victory, loss and creative disinterest a quote from paul goodman

“The opposite of the need for victory is ‘creative disinterest.’… [a] peculiar attitude of the spontaneous self. the creatively impartial woman win or lose; she is not attached to what might be lost, for she knows
she is changing and already identifies with what she will become. With this
attitude goes an emotion that is the opposite of the sense of security,
namely faith: absorbed in the actual activity she does not protect the
background but draws energy from it, she has faith that she will prove
adequate.” -Perls, Hefferline and Goodman (1951/94, p.132).



2 thoughts on “victory, loss and creative disinterest a quote from paul goodman

  1. Hello to Freeform Aikido practitioners from someone who has been experimenting with a couple of different movement-related practices!

    I have been chewing over the idea of ‘creative disinterest’ and here’s where I’m at with it. I have been working with a partner on a combination of ’embodied presence practice’ and contact improvisation. Where I am in a state of ‘creative disinterest’ is something like a ‘ma’ or a pause where the next move is waiting to emerge. Once I am/ we are moving, it is not so much a question of victory (perhaps this is specific to Aikido). For us, it is a question of commitment. I commit myself to a move by surrendering and becoming it and letting the move take me to completion. So in this context, I am not sure whether I can maintain a ‘creative indifference’ when I become the spiral or turn or whatever. In the context of freeform Aikido, is commitment applicable?


  2. Firstly Amy, I welcome your contribution from an “other ” field.

    When you speak of “ma” I think of the idea of “attentive silence” which for me is very much a core to practice.

    If the notion or sense of one-sided “victory” emerges for me, it always a sign that I am way off mark!

    For me creative indifference is an abscence of push or investment of weight for a particular outcome.

    I experience the movement as being an equal part of something that is happening.

    I try to commit myself to be open to this contact.

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