Book on Creativity in Nature and Mind by F. David Peat

I recently read David Peat’s book on Creativity in Nature and Mind entitled The Blackwinged Night. You can check out the synopsis in Amazon. A few elements in the book particularly caught my attention. The first was the link with the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus and his description of them as “the two living forces in all creativity” and then his link to contemporary physics. As Peat states “order and chaos or law and chance turn out to be not so much diametrically opposed as partners within a cosmic dance, a dance in which one keeps changing into the other. Thus Dionysian chaos underlies Apollonian order and simplicity, and chaos is born out of Apollonian forms and symmetries.” Therefore creativity needs both elements of chaos and order, freedom and constraint, feeling and logic to flourish.

The other was the relationship of creativity with time and how the “essence of time’s movement into the future lies in creativity”. Peat talks about the link between the manifest world (past-present) and the manifesting world (future) and the world of quantum physics and the collapse of the wave function. A key element being that the transition from the manifesting world to the manifest world is a creative (and irrational) act. However Peat also states that “the creative must operate through time not only to bring about change and novelty but also to preserve form and regularity”. “Creativity restrains itself; it seeks both renewal and the new. Within creativity is a tendency to cling to form, and this way, a regular ordered, sequential time begins to emerge out of pure conditional process”. This links back to the relationship between chaos and order again,¬†Dionysus and¬†Apollo. I highly recommend this book as I think it suggests several new ideas that can help in our understanding of the nature of creativity.

David Peat has also written several other books including Synchronicity, Science, Order and Creativity (together with David Bohm) and Gentle Action that are definitely worth reading as well.