White, Emptiness and Problem Solving

hasegawa tohaku, pine trees

White, Emptiness and Problem Solving

Today I’ve read a book White by Kenya Hara. The book is very slow and beautiful, with sharp phrases and pleasant aftertaste. Here are some quotes and my thoughts.

The core of communication in Japanese culture is “emptiness,” which exists together with that concept called “white.”

This sounds intriguing. Indeed author provides many examples with silence, pauses, calmness and concentration in Japanese culture. There is often so much information “between” words and phrases. This concept is weird for Western culture, where people like precision.

Emptiness helps to discover the roots and brings a real understanding:

When “knowledge” and other habitual ways of thinking about things sink to the bottom of our consciousness, that thing we call “understanding” floats to the surface like pure white paper.

White paper, silence, clear uncluttered workspace, slow thinking, — all that boost creativity and ideas. In such condition you can grasp something deep, solve the problem beautifully, bring novelty into life. In such condition you have focus, you have flow, you have emptiness to fill with something great.

This approach is so opposite to brainstorming! In recent years, I was disappointed with brainstorming for ideas generation. It’s good for ideas refinement, but solitude and silence work much better if you want to crack a really hard problem.

That’s what I learned today.

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