John Cleese on creativity

Cleese digs into the creative process as only he can. What a brilliant mind.



  • DanielSw

    Brilliant to be sure. However, he seems rather jaded and reserved in his self-admitted “old age.” He also pays (I think) undue credit to his “unconscious mind.” True creativity is certainly NOT “unconscious.” One of the valid points he makes, though, is the value of “reach and withdraw”–stepping away from a problem for a while an then returning to it to take a fresh look.

    • Moeskido

      What is “withdraw,” other than allowing the unconscious to do its work? How do you define “true” creativity, as opposed to all that other creativity that’s merely faking it?

      Creativity comes from every part of the mind. We’re seeing more and more stories from successful designers that describe a process which included not focusing consciously on the task at hand.

      • DanielSw

        Nope. The mind is merely a collection of energy recordings of experience–artifacts, those recordings also being in the past. That’s not to say it’s not useful, though, as it is a servo-mechanism used by the human spirit. The human spirit is the source of creativity, not its mind.

        • Moeskido

          Ah. Unknowable mysticism. Got it.

          • DanielSw

            What is this, word association? You sound like a psychologist.

            I’m not talking about mysticism or anything unknowable.

          • Moeskido

            “The human spirit.” Sounds like you’re using it as a substitute for anything you don’t believe can be understood by science. Because that always works out so well.

          • DanielSw

            Sounds like you’re happily adrift in your own conundrums. My words are wasted on you.

          • Moeskido

            You’re one-quarter correct. Chalk it up to the human spirit.

          • Moeskido

            Daniel. You made stuff up because you couldn’t be bothered to learn what science has discovered about the brain within the past century and a half.

            “The human spirit” isn’t a literal thing. It doesn’t mean anything outside of middle-school poetry or poorly-translated scripture. Which makes you sound a bit like Bill O’Reilly discussing how tides work.

            There’s no conundrum here. But at least you used it properly in a sentence. You’re still as awesome as ever.

          • DanielSw

            The worst conundrum there is is one so profound that the person has no clue that he’s even in it, and so cowardly that he’d rather think, think, think instead of simply look.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            The worst worst worst conundrum is the one where those who speak of conundrums seem utterly incapable of elucidating said conundrum, and in place of clear and straightforward arguments imagine that their personal world view is so deep and complex and perplexing to outsiders that they just couldn’t grok your depth, man.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            You most certainly are engaging in mysticism and then hiding behind semantics.

            That “collection of energy recordings of experience” is all we are.Once the base capabilities programmed by our DNA are shaped by experience we become individuals free to tap into or ignore creativity in all its forms.

            Pretending there is anything that can be considered “us” outside the physical structure and capabilities of our brains is mysticism.

          • DanielSw

            Happily adrift in your own conundrums. And where is it getting you? More and more confused.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            I’ll break it down to one syllable words if that will un-conundrum it for you.

        • Mother Hydra

          I think the constructs of our conscious mind often stands at odds with creative freedom and the boundless subconscious we can only glimpse through psychedelic meditation. Minds are not merely a receptacle for energy, they are the engines of our realities. To say that they exist only as a dumb tool to drive some ego-based behavior is cray-cray.

          • DanielSw

            You’re the ones hiding behind semantics. Pity.

          • Mother Hydra

            Do me a favor, go outside and drop some acid. You’ll have a better understanding of this world afterward.

          • DanielSw

            Do yourself a favor and get off the drugs. They’re making you very stupid.

          • Mother Hydra

            Spoken like someone that will die without ever having a psychedelic experience. I pity you.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

            The kind of stupid where you accuse others of being stupid because you can’t actually explain what the Hell it is you are talking about? You are exuding a striking combination of “arrogant ass” and “needlessly obtuse”.