Musings: Thinking About Thinking About Thinking

jim-tabledance-700x887pxAn interesting concept, thinking—thinking about thinking about your brain thinking…. A much more exciting idea than “looking at your eye looking at your eye looking.” (Don’t try this at home!) Go slowly. This may take you places you never before imagined. This kind of thinking could begin a spiral that becomes a forceful whirlpool, with a suction that becomes stronger and more out of your control the harder you think. And the power it has…you could create a pathway that will turn you inside out!

From what I have read, the brain is a network of cells that are constantly competing with one another for connections. This network is continually updating its strategies and it loves those neural highways that best fit its reward/value system. So when we create or invent, when one minute there is the known and then…WAM—there is something new—we may be taking or making a new road or pathway off the beaten “neuron” track.

Are some brains more likely to make those detours? Are some people electrically compelled to continuously take new paths? Can this wanderlust be taught or learned? I believe it can. When someone can change your path and show you the joy of the unknown solution or road, I am sure that the lust for the unknown can become part of your brain’s wiring and can become your preferred method of thinking and exploring. There are many paths to a perceived destination—an artist can choose the most direct, the most accepted or the most often chosen path, or he or she can try to explore a new path. Each of the thousands of decisions needed to make a piece of sculpture is an opportunity to make new pathways that can result in new solutions.

If your life were devoted to making and taking new pathways, could the neural pathways of your brain become so divergent that new and creative ideas would be more easily be found than old and worn ones? It might be a good artistic strategy not to relegate creative thought only to the studio but to apply it to all situations in your life. Possibly, that creative way of thinking will become easy.

Thinking about thinking about my brain thinking has made my head ache.

Jim White