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A Summary and Review of “Creative Transformation” by John David Garcia

Having worked with John during the time he was writing this book and having discussed the material with him many times during that period, I have both personal biases and unique insights into “Creative Transformation”. Indeed, I was privileged to receive a preview copy of the manuscript for comment and editing before publication.

To truly understand and appreciate “Creative Transformation”, it is highly useful (but not essential) to have read John’s earlier works: “The Moral Society” [1] and “Psychofraud”[2]. While John offers a thorough review of his prior thinking in the Introduction, it is helpful to see the evolutionary progression and basis for his ideas in the prior works. “Moral Society” offers extensive background and Psychofraud provides both a simplified version and a practical application of the “evolutionary ethic”.

As stated in his Introduction, it is a purpose of the book to “fully integrate the mystical and scientific paradigms”. Some of the key points he builds upon, include:

                 There is a moral order to the Universe.

                 There is a greater source of truth in the Universe than humanity; it produces, at least in part, the moral order of the Universe.

                 Humanity can communicate with the common source of moral order and greater truth.

                 Being ethical facilitates, and may be essential to, this communication.

                 An ethical act is any act that increases the creativity of at least one person without decreasing the creativity of any person.

                 It is unethical to be certain.

                 One should choose creativity.

                 Creativity should be measured objectively as the qualities of the human mind which enable people to discover new scientific laws, invent new machines or create new works of inspirational art (or enable others in achieving those things).

                 We must always do our best to maximize creativity for everybody, without ever decreasing anyone's creativity, including our own.

                 We should always do our best to love our neighbor as ourselves. We love persons if, and only if, we behave ethically toward them.

The major change in John’s thinking reflected in Creative Transformation lies in this sentence: “Scientific Mysticism is an evolutionary paradigm that leads us toward an ever truer and more complete paradigm in an infinite process of ever increasing creative imagination guided by ever increasing objective truth.” (Page 8). Thus, it is necessary to expand the previous equation of C=I*E (creativity equals intelligence times ethics) with E = (Yt - Yf)/(Yt + Yf) where: Yt = Quanta of new, true information imagined per unit time and Yf = Quanta of new, false information believed per same unit time as Yt (with ranges of zero to infinity). In this equation we see that John is redefining intelligence in terms of IMAGINED truth. He continues to say that intelligence is the ability to predict and control the total (physical, biological, and psychosocial) environment, but adds components/connections and a mystical (“infinite”) element.

For those who had found logic and directness in the objective-based reasoning in the earlier works (and who knew of John’s love and modelling of Mr. Spock’s character from Star Trek), this was quite a transition. Thus, even though the new ideas were couched in “scientific” theorems, corollaries, and definitions, they still rested upon subjective and speculative ideas foreign to his prior writings.

As if to further confound, John adds love to the mix, stating unequivocally that the “Moral Society can only be created through love” (p. 32) and that “ethical love” requires a complimentary pairing with an ethical person of the opposite sex. A group (octet) of four such pairs form an “embryonic Moral Society” when all persons in the group love each other as themselves. It is through love that conquer fear and which “allows us to become moral and, potentially, infinitely creative” (Theorem 2, p. 30).

Having given us a new basis for creativity, John uses about a hundred pages to restate the evolutionary basis for his theories until he returns to “Human Intelligence” (p. 122).  Then he introduces us to human Will – “a self-organizing program for maximizing intelligence” (ibid) that uses Imagination to generate new Information independently of our sensors. The resulting “pattern of all perceived events and relationships may then be freed of contradictions. Equating a good (true) idea to a beneficial mutation, John then leaps to some generalizations (yes, a pun involving the subsequent section about generalists and specialists).  Having more completely defined intelligence, John adds “amplification” (e.g. tools and language) and “collective intelligence” (“all intelligence is collective”) as considerations.

With this new foundation for intelligence, John moves to the other factor in creativity – ethics. He explains eight ethical principles derived from the evolutionary ethic[3] (“Each person must do his or her best to maximize creativity).”

  1. Only actions or persons which increase creativity are ethical.
    [This is the meaning of "good."]
  2. Any action or person which decreases creativity is unethical.
    [This is the meaning of "evil."]
  3. Unethical means can never achieve ethical ends.
  4. Means which are not ends are never ethical.
  5. It is unethical to tolerate destructiveness.
  6. It is unethical to be certain.
  7. It is ethical to doubt.
  8. Inaction is unethical.

Ethics uniquely amplify human Will and give us evolutionary direction (evident in patterns). These lead us to the rules of the “Game of Life.” These are self-explanatory…

1. Each player must assume that he or she always has free will and is totally responsible for all of his or her acts and whatever happens to him or her [including the choice to “play”].

2. Each player must do his or her best to make those choices and take those actions which will maximize creativity within the universe and to ignore all other considerations.

3. Each player must start the maximization of creativity with himself or herself.

4. Each player must eventually begin to think less about himself or herself and to seek to help maximize the creativity of others - this will in fact maximize his or her own creativity.

5. Each player must always remain open to the possibility that there are always an infinite number of alternatives by which he or she could have increased creativity more and that the universe may be structured very differently than he or she perceives it.

6. Each player should expect no other reward from playing the Game of Life than to have increased the creativity of others who play the Game of Life; this is what we win.

