It is getting harder and harder to write these posts; not because I am unable to tackle the content (or at least sneak up on it) but because things are getting pretty ramped up around here at the Grass Oil compound.
I love this quote and it makes me think of some of my favorite people who are artists, illustrators, bloggers, photographers, designers and writers.
Welcome to Day 29 of “30 Days of Jung,” my series, wherein (soon, I will start repeating myself, like now) I take a famous quote of Carl G. Jung‘s and try to make sense or refute or invert or disembowel it or where I turn into a heaping pile of mush because of it in 1,000 words or less.
If you don’t know who Jung is, he formulated the theories of introverted and extroverted personalities, the stages of individuation, the basis of the “Meyers-Briggs” personality (INFJ / ESFJ, etc.) tests. He’s a “father” of modern-day psychoanalysis. In short, he’s a badass. But he’s dead, so he can’t be with us today.
Here is today’s:
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. ”
We all need time to wind down. Playing is a necessity for not only our bodies but also our minds, yet many of us think that the way to do anything if we don’t first succeed is to try harder not smarter. Sometimes that “smarter” means taking a break.
I know that when I’m overwhelmed with something that if I put on music or try coming at it from an entirely different angle, I can achieve better and smarter results … how do I know? Because I can be heard saying, “I don’t know where that idea came from… but it works!”
Remember “SHOW YOUR WORK!” in math? Ugh. My kids hate that. I do too. Why can’t we just have the right answer and be done with it?! One of my kids has a friend who arrived at the correct answer to a problem but in an entirely different way and even though his answer was the correct one, his instructor DID NOT award him the points for his answer because he didn’t do the formula she taught.
Bullshit. Sometimes this stuff just comes to us… we can’t explain the “inspiration” it just happens.
One of my favorite aspects of the creation of a human or carbon-based life form is that we grow when we rest. Our muscles regenerate and get bigger NOT when we work them, but when we rest them. My oldest son has grown one inch in two months this summer. I expect that he’s got some more to do and he’s sleeping like a dog.
This is a fantastic fact: our brains work and settle and rewire when we dream or are tinkering on something else… Paul McCartney wrote “Yesterday” when he was dreaming:
“I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, ‘That’s great, I wonder what that is?’ There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th — and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot, but because I’d dreamed it, I couldn’t believe I’d written it. I thought, ‘No, I’ve never written anything like this before.’ But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing!”
Little kids. They play all the time and they solve problems when they play.
Lots of things were invented by “mistake” or through play or dreaming. It’s when our minds are relaxed and not pommeled with “NO! THAT’S NOT IT!” that they come up with their genius:
Poor Don Music. He just needed Carl Jung to help him out and take a break or just write another song.
I know that about myself, some of my best writing comes when it’s not forced; and some of my best humor comes when I’m not trying to be funny.
My husband was looking over some resumes for hires on his staff and we were saying how so many of them are so different from others, that despite the “rules” of resume writing, there seem to be some deviations and then I started laughing and he looked at me and asked what I was laughing at, did he have something coming out of his nose or something and I said, “No, it’s not that; it’s that I would love to see a resume from say… George W. Bush or Barack H. Obama (just being fair with the middle initial treatment, y’all…) and then I thought this:
And it dawned on me… DO THEY? DO THOSE SEARCH ENGINES LOOK FOR THOSE WORDS? of course they do…
But that fun spawned when we were playing, laughing and imagining…
That’s the point. The playing is a total requirement for innovation. Playing is a requirement for banter, which can turn into debate, which can turn into an argument which can turn into fisticuffs which can turn into
I know this post is a little off the wall and slightly more irreverent than my others, but that’s the point.
We have to laugh.
In order to grow. Forcing never works.