In the geometric world, triangles represents the interface between choice and creative forces. We make thousands of choices every day so it’s tempting to imagine what life could be like if we made different choices. Not just the big choices, like where to work or who to marry, but the small ones – after all there’s no such thing as a small choice. The decision to catch a later train could set in motion a sequence of events that could dramatically alter the whole course of life. Knowing this, (even at a subconscious level) it’s no wonder we struggle with decisions and do our best to abdicate any responsibility for them. How can we possibly configure all the permutations and work out the correct option?
Really brilliant choices often happen to us when we ‘get out of our own way’ and let the universe get on with its evolutionary journey. We don’t trust this process. We’re scared that what works for the whole may not be in our individual best interests. This leads to a bit of a Mexican stand off between the ‘I’ and the ‘We’.
The next chapter in evolution sees an increase in our intelligence (and not before time!). This would allow us to live in the heart of the paradox that we function simultaneously as an individual and as part of the whole. Both are true. Science is teasing us with this riddle. We know that light is both a wave and a particle. We know that electrons can exist in several places at the same time.
As Niels Bohr said ‘If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet’.
Sadly, in the middle of these exciting times, we are hanging on firmly to our Neanderthal heritage. We don’t care about the whole, we just want to survive as an individual and kill anything that surprises us.
Back to our current lop sided triangles. We live in a world of duality represented by the two points on either side of a straight line: left/right, light/dark, angry/passive, risky/safe – you get the picture. Between these two points, there are numerous shades of colour, variations of emotion, degrees of fear. To move forward, we have to make a choice somewhere between the two and put a stake in the ground (third point of the triangle)…Simples.
So why have we collectively made so many bad choices? Because our wiring has a couple of glitches that need ironing out.
1. Default program of laziness – we keep choosing the colour/strategy/emotion that we’re familiar with. No new pattern emerges.
2. Default program of attack – instead of choosing from inspiration (what we would love) we look at the things we hate and choose the opposite. We choose red because we hate beige, we choose rational because we hate emotional. These are toxic rather than inspired choices so often have a negative effect. It’s a bit like the space invaders game. We keep shooting down the enemy but they multiply and soon we’re surrounded by needy, beige people.
Time to start thinking and communicating more clearly. We say ‘this works for me’ when we don’t want to accept the reality that it isn’t working for anybody else. We say ‘that’s bad idea’ when we really mean ‘I don’t like it’ or ‘it makes me uncomfortable’.
If we learn to co-exist with things instead of demonising them, we might find we’ve got more discernment. If we were able to hold the dynamic tension between two opposing forces without disassociating or getting angry we could definitely make better decisions. Instead of closing our eyes and chucking a stake in the ground, we could pause, think for a second and actually decide where to place it.