2011 A Year of Yes
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Knowing ourselves as possibility
By Gitanjali Koppikar
Many of us think of possibility either, as choosing among a variety of opportunities and options, or something that might occur at a later point in time. Possibility, however, allows us to stand outside already existing options and opportunities. Possibility is an invention and in this sense is almost as a verb –a catalytic agent; a place to come from, go toward and dwell within, all at once. It’s what enabled Plato’s ideas of goodness and beauty; Newton’s novel ideas of how the universe works; Picasso’s cubism. Inventing a possibility marks the end of being limited by who and how we’ve known ourselves to be. Instead of knowing ourselves as the accumulation of our cultures, histories, and characteristics, it is the beginning of knowing ourselves as possibility.
It is in the domain of language—not language as words, descriptions, or representations (i.e., a response to the world) but about the domain of language itself—that allows for a world of invention, of bringing forth, of possibility. This domain yields completely different outcomes and is what brings the world into being—what we might call a world-to-word fit. It’s both what gives rise to the world and what gives access to what is in that world. It’s where the direction of things shifts. Creating possibility is basically how we get to know what’s possible in being human.
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