The Questians – Chapter 3 – The Qage

Chapter 3

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The Qage

“The natural state of ideas is flow and spillover and connection. It is society that keeps them in chains.”[i] Steven Johnson –  Where Good Ideas Come From – The Natural History of Innovation

There are limits in life. Some real – some imagined. Some constructive – some otherwise. Some apparent – some more difficult to recognize. A theologian has suggested that a great deal of what we live by is unseen.[i] In this chapter, we will illuminate some of the obvious and more subtle influences that impair us from realizing our potential as Questians.

What’s holding us back?

I find it fascinating when flying non-stop from the east coast to the west coast in the U.S. – it almost always takes longer than the trip from west to east. Why? Same Boeing 757 – Same airports – Same distance. Ah yes! It’s something they refer to as headwinds or the jet stream that typically flow from west to east across the North American continent. You can’t see them. Can’t smell them – can’t taste them. They’re real. They exist in a realm beyond the individual human sensory ability to account for their existence. This is just a simple example of how the unseen restrains us in life. In this example, it’s an actual physical restraint.

What about unseen meta-physical restraints? What about fear? In Barry Glassner’s The Culture of Fear, he proposes that fear mongers have knocked the optimism out of us by stuffing us full of negative presumptions about our fellow citizens and social institutions.[ii] Do you think you’re an exception? Listen to author and journalist Taylor Clark: “In all walks of life, fear and stress loom on the horizon: they freeze cops in tight situations, paralyze concert performers on stage, and make skydivers’ brains lock up so much that they can forget to pull their parachutes. No one is immune.”[iii] Yes, the human mind is akin to a sponge – soaking up all kinds of stuff – including fears, doubts, attitudes, understandings, values, customs, judgments, beliefs, hopes, expectations – and unwittingly dimming the prospect of possibility – and preventing you from realizing your potential. Questians understand that fear, in its most devious form, inhibit and prevent us from moving toward the possible. Fear, and it’s twin, anxiety, have a voice. It says, “You can’t, not now, maybe later, no time, that’s just not possible, too risky and someday.” Fear may perpetuate our present predicament. It unduly delays the development of the desire to change and/or diminishes the possibility for the same. The friend of fear is avoidance.

According to Clark, fear is physiological and anxiety is cognitive. Yet, there is a curious reciprocity between the two – each can cause the other – they talk to one another. Anxiety is primarily related to worry about the future. Both can cause stress – a condition that can be cumulative and affects us physiologically and psychologically.

Fear is a companion on the journey in life. Questians understand this. However, fear and anxiety have to be kept in their proper perspective, particularly as it relates to the opportunity for each of us to change, and move toward challenges that grow us – acting upon our curiosities, exploring, developing new interests, learning and developing new skills. In this sense, Questians understand that fear and anxiety are part of our make-up. Yet, they can serve to motivate and inspire us. Questians possess the capacity to develop what Clark refers to as nerve:  “to open up to fear, work with it, and do the right thing regardless of how we feel.”[iv] Working with it is not an intellectual process…it’s experiential. Questians move ahead, along with these two companions – and are not inordinately restrained from the pursuit of the possible. Questians work with fear and anxiety by harnessing the energy to explore beyond the artificial boundaries that they may erect.

On the other side of the spectrum of human proclivity, we might consider our desire for security – that sense of safety, predictability, comfort, control, the familiar and certainty. Yet, sometimes we can allow certainty to become our idol – we worship it during our lives and reach for it at our death, clinging to what? The insights of Albert Camus are pertinent here: “Men cling to the world, and by far the majority do not want to abandon it. Far from always wanting to forget it, they suffer, on the contrary, from not being able to possess it completely enough, estranged citizens of the world, exiled from their own country. Except for vivid moments of fulfillment, all reality for them is incomplete.”[v] A yearning to experience life in its fullest can masquerade as contentment with complacency, blind to the possibilities beyond our clinging. Questians understand that the desire for the elements of security can have the same effect as fear and anxiety – they keep us in the same place. They inhibit our natural endowment to change and grow, if not kept in their proper perspective. Questians take actions in life in spite of/in light of this ‘tension’ that is part of the human experience. We possess an ongoing awareness that the unseen is a companion on this journey. This capacity is behavioral, attitudinal and cognitive.

The Qage is a practical reality that accompanies each of us, throughout our lives. Our awareness of this reality and our ability to move through and beyond it is paramount to personal, organizational and cultural growth. Consider the following from French President Nicolas Sarkozy: “The only thing that will save us is unchaining our minds so as to gather the strength to make the necessary changes. The only thing that will save us is unchaining our minds so as to free ourselves from conformism, conservatism, and short-sighted interests.” [vi]

Linguistically, every culture comes up with a myriad of phrases that season our everyday dialog – providing audible evidence of the Qage mentality. How many times have you heard them? How many times have you thought them? How many times have you overheard them? How many times have you spoken them? Phrases like, I don’t think so! or You’re out of your mind!” Other similar phrases I regularly hear include; “No Way! Can’t Happen. He’s nuts! You’re crazy, Not a chance! That’s impossible. Not in a million years. Maybe in another lifetime. She’s half a bubble off! And, of course, “Never!

The Qage mentality we acquire subtly restrains our minds with artificial limits that we may or may not be aware of. I am not ignoring the fact that the human mind also acquires all kinds of constructive and essential protective apparatus as well. However, in times of ongoing economic uncertainty and widespread anxiety – an awareness of and encouragement to use our innate ability to move beyond the Qage mentality is pre-eminently important. Columbia University’s Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph E. Stiglitz, observes; When the world economy went into freefall in 2008, so too did our beliefs. Long-standing views about economics, about America, and about our heroes have also been in freefall.[vii] Bloomberg’s John Wasik says, “The loss of some $7 trillion in household wealth is an albatross around the neck of the economy. This dour effect is clipping a robust recovery. Millions who have little or negative home equity are shackled to houses they can’t sell and a debt burden that keeps them from moving ahead. They can’t save, either, although they desperately need to boost their cash reserves.”[viii] The point is, socio-economic conditions in the U.S. are distinctly different that they were a few years ago. In fact, the same can be said for the global economy. Shiller and Akerlof refer to the importance of “the thought patterns that animate people’s ideas and feelings” as animal spirits, a term originated by John Maynard Keynes.[ix] The unseen impacts out behavior. You cannot actually see the vaporization of 23% of the average American family’s household net worth.[x] However, it’s as real as losing a quarter of the water boiling in a pan on your kitchen stove.

