Some Latin words are truly awesome. – some of them are wonderful homonyms. The beauty in them lies in how they tend to connect to one another to explain their meaning better. We see this in the Latin word Inventio.
Inventio meaning Invention
Inventio meaning Inventory
Invention is the combination of already known things and adjusting them to create something new – In a nutshell, invention is creative ability. The essence of creativity is linking dissimilar facts and ideas.
The inventory is your huge sack of memory known as Manas in Indian Philosophy.
Developing your manas, increases our capacity to leap from topic to topic to make new connections between old ideas, which as stated, is the essence of creativity.
Meaning, Memory & Creativity could be the same fundamental process directed with a different purpose.
Bringing It All Together
In fact, Manas could very well be the source of human creativity. We naturally seek to create and find patterns and connect disparate things together because that is how our inventory of memory is stored.
Like this video, memory in the mind isn’t linear. “Memory is like a spiderweb that catches new information. The more it catches, the bigger it grows. And the bigger it grows, the more it catches.” – Joshua Foer – Moonwalking With Einstein
It forms a tangled, yet completely connected framework by which your creative imagination navigates to create.
You see, you can only think from the memory that you have already gathered. You can reorganize it, you can make new combinations, new permutations, turning it into any sort of variation you wish. But you cannot think of something absolutely new. Yes, thank you for that, Sadhguru.
It is not in the nature of thought to create something new. It can only recycle the past.
Without the INVENTORY of information, creative invention, cannot happen in the mind. This makes memory a tool for invention and composition, not retention. It assists in creation. Mary Carruthers, The Book of Memory
This is why metaphors, analogies, and parables are vital for understanding. Because thought can only understand that which it knows from memory. If someone told you the meaning of life but you had no reference for what they were saying, it would not be understood and therefore, not remembered.
As long as you keep adding new memories, your brain will store it. The new information will create more connected neurons, which will make adding more information easier because there are more ‘hooks’ for the new information to ‘latch’ onto.
However, information and data don’t, by themselves lead to creativity, but you can’t have understanding without the facts. Memory is the chalice which can contain the mercury that is creativity. Mnemosyne is, afterall, the Greek Goddess of memory and mother of the 9 muses.
You need an inventory of knowledge to be your framework for your creative imagination to navigate. Give your creativity an ocean of knowledge to navigate, and you will have the inventory to create something wonderful.
However, wouldn’t it easier to navigate your memory if it was better mapped out? Or more easily assessible to you?
Since the mind can handle everything that you put into it, it’s important to put as much ‘inventory’ into the mind as possible, yes, AND be able to remember it so you can use it for creativity and understanding.
Ultimately, Inventio shows that the Roman’s had a wonderful understanding that invention can only come from a vast inventory of knowledge and data. So, the more facts and information you have at your disposal, the better your creative ability will be.
We are all creators. Learn, read, study and do so daily. Add to your inventory to create something beautiful.
I have added several references to get you started in developing and improving your memory to give your creativity a better defined ocean to navigate.