Curiosity with humility

By Kanika Frings

2018-02-01

The curiosity i am interested in addressing this month is the one that goes hand in hand with humility.

 

I am intrigued with the quality of curiosity that assumes not to know.

When you have to completely let go of what you think you know in order to see what it really is that you are facing. Externally or internally.

 

Children possess this skill intrinsically, seeing through eyes unpolluted by the past. Adults are often hindered by the accumulation of knowledge that clouds direct experiencing with preconceived ideas.

 

I am currently undergoing the experiment of trying to re-learn curiosity. India is a great place for this as one gets surprised all the time, but that requires opening oneself up to the possibility of something being different to what you expect it to be.

 

An example: I often get approached here, traveling alone as a western woman. So often enough when someone starts coming towards me i quickly gauge their body language, vibe and appearance to readily fend of any unwelcome hassle. I try to be prepared and often enough think i know what is coming my way.
I have come to realize, that the more i practice true curiosity, trying to stay completely empty of any prejudices the more i am absolutely astonished by people and situations that i would have otherwise easily waved off or avoided in presumptuous anticipation.

Encounters i would not have wanted to miss.

And simultaneously i notice that if it happens to be a situation which i do not welcome, the open attitude towards what i am encountering, is in no way a disadvantage as to respond to it appropriately without having predicted the situation before hand.
Of course i am not talking about dangerous or dodgy moments, but simple, everyday human interaction.

 

I have always been very curios, but have only recently consciously realized that this really requires humility. A sense of not-knowing, an ingenuousness towards what presents itself. I would call it the art of inquiry.

Looking at life with the premise that you will find something new, even in situations or instances that are repeating themselves. That is the beauty of self-inquiry, no matter how often you look into yourself, if you can look with pure and open curiosity, child-like, you will always find something that you have not discovered before.

Prerequisite however is that you do not look with the assumption that you know what you will find, that is likely to obscure the finding.

 

Moving through the day in this way seems to be much more relaxed as well. So much energy goes into wanting to anticipate and control outer situations and inner dispositions, while simply looking with curiosity at what presents itself and then responding accordingly turns out to cost much less energy, hence being far more efficient, while allowing for life to surprise you more often.
I like it… :)

 

by Kanika Frings