This new reality impacts people – negatively. You can hear it in the terms used in daily discourse, and those used in the national media: “hunkered down, keeping a low profile, just trying to keep our heads above water, anemic recovery, trying to make ends meet, hanging in there, just treading water,  surviving at the moment.” Let there be no question that there is tangible suffering going on in this world, as evidenced by the phrases above. There is also a degree of unspoken shame that accompanies this reality, along with a sense that people have somehow withdrawn, become unsettled, uncertain, recoiled or have assumed a different posture.

Our behavior is negatively affected when we inordinately succumb to the Qage mentality. At a time in history when the world desperately needs innovation and creativity, the Qage mentality and its survival oriented posture toward life arise – unnecessarily imperiling the potential of our individual and collective prospects. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes: “But the fact is that there are real limits to how many things a person can attend to at the same time, and when survival needs require all of one’s attention, none is left over for being  creative.”[xi]

It’s at times like these when I latch onto an old book, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and immerse myself in the essence of the following passage:

At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?

Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammer blows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, and drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this 1 would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.[xii]

I honestly don’t recall when I first reached for something. Most likely, it was when I was reaching for something that my parents didn’t want me to grasp hold of. I’m a reacher. Always have been, always will be. I’ve always had this innate sense of curiosity that has translated into behavior that explores the apparent limits or boundaries in life.

I remember lying on my back, waking up in that cage in my bedroom as an infant (aka my crib). My eyes wandered to the bars that rose up around me, to the walls of the bedroom, the ceiling and the door to my room. Then, I noticed it – the window.

Outside my room, robins and sparrows flittered in the branches of the apple tree. I was amazed – astonished – I started to laugh at their curious, playful flitting around. I rose in my crib, placing my hands on the top railing, focused on the aviary circus performing outside my window. I started bouncing up and down, shrieking encouragement to the birds. I reached toward the window, lost my balance, fell back on my butt and whacked the back of my head on the bars of my cage. Once again, I lost it – screaming with fright at the pain that ricocheted through my noggin.

The bedroom door exploded inward, my mom reaching down into the cage, lifting me out and cradling me against her chest. “The typical “Shhhh…shhhhh…shhhh” followed by several motherly, “It’s OK, It’s alright, I’m here’s,” as we swayed back in forth. As I calmed down, swaying on my mom’s shoulder, I opened my teary eyes facing the window. I pushed back from mom’s shoulder where I had my weepy head buried and shouted something unintelligible, pointing at the birds outside the window. Mom whirled around and broke into a huge smile, exclaiming “Birdie! Yes, those are Birdies.” According to my mom, I mimicked her utterance (who knows if what your parents tell you in adulthood about what you did during your infancy is true or not) – exclaiming “Booey!” It was the first time (again, according to my mom) I had actually verbalized an utterance that was remotely close to what my mother had just spoken. Mom was ecstatic. She floated with me in her arms out into the living room and dialed my grandmother on the phone. Mom said “Birdie” and I responded with “Booey.” Mom said “Billy” and I said “Booey.” She said Dahl and I said “Dow.” (To this day my wife and kids throw out an infrequent reference to me as “Booey Dow”).

My new found fascination with windows continued. As I crawled, scooted and soon began to walk, my enhanced mobility provided me with ever increasing opportunities to explore the vistas that windows provided. Truth be told, I began to develop the urge to get out – to move beyond the confines of the walls, doors and windows of my enclosure.

My mom began to take me by the hand and walk barefoot in the lawn in the backyard. I was ecstatic – uttering all kinds of new sounds and making profoundly unintelligible audible exclamations to my mom, based upon all the new stuff I was observing in the backyard, outside the four walls of that house. Then it happened.

I had wandered away from my mom and was laser focused on a low hanging, bright red blossom of a large Rhododendron about six feet in front of me. I chugged toward my target, reached out and grabbed the red prize. I was ecstatic! The red bloom broke off in my hand and it seemed to me that it was a good idea to stuff it in my mouth. It was like, automatic.

Seemingly instantaneously, I heard my mother screaming “NO! NO! NO!” She grabbed me off the lawn and in one motion plunged the fingers of her right hand deep into my mouth. I gagged and puked all over her chest. She sat down on the lawn with me in her lap in front of that Rhodie, pointing at it and excitedly shouting “NO! NO! NO!” I looked up at her scrunched up face and pointed in the same direction, militantly shouting “NO! NO! NO!” Mom followed my utterance with “YES! YES! YES! – that’s right Billy”, as a smile erased the scrunch of disgust on her face. Of course, I smiled, chuckled and exclaimed “YA! YA!” jabbing my fist toward the innocent garden plant I had just disfigured. Mom lifted the red petals she had disgorged from my mouth up toward my face. Shaking the clump as she deliberately shouted “NO! NO! NO!” Needless to say, I was so utterly befuddled at this stage, I exploded in another tearful outburst commensurate with the confusion that reigned at the moment. Mom picked up my wildly whimpering carcass and we returned to the house. She plopped me on the carpet as she went to the kitchen sink where she grabbed a wet cloth and began dabbing the puke off her chest.

We made our way into the bathroom where mom drew me a bath. She washed me up and dressed me in some clean clothes. She changed her blouse and shot some smelly stuff on her neck. She lifted me to her shoulder – the same one she had her purse slung over – when she reached down and grabbed this strange contraption and declared inquisitively “Go for a ride?”

Mom shoveled me onto the back seat of the car. I grabbed for a handhold and rose to gander about me. As I was looking around, mom was busy muttering frustration as she attempted to wrestle this new device into place in the back seat of the car. Mom opened the other back seat car door and extracted me from the backseat. We walked around the rear of the car, and ducked through the open door into the back seat area. That’s when it happened.

