Harvesting monsters to advance worldviews

“Life is a creative endeavour”


Creativity is a huge topic.

I want to talk about one specific theory that I like for almost aesthetic reasons.  It is different from all others – that seemingly went nowhere -, 2) it is non-insanely argued for, 3) it fits my worldview and 4) the project of this blog well.(These are good reasons if you take the data/frame theory seriously – which I do, kinda, for the time being – basically any mapping trumps no mapping. And “aesthetic” here means “fits with the rest of my mappings” which is a further point in favor. )There is an artsy intro here  and a mathy one here.


The Honing Theory of Creativity

Most accounts of creativity is model it through a process model. According to the originator of the Honing Theory – Gabora -, creativity is actually the transformation of the world that results from the interaction between the uniqueness of the worldview of the creator and the creative task at hand.

Gabora defines a worldview as “an internal mental model of reality. It is not just a compendium of knowledge, values, and so forth, but a manner of weaving them into an integrated web of understandings; a way of seeing the world and being in the world.”

She says that Honing theory is a theory of creativity that “proposes that the creative process arises due to the self-organizing, self-mending nature of a worldview. Honing theory views the creative outcome as the external manifestation of internal cognitive restructuring brought about through immersion in a creative act. You could almost think of the creative product as the byproduct of a creative process; a physical indication that the creator sees and feels the world differently after engaging in the creative act, that his or her worldview was changed by it. That’s why creativity is therapeutic, and why there is such a thing as art therapy, music therapy, and so forth.”


Honing theory and worldview

She further details the concept of worldview thus:  “Our capacity to adapt ideas to new situations, see one thing in terms of another, blend concepts together in an endless variety of ways to interpret and express real or imagined situations, are all indicative of the integrated nature of a human worldview

The modern mind can form abstract concepts, combine information from different domains (as in analogical reasoning), adapt views and actions to new circumstances, and communicate using the complex syntax and recursive embedding characteristic of modern human languages. It can frame new experiences in terms of previous ones, solve problems using whatever potentially relevant information it can obtain, and formulate plans of action that reflect the specifics of a situation. In short, a modern human behaves as if items in memory are integrated into what we will refer to as a worldview that provide a big picture of what is going on. Its mind is much more than a collection of isolated memories, concepts, attitudes, and so forth; it is a manner of navigating them, weaving narratives with them, and thereby better understanding and interacting with the world.”

A worldview is the totality of one’s map (and/or maps?and/or metamaps? and/or beliefs? and/or aliefs? ): “one’s internal mental model of reality, or distinctive way of ‘seeing and being in’ the world. A human worldview is a unique tapestry of understanding that is autopoietic in that the whole emerges through interactions amongst the parts. It is also self-mending in the sense that, just as injury to the body spontaneously evokes physiological changes that bring about healing, events that are problematic or surprising or generate cognitive dissonance spontaneously evoke streams of thought that attempt to solve the problem or reconcile the dissonance”.”

When she says that worldviews are self organising and self mending she means that  that creative output is a reflection of the tendency of worldviews to resolve states of potentiality through self-organized transformation – through the re-integration of a fragmented worldview.

The process of creativity is thus that of breaking the current worldview and having creative products result as by-products of putting it back together in a manner that integrates what broke the previous worldview in the first place.

Honing, in turn, is the process of interaction between conceptions of task and internally or externally generated contexts until the creative task is well defined. It is through honing that one reaches a self-made worldview: “Individuals with self-made worldviews don’t simply acquire knowledge; they make it their own, reframe it in their own terms, relate it to their own experiences, put their own slant on it, adapt it to their needs, and familiar modes of self expression.”

The theory has some evidence going for it. One being that it predicts that creative output depends on unique worldview. There is reason to believe that might be the case.


The Monster Harvest

Weltanschauung-diaphtheiros seem to sit on a continuum. On the one extreme sits humor causing mirth as a degenerate case, followed by stuff that we call “interesting” (Think the whole of Ribbonfarm and the superstimuli Sister Y calls “insight porn”.) On the other there are those forms that suggest themselves into destroying everything you ever took for real, good, true, meaningful, desirable, or identified with.

I suspect that the *tougher* the worldview breaker, the more one has to mend, and the more encompassing and unique the new worldview (Which would partially explain why people think creativity requires insanity and has a dark side (1))

If my speculations are correct, then the larger, more encompassing, flexible, vivid, real worldviews – which entail accurate maps (insofar as accurate applies) -, will result from self-mending caused by seeking out, exposing oneself to and embracing lovecraftian monsters.


  1. – Cropley, A. J., Kaufman, J. C., & Runco, M. A. (2010). The dark side of creativity. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.





  • Connect to idea of postrationality of having S1 and S2 talk; associative and analytical thought; learning how to learn
  • https://people.ok.ubc.ca/lgabora/papers/2012/mf-chapter07.pdf -> desiquilibrium leads to creativity. according to cook greuter it also leads to “higher” worldviews
  • She theorises that art is the evidence of a mind trying to mend a gap in one’s worldview. This connects really well to narrative therapy, constructed stories, gendlin’s description of focusing therapy, and the autobiographical self.  Cannot avoid stories?
  • Simon said rationality is a scissors with one blade being the cognitive limitations and the other the environment. Is this related here? One blade being the worldview, the other one the task?
  • “That’s why creativity is therapeutic, and why there is such a thing as art therapy, music therapy, and so forth”
    • almost as if the process of creativity was related to Gendlin’s idea of having a felt shift by managing to symbolize or conceptualize the felt sense/meaning
  • Check her hypotheses about the tendencies of worldviews against what Koltko Rivera says about them (Is he the leading/only worldview researcher?)
  • how far can you stretch the paradigm/worldview metaphor?
    • prescience, normal science, revolution, normal science – kuhn; preworldview, worldview, TENSION, new normal worldview – gabora 
  • Worldview and identification




3 thoughts on “Harvesting monsters to advance worldviews

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