7. Everyone who plays the Game of Life wins.

8. Everyone who refuses to play the Game of Life loses[4].

After explaining the history of human ethical development (all of Chapter 4), we are introduced to “A New Synthesis” (Ch. 5) where we quickly move to “mysticism” (“a state of mind in which we believe that in the universe there is a moral force with greater knowledge than humanity and that we as individuals can, in some way, communicate with that force.)[5]” As John notes, this was a substantial reversal as previously he though and taught that mysticism “was mainly a form of intellectual degeneracy by which persons specialized in predicting and controlling their own thoughts and thereby became immersed in self-delusion”[6]. John reassesses Jungian ideas, extrapolates quantum theory (esp. Bell, Wolfe, and Hoyle) and re-conceptualizes God:

God is the infinite process, within the infinite universe of all universes, by which creativity is forever expanded. God exists in the quantum timeless universe of infinite information... Everything that exists is a modification in the infinite process that is God. God creates us as we create God by expanding forever the creativity of the universe… We worship God by doing our best to learn, teach, and create… As Spinoza said, "To love God is to do our best to understand and emulate God." We create God as God creates us. This concept is called "autopoiesis." (Page 233).

Self-creation (“autopoiesis”) of creativity then becomes a choice which bends an indeterminate quantum outcome into greater generalized intelligence that moves one closer to God. Thus, “each person has the same quantum connection to God.”[7]

The human “soul” is said to be our true self “which takes its identity from our quantum connection to God, our ethics, and our creativity”. When we fear that we can’t create, our quantum mind-brain connection is hindered and we don’t create (thus increasing our fear). Before we may succeed in creative transformation, we must learn to deal with and reduce our fear – both within ourselves and within others in our group. Throughout the process, we must remember that “[w]e cannot become moral by ourselves, but only by helping others become moral through love”.[8] Therefore, the most important choice we ever make is to love (from the soul) rather than to fear”[9] - a choice made for its own reward.

Beginning the creative transformation process may invoke many different techniques and John makes it clear that the procedure detailed in the book is but one possibility. To begin, he suggests four steps[10]:

Because the procedure that John suggests involves a group, he explains in some detail how “brain synchronization” is part of the design. This design (which came to him in a dream) involves “quantum coherence” in the neocortex triggered by practical application of the evolutionary ethic (as above). He discusses his experiments in group process and concludes that the groups were successful (without applying his own criteria for measuring creativity)[11].

Continuing with “quantum dialogue” and “quantum octologue”, John proposes methods that assist participants in connecting with and using their “quantum brain” (while acknowledging that the methods are “the least creative way of opening the quantum brain without harm”).[12] He terms the technique and re-defines autopoiesis as “a mystical, loving type of brainstorming where no one judges another, and all speak about their insights without fear” and emphasizes that it is merely an experience and is not creative transformation. Next, John offers a “Do-It-Yourself Guide to Creative Transformation” (page 268, et seq.).

Here we reach the unfortunate conclusion of John’s exposition on creative transformation – without a clear explanation of the result. In effect, he proposes a process with a clear objectifiable outcome (enhanced creativity), describes mystical elements and experiential methods, and never offers any objective evidence that the process and methods yield the desired result. It might be presumed that the ending portions of the book (detailing political, educational, and economic ideas) are the result of John’s “creative transformation”, but knowing him and his earlier works it must be said that those creative ideas existed well before John imagined “creative transformation”.

Because I had the personal opportunity to explore his thinking, methods, and results, I can say that John’s primary “proof of concept” lied in the “quantum ark” (pages 359…) which he freely deemed “an excellent objective test of the autopoietic [creative transformation] process”. This “hybrid classical-quantum technology” was to be utilized through an autopoietic octet to self-catalyze a Moral Society. To my knowledge, the ark never worked (and I’m confident that John would have informed me if it had). And, to the best of my knowledge, the Moral Society (beyond the micro-versions of an octet) never self-catalyzed.

This may seem harsh “criticism”, but it is the very kind of honest feedback that John frequently advocated and willingly offered others. I should add that it is my belief that John was on the right track, that his ideas and theorems are generally valid, and that he should be credited with offering the best solution for a human future. “Creative Transformation” is a foundation for a structure which may shelter us from our own destructiveness. John was a strong advocate for our choice to build that structure before it is too late. It is up to us to design and build the rest of it.

RVW – August, 2014

 (Note: John's works may be read for free at www.see.org).


[1] The Moral Society: A Rational Alternative to Death (1971), Whitmore Pub. Co.  (English Paperback (2005), 378 pages). “…an original and penetrating book written by a man of strangely heroic cast of mind. I have found much in the remarkable work by John David Garcia which gives philosophical direction to our times.” Humberto Fernandez-Moran, Venezuelan Minister of Science. A complete copy is available for free download at http://www.see.org/garcia/e-ct-dex.htm.

[2] Psychofraud and Ethical Therapy (1974), Whitmore Pub. Co.  (English Paperback: 234 pages).”It's sobering and threatening, but necessary. I would like to see it on every therapist's shelf, in every clergyman's study, in every educational curriculum." Dr. Anthony R. Stone, Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A complete copy is available for free download at http://www.see.org/garcia/e-pf-dex.htm.

[3] Readers of John’s earlier books will remember this well. Here offered at p. 145.

[4] Page 159.

[5] Page 217.

[6] Page 218. While John never says such in his book, this was a point where we had often disagreed and it pleased me greatly to see his ideas shift. But then…

[7] Page 250.

[8] Page 248.

[9] Page 249.

[10] Pages 249-50.

[11] Pages 250-55.

[12] Page 261.






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