Creativity and Adventure
1. Come sit on a park bench with me---explore Reality
2. Incubate---Prime the Pump
COME SIT ON A PARK BENCH WITH ME
As people walk by, go back and forth between the two ways of exploring Reality. If you don’t have a park nearby, go anywhere you can watch people walk by. Maybe use the two ways to explore your friends. Maybe even yourself. Be careful. Some get very confused exploring themselves. Others become Zen Mistresses and Zen Masters.
Observe and analyze
Explore the people Objectively. Use your five senses and Words-Data-Logic.
Notice the quality and color of their clothing—estimate income, status.
Observe skin quality, movement, hair color---estimate age, health.
Observe body configuration, hair style, clothing---male or female?
Observe facial expression, stride, clothing---outgoing or shy?
Puzzle out all you can about the people going by using their appearance, behavior and Words-Data-Logic.
WHAT DID YOU FIND?
Open & Receptive
Free the Flow
Explore people Subjectively. Allow the free flow of thoughts, feelings and imagination into your conscious awareness---Open & Receptive!
Don’t try to do anything. Just wait for the thoughts, feelings and images to flow as the people go by. I usually get a kind of feeling tone flowing from most people---and thoughts and images. Sometimes a sense of what they are feeling and thinking---as if I become them for a brief moment.
Go with the flow---Open & Receptive!
WHAT DID YOU FIND?
You have just explored two very different assumptions about the nature of Reality.
1. Reality is a mechanical machine chugging away obeying the laws of physics and evolution---best explored objectively using Words-Data-Logic.
2. Reality is creative and alive, with great moments of vitality, love and joy. Ever bringing freshness into the world. Best explored subjectively---free flowing your thoughts, emotions, imagination. Open & Receptive.
Best be Open & Receptive when doing creative work such as playing the piano, painting a rose, or formulating a new theory. Best go Words-Data-Logic when you evaluate your piano playing, painting, and theory.
The quality of my piano playing changes dramatically. Open & Receptive is much more emotional, creative and satisfying. I go Words-Data-Logic when I first learn a piece and working out the fingering, rhythm and dynamics.
Great artists and great scientists combine intellect and emotions, facts and imagination, observation and intuition.
The gift of fantasy has meant more to me
than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
Play around with the contrast, and find the best balance for different situations. I’d go Words-Data-Logic taking a test. Mostly Open & Receptive in front of a warm fire with my girl friend.
Be sure and jump to Words-Data-Logic when you need to attend to the world around you---like driving a car. Yes, yes, so obvious, but with so many eager, hungry lawyers around I'm not taking any chances.
WHAT DID YOU FIND?
Prime the Pump
Your mind is constantly processing, organizing, evaluating, etc. etc. Use this massive brain power to problem solve and increase creativity and adventure in your life---incubate.
For instance, when faced with a problem that you have trouble solving---incubate. Fill your brain with everything you can about the problem. Maybe jot down a few possible solutions.
Then completely stop thinking about the problem. Maybe for a few hours. Maybe over night. Maybe a whole day. Go dancing, shopping, hiking, fornicate up a storm. Whatever. Let your brain do the work.
At the end of the incubation period become Open and Receptive. The solution will pop into your conscious awareness. Yes, that easy. And a warm, very satisfying feeling of creativity comes along with the solution. One of the happy highs of life.
The Germans have an old saying:
Your learn to ice skate in the summer.
Swim in the winter.
WHAT DID YOU FIND?
Meta-Jumping is one of the best ways to explore and expand your life. It is also one of the most powerful and important drivers of creativity.
When you Meta-Jump you are no longer the captive of your thoughts or actions. You deliberately jump away from them and evaluate what you were feeling, thinking or doing. You shift perspectives. Re-frame. Stop for a moment of reflection.
Watch and listen to Jordan Peterson Meta-Jump Cathy Newman:
He jumps from answering Cathy’s question to pointing out her hypocrisy in asking it. The jump leaves her speechless. She deserves a lot of credit for how she reacted. She acknowledged he got her, did not become angry or defensive, and moved on---very impressive.
A few minutes ago I watched a TV interviewer Meta-Jump David. David asserted that a rival politician, Bob, was guilty of many crimes. The interviewer could have kept at the same level and countered that Bob denied any wrongdoing. Instead she jumped, shifting from the general to the specific. She asked David to name a law Bob had broken. He could not.
Politicians Meta-Jump in the opposite direction all the time---from the specific to the general. For instance, grab a single comment that could be considered racist and smear the hell out of the poor guy. A very common propaganda tactic.
Meta-Jumping is useful in many situations. Do you have a warm heart for philosophical puzzles, like "Is there a sound in the forest when the pinecone hits the ground and no one is around?" Meta-Jump! Shift from trying to answer the question, to questioning the questioner. Ask her to define "sound". If vibrations in the air, there is a sound. If human awareness, no sound.
Philosophical puzzles usually depend upon the ambiguity of language. Meta-Jump! Remove the ambiguity! No more puzzle.
Suppose you and your husband are arguing and it's not going well. One of you call out "Let's Meta-Jump". That's the agreed signal to close your eyes for 30 seconds and think about how and why the argument went bad. Then either discuss what went wrong, or just start the discussion over again with the expectation of a better outcome.
Maybe you have trouble keeping girlfriends. They seem interested for a while and then dump you. Meta-Jump! Go over your relationships to find some reason why they all leave. Yes! They all dump you right after you start to get a little sloppy in your dress and hygiene. You test it out and sure enough the next girlfriend sticks.
Instead of black and white absolutes, go probabilities. Do not hold any belief or assumption too tightly. Meta-jump! Assign probabilities to all sides. That forces you to seriously consider alternative points of view and reduces blinding effects. Confirmation bias is the most powerful---you only pay attention to information that supports your position.
As Einstein noticed, not so easy:
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity, opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are not even capable of forming such opinions.
Albert is of course correct, not everyone can Meta-Jump. Pay close attention and you will notice that those who can are much more creative, alive, and fun.
John Stuart Mill gave excellent reasons for going probabilities, not absolutes:
a. Your point of view may be wrong. To believe otherwise is to assume you are infallible.
b. Your opinion almost certainly does not contain the whole truth, and alternative points of view may have valid elements. If you have the honesty and self-confidence to recognize them, understanding increases, and the presentation of your point of view more powerful.
c. Even if the other point of view is completely wrong it is important to listen carefully and present your position vigorously and honestly. Otherwise your point of view will lose its vitality and freshness and become dead dogma, mere rhetoric.
Come join the Meta-Jumpers. We are creative and adventurous, and have a whole lot more fun.
WHAT DID YOU FIND?