Curiosity as Another Door to Open-ness
We ended last week saying…
The antidote to situations where we start to feel out or control and agitated is to cultivate a compassionate frame for the circumstances.
Instead of reacting to our reactions we looks at our reactions and decide to love instead.
So we have
• 1. assimilation versus accommodation
• 2 equanimity
these two components can bring a deep sense of transformation to all sorts of circumstances in life.
We also have
• 3. CURIOSITY AND INQUIRY
I know some people, and most of them are Christians that are suspicious of anything new; new information, new ways of seeing the bible, new understandings of spiritual practice.
I just had two back to back interviews for my latest book that illustrates this point.
Interview #1 in Atlanta was so blown away by the new ideas in the book that the seasoned veteran pastor of 68 years wished he had the book 30 years ago. They asked on a commercial break if the 30 minute interview could be extended to 90 minutes.
Interview #2 in Detroit was with a guy who really didn’t ask many questions about the book but wanted to ask me about my relationship to some of the endorsers of the book in hopes of trying to label me and invalidate the message. When our 30 minute interview ended and I hung up this guy went on a rampage for 15 more minutes labeling the new ideas heretical, dangerous and non biblical. Interestingly he never talked to me about the ideas.
Curiosity is a statement you are still learning, might not have it all figured out and are willing to try on new ideas.
This is sometimes referred to as the quality of openness.
Leonardo Da Vinci cultivated openness by always carrying around a notebook whereever he went and writing down questions, things that stuck him as odd, physical abnormalities or things he had never noticed before.
This was his ever present mental trigger to look for possibilities.
Every invention or discovery of Da Vinci first started in his notebook of curious inquiry.
Some call this the move to a second naiveté…the move back to where the world is re-enchanted again.
This is what we have called in the past the beginners mind .
In Zen they say “ In the beginners mind there are many possibilities in the expert’s mind there are few”
You can’t learn something new, you can’t have expereicnes of life be transformative if you already know everything.
Jesus says you must become as a little child
We need to pay attention and appreciate the multiple ways we can “know” in a situation.
For example.- raised in materialistic goal oriented context your ability to see beyond materialistic goals may have been shut down intentionally. But by exercising curiosity you can understand better what lies beneath the surface, and can gain better insights about your own spiritual being.
You end up creating a dynamic between your inner and outer worlds.
This sort of curiosity and inquiry requires a toleration of uncertainty instead of the immediate rushing to safe habitual beliefs and interpretations….this is one of the primary lubricants of transformative experience.