The Emergence Explorer Project

Since 1997, I and my formal students have been meeting each month to study the nature of ahas. Inclusion in this group has been by invitation only, with each person committing to use what they learn to try to make a difference in the world—each in his or her own way. For several years, these six hour groups explored the formal aspects of classroom settings. To do this, we literally did homework each month, and part of that homework was to focus on the nature of asking—and answering—questions. These brief articles are excerpted from those discussions.

Realize these questions and the answers offered here were not the point. Rather, the point was more to explore how questions and answers limit and facilitate learning in classrooms. Ironically, it's taken us much of a decade to realize that seeking answers is actually a big part of what kills the love of learning, in that when you believe you have an answer, this generates certainty and closes the mind.

Should the focus in classrooms not be on answers? If so, then what should it be on? It appears the main thing to focus on is on learning to recognize one's state of mind. Only by doing this can you purposely choose to open to new learning. Or choose to close to it in unsafe situations.

The following five steps can prepare you to have ahas. Indeed, you will not learn without taking these five steps. So while the words used here are but one way to express these steps, if you want to make any kind of discoveries—scientific or otherwise, you must take all five steps in this order.

  • One—all learning starts in the heart.
  • Two—only the prepared mind is open to learning.
  • Three—curiosity is what prepares the mind to learn.
  • Four—you cannot make yourself curious. You can only learn to notice when you are not curious.
  • Five—you are not curious when you believe you already understand what are hearing, seeing, thinking, or feeling.

Know that realization number five is the most important tool a teacher or student could ever learn. Ironically, if you feel certain you grasp these steps—or if you even focus on trying to understand them—then you'll never understand them. Conversely, the more you blindly follow these simple statements, the more realizations you'll have.

The point? Only the curious mind has ahas. Thus the more time you spend in this state, the more you'll exponentially increase your ability to teach, learn, love, and heal.


  • Why do students drop out of school?