the foundations of the day


“Live the questions now.  Perhaps, then, some day far in the future, you will gradually , without even knowing it, live your way into the answer.”

Foundations are more like questions than answers.  Foundations ask,

What will you build on this?

How wide do you want to go?

How high?

What kind of materials do you want to use?

What kind of terrain are you sinking these foundations into?

The best foundations allow for many possibilities, for when we have another bright idea.  When foundations are answers, they come with inflexibility and, so, limitations.

I find myself thinking of an organisation I’ve been connecting with for more than a year and the things that and are not happening on the surface.  I really respect the efforts of the people who’re involved but I suspect their foundations (what they believe, their experience within these kinds of institution) will prevent them from being about what they really hope for.

As with buildings and institutions, our personal foundations are critical, too.

Following watching the Star Wars movie, mythologist Joseph Campbell remarked:

‘It’s what Geothe said in Faust but which [George] Lucas has dressed in modern idiom – the message that technology is not going to save us.  Our computers, our tools, our machines are not enough.  We have to rely on our intuition, our true being.’**

Technology, including social technologies, tend to lie above the surface of our lives but our true being is our foundation.  Our being, though, is actually interbeing – it’s how we are in rather than with others, the world, our bigger story.  I feel Campbell reflects this, too, when he goes on to say: The ultimate aim of the quest must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and power to serve others.’**  Compare with this I saw tweeted today:


This is our greatest challenge today and for the foreseeable future.

‘A consumerist system creates a belief in the “scarcity within.” the belief that we need material goods to invoke the imagination, that we are incapable of constructing our own lives out of whatever we have at our disposal, that only others can provide his with the things needed to live.’^

The Wander Society holds up the possibility of “resiliency within” – which sounds a lot like complexapacity, or antifragility^^: a foundational approach to life, understanding that every day provides in opportunities for exploration and growth.

However, we neglect our foundations because they involve time and effort and honesty and sacrifice: ‘Privation and suffering alone open the mind to all that is hidden to others.’**

All of this anticipates all kinds of foundations because they are about each person’s curiosities, interests, questions, and directions for interbeing.

It is the adventure life has dealt you and me.

(*Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**From Joseph Campbell’s and Bill Moyer’s The Power of Myth.)
(^From Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(^^Complexapacity is the capacity to deal with complexity, and antifragiity is Nassim Taleb‘s term for the capability of growing through stress.  Compare with [The Wander Society] do not feat the unknown, because they have learned that they are fully able to deal with the unexpected and respond to whatever situation arises.^)


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