Staying on topic always seems odd to me.
I mean we think by association, so it seems to me that what matters is the richness of our associations and their resonance.
Staying on topic seems like something we have learnt in school. We have learnt that books are cataloged by topic. And so we stay on topic with all the pride of obedient children.
However when we talk on the telephone, we never tell anyone to stay on topic. For talking on the telephone is a sensual experience. Adolescents will talk in the telephone for hours and enjoy it.
And as society is moving from the book to the telephone, we have therapists to help the literate enjoy talking on the telephone.
And the way the literate are helped to let go cataloging is by free association.
Yes, the literate lie on a couch and the therapist suggests they say the first thing that comes into their head, and then the next thing, and then the next. And soon the patient is free associating.
And this is so pleasurable patients are prepared to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to learn to free associate.
And just as the literate have their own values, free association has its own values.
The literate value arguments that stay on topic, while free association values richness and resonance.
This is understandable as the literate value the eye, while free association values the ear.
And while the eye has a point of view and perspective, the ear is the centre of everything and everything happens all at once.
The aural world and the visual world are quite different.
But here we are drifting away from the literate, visual world towards the aural world, and so we need to constantly remind members to stay on topic.
But how nice it would be if we had to remind members to enrich their associations and resonate, resonate, resonate and ring like a bell.