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cartmel at cartmel at
Fri Oct 1 01:10:57 UTC 2021

Hi Kate,
Well spotted. 'Where does spontaneity come from?', is a key question for spontaneity-ists.
Conventionally there are 4 answers. 
Answer 1)  Is the answer of positivist-behaviorists. They [Parsons] contend it comes from the act of the 
actor. The Director-Producers instruction is, 'Do - Don't Think. Do'. 
And lo and behold a spontaneous act occurs. The problem with this impetuosity is the actor has to learn to 
live with the consequences of their act. Not always easy especially if the actor has a strong fight drive \ 
impulse. It tends to look like a mob invading Capital-Hill and asking from inside the building, 'now what do 
we do?' 
Answer 2)  is, 'spontaneity comes from the aboriginal onto-genetic Role developing within the actor'. This 
is the most common answer provided [taught] by IAGP as far as I can see. It seems to be Edward's 
answer as he seems to assume we each are conceived with a 'spontaneous atom' within us. This atom has 
quantum [sub-atomic] characteristics. Each atom then [re-] acts with other atoms to pattern the global 
social system as conglomerations of atoms. The problem with this theory is it is not very good at 
explaining intelligence other than a function of the 'individual creative genius [atom]'. The obvious question 
arises, 'what happens when you get 3 genius in the one room'. How can their individual genius intelligence 
be a collective? The Christian answer of course is The Trinity; three in one. But that is a bit abstract and  
overly symbolic for earthly actors. Its hard to see Trump and Putin and Xi admitting their intelligence is of 
their collectivity.
Answer 3) is provided by Vygotsky who says the child fills [or at least tries to fill] the spontaneity gap 
between the two parents. Vygotsky spontaneity is thus conceived of a dynamic collective 3-way social 
intelligence. This seems to be a good resolution to the atomists' [individualists'] problems. Intelligence 
then becomes the lack of spontaneity between Trump and Putin and Xi when they are in the same room. It 
is of course a tragedy Moreno went to USA and not to Moscow where Jacob and Lev could have shared 
their ideas. JLM was needed in 2 places at once. 
Answer 4)  is from Roy Bhaskar who posits that spontaneity comes from pure 'absence'. It is not so much 
that the child sees the gap between the parents intelligence \ spontaneity but that the parents know the 
gap is 'empty' in the sense that the gap can be filled with any 'potential'. Vygotsky of course focused on 
language such that the child fills in the words absent between the 2 parents. Bhaskar posits it is not only 
language that provides potentiality. Bhaskar's spontaneity can be pre-languaged such that it includes our 
non-verbal dreams and our hands [bodies] groping  when our eyes and ears are closed.  Bhaskar says 
answers 1-3 fall foul of the Epistemic Fallacy; which is to say the spontaneity they espouse assumes or 
anticipates certain forms. In respect to Moreno's quote, ' new response to an old situation or an adequate 
response to a new situation', the epistemic fallacy is enacted when the Director and Protagonist both have 
conserved ideas for what; 'new' and 'old' and 'adequate' actually mean when each of these are really only 
potentials which can mean any number of 'things' and things not fully able to be 'anticipated' \ enacted. 
Bhaskar's notion of 'Absence' makes framing practice [especially therapy] very difficult so in some ways 
the project is in a quagmire if not stalled. Some claim it is bedeviled by a form of utopianism. DCR 
prompts theory building rather than 'solutions'.

Hope this inspires an Answer 5) or at least unpacks the dialectic some more.
Best Til Next

-----Original Message-----
From: M.K. Hudgins <drkatetsi at> 
Sent: Thursday, 30 September 2021 8:48 PM
To: edwschreiber at
Cc: cartmel at; list at
Subject: Re: Psychodrama as Education for Life

It’s interesting to see this dialectic. 
For me WSS is directly in the book “only the spontaneous shall survive”.  His definition was behavioral in 
many ways when he defined spontaneity as a new response to an old situation or an adequate response to 
a new situation. 
Where the larger conversation you are all having is about where does spontaneity come from? 
Thanks. Kate 
Kate Hudgins, Ph,D, TEP
Therapeutic Spiral International

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