The Teaching of Water

Aviv Shahar with Bernie & Alison Doyle

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the unfinished self

Bernie Doyle: So, was it a specific need of mine? For this particular insight, I've been thinking a lot about mysterious things. Inside of my perception was this - doing dishes and kind of letting my mind be free - and I could understand, in curious and fascinating granularity, the behaviors and characteristics of fluids, of all things fluid.

Aviv: So there is you as the vessel. There is in your story, the intelligence of the chemist, that all of a sudden you'll be doing dishes and you are, for all intents and purposes, you may be daydreaming, or you may be not focusing on anything. But all of a sudden, for one reason or another, you become acutely aware and you are enlivened in yourself to a presence of mind that becomes so laser focused on the molecular structure of the 

different fluids and how, therefore, they become integrate-able or not.

And it's almost as though, with your mind's eye, you are seeing something that you can't even see so clearly without using a microscope. But you are seeing it because the magnifying capacity of the mind makes that intelligence available for you.

Bernie: And to take the description of the insight that was happening to me maybe one more step into strangeness, is that the properties of, say, a fluid like water. Most of my training in university education would be h2o and the hydrostatic, the hydrogen bond, and the slipperiness of that hydrogen bond, and the fluid, and then how temperature affects the fixing of it, and the curious property of water being the only fluid that actually expands when it becomes frozen. And all other atomic and molecular structures condense a bit. So water is the only thing that when you freeze it, it floats on itself, and everything else sinks.

So there are these scientific properties. But then, just one step further, which is the character, or what I would even describe as kind of like the personality, almost like a person. It's like if you think of water like a person with its many dimensions, and behaviors, and characteristics that are working within fixed boundaries.

So then, the import of this, and I did make a point of sitting down and writing it up because when something strikes me, that's this kind of insight, I go, okay, something special is going on, I'm going to put it down, and try and make it as clear as possible.

In the days following, I've been thinking about changes going on in the world. And there is no doubt in my mind that the human race is at a changeover point. The best example for me is I have a daughter who's 15; sometimes I look at her and she looks at me and we're two different worlds looking at each other. And then I think about the interface of those two things. And there it is, again, there's two properties meeting each other.

Bernie Doyle

Bernie Doyle

I’ve traveled to over 40 different countries across 6 continents and I feel like I am just beginning to understand about human life. The world is a big place and life has so many expressions, it is amazing to believe that I am part of such an amazing experiment. I love the fact that human beings exist and that we collectively have a universe of evolution before us.
Alison Doyle

Alison Doyle

I find myself seeking to be in the moment that I’m in… not anxious about the future, or longing for the past, but as much as possible in this very moment. Now.

I’m beginning to love all that I have yet to know about, to discover… from the moment we’re born we’ve been pushing back space for ourselves: our thoughts, feelings, God, Creation, the Universe. We’re in a crowded world, living crowded lives, and we’re making space for moments.

Aviv Shahar

Aviv Shahar

Aviv is the Founder of Aviv Consulting, helping leaders unleash strategic innovation, and is the author of Create New Futures: How Leaders Produce Breakthroughs and Transform the World Through Conversation.