Mom plopped me into the midst of this contraption and pulled belts down across both my shoulders, buckling them between my legs. She then grabbed a longer belt from the back seat and pulled that one across me and the contraption horizontally. I heard a metallic click when mom simultaneously declared “there,” like we had really accomplished something together. She shut the back door and piled into the driver’s seat. The 56 Dodge fired up and we began to move forward. As mom began shifting through the three-on-the-tree manual transmission she began talking to me while looking ahead. Then I saw it – my mom’s eyes were staring at me from a piece of shiny glass hanging from the ceiling in the front seat – between her and the passenger seat. No mouth. No nose. No ears. No face. No mom – Just mom’s eyes. One eye – sometimes two. They seemed to look at me, then look away, floating eerily – glaring at me encased in this three by six shiny piece of glass. I detonated.

As I screamed and yelled at the horrific vision of my mom’s eyes having been removed from her face, mom began to attempt to shout those soothing motherly reassurances from the driver’s seat. I was having none of that. My next realization was that I was a hostage to the ominous eye monster that loomed before me. I wrestled mightily against the restraints of the contraption I had been belted into. Why had mom placed me in these restraints? Whose idea was the eye monster? This car had walls, restraints and was inhabited by strange things I didn’t understand. I wanted out! Now!

As my personal story illustrates, from an early age, we learn to mimic one another. We have begun to develop the sense that there is something more beyond the confines of our current reality. Our consciousness is developing. We become curious, observant, and mobile. We begin to express ourselves, typically through mimicking the words of those most intimate to us. We become confused, as part of the process. We stuff foreign objects in our mouths. We wander and joyously explore our environment – sometimes grabbing onto things we shouldn’t. We begin to experience restraints in life – audible, physical and emotional. We learn that falling backward in our crib and banging our head on the rail behind us creates pain. We begin to experience surprise and the unexpected. Occurrences of fear become part of our existence. We are developing an appreciation for the reality that our existence has limits – and that we have much to learn, and a desire to grow into more.

Such is the tension that inhabits the human existence throughout our lifetimes. The ying and yang that exists within the possibility of becoming all we might be or settling smugly for what we are. One author proposes, “The rhythm of the familiar lulls us into mindlessness.”[xiii] Yet, the crib somehow becomes a cage and windows become vistas to a reality beyond our bedroom walls yearning to be explored. Environments and devices that were intended to be for our own protection and safety, become barriers and/or restraints for our desire to freely discover the amazing reality around us.

Sociologist Philip Slater captures the essence of this tension when he writes, Unfortunately, there’s no way to insulate yourself from the bad things around you that doesn’t at the same time insulate you from the good things around you. A wall protects but also imprisons. Every fortress is also a jail.”[xiv]

I’ll never forget the day when my mom and I rolled up in front of this place called school. (Today, it still looks like a foreboding two-story, red brick penitentiary). It was my first day of kindergarten. Then it happened – after we got into the room with all those other weird looking kids my age – I turned around and she was gone – disappeared. As I ran toward the closed door to our classroom, I was whisked off my feet by an over dressed woman in her early fifties with bright red lips, smelly (really smelly) perfume, and a head full of jet black hair that obviously wasn’t natural. I wrestled in her arms a few minutes screaming and crying “Momma! Momma!” – then surrendered. I’d been abandoned. No, “Goodbye Billy” – nothing. My mom just vanished. I looked out over the shoulder of my teacher who was cradling me to see about eighteen other kids my age, running all around the room. Most we laughing and shouting. A few were curled up in the fetal position bawling their brains out as I had been. Come to find out, their mother’s had abandoned them too. I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to grow up in this room, with these other kids, and this weird looking, distinctly smelly woman with fake hair. She let me down and I ran off chasing some other little hellions.

This is the place, where over the next eight months I was introduced to my first 12 step program. Here are the steps they taught me in Kindergarten:

1.      Raise your hand if you need help.

2.      Wait your turn.

3.      Mind your manners.

4.      Share.

5.      Don’t pee your pants.

6.      Take a nap – when we say so – even if you’re not tired.

7.      Listen – Follow directions – Do as you’re told.

8.      Conformity is good.

9.      Ask permission for everything.

10.    Don’t ask questions unless we ask you to.

11.    Put your stuff away.

12.    Don’t question anything the teacher says.

Sound familiar? Sure it does. For most of us, it’s our first experience being exposed to the forces of institutional bureaucracy. No wonder the first day of kindergarten is so traumatic for kids! This place they call school is going to be your primary environment outside of your family for your next twelve to sixteen years (No wonder they don’t tell you that during the first day in kindergarten or all the kids would become uncontrollably despondent – “Twelve to sixteen years? Here? With them? With you? No joke? Holy crap – how do I get out of here?”)

Kindergarten began my first official involuntary servitude to the established, institutional, socialization process. (“It’s for your own good” – remember that one!). Unbeknownst to me at this juncture, I would be involved in school for the next 18 years.

That was fifty years ago. Guess what? The world has changed. The Qage mentality I acquired throughout this process may have prepared me for the existing needs of that American reality – but it did not prepare me for how I must approach my world today. Like I said, things change in fifty years. Questians understand this. Not just intellectually, but behaviorally. As theologian and activist Brian McLaren says, “It‘s fruitless to argue being versus doing: you can’t do what you won’t be.”[xv] The results of the research completed during the last decade are empowering us to move beyond the limitations of the Qage mentality. Journalist and author David Brooks characterizes it this way: “We are living in the middle of a revolution in consciousness. Over the past few years, geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, anthropologists, and others have made great strides in understanding the building blocks of human flourishing.” [xvi]

The Qage mentality impacts our expectations of self, others and our world. Expectations are really a form of predictions. They inform our hopes, dreams and beliefs. They inhabit and shape the possible. They can act as the bars on the cell of our life, or provide the key to the cell door. The expectations that form the framework of the Qage mentality attempt to make our world predictable, provide us with a sense of control, and soothe us with certainty – providing us with a fundamental capacity to derive meaning and understanding from our existence. Yet, what happens when we embrace this framework too tightly? Can a framework be transformed into bars to a cell? Can we become captives to routines, inmates confined within what we think we know? Can we somehow imprison the possible for self, others and our world? What are the implications of a Qage mentality posture? The following from Dr. Todd Kashdan contains some insights: “Our ‘mispredictions’ have tangible repercussions. If we believe that understanding everything, being able to confidently predict the future, and being in control are necessary, then we are going to drift toward stagnation. Doing things that are only mildly pleasurable, we will underestimate two profound sources of happiness and meaning in life: novelty and uncertainty.” [xvii]

