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13.1 History of the Creative Pulse

This Notebook is meant to explore the Creative Pulse - which includes the Effects of Interruptions & other parallels. First what is the Creative Pulse? Let us begin with the history of its discovery.

My Person well acquainted with the Creative Process

As a Creator, my Person regularly pursues some type of artistic endeavor in the afternoons whether Art, Science, or Writing, both fiction and prose. While not 365 days a year, it is pretty close. This creative cycle has been pursued for over a decade. He has experienced a Daily Pulse of Creativity for thousands of days. My Person might draw and oil a painting, write a story, or imagine some science, but he only pursued one at a time. Hence not only did my Person participate in a daily pulse of Creativity but he also experienced the Pulse of a particular type of Creative Project. Regularly, almost without warning, he would get swept down an unexpected track in an unanticipated direction.

This paper a Creative Pulse

This project is one of those. January 2002 - Merrily writing and finishing an article on Wine and Health. - Fully expecting to begin a third draft of his novel, La Maison (renamed Ma Belle), on completion of the work. My Mind was busily making Plans while Life had other things in store.

Blown away by experimental results, January 2002

Mid January 2002 - A little casual research on behavior - not expecting to find anything - Suddenly the Mother Lode appears - Can’t draw my Person away - Overwhelmed by the curiosity of scientific discovery - These new discoveries led to my Person’s previous work - ‘Notebooks’ he had written in the Scientific Obsession of 1993-1994. Sick for the first time in many years my Person had no energy for anything but to read those ‘old’ scientific manuscripts - Blown away and amazed - He bowed down and prayed - expressing his gratitude for the role that he had been given in this grand play of Life. Shivering and laughing hysterically before the Chasm of the Unknown - he prostrated himself before the Universe happy to be alive.

Blown away by scientific insight, May ‘02

His Mind reorganized by sickness and insight - Inspired, perhaps by regular meditation, perhaps by the powers that be, deciding it was time, a new flood of insights flowed through my Person in May of 2002. They put the previous research in context and extended them qualitatively. Anyway obligated by the uniqueness of the discovery, my Person began doing research - And here we are, doing something unexpected, again.

Over the many months he had probably experienced at least 20 such creative obsessions. Therefore he is well acquainted with the Creative Process.


Because of the frequency of his Creative outbursts he has also been interrupted many times.

A Phone call – Mealtimes – ‘Lunch is ready.’ – A friend over to visit. – ‘Time to pick up the kids from school.’ – ‘Have to go to work.’

These were the type of interruptions that my Person experienced on a daily level.

Vacations, Holidays, Visitors, Family demands, Children Performances, school functions and the like.

These were the type of interruptions that my Person experienced on a project level.

Needless to say, he had experienced many different kinds of interruptions, in his thousands of creative days with over 20 creative projects.

Growing aggravation

Initially he would get just mildly irritated, but then he became like a snarling dog, protecting his creative time at all costs. He was instinctually attempting to build a creative momentum on both a daily level and on the level of the project. He stopped answering the phone. Would only open his E-mail irregularly - Only schedule appointments for early in the day - While these were purely instinctive moves, they were responding to an inner experience. The inner experience had to do with the satisfaction derived from fulfilling the potentials of the Creative Pulse, whether daily or for the entire project.

Creative Fire builds in intensity, not static

It was as if the Creative Fire had to be built from scratch each day. The fuel was provided by the purification of Tai Chi practice and Meditation. Each session, normally only one a day, was built from casual obsession to raging Fire, burning all that stood in the way - Past regrets and Future Fears were obliterated in the fierce heat of the Creative Process - Purifying the Luminous Egg of my Person by incinerating his Personal Ego through a blast of the Divine Energy channeled through his Fingers whether, pen, brush or computer key pads. Because of the intensity that was needed to blow away Space Time and Personal Ego the Fire had to be hot.

Fire not hot enough to burn away Personal Ego

When his Creative Time was interrupted sometimes it never got hot enough to burn away Personal Ego, and my Person would be trapped in his skin. However when the Fire raged all was destroyed.

Interruptions abort session or project

Obviously my Person had his Creative Output aborted on more than one occasion. Sometimes it was interrupted in the beginning in which case it never was formed. Other times it was interrupted near the end - leaving an uncompleted manuscript with abbreviated thoughts behind. And if the thoughts survived the poetry might not - the exact word - the perfect color - the amazing brush which could only paint the perfect line - the slight of hand created with the work emulating thought when only really the black white chicken scratches on a page.

