Roger von Oech writes in OA Kick in the Seat of the PantsO

A good way to turn your mental attic of experiences into a treasure room is to use Otrigger conceptsO - words that wll spark a fresh association of ideas in your mind. Like pebbles dropping in a pond, they stimulate other associations, some of which may help you find something new.

He writes in OA Whack on the Side of the HeadO about various cultures having oracles. The ancient Greeks used the ambigious predictions of the Delphic Oracle, the Chinese used the I Ching, the Egyptians consulted the Tarot, the Scandinavian people used Runes and the North American Indians used Medicine Wheels. The purpose of these oracles was not so much to foretell the future but to help the user delve deeper into their own minds.

You can create your own oracle by doing three things:

Ask a question. This focuses your thinking. Perhaps you should write your question to focus attention.

Generate a random piece of information. Random selection is important, as the unpredictability of this new input will force you to look at the problem in a new way. Interpret the resulting random piece of information as the answer to your question. The important thing is to have an open, receptive mind.


Here is a method I (Charles Cave) have been developing recently: I make my own random picture cards by cutting out pictures from the various pieces of advertising material and magazines that appear in my letter box. A card can be picked at random and used as the random word. Choose pictures without text to allow a more right-brain approach. My cards include pictures of felt pens, furniture, kitchen items, art works, people, buildings, scenes and abstract designs. The cards can be shuffled and a card chosen at random.

Last updated: 3rd June 1997 Comments? Send them to Charles Cave

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