Personal Endeavour > Creativity in Endeavours > Allow Immersion: RsHG6

Allow Immersion


When you «rise to a challenge», you know for sure that there will be difficulties that can bring your progress to a complete halt.

These blocks, which may commence with a question as immediate and simple as «how do I get started?», demand that you allow yourself to become immersed in the challenge. You must positively allow it, because it is natural to shrink back from the uncertainty and open-endedness of immersion.
ClosedMore on «Allowing»

The function of allowing immersion is to deal directly with profound uncertainty and seemingly insuperable difficulty. The new requirement for immersing in order to generate a breakthrough is that it is deliberate. Note that immersion is often allowed conveniently e.g. in a professional subculture, or conventionally e.g. in Internet games or chat-rooms. This may be minimally creative if at all.

This deliberate quality is provided by adding a 6th adjacent Level of using willpower to form 2 Hexads.

The 2 Hexads reveal that the breakthroughs occur in two distinct forms or perhaps on two distinct planes:

These two states naturally interact: it is natural to experiment to check out a possible breakthrough emerging from your preoccupation. It is natural to be preoccupied with what is involved before and after any experimenting in search of a breakthrough.

Forms of Breakthrough


Getting clear in your own mind what your response to the challenge should be and how specific matters are to be handled is essential. Because there is no simple solution, you have to go into yourself and allow inspirations to break through.

These brainwaves or eureka moments are neither predictable, nor controllable, so there is a risk that they may not emerge. However, if the challenge is suitable for you and if you deeply immerse yourself, then it is predictable that breakthroughs will occur. The timescale for the breakthrough depends on the nature of the challenge: it may take an hour, a week, a month, a year, a decade or a lifetime.

The Absent-Minded Professor:Closed  This is a stereotype of a person so engrossed in their work that they fail to keep track of what is going on around them. The Greek astronomer Thales reportedly fell down a well through his preoccupation with the heavens. Other creative inquirers recognized by their colleagues as absent-minded include: Isaac Newton, Adam Smith, and Albert Einstein. Their genius derived from their preoccupation.

Preoccupation is not mere rumination. Nor is it sitting about waiting and hoping. It is a deliberate process with a structure as shown in the diagram and outlined below.

ClosedBe fully willing-RL7:g6

Preoccupation requires you to use willingness deliberately so as to keep the issues and problems emerging from the challenge in the forefront of your mind.

ClosedBe ever purposeful-RL6:g5

Preoccupation requires you to handle purposes adaptively in regard to the challenge. In thinking, it is essential to adjust your goals in various ways: e.g. narrow the focus, or re-phrase the goal, or re-frame it, or unbundle its subgoals and re-combine them differently, or adjust the meaning &c.

ClosedIntensify communication-RL5:g4

Preoccupation is a form of reflective intense communication. That is why creative people often seem to be talking to themselves. Not «seem»: they are doing just that. Intensity is ensured in various ways: e.g. keeping notes and then writing out ideas in detail for later review. Discussions with others are often valuable but if you watch yourself closely, you will see that the other person is a vehicle off whom you bounce your ideas and arguments.

ClosedIntensify experiences-RL4:g3

Preoccupation is based on shrewdly intensifying inner experiences. Amongst the flow of possibilities and ideas, emotions and intuitions, identifications and thoughts, you have to select which deserve enhancing and which you must block out, or at least put to one side, for the moment.

ClosedTarget change-RL3:g2

Preoccupation must sensibly target change. The goal of creativity is to create something over time. Whatever the object is—an artefact, a solution, a social outcome, a business result, a life—there will be a sequence of stages in its development. The targets chosen as the process unfolds require thought and focus.

ClosedFocus inquiry-RL2:g1

Preoccupation must focus inquiry meaningfully. This will help you determine what to get preoccupied about and help guide your preoccupations so they are useful. To sharpen preoccupation, you must make sure your inquiry is focused on issues from higher Levels like change targets or adapted goals or intense communication and develops them further. Inquiry might be as simple as a five-minute Internet check or as lengthy as a year of travelling or as complex as a three year higher education degree.

ClosedNote re RL1: Taking action

Secondary actions to enable the above mental activities are of course necessary e.g. you may need to do an Internet search or attend a conference as part of focusing your inquiries sensibly. However, Action-RL1 is not required as a primary use of willpower.


You knew there were risks posed by the challenge. Immersion is where you take constant risks by trying things, many of which will fail. This is deliberate experimentation. Experiments are intrinsically risky because they are based in action that uses precious time and consumes scarce resources. As a bonus: failed experiments can make you look extremely foolish. But you have no option.

In experimenting, your willingness-RL7 is taken for granted, while all action-RL1 must be meaningful to get the desired breakthrough.

Action is unpredictable in its ramifications and consequences. So experiments can produce something amazing and unexpected. (In scientific inquiry, the experiment is regarded as crucial to discovery: but there is control of as many aspects as possible.)

More on Scientific Experiments.Closed Conventional scientific experiments aiming to produce discipline-based knowledge are largely risk-free. Results are pre-specified in the form of a hypothesis that is to be falsified (but may be confirmed) and surprises are few. The biggest risk is to do something unsupported by senior scientists. If the result goes against the scientific consensus then it can be rejected. The scientist may even be ridiculed and hounded out of the institution. This is what happened to Daniel Schechtman, the 70 year old winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research carried out in 1982.

Experimentation as part of deliberate immersion has a structure as shown in the diagram and outlined below.

ClosedNote re RL7: Be fully willing

Willingness is naturally required secondarily for the application of every component of experimentation. However, experimenting is about action-RL1 driven by goals-RL6, and a primary use of willingness is not required.

ClosedBe ever purposeful-RL6:g6.

Experimentation requires the use of deliberate goals, as that is what the experiment must be carefully built around.

ClosedIntensify communication-RL5:g5

Experimentation involves you in doing something that is unpredictable or unusual or could easily fail. So you have to win over participants and soothe their fears. This requires you to adaptively intensify communication. The primary participant to win over is yourself: unless you have thought through the experiment and can talk about it intelligently, you cannot proceed.

ClosedIntensify experiences-RL4:g4

Experimentation works only if it is allowed to intensify experiencesvia reflection. By being reflective, you can learn lessons from failure, partial or total. It is harder to reflect effectively on success because that usually confirms your biases and a belief in your own brilliance.

ClosedTarget change-RL3:g3

Experimentation must shrewdly target change. These trials are performed to develop breakthroughs. As they take time and effort and may cost money, getting the incremental step right is as difficult as it is crucial. The first, and sometimes only, person who has to be convinced is you.

ClosedFocus inquiry-RL2:g2

Experimentation must focus inquiry sensibly in design so as to be guided by knowledge and local facts, and also in the collection and analysis of information that emerges.

ClosedTake Action-RL1:g1

Experimentation is built on taking actionmeaningfully. This is determined primarily in terms of the higher Levels.


Allowing immersion-RG6 supports perseverance-RL5 and flows from rising to the challenge-RG7. Persevering until there is a breakthrough demands courage because there is no guarantee that any breakthrough will occur.

Originally posted: 31-Jan-2012; Last updated: 10-Jul-2013.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
All Rights Reserved.

comments powered by Disqus