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  wholly flourishing creativity
venturing mindfully

gary e. davis
December 30, 2016

Suppose that isn’t self referential—not primarily, anyway (“he hoped”)— rather a way of being, belonging to anyone: to a career, to friendship, to various
kinds of love, to intimacy, to life.

Simply, one ventures to live well, to be—inasmuch as one can—wholly flourishing.
We want a “high” “quality” of life (ultimately innerworldly?)—and to stand for
the integrity of that (outerworldly).

Less simply, one may work to have innerworldliness realize a high creativity, playing to high pretense, devoted to divining Our times comprehensively, as if one might wholly net the cohering of humanity’s evolving.

Some chance.

Anyway, what beings we are!

What being can one be?

Your highness (bear with me, re: all history of those in “The Know,” literate, owning power), it is said that the high castles of Europe were built on heights that Homo sapiens mastered over Homo neanderthalensis, such that farsightedness (literally; but mainly, the sapiens were smarter) prevailed in regional hegemonies.

Being high tropes intelligibility, now in terms of educationally scaling “up” developmental prospects. Anymore, though, “high” school isn’t very high, and “higher” education leads into ever higher regions to possibly scale.

To the retrospective mind, the ultimate peak may be historiological: some inter-peakal netweave of telic narrative. Yet, that’s enabled by Our open horizons, as
We’re primarily oriented toward futures, being of ongoing genesis (which, post facto, prospects explanations about how we got “here”).

Generally, prospective mind leads perceptive retrospection. At best, We are “homo prospectus,” creating minds (tending toward high innerworldliness), leading minds (tending toward high outerworldliness). Leading minds can be devoted to evincing creative mindfulness, and creative minds can gain leading efficacy. It’s a Janus-faced, complementarity of high worldliness. Creating cares, leading cares. Minds that create lead; minds that lead create.

Backgrounding that, master teaching in K-12 schools is commonly energized by highly promising presences. And higher education is, of course, energized by highly potentiated capability.

So, “your highness” may be anyone’s address, a loving fiction enjoying another’s mystery of thriving. Highness of being high in a highland tropes a way of being True (in senses of fidelity to higher values): being overtly aspirational, engaged, venturesome, admirable, virtuous, noble.

Fidelity to that is no vanity. But it can make ordinary dailiness a distanced experience—which can be ordinarily entertaining (though display of that must be restrained,
so others don’t feel discounted, because others are not being discounted by distanced enjoyment). Besides, appreciating others’ developmental relativity is realistic (if one has the background to really do it fairly), as well as being sometimes fascinating.

But such other-oriented liminality (innerworldly self, outerworldly personality) is best lived invisibly, as if “our” days aren’t uncanny (are genuinely as they seem); or so that another doesn’t mistakenly feel devalued.

In other words, graciously living in a liminal, distanced way—as if there’s no distance —also conceals the “as if” of liminality. I call this self/personal differentiality, or the s/p difference. It’s a difference that has been implicit to my discussions for years,
but disguised in derivative forms, like the difference between self expression and
self representation; authoriality and authorship; a focus on “selfidentity” one place,
a focus on “interpersonal” relations elsewhere.

So-called “royalty” knows the difference. Fans of celebrities love to feel that “They are like us.” Many celebrities long to be regarded as just anyone else; they don’t welcome being “put on a pedestal” or denied the pleasure of ordinary regard (something else than being denied a private life: being of “our” world, as if not differentially in our world).

And brilliant minds in academia tend to be humble about “undue” admiration and are gracious with their scarce free time. Being in is also at heart a self-differential belonging with.

More than that, the “better angels” want to see betterment “scaled up,” enabling
(or seeing enabled, supporting) as much high individuation as possible.

But being other-oriented can also be regularly fun: being with others as they want, being their friend, their colleague; being the teacher, the service provider, the entertainer—the ethnographer, the documentarian, the artist in research.

Besides, one can always move on, when fun wanes—or instead suggest that “we” walk together awhile, make a new path of ours, so to speak.

For the most part, though, there aren’t those chances. I am, let’s say, merely
an idiosyncrat (gladly). I move on.

That’s a fun neologism, no? The idiosyncrat. There’s no existing personification for ‘idiosyncrasy’ because, I guess, we see the trait as merely that, not pertaining to a sense of person, i.e., not typecasting personal identity (like: being a geek, begotten from esteeming the nerd, begotten from outgrowing the dork). I do wish to avoid inapt typecasting, but the cognitive matter here is that situational scaling-up of traits to identities is useful, can be fruitful, inasmuch as prevailing focus on a trait is given apt focus or salience in interaction (e.g., being very affected by a trait, curious about a trait—or feeling kinship, even intimacy, with a mode of being).

The idiosyncrat, the alien: born of discerned idiosyncrasy tyepcast as personal identity—or even self identity? Not only appearing oddly (thinking oddly, acting oddly), but being alien?

Too often, I suspect, the idiosyncrat is to others a stranger whose mystery is not interesting. “Whoever s/he is—whatever.”

‘Idiosyncrasy’ has a simple defintion, but a rich cognativity (i.e., lexical family of related meanings). Cognativity is another neologism I’ll dwell with later, extensively (as relational complement to representational cognitivity). But presently I’m just typecasting “cognate” as a kind of familiarity or lexical familiality (Wittgenstein’s “family resemblance”).

