Thoughts on three forms of conception

Here’s a thought I had:

It seems to me that conception of the world is made up of a number of forms.  These forms are made up of different qualities and traits of conceiving things.  Each has unique characteristics and manifestations.  These different forms blend together to make a generalized conception of the world.


The three forms of conception are:

  1. Imitation
  2. Creativity
  3. Intuition

Each form has unique qualities and traits such as:


Imitation is a form of ‘repetition in the mind’.  Generally, we see, hear, or do something and repeat it.  The bulk of “smarts” and so-called intelligence, nowadays, is nothing but imitation in my experience.  That is the primary bulk of modern education today.  Hear, repeat on a test, get an A if repeated correctly.  One could almost describe it as ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’ type of thing.  This repetition by imitation is primarily memory-based and is rooted in ones ability to remember.  Some people are very good at this and have quite an ability at it.  In fact, there is a specific character of person that tends to follow this path.  I wrote an article about this called “Thoughts on the ‘memory-based character’, the ‘memory-based education’, modern education, and other things associated with them“.

Repetition by imitation can be of many things such as:

  • Information.  This is facts, figures, and such.  It generally consists of things you’ve heard (such as a lecture or documentary) or what you’ve read.  I often speak of this tendency as “mind stuffing” or being “spoon fed knowledge” because one is basically putting information into ones head.  It creates something like a “human encyclopedia”.
  • Procedures.  This includes things like math, something someone must actually do.  Generally, once a person does something they can repeat it again and again.  This creates something like an “educated robot”, people who know how to do things.

I consider imitation as the beginning of learning.  It is certainly, by no means, the end, which seems to be the point of view taken today.  In many ways, it is no more than a base, a foundation.  Because of this, I consider imitation the lowest of learning.  In this society, though, they have made repetition by imitation practically everything.  This is because its the easiest way to get an illusion of ‘education’ in the masses and because this system needs human encyclopedias and robots.  But, in this way, the lowest form of learning has been exalted to the highest.  This is one reason why I tend to look down on ‘formal education’ in the modern world.

I generally view imitation as being ‘supportive’ and a ‘guide’.  In this way, it actually ‘sets the stage’ for creativity and intuition by giving them direction.  One could compare imitation to an ‘example’ or a ‘mentor’.  Though they may be good and mean well they get nowhere if they remain in that state.  This is why imitation is only a starting point, a beginning.  It needs to progress further to be of any value.  This, though, is not as easy as it sounds.  The jump out of imitation can be difficult and hard to achieve.  Some people never will make this jump.  This is why I speak of the ‘imitative hurdle’, as it is a hurdle that must be jumped over.  Many people, though, will remain in this state making much out of imitation and repetition.  Many so-called intelligent people are actually of this sort.

Another aspect of imitation and repetition is what I call the ‘building block mentality’.  This is largely the taking of different things imitated and repeated and rearranging them into a new form much like building blocks.  This is still part of imitation as its just a rearranging of something imitated.  But there are times where it can go beyond that, and become incredibly creative and ingenious.  As a result, this mentality can, at times, be a means to jump the ‘imitative hurdle’ for some people.


Creativity is really a combination of the other two elements, imitation and intuition, which is why I put it in the middle.  Typically, creativity involves taking something existing and modifying it in some way.  It uses imitation as an ‘example’ to begin with, as a start and a guide.  It uses intuition to give it direction.  To truly create, in my opinion, requires intuition.  Creativity without intuition is really  just ‘making stuff’.

There are many existing things that creativity can modify.  These consist of things such as:

  • An object, such as clay.
  • An ability, such as knowing how to play the piano.
  • A knowledge of something, such as algebra to help you understand calculus.
  • An awareness, such as what experience has taught you.
  • An idea, such as an image of what you want to paint.

In other words, creativity requires something to start with, something to mold and change.  This makes creativity a form of changing things.

I generally consider creativity as having these qualities:

  • An ability to put something together from something existing.
  • A form of expression.

This makes it so that creativity is more than just ‘making something up’ or ‘making stuff’.  Expression plays an important role:  it gives creativity a deeper element and inspiration.  Oftentimes, expression is what forces creativity and causes it to be.  Many people, I think, fail at creativity because they lack the ability to be expressive, even though they know how to ‘put things together’.  As a result, they are not creative.  This expression connects it with intuition, the next form.  In this way, creativity is where all three forms come together in a productive way.  Imitation supplies the example and know-how.  Intuition supplies the inspiration.  These come together and blend, making creativity.


Intuition entails a knowing that is not immediately obvious.  In fact, at times it can be miraculous and appear as if out of nowhere.  Unlike creativity, intuition does not need something existing to change and modify, though it can use it.  It usually just ‘appears’.

