Monday, August 29, 2011

Making and the Laws of Transcendence

Making Monday

The final trilogy of the Laws of Making is called, "The Laws of Transcendence." As with the other aspects of maker philosophy, the transcendence with which we're concerned here isn't the absolute move-from-one-plane-of-existence-to-another kind, but rather the relative sort that you find in the dictionary definition: to climb above; to rise above; to go beyond; to surpass, to excel.

The last three laws are:

Law 7: True Makers see Beyond the Actual to the Potential. (Vision)

Transcendence begins with a vision of the possibility of surpassing what has been done, even if only in some small way. Be it better, faster, simpler, or more elegant, makers who master the Laws of Transcendence are open and attuned to the potential to go beyond and to excel.

Law 8: The True Maker's Devotion Never Wavers. (Devotion)

The substance of transcendence is devotion. Devotion isn't about what you're entitled to. And it's not about what's fair. The devotion of the makers is about climbing above the situation in order to realize the vision. To paraphrase the band Rush, it's about putting "aside the alienation" in order to "get on with the fascination."

Law 9: The Highest Power is to Finish, and the Greatest Wisdom is to Know When to Finish. (Completion)

The final and full expression of transcendence is knowing when to finish and then actually doing so. Finishing creates a dual transcendence: the work transcends you and takes on an independent existence, and at the same time you transcend the work.

Making is, by its very nature, transcendental: the act of bringing a new thing into existence acknowledges the fact that you aren't the only thing in the universe.

And paradoxically, by making you can actually rise above the confined plane in which the self-interested users exist to a far more expansive realm.

Image: Bill Longshaw /