Ease and evolutionary edge

Well, too general according to Dan. I know it is. But why on earth has this not been observed upon before? It is obvious, more so than fancy cars and various status symbols that in my mind often just come across about as convincing as cardboard cutouts. Playfulness: in children, a normal expression of vitality, well-being and curiosity, as well as exploration and a whole bunch of other things. I have to refer to The Ambiguity of Play (Sutton-Smith), as it is the most useful text I have come across on the matter.

Playfulness in adults however, has added dimensions. Just like in children it is a sign of a surplus of energy, curiosity, and so forth. I am also in agreement with the theory that play is a function that nudges the brain (and from a dancer’s and physically sophisticated person’s point of view, definitely also the body) back into a state of lability. I understand this as a benevolently precarious state – balance is never static. It is a case of constant micro-adjustment. Resting in this ‘state of unrest’ (and it is equally relevant physically as it is neurologically) equals being in a state of maximum adaptive potential – dare one call it vitality, even?

The evolutionary edge comes into play when looking at playfulness as a cultivated state of being. It presupposes surplus on energy, and a not inconsiderable degree of ease. Which certainly does communicate being in a comfortable place, existentially. What could suggest that one has an evolutionary edge in a more universal and intrinsic way?

It is certainly a big part of what I am looking at and writing about. Play and playfulness is such a huge part of what it is to be a creative, vital individual, warts and all. I am not thinking about the potted approach to creativity and vitality, but the unmanicured, hairy, real deal.


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