A. We like change, but we don’t like being changed. B. We love connection but we don’t love intimacy.C. We value inspiration but we don’t value ideas that aren’t ‘rational’.
The common denominator in this ABC is control…
A. We want to control the change process, not be controlled by it – other people should change, after all they’re the problem.
B. We monitor our level of connection – 500 friends on facebook comfortable, one person in a lift, uncomfortable.
C. We aspire to the high conscious realm of inspiration (from the latin ‘inspiritus’, ‘in spirit’) but we remain stubbornly on the low conscious level of terra firma. In other words we want a ‘rational’ God and we want him to meet us down here with some very ‘rational’ answers.
Let’s go in reverse order…
C. THE GOD THING
We ridicule fundamentalists with their ‘kindergarden’ belief that God is a big person in the sky. We’re more intelligent than that – we believe God is a spirit, an energetic presence…but one who has a brain! (how intelligent?). We say ‘I wonder what’s in the mind of God?’ We are so in love with our own minds that we can’t imagine a God that doesn’t have one just like ours…only bigger. So if we’ve evolved from a physical to a mental understanding…what’s next?
At some point we need to grow up and become curious about the spiritual interpretation of inspiration.
One feature of high stakes inspiration is that it usually doesn’t make sense at the ground level. How many times have we heard politicians, industrialists and consultants say that ‘in hindsight’ the collapse of the banking system was ‘obvious’, ‘an accident waiting to happen’. So what blocked this ‘inspiration’ from coming through at the time?
Let’s look for another common denominator. Pop Quiz…What do these people have in common?
Alan Greenspan, Fred Goodwin, Gordon Brown, Hedge fund managers (too numerous to mention), Goldman Sachs execs (ditto).
Answer: Arrogance. (‘Ask God for guidance? I think you misunderstand…I am God’).
Tool required to relinquish control in Paradox C = Questions.
Question everything. What do I not want to see? What’s my hidden agenda? What’s really going on? Why? What’s the inevitable outcome of that?
But above all have enough humility to hear the answers.
B. THE LOVE THING
It’s what we all aspire to now. We don’t want loveless relationships, we don’t want loveless products or services. Life is too short. We want deeper experiences.
Problem: Love is a contact sport. In order to feel connected we need to open more than our inboxes.
We’re more connected as a species than at any time in history and yet we’re further apart on an intimate level. I’m not just talking sexual intimacy (but yes, that too). Intimacy is closeness beyond the superficial (into me see). It requires that we ‘show up’. We’re terrified of opening our hearts in case we get psychically vampired.
Years ago, for the purposes of research, I went to some networking events, most of which were sanitized feeding frenzies. Panhandlers of the Wild West looking for ‘prospects’…yes they actually call people this! The desperation in the room was so palpable you could cut it with a knife. Collecting the most business cards in the shortest time was the name of the game. ‘Feed me…Love me…’
Collectively, we have evolved, and are better wired to see through the superficial. Polite smiles and feigned interest don’t fool us. Old sales techniques don’t work anymore. (hurrah!) But instead of taking this opportunity to ‘show up’ and become more authentic, we seem to have created another barrier instead…a wall of technology to hide behind. Over this wall we lob our heartfelt communications, our ‘keep it real’ brand strategies, our requests to ‘Know me…love me’ (as long as you keep your distance).
Tool required to relinquish control in Paradox B = Curiosity
Who would I be without the identity printed on my card, posted on my wall? And who are you…really. And what would actually happen if I cranked my heart open and let someone in.
‘Tear down the wall’….Roger Waters (30 years ago) keep up.
A. THE CHANGE THING
How many times have we heard the expression ‘At the time it was the worst thing that could happen to me, but now I realize it changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.’
We hate change…we really do. But there are no flights over our comfort zones.
Consequently life tends to happen to us and often this is painful and messy. We like small change – a holiday we can come back from, a gym program that tones the exterior. We don’t want to go near the inner stuff to discover what’s there.
Carl Jung believed that if you weren’t in touch with an ‘inner archetype’ it could manifest externally and show up as fate…in an effort to render you conscious of its creative voice.
Either we manage change consciously or we get managed by it unconsciously. It’s our choice. Of course it helps to be more flexible…then we can be stretched, thereby developing a greater capacity to ‘be changed’.
Tool required to relinquish control in Paradox A = Passion for the Quest
A hero’s journey to our interior world, to discover our strengths, weaknesses, secret hopes and forgotten dreams.
Because a quest is just so much better than a commute to work.