Humans are naturally inquisitive beings, driven by an innate desire to understand the world around them. However, this curiosity often becomes constrained by our ego and the limitations of our existing knowledge. We tend to evaluate new information based on how well it fits into our established frameworks, dismissing anything that challenges our current understanding. This ego-driven curiosity hinders our ability to genuinely learn and grow.
The path to transcending this ego-driven curiosity lies in embracing “choiceless awareness.” This approach involves observing without judgment, allowing information to unfold without the need to categorize, interpret, or immediately act upon it. It’s about listening with an open mind, free from the constraints of our existing beliefs and biases.
In the context of coaching, choiceless awareness becomes a powerful tool for fostering authentic curiosity. Instead of approaching curiosity as a means to gather more information, we shift our focus to the underlying presence and energy that true curiosity embodies. This shift allows us to connect with our clients on a deeper level, creating a space for genuine exploration and growth.
To cultivate choiceless awareness, we must move beyond the epistemological approach, which relies on definitions and descriptions, and embrace an ontological inquiry. This phenomenological approach delves into the essence of curiosity, exploring questions like:
- What is the being of a truly curious person?
- How is curiosity different from wanting to know more?
- Where does curious listening truly lead one to?
- What energy needs to be present for authentic curiosity to manifest?
By engaging in this ontological inquiry, we move beyond mere intellectual understanding and establish a connection with the true essence of curiosity. This connection allows us to embody the presence and energy that enable authentic curiosity to flourish.
As we cultivate choiceless awareness and embrace ontological inquiry, we transform our curiosity from an ego-driven pursuit of knowledge into a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. This shift enables us to become better learners, better coaches, and better human beings, open to the vast possibilities that emerge when we approach the world with genuine curiosity and an open mind.
Let’s embark on this journey, embracing curiosity not just as a quest for answers, but as a gateway to genuine, ego-free understanding and growth.
Abridged version from the essay Curiosity: Listening Curiously – An Ontological Enquiry by Dreyvan Dayse for Coacharya’s Reflections on Coaching: An Anthology E-book