

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the
companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering
with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
"
....................Rachel Carson

Acquired Uniqueness refers to the unique way a being has acquired concepts ,
experiences and models due to certain physical environmental factors or due
to the being's relationship with other beings ( especially unique beings ).

" No poet, no artist of any sort, has his complete meaning alone.
His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his
relation to the dead poets and artists"...........T. S. Eliot

"Because I identify with my Indian background, my creative expression
has been enhanced and extended to others.".....Louis W Ballard
(Contemporary American Indian Leaders, by Marion E. Gridley)


3. Created Uniqueness

"The things we know best are the things we haven't been taught"
.........Luc de Clapiers

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative
expression and knowledge."................ Einstein

"The creative is the place where no one else have ever been. You have to
 leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition."
......Alan Alda
"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it.
The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired."
....Nikos Kazantzakis

 

What is Creativity ?

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but
by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays
with the object it loves.........C G Jung

"To me, all creativity is magic. Ideas start out in the empty void of your head
 - and they end up as a material thing, like a book you can hold in your hand.
That is the magical process. It's an alchemical thing. Yes, we do get the gold
out of it but that's not the most important thing. It's the work itself.”
― Alan Moore

The  uniqueness provided by nature to its creatures is one aspect of an individual's

uniqueness.  However, human beings have the capability, the potential and power,

to develop and create their own uniqueness not only in terms of unique experiences

but more importantly in terms of creative expressions, particularly those expressions

that are vital for developing inter human communication.

Especially in the form of language.

"Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most."
 - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Creativity refers to an act or expression that brings into the realm of existence

something that did not exist before,   something that has no precedence, no

example. Not in linear connection to any past event. To bring into existence

a conception from nothing. To bring into existence something unique.

"There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to
paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all
the roses that were ever painted."........  Henri Matisse

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

"The creative individual is particularly gifted in seeing the gap between
what is and what could be (which means, of course, that he has achieved
a certain measure of detachment from what is)."....John W. Gardner

For the American Indian, the ability of all creatures to share in the process
of ongoing creation makes all things sacred......Paula Gunn Allen

But language has its inherent underlying concepts that are invented and developed by

a  culture,  and   thus imposes its own limitations.  The learned,  acquired and imposed

upon concepts and beliefs by an individual from society and culture,  are themselves

the limitations that suppress creation of ideas and concepts that may be alien to that

culture.

These limitations must be transcended by an individual who seeks to create and

express novel and unique ideas. It must be the foremost understanding of every

explorative individual that language and its underlying concepts are only tools

or  "as if entities"  and not real entities,  only as a means for learning,  clarity,

functionality,  comprehension and so also then as a means  for creativity and

expression.  Creative  expression  then  attempts  to  reach  towards and

experience the Real, i.e., beyond language and its concepts, by using

these as tools.

Since reality itself gets shaped and affected by language, the importance

of expressions in language cannot be understated, with a special caution

for its potential for abuse.

"Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat
of habit by originality, overcomes everything." .........George Lois

"Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of
nature.....Eric Hoffer

"It is creative perception more than anything else that makes the
individual feel that life is worth living."........D.W. Winnicott
 

"Once a man has tasted creative action, then thereafter, no matter how
safely he schools himself in patience, he is restive, acutely dissatisfied
 with anything else. He becomes as a lover to whom abstinence is
intolerable......Jean Toomer

"When a man undertakes to create something, he establishes a new heaven,
as it were, and from it the work that he desires to create flows into him
... For such is the immensity of man that he is greater than heaven and earth.".
................Philipus Aureolus Paracelsus

 

Creative Expression in  Language

"I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical
creation of Beauty."...............Edgar Allan Poe

Creativity is the use of language to make available "Reality" at the drop of

a hat to a wide spectrum of human beings, irrespective of their cultural

backgrounds.

