We are all raised and trained to seek answers. Infants ask “What’s that?” and then incessantly “Why?” both to draw us into conversation and because it is human to want to know.
As we get a little older we build our picture of the world – what is expected of us and what we find to be strategies that enable us to function in our life conditions. We adapt to our parents, our families, our teachers and our local culture. We construct our answers to the questions life asks of us.
How many of these answers are yours, and how many are the ones you were fed by those around you, or absorbed from your environment. How many of them were your way of fitting in even when you knew they didn’t really meet your needs or reflect who you knew yourself to be? What conclusions have you embedded, thinking that living in the answer is what is required for life to work?
In the “Relationships Beyond Judgement” Webinar I used this example:
“I asked for a man who would sweep me off my feet …… Now I am flat on my face.” How many times have you expected something, looked for something in life to be a certain way, only to find that it obeys the laws of unintended consequences? We have all, I suspect, learned this truth the hard way – “Be careful what you ask for – you might get it.”
Now more than ever, in changing times which seem to demand greater flexibility than we may be ready for, we need to ask ourselves whether answers are serving us. This is the case for both specific answers that may have applied last week and not this, and for the general belief that answers are what we need. So what if our previous answers were a security blanket, our cover for our uncertainties about living in the adventure, trusting in the oneness, having faith in who we are and our own capacities to break limitations? What if answers are not……the answer?
Perhaps the reality is that we need choices. Choices are in the now. Choices can be right for today and different tomorrow. Choices can be contingent on situations and people and timing. Choices open up possibility and reduce limitations. Choices take us out of absolutes of right and wrong, free us from rules about good and bad. Choices allow us to be in dialogue with the universe, sensitive to both the compassion and the wisdom of the moment, able to intuit, feel, detect and consider what the world is calling for from us, who we need to be today. We are more free to be the change that we wish to see, more empowered to do the change the world needs done.
In the relationships example above there is an underlying type of question that applies to so many of our previous conclusions and answers. For that example it might be “What answers have you accepted and what does love mean to you, which if it didn’t mean that, would bring you greater freedom and possibility?”
Many traditions have encouraged contemplation and prayer, taught us the value of finding the space of emptiness, allowing something to come to us from higher self, God, inner knowing (apply your own language here) that beyond what our local self / ego might have given to us. To do this well, it was always necessary to go beyond our preconceptions. Emptiness means letting go of answers, doesn’t it?
With anything we do there is value in spending contemplative time in the question in order to allow for the new, the deep, the mysterious to emerge. But what if we were to extend that way of being further, into more of a daily reality? What is we were to live in the question all of the time? What if everything we do became not an answer, but a choice? Who might we become then, and what could be possible?
Don’t answer those questions!
About the Author
Jon is a visionary with a passion for propelling the change in thinking that will support us through the major transitions currently facing humanity. He has extensive knowledge of alternative health and personal development practices and a deep understanding of how human body-minds work. He is among the world’s leading trainers and practitioners in Spiral Dynamics Integral and a founding director of the UK Centre for Human Emergence. Jon’s greatest passion lies in cracking open our view of reality, replacing the matter-oriented scientific orthodoxy with a blended system of understanding which acknowledges the importance of Consciousness in determining the form that all creation takes. He views this aspect of consciousness-raising as a key to humanity’s future. Learn more about Jon here.