In this short epilogue, I reflect on a final, basic paradox when it comes to creativity: the fact that creators are simultaneously deeply immersed into their environment and their work and, at the same time, capable of taking distance from both in order to develop new perspectives on the situation or problem at hand. This particular state of “immersed detachment” is enabled by our existence as social and cultural beings, a condition that both constrains and frees our thinking and our action. Understanding this paradoxical condition and fostering it can have wide-ranging benefits at a theoretical and practical level. Conceptually, it helps us understand why creativity depends, at once, on individuals and society, uniqueness and sameness, continuity and difference. Practically, it encourages those forms of immersion and connectivity that help rather than hinder creative agency.
- immersed detachment