The purpose of this chapter has been to illuminate the Qage mentality – the fundamental human tendency to experience fears and anxieties, the desire for predictability, control, certainty and the comfort we garner from knowing what we think we know. Yet, there are consequences for embracing this framework too tightly. This framework can become an impediment to innovation, creativity, learning and growth – diminishing the potential for exploring novelty and uncertainty to lead us toward the possibility of a more profound experience of happiness and meaning in life. It is a reminder that “our ideas can enslave or liberate us.”[xviii]

The predominant thought that occupies the minds of an inmate can be reduced to one question: “What am I going to do when I get out?” Seated on the bunks of our cells, too many of us gaze at the bars of our lives that the Qage mentality has erected before us. A wall protects but also imprisons. Every fortress is also a jail.”[xix] Such is the tension that inhabits the gap within human existence – that space between what you think your life is – and what it might become – when I get out. For far too many of us, the Qage mentality is an operative illusion, limiting us to passively accepting the conditions of our current confinement. That’s no way to live. Questians understand “Creative thoughts evolve in this gap filled with tension – holding on to what is known and accepted while tending toward a still ill defined truth that is barely glimpsed on the other side of the chasm.”[xx]

I’m not naïve enough to suggest that simply tossing off restraints is the sole solution. Yet it’s an important part of the Qage mentality that we must be aware of and become willing to act upon. It’s part of the process of creating the space essential for our Questian potential to arise. I distinctly appreciate how the NYU’s Clay Shirky characterizes this reality when he writes: “Throwing off old constraints won’t lead us to a world of no constraints. All worlds, past, present and future, have constraints; throwing off the old ones just creates a space for new ones to emerge.”[xxi] (emphasis is mine).

The Qage mentality need not incarcerate the possibilities for your life, the lives of others, or the potential positive prospects for our world. It’s time to become creatively intentional – with a reinvigorated awareness of the Qage mentality – and a desire to pursue the possibilities beyond it.

Click HERE to read the Questian Confession.

NOTES – Chapter 3 – The Qage

[i] Johnson, Steven Where Good Ideas Come From – The Natural History of Innovation, Riverhead Books – The Penguin Group, New York, NY Copyright © 2010 by Steven Johnson, p.241.

[ii] Glassner, Barry The Culture of Fear – Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things, Basic Books – A Member of The Perseus Books Group, New York, NY Coyright © 1999 by Barry Glassner, p. 210.

[iii] Clark, Taylor – NERVE – Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, And The Brave New Science Of Fear and Cool, Little, Brown and Company – Hachette Book Group, New York, NY Copyright © 2011 by Taylor Clark. p. 10.

[iv] Ibid – p. 282.

[v] Camus, Albert The Rebel – An Essay on Man in Revolt, Vintage Books – a division of Random House New York, NY Vintage International Edition, November 1991 Copyright © 1984 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. p.260.

[vi] In Stiglitz, Joseph E., Sen, Amartya, Fitoussi, Jean-Paul – MIS-Measuring Our Lives – Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up – The Report By The Commission On The Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, The New Press, New York, NY Copyright © 2010 by The New Press, Foreword Copyright © 2009 by Nicolas Sarkozy, Preface Copyright © 2010 by Stiglitz, Sen & Fitoussi, p. xv.

[vii] Stiglitz, Joseph E. Freefall – America, Free Markets, And The Sinking of The World Economy, W.W. Norton & Company New York, NY Copyright 2010 by Joseph E. Stiglitz, p. xvi.

[viii] Bloomberg – Wasik, John – September 2, 2009 – Housing’s ‘Poverty Effect’ Fouls Up U.S. Rebound: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2009-09-01/housing-s-poverty-effect-fouls-up-u-s-rebound-john-f-wasik.html

[ix] Akerlof, George A. & Shiller, Robert J. – Animal Spirits – How Human Psychology Drives The Economy And Why It Matters For Global Capitalism, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ Copyright © 2009 by Princeton University Press, p. 1.

[x] March 24, 2011 CNN Money – Household Wealth Down 23% – Fed, http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/24/pf/financial_crisis_outcome/index.htm?hpt=T2

[xi] Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Harper Perrenial, HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, New York Copyright © 1996 by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi p. 345.

[xii] Steinbeck, John East of Eden Penguin Books New York, NY Copyright © 1952 by John Steinbeck, p. 132.

[xiii] Langer, Ellen J. MINDFULNESS, Da Capo Press – A Member of the Perseus Books Group, Cambridge, MA Copyright © 1989 by Ellen J. Langer, Ph.D. p. 21.

[xiv] Slater, Philip The Chrysalis Effect – The Metamorphosis of Global Culture, SUSSEX ACADEMIC PRESS, Eastbourne, U.K. and Portland, Oregon Copyright © 2009 by Philip Slater, p. 117.

[xv] McLaren, Brian Naked Spirituality – A Life With God in 12 Simple Words HarperOne – an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers New York, NY. Copyright © 2011 by Brian D. McLaren, p.237.

[xvi] Brooks, David THE SOCIAL ANIMAL – The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, Random House – an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. New York, NY Copyright © 2011 by David Brooks. p.x.

[xvii] Kashdan, Todd, Ph.D Curious? – Discover the Missing Ingredients to a Fulfilling Life, William Morrow – an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, NY Copyright © 2009 by Todd Kashdan. P. 23.

[xviii] Robinson, Ken Out of Our Minds – Learning To Be Creative, Capstone Publishing Ltd. (A Wiley Company), 2011 Edition – Copyright © 2001 & 2011 by Sir Ken Robinson, p.106.

[xix] Slater, Philip The Chrysalis Effect – The Metamorphosis of Global Culture, SUSSEX ACADEMIC PRESS, Eastbourne, U.K. and Portland, Oregon Copyright © 2009 by Philip Slater, p. 117.

