“A New Creative Gene Welling Up in theWorld of Flux”
Today, we have entered the economy of flux. The Factory Business Model is dying out. Scalable efficiency to lockdown variance is no longer the form of the 21st Century. Today it’s about flow. To be present and alert to sudden cubic centimeter apertures of opportunity that land right here. To engage adventurously into something with immersion and curiosity is the sign of our time. We must harvest a new social intelligence of being interconnected by turning our attention now to the present, not the future. The future is happening every moment. One of us doesn’t rise above the other; we all rise together in this social intelligence world.
Learning curves are hazards in this new dynamic social infrastructure, “collective curves” are assets. My son can gather more from his auto racing enthusiasts blog in seconds than auto school teaches him formally how to repair cars. He has access to unlimited social capabilities, tools, and discovering what doesn’t work, and works. He’s not the lead mechanic beating a room full of them; he’s part of an interconnected universe of emerging mechanics that are all better banded together around their common aim. Sudden shifts or info tid-bits in the blog lead into new forms, new ideas, as everyone is linked by the same aim.
Change is happening at the scale of the entire whole, coherently, so everyone gains in the system. It is horizontal in nature, rather than vertical. This drastic shift in knowledge acquisition has shifted our scope of learning. What was yesterday is gone in half the time of what is emerging today. We stand on moving islands in life with context in motion without stability. The place from which we stand is dynamic, visceral. New forms come together out of nothing suddenly and ephemerally without individual cause.
To suggest that staying with a skill over long periods and getting better at it has diminishing return. That’s like a single musician rising out of the group to dominate. Instead, I’m suggesting a symphony of particles all working together with interconnected conscience, whereas each individual is present to the existing and emerging whole from which individual behavior is influenced. When one surfer joins the group among rising surfers, they all rise together out of a bond of shared intelligence. It’s as if EGO is lifted out, and ECO (ecosystem, whole) is coming in. Cloud computing and virtualization all represent this tectonic plate shift to connect on levels never seen before.
What is this doing to our business leaders and institutions? We must now create our businesses as art. Art is on the business owners’ doorstep and must be welcomed in or fail. Best practices are a myth. Learning from the future as it is emerging has replaced them. Instead of putting our effort into process, or results, it’s now the time of “source” attention. The leader in today’s economy wins with a higher quality of awareness. He must be aware enough to consider and shift the source from which he is attending and intending at all times. This is important because business leaders thrive today on intrinsic motivation and unique abilities others value, to learn, thrive, and get ahead. Traditional education is out; the creative process is in high gear.
So what does this mean for each human being? What can you do to maximize your potential in this new era of flux and emerging opportunity across the social scape?
Answer: Learn to listen from a different source of attention.
I want you to recognize that within you lies a sacred project. You won’t find it in all the busy B.S. in your life, but you will if you slow down and consider what matters most to you. Your most vital sources of energy come from this place. If you’re relating to what I’m saying, you sense at this point in life a deeper emerging commitment to urges you have to make a serious difference in the world. The texture of this urge lies above any quest for power, material things, and status. Today, the season of your life is about infusing meaning, adventurousness, and fun.
This new commitment is intensified with a shift in the fundamental orientation (the underlying structure; essence) from which you enter life. You either react and respond to circumstances, or choose to become a predominant creative force in your life. To do this, we must develop the capacity to more deeply relate with the current reality which exists. Adding meanings and interpretations to reality brings our creative capacity to only a fraction of what it could be. We must learn to listen from a different source by developing the ability to separate our identities from current reality, and bring our higher nature through us to connect with what needs to be lived through us. Letting go and letting come is the setting of this new path into the dormant self.
Letting go was an idea that I had heard from people I knew on a spiritual path but I had not known it for myself until now. I thought it meant to let go of being affected by something, turn off the emotional fire-hose, and get numb. But now I understand what letting go really means. Letting go is to die.
To let something live, something must move out, die, and end. Out of nothing, something must come forth. The word “leader” 2,000 years ago was “leith” meaning to step from one territory to the next. The word was also associated with “dying.” What must die in me to step across this threshold?
