In the 108th episode of The Possibility Podcast with Mel Schwartz, I offer another concise explanation of two interrelated concepts covered in my book, The Possibility Principle, that are integral to my practice as a therapist:
- The difference between the old mechanistic worldview and the more accurate and meaningful quantum worldview.
- The concept of becoming, rather than being.
Listen to discover how quantum physics seems to correctly describe our reality as in constant flux, and how that state of perpetual possibility informs what’s known as process philosophy… and how both offer a new game plan for living our lives and enriching our relationships.
Once you’ve listened, let me know what you think! Be sure to leave a comment!
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Transcript of The Possibility Podcast with Mel Schwartz #108
Hello everybody and welcome to The Possibility Podcast. I’m your host, Mel Schwartz. I practice psychotherapy, marriage counseling, and I am the author of the book, The Possibility Principle, the companion to this podcast. I hope to be your thought provocateur and I’ll be introducing you to new ways of thinking and a new game plan for life.
Well hello everyone and welcome to today’s episode of The Possibility Podcast. We’re going to be talking today about worldviews and move back into the concept of flow or the concept of becoming, which we’ve touched upon many times. For those of you who are new, I’m going to share some fundamental frameworks of what I’m talking about. And for those of you who are familiar, I’ll speak quickly, so please bear with me.
We still see reality operating, most of us, the vast majority of the planet, from an old worldview of the 17th century given to us by Newton and by Descartes. Worldview is how we picture reality, what we think reality is, which keeps changing over time. That reality was that the universe is constructed of things. It was a machine-like universe, so they were mechanistic things. It was a world of thingness. And eventually we human beings became things too. And things are lifeless, heartless, soulless, disconnected from one another, certainly lacking in compassion, passion, lacking in the essential qualities of aliveness. Things aren’t alive.
Now, before the advent of quantum physics, there were some philosophers, notably Henri Bergson, who spoke about reality being a state of becoming, a process of becoming. Alfred North Whitehead, the process philosopher, spoke about process, flow, becoming. Maybe familiar with an episode that I recorded some time ago called “From Being to Becoming.” Think of ourselves not as human beings, but human becomings. And if you ask becoming what, that’s a fallacy of thinking. That’s looking for a thing.
The process of becoming. What does the river or the flowing stream become? It doesn’t. It’s always in the process of becoming. So in this new ontology, and ontology is what we think reality looks like, in this new emerging worldview, which now is several hundred years old, but it still seems new, becoming replaces being.
So listen to that. Becoming, flow, process, undulating, movement, replaces the primary concept of things, of being. With that, energy, energy replaces things. So what we think of as material in this new worldview, what we think of as matter, is simply the temporary consolidation of energy for a period of time. We, in human form, in a body, are the consolidation into material form, but we are energy. And remember Einstein taught us that energy and matter can only transform into one another. Neither can be destroyed. So replace the image of static pieces separate from each other into this cascading, never-ending flow of movement.
This again is process philosophy supported by quantum physics. Another way of referring to this is flux. But the word change loses its essential meaning, because change suggests that there’s also the opposite of change, being static or inert. So we used to say change is the only constant in the universe. No, change has to be replaced by flow, movement, becoming.
Now as I have shared with you many times, what stops us from fully moving into this new emerging worldview of flow, getting in the flow, being in flow, are the to be verbs. Is, am, were, was, be, been, being. We use them in virtually every sentence. But these words, these are the only verbs that are static. They’re inert. So when our thoughts and beliefs are comprised of the to be verbs, this blocks us from enjoying and moving into flow and movement. With flow and with movement, perpetual cascading movement, there is no unchanging things or stuff. And what we think of as a thing, or we can call it the actual, it’s just a temporary limited case, a temporary special case of what is infinite flow.
So think this way. Think that reality appears to be persisting, perpetual process, not static, inert things. If we think of our relationships as process, we can break free from the enduring repetition. That’s why we get stuck. Relationships should be seen not as a thing. Like I am in a relationship. That sounds like an enclosure. It’s a thing. I’m married. Sounds imprisoning. It’s not an enduring, emerging, unfolding process. That’s why we get stuck. Two people committed to their own flow, their own process, their own evolving could make for a much more interesting, evolving relationship.
So instead of reducing reality to things, break away from that reductionist tendency and see flow. Now speaking of Alfred North Whitehead, who I mentioned earlier, he used a term which I had never heard of before, which he called concrescence. Concrescence he described as the stirring of energy before a thing becomes a thing. It’s energy before thingness. And I considered, and boy was it an insight for me, that there needs to be a concrescence, an awareness of thought before it becomes a thought. I set my intention to try to capture that space, that nanosecond before thought really becomes concretized as thought. And on occasion I can do it. You feel that stirring of energy. It can be a feeling, a sensation, an impression. Notice that energy becoming a thought. When you can, you free yourself from captivity to thought. The creative process, our creative process, personally and externally, that creativity gets voided and deleted when we try to predict the future. To be in the flow requires embracing uncertainty, which you know I’ve always spoken with you about.
Embracing uncertainty is moving into the flow and seeing where the flow takes you. It doesn’t mean you’re mindless or thoughtless or without power. In the flow you can navigate, but you need to let go and embrace uncertainty. Engage your creative process to move into the flow.
I’d love to show you my appreciation for your subscribing to and rating this podcast by offering you a gift to one of the following. The Power of Mind, a live talk that I gave, or one of my digital eBooks, Creating Authentic Self-Esteem, Overcoming Anxiety, or Raising Resilient Children, and lastly, Cultivating Resilient Relationships. Once you have subscribed, please send an email to mel at melschwartz.com and just let me know which gift you’d prefer. Thanks.
Try to see movement and understand that nothing lasts and nothing is lost. Now think about that paradox. Nothing lasts and nothing is lost. What does that mean? Well, the thing doesn’t last, but it becomes energy again. And as energy, energy is not lost. So there’s an interfluence, think about that word, interfluence, instead of influence, which sounds like an equation, interfluence between energy and a temporary statement of thingness.
So I’m going to slow down a bit. I’ve been dancing all over the place with the excitement of flow and process philosophy. Flow, perpetual movement, process, becoming is the shift that heralds in consciousness and energy as the primary, I was going to say components, but components is another mechanistic word. So what can I say is that components, I can say energy and process and becoming appear to be the drivers of consciousness and reality. The actual stuff of the universe is not things, it’s movement. Now choose to enter into the flow of your own movement, see what blocks you and what stops you, old beliefs, old experiences, and old thoughts. It is the past and your orientation toward trying to predict the future that block us from moving into the flow of becoming.
The goal is to experience your life and reality conjoined in this unfolding process of becoming, which engages the infinite universe of possibility, because in the state of becoming, all is possible. Possibility becomes the driver of reality, needs to be my reality and your reality jump into the flow of this possibility laden universe. Enjoy the ride.
I hope you enjoyed tonight’s brief talk or today’s if you’re listening today, happens to be nighttime for me. Look forward to speaking with you again soon. Move into your state of becoming and check out one of my first episodes called “From Being to Becoming.” Bye for now.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Possibility Podcast. I welcome your feedback on this and any episode. Please send me an email at email@example.com or leave a comment in the show notes for this episode at melschwartz.com. If you like what you’re hearing, please take a moment to rate and review the show at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Your reviews really help boost the visibility for the show, and it’s a great way for you to show your support. Finally, please make sure to subscribe to the Possibility Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts, and that way you’ll never miss an episode. Thanks again, and please remember to always welcome uncertainty into your life and embrace new possibilities.