The Emergent Future is something we cannot see because it is not something we have known. Living into it means checking our knowing. Checking in with what we know to be true and what feels right. This keeps us oriented to these new phases of being as we emerge from isolation and return to some of our previous patterns. How do we reorient to these familiar things when we as individuals have changed?
Did you go somewhere dark during the pandemic? Did some truth rock your understanding of life, community, and/or nation? There is a lot to process after this last year. Where has it taken you? Did you become enraged? Did you become deeply depressed? How do we metabolize what came up? We can have courage and really call it what it is. We can emerge with the sense of our new selves and the mystery of that.
There is a word in sanskrit, shraddha. It is often incorrectly translated as faith. The root of the word, dha, means to hold. It holds you, and you are held. It is not something you are seeking out, like faith, and it is not something you can cultivate. Instead of faith, it means something closer to inner conviction, and it develops over time. And so if we allow the unknown emergent future, and this last year to be our process, then we can know that we are shaped.
Otto Scharmer, PhD at MIT says, “Bees are organized by a much higher intelligence. They feel a future beyond what I can see.” Ask yourself, what animates you? What are you striving for? Are you moving towards it? These things are developed over time. It is not a straight line of start here, end there. It is much more complex.
Life is complex. There is a shift in us, in our culture, in how we interact with one another. We can allow that to come. We are letting it come. There has been a big disruption in our habitual patterns. Some of us have had an incredibly difficult year filled with sorrow. And we see our culture beginning to operate again, moving very fast towards something that may or may not feel comfortable.
When we are most uncomfortable, those are the times when we pay the most attention, because we don’t know what else to do. We allow the world to speak to us. There is no formula or equation for what comes next. So if we allow for an emergent future, individually and collectively, perhaps we can co-create a culture shift that starts with each one of us.