Russ Volckmann

Melvin E. Miller and Susanne R. Cook-Greuter, eds. Creativity, Spirituality, and Transcendence: Paths to Integrity and Wisdom in the Mature Self, Stamford, Connecticut: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 2000.

Creativity is an aspect of leadership in business and life. In this volume the editors have assembled a series of articles that focus on creativity in relation to adult development theory and contribute an article of their own. This is the second of their collaborations (Transcendence and Mature Thought in Adulthood, 1994).

In their introduction they note that achievement of postconventional stages of development “seem to be a fruit of both life experience and mental and emotional maturation. It is statistically rare and generally does not occur before middle age.”

While creativity is usually explained in rational terms, there are some who attribute their creative act to transpersonal or transcendent origins. And adult creativity tends to draw upon a broader range of input, rational and nonrational, that leads to profound, culture-altering creations.

In their introduction, the editors offer linear and non-linear perspectives on creativity, summarize models of creativity and even point out that there may be a correlation between the level of development of the “scientist” and the degree to which they admit the transpersonal into their theories.

The articles contributed to this volume relate to the creative process in writing and composition, personal transformation and integrity, and theoretical approaches and reflections.

Their approach may be characterized by the following quotation:

“…this book continues to stretch the boundaries of hat has been conventionally considered the proper domain of psychology. We do this in part because we believe that a critical, yet open-minded, voice is needed to counterpoint both the current vogue in the social sciences (namely, explaining mental phenomena predominantly within the rational domain), and the proliferation of untested claims about spiritual influences propagated in the New Age literature.”

> Russ Volckmann