Thursday, May 31, 2012

when there is no right answer

Some of the most important lessons arising out of complexity sciences are the simplest. And for those of us with a habit of making the simple complicated, simple lessons can be the hardest thing to learn.

Take the notion that in a given context, agents have a range of different pathways before them. These are informed by the past, which shapes the internal and the external set of constraints an agent operates from. For any given objective, there is rarely any one way of getting there.  Plus, causality is not linear. A does not lead to B. Lots of things happen between A and B, but its rarely linear. Especially in human systems, where a myriad of meaning-making occurs.

In short, there is no right answer.

There is no one sure-fire outcome.

Of course, if we understand systems, some outcomes are more likely to occur than others. We are highly path-dependent.  We create structures around ourselves and one another in such a way that life becomes predictable.

But there is no one right answer.

I'm not sure why this is so difficult for me to grasp, why I cling, desparately, to there being one right way over another way. Why it matters to me so much that there might be one right way and that I learn to follow it.

We keep trying to find a 'rightness' that does not exist.

This does not mean there is no such thing as 'rightness'. I like the frame 'right relationship' with ourselves and one another. But it is not the same as there being 'one right answer'.

What's the difference?

Here, I speak from what I think, not from what is grounded in my experience. Or rather, it is something I have only tasted briefly, in moments, spread out over time, without consistancy.

There is a light.
Or something like a light.
Something inside and outside
Inside of time and outside of time
Inside of the physical world - intimately coiled around it, closer than you might imagine - and yet at the same time, far away from it.

Or perhaps it is like music.
We can be resonant with it - with ourselves, the earth, and with one another. When we are, we are closer to the flow, closer to the Dao.

For this music, there is no 'good enough' or not 'good enough'.

There is, however, joy. Less joy and more joy.

And here I begin to fade into a conversation that I don't know well enough, or rather, it is what other people say and not, yet, something I fully know.

Faced with confusion?
Where is the joy?