Portmanteau Commentary: Knowledge vs intelligence - The conflict of the saint and the artist

In the past couple of weeks or so I have gone through an emotional upheaval quite fitting in juxtaposition to the euphoric beginnings and sunny introduction to the fantastical reality of beginnings. If 'fantastical reality' is wanting to let you shout 'oxymoron', you'd be quite right. However, not in the sense of contradicting understandings for as you shall see during the course of my argument, it is truly real, but in the original portmanteau of the Greek words sharp and dull. In fact, in it's sourced meaning, I could argue the juxtaposition to be based on the oxymoron of reality of beginnings in that it is painfully sharp yet dull.

The sharpness derives, in this procession of events related to my own experience, from the affinity and taking a shine to the sense of importance and discovery, a sense of importance in uniqueness, appreciation of not the work or object but the concept of being first, that of discovery and merit based on discovery rather than what fills said discovery. I suggest that even more so than happiness, it is greatness, which drives great minds. For we remember many great authors, scientists and philosophers for being the first to publicize a point made, no matter how that same apple may have fallen upon a thinker setting in motion similar thoughts centuries after. The knowledge and drive for genius and to be known stretches beyond the mere contentment with goodness or even greatness of craftsmanship, intelligence or beauty, it strives for individuality, differentiation, and most of all, for being first.

Naivety of knowledge and conceptualization of such knowledge can be truly liberating in the process of thought and creation. It matters not how many generations of humans have learned to grasp the conceptualization of self, for instance, every time it is discovered new, without outside help, almost as a switch of connections of neurons. That, I believe, cannot be dismissed as a lesser discovery for lack of timely births and century choices of sperms and eggs to create, that is, for lack of control over which century one is born in as well as the unfortunate coincidence that one has thought thus before. One should not dismiss the naivety of unknown historical or literate knowledge at the presence of intelligent thought. I have discussed this previously in closer proximity to fashion in my article "Knowledge vs Intelligence - Defining expertise in the world of fashion".

Naivety is an interesting word and an interesting concept. One might quite like to decide that naivety is an attribute unwished for, but I have come to realize that depends on what kind of picture you'd like yourself to be painted in.

In the contextualization of the dualistic view of tough vs. soft, me desperately avoiding the latter, naivety seems to evoke a reaction of protectionism, motherhood and general puppy-with-three-legs-reaction that is extremely unappreciated despite its well meaning intentions. The concept of naivety does not seem, as it should, to create the realization of sharp, unadultered interpretation of, may I suggest, an intelligent observer, but is merely belittled to that of lacking knowledge of what is perceived as reality and in the worst yet most caring cases, in need of protection when reality is often clearer to the naive than it is to the knowledgeable.

On another note, creativity derives from naivety with a much stronger sense of conviction and drive as it does from that of tutored and shaped mind. In fact, creativity in par with productivity is best observed in the reclusion of the creator, the insolvency of interaction or interference. Surely it must be understandable that to interfere a sensation of discovery, genius and uniqueness with an unnecessary and uncalled for tutorial of historical knowledge is hindering in the productivity of creation. The afterthought, dare I suggest the portmanteau afterknowledge, may have to be professionally derived from historical and contextualized fact, however, it should, in the best of circumstances, not appear in the process of creation as a catalyst force of unproductivity and negative stimulus. The easiest, and often most naturally adapted form I have observed in the greatest minds and creators, is that of necessity for loneliness. And that, in turn, requires a necessity to abandon the want to be good to others. Creativity requires for one to be truly selfish in the process of creation, to believe in the possibility of greatness in order to achieve the highest possible form of drive and productivity.

As Iris Murdoch points out in relation to her book "Under the Net", the want to be good and the nesessity to be creative is in recurrent conflict. I thoroughly identify with the statement that there is a conflict between the artist and the saint and I believe it is so because of our necessity for loneliness in order to avoid the negative stimulus of historically contextualized knowledge helping screen the brakes of production and creativity.








Images are snapshots from the BBC program "In their own words: British Novelists - 2. The age of Anxiety (1945 - 1969)