APPRECIATE AND NURTURE POTENTIAL
Aristotle, Plato's great student, formulated the philosophical concept of potentiality. For Aristotle the motive force in the cosmos is the tendency of everything to become what it is meant to be. Aristotle remained true to his teacher (although he disagreed on many points) by positing that all things develop true to their Form. Thus, human sperm and ovum are a potential baby and an acorn is a potential oak tree.
In early spring the great sunflower fields near Plato's birthplace in Athens seem empty. The first-time visitor sees nothing. But the farmers have already planted millions of seeds. And the farmers foresee, with the right conditions of rain, soil, and sunshine, flowing fields of giant yellow sunflowers. For the farmer, the sunflowers "exist," even before they can be seen, because he knows their potential and the necessary conditions for their full flowering.
What are the seeds within your own soul that have yet to flower fully? Shed some light on your unrealized potential by doing a ten-minute stream-of-consciousness writing exercise on one of the following topics.
- What are the "right conditions" necessary for the full flowering of my soul?
- What am I meant to be?
- My true potential is...
- My strongest undeveloped talent is...
HOW TO DO A STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS EXERCISE
Stream-of-consciousness writing is a marvelous tool for appreciating and nurturing your potential. You can use it to express your love of wisdom as you plumb the depths of any question you wish to explore. Stream of consciousness simply involves writing your thoughts and associations as they occur, without editing.
The secret of effective stream-of-consciousness writing is to keep your pen moving; don't lift it away from the paper or stop to correct your spelling and grammar, just write continuously.