In The Art of Possibility, the authors’ harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life.
Life in the Measurement World
On our path to achieving a goal we inevitably encounter obstacles. Some of the more familiar ones, aside from other people, are scarcities of time, money, power, love, resources, and inner strength.
All the manifestationss of the world of measurement–the winning and losing, the gaining of acceptance and the threatened rejection, the raised hopes and the dash into despair–all are based on a single assumption that is hidden from our awareness. The assumption is that life is about staying alive and making it through–surviving in a world of scarcity and peril.
We grow up in a world of measurement, and in this world, we get to know each other and things by measuring them, and by comparing and contrasting them.
A Universe Of Possibility
Let us suppose, now, that a universe of possibility streches beyond the world of measurement to include all worlds: infinite, generative, and abundant. Unimpeded on a daily basis by the concern for survival, free from the generalized assumption of scarcity, a person stands in the great space of possibility in a posture of openness, with an unfettered imagination for what can be.
In the realm of possibility, we gain our knowledge by invention. The action in a universe of possibility may be characterized as generative, or giving, in all senses of that word–producing new life, creating new ideas, consciously endowing with meaning, contributing, yielding to the power of contexts. Emotions that are often relegated to the special category of spirituality are abundant here: joy, grace, awe, wholeness, passion, and compassion.
When you are oriented to abundance, you care less about being in control, and you take more risks. You may give away short-term profits in pursuit of a bigger dream; you may take a long view without being able to predict the outcome. In the measurement world, you set a goal and strive for it. In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold.
Survival and Survival-Thinking
Many people’s lives are in daily jeopardy, and they must and do concentrate on staying alive, as any of us would if held up on the street or lost at sea. That is not the same as survival-thinking, which is the undiscriminating, ongoing attitude that life is dangerous and that one must put one’s energy into looking out for Number One.
What is the practice that orients you to a universe of possibility?
It is a practice for revealing the hidden framework from which the world of measurement springs. When you see how thoroughly that framework, like the box around the nine dots, rules your life, you will have located yourself in the realm of possibility beyond it.
So, first ask yourself: How are my thoughts and actions, in this moment, reflections of the measurement world?
You look for thoughts and actions that reflect survival and scarcity, comparison and competition, attachment, and anxiety.