[xx] Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Harper Perrenial, HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, New York Copyright © 1996 by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, p.103.

[xxi] Shirky, Clay Cognitive Surplus – Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, The Penguin Press, New York, NY Copyright 2010 by Clay Shirky. Pp. 162-163.


There are limits in life. Some real – some imagined. Some constructive – some otherwise. Some apparent – some more difficult to recognize. A theologian has suggested that a great deal of what we live by is unseen.[i] In this chapter, we will illuminate some of the obvious and more subtle influences that impair us from realizing our potential as Questians.
What’s holding us back?
I find it fascinating when flying non-stop from the east coast to the west coast in the U.S. – it almost always takes longer than the trip from west to east. Why? Same Boeing 757 – Same airports – Same distance. Ah yes! It’s something they refer to as headwinds or the jet stream that typically flow from west to east across the North American continent. You can’t see them. Can’t smell them – can’t taste them. They’re real. They exist in a realm beyond the individual human sensory ability to account for their existence. This is just a simple example of how the unseen restrains us in life. In this example, it’s an actual physical restraint.
What about unseen meta-physical restraints? What about fear? In Barry Glassner’s The Culture of Fear, he proposes that fear mongers have knocked the optimism out of us by stuffing us full of negative presumptions about our fellow citizens and social institutions.[ii] Do you think you’re an exception? Listen to author and journalist Taylor Clark:
In all walks of life, fear and stress loom on the horizon: they freeze cops in tight situations, paralyze concert performers on stage, and make skydivers’ brains lock up so much that they can forget to pull their parachutes. No one is immune.”[iii]
Yes, the human mind is akin to a sponge – soaking up all kinds of stuff – including fears, doubts, attitudes, understandings, values, customs, judgments, beliefs, hopes, expectations – and unwittingly dimming the prospect of possibility – and preventing you from realizing your potential. Questians understand that fear, in its most devious form, inhibit and prevent us from moving toward the possible. Fear, and it’s twin, anxiety, have a voice. It says, “You can’t, not now, maybe later, no time, that’s just not possible, too risky and someday.” Fear may perpetuate our present predicament. It unduly delays the development of the desire to change and/or diminishes the possibility for the same. The friend of fear is avoidance.
According to Clark, fear is physiological and anxiety is cognitive. Yet, there is a curious reciprocity between the two – each can cause the other – they talk to one another. Anxiety is primarily related to worry about the future. Both can cause stress – a condition that can be cumulative and affects us physiologically and psychologically.
Fear is a companion on the journey in life. Questians understand this. However, fear and anxiety have to be kept in their proper perspective, particularly as it relates to the opportunity for each of us to change, and move toward challenges that grow us – acting upon our curiosities, exploring, developing new interests, learning and developing new skills. In this sense, Questians understand that fear and anxiety are part of our make-up. Yet, they can serve to motivate and inspire us. Questians possess the capacity to develop what Clark refers to as nerve:  “to open up to fear, work with it, and do the right thing regardless of how we feel.”[iv] Working with it is not an intellectual process…it’s experiential. Questians move ahead, along with these two companions – and are not inordinately restrained from the pursuit of the possible. Questians work with fear and anxiety by harnessing the energy to explore beyond the artificial boundaries that they may erect.
On the other side of the spectrum of human proclivity, we might consider our desire for security – that sense of safety, predictability, comfort, control, the familiar and certainty. Yet, sometimes we can allow certainty to become our idol – we worship it during our lives and reach for it at our death, clinging to what? The insights of Albert Camus are pertinent here: “Men cling to the world, and by far the majority do not want to abandon it. Far from always wanting to forget it, they suffer, on the contrary, from not being able to possess it completely enough, estranged citizens of the world, exiled from their own country. Except for vivid moments of fulfillment, all reality for them is incomplete.”[v] A yearning to experience life in its fullest can masquerade as contentment with complacency, blind to the possibilities beyond our clinging. Questians understand that the desire for the elements of security can have the same effect as fear and anxiety – they keep us in the same place. They inhibit our natural endowment to change and grow, if not kept in their proper perspective. Questians take actions in life in spite of/in light of this ‘tension’ that is part of the human experience. We possess an ongoing awareness that the unseen is a companion on this journey. This capacity is behavioral, attitudinal and cognitive.
The Qage is a practical reality that accompanies each of us, throughout our lives. Our awareness of this reality and our ability to move through and beyond it is paramount to personal, organizational and cultural growth. Consider the following from French President Nicolas Sarkozy: “The only thing that will save us is unchaining our minds so as to gather the strength to make the necessary changes. The only thing that will save us is unchaining our minds so as to free ourselves from conformism, conservatism, and short-sighted interests.” [vi]
Linguistically, every culture comes up with a myriad of phrases that season our everyday dialog – providing audible evidence of the Qage mentality. How many times have you heard them? How many times have you thought them? How many times have you overheard them? How many times have you spoken them?Phrases like, I don’t think so!or You’reout of your mind!” Other similar phrases I regularly hear include; “No Way! Can’t Happen. He’s nuts! You’re crazy, Not a chance! That’s impossible. Not in a million years. Maybe in another lifetime. She’s half a bubble off! And, of course, “Never!
The Qage mentality we acquire subtly restrains our minds with artificial limits that we may or may not be aware of. I am not ignoring the fact that the human mind also acquires all kinds of constructive and essential protective apparatus as well. However, in times of ongoing economic uncertainty and widespread anxiety – an awareness of and encouragement to use our innate ability to move beyond the Qage mentality is pre-eminently important. Columbia University’s Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph E. Stiglitz, observes; When the world economy went into freefall in 2008, so too did our beliefs. Long-standing views about economics, about America, and about our heroes have also been in freefall.[vii] Bloomberg’s John Wasik says,The loss of some $7 trillion in household wealth is an albatross around the neck of the economy. This dour effect is clipping a robust recovery. Millions who have little or negative home equity are shackled to houses they can’t sell and a debt burden that keeps them from moving ahead. They can’t save, either, although they desperately need to boost their cash reserves.”[viii] The point is, socio-economic conditions in the U.S. are distinctly different that they were a few years ago. In fact, the same can be said for the global economy. Shiller and Akerlof refer to the importance of “the thought patterns that animate people’s ideas and feelings” as animal spirits, a term originated by John Maynard Keynes.[ix] The unseen impacts out behavior. You cannot actually see the vaporization of 23% of the average American family’s household net worth.[x] However, it’s as real as losing a quarter of the water boiling in a pan on your kitchen stove.
This new reality impacts people – negatively. You can hear it in the terms used in daily discourse, and those used in the national media: “hunkered down, keeping a low profile, just trying to keep our heads above water, anemic recovery, trying to make ends meet, hanging in there, just treading water,  surviving at the moment.” Let there be no question that there is tangible suffering going on in this world, as evidenced by the phrases above. There is also a degree of unspoken shame that accompanies this reality, along with a sense that people have somehow withdrawn, become unsettled, uncertain, recoiled or have assumed a different posture.
Our behavior is negatively affected when we inordinately succumb to the Qage mentality. At a time in history when the world desperately needs innovation and creativity, the Qage mentality and its survival oriented posture toward life arise – unnecessarily imperiling the potential of our individual and collective prospects. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes: “But the fact is that there are real limits to how many things a person can attend to at the same time, and when survival needs require all of one’s attention, none is left over for being creative.”[xi]
It’s at times like these when I latch onto an old book, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and immerse myself in the essence of the following passage:

