Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Confabulations Journal

Originally posted on August 24, 2012

Following on the previous blog, go to my website and browse my series of cartoon-illustrated personal fun “Confabulations: A Journal of (Very) Speculative Philosophy. (It turns out there is actually a journal of speculative philosophy so I had to add the “Very”!) My journal, so to speak, has been produced as a vehicle for the improvisational cartooning and pseudo- or half-assed meanderings or musings of yours truly, pursued for a number of reasons:

First, I think improvisation can and should be done in all activities; something as academically respectable as philosophy should not be held to be immune from this just because it uses big words a lot. I can improvise along with these others.

People who philosophize are in fact to some significant degree improvising, creating, but they don’t realize it. This is because when one has rationally coordinated beyond 14% and given some thought to doing it, a dream-like illusion emerges in which the improviser loses his (or her) awareness that s/he’s just making this stuff up. I hear him protesting, “No, really, I’ve thought this out,” as if the word “thinking” raises the dynamic beyond the status of making it up. Of course there are grades of how much one has thought about an improvisation. There’s the first few moments of vague hunch followed by recurrent swirls of elaboration and then crystallization or manifestation in words spoken on written. These in turn tend to rise into the empyrean realms of thought, or beyond, even inspiration or revelation.  Sometimes they transform into a “breakthrough idea” or insight. But, hey, guys, this is improvisation, driven at its roots from the dynamics of somatic, psychological, and social roots of spontaneity.

Another point: Improvisation is open to the dynamic of spontaneity that also draws upon spiritual and non-local or identifiable sources, genius, the muses, etc. That’s what they mean by inspiration:  in-spir(it)-ation! Again, by the way, people who think they’re interpreting some sacred text hypnotize themselves into thinking that it’s really there in the text, and the idea—the arrogance, it may seem to them —of recognizing that they just made it up—is intolerable.  People aren’t supposed to just make stuff up—it’s just not done. This little min-essay challenges that. Of course we all do it all the time to varying degrees. The question is why we feel we have to disown our responsibility for our creativity?

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