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Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Between Yes and No

--by Margaret Wheatley (Nov 08, 2004)


Root of happiness is knowing that everything changes. That's all there is to happiness. It's nothing you pursue. It's living in the constant continual paradox of life.

The Vedas say that the yes and the no uttered together produce the silence. We spend so much of our time trying to take the yes and the no and resolve it. Instead of being pushed into wonder and not knowing, we have whole explorations of how do we deal with paradox, how do we live in paradox, how do we resolve paradox? The yes and the no, the complete contrariness of life, is actually only meant to move us into silence.

How many of us have been in search of our purpose? How do we reconcile looking for purpose and being in silence between the yes and the no? We so often get an idea of what our purpose is and then we just run with it. We don't realize that in solidifying the sense of what I'm here to do, we actually have just reinforced our little egos and completely separated ourselves from any further spiritual clarity. So, our purpose is just another version of a story we're telling ourselves, right? "Why do I exist?" "Why am I here?" "What will lead to a satisfying life?" "What is my legacy?" "What do I want written on my tombstone?" All of those ways in which we're trying to concretize our lives; and we don't understand it because this comes from such a deep need in us to serve and to be available to spirit.

I think we don't understand how that clarity of purpose separates and divorces us from life and from spirit. The greatest paradox that I live with is wanting to serve, wanting to make sure I don't waste this precious human life and having no idea what I'm supposed to do. Just be in that constant opening --"Well, maybe I should do this. No? Well, maybe I should do this?"

Last night, I wrote a word that really does have a lot of meaning for me -- "whatever".

--Margaret Wheatley

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