Rita on friction, the uses of

Saturday, May 9, 2015

F: So, Miss Rita, here it is 7:45 a.m. and I’m finally turning from mundane chores like clearing off my desk and answering emails and posting on Facebook what I had posted on IOMOK. Where are we on your project? Is this a long pause to give Charles a chance to catch up and do his extensive analysis or does it have other reasons? And, are we looking at a book and if so, what is the theme? And – anywhere you’d care to go.

R: Let’s say a few words about friction.

F: All right. I’m not sure I posted our conversation the other day where that came up.

R: Doesn’t matter. You are not obliged to post every thing that happens to you. Are you going to start taking photos of your breakfast and posting them?

F: I’ll take that as a rhetorical question.

R: What I was getting at is simply this. A main deterrent to creativity is internal friction, and a main cause of internal friction is blockages, and a main cause of blockages is – how shall I put it? Fear? Disagreement? A struggle among your constituent community?

Psychology knows very well the sort of situation or reaction that can construct blockages within a person, but because it regards individuals as units rather than as communities functioning as units, it pathologizes what it sees as internal conflict, hence underplays the common

No, put it, it underplays the fact that such conflict is inevitable, even health-giving. But conflict is productive only if the parties of the conflict grow as a result of it. Grow in understanding, grow in sympathy, grow in ability to deal with one another with respect and even appreciation.

The conflicts that you experienced at Hampton Roads, for instance, or in any romantic or non-romantic relationship you ever had, or – more subtly but no less importantly – in any assimilation of new material that contradicted or modified what you thought you knew – all these “external” conflicts (for the book that changes you may be looked at as an “external” source of change) are of course internal, or they would not affect you.

F: That’s clear to me. Not necessarily to everybody, though.

R: We aren’t necessarily talking to everybody. Just as I just said, if it doesn’t concern them, they won’t notice.

F: All right.

R: So – conflict produces friction. To the degree that friction wears down the rough edges, that’s all to the good. To the degree that it jams up the works, not so good. And the goal is not to keep producing friction, but to keep producing greater harmony through (rather than despite) the friction.

If you will consider friction as a potentially productive factor and will willingly work with it, you will make progress toward integration rather than producing greater blockages that will leave you feeling diminished and less creative, less productive.

F: An interesting thought.

R: This is true of conflict whether it seems to you to be internal or external, for of course they are the same thing.

F: I can hear people going, “Of course!”

R: I can hear you going, “Of course!”

F: Touché.

R: That’s enough for now about friction. I thought it worthwhile to give you something to post, as your experiment is meeting response.

F: So what about my other questions?

R: Let’s let time sort that out. Sometimes too much forethought can actually be a deterrent, like over-thinking a plot till it turns dead on you.

F: All right. Well, I will take it that you have decided to spare me excess transcription, so thank you.  And, see you next time.

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