Fear and the Creative Dilemma

Published on September 3, 2015 (↻ April 3, 2024), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

In the Seth school of thought there’s an interesting issue, the creative dilemma. * In short, there’s identity which constantly attempts to maintain stability, there’s action which inherently drives towards change, and that combination results in a particular imbalance: consciousness of self. The dilemma, specifically, is that though identity seeks stability, it would not exist without change. 

Fear, then, is also interesting, for it’s directed towards the future and change in the future, covering what, in the time model, hasn’t happened yet. Fear has a tendency to stall, not to change—even if change may be exactly what we need to avert actual dangers. And so fear, benefiting the status quo, seems to represent identity in the creative dilemma, trying to maintain stability.

What we may now observe is a pairing full of tension, tension we cannot—I cannot—yet comprehend: identity’s goal of stability mapping to fear, and action’s drive towards change apparently mapping to desire.

That pairing, already linked to the force to make consciousness, now turns into a formidable blend to be quite at the core of our existence. And I don’t know anymore what to do here.

In the final review of this post I’ve noticed that fear and desire, as opposites, could also be seen as changing roles: fear may solicit stability and desire seek change as described, but fear may also seek change and desire solicit stability. I want to think about this with you.

* Seth actually referred to three creative dilemmas, which I’m somewhat merging into one for simplicity.

It gets better. “Consciousness, therefore, is not a ‘thing’ in itself. It is a dimension of action, an almost miraculous state.” A pointer for more studies.

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

With my current move to Spain, I’m open to a new remote frontend leadership position. Feel free to review and refer my CV or LinkedIn profile.

I love trying things, not only in web development, but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.