At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?
Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.
And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammer blows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, and drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.
And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this 1 would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.[xii]
I honestly don’t recall when I first reached for something. Most likely, it was when I was reaching for something that my parents didn’t want me to grasp hold of. I’m a reacher. Always have been, always will be. I’ve always had this innate sense of curiosity that has translated into behavior that explores the apparent limits or boundaries in life.
I remember lying on my back, waking up in that cage in my bedroom as an infant (aka my crib). My eyes wandered to the bars that rose up around me, to the walls of the bedroom, the ceiling and the door to my room. Then, I noticed it – the window.
Outside my room, robins and sparrows flittered in the branches of the apple tree. I was amazed – astonished – I started to laugh at their curious, playful flitting around. I rose in my crib, placing my hands on the top railing, focused on the aviary circus performing outside my window. I started bouncing up and down, shrieking encouragement to the birds. I reached toward the window, lost my balance, fell back on my butt and whacked the back of my head on the bars of my cage. Once again, I lost it – screaming with fright at the pain that ricocheted through my noggin.
The bedroom door exploded inward, my mom reaching down into the cage, lifting me out and cradling me against her chest. “The typical “Shhhh…shhhhh…shhhh” followed by several motherly, “It’s OK, It’s alright, I’m here’s,” as we swayed back in forth. As I calmed down, swaying on my mom’s shoulder, I opened my teary eyes facing the window. I pushed back from mom’s shoulder where I had my weepy head buried and shouted something unintelligible, pointing at the birds outside the window. Mom whirled around and broke into a huge smile, exclaiming “Birdie! Yes, those are Birdies.” According to my mom, I mimicked her utterance (who knows if what your parents tell you in adulthood about what you did during your infancy is true or not) – exclaiming “Booey!” It was the first time (again, according to my mom) I had actually verbalized an utterance that was remotely close to what my mother had just spoken. Mom was ecstatic. She floated with me in her arms out into the living room and dialed my grandmother on the phone. Mom said “Birdie” and I responded with “Booey.” Mom said “Billy” and I said “Booey.” She said Dahl and I said “Dow.” (To this day my wife and kids throw out an infrequent reference to me as “Booey Dow”).
My new found fascination with windows continued. As I crawled, scooted and soon began to walk, my enhanced mobility provided me with ever increasing opportunities to explore the vistas that windows provided. Truth be told, I began to develop the urge to get out – to move beyond the confines of the walls, doors and windows of my enclosure.
My mom began to take me by the hand and walk barefoot in the lawn in the backyard. I was ecstatic – uttering all kinds of new sounds and making profoundly unintelligible audible exclamations to my mom, based upon all the new stuff I was observing in the backyard, outside the four walls of that house. Then it happened.
I had wandered away from my mom and was laser focused on a low hanging, bright red blossom of a large Rhododendron about six feet in front of me. I chugged toward my target, reached out and grabbed the red prize. I was ecstatic! The red bloom broke off in my hand and it seemed to me that it was a good idea to stuff it in my mouth. It was like, automatic.
Seemingly instantaneously, I heard my mother screaming “NO! NO! NO!” She grabbed me off the lawn and in one motion plunged the fingers of her right hand deep into my mouth. I gagged and puked all over her chest. She sat down on the lawn with me in her lap in front of that Rhodie, pointing at it and excitedly shouting “NO! NO! NO!” I looked up at her scrunched up face and pointed in the same direction, militantly shouting “NO! NO! NO!” Mom followed my utterance with “YES! YES! YES! – that’s right Billy”, as a smile erased the scrunch of disgust on her face. Of course, I smiled, chuckled and exclaimed “YA! YA!” jabbing my fist toward the innocent garden plant I had just disfigured. Mom lifted the red petals she had disgorged from my mouth up toward my face. Shaking the clump as she deliberately shouted “NO! NO! NO!” Needless to say, I was so utterly befuddled at this stage, I exploded in another tearful outburst commensurate with the confusion that reigned at the moment. Mom picked up my wildly whimpering carcass and we returned to the house. She plopped me on the carpet as she went to the kitchen sink where she grabbed a wet cloth and began dabbing the puke off her chest.
We made our way into the bathroom where mom drew me a bath. She washed me up and dressed me in some clean clothes. She changed her blouse and shot some smelly stuff on her neck. She lifted me to her shoulder – the same one she had her purse slung over – when she reached down and grabbed this strange contraption and declared inquisitively “Go for a ride?”
Mom shoveled me onto the back seat of the car. I grabbed for a handhold and rose to gander about me. As I was looking around, mom was busy muttering frustration as she attempted to wrestle this new device into place in the back seat of the car. Mom opened the other back seat car door and extracted me from the backseat. We walked around the rear of the car, and ducked through the open door into the back seat area. That’s when it happened.
