Intuition as the Basis for Creativity

Intuition as the Basis for Creativity

Education April 17, 2013 / By Carla Woolf
Intuition as the Basis for Creativity

Conscientiousness is inefficient and subject to dullness without creativity, and creativity does its best work when it functions intuitively.

Recently, a parent who is also a teacher, asked me on behalf of a friend to offer some advice on how to ensure that her child will grow up to exemplify a sense of higher conscientiousness. In moments like these, past recollections come to mind of parents having inquired about methods, ideas or techniques that might assist them in raising their children’s aptitudes for one particular trait or another, which they believe to be of the utmost importance. Sought after advice comes in various contexts and requests, such as “I just want my child to be ~ smart and successful” or, “just be able to use good judgment in all matters”, or “have good manners and social behavior” or, “be happy and know the value of hard work”, “live his passion”, “be a good critical thinker”, “get along with everyone”, “contribute something to the world”, “use free will responsibly”, “make good decisions”, “have common sense”, etc.

I often respond by asking, “well what about creativity, or intuition”? The response for this question is “what about them?” – followed by a reiteration regarding their original request. Some folks reply with, “yeah, those are ‘okay’, but what really concerns me are success and responsibility (or, happiness and making smart decisions, etc.).”

Again, I probe and press on saying, “just out of curiosity, what would be your definition of creativity, and intuition”? It is here that I get quaint and vague answers, which are justifiable since they feel the traits of intuition and creativity have lesser values. Then I ask their definition of their original request, whatever their top-of-the-list, or very sought after quality is, such as conscientiousness.

In practically every case, the definitions for these “more important qualities” are as indistinct and ambiguous as their definitions for the “unimportant” qualities of creativity and intuition. At this point I realize that offering distinct direction for an indistinct definition is going to be somewhat of a challenge, because, unless we agree on a same or similar definition, we may as well be having two different conversations where never the twain shall meet. This in itself is the definition of a sad truth, where people use same words with different meanings, each believing their meaning to be the truer one.

At this point I am asked what my definition of their most coveted ability is, which I give. I then point out that unless all capabilities include the virtues and values of creativity and intuition (which I also give definitions for) then there will be boundaries on the values and applications of any abilities. “After all”, I continue, despite their look of confusion and disbelief, “even conscientiousness will be inefficient and subject to dullness without creativity, and creativity does its best work when it functions intuitively”. By now we have usually reached an impasse and I can see they regret asking my counsel. I interject, “If this is too different than the information you were looking for – at least, let’s just take a minute to explore it!”

Intuition and creativity are fundamentally, interdependent and interchangeable. They reflect the highest forms of applicable intelligence for any and every ability. Creativity on its own requires a lot of perspiration. Allowing our intuitions to work means that we use more inspiration than perspiration – because there is less energy required to use intuitive knowledge than knowledge that requires conscious efforts.

Finally, if the conversation transpires this far, then my final question would be, “so then, hypothetically speaking if you could guide or imbue in your child the ability to exemplify all of the diversified qualities of human potential, would you choose that over just one or two good qualities?” The words and phrases of the various responses are different, but the facial expressions are pretty much the same – it seems like an over -whelming task.

It must be true that truth really is stranger than fiction, because truth defies the rules and semantics of ordinary and expected information. In addition to that, if more definitions were rooted in either truth or personal intuitive awareness, then inspiration would be the guide, as opposed to having to constantly seek guidance.

Everyone has an intuition. As to whether folks use it or ignore it is a curious matter, and the core essence of this article. Each person’s abilities are unique, and that is why creativity is essential to the intuitive development of all of our abilities.

To divert momentarily with an analogy, imagine that you have hired a personal fitness trainer. You tell the trainer that you “just want to develop really strong, well-defined biceps”, because you want to be able to lift heavy objects. Or, “I just want to have six-pack abs so that I can put on daring swimwear”. A reputable trainer would advise you that spot-training is a rather futile and useless endeavor, however much you may insist otherwise. A knowledgeable trainer would inform you that fitness is a whole body process, and that becoming fit involves a body’s integrated set of muscles, which
must all be worked.

By the same token, human ability development, which is synonymous with human brain development, is a whole process. Expecting to “spot-train” just one or two abilities is as utterly absurd as “spot-training” just a few muscles. Whole brain training is just as logical as whole body training. The various renditions of piecemeal brain training has been aggravated by human history’s relentless approach to categorize and treat “intelligence” and “behavior” as nearly irrelative and separate processes of human potential. This conventional concept still prevails, and simultaneously counter-proposes our notions about human development as an integrated process. If intelligence and behavior are originally structured, or destined, for some version or form of integrated interconnectivity, then they must be connected by something.

If all of our abilities were creatively and intuitively developed, then they would all be connected by our creative and intuitive capabilities. This is good news because the fundamental definition of intuition is the connection between basic and diverse pieces of knowledge. Also, all abilities can be creatively developed and all early cognitive learning functions are subject to the features of intuitive learning. Some of the most advantageous attributes of intuition demonstrate that the keen knowledge of one ability can be transferred and applied to other abilities – or what quantum physicists like to call ‘instant information transference’.

According to this definition of intuition, what would be the best way to ensure that our abilities get connected, stay connected, and inter-communicate as instantaneously as possible? Either, abilities could be optimally connected when they are under the influence of learning and developing most intuitively, or our abilities would best connect when they are so similar that they are bound to make common connections. Intuitive preschool development is the only stage when all basic cognitive abilities are so similar that they are virtually inseparable and indistinguishable, and therefore, are naturally poised for intuitive integration. The uncomfortable truth is that the preschool phase is the only one during which the basic building blocks of intuition and creativity can formidably connect.

The comfortable truth is that the human brain is “plastic” or elastic if you prefer, and adults can adopt and practice the learning techniques of children in order to improve our creative and intuitive capabilities. If intuition and creativity are the best expediters for advancing and integrating our intelligence and behavior capabilities, while creating the best probabilities for innovative progress, then a real paradigm shift calls for sustaining our integrated learning processes throughout life – rather than dis-integrating the natural process of integration evident in early learning, only to discover subsequently, in adulthood, that we are faced with the imminently arduous task of creatively re-integrating our individual abilities when they should have already become intuitively integrated.

The next step in cognitive evolution is to realize the common denominators between creativity, intuition, intelligence, and behavior as the interconnecting basis, or integrated foundation for whole brain development.

When we tie together the basic building blocks of creativity with early development while realizing that creativity and early development are one in the same with intuitive development – especially, intuitive language development as the primordial tool for defining and instructing the true essence of human abilities – we can neither mis- define the significance of preschool as merely a quaint passage of life in the early stages of development, nor can we undervalue that every type of ability, every stage and experience of learning, and every person’s identity rely on the unlimited possibilities of creativity.

By Carla A.M. Woolf. For more information visit author’s blog at:

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