Possibility – the realm of creativity, innovation and rebirth – transforms public discourse.
A friend recently shared an insight into what the ‘Realm of Possibility’ means to him.
In a word: ‘fluid’.
So simple – so telling.
He saw how we get stuck – fixated – on a specific way of looking at things – anything.
How our thinking loses fluidity, flexibility, agility, grace, plasticity, creativity, freshness. At our lowest point, how we get gripped by hopelessness, depression, immovability, rigidity – at a dead end.
All degrees of impossibility.
My friend was spot-on.
In a state of impossibility, we are limited to seeing life through our conditioning – our beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge. We find it impossible to see beyond that lifelong accumulation.
We’re temporarily closed to a fresh perspective – to original ideas, to new ways of seeing what already exists in our memory.
Our innate gift for leap-frogging into the yet-to-be-seen is stifled, our fluidity of thinking missing.
We are innocently living our life based on a ‘Groundhog Day’ experience – a reality blinded by all that we think we know. And all too often, certain that what we’re thinking is ‘the truth of the matter’.
In that state, we have lost any willingness to look away from the known (or what we think we know) and face the yet-to-be-seen.
As an everyday example of this thinking in action, we can use the metaphor of politics. So, let’s take a fresh look at this ancient vocation.
But before we do, a quick request: Please stay ‘fluid’ in the face of this unconventional outpouring, to avoid slipping into your specific ideology and shutting me down.
THE BEAUTY AND NECESSITY OF TWO WINGS
With the advent of 21st-century technology, politics is a field of endeavour stripped naked for all to view. It’s not always a pretty sight.
Research shows that most Australians feel uneasy at best, and disturbed at worst, by the ongoing indecent exposure on both sides of the political divide.
That wouldn’t matter but for the fact that you and I – and the natural and the human-made world too – are impacted mightily by the ‘quality’ of thinking employed by our politicians (both here in Australia and across the globe).
Politics seems to be dominated by outdated, inflexible, or mangled ideologies – euphemistically called ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ thinking.
Using ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ labels is misleading. What we see in practice is some progressives being conservative and some conservatives being progressive.
Labels seldom represent the contents accurately. Instead, it’s the actual ‘behaviour’ that’s the most telling.
TRY ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT ‘THE LEFT’ AND ‘THE RIGHT’.
With a generosity of spirit, the context for the ‘left’s’ thinking might be: We do what matters to create a fair, just and decent society. We are doing what matters because it works best.
In their heart of hearts, left-leaning politicians hold good intentions.
With an equal generosity of spirit, in a similarly stripped-down summary, the ‘right’s’ thinking could be summarised as: We do what works to create a fair, just and decent society. Doing what works matters most.
In their heart of hearts, right-leaning politicians also hold good intentions.
Both camps agree on many fundamental matters that provide sound, sustainable governance for serving the common good.
If you are a ‘left’-leaning thinker, you will know how the ‘left’ sees solutions to what ails society (and the world). You may have strong negative opinions on how the ‘right’ thinks about these same things. And there are gaps in your understanding of how the ‘right’ thinks.
If you are a ‘right’-leaning thinker, you will know how the ‘right’ sees solutions to what ails society (and the world). You will probably have strong negative opinions on how the ‘left’ thinks about these same things. Again, there are gaps in your understanding of how the ‘left’ thinks.
And if you claim the ‘centre’ or any other position along the political continuum, you too will have specific views and will see solutions, as do most humans – at least in part – to what ails society (and the world). And so on. And so on.
No matter how we humans are sliced or diced, each of us has beliefs, opinions, judgements and a knowledge base which shape our political views and actions. And here’s the issue: it’s that accumulation, and that alone, that prevents us from experiencing fluidity.
Why? Because through the filter of our past, our thinking is not on tap and fluid. Instead, it’s on top and frozen solid.
That’s the problem.
Our belief system, our ‘truths of the matter’, is what keeps us stuck in seemingly intractable problems. Problems like… well, you name them – they fill the news and social-media channels all day, every day.
MIGHT UNDERSTANDING THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY BE THE WAY FORWARD?
When we listen to others without our beliefs getting in the way, we listen from the Realm of Possibility. And we discover that they too, with the heart of a decent person, have good intentions. We see that they know a thing or two (or maybe three, or even more), that we don’t.
We see that they too have the common good at heart even though they may have, amid the travails of life, lost temporary connection with their noble feelings and become intransigent, inflexible, uncompromising. Just like us.
So how do we listen to others into ‘being’ who they really are?
It requires you and me to stop listening to our own beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge.
It demands that we explore the thinking, not of ourselves, but the other.
It calls us to understand what others think and why they think it.
It insists that we see into the depth of what matters to the other and what the other thinks works.
It asks us to drop what we think we know and to enter the realm of the unknown – the yet-to-be-seen.
It urges us to understand what creates the separate reality in which each of us seven billion-plus human being’s lives.
It’s in those times, sitting quietly in the unknown, at peace in the yet-to-be-seen, silent before the other, that we discover, that we each hold the potential of seeing into The Realm of Possibility: and we see a new, fresh, original and sustainable way forward.
It’s from that state of mind that we see our state of impossibility for the illusion it is. Even more, in that same instant, we see the unifying power of Possibility.
Having seen Possibility, we are then ready to do what really matters and what really works.
We are now infused by our innate state of kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense.
Warmly … John
- If you would like information on, or to purchase a copy of the book The Realm of Possibility … a state of mind, please click here.
- If you would like to explore The Realm of Possibility with me in a workshop/retreat, please register your interest here.
- For information on the workshop/retreat, please click here – or for information on The Realm of Possibility Foundation – please click here.