Mom plopped me into the midst of this contraption and pulled belts down across both my shoulders, buckling them between my legs. She then grabbed a longer belt from the back seat and pulled that one across me and the contraption horizontally. I heard a metallic click when mom simultaneously declared “there,” like we had really accomplished something together. She shut the back door and piled into the driver’s seat. The 56 Dodge fired up and we began to move forward. As mom began shifting through the three-on-the-tree manual transmission she began talking to me while looking ahead. Then I saw it – my mom’s eyes were staring at me from a piece of shiny glass hanging from the ceiling in the front seat – between her and the passenger seat. No mouth. No nose. No ears. No face. No mom – Just mom’s eyes. One eye – sometimes two. They seemed to look at me, then look away, floating eerily – glaring at me encased in this three by six shiny piece of glass. I detonated.
As I screamed and yelled at the horrific vision of my mom’s eyes having been removed from her face, mom began to attempt to shout those soothing motherly reassurances from the driver’s seat. I was having none of that. My next realization was that I was a hostage to the ominous eye monster that loomed before me. I wrestled mightily against the restraints of the contraption I had been belted into. Why had mom placed me in these restraints? Whose idea was the eye monster? This car had walls, restraints and was inhabited by strange things I didn’t understand. I wanted out! Now!
As my personal story illustrates, from an early age, we learn to mimic one another. We have begun to develop the sense that there is something more beyond the confines of our current reality. Our consciousness is developing. We become curious, observant, and mobile. We begin to express ourselves, typically through mimicking the words of those most intimate to us. We become confused, as part of the process. We stuff foreign objects in our mouths. We wander and joyously explore our environment – sometimes grabbing onto things we shouldn’t. We begin to experience restraints in life – audible, physical and emotional. We learn that falling backward in our crib and banging our head on the rail behind us creates pain. We begin to experience surprise and the unexpected. Occurrences of fear become part of our existence. We are developing an appreciation for the reality that our existence has limits – and that we have much to learn, and a desire to grow into more.
Such is the tension that inhabits the human existence throughout our lifetimes. The ying and yang that exists within the possibility of becoming all we might be or settling smugly for what we are. One author proposes, “The rhythm of the familiar lulls us into mindlessness.[xiii]Yet, the crib somehow becomes a cage and windows become vistas to a reality beyond our bedroom walls yearning to be explored. Environments and devices that were intended to be for our own protection and safety, become barriers and/or restraints for our desire to freely discover the amazing reality around us.
Sociologist Philip Slater captures the essence of this tension when he writes, “Unfortunately, there’s no way to insulate yourself from the bad things around you that doesn’t at the same time insulate you from the good things around you. A wall protects but also imprisons. Every fortress is also a jail.”[xiv]
I’ll never forget the day when my mom and I rolled up in front of this place called school. (Today, it still looks like a foreboding two-story, red brick penitentiary). It was my first day of kindergarten. Then it happened – after we got into the room with all those other weird looking kids my age – I turned around and she was gone – disappeared. As I ran toward the closed door to our classroom, I was whisked off my feet by an over dressed woman in her early fifties with bright red lips, smelly (really smelly) perfume, and a head full of jet black hair that obviously wasn’t natural. I wrestled in her arms a few minutes screaming and crying “Momma! Momma!” – then surrendered. I’d been abandoned. No, “Goodbye Billy” – nothing. My mom just vanished. I looked out over the shoulder of my teacher who was cradling me to see about eighteen other kids my age, running all around the room. Most we laughing and shouting. A few were curled up in the fetal position bawling their brains out as I had been. Come to find out, their mother’s had abandoned them too. I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to grow up in this room, with these other kids, and this weird looking, distinctly smelly woman with fake hair. She let me down and I ran off chasing some other little hellions.
This is the place, where over the next eight months I was introduced to my first 12 step program. Here are the steps they taught me in Kindergarten:
1. Raise your hand if you need help.
2. Wait your turn.
3. Mind your manners.
4. Share.
5. Don’t pee your pants.
6. Take a nap – when we say so – even if you’re not tired.
7. Listen – Follow directions – Do as you’re told.
8. Conformity is good.
9. Ask permission for everything.
10. Don’t ask questions unless we ask you to.
11. Put your stuff away.
12. Don’t question anything the teacher says.
Sound familiar? Sure it does. For most of us, it’s our first experience being exposed to the forces of institutional bureaucracy. No wonder the first day of kindergarten is so traumatic for kids! This place they call school is going to be your primary environment outside of your family for your next twelve to sixteen years (No wonder they don’t tell you that during the first day in kindergarten or all the kids would become uncontrollably despondent – “Twelve to sixteen years? Here? With them? With you? No joke? Holy crap – how do I get out of here?”)

