An inspired moment is a solo. You know when you can tell that a performer's in the zone? They're in. it. Without hesitation, with full-body commitment, they are the moment.

That's a solo. You're entranced because you're seeing someone you know and love.

Life is a group performance — at the individual level, at the society level, and within the individual as well. The composite you is made of so. many. ideas. And they’re all alive! You steer through your life by choosing where to hold the mic, which voice or voices to pick up and broadcast. It's a good thing, this arrangement. The melange of it is what stabilizes you. For contrast, a single living idea can transform on a dime. When a single idea has the mic, anything can happen — and you love to watch it happen. People have always gathered for events, and it is so clear when the performer is clear. But a solo by a single idea is always an event, never a way of being. A solo is an event intrinsically, never a baseline. You are an intentionally assembled bouquet of ideas, and all the nuances of practiced, artful floristry apply. Each element means something, and interacts with everything else. The geometry and color and heritage of each arrangement is significant. You are all of it. The "you" persists even as ideas take and exit your stage — a ship of Theseus, absolutely persisting. A group performance allows the individuals to rest, to resolve and evolve.

A solo, though. A solo is a crystalline presentation of an idea captured in a single frame, flash frozen in a strobe light, cast in brilliant relief. You gasp at the sight. You applaud. You laugh, such a pure expression of joy, a mirror to the expression of purity before you.

Also, this is also why videos of people on roller coasters are funny. :) Design by committee is a terrible way to create an event-experience. Nobody is even-tempered on a roller coaster. The experience of that ride is a job for a soloist, one reaction at a time, and sometimes the only way a solo can happen is when the committee physically loses control. No time for intra-behavioral debate on a roller coaster. It's all realtime, and there's only one idea strapped in. Everyone else gets to watch.

But all the rest of time, all the everyday life, is a job for a community. (We did say community there, notice. Committees are a different thing, and we're cheating slightly by swapping out terms here mid-discussion, but committees aren't the point.) Unlike a single idea, a community can persist. It tolerates internal change and rebalances while still remaining recognizable, able itself to be a persistent member of even broader communities. This is a way to live.

There is incredible goodness in both aspects of this. All spheres of life tend to be 90% everyday communal function, 10% solo event. Those percentages are completely figurative, importantly; the idea here goes back to the 10% revolt thing. The point is that for survivable slices of time experienced by a living thing, one idea is in charge. Anything can happen. Everyone watches, breath held. It can be beautiful, it can be terrible, but it is utterly clear.

And then the world, so changed by what we've all seen, goes on. The breath resumes. It is the same, and it is not the same.

The individuals, the communities, the way communities themselves can be individuals and peers to each other, all of it is an infinitely nested n-body problem — though "problem" is absolutely not the word to use there. It's an n-body solution (tm). This is why anything you can imagine is possible. You have no idea how much is possible.

This being a solo (of sorts), let’s illustrate the overall point by breaking that sentence down: the idea of how much is possible is not one that you have. It is not in your bouquet. This is why you are free, and how you are freed. :)

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