The Newcreator’s creative instrument consists of mind, spirit and a third part that Steinbeck overlooked — body.
Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything.
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
The Newcreator’s Mind
The mind can lean to the left and into mundane world where only synthetic imagination is available, or to the right and into primal world where creative imagination is accessible.
I say this having studied the work of three people in particular:
- Dr. IaIn McGilchrist, psychiatrist, neuroscience researcher and author of The Master and His Emissary, subtitled The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, and The Matter With Things.
- Carlos Castaneda, anthropologist and author of a series of books chronicling his apprenticeship with don Juan Matus.
- Napoleon Hill, author of the 1937 bestseller Think and Grow Rich!
Iain McGilchrist: left hemisphere and right hemisphereThe following passages are excerpted from a conversation between Iain McGilchrist, Jon Evans, host of the YouTube channel Uncensored CMO and chief customer officer at System1 Group, and Orlando Wood, chief innovation officer at the same firm.
You can listen to the entire conversation here: The divided brain, attention and how we see the world (video, running time 48:35).
Read more about Iain McGilchrist
Jon Evans How do the left and right hemispheres do things differently?
Iain McGilchrist If you want a very simple, single point, it’s that the left hemisphere produces a representation of reality, whereas the right hemisphere actually puts us in touch with the presence of reality. We’re so used to representation that we can’t see how very different it is. Almost everything that we live in now is a representation, a projection on a screen in two dimensions; living in a city which represents certain things but nature is absent from it. So it’s like the difference between a diagram, a theory, a map, and the actual territory of the real world — or the terrain as I prefer to say — in which we live. And the map is very much simpler than the terrain. And that’s not a criticism, because we need simplicity for a map to work. If it had too much information in it, it wouldn’t work. But it’s vital not to mistake the map for the real world.
Carlos Castaneda: the tonal (first attention) and the nagual (second attention)
In Castaneda’s book Tales of Power, don Juan Matus explains the difference between the tonal, aka first attention (correlating with mundane world) and the nagual, aka second attention (correlating with primal world).
The concept of attention is central to the hemisphere theory of Iain McGilchrist, who uses the terms first attention and second attention in a similar manner to don Juan Matus.
Napoleon Hill: synthetic imagination and creative imagination
SYNTHETIC IMAGINATION: Through the faculty of synthetic imagination, one may arrange old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations1. This faculty creates nothing. It merely works with the material of experience, education, and observation with which it is fed. It is the faculty used most by the inventor, with the exception of he who draws upon the creative imagination, when he cannot solve his problem through synthetic imagination.
CREATIVE IMAGINATION: Through the faculty of creative imagination, the finite mind of man has direct communication with Infinite Intelligence2. It is the faculty through which ‘hunches’ and ‘inspirations’ are received. It is by this faculty that all basic, or new ideas are handed over to man.
Source: Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich!
1. Today, this is known as combinatorial creativity.
Think and Grow Rich! was written by Napoleon Hill in 1937 and promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. He claimed to be inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and later-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. First published during the Great Depression, the book has sold more than 15 million copies. It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill’s books. BusinessWeek magazine’s Best-Seller List ranked it the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published. Think and Grow Rich is listed in John C. Maxwell’s A Lifetime “Must Read” Books List. While the book’s title and much of the writing concerns increasing income, the author insists that his philosophy can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine.
View a selection of quotes from writers, composers and others, discussing how creative imagination shows up in their lives
Leftside and mundane world
The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa. In order to be consistent with Iain McGilchrist’s hypothesis, Leftside and Rightside refer to the body as viewed from the rear: your left and right, not stage left and right.
When your mind is left-inclined, you are immersed in mundane world. This is where you spend most of your waking life: in a two-dimensional world of descriptions — the menu, not the meal. If it can be named, described and explained, it is part of mundane world.
Leftside corresponds with the brain’s left hemisphere as articulated by Iain McGilchrist.
These are some of the left hemisphere attributes he lists:
- Attention is local, narrow, focused.
- Sees parts, not wholes.
- Sees an inanimate world of things.
- Thinking is decontextualized and systematic.
- The world is like a map, a schema, a diagram, a theory — something two dimensional.
Leftside is both an enabler and a tyrant, enabling you to get things done but making you a slave to reason, commanding the use of synthetic imagination and insisting that creative imagination does not and cannot exist.
In mundane world, possibilities for generative action are hampered by a barrage of constructs, rules, norms, codes and beliefs..
