Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Alice Bailey's esoteric explanation of the creative process
by Cheatham, Harvey M., M.A., Saybrook University, 2010, 277; 1480348
Abstract (Summary)

Alice Bailey provided an extensive explanation of the creative process in the 24 volumes of her writings, published from 1922 to 1960. The objective of this thesis was to clarify and organize her contribution to ascertain whether her work might be appropriately integrated into the existing body of creativity literature consistent with current trends in creativity studies. To date, Bailey’s writings apparently have not received serious attention in academic psychology except by Roberto Assagioli, who was a prominent student of Bailey.

This thesis examined Bailey’s esoteric explanation of the creative process as gleaned from the 10,000 pages of her books. The research method was first to organize her worldview to identify foundational principles of esoteric thought interwoven in her presentation. From this foundation, Bailey’s lengthy explanation of the creative process was synthesized to 7 hypotheses for scholarly consideration. Finally, these hypotheses were compared to selected themes from current creativity studies for compatibility.

This research found that Bailey advanced a longstanding and rich tradition of esoteric thought that was pioneered in modern times by Helena Blavatsky, that Bailey’s writings on the creative process are both comprehensive and internally consistent, and that these writings are compatible with certain recognized themes in creativity studies. Bailey indicated that the creative process concerns realized purpose and defined creativity in its highest sense as the access and then manifestation in physicality of prototypal (archetypal) patterns. This type of creativity requires more than just the ability to contact the existing pattern; it also includes the building of that which was contacted with as little distortion of the envisioned pattern as possible.

Although Bailey’s work may lie outside mainstream Western psychology, her hypotheses were found consistent with multiple themes in current creativity studies. As such, her depth and clarity of explanation of the creative process might benefit those engaged in creativity scholarship and might have the potential to expand mainstream views in this area. As human evolution largely depends on creative achievement, compelling reasons exist to develop a fuller understanding of the creative process. Therefore, Bailey’s insights into the creative process seem to warrant further investigation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Richards, Ruth
Commitee: Krippner, Stanley
School: Saybrook University
Department: Consciousness and Spirituality
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Bailey, Alice, Creative process, Creativity studies, Esoteric, Esoteric creativity, Esoteric theory
Publication Number: 1480348
ISBN: 9781124180694
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