"No great discovery was ever made...except by one who lifted his nose above the grindstone of details and ventured on a more comprehensive vision. -Albert Einstein


Foresight is a struggle for those afflicted by the tyranny of the intellect.


For such people, the world is cut and dried, logical and orderly, fact-based and data-controlled. They cannot tolerate a world that is mysterious, abstract and unknown. As a result, they dismiss all that is outside the tiny domain of what can be seen intellectually.


The overly-reasonable limit possibility thinking to those items that can be verified only through the scientific method and they tend to restrict foresight to the familiar ground that is tried and true. Yet, so much of life exists out beyond the borderline of the intellect! Blaise Pascal knows this territory:


The last proceeding of reason is to recognize that there is an infinity of things which are beyond it."


Possibility, which emerges from meaning, is always calling us to the new frontier of experience.  That frontier is the ground that must be traversed to move beyond our concepts about life into direct experience. Direct experience is the domain where the present and the future intermingle.


We cannot hope to encounter the future while hiding behind concepts, theories, rationales or cleverness. These are the artifacts of the past.


Foresight requires a Visionmaker to make the daily expedition into direct experience. It is here, and only here, that the future resides, shimmering at the border of the present, awaiting our arrival.


We fail to make this important meeting, or arrive too late, when we are caught up in the inventory of reason. We must balance reason and imagination to catch a glimpse of the emerging future. The mind must be free to consider what lies at the edge of what we know-and most of that stuff defies logic, analysis, measurement and classification.


What is required here is unreasonableness. The unreasonable do not allow the status quo to dissuade them from exploring the unknown. 


Unreasonableness allows us to catch a glimpse of the path were were born to follow. This is a path that leaves the conventions of the status quo in the past where it belongs and beckons us onward into a mystery.


Being unreasonable in our commitment to see the emerging future requires that we follow our curiosity into the deep waters of the unknown- fragments, secrets, dreams, images, and intuition are the the clues that we follow.


Of course we bring rational thought along on the expedition, but it is a navigational tool and not the master of the journey. We push onward, eyes on the horizon, confident that we will see the far shore.

© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.

Posted on March 26, 2009 and filed under The Obstructions of Vision.