Kindergarten began my first official involuntary servitude to the established, institutional, socialization process. (“It’s for your own good” – remember that one!). Unbeknownst to me at this juncture, I would be involved in school for the next 18 years.

That was fifty years ago. Guess what? The world has changed. The Qage mentality I acquired throughout this process may have prepared me for the existing needs of that American reality – but it did not prepare me for how I must approach my world today. Like I said, things change in fifty years. Questians understand this. Not just intellectually, but behaviorally. As theologian and activist Brian McLaren says, “It‘s fruitless to argue being versus doing: you can’t do what you won’t be.”[xv] The results of the research completed during the last decade are empowering us to move beyond the limitations of the Qage mentality. Journalist and author David Brooks characterizes it this way: “We are living in the middle of a revolution in consciousness. Over the past few years, geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, anthropologists, and others have made great strides in understanding the building blocks of human flourishing.” [xvi]
The Qage mentality impacts our expectations of self, others and our world. Expectations are really a form of predictions. They inform our hopes, dreams and beliefs. They inhabit and shape the possible. They can act as the bars on the cell of our life, or provide the key to the cell door. The expectations that form the framework of the Qage mentality attempt to make our world predictable, provide us with a sense of control, and soothe us with certainty – providing us with a fundamental capacity to derive meaning and understanding from our existence. Yet, what happens when we embrace this framework too tightly? Can a framework be transformed into bars to a cell? Can we become captives to routines, inmates confined within what we think we know? Can we somehow imprison the possible for self, others and our world? What are the implications of a Qage mentality posture? The following from Dr. Todd Kashdan contains some insights: “Our ‘mispredictions’ have tangible repercussions. If we believe that understanding everything, being able to confidently predict the future, and being in control are necessary, then we are going to drift toward stagnation. Doing things that are only mildly pleasurable, we will underestimate two profound sources of happiness and meaning in life: novelty and uncertainty.” [xvii]
The purpose of this chapter has been to illuminate the Qage mentality – the fundamental human tendency to experience fears and anxieties, the desire for predictability, control, certainty and the comfort we garner from knowing what we think we know. Yet, there are consequences for embracing this framework too tightly. This framework can become an impediment to innovation, creativity, learning and growth – diminishing the potential for exploring novelty and uncertainty to lead us toward the possibility of a more profound experience of happiness and meaning in life. It is a reminder that “our ideas can enslave or liberate us.”[xviii]
The predominant thought that occupies the minds of an inmate can be reduced to one question: “What am I going to do when I get out?” Seated on the bunks of our cells, too many of us gaze at the bars of our lives that the Qage mentality has erected before us. A wall protects but also imprisons. Every fortress is also a jail.”[xix] Such is the tension that inhabits the gap within human existence – that space between what you think your life is – and what it might become – when I get out. For far too many of us, the Qage mentality is an operative illusion, limiting us to passively accepting the conditions of our current confinement. That’s no way to live. Questians understand “Creative thoughts evolve in this gap filled with tension – holding on to what is known and accepted while tending toward a still ill defined truth that is barely glimpsed on the other side of the chasm.”[xx]
I’m not naïve enough to suggest that simply tossing off restraints is the sole solution. Yet it’s an important part of the Qage mentality that we must be aware of and become willing to act upon. It’s part of the process of creating the space essential for our Questian potential to arise. I distinctly appreciate how the NYU’s Clay Shirky characterizes this reality when he writes: “Throwing off old constraints won’t lead us to a world of no constraints. All worlds, past, present and future, have constraints; throwing off the old ones just creates a space for new ones to emerge.”[xxi] (emphasis is mine).
The Qage mentality need not incarcerate the possibilities for your life, the lives of others, or the potential positive prospects for our world. It’s time to become creatively intentional – with a reinvigorated awareness of the Qage mentality – and a desire to pursue the possibilities beyond it.

NOTES – Chapter 3 – The Qage Mentality

Chapter 3 – Chapter Page Quote
[i] Johnson, Steven Where Good Ideas Come From – The Natural History of Innovation, Riverhead Books – The Penguin Group, New York, NY Copyright © 2010 by Steven Johnson, p.241.
[ii] Glassner, Barry The Culture of Fear – Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things, Basic Books – A Member of The Perseus Books Group, New York, NY Coyright © 1999 by Barry Glassner, p. 210.

[iii]Clark, Taylor – NERVE – Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, And The Brave New Science Of Fear and Cool, Little, Brown and Company – Hachette Book Group, New York, NY Copyright © 2011 by Taylor Clark. p. 10.

[iv] Ibid – p. 282.
[v] Camus, Albert The Rebel – An Essay on Man in Revolt, Vintage Books – a division of Random House New York, NY Vintage International Edition, November 1991 Copyright © 1984 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. p.260.
[vi]InStiglitz, Joseph E., Sen, Amartya, Fitoussi, Jean-Paul – MIS-Measuring Our Lives – Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up – The Report By The Commission On The Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, The New Press, New York, NY Copyright © 2010 by The New Press, Foreword Copyright © 2009 by Nicolas Sarkozy, Preface Copyright © 2010 by Stiglitz, Sen & Fitoussi, p. xv.
[vii] Stiglitz, Joseph E. Freefall – America, Free Markets, And The Sinking of The World Economy, W.W. Norton & Company New York, NY Copyright 2010 by Joseph E. Stiglitz, p. xvi.
[ix] Akerlof, George A. & Shiller, Robert J. – Animal Spirits – How Human Psychology Drives The Economy And Why It Matters For Global Capitalism, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ Copyright © 2009 by Princeton University Press, p. 1.
[x] March 24, 2011 CNN Money – Household Wealth Down 23% – Fed, http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/24/pf/financial_crisis_outcome/index.htm?hpt=T2
[xi] Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Harper Perrenial, HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, New York Copyright © 1996 by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi p. 345.
[xii] Steinbeck, John East of Eden Penguin Books New York, NY Copyright © 1952 by John Steinbeck, p. 132.
[xiii] Langer, Ellen J. MINDFULNESS, Da Capo Press – A Member of the Perseus Books Group, Cambridge, MA Copyright © 1989 by Ellen J. Langer, Ph.D. p. 21.
[xiv] Slater, Philip The Chrysalis Effect – The Metamorphosis of Global Culture, SUSSEX ACADEMIC PRESS, Eastbourne, U.K. and Portland, Oregon Copyright © 2009 by Philip Slater, p. 117.

[xv]McLaren, Brian Naked Spirituality – A Life With God in 12 Simple Words HarperOne – an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers New York, NY. Copyright © 2011 by Brian D. McLaren, p.237.
[xvi]Brooks, David THE SOCIAL ANIMAL – The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, Random House – an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. New York, NY Copyright © 2011 by David Brooks. p.x.

[xvii] Kashdan, Todd, Ph.D Curious? – Discover the Missing Ingredients to a Fulfilling Life, William Morrow – an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, NY Copyright © 2009 by Todd Kashdan. P. 23.

[xviii] Robinson, Ken Out of Our Minds – Learning To Be Creative, Capstone Publishing Ltd. (A Wiley Company), 2011 Edition – Copyright © 2001 & 2011 by Sir Ken Robinson, p.106.
[xix] Slater, Philip The Chrysalis Effect – The Metamorphosis of Global Culture, SUSSEX ACADEMIC PRESS, Eastbourne, U.K. and Portland, Oregon Copyright © 2009 by Philip Slater, p. 117.
[xx] Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Harper Perrenial, HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, New York Copyright © 1996 by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, p.103.
[xxi] Shirky, Clay Cognitive Surplus – Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, The Penguin Press, New York, NY Copyright 2010 by Clay Shirky. Pp. 162-163.

Lake Chapala – Beneath the Surface

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