31 esme didn't realise ...

Humans are made to find meaning, and where they cannot, they invent it.

We ask questions of the world and universe and those we meet.  These many explorations and searchings are looking for meaning from beyond.

Each one of us needs to find a subjective meaning for life, and, when we do, we get a chemical kick and keep on following the trail.

It’s staggering to see the great diversity of things the Human species finds meaning in.  Each of these giving daily expression to some greater meaning we connect with.

There are many great things from beyond we can believe in.  One thing for sure is, in our searchings, we will discover more, and life keeps getting wider.

When we personalise these, give shape and express them as only we can, not only are they meaningful for us, but they hold the promise of being meaningful to someone else.



30 provoked by ...

Entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, comedians, politicians, actors, sportspeople, holy people … .  We’ll each be able to name a list of people who’ve provoked some difference in others and/or the world by the things they’ve done and the way they’ve lived.

What if the universe is set up in a way which makes it possible for each of us to provoke a change or difference somewhere through the things we love or take notice of?

It’s not about provoking for the sake of provoking, but provoking for something better.

I can only think the more we connect with people, with our world, and with our future Self, the more this provocation will be something good and beautiful, rather than bad and ugly, emerging naturally from our lives.

(I haven’t done very well today but I can have another go tomorrow.)

going somewhere?

29 although frank ,,,

Whether you believe life has a purpose and direction or is accidental, when we step back we see how Humans have created a purpose and is pursuing it relentlessly.  We have found ourselves to be the curious species moving forward through inquiry.

Here are three questions which shape the present part of our journey through time and space:

What do we see?
With whom will we connect?
What future will we create?*

We no longer take as rote what we are told or taught.  We know there is no such thing as objectivity, we are all part of what we’re trying to understand and describe.  We understand we all potentially see things valuable to all.

We’re moving beyond the foothills of new connectivity, understanding how we’re able to always be connected – something we desire as Humans.  We are moving towards being ‘connected to each other at all times’** and a not-too-distant generation will look on ours and find it strange to think of how disconnected we were.

We’re moving towards a future shaped by all, for the good of all, including the planet and its many life-forms, of which we are one.

(*Implicit in Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution.)
(**From Alex McManus’s Makers of Fire.)

oxygen or carbon dioxide

28 figure out what your gift is

Yesterday, I finished off with the thought, we cannot know ourselves without being open to others.

This doesn’t take place by demanding others become like us, but by celebrating our differences.*

We’re on a journey from xenophobia to xenophilia,** from fearing strangers to loving strangers, from hostility to hospitality.^  Rather than being anxious about those who are not like us, we’re discovering how it’s possible to be open to one another.

Brian McLaren warns us about some of the outworkings of unresolved anxiety about life:

‘Eventually, anxiety-driven people find a
vulnerable person or group to vent their
anxiety upon.  The result?  Bullying,
scapegoating, oppression, injustice.’

When we know ourselves and are doing what we must do, it’s akin to having the oxygen we need to live.  But oxygen for one becomes carbon dioxide to another.  When we do what others think we ought to do it’s akin to breathing their carbon dioxide.  When we expect others to do as we think they should, we’re doing the same thing.

Mild effects experienced from too much CO2 will include sleepiness and sluggishness, being unable to think and function well.  Taking in more excessive amounts places us in danger of nerve and respiratory damage, even asphyxiation.^^  Unless we find our oxygen we can go through life more asleep than awake, or, worse, permanently deadened to what our lives can be about.

(*This can only occur within an infinite game scenario – including as many as possible for as long as possible, and changing the rules when this is threatened.  Many situations we find ourselves in are finite game scenarios, demanding we fit in with the institution or people running the game.)
(**Alex McManus explores this journey in Makers of Fire.)
(^One of three Human movements identified by Henri Nouwen in Reaching Out.)
(^^Interestingly, too much oxygen can lead to similar life-threatening conditions, but that’s another blog.)
(Here’s a blog from Seth Godin which connects with this.)
(This cartoon and blog from Hugh MacLeod also connects.)

more work necessary

27 work in progress

Anyone who knows me knows this is true of me.

