a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.
This “[UMC] …” series of 3-minute readouts on the present climate within the United Methodist Church [UMC] (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (‘reset’ here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (here) (last week), is meant to be generative, not definitive. “Compatibilism” [and its attending humility (Micah 6.8)] is key to “The 95% solution.” Some helpfully related insights in a snip from last week:
I may have mentioned before that my New Testament professor in seminary — Warren Carter — often liked to say: “If they repeat it, it’s important. If they repeat it.” Of course, he was talking about Scripture. However, I’ve frequently found the axiom also applies in other contexts.
If someone commissioned (offering a totally unlimited budget) an information piece to explain the difference between traditional thinking (“rock logic”) and lateral thinking (“water logic”), I don’t think it would be possible to create media any more lucid and effective than this 30 second spot [that I first included (here)]:
Brilliant copy writing!!
“It’s not peanut butter.”
“I know. I know. But, every time the box comes, we get the peanut butter.”
As I wrote earlier
“I want to suggest that rock-logic [language based, dualistic, oppositional, exclusive] and water-logic [perception based, holistic, paradigm-shifting] are complimentary, not contradictory. Water logic (Ralph) and rock logic (Giorgio).”
Ralph’s logic is perceptual not “rational.” Even so, surely, in this case it is every bit as accurate.
Edward de Bono’s writing is almost nothing like that of Carlos Castaneda (Don Juan series), except perhaps in one way. De Bono, who has written several books on the theme of “creative thinking,” is like Castaneda in that his books seem to peel the “lateral thinking” themes (perception, water logic, creativity) like an onion.
I Am Right You Are Wrong [IARYAW] (1990) is far more recent than the primary source, Lateral Thinking [LT] (1970/1973). In IARYAW de Bono continues to peel the lateral thinking onion and so refreshes the narrative. De Bono does recommend LT as the requisite read regarding creative thinking.
Today, let’s look for some key insights from his thought.
Expressing de Bono’s grand-vision is beyond our scope here. Besides, I don’t have an exhaustive comprehension of “lateral thinking” in explicit terms. Recall, I had set the models/language aside for over twenty years. Writing this series reminded me of de Bono. His ideas resonate with my intuitive/tacit way of knowing and my experience.
What forms our “Traditional thinking” [TT] — what de Bono calls ‘GG3 thinking’ [Greek Gang of 3], ‘tabletop logic,’ and/or ‘rock logic’ — has a problem. TT is not “bad;” rather, it’s insufficient.
De Bono believes that “the habits of thinking are very much concerned with judgment and not enough with design.” He continues, explaining how TT became dominant and ubiquitous:
“For two thousand four hundred years we’ve done very little about thinking; since what I call the GG3 – Greek Gang of 3, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. Even worse than that, at the Renaissance, when Greek thinking came to Europe, people running schools and universities were church people. They didn’t need design, they didn’t need creative thinking, they didn’t need perceptual thinking; all they needed was truth, logic, and argument to prove heretics wrong. And that became the core of education, leaving out creativity, design, and so on and so on.”
Through the Renaissance, the GG3 gave us our “traditional thinking” (rationalistic, negative, passive, oppositional, closed-patterning).
De Bono’s thesis regarding LT is that creativity is a skill that can be developed. He bases this claim on his understanding of how the brain works (i.e., as a self-organizing system of pattern creation and pattern recognition). For de Bono, the brain does not operate anything like a computer, even though many thinkers describe it that way.
A key point that de Bono makes is that “truth” is not present in perception [IARYAW, pg. 85]. My sense is that this may be a significant reason that TT has never had much patience for perceptual logic or notions like LT. Also, LT‘s open-source nature minimizes exploitation as a proprietary interest.
“The word ‘po’ is taken from words like hypothesis, suppose, possible, and poetry. In all these cases we use a statement or idea to go forward. Po can also be taken to stand for ‘provocative operation’.” [IARYAW, pg. 91]
A thought-scape regarding the UMC:
This project has been an effort to disrupt UMC stuckness— i.e. two polarized groups (52% vs 48%) who, through their idolization of winning, both seek to win so their version of conformity may be imposed. My PO (provocative operation) is the homophone-reframing of the two groups as 95-5%, ergo, The 95% solution.
Next week: More de Bono. [this post ~775 words (3-min. read)]