Venturing beyond existing realities
Map making fulfills one of our most ancient and deep-seated desires: understanding the world around us and our place in it. But maps need not just show continents and oceans: there are maps of moods, of mythological places, of the uncharted realm of our imagination, of waning spaces, new spaces, contested spaces—maps with new definitions, new domains, new borders. What all these maps have in common is our willingness to venture beyond our existing realities.*
From the moment we’re born, our brain takes things in, stores them, sorts them, and goes about influencing how we see the world, the choices we make, our sense of who we are. From there, things occur for us in a particular way because that’s the conversation we have about them. In recognizing that whatever interpretations we made back then were in fact a choice, we begin to see ourselves as authors of those interpretations. It’s there where transformation occurs, where we can step outside of old assumptions, suspend the certainties that tend to hold us in place and shift the foundational maps of the world we’ve constructed. We have dominion in the world of saying, giving us hands-on access to a world that’s malleable and open to being created.
Possibility does not engage things in a clear-cut way. Things that live as a possibility have a much different impact on the quality of our lives than those things that live from an obviousness we’ve grown accustomed to. When we discover that the possibility of a world that’s not mapped by what has been, we find ourselves standing in an unlimited space, from which we can move in many directions. A fluidity of boundaries emerge, unanticipated directions, surprising connections—new horizons become the province of possibility. Creating possibility is basically how we get to know what’s possible in being human.
*Adapted from Katharine Harmon
Landmark Forum leader
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