Creativity… I can summarize it as the ability to present an as yet undetermined perspective. If you draw a circle on the floor and, looking at it from above, can see a Mexican sleeping under a huge a straw hat, then your creative powers are not bad.

This was a test question in psychology and I had been unable to approach the question from different angles. But in my dream I had been able to solve an incredibly difficult question on space geometry. It may be pretentious, or rather it may be a generalization based on a simple personal example, but from this I understand that everybody has a personal field of interest and a serious potential for creativity in that field. If you want to get maximum joy from life, if you want to experience that joy you should most definitely test your creative qualities. In his book “Art of Thought” published in 1926 Wallas describes the process as follows: Focusing on the problem; moving the process into the unconscious, on the outside one appears as if there is no action at all; feeling that the solution is arriving; the leap from the pre-conscience to consciousness; and finally the confirmation of the idea in the consciousness, and its implementation… As people regard very different things as a problem, the theory that there is creativity in everyone has at least one foot on the ground. As medical students we used to witness how for example a cleaning staff who worked in the anatomy department eventually came to know all human bones and more, without having spent any special effort. Do this and other examples not reveal that unconscious processes play a part in the learning process? This means that the second foot of our theory is also touching the ground… There are things that come “to the tip of your tongue”, these simply provide the theory with a third leg… People do not take everything that comes into their mind serious; naturally they check it first… That’s it then, everybody possesses a potential for creativity. In other words, creativity is not under the monopoly of certain people! But to what extent does the education system encourage it? Let’s look for an answer through an example out of my own experience. Remember I mentioned that I found the answer to a question in my dream – because of that question I received a mark of 2 out of 10! Apparently the tutor was going to give me a “0” but for the sake of previous higher marks he gave me a “2”… In fact, the result was correct but I had arrived at it following a different path than the one the “Tutor” had been taught… There are two points which this example harbours; the first one is, that creative power is not be trusted because you may “be had”, in other words conned; the other is that the information or the thought or the work of art arrived at through creative power breaks out of the routine and therefore forms a threat to the prevailing point of view… But don’t let any of this stop you, as the satisfaction you will feel will be magnificent… How beautifully one can dance to the nimbleness of the word-plays of great poets…

Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan