Finding Wisdom at the Edges

by Alain Ruche, Kosmos Ambassador

Mindset is our established set of attitudes, and worldview our particular philosophy of life or ‘picture’ of the world. Even minimal self-awareness will reveal to us how constrained our personal range of vision truly is. This is why looking at things from another angle is so critical in our complex, interconnected, unpredictable and rapidly changing world. If we relax our tightly-held views, we create a space for new insights and actions (or no actions) to arise.

Because we are addicted to stories with an ‘ending’, in particular a happy one that erases our responsibility, we feel lost when facing ambiguity. But, sometimes there are no answers, or the answers are extremely uncomfortable. In present times, we must develop the humility and maturity to feel at ease with the unknown and live every moment in awareness, learning from what emerges. Emergence happens most vibrantly at the blurred edges.

Image by Alain Ruche

As Nora Bateson coined it in Kosmos, ‘catching the rhythm matters more than cracking the code’. Following flow becomes a powerful source of personal happiness, joy, and wellbeing, while contributing also to the collective stream. When we stop chasing our hollow projects and agendas, we create space for intention, creativity, curiosity, serendipity, and intuition to bubble up. We dance in honor of life, or as Frank Barrett puts it, we ‘say yes to the mess’. We make sense of what is actually emerging and how our identity is changing in the very act of living.

What does matter is our intention -our North Star. Wise intuitive action arises from self-reflection, insight and attention to the psychophysical. The sensations in our body are often the first clues we are heading in the right direction. We are inspired and our heart leaps. We become aware that we are energy in connection with, and in service to, life and spirit. And we know what to do.

So, what is needed is not arguing our ‘position’ well, but rather speaking, feeling and acting in different, more intuitive ways. Taking climate change as an example, Charles Eisenstein says, only the heart can inspire zeal, flowing from beauty, loss, love and grief – all together. Good people with good hearts disagree about many things in the world.  Our values may not be ‘better’ than somebody’s else, and those who don’t share them are not our enemies. Non judgment, humility of ‘not knowing’, compassion, joy and humor are valid instruments in our toolbox.

We need good questions, that open new spaces for inquiry. Our world is created by our questions and we grow in the direction of the questions we ask. We need questions that can only be answered outside our current paradigms.

There is no frontier between our inner and outer world.  It is time to shift from an ‘either … or’ to an integral perspective. It is not ‘either we live or die’, but rather how to we transcend the old story and integrate what comes next. Playing at the blurred edges, we find ripe territory for interconnection and transformation. What kind of new relationships, questions and intentions can we build on in this new reality to create possible futures?



Thanks to R. Hames, E. Kilpi, D. Snowden, Ch. Eisenstein, A. Weber, N. Bateson, J. Rawson