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Life lived as an enquiry

Life lived as an inquiry

Many people these days anxietize over the 'decay of moral standards'—now that religion has mutated into a branch of the heritage industry, people have no discipline; conscience has gone out of style. I guess it has always been so, and if I looked for it I guess I could find lots of historical precedents for these notions.

Once we let go of a Universal, i.e. god-given take on morality, what it means to be human, and how we should or should not (usually the latter) conduct our lives, then there can indeed be a vacuum where rules of thumb for mutual caring should be. And where, in the heritage religions, there is way too much god and not enough love.

Despite current attempts to bomb the clock back to previous eras, the unravelling of pre-psychological, pre-industrial approaches to spirituality is irreversible. Developing replacements for the threadbare rigidities of heritage religion is an urgent matter.

We live in a time when there is a lot of innovation around living together. What could give structure to these growing shoots in a way that would support their flourishing and yet not amount to the imposition of oppressive universals and pre-cast injunctions?

One way of living in, but not wholly from our chaotic late capitalist mix of media, shopping and traffic, is to adopt ‘inquiry’ as an approach to the unfolding of life, not as a basis for reports, or as study but where the outcome is flourishing, or even success.

We already do it. To some extent we are all likely to come up with notions about how to have more fun, or earn more money, we put these proposals into action and then figure out whether or not they worked out well, and then, if there is a pressing need, try something else, and so on.

This is learning from experience and to be a person in the world implies that we are able to learn from experience. What I'm suggesting is that it could be more consciously built in to us personally, in relationships, and the groups we hang out with.

Without some proposal for action, living from love can seem too much of an abstraction, an empty moral injunction, life lived as an enquiry can provide a structure within which living from love can take flight.

I hope you’ll find the how-to-do-it pages of Action research, along with the fifty or so items from the earlier phase of the inquiry, for which see the CONTENTS, plus these ‘elements’, provide appetizing recipes for your own approach to livingfromlove.

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This document was last modified on 2005-10-25 06:38:18.