The imbalance

It seems that occasionally giving up self-consciousness is necessary for building a strong self-concept.*
(Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

Only when an organism shares in the ordered relations of its environment does it secure the stability essential to living.**
(John Dewey)

For something beautiful to come into being for others, it’s often necessary to lose ourselves.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is pointing out, though, that if we bring our art, we don’t lose ourselves at all.  We become stronger.

There is a choice before us on a daily basis.  To turn up to whatever the day means for us and to be absorbed by the environment, whether it be a person, persons or system of some kind.  Or we can turn up with our art: the way we think and feel and create.  To bring our art is to create imbalance within the environment.   It is in the offering to an other, others or system that possibilities open up that didn’t exist before.

There’ll be many times when it doesn’t work but sometimes it does, and the future changes.

(*From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow.)
(**John Dewey, quoted in Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.)

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