My personal daily exploration into becoming more Human is part of the great Human quest.  We do not know what we can be but somehow we know it is more than this.

Alex McManus caught my eye with his comment, ‘This nascent ability – or, at least, desire – to entertain multiple perspectives is a breakthrough in human development.  It has been millennia in coming and still has ways to go.’

Oftentimes,* one person is not completely right and another completely wrong.  This offers the possibility of you and me both being right towards some greater whole.**

Albert Espinosa finds himself quoting Saint Augustine – another example of more work necessary: “Know yourself, accept yourself, overcome yourself.”  You can only be you, and you must accept who you are, but you are more than this and must overcome the resistance you find in yourself to change.

We need each other to help us do this.  It’s not by accident that Otto Scharmer sees the emerging Human future coming through the opening of our hearts to one another.  It could be, the only way to know ourselves – our future selves – is to be open to one another.  When I really see another, I also see myself.

(*There are obvious exceptions.)
(**Steven Covey would see this as being the win/win scenario being sought; James Carse would understand this to express something of the infinite game, wherein the goal is to include as many as possible and keep the game going for as long as possible, and, when the rules prevent this, change the rules.)

prime directives

sometimes it can be hard ...

Any Trekkie knows the Prime Directive prohibits all members of the United Federation of Planets interfering with the internal development of an alien civilisation.

There’s a ton of stuff we can do before we get in the way of another’s development, stuff that may well be just the kind of stuff others need in order to flourish – recognising how everyone’s flourishing is different.

This is about each one of us having a prime directive, a purpose in our lives which we must identify and pursue, because we understand this is the only opportunity we have to live it.  As Hugh MacLeod puts it, in his inimitable way: ‘This is it.  Fight like hell.’

No-one understands better than you what you must do.  When we align our lives with the universe in which we find ourselves we will know it.

Whilst others may see from the outside what your life appears to be about, they can’t feel that important something the way you do – in the way that drives your heartbeat up, sending a charge of joy through you.

Prime directives are what take us out of the cyclical, out of WYSIATI, out of fateful sense of “this is all I am” into future possibilities – which are really present opportunities.*

What’s your prime directive?

There’s a mighty lot of space to explore what you believe you must do.  A whole universe of it, if we understand ourselves to be children of the stars.

Okay, I couldn’t resist it: your prime directive will be quite unique, to be lived with passion, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

You have this one life to make it so.

(*Futurists imagine the future in order to understand the present.)

heretics and faith and religion

25 what were talking about ...

Heretics and faith and religion are what life comprises of – read the sixth sentence, below.

A heretic sees what must be.

A heretic lives for their faith.

Religion, at it’s best, supports people with faith and, at its worst, when promoted above faith, destroys faith.

Heretics, then, challenge religion when it’s lost its way.

The Sixth Sentence: Seth Godin writes about heretics, faith, and religion in his book Tribes – his way of understanding how Human life organises itself.

So, religion isn’t only what happens at a church or mosque or gurdwara.  It can be a football club, a craft group, or your place of work, a games collective.

And faith is what you deeply believe in and live your life for – what you would do even if you weren’t getting paid for it.

Heretics look at the world and say, “We can do better than this,” and begin to shape the future with foresight, intention, and love.*

Faith is so basic to each of us thriving: ‘Our search for meaning is like our need for air.’**

The universe is all about energy in motion.  It makes sense to set people free to do the amazing stuff they do, rather than require them to fit in and worship the system.^

(*Seth Godin admits heretic might not be the best word but it’s the best he had to describe what he was seeing.  Certainly, heretics, as I use the word here, long for every person to thrive in body, mind, heart, and spirit.)
(**From Alex McManus’s Makers of Fire.)
(^Chris Anderson makes the point in Makers: ‘To make things a new way, you need to make companies a new way too.’  You can’t make new things out of old ways.)