To die doesn’t mean to turn around and do a 180 from what is going on; in fact it is just the opposite. It implies to touch what is going on, lean into it, and face it without being at issue with it. To not be cooked by it. If the Buddha could put his teachings together in one line, this would be it—“to not be cooked by what’s here and suffer from it.” The word he used was “shenpa.” Our heads get full of stories about who we are. We make up stories about our sense of power and worth. They become distractions from habitual ways of thinking. The Tibetan word for this is “dunzie.”
Born out of our shame and sense of inadequacy are false ideals we feel we must wear like masks. We run from being vulnerable, afraid to let be that which we actually are. We hide in being busy, doing things that don’t matter to avoid finding out that it doesn’t. All of this takes us away from the alertness and presence to inhabit what’s here in the unfolding opportunity of this moment. We run, hide, and seek false refuge, project, impress, chase unmet needs, all to fend off the sense of inadequacy and powerlessness. This brings itself into this moment, and the next, and swells up as our terms with change hurt us. Among this is also our mental maps of the world, how life’s supposed to go, and our version of the way the world works around us. These concepts are at best theories, not facts. If there’s change to be had, letting these go will be needed. It’s as if they must be left behind to cross over to the next dwelling. The tunnel forward cannot take the non-essential baggage; the only way ahead is what is needed by the higher self from the future, as it is given dominion over current behavior. The small, past, petty self dies, gives up, leaving zeroes to lunge forward into the mystery. We do not live in the world we describe; we describe the world as we go along in this flux.
And what if we always entered with this fresh mind? What could take place from such a stance to life? What if suspending our judgment and respecting what’s here played out? What future or destiny could become aware of you? What if our quality of awareness was so sharp that we could access our ignorance deliberately by being mindful?
Answer: The highest future possibility we can have. A new home for ourself within a world in need of the sacred project needed by the whole.
But…to have this larger context get ahold of us, our heads, hearts, and souls, to trust it…we’d have to slow down first! Yes! But in a world of doing things like a “busy flu”, in a country where work has become our identity, stopping, listening, and reflecting is wasteful, in fact it’s downright an indicator of inadequacy. Doing nothing is our country isn’t something. Americans are the greatest tacticians, not the greatest strategists. We’d rather control and predict what’s beyond the 200 feet of our headlamps at night (like driving a car) than focus on this 200 feet right here in front of us. We’re locked down by our obsession with the future and our anticipation has become our angst. Instead of planning from “there” we must learn to work from “here.”
How does one slow down in a world of speeding up? What’s the busy flu vaccine?
Answer: Intentional Grounding and Silence Daily
I do a one hour meditation daily. It’s like breathing or eating, I don’t know what it’s like to live without sitting quietly, in solitude being a spectator of my thoughts, heart, and soul’s perceptions. In this space the game enlarges. Instead of it all being about me, my heart tells me what matters me. My soul tells me what I’m in service to and what I must do to leave my footprint on this life and be remembered for this true WORK. My head opens; my mind enters when my brain is quiet. My judgment let’s through curiosity and wonder. I deny my knowledge as fact. I’m reborn into every day maintaining my inexperience, as I’m purging accumulated dust on my head, heart, and soul. It is a new listening, not from me, but from what is around that is deeply in me to bring out—-a connectedness, intentional groundedness, and sense of whatever is happening is ok. It’s as if I’m turning my inside out, in touch with a constant flow of life playing out its cues, signals, and clues. The future is happening every second, as I observe a path laying itself down as I walk on it.
There is a sense of profound freedom through acknowledgment. I am with what’s in my life, but not caught up in it. I’m able to observe it as a spectator, but not be at issue with my emotions, or thoughts about it. The current moment is a “flicker” helping me delve into the mystery of the emerging whole (future self) which is wanting to connect with me to come into being. I breath into it with all I am, naked, pure, without distortion, self-deception, stories, blame, or fear, it’s just being with what’s right here. This moment becomes my teacher, the greatest one I’ll ever have and it’s pregnant with possibilities and most potential.
