Often, I’ll make a string of random, disconnected observations. These observations take on a tangible shape and swirl around in my mind, lodging themselves there for no apparent reason. And as I poke, probe and play with them, I hit upon an organising insight. I stumble upon an angle that gives some sense and structure and relevance to all of these previously un-connected entities. It’s like groping around in the dark and finally finding the switch that illuminates the whole room. The difference is profound, the moment itself almost blissful.
Of course, the discovery of organising insights is periodical. For an organising insight to arise, there has to be things in need of organising. Which makes me think that the intellectual life of a human being undulates between phases of addition and subtraction, and organisation. We are destined to fluctuate endlessly between expanding our understanding of reality and clarifying it.