Creative Consciousness

Consciousness is creative. That creativity expresses in myriad ways – as moments in time in which decades of progress can be achieved overnight, as organizational innovations of immense power for social accomplishment; as creative social values that further influence the evolution of organizations and society; as the creativity of individuality in the leader, genius, artist and inventor; as social creativity that converts raw human experience into civilization; as cultural creativity that transforms human relationships into sources of rich emotional capacity; and as value-based educational creativity that can awaken and nurture young minds to develop and discover their own inherent capacity for knowledge in freedom. Through such moments do society and humanity evolve. Education is society’s most advanced institution for conscious social evolution. Values are the essence of society’s knowledge for highest accomplishment. Education that imparts values is an evolutionary social organization that can hasten the emergence of that creative consciousness.

Moments are creative. New ideas are conceived, great works inspired, new nations founded, momentous results achieved in creative moments. Sri Aurobindo described moments of creative consciousness as virginally creative moments. At such moments, one feels vividly alive and expansively cheerful, a sure index of success, as evidenced by the lively disposition of the heroine Elizabeth in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Everyone values the creative disposition, but enjoys it only when it is active. Educating the mind eliminates the uncertainties from one’s life. Educating the Spirit lifts it out of the non-creative frame of mind into one of ever-living creative consciousness.

Consciousness is self-aware energy. When it falls into a routine it becomes very efficient. When it breaks new ground, it becomes creative. When a man acts creatively, the public takes note. When a public speaker delivers a creatively inspired speech, he can hold the audience spell-bound or send them into raptures. A moving music performance can raise the audience to great heights of inner appreciation. Even a cook who succeeds in bringing out the subtle rasa (essential taste) of food can inspire deep appreciation. A reader’s creative understanding can evoke an inspiring vision that approaches the borders of genius.

1. Organizational Creativity
Organizations also experience creative moments. Organizations are forged by centuries of social experience. They emerge from creative activities that organize social existence into creative systems. The act is the unit of life, even as thought is the unit of mental life. Act-activities-systems-organization form a progressive chain. When an organization becomes creative, it can transform the social life of a nation, as the Green Revolution rapidly transformed the national life of India by helping the nation attain self-sufficiency in food production. Based on a creative impulse of inspired individuality, it became a movement of national spiritual renaissance. One of its many consequences was to launch a revolution in rural banking that awakened India’s rural population to the attractions of urbanization.
Harlan Cleveland, a past President of the Academy, was creative with ideas related to organization. He conceived the idea of uncentralized organization. The Visa International credit card system captured his imagination as a dramatic example of the creative power of organization to spread worldwide in the field of consumer finance. The birth of the Internet is a more recent, broad and powerful instance of the same organizational principle which has permeated and transformed all aspects of global society. History has evolved from the history of kings into the history of peoples, nations, cultures, ideas, etc. To examine history in terms of the development and evolution of organizations will be a rewarding endeavor for sociologists, philosophers and even politicians. Cleveland understood the International Standards Organization (ISO) as another striking example of the role of uncentralized organization in the evolution of society. Ideas are a powerful basis for organization. Green Revolution was based on the idea of achieving food self-sufficiency, a seemingly impossible goal at that time, which India actually attained within five years. ISO is based on the idea that establishment of uniform technical standards will improve efficiency and quality of products and work and facilitate trade, which it has certainly done.

2. Values are Creative
Values are an even more powerful basis for organizations. Values are a form of subtle organization that guides understanding and decisions. Novels such as Pride and Prejudice and Trollope’s Dr. Thorne bear witness to the enormous power of values for human accomplishment. The emerging values of individual freedom and social unity, which inspired Lincoln and galvanized America to abolish slavery and found a strong federal government after the Civil War, launched the USA on an evolutionary course that enabled it to emerge as the world’s leading nation a century later. The emergence of values in society is a moment of creative organizational evolution. Society grows in many ways; commitment to high values is one. Moments in which society embraces a high value are creative moments.

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