One Node in a Network of Thought-Experiments, Hypotheses, and Essays
© Mayer Spivack 1996
Definitions of the term syncretic loosely extracted from the Random House Dictionary of the English language give us the following understanding: “Syn-cre-tism...1. the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion. 2. Gram. The merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one...”
In a series of posts, beginning with this one, I will publish thoughts and essays on syncretic and associative learning that I call "Breaking Boundaries". This writing will explore how meaning and creative process germinate and bloom in the mind. I offer the proposition that syncretic association is a mental process essential to both art and science, and suggest that it is the means by which our associative minds seek meaning in a world of disorganized raw information. Until we have detected some order within the chaos of raw experience, and have begun to form patterns that are significant to our understanding of that experience, we have only made simple percepts that are without meaning. I am exploring how the detection of pattern and order—the finding-out of cognizable features (that may be inherent in the fractal ‘raw’ experience of nature)—are synonymous with the detection and invention of meaning, and how they, together, may constitute the organic process of our creativity.