Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner


Originally posted on August 24, 2012

This is a neologism, a word I’ve just made up: So far it’s not on Google. It refers to the consideration of the ways mental phenomena can be viewed as a continuum, with different areas possessing different qualities. These are innumerable and I invite you to play. Send me your ideas and if I like ‘em I’ll use ‘em—and if I do, and if you expressly give me permission, I’ll mention your name.

So, here’s one that occurred to me today: I’m interested in the dynamic of spontaneity and I wondered if this were so. A spectrum in which one knows one is being spontaneous (and hopefully is having fun doing so): I figure the percentage of occasions in which people are making it up and knowing they are being spontaneous (intentional spontaneity) 4%.

Then there are situations in which the individual or group is making it up in that there is as yet no routine for whatever is being done, but the people involved are not aware that this is spontaneity. They’re just trying to figure out how to do something for the first time. 12%. It might be more fun if they could enjoy this creative process and realize they were being creative!

So much is really a mixture of exploration and routine, with more exploration and some routine, or fifty-fifty, or one part exploration or spontaneity to 2 parts routine. Then there are situations that are mainly routine with a small range of spontaneity—commuting on a familiar highway is sort of like this.

Of course, in life there are activities that are absolutely routine, no spontaneity, mechanically habitual and mindless. Now the point of recognizing this is that a little more self-consciousness about the potential for creativity inherent in various tasks makes them a little more like a game. And I hear one of my favorite quotes that Julie Andrews led into a well-known song from the classic 1960s Disney movie, Mary Poppins: “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and ‘snap!’ the job’s a game!”

Google it. I can say that now because really it’s kinda easy.

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