Leftside parallels what don Juan Matus, in the Carlos Castaneda books, calls the tonal (“toh-na’hl”) and first attention.
It is tragic how few people ever “possess their souls” before they die. “Nothing is more rare in any man,” says Emerson, “than an act of his own.” It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, cited by Geoff Marlow in his Substack piece Being authentic
Design thinking and most other create-the-new approaches (Theory U being a rare exception) overuse Leftside and underuse Rightside. Newcreators use both sides according to the demands of the particular situation.
Rightside and primal world
When your mind leans to the right, you experience primal world, a place of pure perception: unfiltered, uncodified and unconceptualised. It is the reality you would experience if raised in the wilderness by wolves. Primal world cannot be described; it can only be experienced.
What does primal mean in this context? Here are some synonyms from the WordHippo website. I have highlighted those that are closest to my intended meaning.
The nagual is the part of us for which there is no description – no words, no names, no feelings, no knowledge.
Don Juan Matus in conversation with Carlos Castaneda | See The Totality of Oneself: The Tonal and the Nagual
When you are immersed in primal world, you are able to channel intent, the generative impulse that streams from the unmanifest into the manifest through the gap in time, thereby activating creative imagination.
Rightside corresponds with the brain’s right hemisphere as described by Iain McGilchrist.
These are some of the right hemisphere attributes he lists:
- Attention is global, broad, vigilant, flexible, sustained.
- Sees the bigger picture and sees things whole and in their context.
- Sees an animate world where things presence to us, rather than being re-presented.
- Sees the world that is being mapped.
More Leftside / Rightside quotes
One can say that the nagual accounts for creativity,” [don Juan] finally said and looked at me piercingly. “The nagual is the only part of us that can create.”
He remained quiet, looking at me. I felt he was definitely leading me into an area I had wished he would elucidate further. He had said that the tonal did not create anything, but only witnessed and assessed. I asked how he explained the fact that we construct superb structures and machines.
“That’s not creativity,” he said. “That’s only molding.”
Source: The tonal and the nagual, excerpted from Tales of Power by Carlos Castaneda.
The reality we can put into words is never reality itself.
As the Toltecs tell us, true creativity does not belong to the tonal. It springs from the incomprehensible nagual.
Tomas, Creative Victory
EGO Warriors know that there is no ego, there is only the tonal.
EGOMANIA Warriors know that egomania is an expression of the first attention’s sense of self.
Source: Tomas, from the glossary forming part of Creative Victory, a treatise on the collected works of Carlos Castaneda
What if instead of taming people, we trained them to be more skillful at being wild?
Euvie Ivanova, co-founder of Future Thinkers, on Twitter
TV Sunrise | © Michael Leunig
The first attention3 basically consists of everything that ordinary man considers it means to be human. It is the reality that has been constructed and developed in order to deal with the daily world and encompasses an awareness restricted to the physical body.
Lorraine Voss, Female Warrior (view)
3. First attention corresponds with Leftside awareness and mundane world.
We have seen that there are only two parts of your mind. One is ruled by the ego, and is made up of illusions. The other is the home of the Holy Spirit, where truth abides.
In Tales of Power, Castaneda recounted how Matus taught him about the known and the unknown, and about how the known rules our lives even though it’s weak in comparison to our other side, the unknown. Because of its relative weakness, the known must be cunning and ingenious in maintaining the illusion that the unknown doesn’t exist. If the unknown does emerge, the known becomes vulnerable.
Anything more than a brief glimpse of the unknown is deadly for the known and, therefore, for the entire being. When the unknown emerges, it’s like a ‘bad dog’. Repeatedly, Matus dumped buckets of water on Castaneda to “whip his nagual back to its place. The tonal must be protected at any cost. The crown has to be taken away from it, but it must remain as the protected overseer.”
The unknown can only emerge safely if it’s used to boost the known. When this is achieved, it’s called personal power. Without long and careful training any encounter with the unknown results in the known ‘crapping out’, creating a fatal shock. Without training, the known prefers to die rather than give up control.
Peter Luce, Castaneda’s Eight Point Diagram, on Medium
In these passages, the known and the unknown correspond to mundane world and primal world (horizontal plane) respectively, and not to the possible and the actual (vertical plane). Primal world can be known, but only experientially — hence the buckets of water. It cannot be known conceptually.
