Free Play

30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 13 Nov 2023 07:05
Open in Logseq
    • book by Stephen Nachmanovitch
    • Status: notes
    • Introduced (to me) the technical term "galumphing"
    • Galumphing is the immaculately rambunctious and seemingly inexhaustible play-energy apparent in puppies, kittens, children, baby baboons—and also in young communities and civilizations. Galumphing is the seemingly useless elaboration and ornamentation of activity. It is profligate, excessive, exaggerated, uneconomical.
    • Prologue

      • Introduces the word lila, divine play.
    • Introduction

      • Musical improvising. The nature of inspiration.
      • [the book's] purpose is to propagate the understanding, joy, responsibility, and peace that come from the full use of the human imagination.
      • All art is improvisation – if not created by the player, the composer is tapping into The Source.
      • Mentions the opposite of the creative process: blocks.
      • The contradiction in learning to be spontaneous.
      • Spontaneous creation comes from our deepest being and is immaculately and originally ourselves.
        • this seems akin to Buddhist First Thought Best Thought or natural mind "doctrine". I'm somewhat suspicious of this notion, which seems tinged with romanticism.
      • The creative process is a spiritual path. This adventure is about us, about the deep self, the composer in all of us, about originality, meaning not that which is all new, but that which is fully and originally ourselves.
        • Yeah this is triggering my "ooh special snowflake" gag reflexes.
    • Inspiration and Time's Flow

      • We are all improvisors.
      • He who binds to himself a joy Doth the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in Eternity's sun rise.
      • Whether we are creating high art or a meal, we improvise when we move with the flow of time and with our won evolving consciousness, rather than with a preordinared script or recipe.
      • Relation to flow and flow state, duh.
      • The work of the improviser is, therefore, to stretch out those momentary flashes, extend them into the activity of daily life
      • Sounds like how meditation is supposed to work, and not a big surprise.
      • As an improvising musician, I am not in the music business, I am not in the creativity business, I am in the surrender business. Improvisation is acceptance, in a single breath, of both transience and eternity. (emph added)
      • In creative work we play undisguisedly with the fleetingness of our life, with some awareness of our own death.
      • Interesting. Rarely conscious of this, but I've notice I do my best writing when there is some death and loss involved.
      • Every moment is precious, precisely because it is ephemeral and cannot be duplicated, retrieved, or captured.
    • The Vehicle

      • No going back in time in improvising, or reality.
      • Another William Blake quote: "Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules."
    • The Stream

      • intelleto inteliigence, but not mere rationality, more visionary (Michelangelo seeing the sculpture inherent in the stone)
      • The knowledge we tap into is intelleto of a dynamic reality in constant flux – a flux that is not random but is in itself a pattern of patterns. When we experience inspiration…we are running into this ever-present ever-changing environment of information about the deep structure of our world, this ever-flowing Tao
    • The Muse

      • A cross-cultural intro to some muse-like goddesses, including the Sufi Khidr (what a Khidr, they used to say Khidr - Wikipedia
    • Mind at Play

      • cites Huizinga, who says "But in acknowledging play you acknowledge mind, for whatever else play is, it is not matter."
    • Disappearing

      • Did not know Rumi invented whirling dervishes.
      • cites Keith Johnston also.
      • Getting a wee bit sappy. Also, weird meditation instructions where you relax on the inbreath?
    • Sex and Violins

      • This starts a section on "The Work", so its a little foreign to me, I'm not a musician let alone a professional.
      • The violin is a ruthlessly honest seismograph of the heart
    • Practice

      • Explode the artificial distinction between practice and performance. Try to not see practice as drudgery/
      • Computer programming as an involving creative form! Maybe this book is for me after all. (p73)
      • To create, we need both technique and freedom from technique.
      • temenos – a sacred space where the magic can happen. Make your workspace into one. Use ritual
      • I eventually learned to treat each solitary writing session at home the same way I treat a live performance. In other words, I learned to treat myself with the same care and respect I give to an auidence. This was not a trivial lesson.
    • The Power of Limits

      • [ read rest of book, tabbed passages rather than take notes]