what more can i do?
‘loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise”*
We don’t know the extent of the we can do, the more — or magis as one group named it — we can bring.** All we know is that the path to discovery is not an easy one and we can turn away.
There are those who want to get more out of us: more effort, more time, more commitment, more loyalty, more attention, more focus, more output. This is not about magis. It misses a trick, the desire that many of us have for doing something we love better, with imagination, innovation, and creativity — whatever it is. If this is how businesses and companies and relationships operate then there will never be more.
When we step back from the way life happens on a day to day basis, we see how we are part of a universe that makes it possible to find and pursue something that keeps us up at night dreaming and imagining. In his novel about creation physicist Alan Lightman has his character Uncle Deva speaking about the beauty brought into being by anticipated lifeforms:
“The beauty you speak of — the stars and the oceans and so forth — is part of their beauty, those living things. And so much enhanced by their participation, by their absorption of that beauty and then the responsive outflowing of their own beauty. It is a spiritual thing, don’t you see?
Intelligence, awareness, mindfulness are going to connect the pieces of the universe in a way that inanimate matter never could.”^
When we step back into the way life happens on a day to day basis, we see how we are missing out on the opportunities: in our education system, in our workplaces, in our families, in our societies, in our politics, in our own lives.
The group I mentioned at the beginning was the early Jesuit movement. 450 years ago there were no easy ways to get around the expanding world but within ten years the original group of ten were on four continents, sharing their joy in the new sciences and technology and maths. They had made those seemingly impossible journeys through a process of self-awareness (what is my dream), innovation (all the different ways this dream can live), love (how can I share this with others?), and heroic deeds (making it happen).
Who wouldn’t want people to show up with this kind of energy, whether its meeting with friends, going to work, taking on a challenge, or being willing to see how much more there is inside each one of us.
‘Ingenuity blossoms when the personal freedom to pursue opportunities is linked to a profound trust and optimism that the world presents plenty of them.^^
(*Dawna Markova, quote in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**Magis was a saying of the early Jesuits; see Chris Lowney’s Heroic Leadership.)
(^From Alan Lightman’s Mr g.)
(^^From Chris Lowney’s Heroic Leadership.)