I made a second search on “creative thinking”, based on the CD-rom the foundation produced with all the texts of K.
I made an interesting discovery which confirmed my suspicion. K. used the expression “creative thinking” only in talks until about 1947, then from 1948 on he stopped talking about it and on the contrary he declared that there is no such a thing as “creative thinking”.
He also (before 1948) made a distinction between “thinking” and “thought” (Ojai 1944), something he never made afterwards and which logically has no sense.
So, to me this is the evidence that K. changed radically his way of teaching and expressing his discoveries. Probably he realized that the term “creative thinking” was ambiguous and could lead to misunderstanding. We better consider this when reading older books of K.
The quotations are only a few of the hundreds which came out, still it can be too long to read. I hope not to bore you.
“It is only when mind is freed from all this accumulation, from beliefs, ideals, principles, memories, that there is creative thinking. You cannot blindly put away accumulation; you can be free from it only when you understand it. Then there is creative thought ; then there is an eternal movement. Then mind is no longer separated from action.
1st Public Talk. Adyar, India; 29th December, 1933
“As the majority of people have lost the joy of creative thinking, naturally they turn to the mere sensation of sex,”
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 2nd Public Talk 17th April, 1935
“You may read many philosophies and yet not know the bliss of creative thinking, which can exist only when the mind and heart begin to free themselves through conflict, through constant awareness, from the stupidities of the past and from those that are being built up. Then only is there the ecstasy of that which is true.”
New York City,1st Public Talk 11th March, 1935
“Right thinking is a continual process born of self-discovery, of self-awareness. There is no beginning and no end to this process so right thinking is eternal. Right thinking is timeless; it is not bound by the past, by memory, not limited by formulation. It is born of freedom from fear and hope. Without the living quality of self-knowledge, right thinking is not possible. Right thinking is creative for it is a constant process of self-discovery. Right thought is thought conditioned ; it is a result, is made up, is put together; it is the outcome of a pattern, of memory, of habit, of practice…”
Ojai, California, 3rd Public Talk 28th May, 1944
(So here above he’s making a distinction between right thinking and right thought, a distinction he later on abandoned.)
“So there must be a creative revolution in thinking and that is extremely difficult. And because it is difficult we look to somebody else, to the example, to the leader. What do I mean by creative thinking? Do we think at all or do we merely respond to a certain set of conditions? Is that thinking? Because you are a Hindu, you are conditioned in a certain manner or if a Muslim, a Buddhist, or what ever it be, your response is to that particular conditioning. Surely that is not thinking.”
Madras 3rd Public Talk 2nd November, 1947
(Here above is the explanation of what he meant)
“So, thinking is always a conditioned response, thinking is a process of response to a challenge. The challenge is always new; but thinking, which is a response derived from memory, is always the old revivified. It is very important to understand this. Thinking can never be new, because thinking is the response of memory, and this response of memory becomes vital when it meets the new and derives life from the new. But thinking in itself is never new. Therefore, thinking can never be creative, because it is always the response of memory.”
Bombay, India. Public Talk 7th March, 1948
“You may have a capacity, a gift in a certain direction; but do not call it creative action, creative thinking. No thinking is creative , because thinking is merely a reaction. And can creation be a reaction?”
Saanen 2nd Public Talk 27th July 1961
“Thought is a vehicle for a creative impulse. Creative impulse, which is taken over by thought and expressed in a poem, in stone, in what you like; the impulse, then the thought comes and takes it over and expresses it, and you call that creation. Right? Creative thinking. You see, we are going away a little bit, sorry, I must come back, we may deal with it presently because this is much more important than creative thought, creative thinking.”
Ojay 15 April 1976, discussion 3