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I love it when I feel compelled to stop my academic writing because I am so inspired to share some insights. (Also known as procrastination…) M. Green (1995) writes in “Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and social change” the following:

“When, however, a person chooses to view herself or himself in the midst of things, as beginner or learner or explorer, and has the imagination to envisage new things emerging, more and more begins to seem possible”

Green takes this further talking about a focus on “wide-awakeness, the notion of wide-awakeness brings one to consider becomings – incessant co-construction that is never complete, as the Self is always in flux” (p. 72). He refines the idea of wide awakeness as an “awareness of what it is to be in the world” (p.35) through which “persons conscious of their own consciousness” (p. 65). This is our quest and I think our call at present. It is no longer enough to just be awake, we have to be wide awake. This is a quest, “our consciousness must evolve through our interactions in and with the world”. We learn and grow only in the midst of things, as Brene Brown talks about getting into the arena. It is messy, you are going to get your nose bloody, it is real, but it is the only way to Be.

There has been a great new wave of gurus preaching about our being-in-the-world. This call is to go yet another level deeper, to become conscious of our own consciousness. What does this mean? For me, it is about knowing that we can no longer just accept that we are (relatively) awake, that we can no longer pride ourselves in just being conscious. We need to go much deeper to where we consciously contemplate our consciousness, where we look in the mirror with intent, notice our Selves for who we really are, Thinking, Becoming, and Evolving. But as important that we are interwoven as the root system of the bamboo, rhizomes that weave horizontally and vertically, shooting up into the light in Divine moments of articulation.

We are part of the great Imagination, and whilst I think we are not unique in our thinking capacity, it is this imagination that is the essence of our humanness. We can, and indeed should, be part of the Imagination to avoid what Green calls “petrification”, aptly described by the Oxford Dictionary as “a state of such extreme fear that one is unable to move”. This is what I notice more and more, people being paralysed by fear. Albeit the fear of the Other, climate change, terrorism, and crime, when we can no longer imagine we become petrified. Through our imagination “the storied landscape that we co-create with our participants is alive and richly hued”. This is our Becoming when we create the storied landscapes of the Imagination.

How do we do this? I think it comes through engaging with the simple things in life. We know all this. We must just do it. Listen to wonderful music (not while reading or doing anything else, just listen to the music), read poetry, go to an art exhibition, write a letter (by hand on paper) to a friend, lie on the ground and look up through the trees, work in the soil to plant something. Walk alone in nature, which to me is still the most wonderful form of meditation. The more time we spent alone with our Selves, the more we will become conscious of our own consciousness, and the more we will hear our own Self guiding us to become wide-awake.

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