Creativity is the application of language for the purpose of getting to the

root and core of what it means to be human, in the simplest terms as

possible.

"Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry."
.......Georges Braque

urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)Creativity is that art of expression particularly in language that gives

us snapshots of Reality ; not only of Ultimate Reality : The Good ; 

but also of the current Reality : The True.urbbul1a.gif (627 bytes)

"'My grandmother taught me respect for the environment and the old Navajo way
of discipline and about the Beautyway. She said that all Creation begins at the
center  from  within.  If  you  look  at  the   center  of a loom, the colors of a new
design will show themselves to you and each design will come only once. She
said that the yellow poles that hold up a loom must be strong or the loom will
sag and the rug will be crooked. A human has to live between the yellow
poles of his life, too -- not too poor, not too rich -- to stay in harmony.'"
..................Navajo weaver Jesse Monongye

"Life, for all its agonies of despair and loss and guilt, is exciting and beautiful,
amusing and artful and endearing, full of liking and love, at times a poem
and a high adventure, at times noble and at times very gay; and whatever
(if anything) is to come after it--we shall not have this life again."
.....................Rose Macaulay

Reconceptualisation

"He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does
not learn is in great danger."........Confucius

"The world is in everlasting conflict between the new idea and the old
allegiances, new arts and new inventions against the old establishment"
.....Joyce Cary

A creative experience, either spontaneous or willed act of creativity

has  lasting   value  only  if it leads to re-conceptualization of learned

concepts, otherwise the fleeting experience at best only remains

only as a vague memory.

The usefulness of our experiences is either  enhanced or limited

by our ability to translate any experience into meaningful and

purposeful re-conceptualization of the existing conceptual

structures.

Any concept structure ( mind ) if it is not self evolving, is by default

devolving, or at best static. To be creative is the essential

requirement for sustaining a meaningful existence.

"Ludwig said 'People are not machines, but in every opportunity where
 they are allowed to behave like machines, they will so behave'. In other
words we tend to fall into habit, though the glory of our human-ness is
spontaneous creativity, we too as creatures of physics and chemistry,
memory and hope tend to fall into repetitious patterns and these
repetitious patterns are the death of creativity. They diminish our
human-ness, they diminish our individuality. They make us as cogs in
a larger system and we associate this cog-like membership in large
soul-less systems with the machines we have inherited from the age
of the internal -combustion engine".....Terence McKenna

"When I can no longer create anything, I'll be done for."..Coco Chanel


Summary

" We are now in a unique situation vis-à-vis meaning - the meaning
of the Self - in our own human autonomy. In most of history there
have been cultural reservoirs of meaning which were relatively
stable, in which we could find place for ourselves. This is not an
argument to go back to those archaic structures - just to show
how they gave meaning - a slave's life had a meaning even if
it was a horrible and barbaric meaning. We had eras dominated
by world views - and people could find themselves within those
views - usually faith in some kind of higher being. Those belief
systems have today come under considerable suspicion. Faith
is now clouded with complexity, suspicion and doubt. It's not
that we can no longer find meaning in the traditional reservoirs
like religious faith, but that it is now under the mark of
complexity, insecurity and confusion."
……..Rick Roderick ( Self Under Siege )

"Practically all great artists accept the influence of others. But......
..... the artist with vision sees his material, chooses, changes, and
by integrating what he has learned with his own experiences, finally
molds something distinctly personal".......
Romare Howard Bearden

Apart from the inbuilt and acquired factors that contribute to a being's unique-
ness , the most important factor is that which is created by the being in terms
of re-conceptualization of learned concepts, creation of new concepts, models,
beliefs, abstractions  and providing new meaning and application to abstract
experiences not only for personal goals but also for a wider social purpose.

 

The importance of created uniqueness lies in the potential  of the created

value of the newer beliefs insofar that it transcends the limits of the

earlier beliefs that are socially or culturally acquired.
 

