a mind better able to retain the capacity to be surprised

And though it is not a principle reason for doing so, the active cultivation of a loving mindstate will almost certainly improve one’s own writing. My thinking in this is in accord with Emerson’s who writes in “Friendship” that "Our intellectual and active powers increase with our affection." Emerson saw in 1841 what social scientists have recently begun studying with hard data: cognition and emotion cannot be separated; an open, vibrant mind is predicated on an open, vibrant heart. It is a fact that no longer can be pedagogically ignored: people learn better and write better within environments that are positive, humorous, and filled with genuine warmth.

Following Emerson, such a mind, a kind mind, is more likely to be sharp and easily concentrated. It is, further, more likely to be flexible, light, ductile, malleable, plastic, and creative. The virtues are inherently dialogic, in the Freierian sense, and a mind that actively practices the virtues will inevitably become invested with confidence, courage, straightforwardness, honesty, wonder, determination, discipline, concentration, forgiveness, patience, tolerance, renunciation, sympathetic joy, compassion, lovingkindness, generosity, and equanimity. Such a mind is willing to take the risks necessary to effectively write and think and act in the face of adversity. Such a mind is better able to retain the capacity to be surprised.

- Gabriel Gudding, from his blog post "A Rationale for Writing Poetry with a Kind Mind". You can read the whole thing here. Thanks to Gary Barwin for pointing this out via Vox Populism.

1 comment:

daniela elza said...

Amen. or was that Ramen.