Everywhere, it seems, crowds of people are seeking different solutions to a wide range of issues and concerns
Solutions are sought to cope with refugees and migrants. Solutions are sought in Syria, Sudan and Somalia. Many want a solution to climate change. Others seek solutions to the growing inequality of wealth and income.
Solution-seekers raise petitions, write submissions to Commissions of Enquiry, or take to the streets to voice anger, mistrust or disagreement with political processes and agenda.
The solutions are out there, we may cry. If only the politicians and other leaders would listen. All these problems and issues would be solved if we applied the right formula or the right policy. All these problems and issues could be solved if we elected the best politicians.
All of our searching for solutions may be in vain however. Perhaps we are seeking solutions in completely the wrong place.
The solutions may not be out there – they may be in here. They may be soul-utions.
It may be that who we are rather than what we do will provide us with the solutions. It may be that our soul is the place to go seeking.
What we have done, time after time, is to keep solving problems by applying technological or institutional fixes. Then what happens? The fix becomes the source of the next problem. How do we then solve that? By applying a further technological or institutional fix. In short, to paraphrase Einstein, we keep using the same thinking we always have.
But if we stop to think about it we discover that the problems and issues that face us today mostly all stem from what we have done. Surely this tells us something about who we are. It tells us that that seeking solutions externally often ends up in a worse situation, or at least no better than what we began with.
Perhaps it is time to stop and look inward – to our individual and collective souls. This is not an easy task for it means asking much tougher questions than the one that asks “how do we solve this?” Soulutions means asking questions like “what is my/our purpose here?” or “who am I/we?”
When questions like these are asked the answers will not come from our heads. The answers will not come from reading books, or undertaking academic research. The answers will come from combining our head with our heart. The Pali language uses the word citta which is best translated into English as heart-mind. The answers will come from activities and experiences that allow us to discover and explore our soul. Some possible ways of doing this include:
- Yoga, breathwork, or other bodily practices that help us alter our consciousness
- Spending time alone, in solitude
- Rhythmic dance or drumming
- Relating and listening to myths and stories, particularly those that explore our consciousness and psyches
- Music, chanting, poetry
- Creative and/or symbolic writing and painting
- Spending time in nature
Perhaps, just perhaps, we might then find the soulutions.