Time to Reclaim the Agency We’ve Outsourced
Updated: Jul 24, 2022
Lately, I love tapping into ancient wisdom and the origin of things as I feel that there is a lot we’ve lost over time which we may want to relearn. So here is one such opportunity.
Originally, authority came from author, the one who creates. It was not until much later that it included power or right to command and enforce obedience. We dethroned our role as authors / co-creators alongside our belief in our own wisdom. We put on the throne knowledge and the authority of someone outside of ourselves.
A couple of things are important for me here:
First, there is nothing bad in giving authority to someone for something if it feels right.
Here is where I think the boundaries are. Giving someone or something else the authority on important aspects of our lives could be right as long as it:
does NOT make us scared.
does NOT ever admit, “I dont know”.
does NOT make us live empty of joy lives.
does NOT kill our curiosity to explore and ask questions.
does NOT require blind obedience because “I/we told you so.”
does NOT claim to always know and have all the right answers.
does NOT expect us to believe in what contradicts our own wisdom.
does NOT manipulate us into feeling small, voiceless and insignificant.
Second, noone can take something from us that we don’t give.
A lot is written on this and I will only add here a couple of things from a systemic point of view:
Taking power cannot exist outside of giving power.
They are the two sides of the same thing. Hence, we should not blame others for our lives and instead we need to become aware of our own role in how authority impacts our lives.
Making something visible takes away its power.
Allowing something to remain invisible gives it power. Hence, the importance of deepening our understanding of reality beyond what discourages our curiosity.
We do not take back power by fighting against it.
When we fight against something, we make it more powerful and we encourage it to fight back to protect itself.
Third, we gave away too much authority by trusting knowledge over wisdom.
Both knowledge AND wisdom are important. Yet, it gets interesting when they contradict. In my humble experience, my intuition is way “smarter” than any knowledge I have ever acquired.
Data and science are valuable unless we give them authority over wisdom.
According to Lao Tzu “in pursuit of knowledge, everyday something is gained and “in pursuit of wisdom, everyday something is dropped.“ It ends up being about unlearning. Going back to the areas where we have given knowledge more authority than wisdom, here a question to contemplate.
What do we need to drop in pursuit of wisdom when it comes to our health, food, learning, work and any other area of our life?
I don’t know about you but I am pretty hopeful. I am seeing more and more people reclaiming their authority when it comes to important aspects of our lives — what we learn, how we heal, what we drink and eat, how we work together, and more.
Question: Who are the authorities in your life? Which ones have you outsourced but need to reclaim now?