Some people can construct their own experiences, such as those whose outer life is more structured and decided. Other people, who have a more flexible and adaptable orientation to the outer world, may have a more difficult time constructing their own experiences. This latter disposition is called the “Perceiving” attribute on the Myers-Briggs (as oppose to “Judging”). This post tries to push this “Perceiving” attribute to its extreme, thus making something very different than what the framework traditionally describes.
The perspective is centered around a practice that cultivates mental freedom through a ‘New Mind’:
“Thinking is not unifying or making the appearance familiar under the guise of a great principle. Thinking is learning all over again how to see, directing one’s consciousness, making of every image a privileged place.” -Albert Camus
This perspective aspires for curiosity to persist within the familiar; fresh eyes.
Authentically following curiosity comes at the cost of sometimes not being Cool and In Control. Because we are foolish when we are unfamiliar.
“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C.S. Lewis
A New Mind, which embodies a small identity, is the ideal disposition of a Scientist. A Scientist doesn’t commit to believing anything in particular, but only to following the evidence as a breeze. Therefor the importance of an identity for a scientist comes less from what it is, and more from what it is not. It is a distancing from subjective opinions; an overcoming of categorization.
The best part is that this is not an attempt to become a neutral vessel for the truth:
“Cultivating mental freedom allows for imagination, creativity, and a greater ability to experience awe and joy more readily. We become less bound by the patterns and social constructs that we fall into over our lifetimes. And are ready to learn and explore and grow in more ways.” (Annika Ozinskas)
It allows for a playful approach, a light touch, a construction and discovery of identity through seeking novel experience and self-reflection.
However, it also comes with potential negatives:
“What you have in mental and emotional freedom you lack in any kind of practical freedom to shape your external world… You are dependent, and most of the time you are being shaped.” (Annika Ozinskas)
Because of this last quote, I think blending this ’emergent’ disposition with ‘intentional’ dispositions is a necessary foundation for a healthy and balanced community.