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From the Great Hall of the Cooper Union in New York City. National Educational radio presents the Cooper Union forum series on peace love and creativity the hope of mankind. These programs were recorded by station WNYC. Here now is the chairman of the Cooper Union forum Dr. Johnson he Fairchild. Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the forum was your German speaking to you from the great hall of the Cooper Union where we are opening a discussion on current subject for discussion tonight happens to be logical to your own psychologist. Them out on health. Consultations under his background and training as to do with Columbia University.
The New School New York University. He is of course here in New York City area a practicing psychologist. Spoken Here Kupelian once before as a matter of fact I think about 18 to 19 times. And so the most difficult for me to find a new way to introduce them. Three years been a course of Columbia Cornell University's professor of psychology at New Jersey State College. This is related to a wide variety of associations published in places. Oh I thought it would journalism's awful. May I just mention to you though. Viewing in forum people on the air that in addition to all of us is a very very nice guy and I have
been very delighted to presenting you Doc and offer Jones was talking to us tonight on the nature of creativity. Talk to Joe Pa. So they invited 500 ostriches to a lecture. And the lectures but to begin at 8:30. And by 9 o'clock the 499 ostriches showed up and they had a good time. At 10 o'clock the 500 ostrich showed up and made a big noise coming in so the 499 buried their heads in the sand. In the 500 ostrich walked in and looked around and said Where is everybody. Hey.
The remark about the ostriches came when Johnny and I were talking while you were waiting for us to talk to you. We wondered about the fact that the Cooper Union audiences in the past year have begun to decrease. We wondered why people came to these lectures in the first place. Whether they came to listen whether they came to participate whether the age of the lecture was over. And perhaps it is perhaps with all of the availability of talk shows each one of us no longer wishes to listen. And I think this is a good thing not a bad thing. Perhaps we want to act. Perhaps we want to experience ourselves actively. Instead of listening passively.
Perhaps we're worried about the fact that if we listen passively we will miss out. We lose the experience of being ourselves. And Johnny tells me that in all the times that I've come to talk before the audience and the people seem to appreciate it more than jokes. Than what I talked about. So I hope you like to hear them as much as I like to tell them. So. How many of you have heard the story about the patient who went to a very very famous analyst and this particular analyst. And a very very big reputation and his fees were quite you know commensurate they matched his reputation patient sat down and didn't say a blessid word. So worried was he watching the time that he would be wasteful of the words that he would
choose when the analysts sat by and very very communicative silence. I sat there for an appropriate period of time and finally said perhaps you can tell me your story. Well the patient answered. It's a really really terrible mess. I have a horrible horrible story to tell you but I'll tell you what doctor. You reduce your fee and I'll only tell you part of my troubles. Tonight. You'll only hear part of the story about creativity. This is a series. They're not really individual lectures but a group of people addressing themselves individually to a collective topic. I hope that the president the present audience and the audience that listens on the radio will attend either in presence or by listening. One of the lectures
so that at the end of the series we can have an opportunity for you and I to meet together again for a summing up. I wonder at and am quite pleased by the increased interest in study in creativity and perhaps this interest. Perhaps our own aspirations to the creative act the creative experience are expressions of a modern search for the myth of immortality and transcendence. But why all of the emphasis upon creativity. And sometimes we answer this question by looking at statistics. We read the newspapers or the weekly magazines of how much money is spent on liquor cosmetics and drugs.
And we wonder what would happen if all of this money was spent for instance on cancer research. Will begin to say the American public is not interested in ideas. Yet we also know that there has been a great increase in cultural activities. More books of What If not read than ever before. Concert going is increased. And you can hardly get into the museums on Sundays. Yet this mass increase in cultural activities may not be creativity. Unfortunately almost anything is marketable in our affluence and our attendance at cultural activities may only be a purchase. Another
example of a materialistic boy's raw society. The filing of the arts by reducing them to commodities and acquiring them for conformity. I personally know many artists who suffer severe attacks of impotence because their attempts to outrage the Philistines. Are receptor created with invitations to cocktail parties. Another difficulty is that creativity is usually equated with a great arts. I personally feel it should not be restricted to this. While the great arts are more polluted in their instruction as to the process of creativity. These processes are not restricted to these areas
and an over exam emphasis in the direction of examining genius or great talent restricts the field of investigation and also set up a climate where acts other than those of genius are relegated to a lower level and the investigation of the creative processes in our own personal lives is inhibited by. Or. Or the fear of never measuring up to the great creative experience. It is true. That part of the creative process involves the manipulation of experience painting and music and poetry or operas so great a manipulation of this experience that we choose these areas as paradigms. But really there are so many everyday occurrences that also manipulate experience and are therefore part of the creative process.
