We’ve discovered that the universe is not a place; it’s a story, a story of an irreversible sequence of emergent events. For a long time we thought that the universe was an established realm that had its major creativity happening only at the beginning of time. We now understand that the universe is an ongoing creative event. Stars came forth, galaxies came forth, planets have emerged, life burst into existence. This power of emergence could also be called ongoing creativity. In some ways, it’s the greatest discovery in the history of the human sciences—that the universe as a whole, and each being within it, is permeated with the power of emergence. Brian Swimm, Cosmologist
We Must Make a Resolution
The warrior battle conducted by poised men and women is not a battle with our fellow humans or with any aspect of life itself. Poised warriors are at war with their weaknesses, because weaknesses restrict consciousness, block our emergence, and guarantee that many of us will live ordinary lives that are vulnerable to self-pity, victimhood, and bad explanations.
To be without a resolution is either to be in a state of drift, only partially awake, a leaf at the mercy of the wind or to be prematurely self-satisfied with the life we have achieved.
It is fair to say that making a real resolution requires more awareness than anything we do. To make the right resolution, we have to know a great deal about our current state of awareness and what’s preventing us from unlocking our potential. We have to listen deeply to identify what wants to emerge.
We must know what it is that we must learn. Once this key learning is achieved, we will emerge to the next level of our potential, no longer constrained by what we fail to know right now.
Identifying what must be learned
Remember the example of the man in Part One? A dilettante of resolutions, he resolved to lose weight, improve his marriage and family, and become financially more secure. He will most surely fail because he hasn’t identified what is holding his life in its current state. He drifts, not sure what is wrong, but convinced that he could change if only he could marshal his discipline.
Actually, in the most important aspects of his life—health, family relationships, and financial well-being—he slides toward crisis.
What must he learn if he is to emerge toward his potential? Once he has that answer, he will be prepared to make the right resolution.
Here’s an example of how people are capable of avoiding what they must learn. Lance Armstrong, who dominated the sport of bicycle racing for many years, has now revealed that he used illegal doping to gain significant competitive advantage. He was accused by many in the sport, but always denied the truth, ruthlessly maintaining a narrative that described him as The Greatest Athlete on Earth, Clean-cut Citizen, and Philanthropic Hero. Even when evidence that he cheated became overwhelming, Armstrong continued to lie, maintaining that his accusers were themselves liars and hypocrites who wanted to ruin his reputation.
Armstrong led a double life for decades with his adoring public. He could not emerge into his potential as a human being because he refused to learn how to be authentic. He betrayed almost everyone in his life including, he now admits, his own children. He was not trustworthy. He was cruel and ruthless even with members of his own racing team if they threatened to reveal his falsely earned glory. His fame and financial fortune rested on a mountain of lies.
Now he is telling the world that he cheated and lied. His confession may be motivated by his awakening to himself or by the pressure of external events. No matter the cause, it may represent what wants to emerge—an honest person who can be trusted and believed. If so, Armstrong has a future worth pursing—not as an athletic champion, but as a warrior at war with his obvious weakness–his pathological need to present a false front. His potential is to become an authentic man whose true powers are at his disposal.
My resolution moves me toward what wants to emerge
We will resolve to learn what we must know in order to emerge. So, how to tell what wants to emerge within ourselves? How can we find where our greatest potential lies?
What does my emergence look like? I would love to be poised no matter what challenges present themselves. I would love to be able to say yes to life where I currently reject it. I want to be full of joy and gratitude, even in the midst of challenges. I want to live in the now. I want people to feel loved by me. I want to be creative with my talents and gifts. I want to be light-hearted every day. I want to live my life in a state of sustained poise.
It’s really pretty easy to find what is blocking emergence: go straight to the trouble, the people and situations in our life that we reject. Hopefully, the list of people and life situations that we reject is a relatively short one at this point, but we need to know what is on the list. Make the list now:
Who disturbs you? Name the individuals or groups and describe what it is about them that you reject? Who haven’t you forgiven?
What situations disturb you? List them and identify what you are rejecting in these situations?
What are the triggers for your anger, irritation and impatience?
What can make you unhappy? Is there anything that can throw you into a funk or even depression?
What are you afraid of? What do you avoid, even though there is no imminent danger?
What outside yourself would you like to eliminate from life? What about life seems imperfect to you?
What reason do you give yourself for being stuck?
I may discover that I need to learn how to overcome my fears. Or I may see that I feel sorry for myself, so I must learn how to defeat self-pity and how to quit creating victim stories about my life. I may discover that I must learn how to forgive. Or I have to learn how to give as much as I get.
Once we resolve to learn what we must learn next, we will be ready to launch out onto the frontiers of our own emergence with the huge advantage of clarity of purpose.
Making a resolution, I live in possibility
Resolved, I am on a loving path and intend to traverse it to the end. There is nothing more important, so nothing can distract me. Resolved, I have made a warrior’s decision, and an iron door has closed behind it.
Poised, I have acquiesced to what wants to emerge.
Next in Part Three: How to mobilize the energy our resolution requires.