Questions are one of the most powerful tools we have available. They orient us and direct the flow of the oceans of information that we live immersed in – an immersion that happens whether we spend any time online or not. Questions help chart our course and light the paths we take. I’ve learned that if I want good answers, if I want to get clear directions to where I hope to go, then I’ve got to ask good questions.
I was reminded of this while watching the movie Thrive this past week. There is some valuable and important information in this film, yet I found myself groaning almost every time host and producer Foster Gamble asked a question because so many of his questions lead himself and the viewer away from the subject of thriving.
Imagine you are standing in a garden. For the most part things look good, but you notice a rose nearby that is not thriving. It’s leaves are sparse with black dots on them. There are few flowers and some are misshapen. If you stand there and ask the question, “What is wrong with this rose?”, the first things that will likely draw your attention is the black spot fungus on its leaves, the Japanese beetles nestled in its flowers, or the aphid colonies perched round the new stems and leaves. It would be easy to decide that these are the problems causing this rose’s weakened state and then focus your actions on removing them. Now you are in an antagonistic, battle mode against a problem. Good luck with that.
What if – I love those words! – What if you started with a different question. What if you took the time to consider what you desire in the situation. Perhaps it’s to see a healthy, vibrant, thriving rose. Keeping this awareness in focus might lead to: “What would help this rose to move toward health? Can I help it to do that? How?” These are questions that can lead to a broader perspective. You might notice what condition the soil is in. Is it allowing water to penetrate? Are there earthworms? How much sunlight does the rose get? By the time you are done here the whole garden could be in a state of thriving with deep, rich, water-holding soils, everything placed in a spot that allows for optimal sun or shade, and a feeling of joyful communion permeating the entire system. Doesn’t that feel good?
In the fourth part of the Thrive movie, Gamble does start asking good questions – finally!- and delivering some excellent answers that include a vision of a world where the being of every individual is truly respected, education is completely voluntary (and therefore fun!), economics is people and planet friendly, and we are all growing and thriving. Yes! My advice, if you are going to see it, is to watch the first part, skip over or through the middle two parts (world domination schemes are nothing more then black spot, Japanese beetles, and aphids – symptoms, not causes), and enjoy the fourth “Solutions” part.
At the heart of every garden or farm is a human being with a human heart – perhaps the single most powerful organ on the planet. Each heart generates the torus-shaped, electro-magnetic field surrounding the body. We, too, are wonders of the Universe. The process of connecting our left brain to our right brain, our rational, conscious mind to our intuitive, other-than-conscious mind and all of these to our heart, this is the process of evolutionary creation that we are each engaged in. This is the ground of soil and the atmosphere of light that we can nurture and tend, one powerful person at a time. Yes, that means you.
My intention this year is to explore the question, “What is the potential ecological role of humans here on Earth? What mutually beneficial, entangled interactions are we capable of ?” Answering these questions leads in the direction of better understanding how our body-minds are designed and what the 95% of our brains that we apparently don’t use is for. Next time I’ll talk about photoreading. In the meantime, what is inspiring you this week?