Challenging The Status Quo

Once we have entered the Field of Possibility through the practices of respect, sufficiency, openness and fluency, we must be willing to befriend the unknown. In Visionmaking the unknown is the territory that lies beyond our point of view or pattern of seeing. Of course this territory is vast, because our point of view is restricted by the status quo. The status quo is defined as "a state of stasis where there is neither motion nor development, and where there is no hope of change." It is held in place by conditioning.  

From the time we are born, we are told stories of how things are, and from these stories, we learn what to think. Accepting how things are and what to think locks us into a conventional pattern of seeing. Like a virus, that pattern of seeing is passed from person to person, generation to generation. This is called 'conditioning.' 


Our stories of how things are uphold the status quo through repetition. The more we repeat them, the more certain we become that we are right to do so. The more we feel that we are right, the more rigid we become in how we think. In this vicious circle, our beliefs are formed and defended. Very few people ever break free of conditioning and see for themselves. Visionmakers have to do this.


In his book, A Separate Reality, anthropologist, Carlos Castaneda speaks to the urgency of breaking the grip of the status quo by dropping what he terms "the internal dialogue":


"We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact, we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also chose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk."


The cycles of our inner dialogue reinforce the status quo. They must be overturned. The more we are in our inner dialogue, the more impervious we become to the territory that awaits us beyond our fixed perspectives. This is the promised land of new possibilities, discoveries, and opportunities. Imprisoned by the vicious circle of inherited beliefs, blind acceptance, self-talk and repetitive choices, it is little wonder that so many of us have become disillusioned, cynical and afraid. The tyranny of current circumstances loom in the collective imagination as insurmountable obstacles.


It takes the heart of a Visionmaker to challenge the status quo and seek Destiny.


© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.

Posted on January 7, 2009 and filed under Uncategorized.