“Modern psychology explains that the power of the ‘unconscious’ is an important factor in forming human behavior, yet psychologists know little about the behavior of the ‘super-conscious.’ One of the missions of this book is to point out the movement of this intelligent activity. It is not merely a residue of personal experiences that has sunk into the unconscious world of the private soul, but rather an intelligence that spreads its wings to planes of universal intelligence, where it can find the knowledge it needs. This is the great secret of human intuition, which is capable of expanding beyond the circles of experiences and the boundaries of human knowledge.”
— Itzhak Bar Yona
What, essentially, is an “inventive step” or an “original invention”? Is it possible for people to create anything that is truly new? After all, almost all of the ideas for inventions derive from principles already present in nature. These questions came to the author of this book—a professional inventor with more than thirty patents—as he tried to discover the connections between his work in science and technology and his increasing awareness of a path of inner development. What he observed was a mutual fertilization of ideas between these two distinct areas, one that takes place naturally and unintentionally. The act of creating in daily work caused him to become conscious of the activity of creative thinking itself, and he began to see how ideas spring forth and how they develop—from their first prototypical application to their physical manifestations.
As Itzhak Bar Yona continued his “outer” work as an inventor, these questions and observations began a new direction of research into the question about the true source of creativity and invention. In the process, he realized that he would not obtain answers by looking only at the process of inventing itself or at the lives and methods of famous inventors, but would need to develop his own inner ability to observe his soul’s faculties. To do this, he decided to use the esoteric methods of G.I. Gurdjieff, Rudolf Steiner, and Sri Aurobindo. This book, Where Do Ideas Come From, is the result of the author’s continuing inner search for the source of the “inventive step” and the true nature of creativity.
This book is primarily for those interested in creativity, in all of its aspects and applications. We find the human powers of creation in all areas of human activity—art, technology, science, and social activity. Proponents of modern education, however, prefer to focus on the acquisition of knowledge and skills rather than nurturing creativity, because most educators, scientists, and technologists fail to understand the essence of the creative impulse and the promise it holds.