There has been insufficient attention paid to the less spectacular but much more frequent occurrence of creativity in the everyday life of you and I. Hopefully this series and others like it will encourage our own personal participation in the creative process and the scientific and social investigations in these areas. Hopefully. A new spirit will emerge. The spirit which will help people to experience creatively. And the wreck themselves. A new towards life in its fullest to liberate their own feelings. And instead of the Faustian chase for satisfaction from the outside to concentrate on the realisation of that which lives within each one of us and to bring that to expression as an antidote to
comforting conformity. The aim of this process however is not necessarily uniqueness. It is not a uniqueness that aims that well in our day for instance same odd Bohemia that aims specifically in the direction of non-conformity. Each one of us should remember. That one of the most famous non-conformists of his day was Jack the Ripper. We should avoid in our search. The pragmatism that is part of the American culture that has as Matthew Arnold put it in his culture an anarchy a fundamental ground is our preference of doing the thinking. And it isn't that the search for the creative process and the creative experience
should neglect the use of the curiosity of the intellect. But it should not neglect the variety of imagination. The process of passion and the process of personal relationships. We must in our own search whether it be personal or scientific. Of Boyd as someone put it the anti intellectual carelessness and social abandon of the pseudo artist and also avoid the pettifogging of the doctrinaire scientists who neglect to place a value in a world of fact. We need a marriage. Or rather a reconciliation between east and west. And while recent efforts to escape terrorist a Tyrian modes of thought that emphasize either or categories of leaned towards lotus eating
and de-emphasized the productive or objective evidences of the creative experience choosing instead to amplify mind experiences. We need to examine even this direction in full flow as it is now and ask ourselves whether or not the subject object concept is irreconcilable objectivity. The emphasis upon things the emphasis upon the outside world is concerned with the feeling. But a man in order to exist properly must have to himself outside of himself. While subjectivity is concerned with exploring the human existence and differentiating man from the world of objects. The trouble is that the danger of objectivity is that it destroys the unique individual his humanness. And the danger of subjectivity is its
temptation to dream and to deny the existence of evil. In reality. I have a feeling that with these rather abstract thoughts I've run ahead of myself. And when that begins to happen I like to remember the man who was very wildly enthusiastic about his driving ability. He took a trip with his family and after traveling a great distance and his wife sitting to his right took a look at a map and said you know darling we're lost. What's the difference. He said We're making great time. To go back. Why the emphasis upon creativity. Well the seven say it's important but it's more than just important.
We are drawn to it. We smell it we taste it we feel it. We think it. We wish it. And Van Gogh in a letter to his brother put it very well. He speaks of a man who is doomed to remain idle in an area of work whose heart is eaten out by an anguish. But can do nothing because it is impossible for him to do anything because he is imprisoned in something. And for us this prison may be the snarl of the tapes of an automated society. For this man fate or circumstances have reduced him to a state of nothingness. Perhaps for us this means the impoverishment of our childhood. Such a person as Van Gogh speaks. Such a person as we we don't know what we
might do yet we feel instinctively I am good for something I am aware of some reason for existing. I know that I might be a totally different man. And how can I be useful. How can I be of service. Something is alive in me and what can it be. So we look at the subject of creativity as a means of filling our unfulfilled lives. To escape death as it were. And it's only been about a week and a half ago that an old teacher of mine died. A doctor Edmund Sinnott who believed that creativity was created in life itself. And he saw a biological evolution as the process of emergent originals that this was the purpose of life.
That instead of life being created life was the creator. That biology and the biological basis for life has an organizing a pattern forming a questioning quality for creativity. It is ideas have not been taken up by the biologists of today. Who despite the tremendous strides they have made in bio chemistry and bio physics remain essentially technicians who treat what an essential factor in man's creativity in a reductionistic manner. They very cautiously and perhaps rightfully avoid errors and teleology but overlook the heuristic value of purpose. One of life's major purposes is to extend itself a lifeline to the future. A line that is made up of creative forces which for man and his mind involves the fusing of his inner
experience with the infinite variety of outer experiences. And this urge and the satisfaction of this urge not only ensures the identity and self-acceptance of the uniqueness of the individual but goes further on to the social body. I want to develop a sense of identity with things and people of the past and present enabling one to share in the experience of others their different pursuits of their creative productions and all of the things that convey human dignity. And how does one open the avenues of communication and relationships to our growing mind. And having developed the freedom of the individual to choose either by child raising techniques by psychotherapy or by other scientific means. How do we then deal with the fact
that this is not enough. That when we have fostered the ability to make a choice we need to answer the question. Choice for what. And will this question be answered by the unfolding of the freedom of the individual or by the constructions of economic systems or by philosophical formulations. These are some of the questions to be discussed in our series. Right are the conditions for creativity and what is its nature. First of all it's composed of things but also composed of people. And as a psychologist I talk more of people than things. Some say it's a matter of genes. And this view stresses the fact that genius or great talent is the product of genetic information. True as this may be for the great genius for
the great talent it establishes a hierarchical order of creative creativity that doesn't just as two or a levels of the scale but fall below genius. The difference between the great talent and the genius and you and I is a quantitative difference. Any original thought is a creative experience and we have over emphasize over dramatize the inspirational the illuminative aspects of the creative process. You know the flash of intuition the L-EB miss or peak experience. We must remember is usually preceded by a whole series of down to words nitty gritty sustained experience. That flows from one routinized day after the other.
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Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind
The nature of creativity, part one
Producing Organization
WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the first part of a lecture by Alfred Jones, Co-Director, The Mental Health Center.
Series Description
This series presents lectures from the 1968 Cooper Union Forum. This forum's theme is Peace, Love, Creativity: The Hope of Mankind.
Media type
Producing Organization: WNYC (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Producing Organization: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Speaker: Jones, Alfred
Speaker: Fairchild, Johnson E.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-10-20 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:21:55
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Chicago: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The nature of creativity, part one,” 1968-04-19, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The nature of creativity, part one.” 1968-04-19. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Peace, love, creativity: Hope of mankind; The nature of creativity, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from