What is the Self?

This week I found another interview with David Bohm.

Somewhere in that interview he talks about why we need the space to develop creativity.

He wrote about that in the book Science, Order and Creativity and I already have several posts about one chapter of that book.

The chapter states that creativity is very important, but it does not always get the chance to come into existence. And that it needs independent growth, which means the opportunity for free play in the early stages of development.

It becomes clear that it is often difficult for people to be creative. And even more difficult to develop their creativity.

And personally I am fascinated by that. Why is that so very hard? I talked about that in several posts already and think that it very much has to do with an essential difference between two types of people.

In the post Inner Drive or Navigation from Outside, I wrote about those who have this overwhelming inner drive, and those who don’t. Or maybe they do, but they manage to suppress it.

That post expressed very much my personal feeling about how that works with people, but in the interview with David Bohm, it became clear to me that he also thinks there is this essential difference between two types of Self.

There are two places in the interview where he elaborates on that. He talks about the difference between the ‘repetitive reflex system’ versus ‘free play’. And the talks about the difference between ‘me’ versus ‘I’.

I think it all has very much to do with the transition from a pre-individual state into becoming an independent and authentic individual, a subject that is coming back on this blog every time because I am fascinated by it. A certain place on the model that I use on this blog.

It is a transition that I think is essential for every human being, but is at the same time a very complicated and, for some, very difficult process.

In my following post I want to quote what Bohm has to say about that and give my own understanding of what he says.


What is the self


  1. Hi,
    lately i have been re-exploring the ideas of David Bohm as well (as can be seen in my web activity:)-).

    “Science, Order & Creativity” is quite a tough read, while “On Creativity”, which contains a number of essays on the subject, points out more clearly what he was aiming at.

    A deeply creative mind is indeed psychologically independent and authentic, and is able to break free from the mechanisms of thought (it was his scientific approach to the discourses of Krishnamurti, buddhists, etc).
    I don’t know if the quadrant model is appropriate in this context, it is bound to introduce complexity and confusion, at least from my point of view.

    The point is to “get” the whole of it. Whether you use a lot of concepts or not does not matter that much, but in the end, they have to go, so to speak, to come to a full understanding.

    — Interessante blog heb je hier, net ontdekt


  2. Great to see someone who is also interested in the ideas of David Bohm. Yes ‘Science, Order and Creativity’ is indeed a tough read. Although I found the chapter about creativity (I think it is called ‘Creativity in the whole of life’) not that difficult. Somehow it made so much sense to me that I had the feeling I could understand it rather well.

    But the rest of the book was at times way over my head indeed. So I will certainly go search for ‘On Creativity’. Seems very interesting!

    I also don’t know if the quadrant model is appropriate for the understanding of creativity. It is just something I am working with a lot lately (together with the model of the zodiac) and what I use to visualise concepts like creativity, individuality and development.

    I absolutely agree that it is about getting the whole of it. But to be able to communicate that whole, I feel I have to search for already existing concepts that reflect my understanding, in order to make myself clear. Hope that sentence was clear :-)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *