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Hanging loose or up tight
by Jan Sand
2007-01-08 09:23:43
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This is not exactly in praise of the slob. Nor do I precisely feel the control freak has his head totally up his ass. But there is something to be said both in favor of and in condemnation of each in turn. There is a spectrum in this category of activity and problems arise in each extreme.

There is an old maxim in the arts. “Learn the rules and then forget them”

The implications of this rule are that any established discipline has evolved out of the experience of many people in many situations struggling to acquire some skill in the area. This history results in the compilation of a set of generally accepted rules dictating how operations should take place and they generally guarantee a measure of success.

But human understanding of the world depends upon continuously testing the rules and discovering how and where they may not apply. Someone who accepts the rules of a discipline as eternal not only is stuck in a sterile situation but also is in a dangerous position when situations arise violating those rules.

For centuries mathematicians were uncomfortable with Euclid’s postulate that only one line parallel to a second line could be drawn through a specified point. It took Lobachevski and Rieman in the 19th century to work out hyperbolic and elliptic geometries and expand geometry in general to provide some of the basis for Einstein to work out his new concepts of the universe. That something so elemental could be revised indicates how locked in we can be to rigid rules. And the rewards of perceiving that opened up vistas in many fields that were beyond perception before.

Taken by Linda Lane - www.wonderlane.comThere is nothing so subtle, so evasive, so unobtrusive, so powerful, and frequently so wrong as that which is obvious.

Cockeyed religions screwed up pseudo-sciences, totally inept methods of operations and twisted mental cages that imprison minds for a lifetime to great personal tragedies are made by the total acceptance of a set of rules that have nothing to do with reality and frequently result in brutality and misery.

It takes the mental slob, the gatherer of what seems to be unrelated occurrences, the acute observer who persists in noticing that some things do not fit current rules and refuses to relegate them to the cellar of unresolved obscurity to shake the bars of convention and perhaps break them open new pathways.

But the world is full of crazies, of followers of UFOs, believers in ghosts and vampires, followers of Charles Forte who fill the closets of their mind with people who disappear when they walk around a horse or others who might burst into spontaneous combustion and fall to ashes. And people who are firmly convinced that the stars, which may have disappeared thousands of years ago, diddle with who we might meet next Tuesday.

It is tempting to believe that this bouquet of nuts is the world’s treasure to be mined for telepathy and teleportation and psychokinetic table rapping and spoon bending, but there is more to the creative innovative mind than adherence to oddity and romance with crap.

What caused that original muck many millions of years ago to cohere into a multi-celled coordinate community was a peculiar series of accidents that led it to perceive its surroundings in many ways, to swim and climb out of the sea onto the land and into the trees, into the air. The accidents kept happening, mostly to the tragedy of the receiver but one in a million or billion or trillion times that accident proved advantageous. The sloppy reproduction that refused to follow the rules was mostly lethal but without it we wouldn’t be here today.

So we need both the slobs who break the rules and the adherents to strictly perceived order so that we may survive and prosper. It’s just a question of how much we can stand of either one before they drive us crazy.


Photo taken by Linda Lane - www.wonderlane.com

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LL2007-08-21 23:31:33
very interesting expression Jan.

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