Create A Gap
To spur new thinking, new creations
The philosopher Marshall McLuhan, when he encountered a serious book — one he thought might be important to his own thinking — would read only the right hand pages of the book.
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider…
By not reading the pages on the left side of the book, he deliberately created a gap which forced him him to think hard, to imagine what was missing, and to fill the missing parts with his own ideas on the subject.
The gap between the left and the right hand pages forced him to think actively and deeply about the subject, and I think, to arrive at new, more original thoughts.
It’s hard to create gaps in our lives: So much of our world is structured to keep us on automatic pilot. Many days I’m exhausted by the effort of getting through the day and there are many rewards for becoming and staying passive.
To create gaps means not filling our days with wall to wall activities and to do lists.
It means resisting googling, the answer just because we can.
It means turning off the phone, and even more unthinkable, leaving home without it.
It means allowing for silence, and the discomfort and awkwardness that comes with not knowing what to do.
It means not always trying figure everything out. Trying to feeling instead what not knowing feels like.
It means inviting feelings into the mix, including feelings you may not want to feel.
At times, the gaps feel terrifying, but I can tell you that gaps contain astounding richness. It is in those moments I discover something I dind’t know I was thinking or feeling. In these moments, in the gap between uncertainty, and knowing there is wonder and insight. It’s the closest I’ve come to knowing what true freedom feels like.