Living Ideas.

Out of a swamp of aware sensory activities,,observations, meanings in constructions,emotions and instinctive reactions,ideas rise up as delicate soap-bubbles ,with moving colors from their ingredients . Some explode quickly some drift higher and become stronger by being linked to other soap-bubbles made of different material,let us call them links ,the material is a mix of emotions and rational cognitive stuff created by influence of the memory.The memory helps to select ideas fitting together on the basis of recognizable factors like place or subject of the ideas but also on unpredictable factors like personal preferences, personal moods at the moment of thinking,accidental synchronicities .The ideas sticking together define a cluster fitting in a topic or small category ,the definition of the topic is often only becoming clear by understanding the first clusters that were grouped together . Clusters may still have some of their bubbles destroyed or some added,they become growing processes adding more and more meaning to the topic they belong to,moreover different clusters may interact and create new ideas and clusters that begin to grow but this time from the start with a specific topic labelled on them. In this chaotic development of ideas clustering,clusters creating topics and topics connecting together to form themes,the role of emotions and rational cognitive activities are very variable in intensity. The division between rational and emotional is not as clear as one might think or hope ,one reason is that we think more in clusters of ideas or meanings and not in well separated ideas like abstract formulations versus emotional feelings. The moving colors in the soap-bubbles are of different composition, reflecting the mixture of emotion and rationality in even the simplest ideas. It is possible to consider almost completely rational formal ideas like abstract constructions ,opposed to almost intuitive feelings and emotions creating an entity which is not an idea but the dual of it ,a soap-bubble in the dual space !Most constructions are in between ranging from rationally emotional to emotionally rational . The first ,re say,is a cluster of dual soap-bubbles linked together by mainly rational ideas,the second,er say, is a cluster of soap-bubbles linked by mainly delicate dual soap-bubbles on the emotional scale .Humans try to select clusters of er or re type by redefining a posteriori the topics to which they should belong ,thus they develop themes with a clear dominance of either er or re type clusters. Mathematics is clearly of the rational type,poetry may be of the more emotional type but they are neither er or re type! History of art maybe rather er while Psychology may be rather re. Perhaps the surprising aspect of the panorama of different themes humans invented is that they try to apply the same logic in all descriptions ,if not then we could probably not succeed in communicating relatively clearly about both Physics,Mathematics and Love,Desire (as rr and ee perhaps) but also about Art and Psychology (as er and re perhaps).Of course there really is a spectrum of possibilities between rational and emotional and the character of a person is at least partially defined by the ratio of er and re is showing in the communication .

The ordered chaos of the clustering of ideas is reflected in the variety of people we can meet,that is a richesse we have to treasure.

The ability to think in clusters of ideas is at the basis of our developing very complex arguments about everything. Perhaps that ability is just caused by having several,say five,senses ,allowing different contacts with a single object and hence the existence of the object forces the clustering of it’s shape and colors,sound,smell,feeling,taste. Once the brain understood the principle it could also do it with abstract ideas ,freeing it from sensing and thus from reality, so it was using fantasy to make abstract clusters of ideas and define topics in the cognitive analysis .Fantasy is thus a way of freeing purely abstract notions from their abstract world ,like it was used in freeing an idea from restrictions imposed by the fact that it should reflect a reality , involving some emotional linking as abstraction-killers in making the fantasy your own,like it is your dream and thus not just abstract anymore because it is part of you now.The relation between fantasy and dreaming is classical ,people will tell you your fantasy is a dream or conversely dreams are fantasy,but from our point of view there may be no relation ,fantasy is the ability to change the context of an idea ,either by freeing it from its duty as an image of a reality,or by making an abstract idea part of the self by emotionally enhancing it.

Perhaps there is another way of dreaming ,it is the stage of creation of ideas from the ordered (because there is always the chronological ordering possible even if we are unaware of it while thinking ) chaos before they are linguistically fixed,or even before our cognitive analysis has understood them . The newly created ideas with their emotional and rational components, think of the moving colors in the soap-bubbles used before as an image,are in fact “living ideas”. The components are variable, the colors in the bubbles are changing,weakening or becoming more vivid . While giving meaning to the idea we analyse it and at some point”understand” it or understand its meaning. At that point the idea is fixed in the understanding and so it died.

An understood idea is a dead idea!

Certainly a communicated idea ,or even one fixed in a linguistic formulation is thus also a dead idea; That does not mean one cannot learn from it,but it stays fixed as formulated ,at least until one formulates a new version of it . Let me point out that the evaluation of someone as not trustworthy ,because his ideas seem to vary , should then apply to all of us. In fact the more creative thinking will come to those who keep their ideas “alive” as long as possible before writing them in the memory in some fixed formulation .I do believe one can train some flexibility in handling young new ideas by allowing longer periods of doubt concerning their exact meaning,that means one then has to look continuously for possible refinements or better formulation, before accepting them as correctly memorized .Perhaps there is another way of dreaming ,it is at the stage of creation of ideas from the (ordered) chaos as described in the beginning,before they are linguistically fixed,or even before our cognitive analysis has understood their formulation. So the “dreaming” is handling living ideas ,but since the meaning of those is under construction,the handling has to be on another level of consciousness .The breaking of the interface between “living ideas” and understood ideas is thus not related to sleep but to a lack of consciousness in the new non-analysed idea,and it seems we can use fantasy in that semi-unconscious dream-state,even one may think that our thinking at that level is purely fantasy. We normally interact with that dream-state by fixing meanings to the new ideas so we have ways of passing from consciousness to the so-called dream-state and create feed-back.Some may believe we crate reality in that dream-state,some may believe we know the truth in that state since indeed we are closer to reality before we analysed the sensing into observations. But in fact there we create only our inner self and it is the place of maximum creativity and freedom for creativity since meanings of ideas are being fixed there ..afterwards.