Sophistication

Some artists look to complexity as a way of improving their art. In music, more complex rhythms and harmonies are considered a sign of sophistication. In my view sophistication takes the form of increased simplicity at least as often as increased complexity. Moreover, sophistication is rooted in experience, whereas many forms of complexity are little more than an intellectual effort.

I like that the origin of the word “sophistication” is in “sophism”, the use of argument solely to deceive. It reminds me of Zen koans that trick us into going beyond the intellect toward real enlightenment and inspiration.

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