Doug and I attended an Improv Comedy party at a friend’s house the other night, and had a grand time. None of us had acting experience. Some of the people, who generally have a reserved demeanor, turned out to be hilariously witty.
Improvisational acting is as old as time, and was rather popular during the 16th century, but soon faded into obscurity until the 20th century when Keith Johnstone and Viola Spolin re-invented improv as it is known today.
Johnstone was motivated to re-invent it because he felt theater had become pretentious, shunning the average person from attending it. Spolin added the touch of teaching through a series of games.
Okay reader, I’m going to zig-zag here, from discussing the history of improv, back to discussing the idea of “re-invention.” Too often human beings shy away from re-inventing, using the worn out cliche, “we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.” But, ponder these definitions from The Free Dictionary…
“To recast something familiar or old into a different form: “Call it reinventing the wheel or recasting old ideas, but these contemporary versions have a spirit and style all their own” (New York Times).”
To bring back into existence or use: reinvented the concept of neighborliness.”
The idea of re-inventing, or in my case, revising Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health, doesn’t come from a position of re-doing a work as if it was incomplete, but from a position of affirming our individual ability to discover and express the law of Spirit, manifesting spiritual growth. I have to discover for myself. I can’t rely on someone else’s discovery.
The ability to discover an embracing, renewing God is inherent to all people and the discovery is the experience.
If we only admire what other people discover, the discovery becomes obscure. If we only repeat the words of what great discoverers said, the words get lost.
So, let’s discover and experience: spontaneity, joy, wisdom, spiritual courage, well-being, peace, calm, and whatever else you can add to this list.
“Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.” (Gen. 26:19, NIV)
“He first sought out and found his own brother Simon and said to him, We have found (discovered) the Messiah!–which translated is the Christ (the Anointed One).” (John 1:41, New Amplified Bible)
“Dear friend, listen well to my words;
tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
body and soul, they’re bursting with health.” (Prov. 4:20-22, The Message)