Definition of Individuation

What is Individuation?

Rather than starting with individuals and discreet things as givens – whether it be people, chairs, forests, or code – we need to understand them in light of the creative processes which gave rise to them, allows them to stay in existence, and transitions them into other states.

From the perspective of creativity everything is a process of coming into being, stabilizing, and eventually transforming into other forms of being. 

Creative Processes produce unique singular events. These can be said to individualize or better yet “individuate”. 

Everything that comes into being individuates. 

Organizations, living beings, large-scale events, weather systems – these all follow dynamic creative processes to individuate. 

The focus on the “end product” – the stable state in the processes gives us a false sense of ourselves and other things as something that is just there – as if we were always already individuals. But complex creative forces individuate us out and in relation to a dynamic milieu (ecosystem) in an emergent manner. 

No matter how stable something is, it is an ongoing dynamic creative process of individuation situated in a dynamic inseparable milieu. 

We are not individuals in the sense that we are autonomous, independent, entities with a discreet essence. 

But, we are individuals (as are organizations, ecosystems, and social movements) in the sense that we do individuate – we do come into being via creative processes that individualize us out of and in relation to a dynamic assemblage/ecosystem/milieu. 

Some of the key questions in regards to creativity are how – how do things individuate and what is their agency in this process. 

But what is important to avoid is assuming that creativity is a thing that some individuals uniquely possess – and then and only then asking the (false) question: what is creativity? To ask “what is creativity?” starting at this point leads to a whole series of false problems (e.g. where is creativity in the brain?) and equally false practices.

Creative processes are an inherent part of all reality that gives rise to multiple scales of individuations – from each of us to social systems, to species – all of which then come to have agency in an dynamic intra-dependent manner in these dynamic emergent processes.

The question of creativity is one of individuation.

on What Is Innovation, and How to Innovate

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