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December 01, 2009


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Hi Barry! I hope you are well.

As always, a heartfelt and insightful post. Curiosity offers an expansive and gentle approach--more so than, say, taking ourselves so deadly serious. It can be difficult to break ourselves of entrenched habits.

I have a question: What do you do when you seek to approach difficult/touchy situations with curiosity but those around you are in an inflamed state? I find it challenging to be truthful while not venturing too far over into appeasement and/or deflecting territory. So often, I find that there is nothing to be said, which can end up taking oneself out of the touchy equation. But perhaps that has to be allowed sometimes.

Sometimes I find that my "remedial actions" (which are admittedly self-serving to at least some degree) only postpone a "drama" that wants to play out. Your post about self-reflective curiosity makes me wonder why (a) I seek some sort of remedial action at times and (b) why it should bother/hurt me so much when others want to fan the flames a bit.

Thanks again for a thoughtful post!

Rick vosper

Curiosity about curiosity? Curiouser and curiouser.

Barry Briggs

Hi J. - Thank you for your comment. You asked a very good question about how to relate to others when tension is present. Curiosity is often a good thing to bring to any situation (although this post is primarily about bringing curiosity to ourselves, through our practice). In my experience, many disagreements arise from either projections about a person/situation, or from confusion about the person's intent or the facts of the situation. If we fail to enter into the relationship with curiosity (which is sometimes called "don't know"), then we will often create a bigger problem. This is a short answer to a long question! Thank you, again.

Thank you, Rick, for your curious comment!

jill i

Thanks again for another trenchant post that cuts through delusions. And love the archaeology metaphor above. I've been working with some fussy archaeologists recently, whose precision and resistance to having their words simplified is sometimes maddening but also admirable.

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