There are certain principles that apply to all forms of exploration.
Begin with a question that’s scratching at the back door of your consciousness. Or one that intrigues you. Or one that won’t leave you alone, that shows up unbidden in your dreams, in the shower, when you’re driving. Begin with something you want to discover, that you want to understand better.
Questions are often universal in nature.
The answers to those questions lie in the realm of the particular. If you want to understand something, experience it physically — take the question into your body, and explore its resonance in the particular movements and energy flows of your body. What does your body show you about this question? What portals does it open within you? What happens when you enter them in a spirit of curiosity and adventure?
Exploration will yield the greatest treasure when it’s playful and inventive — when you employ a multitude of perspectives. Examine whatever you’re exploring in as many different ways as you can conceive of.
How would a 90-year-old man, or a 70-year-old elephant-matriarch, or an apprentice carpenter, or a slime-mould, or a microbe, experience this question, and the worlds it opens up?
How would an engineer or architect or chef approach the question you’re exploring? What would they see, hear, feel, know? How would someone who is dying? Someone who has just been born?
The body of imagination is made of (metaphorical) muscle and bone and blood. The more consciously you exercise it, the healthier and more robust it will grow.
Questions require a variety of forms of enquiry and response, to reveal their truth. Story, narrative — this is one way of understanding. Knowledge, information, is another. Touch, feel, sound, silence — these are all ways of discovery.
Symbol, metaphor, compression, poetry, music, art — these reveal layers that cannot be arrived at through linear channels.
Movement, gesture, reveal meaning in breath and in their interactions with space.
Thought, imagination, receptivity and feeling are more potent together than alone.
Given these principles, explore a question you’re curious about.
Create an everyday practice to hold your exploration, a cauldron in which you blend the universal with the particular. Stir into its broth the vegetation that grows through different times and seasons. Record and share your discoveries.
What do you know now, that you didn’t know before you began this exploration?
Who are you now that you’ve become this question and the nourishment you’ve brewed by living it?
Given these principles, explore a question you’re curious about. Create a practice as a container for your exploration, blending the universal with the particular. Share your creations on my Facebook page, if you wish.