The Union Path

All ideas are the same size, inherently undefined and unconditioned. We often prejudge ideas before understanding them, labeling them as big/small, safe/risky, and unlikely/likely. This can be helpful for protection, but can also keep us from pursuing the bigger, riskier ideas that may be the ones we need.

Risk and danger are inevitable in life, but there is value in living, as the good usually outweighs the bad. It's important to embrace big ideas that come our way, rather than dismiss them out of fear or worry. We must align ourselves with all parts of ourselves in order to live life with and through our full selves.

We can get stuck in repetitive cycles out of a desire for control and perfection, when in nature straight lines are rarely found. We must embrace change and be open to being shaped by our environment, allowing ideas to take shape without fear of judgement or risk. We can trust ourselves to assess our own ideas without fear or judgement.

We develop self-awareness to know and express our true selves and to find expression in the world without censoring our true essence.

Key Lessons
  1. We must be open to change and embrace big ideas.
  2. We must trust our own judgement.
  3. We must align ourselves with all parts of our true selves.
Full episode transcript available at:

What is The Union Path?

Mindful monologues to awaken your consciousness and nourish your soul.

In this introspective podcast, I aim offer you heartfelt rumination to inspire your own growth and self-discovery.

Are you seeking deeper meaning, truth, purpose or peace in your life? Join me as I unfold observations and awareness along the spiritual path - what I have learned, struggled with, found insight into.

Let these moving soliloquies gently prompt self-inquiry as you contemplate the deeper questions we all face: why do you suffer? How can you cultivate more inner calm and wisdom?

There is no dogma here, only my pondering as I illuminate and ponder our shared experiences living.

My hope is that by modeling raw exploration rooted in courageously questioning “why?”, these thoughtful meanderings awaken self-understanding and nourish your soul.

Consider these unconventional audio journal entries as a way to inspire and awaken your own internal wise teacher, taking your hand to guide you in looking within your own mysterious inner landscape in a new way. Feel less alone. Find inspiration to expand your self-awareness and consciousness with me each week.

The Union Path Podcast

"All Ideas Are the Same Size, Part 1"


John Coleman 0:00:20
I think we can all agree. Or at the very least, I don't think it's a very controversial idea. That all creation, everything that is created, starts out as an idea, starts out as some sort of inspiration, perhaps some sort of vision that everything that gets created before it's created is an idea. That an idea is the original state of creation. And perhaps you could argue there's states before this but I'm not sure we're really privy to them. In my opinion. In my experience, my first contact with creation is always in the form of an idea. Even when these ideas aren't conscious I can look back and see how there was something in my thinking that meshes with what I've been creating. There's a direct line at the very least. There's a relationship that I can see. It's not all scattered randomness. There is an order to it. There is a structure to it. Seemingly there is a process to it. And so if we accept this idea that at the root of creation, at the headwaters of creation are ideas, I think there's another interesting idea that we can ponder and that is all ideas are the same size.

John Coleman 0:01:46
Sure, we may think there are big ideas and small ideas. We may think there are safe ideas and dangerous ideas. But like anything else we apply these labels to we're the ones applying the labels. We're the ones creating this distinction. We're the ones running through whatever these ideas are through whatever filters we have and deeming them one or the other, big or small, safe or risky, unlikely or very likely. Now, of course there's value in this discernment. There's value in looking at ideas and running them through what we know to better understand them. But our minds obviously don't know everything. In fact, our minds only know what they know. All information was new to us once. All the things we know were new ideas were novel to us at some point. We aren't born preloaded with a set of ideas. We have to gather these along the way. A lot of times we have these inserted into us along the way. But however these concepts or judgments get in our head, they're there.

John Coleman 0:03:11
And when we think about creation, when we think about ideas at least for me anyway it's somewhat comforting. It's somewhat soothing. It's fairly liberating to consider this idea that all ideas are the same size, that all ideas have the exact same quality in and of themselves which is nothing. All ideas are inherently undefined. All ideas are inherently unconditioned. They're just ideas. They're just thoughts. They're concepts running through our minds either from past thoughts or wherever that idea happens to come from going to wherever it's going. And I say this and I find this interesting because a lot of times it's easy to prejudge ideas before we actually understand the definitely before we actually experience them. It's really easy to apply false judgment. It's easy to apply criticism. It's easy to negate ideas before we've given them any chance to come to fruition, any chance to be expressed. And sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes something butts up against our morals or our values, our visions for ourselves. Something elicits a feeling inside of us that we just want no part of.