There are many origins of intuition.  These include:

  • The need to find a connection between things.  This refers to a tendency to make connections between things, even though there may not be.  For example, a belief that if something good happens to you it is because “someone like me up there”.  In this way, its somewhat superstitious.  .
  • The effects of experience.  The fact is that experience makes us “know” things we may not be conscious of or aware of (“once you learn how to ride a bike you never forget”).  As a result, we may be shocked by how we know how to do something, which may appear intuitive, but its really something we already know.
  • A natural insight.  I tend to believe that people have a natural insight into things, some more than others.  In other words, we just seem to know things.
  • A mystical origin.  Some intuition cannot be explained.  They appear and how they appear one cannot say.  Typically, the explanations are religious in orientation.

Intuition, in my opinion, is what binds everything together and gives any conception its ‘relevance’ and meaning.  This is because it makes any conception hit ‘deep within’.  It becomes more than an ‘image’ or a ‘knowing’.  This, then, shows that intuition is what hits deep within a person.  Because of this, an intuitive sense tends to lead to a spiritual outlook.

I’ve written some more on intuition in this article “Thoughts on instinct, intuition, and inspiration“.


Each person is different in how these different forms appear.  Some may display one form more than the others or in different combinations.  These create an almost endless variety of forms and styles of conception in people from unseen to obvious, to non-productive to productive.

There are a number of ways in which the appearance of the forms of conception:

  • In the emphasis.  That is to say, in what is most used the most.
  • In how obvious or noticeable they are.  In many cases, the form is ‘hidden’ from view.
  • In a persons ability to use and apply them.  Some people have an ability in one form that makes it more prevalent and used.  This makes it more noticeable.

In other words, there are conditions that affect its appearance.  Not only that, it changes through time, often in response to the situation.


As I use it here in this article, “intelligence” is a quality where a person uses all three forms above.  That is to say, an “intelligent person” is a person who has abilities in all three areas.  In addition, they use them in combination.  In that way, they are a like a “jack of all trades”.  Their main ability, though, is not in one specific form but in balancing them out.  As a result of these, an “intelligent person” are good as managers, leaders, administrators, and so on.  Typically, an “intelligent person” is not good at any one form specifically.  Often, they are horrible at any one element individually.  Because of this, they often never ‘master’ anything.

People that are good at one ability have what I call ‘focused ability’.  These people tend to make good ‘workers’.  Because they are focused they typically cannot balance all three that is seen in “intelligence”.  In actuality, these are the bulk of the people who do things.

There are a group of people that as if fit in between.  I often speak of this as an “intelligent disposition”.   These are people that display a “focused ability” most of the time but with occasional acts of “intelligence”.  These people generally focus on an ability primarily.  Certain situations and conditions require them to combine all the elements from time to time (intelligence) but then they go back to their focused ability which they are in most of the time.

Different character dilemma’s associated with ‘focused ability’

‘Focused ability’ tends to create different forms of characters based on that ability.  That is to say, there is an association between ‘focused ability’ and character.  One aspect of this is that it tends to create specific dilemma’s for that character type:

  • Robot-like.  The imitative character tends to create a robot-like perspective and character.  This is because the memory begins, in a sense, to control them.  Their life becomes one primarily of imitation.  I often speak of this tendency as ‘standing on the shoulders of other people’ because all the people are doing is imitating other people.  As a result, there is a lack of their ‘self’ in what they do.  This often makes them cold and alienated-like.
  • Feeling unfulfilled.  The creative-based character often gets to the point that they feel they can’t create anymore or are unfulfilled in some way.  This is because they develop a sense that they are always about to ‘create a creation’ but, when they create it, it does not seem ‘enough’.  They begin to feel that there is more.  In a way, their creative sense gets away from them and they never feel that they can do what their creative sense wants.  This makes them feel unfulfilled.
  • Despair.  The intuition-based character tends to feel despair and even depression.  This is because they are always ‘waiting for it’ (meaning the intuition).  Because it often does not appear they as if ‘over-reach’ themselves, yearning or seeking it.  Since I does not appear they begin to feel despair.  This can turn into a depression.

Often, these can be impairing to the person and create problems.  At other times it can have positive effects.  Interestingly, in many cases, the fight against them is what brings out their best qualities.  Its not uncommon, though, that these character traits are with them in their everyday life and influence all that they do.  For some people, it may even dominate their personality.


We see, then, that conception is not a ‘single entity’, a ‘one thing’.  It is it is made up of different forms each displaying different qualities.  Each form has qualities the others do not have creating, in effect, many ways at looking at the world . . . none is more correct than another.  These can create, even, a specific character in people which even creates its own problems for that character type.  In this way, one could say that each person wears their own personal ‘tinted glasses’ in which they see the world:  we all see the world but in a slightly different way.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Education and learning, Existence, Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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