A phenomenological and thematic interpretation of the experience of creativity
Creativity is a nebulous concept, lacking both clear articulations and common understandings of meaning. Due to a lack of clear alternatives the concept of creativity is increasingly becoming infused with economically driven vocabulary, associations, interests and ideologies. There is an immediate need to provide alternatives to the „creative economy‟ view of creativity, because of its insidious effect on educational institutions and practices and because it promotes a generally impoverished view of the meaning of creativity and of human potential. Reductionist thought; the tendency to understand concepts as separate and distinct from one another prevents us from easily conceptualising an experience such as creativity which involves the simultaneous experience of seemingly paradoxical elements such as individuality and unity, intellect and intuition and freedom and discipline. Democracy is a metaphor which can help to articulate and understand the paradoxical experience of creativity. Democracy stands for the potential to make meaning from the integrated exploration of individuality and of unity, which I argue is a fundamental dynamic of the creative experience. I further suggest that the essence of the creative experience is a democratic attunement to existence, in which subject and object, self and environment, intellect and intuition and freedom and discipline are experienced as in a democratic relationship with one another. This way of understanding creativity provides an alternative to the creative economy view. It implies some significant changes to traditional educational emphases, including a movement away from primarily individualistically oriented curricula and toward curricula and educational values which situate the individual within an integrated eco-system.