Tag Archives: Creativity

Leonardo da Vinci Thinks You Need a Fresh Perspective

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a photo of a real estate listing in Korea and the story of the blind men and the elephant. These were both meant to emphasize the point that perspective is really important. A few days ago I came across an article from Inc. that continues to strengthen my opinion that being able to assume different perspectives is extremely beneficial.

This particular article had to do with Leonardo da Vinci — a famous polymath from the 15th and 16th centuries. The article was illustrating the different ways that da Vinci could teach the reader about creativity. The lede for this article:

The Italian master had skill and great ideas, but he also had something else: the ability to look at the world around him differently.

Perspective.

Here’s the two “things” that I think highlight this point:

Independent Thinking

Diversity is critical for creativity and innovation, which is why it’s important to seek out points of view different from your own.

“The problem is the more senior someone becomes the more likely they’re going to believe their own publicity and surround themselves with people who always agree with them. So the more senior you become, the more concerted effort you must make to seek out different opinions. Then you have a chance to think independently,” Gelb says.

Make New Connections

Logical and linear-thinking types–engineers, analysts, and scientists, for example–can have a hard time looking for patterns and new connections, but doing so is the key to creativity.

Again, Gelb likes to use mind mapping, although it take a while to train these kinds of folks since they’re used to doing things in a formal order.

“At first it feels very messy… thinking through association and letting the mind go free and generating lots of key words and other images in different directions,” he says.

So, if you won’t take my word that seeing things from a new perspective is important, will you take da Vinci’s word?

 

Spiritual Development of the Frog: Spiritual Development of Frogs, Part 2

In yesterday’s post, we looked at the first half of a paper I wrote about the spiritual development of frogs. There was a focus on the  biological development of frogs. Today, we’ll look at the second half of the paper and wrap it up. In this half of the paper, we really get into the “creative” part. Enjoy!

Spiritual Development of the Frog

It is conceivable that all species have some form of spiritual development. It would be ludicrous to assume that we, as humans, are the only species that can experience spiritual development. Given this, it is fair to assume that frogs experience spiritual development. As we learned from an earlier section in this paper, biological development can be tied to spiritual development. As such, a frog’s spiritual development is markedly similar to their biological development.

A frog’s life begins as an egg. Not many eggs make it past this stage, so the eggs that do make it past this stage, must have something rare about them. The eggs that survive this stage have something exceptional about them. These eggs are already into stage one of the spiritual development of a frog – protection. In this stage of spiritual development, the frog has to have the intuitive capacity to have chosen the right egg to be born into that will not be eaten by a predator. Not all eggs make it to stage one of spiritual development, so the eggs that do, are already ahead of the game. It is necessary to say that those eggs that do not make it to stage one are eggs that have remained in stage zero, which is called undifferentiated.

Once an egg has made it past the stages of undifferentiated and protection, they move into becoming a tadpole. In this stage, the tadpole undergoes many transitions. During the tadpole stage, the tadpoles that mature too quickly are not only subject to predation from other species, but from their own kind! Tadpoles that fall into this trap do not move onto the next stage of spiritual development – safety. Those tadpoles that have the compassion and understanding of what is going on in their bodies portray an air of safety to them. They are aware of what is in their environment that can harm them and know not to mature at a rate too quickly, so as not to upset the other tadpoles. To this point, we have learned that a frog begins as an egg in biological terms and as undifferentiated in spiritual terms. If the egg that is chosen is ‘protected,’ then the frog spirit that chose the egg moves onto the next biological stage of tadpole and to the next stage of spiritual development of protection. If the tadpole is smart and ‘safe’ enough, then they are permitted the opportunity to undergo a metamorphosis. Before this stage of metamorphosis, the tadpole has moved into the spiritual stage of safety.

The tadpoles are now far enough on their spiritual journey to have gained the title of ‘safe.’ It is the title ‘safe’ required by the frog Gods before they will permit the tadpoles an opportunity to move through the metamorphosis stage. This metamorphosis stage for tadpoles biologically, is the shift they make into the life of being a froglet. In this stage of froglet, the spiritual developmental stage that coincides is ‘becoming.’ The term becoming was chosen because in this stage of froglet, the frog is not quite a frog and not quite a tadpole. It is, by definition, a transitory state, both biologically and spiritually. It is commonly compared to the Dark Night of the Soul, which was a treatise written by a Spanish poet. However, this treatise is commonly referred to a state in one’s spiritual journey for despair, much like the time for froglets – a time of anguish where multiple changes in their body are occurring.

If these froglets can survive the biological changes occurring in them, then they will be granted the ability to move onto the final stage of biological development – an adult frog. In spiritual terms, this stage is referred to as individuation. All froglets that become adult frogs have tails that have undergone resorption, but this resorption of their tails is what separates them from the froglets. This process is an ‘individuation’ of sorts and as such, is the stage of spiritual development. Once the frogs have become adult frogs, they are individuated and then live lives as normal frogs do.

For those frogs that are lucky enough, they will stumble upon, only by way of intuition, the final stage of spiritual development for frogs – communal. This stage is unknown to most of the frog community and is only accessible for those frogs that spend time looking deep within them. All of the frogs have access to this stage, as all frogs are connected, but only the frogs that pay attention and are mindful have the opportunity to access this spiritual stage of communal. Once the individuated frog realizes that there is a stage of communal, they must swim to find it. There are communities of frogs in the Atlantic Ocean who live on an island not known to any species, except for the communal frogs. These frogs have transcended what it means to be a frog and are living in a state of complete bliss. Being in the company of other frogs who have reached the communal stage only further amplifies a frog’s state of bliss.

