Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Open Mind

¡Hola! Everybody...
I have ahead of me what promises to be a challenging and
busy day ahead...

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-=[ The Open Mind & Frozen Thinking ]=-

“Convictions make convicts.”

-- Robert Anton Wilson

I came across this quote and I had to laugh for several reasons. One is the simple but elegant truth of the words, another because I am a former “convict.” LOL! I like what the great French writer, Camus, said about convictions -- something about not dying for them because he might be wrong.

I am struck by the sense I get from both quotes: rigid thinking, or adhering to rigidly held beliefs, choke creativity. Oh yeah, did I mention I am obsessing about creativity? One common theme I hear coming up constantly is people’s need for more creativity -- especially in the realm of work and relationships.

I hear it from people all the time: how they wish they could work at jobs that allowed for more creativity. The irony is that creativity is a choice that can be taken anywhere at anytime under any circumstances. If I were to allow it (and sometimes I do), my work could quickly morph into a dry set of rituals of paperwork and referrals.

If we take a look at our internal dialog we will find thought constellations and belief systems in that often act as self-fulfilling prophesies. If you think and believe you’re ugly, stupid, or incompetent, then it will be so. In fact, we come to take these thoughts and beliefs as real -- as absolutes. I call this “frozen thinking.”

The creative potential within all of us is the most effective tool for combating the negative consequences of frozen thinking. A mind directed by the creative force is by nature an open mind.

In the past I have written about the “enlightened” or open heart. Today I am reflecting on the open mind. I would say, and I think it would be correct, that when people think of a creative mindset, they think of a mind full of ideas and brilliant new insights. My own experience tells me the creative mind is both full and empty. It is able to create within itself a space for the new to arise. A creative mindset is constantly opening itself to the internal and external world. The open mind is like a stream of clear water -- in constant translucent movement.

The open mind can be relaxed and playful. It is filled with curiosity and wonder. The open mind has a childlike quality about it. It loves to go off the beaten track, to explore paths not taken by social convention.

Playfulness is important. The open mind likes to play with an idea or object, and enjoys looking at it as if for the first time. Try this one day: take a walk around your neighborhood and pretend you are a tourist. Take note of how your perception of the mundane and “normal” changes when you do this.

The open mind stays receptive to the possibility that we may not know everything there is to know -- and what we do know may be wrong. It challenges assumptions, makes new connections, finds new ways of looking at the world. The open mind can wander joyously into areas others do not take seriously, and return with creations that must be approached in all seriousness.

Some of the most creative minds in history have allowed themselves to drift into dreams states and extended meditations during which they have played with the irrational, the symbolic, the metaphorical, and the mysterious. Often they returned with images that they translate into theories, compositions, and actions.

This is a scary journey into the unfamiliar for me -- there are discoveries so strange that I want to cover them back up and run. LOL! Whether exploring the depths of the human soul or the depths of matter, artists, mystics, scientists, and ordinary folks like you and me, come face to face with chaos and disorder. And it is the larger patterns of this perceived disorder that we find our intuitive voice. The open mind thrives on difference and remains open to the contradictory.

Paz, Amor, y Dinero,



  1. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein



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