Resonant Thoughts: John Cleese’s “Creativity” (2020)

“So you just sit there and, eventually, as the mind quietens, odd ideas and notions relevant to your puzzle start popping in your mind. But they are…odd! And the reason they seem odd is that they’re not what our usual logical, critical, analytical mind is used to. They don’t arrive in the form of words, in neatly typed little sentences. Because they come from your unconscious, they speak the language of the unconscious.

New and ‘woolly’ ideas shouldn’t be attacked by your logical brain until they’ve had time to grow, to become clearer and sturdier. New ideas are rather like small creatures. They’re easily strangled.

When the juices are not flowing, don’t beat yourself up and wonder if you should retrain as a priest.

Just sit around and play, until your unconscious is ready to cough up some stuff. Getting discouraged is a total waste of your time.”

John Cleese, Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide (2020)

Resonant Thoughts: Christopher Alexander’s “The Timeless Way of Building” (1979)

Each pattern helps to sustain other patterns.

“The quality without a name occurs, not when an isolated pattern occurs, but when an entire system of patterns, interdependent, at many levels, is all stable and alive.

We may see the sand ripples anywhere where we choose to put loose sand under the wind. 

But when the wind blows across the sea, over the inland marshes, and the sand ripples support the dunes between the two, and the sandpiper walks out, the sand fleas hop, and shifting of the dunes is held in check by grasses which maintain themselves and the sandpiper—then we have a portion of the world, alive at many levels at once, beginning to have the quality without a name.” 

– Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, p. 131