Radiant Thinking

by Flemming Funch, 17 Jan 95.

Minds do not naturally work in straight lines. Rather they consist of associations radiating out (or in) from many different connection points. Many connections in many different directions connect items together. We could say that the mind is simply a network of connections or associations.

You can see this in the layout of the brain. The brain is not the mind, but it can be seen as a physical reflection of the structure of the mind.

The brain consists of billions of neurons that each extend hundreds of dendrites that connect with other neurons. It is an association machine with an astronomical number of possible associations.

A neuron could be regarded as a point from which associations go off in all directions. And whereever we get to, we get to another neuron with associations going off in all directions. We can keep associating around endlessly. There is not necessarily any particular start or finish to it, and no identifiable sequence to it, in that it is happening in billions of channels at the same time.

The mind works in a similar fashion. One naturally thinks in radiant associations. No matter what one thinks of, there would be associations going off in a multitude of directions from it. And wherever any of those associations take us, we can again find a multitude of associations going off from there.

Creativity and problem solving will flow most smoothly when allowed to work freely and radiantly.

Minds that have been repressed, forced, tricked or indoctrinated into working in unnatural ways will likely have various kinds of trouble. Lack of creativity, poor memory, low intelligence, confusion, limitations, etc.

Minds might in various ways have been imprinted with certain "correct" ways of thinking. That is very often simply limited, fixed ideas imposed by misunderstanding or by overwhelming experiences in life.

Minds are freed up by expanding what was limited, by connecting up what was separate, by providing many options where there were few, by letting flow what was stuck.

- Flemming

(See "The Mind Map Book" by Tony Buzan for more on radiant thinking and its use in mind mapping)