Atonality, Naming Goats & The Ecology of Creativity

I can’t claim any of the great subjects in the title of this post as my own; each one is an article on the fascinating site: Thinking Applied…. but it was the one on Atonality that led me to first discover it. I find it interesting how musical tastes & perception change, both individually & via the collective consciousness. I guess its all a part of evolution…
But the article that I enjoyed the most is about Internal Research & is subtitled as an algorithm for the productive use of the imagination but could also be considered as a means of accessing your subconscious. Heres the introduction:

‘Elmer R. Gates (1859-1923), who held dozens of patents, made his living “sitting for ideas.” His tools were a quiet room, a pen, blank paper, and his mind.

When I read about Gates in 1960, the notion of “sitting for ideas” appealed to me, and I began to try it. For two decades I intermittently pursued it in different settings with varying degrees of success and failure. In 1984, after one career as an academic and another as a conductor of contemporary music, I succumbed to my scientific and philosophical interests and founded a small interdisciplinary think tank. Since then “sitting for ideas” has been a major preoccupation.

Learning to use introspection productively is like perfecting an artistic skill. It takes commitment, time, and understanding. There’s no substitute for commitment, but you’ll hasten your progress if you understand the underlying process.

The example of Elmer Gates demonstrates three things: The unconscious has access to information that lies outside our normal awareness; under certain conditions that information can be released into consciousness; some of it can be unique and useful…. continues..

Interesting huh? I know its related & it always makes me laugh but if I am working on a creative problem before breakfast & get stuck, I notice that if I go have a shower after about 5 minutes a solution will suddenly occur to me. Now I’m not standing in the shower thinking about the problem, in fact I’m not thinking about much at all & its that rest that lets the unconscious go to work. Similarly there is a saying about the best way to solve a problem is to go for a decent walk ie partake in an activity that lets the conscious mind rest… Explain that to your boss next time you get stuck on a problem: ‘its not that I’m not working….

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