Legion Theory explains

Higher-order abstract thinking and creativity

Abstract logical thinking quite simply represents the conscious formation of a mindscape by a self and the undertaking of an excursion to that mindscape by the self.

The best way to illustrate this process is with an example. Suppose a mathematician wished to solve a problem. The first step would involve a self constructing a mindscape corresponding to the problem. Mindscapes are realms, just as the ‘real world’ the realm primus, is a realm. But mindscapes are not constrained to be representations of the real world, a mindscape can be a world of purely mathematical relations. Once the mindscape is created the self would undertake an excursion. That is it would separate from the corporate self and ‘enter’ the mindscape. The mindscape is a dynamic world, and solution to the mathematical problem is arrived at by the self merely observing the outcome of the processes of the mindscape. Once the solution is derived the self may now reaggregate with the corporate self.

When this process is being undertaken, the self undergoing the excursion and operating in parallel with the corporate self, may share the information in ‘real time’ with the corporate self, or it may choose not to. It may, instead, go through this process and only provide information relating to the outcome of the process after a solution is derived. This type of effect is well documented, as Karl Friedrich Gauss, for example, wrote

At last two days ago I succeeded, not by dint of painful effort but so to speak by the grace of God. As a sudden flash of light, the enigma was solved....For my part I am unable to name the nature of the thread which connected what I previously knew with that which made my success possible. [1]

This left Gauss in an enviable position. He wrote “I have had my solutions for a long time but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them” [2]. He did not know how he arrived at this solution because a conscious rational self, separated from his corporate self, designed an appropriate mindscape, reached a solution, and after all of this work was done merely shared the solution with his corporate self.

Arthur Koestler, in his book The act of creation [3], argued that creativity, whether it be scientific or artistic, represents the same underlying process. We are in accord with that belief. Higher order logical thinking, and artistic creation, represent the same underlying process - the formation of a mindscape, and an excursion to that mindscape by one of our selves. What differs is the form of the mindscape produced. A mathematician will deal with a mathematical mindscape, a writer will deal with a social mindscape, and a musician will deal with a musical mindscape. The conscious formation and design of mindscapes and the experience of these mindscapes, as the corporate self concurrently interacts with the realm primus, represents humankind’s highest mental achievement.

 

  1. Montmasson, 1931, p. 77
  2. Montmasson, 1931, p. 77
  3. Koestler, 1964

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References and further reading

Koestler, A. (1964). The act of creation: A study of the conscious and unconscious in science and art. New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc.

Montmasson, J.-M. (1931). Invention and the Unconscious. London: K. Paul.


 


 

 

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