You have to understand that there are dimensions. In the dimension we call the world4, a person needs logic. He needs it badly. He needs to be able to analyze and take apart things and put them back together again. He needs to spot flaws in reasoning and multiple deceptions. He needs to recognize formal arguments and trace them all the way through from assumptions to conclusions. But in the dimension where creative power operates5, where things happen that most certainly impact this world, all bets are off. He needs to understand and experience and launch a kind of vast freedom for his own imagination that takes him entirely out of the realm of being a normal person, a foolish and provincial “realist,” a mechanically thinking human. He has to go light-years past that. He has to stop pretending he is some kind of scientist. In other words, he has to stop burying his own power. Two dimensions, two capabilities.
Jon Rappoport, The Magician Awakes, cited in The Space, the Magician, and the Man of Science, also by Jon Rappoport
4. This is what I call mundane world.
5. Aka primal world.
We know that some things are key to human flourishing: proximity to nature; a culture; some sense of something beyond this realm. They make people healthier, both physically and mentally. We’ve done away with that and now all we’re left with is public debate.
Left-brain thinking will destroy civilisation | Iain McGilchrist in conversation with Freddie Sayers, Executive Editor of UnHerd, on UnHerd website
‘Reality’ is a ‘doing’, and a doing is measured by its fruits.
Carlos Castaneda, cited in Further Conversations with the Nagual (pdf; 117 pages) by Armando Torres
+ Read about Susanne Cook-Greuter
It is at the Construct-Aware stage that one becomes aware of ego’s6 narrative function and its cleverness at fooling us into thinking we can know and understand. Few people begin to question the function of ego and our need for myths, stories, and theorizing. Even rarer among ordinary adults, some individuals learn to look kindly at ego’s tireless striving for security and preeminence while seeing through its hopeless efforts.
Construct-Aware folks are the first who potentially realize the illusion of “knowing” and the futility of trying to make ever better maps of reality.
Susanne Cook-Greuter, The Construct-Aware Stage of Ego Development and its Relationship to the Fool Archetype (pdf; 11pp)
6. Here, ego is similar in meaning to the tonal (don Juan Matus), first attention (Iain McGilchrist) and Leftside (Jack Martin Leith).
Source: Exploring the paradoxical role and experience of fallback in developmental theory (pdf) by Valerie Townsend Livesay, Ph.D. I have made some minor edits.
The Newcreator’s Body
Newcreators have at their disposal seven creative powers, each associated with a certain part of the body: Openness (location: crown), Imagination (‘third eye’ between the eyebrows), Conceptualisation (throat), Faith (heart), Materialisation (diaphragm), Realisation (pelvic floor) and Groundedness (tailbone).
Topside — Possibility
Topside connects us with the source of everything that exists and could exist; the realm (or non-realm, as it has no existence) of infinite possibility; the unknown and unknowable; the eternal.
In the book Talking with Angels it is called the creating world.
It is analogous to what David Bohm calls Implicate order.
Bottomside — Actuality
Bottomside connects us to the physical universe and all it contains; the realm of existence and realised possibility; the actual; the known; the temporal.
In the book Talking with Angels it is called the created world.
It is analogous to what David Bohm calls explicate order.
The Newcreator’s Spirit
Intent — what many people call spirit — is the generative impulse that streams from the unmanifest into the manifest through the gap in time.
It is formed of two elements. One is the creative impulse, which seeks to initiate new creations. The other is the evolutionary impulse, which seeks to bring creations to fruition and fully realise their value generation potential.
When the Newcreator transcends the mundane by having Faith in the heart. an open mind and a grounded body, then Leftside, Rightside, Topside and Bottomside unite, and he or she becomes a channel for intent. This floods the Newcreator’s being and awakens the creative powers Create the New and Enrich the World.
Although we can’t tell Intent what to do, Toltecs do invoke it and use it. I know that this seems to be a contradiction in terms. But since we are all part of the one universal life, if our purpose is the same as the purpose of the Infinite, then our command becomes the command of the Infinite. When this happens, we can align with Intent and utilize it in creating our life.
Sheri Rosenthal, Intent versus Intention; is there a difference?
The Newcreator is now fully ready to respond to intent’s call and generate abundant value, meaning and joy through unconditional service.
It would be quite good to consider media along the lines of something seeking to manifest through us.
Anthony Blake, Director of Studies at The DuVersity, who knew and collaborated with Edward Matchett
Coming from the heart, unconditional service is unconditional love made manifest through generative action.
In essence, intent and love are different words for the same phenomenon.
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