Conclusion

There was reasoning offered for pairing biological development with spiritual development. There was an explanation of the biological development of a frog. The stages of biological development of a frog are as follows: egg, tadpole, froglet, and adult frog. The stages of spiritual development of a frog were explained. The stages of spiritual development of a frog are as follows: undifferentiated, protection, safety, becoming, individuation, and communal.

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If you liked this paper/series, you might want to check out some of the other papers/series I’ve posted.

Biological Development of the Frog: Spiritual Development of Frogs, Part 1

In continuing to dig through some of the archives of papers I’ve written in the past, I thought I’d share a fun one I write while attending Sofia University. This paper was for a class in the Psychology of Spiritual Development. The prompt for the paper was for students to ‘construct our own synthetic model of spiritual development that integrated/incorporated two or more traditional or psychology models.’ I don’t remember where I got the idea to couch this in the context of frogs, but I remember that this made it more fun to write. Also, I remember the professor telling me that he really enjoyed reading the paper. I hope you do, too!

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This paper will give a summary of the biological development of frogs and pair spiritual development with the stages of biological development that a frog experiences. There will be reasoning offered as to why biological development belongs with spiritual development by way of support from other models of spiritual development. The biological stages of frogs are egg, tadpole, froglet, and adult frog. The spiritual stages of frogs are undifferentiated, protection, safety, becoming, individuation, and communal.

Biological Development and Spiritual Development

Biological development occurs across the lifespan from birth to death and it is arguable that spiritual development occurs across the lifespan, too. As we grow and age, we are forever embedded in a learning process. When we are babies, we learn mostly from our parents because they are constantly taking care of us. As we grow out of our baby stage, we begin to learn from other people in our environment, which could include siblings. We then move into early childhood and adolescence where we are not only learning from our parents, but we are learning from teachers, classmates, and any number of other people in our environment (bus drivers, strangers, cashiers, etc.) During these learning experiences, our body is also growing. Our body is in a constant state of change. When we are born from our mother’s womb, we are in one state of being – biologically speaking. This state we begin as babies is not even the same state that we are in the next day. There are multiple processes happening within our body that help us grow. Just as these processes are helping our body grow biologically, there are also spiritual processes that are taking place at the same time.

In M. Scott Peck’s, Stages of Spiritual Growth, Peck highlights that most children are in Stage one on his model. Peck has four different stages of growth and notes that most people progress from stage one to stage two (although not everyone does). Peck is not the only professional to posit that spiritual development occurs at certain ages. In James W. Fowler’s, Stages of Faith Development, Fowler highlights that Stage Zero occurs between birth and two years of age. Fowler has six stages of faith development (including stage zero), that people can progress through. Just as Peck noted with his stages of spiritual development, Fowler notes that not everyone can progress through the stages of faith development. Fowler’s stage six is reserved for those who have reached a state of being liken to that of Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa. The case has been made for a similarity between biological development and spiritual development. In the next section, there will be a description of the biological development of a frog.

Biological Development of the Frog

Before we can understand the spiritual development of a frog, we need to understand the biological development. The unique factor in the biological development of frogs is that there is a metamorphosis. Before there can be a Life cycle of a frogmetamorphosis, there must be eggs. The majority of frogs start out as an egg. Most of the time, female frogs will lay eggs in the water, but sometimes, they will lay them on land. If these eggs are laid on land, they will be laid very close to the water. When the female frog lays eggs, they do not just lay one egg, but multiple eggs. These eggs are the subject of much predation and as a result, most frog eggs do not survive. However, those eggs that do survive from predators will hatch within one week.

Once the eggs hatch, they become tadpoles, which are sometimes referred to as polliwogs. Tadpoles have an oval body with long and vertically-flattened tails, much like the image of (a) in Figure 1. In this stage, the tadpole is completely submerged in water. There are no lungs, but there are external gills for respiration. The tadpoles do not have eyelids, nor do they have front and hind legs, but they do have tails that they use for swimming. These tadpoles typically eat algae. Tadpoles are very vulnerable to predation, just as the eggs. Something interesting to note is that their counterparts (fellow tadpoles) may eat tadpoles developing quicker than their counterparts do. That is, the late bloomers survive longer, which is not something that is common among other species, specifically humans. Tadpoles that develop early would grow hind legs faster as in (b) of Figure 1. Tadpoles can remain tadpoles for as long as one year depending on the time of year that they hatch. If they hatch into tadpoles near winter, they may stay as tadpoles through the winter.

Towards the end of the tadpole stage, frogs undergo a metamorphosis. There is a dramatic transformation in a frog’s physiology. These tadpoles develop hind legs and then front legs. The tadpoles will lose their external gills and develop lungs. The intestines shorten in length as they begin to shift from an herbivorous diet to a carnivorous. The position of their eyes shift to allow for improved binocular vision. This shift in their eye position is important and mirrors their shift from prey to predator. At this stage, the tadpole is no longer referred to as a tadpole, as this is inaccurate. However, it is referred to as a froglet. The image of this description can be found in (c) and (d) of Figure 1.

In the final stage of development to adult frog, the froglet undergoes a transformation known as apoptosis, which is the technical term for programmed cell death. The apoptosis for the froglet occurs in their tail. Instead of the tail falling off as in some other species, the froglet’s tail undergoes resorption, which is the technical term for the process of losing substance. This process can be seen by looking at Figure 1 from (c) to (d) to (e). In this section, there has been an explanation of how the frog undergoes biological development beginning with the egg. Then, there was a depiction of the process as a tadpole and as a froglet. Finally, there was a description of an adult frog. In the next section, there will be ties made between the stages of biological development and the stages of spiritual development.

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Note: Check back tomorrow for the last two sections of the paper (spiritual development of the frog and the conclusion).