Idiosyncrasy itself is a “characteristic peculiarity of habit...mental constitution or temperament” (M-W Unabridged)—exemplified perhaps by tending to enjoy forming neologisms? But in my practice, that serves my desire for meaning that doesn’t seem otherwise available. That makes my practice less an enjoyment than a characteristic pragmatism that’s not peculiar at all—but also enjoyable, like a release or a relief in finding “the” right word when you feel strong need to finish what you “meant to say.”

The enjoyment is also the focus that a coining can provide—narratively axial, discursively centripetal, constellationally appealing—for a textual landscape.

The term interestingly derives from Greek ‘idio-’ (“one’s own, distinct, self-produced”) + ‘synkrasia’ (“action of commingling or blending”).

It so happens that a highly evidenced theory of creativity orients itself around
the notion of “conceptual blending.” I’ll focus on that later.

Relevant now is the notion of commingling itself, which associates to notions of bricolage, constellating, and gestalt formation (which a neologism, as such, may facilitate).

Do you feel a kind of self-reflective recursivity here?

Yet, idiosyncrasy itself is normally regarded as worthy of dismissal or discounting (“peculiar”). It’s not a characteristic of importance. One might think that an idio-syncrat lacks the ability to fit in or to be apt or to sustain rapport, thus unwittingly confessing self incoherence.

We’re more interested in the eccentric. That resonates as both characteristic and person, as with a deliberately extreme stylization that the stylist seems to identify with; or artistic marginality that is identified as a singular type (“Warholian”), a life, or a dramatic, dramactional practice.

‘Dramactional’ is another neologism, which I enjoyed earlier; and I’ll return to later. For now: Dramactional thinking approaches any action as s/p differentiable (if not differentiated), whether or not it’s apparently “dramatic.” Everyone’s an actor, in the trivial sense of making their lives through actions. Every life is made of actions serving background engagements, scripting one’s life in terms of actions (i.e., showing distinguishable scripting vs. acting); actualizing projects in terms of what one does (i.e., showing distinguishable aspirations vs. venturing).

The idiosyncrat shows low skill in managing actual s/p differentiality. Individual characteristics easily seem split off from an integrated sense of self. Young creative persons are commonly like this.

Conventional persons, though, may have little differentiality (let alone idiosyncrasy) and little interest in the prospect, thus regarding their fused, pre-differentiated sense of self (indiscernible as fused, because one is...) living as primarily “personal,” conforming to others’s presence. A sense of self (innerworldly) apart from personal identity is derivative, like a supplement to sociocentrism. Or self, beyond personal understanding (a privatism), is concealed (as if there’s indifference to differentiation), showing anyway as undue fear of invaded “privacy”; and/or privately faced with psychal impositions, the “unconscious,” which is actually the same to them as non-conscious (the ordinary situation of self for children’s unself-aware enactiveness).

You see, then, that thinking relative to s/p differentiality can easily become complex, vertiginous: distinguishing developmental senses of self, personality, nonconscious, unconscious, conventional self understanding, and so on (much more to come).

For now, I’ll just highlight a difference between idiosyncrasy and eccentricity. The eccentric tends to flout the s/p difference, commonly as vanity, but maybe also as part of an artistry. From this perspective, commoners (if you will) seem to be unactualized potentials for manifold “Personality”; or diluted persons afraid of their own potential (desperate to “fit in”)—or they just lack talent for enjoying appeals of high individuation.

But commonness of s/p differentiality—idiosyncrasy, eccentricity, overtly dramatic life; and deliberate resonance in artistry between actor and character; dancer and dancing; author and narrator; life-centered selfidentity and career-centered personalities; boundaries in friendships (and much more)—shows degrees of liminal s/p differentiality, of inner/outerworldly individuation, that persons commonly are.

So, there’s nobility—girls and boys—in proudly being a creative idiosyncrat, then turning teen eccentricity into a career of creative composure and performative presence, making one’s life a long running performance art, appearing as natural rapport with inestimably different occasions, employments, friendships, and other theaters of being well.

I’ve earlier called this protean identity or protean self. But I’d rather not depend on allusion to an ancient Mediterranean god. Then, what name, what known artist or scientist, who is a generally fitting name for wholly flourishing creativity venturing mindfully?

I know I’m being excessive, collapsing unlikely, decades-long individuation into some readily accessible narrative prospecting. But the reality of creative individuation, venturing, and discovery is often born from excessive, auratic phenomena emerging unscaled, not yet differentiated into clear, crystalline distinctions or themes or items—yet not being merely idiosyncratic. Kindredness of themes—a cognativity of emergent cohering—is likely at first disjointed, if not embarrassingly audacious, yet appealing to be—deserving to be—cultivated to go its own self-concerting way.

Artistry may find itself unpretentiously being in “our” world (outerworldly) in ways (innerworldly) that aren’t of that world, though claiming this to “our” world likely causes incredulity and dismissiveness, seeming to be alienated, if not alienating—when one is really self-enhancive multi-facetedness showing integrity of high individuation.

So, fulfillment requires cultivation which requires persistence which requires courage which requires high aspiration. High aspiration enables courage which endures persistence which sustains cultivation which can be ultimately fulfilling—a singularly named, proper named, wholly flourishing (“living well”) creativity (“literary living”) venturing (“conceptual adventuring”) mindfully (“mind evolving”).


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  Be fair. © 2017, gary e. davis