One method I like to use, in exploring new ideas, is to take a profound book that gets me going down a new thread of thinking, then to work quite a lot off of the bibliography as the author picks up many strands that she or he has woven into writing to formulate creative thoughts that will stimulate thoughts of various nature in readers.
Real art does not lead us all to the same conclusions. Nor to necessarily to the exploration of the same strands of thought. It frees our minds to roam--okay, as Leslie Van Gelder would say, "on the wild side."
Patrician Monaghan is the author that recently caught my eye, thanks to Leslie. This scholar's work is mind-boggling. I don't contend that I understand half what she is saying, but I love her thoughts on the importance of story. You can explore some of her ideas through an interview: http://www.ksharpe.com/road_scholars/03interviewsmonaghan.htm Here's the gem that I bring to you today:
I think that (with) a group of people talking, and really listening to each other, the situation becomes more complex because they note their connections through storytelling. Then they become connected to each other. I told my story last night, because Joe told his. Systems move towards complexity and then to a stasis where you've heard each other's stories....."
Seems to me that stories that are difficult to tell and difficult to listen to so easily get lost in history. It is SUCH work to keep them alive. Or even to keep the principles that they illustrate alive! Yet so important that we become more willing to connect through stories--especially the listening part.