AW: Spontaneity - playfulness - other terms

Ulf Klein | Praxis info at
Tue Jan 5 12:41:40 UTC 2021

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your encouraging question. As a both systemic and
psychodramatic oriented psychotherapist and counselor I found Moreno to be a
Pioneer of Systems and Complexity Theory. However, as the Term “Systems
Theory” was termed by Bertalanffy around 1932 for biology, and received by
the broader scientific community after the war (e.g. The Macy Conferences
with Bateson, Mead, Wiener, von Neumann, Jantsch etc.) Moreno had not the
nowadays used scientific terms. And least of all the the terms of complexity
science. Nevertheless, his Theory of Spontaneity / Creativity/ Conserve can
be seen as an early formulation of modern complexity theory. Not full
developed, and containing some misapprehensions, but very prophetic.

To come to your question, spontaneity in this sense means a fluctuation in
the more or less revolving (circular) processes of a system (which can be a
physical, a biological, a social, a cognitive system or else). To maintain
the stability of the system spontaneity/fluctuations will normally become
compensated. But some fluctuations/spontaneities are too strong and
persistent (e.g. puberty, or currently CoViD-19) to be compensated. Then the
system will develop into a phase of instability/catharsis and thereafter
into a phase of consolidation/creativity. The outcome will be a new stable

One problem with Morenos concept is his idea of spontaneity as “arch
catalyzer”, and creativity as “arch substance”, which he used since ca.
1940. Also his idea of both as universal forces was a turn to the
appropriate direction (before he viewed spontaneity as a mostly
underdeveloped human competence - a much more psychological concept) it was
a too mystical and also too much substance-oriented metaphoric formulation.
Moreno was at his time not familiar with the process-oriented view of the
world of our times. And he was accustomed to the field of psychotherapy and
the social world, not so much to the natural sciences, where systems and
complexity theories evolved since the 1940s/1970s.


That’s my ten cents to your question, and I guess, there are much more
colleagues struggling with Morenos concept of “spontaneity”. I’m curious for
your own and for all other’s considerations.


All the best from Germany to all of you


Ulf Klein



Ulf Klein

Supervision, Coaching & Organisationsberatung

Rambergstr.7, D-80799 München






Von: List <list-bounces at> Im Auftrag von Peter Howie
Gesendet: Dienstag, 5. Januar 2021 06:13
An: Group talk Listserv <list at>
Betreff: Spontaneity - playfulness - other terms


Hi All,


I am wondering whether many of you have come across or generated your own
research or writing on the overlap of the concepts of spontaneity and
playful or other similar conceptual frames?


Please let me know either yes or no or any other ideas that catch your
fancying this area.


All the best in this interesting new year




Dr Peter Howie
PhD, M.Ed, B.Sc, T.E.P

45 Clarence St, Coorparoo

Director - Moreno <> 

Mobile:  0411 873 851







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