Shattering Worldviews

From Coffee Time with Pat – 9/11/2011

Pat began our coffee time by stating she was aware of a pattern in her of “needing to know.”

In response I shared a time in 2002 when I was beginning the Newfield Network course for Life Coaching. One of the earliest statements made by the Newfield instructors was, “We shall shatter your worldview!” I remember this statement to this day. It was shocking to me back then. Immediately I could feel my defenses come up – though I would not have called it my defense, since I was just becoming aware that one could have defenses. Rather, for me back then the felt sense was fear. I was into Wilber. I was into Pathwork. I knew my worldview and could see the larger context of things – my worldview was huge, not stuck in some religious dogma.  “No way are you going to shatter my worldview – my worldview is expansive – and ‘right’ and ‘enlightened’!”

The strength of my conviction should have tipped me off that my worldview was in fact my defense, my way of feeling safe in the world. I could talk about Mystery as a critical part of my worldview, but I would then cling to this idea of Mystery as my safety net for life, my safety net for not entering into and experiencing Mystery per se.

On some level I felt threatened by other worldviews, afraid even of other ways of knowing – for example a knowing through my feelings, through sensations, or through my body.  Or knowing through relationships with God, others, or Nature. In fact I dismissed these other ways of knowing, since in some way I was not able to relate to them let alone trust them as a foundation for my life.  These other ways of knowing were too amorphous, too fluid, too flexible, too evasive and illusory, and too unpredictable and spontaneous to actually contribute to a solid and stable worldview of Knowing that I thought I needed, needed above all else to feel safe. That is where I was. I was not open to looking beyond my mind, in large part because I had never felt safe outside my mind.

Pat talked about all of this morning exploring we do regularly in the mix of our morning coffee time as savoring life. Yes, I added, and sitting on the deck taking in the birds, all of Nature – all of this is so far beyond our capacity to comprehend. “Where does this inspiration by Nature fit in a worldview?” I wondered. Do I have to explain it or put it into the context of a worldview in order to enjoy it, to be inspired by it, or to feel at one with it?

Pat suggested that in our intention of doing our inner work we are graced with moments of pristine clarity.  Like this moment. This grace purifies our being. We are ever new as we walk on Planet Earth. No need to hold on to anything, especially worldviews. As for me, I was feeling appreciation for Pat, for her views, and for the birds flitting about in the tulip tree next to our deck. No need for a worldview to take this beauty, the beauty of Pat and the beauty of Nature, into my being. I could see my worldview as part of my Guardian at the Gate of my life. I could feel it crumble in some way. I smile as I see even this more clearly.