What I’ve learned is that our terms with change tie into the interior condition of us—the source from which we attend to life—our mind, heart, or soul. I’m talking about our terms with whatever wild card the universe springs on us. You begin to realize that maturing into your later years is about waking up from the illusion of control. You don’t have any control; it’s all born out of fear. Fear of humiliation. Fear of failing. Fear of dying. Fear of losing. Fear of danger. Fear of confrontation. When you get there’s no control, the fear stops controlling you. The mist is lifted, fear evaporates, and suddenly what’s here is not a threat. Because in the larger scheme of things, everything the future needs is given to us in this moment. This is the trust granted to one’s spiritual path. It is an inner listening that requires the most courage and devotion.
Some days the universe cooperates with us, other days it doesn’t. In the reaction response orientation, you’re a mouse in a maze, but in the orientation of the creative, the causal force of your actions is unto that which you’re creating right now, not what’s happening to you. This involves letting go of being at issue with the truth (current reality) and deeply getting to know it by retreating and reflecting on how what’s here aligns with where you’re going. Somethings are working, others are not. The key is accurate perception.
We can operate without a defended heart, but an open one. Nothing is permanent. What exists now is dynamic and flowing. We are connected to a much bigger game where none of us exist in isolation. We exist among a series of relationships. When we let go of controlling and predicting we become vulnerable, and able to connect with others in new ways. We can generate conditions we want out of love to see them exist. We find ourselves pleasurably involved by creating conditions that matter to us. And we can let go of fear by touching it but not being dominated by it because we have bigger, more adequate urges to turn to than minimizing risk and being safe. We cannot solve the fear itself but only outgrow it in pursuit of bigger, less petty urges. We marinate, soak, and fiddle with these urges as they emerge and strengthen their grip on our heart’s convictions to them. They expand, enlarge as their aware of our willingness and surrender to them. And they attract others with common caring like ours. This is the spark of a social intelligence.
Our minds and beings are not fixed; we exist within a web of relationships. When we are in touch with our open nature, there is great magnetism within that state of being. We call it authentic presence. When others hold this same posture in the world, doors to them are opened to us. It is a state of being known in all great traditions in humanity. The state of openness is there waiting for us like an optical illusion, all we have to do is squint; it has been there all along waiting for us. All we have to do is see the oneness that we are. This leads to the dynamics of predictable miracles.
Francisco Varela once said that “integrity is not will, but the willingness to stand in the holding space of what is unknown as long as possible and surrender to what is emerging.” I see it as submitting oneself with full conviction into the blind spot of his inner knowing. Professional creators call this managing emotional tension or “holding the tension” over periods where they must originate separate from what they know. Since the creative process involves bringing something to exist that doesn’t before, they must die while they’re alive to allow that which is wanting to happen through them, be lived.
What must happen to support this shift toward this new type of creative leadership? First our mental model of the way the world works must shift from one that is machine-like, fixed and determined to one that is wide-open, in flux. The world is fundamentally connected with relationship as the organizing principle of everything, like a set of relationships which reach out to other things and energy sources similar to gravity when each opens himself up. We begin to accept one another as legitimate human beings. A new kind of commitment to listen to the inner voice we have is playing out to our destiny. Whatever we need in the moment to meet our destiny will be available to us.
When we operate in this state of commitment, we see ourselves as an integral part of the unfolding of the universe. Our lives are infused with meaning, the game is suddenly bigger, and people come into our new commitment from unexpected places. The people who come to us are the very people we need out of the unfolding generative order from which seemingly discreet events take place. Then we stand in this interconnected state of being, waiting expectedly with acute awareness for that chance to move with our sacred project. This is where our freedom and destiny emerge, and the future in which we are living right here.
We must each let go to give all that we have been given and listen from this source of attention—NOW, the place from which the soul’s perception exists in all of its possibilities. It is what the world needs of each of us to alter the planet’s course.