What do you think?
Rate this book
Free Play is directed toward people in any field who want to contact, honor, and strengthen their own creative powers. It integrates material from a wide variety of sources among the arts, sciences, and spiritual traditions of humanity. Filled with unusual quotes, amusing and illuminating anecdotes, and original metaphors, it reveals how inspiration arises within us, how that inspiration may be blocked, derailed or obscured by certain unavoidable facts of life, and how finally it can be liberated - how we can be liberated - to speak or sing, write or paint, dance or play, with our own authentic voice.
The whole enterprise of improvisation in life and art, of recovering free play and awakening creativity, is about being true to ourselves and our visions. It brings us into direct, active contact with boundless creative energies that we may not even know we had.
224 pages, Paperback
First published January 11, 1990
"I had found a freedom that was both exhilarating and exacting."
"Impulse, like improvisation, is not 'just anything'; it is not without structure but is the expression of organic, immanent, self-creating structure."
"The intensity of your focused concentration and involvement maintains and augments itself, your physical needs decrease, your gaze narrows, your sense of time stops. (...) You lose yourself in your own voice, in the handling of your tools, in your feeling of the rules. (...) When the self-clinging personality somehow drops away, we are both entranced and alert at the same time."
"Practice is the entry into direct, personal, and interactive relationships. It is the linkage of inner knowing and action. Mastery comes from practice; practice comes from playful, compulsive experimentation (the impish side of lîla), and from a sense of wonder (the godlike side of lîla). (...) This level of performance cannot be attained through some Calvinist demands of the superego, through feelings of guilt or obligation. In practice, work is play, intrinsically rewarding. It is that feeling of our inner child wanting to play for just five minutes more."
"In playing together there is real risk of cacophony, the antidote to which is discipline. But this need not be the discipline of 'let's agree on a structure in advance'. It is the discipline of mutual awareness, consideration, listening, willingness to be subtle. Trusting someone else can involve gigantic risks, and it leads to the even more challenging task of learning to trust yourself."
"I play with my partner; we listen to each other; we mirror each other; we connect with what we hear. He doesn’t know where I’m going, I don’t know where he’s going, yet we anticipate, sense, lead, and follow each other. There is no agreed-on structure or measure, but once we have played for five seconds there is a structure, because we’ve started something. We open each other’s minds like an infinite series of Chinese boxes. A mysterious kind of information flows back and forth."