Studies involving fifty or so Nobel prize winners in physiology, chemistry, medicine and physics, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and other artists, reveal a surprising similarity in their creative process.
Called ‘Janusian thinking’ after the Roman god Janus, it involves holding two opposing ideas or images in your mind at the same time. The researchers conclude most major scientific breakthroughs and artistic masterpieces occur through the process of formulating antithetical ideas and then trying to resolve them.
Join me on WriteSpa’s BlogTalkRadio show Thursday, January 2 at 5 pm ET (11 pm UK and 2 pm Pacific) – I’ll be talking more about Janus and paradoxical thinking and how it can help your writing and creative process. [If you missed the show live you can still listen to the archived version above.]
Janus was the Roman god of gates and doors, bridges, openings and closings, beginnings and endings, past and future. Represented by an image of two heads, each looking in opposite directions, this unusual god was worshipped at seasonal markers such as planting and harvesting, at beginnings such as marriage and birth, and even historical epochs, such as the transition from primitive to civilized cultures. Janus’s namesake, the month of January, describes the gift he had of being able to see into the future as well as into the past – a gift he was given by the god Saturn. At midnight, on the last day of the year, he looks back at the old year, and at the same moment he looks forward into the new.