5. The Creative Process

1. The Grid: Let’s call the lines, geometric shapes, numbers, forms, and rules that constrain and organize life the Grid.  A chessboard is a grid; a series of coordinates in space and time offer a grid for you to orient and guide yourself; the meridians of Chinese medicine constitute a grid organizing the flow of energy in your body. In this segment we’ll make friends with the concept of the Grid and we’ll use it to enhance our creative initiatives, by setting up a play of opposing forces between the Grid (predictable and stable) and intuition (unpredictable and ever-changing).

2. States of Mind: We don't watch TV in the absolute same frame of mind that we visit the dentist. Indeed, our modes of thinking embrace reason, unreason, and a hundred destinations in between. In this segment we'll learn about the flexibility of the mind, with a particular goal in mind: becoming able to enter a free, creative, fertile state that we might call "the light trance."

3. Theme and Variations: You can take any one idea or exercise and spin endless variations of it. This could be a musical theme which you ornament or vary; a series of jokes and anecdotes on the same basic pattern (a priest and a cop enter a bar); a posture that you assume with dozens of minute changes in body parts; a drawing that you color again and again in different hues. Theme and Variations is a method for learning skills, working on yourself,  expanding your awareness, and so on.

4. Hyperlinking: Everything in our world is interconnected. To give an example, you can link biology and mathematics by pondering how many vertebrae you have, the number of chromosomes in your DNA, the duality in left and right sides of the body, and so on. If you ponder left and right dualities, you might start pondering left-wing and right-wing political views. If you ponder politics, you might ponder economics, warfare, gender, and a thousand other concepts. In this segment we’ll explore the art of linking diverse concepts and experiences, and passing from concept to concept creatively and constructively.