Sunday, July 10, 2011


I love spontaneity because in essence, it is honest expression—proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint. A person being spontaneous is not being devious at the same time, because they are not manipulating or contriving a result. Other animals always act with spontaneity, but we humans, because of our conscience cannot. In the human realm, civil society has rules of engagement, and therefore, moral consciousness over-rules spontaneous action. For instance, we might feel trapped in our car in traffic and have a spontaneous desire to leave our rightful lane and jump ahead of the jam, or maybe we see someone trip and fall in an unusual way and feel like laughing out loud, and of course bathrooms exist so that we have a private place to be relieved, although a spontaneous reaction might be to go anywhere.

In art, spontaneity can produce the finest results. It is because the artist is “letting go” to the creative muse inside. Jazz is a great example. There may be a loose theme to follow, but spontaneous improvisation can take the drama to new heights and uncharted territories. Actors must follow scripts, but occasionally we get glimpses of spontaneous moments that transcend theatrics and bring us in touch with the soul of the performer. Japanese Butoh theater is famous for spontaneous acting. For artists like Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack and many others, spontaneity is at the essence of their work, for they are immersed in it so fully that external constraints do not figure into the result. As Picasso’s contemporary, Georges Braque said, “It is the act of painting, not the finished painting.”

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