John Coleman 0:04:38
This is all really good feedback, but again, it's not always that simple especially when it comes to quote unquote, big ideas. A lot of times we label ideas as big ideas because there's something about them that's inherently frightening, that brings up some sort of fear response that rises some sort of firewall within us to protect us from danger, protect us from harm. But we set ourselves up for quite a bit of conflict when these big, dangerous ideas are actually what we want in some ways can actually be what we need, can actually be what we're here to do. But we separate ourselves from these ideas by labeling them as such. And maybe this is an easy way, an easy trick that our brain uses, that our mind uses to let us off the hook, to keep us out of danger, to keep us safe. But of course, if we chase safety all the way to the end if we issue danger at every possible opportunity if we reduce risk down to zero then that will be precisely what we experience zero. Risk and danger is inherent in experience. There's no way around it. Risk and danger are inherent in life. No matter how self protected we think we are, no matter how we go through our lives wrapping everything and bubble wrap and nerf, there are still things that can hurt us. There are still things that will hurt us and hurt us badly. Pain cannot be avoided. Loss cannot always be navigated around. Bad things will happen to us and bad things will happen to us simply because we're live or exist. And bad things will happen to us simply because we're alive.

John Coleman 0:06:42
We exist. That's part of the deal. But part of the deal is also good things will happen to us. And typically, usually often the good outweigh the bad. There is a value to living, to being alive because the good usually does outweigh the bad. Of course, we can definitely go through stretches. We all go through stretches where that isn't true. But on the whole it's my belief that a life lived in wholeness a life lived fully has far more good than bad. It's far more enjoyable than it is excruciating. There's far more laughter than crying. There's far more peace than stress because I believe these states are our natural states. This is what we already are on the inside. And of course our insides butt up against our outsides and create their opposite. Sometimes that just happens. But we can always get back to our center, we can always get back to our core.

John Coleman 0:07:55
We can always get back to who and what we really are. And we can try whenever we wish. We can endeavor after this, whenever we wish. No matter how disconnected we are, disconnected we've been the opportunity for reconnection is always there and it doesn't require anything. We don't have to wait, we don't have to attain something first. There are no prerequisites, there are no requirements before we can reestablish communication with ourselves, before we can be and know our full selves. And one of the ways ourselves, our deep down, fundamental, most essential, true parts of ourselves communicates through us is in these ideas. Oftentimes it's in these big ideas, these inspired ideas, these ideas that our minds might think are a little too risky and our feelings might think sound pretty scary. But of course, to live in wholeness we must unite. We must find union with all parts of ourselves, with the path of ourselves that want the big ideas and the parts of ourselves that know something, that feel something. What we're seeking for, what we're striving after is alignment to live life with and through our full selves. And so it's important when these inspirations come along, when these ideas that feel big come along, we don't immediately dismiss them. We don't merely dismiss them out of a knee jerk logical response. We don't immediately dismiss them out of an emotional reaction of fear or worry or even terror based on past experience. Because we can tell when something is a big idea when we feel that energy around it.

John Coleman 0:10:05
It feels big because of its energy, because of its complexity, because of its feeling from an emotional perspective. These are all qualities that we imbue these ideas with. The idea, when it came to us, didn't have any of these qualities because we're the ones giving these qualities to the idea. We're the ones who assess it as such. Ideas are just ideas. Ideas are weightless, ideas are without mass. But we as the perceivers, we as the interpreters, we as the judges of ideas are the ones who give them their gravity, give them their heft, give them their importance. And what this leads me to think about is in times where I feel like I've been in a creative rut where I seem to just be doing the same things over and over and over again. Or I seem to be at this perpetual crossroads where it's not that I don't know which way to go. It's more about whichever way I seem to go. I seem to just circle back and end up right at a crossroads again. I seem to be on this circuitive recursive path that just keeps folding back into itself over and over and over again. Like I'm, in some ways living out the story of Groundhog Day where every day largely feels the same. And there's this cycle that I can perceive that I just can't seem to escape, I can't seem to break out of. I'm just always running through and every time it begins again, it's just kind of a bummer.

