Last Time: Go Creative… With Germaine Greer

‘We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed.

‘The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned.

‘Most people, unfortunately, spend most of their time in closed mode.

‘Not that the closed mode cannot be helpful. If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time for considering alternative strategies. When you charge the enemy machine-gun post, don’t waste energy trying to see the funny side of it. Do it in the “closed” mode.

‘But the moment the action is over, try to return to the “open” mode — to open your mind again to all the feedback from our action that enables us to tell whether the action has been successful, or whether further action is needed to improve on what we have done.

‘In other words we must return to the open mode, because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and therefore at our most intelligent.’

John Cleese, ‘tall person who’s been known to write and act a bit‘.

Unconventional Guides

Next Time: Go Creative… With Michael Cunningham