What Happens Before Thinking?

Creativity happens before thinking

To engage with creative processes effectively we need to have a practical answer to the question:

What happens before thinking?

The emergence of the new precedes what can be thought (as well as simply not requiring thought whatsoever — e.g. evolutionary creativity).

The new is continuously emerging as unintended (exaptive) potentials and possibles in every situation.

It is incredibly hard to notice novelty in the act of emergence. Which is to say, it is nearly impossible to cognitively recognize the new as new— e.g. think the new).

Our embodied habits of thought as worldly practices co-constituted by tools, and environments most often simply do not/cannot pick up on differences. This is especially true as one acquires expertise (which is fundamental to being alive).

A second and equally important reason is that the unintended is not a thing but a relation. It only emerges in specific forms of engagement.

Creativity as a process needs to begin prior to what can be thought whatsoever.

One way to categorize creative processes is by how heavily they focus on thinking as abstract analysis and a conceptual practice. E.g. do they rely heavily on talking, explaining, abstracting, ideating, planning, talking and conceptualizing? If so these are best suited for incremental forms of creativity or simply more useful late in the creative process.

Disruptive forms of the creative process will need to begin differently. They will be far more enactive, engaged, distributed, emergent, entangled and focused on perturbations, etc.

Why are most American models of creativity so focused on ideation, thinking, and the mind? (And therefor best suited to be used late in the creative process or for forms of limited incremental change).

on What Is Innovation, and How to Innovate

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