"It takes great courage to break with one's past history and
stand alone.".....Marion Woodman

"Iqbal (Sufi poet and writer) taught the centrality of individualism.
He did not see religion as an instrument of conformity, rather he
believed that people became more unique the closer they come
to God. This is obviously a challenge to Hindu ideas of Brahman.
He is also critical of pantheistic Sufism which pursues loss of
self and assimilation into Allah."
........TTC Grant Hardy
 

By challenging and sometimes even demolishing accepted beliefs of society,

an individual can create a new set of values, not only creating a personal

unique attribute but also potentially a useful new conception or value

for society.

Creativity is an ingenuous, spontaneous response of a Being towards its

 interactive environment, that results in an enhancement of either or both, in terms

 of the regeneration of the essential component of life. Destructivity is also an ingenuous

 response, but its consequence is the opposite : the regression and depletion of life's

sustaining essence - the Spirit.

Just as creativity is centered in a Being, so is destructivity, although all religions look

 for the source of destructivity in entities beyond the human realm. Responsibility arises

 within a Being only with the realization that the Being has a potential for both and that

 this potential has a greater tendency towards destruction. Responsibility comes when

 the Being discovers through experience, experiment and critical exposure, the deadly fine

 line that exists between the two. But the biggest enemy is apathy, indifference, carelessness,

 evasion, amorality and lethargy. The fatal assumption is that the source and control is

not within oneself - the fatal assumption of organized religion.


Creativity is our only defense against :

1. Ignorance 2. Stupidity 3. Meaninglessness 4. Worthlessness

 5. Inefficiency and Waste 6. Boredom 7. Illness and Sickness 8. Death

 9. Fate, Inevitability 10. Powerlessness 11.Routine and Mundane 12. Hopelessness

Notes:
 There are two kinds of creativity in the human context but only one kind of ‘primordial
 creation’. The primordial creation - that which is the ‘cause’ of the existence of space-time
  itself, whether you call it ‘from nothing’ or from the ‘absolute and eternal’ itself is a matter
 of technical terms – the difference is that when we conceive of the physical cosmos, the term
  ‘created out of nothing’ by a force or creator that it itself absolute and eternal makes more
  sense than to say that the physical, that is, matter appeared spontaneously by itself without
  any consciousness or force behind it, or without any rhyme or reason, or having no Logos or
 no underlying principle that brought it into existence. But when on the basis of experience
 or vision we sense and conceive of non-physical reality or Spirit, it becomes clear that
 existence has a primordial unified or singular source that is eternal and absolute, and
 therefore this source and underlying principal is the creator of the space-time temporality,
  as well as the presence in time, of the eternal and infinite – this presence or force is Spirit.
 Thus Spirit is both temporal as well as eternal.
 Human creativity is always expressed in terms of whatever was already there but is not
 merely a recombination of existing parts or pieces, but genuine art is always a new synthesis
  of existing fragments in a unique pattern that has a ‘moving impact’ upon the target subject.
 As an example in music we can say that a new beat or rhythm is a recombination of existing
  pieces of musical beats or rhythms – which is also creative, but a melody is never just a
 recombination – it is much more than that – it has a wholesome uniqueness that is pure
 creativity – in which something has been brought into existence from nothing – that is to
  say that the melody itself was never in existence until it was created.
 

" Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. "
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Existentialists stress the importance of living in accord with who you are.
So who are you? For one, you’re the kind of being who’s irreducibly individual.
Every person has a particularity that’s unique to him and that can’t
be understood by turning to meanings and values that are external to him.
Because you’re individual in this way, only you can give a proper expression
of your own meaning. Existing as an individual requires that the purpose you
give to your life reflect your individuality."......Gregory Gale

The next two articles are a detailed examination of the two key faculties

 present in every human being that shape our thoughts and experience,

as well as how we our respond to, acquire or generate knowledge :

NEXT PAGE 13 : 3.3 Heart or Mind

 

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