Suggests Hole Theory in 1994

My Person had experienced many unhappy interruptions. Being of a scientific bent - and being that one of his specialties was the Dynamics of Behavior - he put his Mind casually on the topic of what is going on when the creative process is interrupted. In a fragment from his Scientific Obsession of 1994 he even suggested his famous Hole Theory - that the interruption is disproportionate to the amount of time lost.

Anecdotal support from Uncle and Wife

My Person’s Uncle, a University Professor of Biology, theorized that one interruption is worth at least 30 minutes of lost time. “The most deadly phrase when one is engaged on a creative project is the innocent, yet deadly phrase ‘Just give me a minute of your time.’ That one minute is worth 30 minutes. I have to reorganize my thoughts from the beginning rather than starting from where I left off, - And then I might head down a different yet equally valid path which doesn’t take me where I wanted to go - I must squeeze these two disparate chains of thought into one - leading to an uneasy marriage of ideas.”

My Person’s wife, a professional jewelry artist for over 20 years, selling works that she has designed and created: “Interruptions? Oh yeah. If I get too many phone calls, visitors, or workers, it destroys my creative momentum. I might even shut down for the day and come back tomorrow. I need hours of relatively uninterrupted time to do my best work.”

Needs a handle

Perceiving the importance of the interaction between the creative pulse and interruptions, my Person wanted to understand the phenomenon better. First he needed a handle on the problem of what the creative pulse was or perhaps what it corresponded too. There was no need for any seconds or thirds until he could solve this first problem. If he could solve the first then he could begin to tackle the second problem, which was discovering the parameters of the interaction between Interruption and the Creative Pulse. Our Person assumed correctly that once he could obtain the key to open the Door that everything would be inside for the picking. He just needed the Key to open the Door. The finger hold to the next level was revealed in a burst of Scientific Insight in May of 2002. This led my Person to the solution to this problem that we’re about to explore together.

An uninterrupted Creative Pulse

This was an uninterrupted Creative Pulse, which began and ended naturally. It was typical - starting slowly with many distractions that were self induced - Then it began building to a peak which was reached - the momentum needed to be fulfilled - The words kept coming and then the End - Enough had been said on this topic - But can’t go on to another with so little time left - Time to stop before getting stale - The End - Let the Creative Momentum go the other way until Tomorrow when we hopefully pick up where we left off.

A. The Beginnings of a Mathematical Model

Experience has revealed some basic phenomena

Sitting down for another afternoon session: In the first day of obsession we discussed the experience of my Person and other persons concerning the interruption of the creative process. We identified a few phenomena, which raised some questions.

1. Underlying everything else is the notion that there is a daily creative pulse which has a certain momentum associated with it. What does this concept mean and how is it expressed numerically? 2. This momentum can be disturbed by an interruption. How is an interruption quantified and what does it mean to disturb momentum? 3. It seems that an interruption is far more damaging to the creative momentum than the actual time consumed. Why is the damage disproportionate to the cause? 4. Also it seemed that multiple interruptions could be more damaging than a single longer interruption. Under what conditions do multiple interruptions surpass a single interruption in damage to the creative momentum. 5. Finally it seemed that a Creative Process could be ended too early. What does it mean to be too early and when is it too early?

All of these statements are based upon experience. The questions derived from the experience. In our Person’s Mind, whatever was discovered had to be able to address these issues to be considered a solution. Let us tackle these questions and issues one at a time.

What is the experience of the Creative Pulse?

The first and most important issue is what is the Creative Pulse?

From my Person’s Experience and others the Creative Pulse begins at nothing, grows to a peak and then gradually falls off to nothing. Therefore any graphic representation must contain these components in order to be in the running for Picture of the Creative Pulse.

On simplest level, one spends time creating or not

Returning to the simplest representation of behavior, we decided to reduce it to its basic components. First let us verbally describe some typical creative cycles. My Person sits down to his desk to write, his Wife sits down at her desk to make jewelry, his daughter sits down at the table to start her homework, a programmer sits at the computer to start writing code. After an ideal session each arises hours later having completed their respective projects.

For convenience we chose 120 minute = 2 hour cycle

Although this creative pulse can be of any length, for convenience we choose to study the 2-hour cycle. A two-hour creative session is made up of 120 minutes, which ideally are filled to the brim with creativity. For simplicity we will say that in each minute our Creator either creates or does not create. We will assign a ‘1’ to the minutes that he creates and a ‘0’ to the minutes that he does not create.


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