Some secret tools on the very surface seem confusing or unworthy of consideration.
Often those are the principles most worthy.
Wonder Words is now considered “mainstream” but I can’t begin to tell you of all the Haters there were when it was first released. Many “names” and “experts” just didn’t get it. Not right away.
The same can be said of the book “Mystery By Association”
Maybe a few quick examples of what association is generally may whet your appetite.
When you read the title to this article, did you read it as “WTF is ‘Mystery by Association’”? Look at the title again. Is there an “is” there, as some politicians might say? No, there is not in this case, but chances are you imagined there was an “is” in the title. Why? You put the “is” in the title, due to common associations. Even if you did not see it, to read the title you may have well forced yourself to put it in, even if it did not actually exist, just so you could make sense of the title.
That’s part of the trick of the principle of “association”. Based on past experience and our own beliefs we add things that do not exist to reality and then wonder how we are deceived. That is a part of “association”.
Here’s another obvious association that has to do with the title. WTF does WTF mean? You probably already have an association to these letters, and it probably isn’t “What’s The First” or “Where’s The Fun in”. If you can make no sense whatsoever of the title, it is because you have NO ASSOCIATION to the letters WTF together and so it has no meaning.
We create meaning often simply by association. Still doubt that? OK, let’s take a current entertainment example.
The band U2 is on tour right now. The first single of their new CD didn’t do all that well in the States some say because it lacked deeper meaning. It had a great bass line, but it had no depth. U2 is known in no small part for being associated with both unique sound and deeper meaning.
So a song with the main focus of someone putting on their “sexy boots” is a bit mundane and rather silly to many U2 fans.
Now imagine that U2 on tour is going to play the song live about putting on those sexy boots. They need the song to sell better, and they know part of the problem is a lack of deeper meaning to their audience. It will play fine enough live, but that won’t fix the long term status of the song and sales of it.
Let’s imagine U2 fixed this by creating depth through visual imagery. As they play the song about “put on your sexy boots” there are images on the stage screens of soldiers putting on their boots, armies marching instep, battles with boots stuck in mud, people kicking in doors with their boots and so on.
Suddenly the song has depth. The song seems to be about something more than the surface lyrics. The visual imagery suggests that putting on sexy boots is really an anti-force, anti-war song.
Now the song connects with their audience, and it becomes far more popular.
I am not suggesting that U2 has come to me for any such advice, nor do I suggest they take my advice in this matter. I mean to make a strong argument using something many people are familiar with right at this moment.
Pink Floyd of course made strong use of Jungian imagery mixed with their music to huge success.
All of this depth in meaning comes about by simple association. It’s one thing for Bono to stand up and say directly “no war” or “no poverty”. It is another matter when the audience comes to this themselves as they make their own inner connections to two opposing ideas: war imagery and lyrics about “sexy boots”. U2 has indeed made indirect and direct association using visuals on screen to help support their primary issues in the past.
This is not meant to be a commentary pro or con about U2 (although I happen to like them). I mean simply to point out that there is great power in the tool of association.
Learning to use association can help you connect deeper with an audience, cause audience members to come up with their own meanings so they agree with what you are doing (as opposed to preaching at them or your performance being entirely devoid of meaning), find ways to sensible and easy routining, get people to perceive things that are not physically true and much more.
If even U2 might be helped by the use of this principle of association, imagine what it might do for you.
How’s that for starters?
You can read more about “Mystery By Association” here:
Or search it on my website at www.wonderwizards.com