Watching a video of a talk from, I think, a Science and Nonduality Conference, a concept caught my attention and got me to thinking about the power of creativity and unexpected discoveries. In this talk, the presenter described the process of “emergence”, where nature is able to bring things together and create completely unanticipated results, outcomes we wouldn’t be able to conger up from the original elements involved. The example he gave that stuck with me is how, when nature brings together two inert elements—say, two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen—there is no way any of us would expect that combination to create a liquid, water. For me, this is a powerful and inspiring example of Nature’s intelligence and of the creative, living context in which we live.
It also got me to thinking about how important it is to stay open to possibility. Because of my many years of working with the optimal future self, and how that can include the idea of “emergence”, hearing about this concept fed my sense of how we have an opportunity to learn to be open to the possibility that something unexpected and healing may be able to emerge from seemingly disparate and unrelated developments.
When I run into these kinds of ideas, I find that my mind and emotions orient to the process of being open in the ways I might do if I’m walking through a park or a forest, alert to things I haven’t seen before. Curiosity and interest, along with what I can only describe as a perceptual flexibility, accompany me and I am ready and willing to be surprised when I encounter something totally unexpected. I feel the same way when I watch presentations from conferences that interest me—what new way of seeing or understanding things will surprise me as I watch and listen?
For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to be aware that there are potential miracles all around you. Nature constantly brings together seemingly unrelated elements and creates unexpected outcomes. Life, nature as a creative force, has an infinite array of possibilities to explore and has done so in some amazing ways over the eons of time life has emerged and developed on this planet. Notice what it’s like to allow your life to include this sense of possibility in terms of what might emerge for you personally, for us collectively, for the planet as a whole.
Pay particular attention to the degree of flexibility you discover in your perceptions, in the ways you think about things, and in how it is for you to receive unexpected input. In a number of the presentations at the Science and Nonduality Conference, I was reminded of how little we humans actually perceive of the actual environment around us, and how powerfully our perceptions are shaped by our beliefs. For me, this reminder becomes an invitation to take on as a practice a process of promoting some increased flexibility in my willingness to be surprised by new information. Track how this process is for you, as part of this week’s exploration.
As with all these practices in conscious living, there’s no “right’ way to do this one. Rather, it offers an invitation to become increasingly aware of how your beliefs, perceptions, and emotions shape the quality of your inner life. Remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion, and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through.