John Coleman 0:12:03
It's kind of like working a terrible job where every time Monday rolls around that just bums you out. Because a part of you is like we really have to do this again. We have to start all over again, work our way through another of these get a little bit of relief at the end, then right back in over and over and over and over again. And when we're stuck in these sorts of patterns obviously this feels pretty corrosive to our soul, to our life force. It feels really diminishing because there's part of the human experience, it's fundamental to the human spirit that we change, that we grow, that things are different. That's why we're drawn to novel experiences. That's why we seek out the new and the different. That's why we're curious. That's why the new seems so interesting because it's a portend for growth. It's a harbinger of change. And ultimately that's what we want on some level is to always be growing and changing. We have to find a way to grow and change along with our environment that a lot of times we can lock ourselves into these circuitous circles of stagnation by trying to control every aspect of our experience or at the very least, not cooperating with what's happening around us. Like, this may not make a lot of sense, but I was thinking the other day it's really interesting, at least to me anyway how rare straight lines are in nature. It's an interesting thing think about it's an interesting thing to observe, to just go outside and walk around for a bit and see how many straight lines we can find and then follow those straight lines until they're no longer straight. It's interesting looking at nature, looking at creation.

John Coleman 0:14:07
Lines come out curved lines come out bent lines run into one another and interact with one another and change. But if we look around to manmade items, straight lines are everywhere. The straighter the line, the greater the mark of craftsmanship, the greater the technician that not only designed it, but built it and made it. I think this is an interesting thing to think about the ways in which the way man does things left to his own devices especially when they're done to the utmost, the utmost quality, the utmost perfection. And then we look at nature, we look at the rest of creation and see things working completely differently. Then ask ourselves, where's the perfection? Really? And I say this, or I think about this at least I think this is germane to this idea of repetitive circles being stuck in a rut, being stuck in routine and repetition. Because on some level that kind of smacks of the idea of a straight line that kind of is reminiscent or rhymes with a concept of not really interacting with nature of trying to create something purely out of will purely independently without cooperating with the other forces at play. Because what does nature do to all men's straight lines? It bends them. And even taking this up a level, do I or do we get caught in these repetitive circles because we ourselves are trying to be too straight. We aren't letting ourselves be bent and shaped into a beautiful curve by our environment. It's just something to think about. As is this idea of all ideas being weightless, all ideas being the same size, all ideas being the same risk, having the same emotional state which is they don't.

John Coleman 0:16:21
And so we're free. We are completely liberated to think whatever ideas we like. And then it's also up to us to apply whatever discernment, whatever judgment we like to these ideas, to run ideas through our own thinking, run ideas through our own feeling, run ideas through our own perception of the energy that they hold and they hold potentially for us that we'd either like to include in our experience or we'd like to stay away from. But ultimately this assessment is on us, is personal and we can trust ourselves. We can trust ourselves that even though something might sound big and scary to someone else it doesn't mean it needs to be big and scary to us. If there's a part of us, if there's a deep down, fundamental part of us that is united with this idea that it feels like is where this idea actually came from, that a lot of times we can break the stagnation of life by entertaining different ideas, ideas of, quote, unquote, different sizes that we can break the stagnation of our experience by not only thinking different thoughts, having different ideas, entertaining different concepts, but also entertaining different ways. To judge and to gauge and to value those very concepts, those very ideas that we don't have to dismiss something just because out of habit or routine. This is too big of an idea for us. This is too scary of an idea for us. This is too radical of an idea for us. It's just an idea. And we don't have to act on every idea. We can't act on every idea that we have. But that's what we get to choose. We get to choose what we entertain.

John Coleman 0:18:27
We get to choose what we nourish and grow. We get to choose what we express. That's our part in all of this. All ideas are just ideas and we can choose to think them, we can choose to entertain them. We can choose to express them if we want to. We don't have to put artificial labels on them. We don't have to build artificial fences around them. We don't have to erect barriers between ourselves and ideas especially if those ideas are compelling to us, especially if those ideas are inspiring to us. Especially if those ideas feel like more ideal version of us, a more full version of us, we can entertain them we can hold them, we can nourish them, we can want them. That's why we develop self awareness in the first place. To not only establish and increase the contact with ourselves, but also to build the knowing and the confidence that we actually know who we are, that we actually know what we want, that we actually know what our full expression looks like. Because we've taken the time to pay attention, because we've built our self awareness. Our ideas of ourselves aren't simply regurgitated of what we heard from somewhere or someone else. We know the truth about ourselves because we've actually endeavored after it. We know it because we've experienced it, we've felt it.

John Coleman 0:20:06
This is, of course, incredibly useful. This is really the point of a lot of this spiritual work, is really to get to know who and what we really are. Really allow energy and ideas and feelings and thoughts to run through us fully and to find expression in the world through our full selves. Not censoring our full, true essence. Not being afraid to entertain and express the radiant energy within us. Not being scared to glow, to shine, to be in the world in our fullness. And we can be in the world in our fullness when we've learned to fully be our true selves.