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The Spirit of Letting Go

责任编辑:ccpg  来源:  作者:  人气:810  发布时间:2014-03-11 17:06:54

michael molenaar, tilburg,holland:  

OK, I think this is really interesting! I followed the discussion of self organization, and I felt something was missing. I would like to make a point about my opinion of the essence of Open Space: Some might think it's self organization that invokes some human processes like motivation and community. I think that's not really true, it's the experience of Spirit.  

It is argumented that you can choose and pick one of the 18 approaches, on which Peggy wrote the highly interesting Change handbook, according to the chemistry which leads facilitators and clients into each others arms.  

I have this book, and must admit that I didn't really experience all those approaches, except for two and one isn't in the book. (Open Space and Organization Constellation, a new approach by Bert Hellinger in Germany, Holland and some other countries). Both these two "technologies" are originally based on ancient ways of working with human problem solving (to put it simply) on which we in Modern (Newtonian, scientific) thinking lost a little bit of track. (Sorry if this isn't correct English, but I'm Dutch).  

In essence I know of these two technologies that they only really work if a (communication) canal is opened in which you come into contact with another layer of the organization and this is based on shamanistic principles. (i.e.: Looking at one form: the Circle). Bert Hellinger calls it: "systemic" Harrison Owen writes a lot about "Spirit" and that is really important because the way we are used to work in organizations our thinking is based the usual senses without the communication canal on which Spirit is based. (and somehow we know it because we're not really satisfied when we miss the Spirit and don't know what to do about it)  

However, you sure can do an Open Space "rationally". You just be happy and don't worry and experience some sort of "self organization" and following the principles and the one law, which is really a joy to do! At first I wondered why Harrison seems so relaxed about it (and wrote a "users guide" as if it were a set of software rules). But now I see that there is somehow a two sided world of Open Space. And so is Harrison to me: At first glance he is really very relaxed about this and that, but at some point he becomes very precise and gets in the discussion strong as a thick wall. That's the point where it not easy to discuss based on "book knowledge" or mind anymore, but you have to talk based on real, pure experience in combination with the knowledge how Open Space really works. This is a phenomenological approach, and that's also the importance of the Story telling thing. And then the problem with "rules" becomes clear. And the one law, of course, isn't really a law, but more a strong advise (put in a funny way) to follow your feet. (Oops, is this a curse in Open Space church?)  

There are two sides of Open Space, as I see it: The first side is the easy understandable and funny part, which makes it so attractive and, YES!, invites almost everyone to go for it. In this it is not really special and Open Space has to compete with the other 17 methods of the Change Handbook. But if you started to talk about the Shamanistic principles on which Open Space is  


based there would be a problem. So of course you usually don't start with this part of the story (at least I don't when I talk to someone who might be interested). On the second side is the essence (like Birgitt calls this) in which Open Space can have a very deep effect on how people work together: they make their Action Planning to a success, because they have discovered that they are connected on a deeper level in the organization and that the essence is not about hierarchy, but about Spirit and that it is really easy to open this special communication canal to do so. Is it that easy?? Yes and no. No if you do the first side Open Space, but the excitement of the experience will fade out...  

The principles of the contact with Spirit is the same as it happens in (family &) Organization Constellations. Bert Hellinger (who was also a Priest with also a lot of world experience and also found out that a circle is a fundamental ancient communication form to work in) calls this communication layer "systemic". He goes some steps beyond Open Space, and he directly refers to "movements of the soul". No wonder in this case it is not easy to find the way in Organizations!  

Now I'm stopping, because this is getting to far for the moment, I'm writing an article on comparing Open Space and Organization Constellation but it's not ready yet.  

I'm looking forward to your reactions,  

harrison owen, maryland, usa:  

Why does this have to be an either/or -- why not both/and? The whole point about Open Space as Self-Organization for me is that we (humanoids) like (apparently) all the rest of the cosmos are rooted in fundamental processes which (to some extent) determine our behaviors and range of responses. That is not all there is -- but is a start. Our growing understanding of the phenomenon of self-organization allows for a rational explanation of what otherwise might be inexplicable --Why does open Space work??? Is this true -- in some absolute and abstract fashion? Who knows, but it seems to work (logically) and more importantly for those who use Open Space, it provides a deeper awareness of the realm we are operating in, and simultaneously explains some seemingly anomalous happenings -- such as -- the more we seek to control what goes on, the less successful we are.  

But not to stop here. For a deeper understanding of Open Space and our experience in Open Space, I find it useful to consider the realm of Spirit. The phenomenon of self-organization is only a partial explanation. Before all that is Spirit, or what classically would be called Consciousness. To deeply understand Open Space and our experience therein -- we in fact have to go deeper. Actually (to let the cat out of the bag) I started with Spirit and only later, and quite by accident, ran into Open Space. My first book, which was written in 1982-3, and published in 1987 -- was all about Spirit. The words "Open Space" do appear, but have nothing to do with what we now call Open Space Technology. The reference is to what the Buddhists might call The Abyss, or The Void. How I got from Open Space as "void" to an approach to meetings, may seem a little strained, but my reason was that much of what I experienced in The Void I also found whenever space was opened.  


All of which poses an interesting question -- Does everybody have to go into The Void in order to experience/understand Open Space? I guess the answer is Yes and No -- it is all about levels. It is quite possible to just "do" Open Space. No explanation needed or wanted. Or you could dig a little deeper into the question -- Why the Hell does the damn stuff work -- when everything (well almost) in our training and experience says that it couldn't and shouldn't? And I think some sort of an answer starts to emerge when we open up the discussion to include Self-Organizing systems. But is that all there is? to which I must answer, No we are just getting started -- and it is off to The Void. Is there anything else? Probably. It might just be pure nothingness... Now try that for a sales pitch in the The Corporate Board Room!  

There are two sides of Open Space, as I see it: The first side is the easy understandable and funny part, which makes it so attractive and, YES!, invites almost everyone to go for  

it. In this it is not really special and Open Space has to compete with the other 17 methods of the Change Handbook. But if you started to talk about the Shamanistic principles on which Open Space is based there would be a problem. So of course you usually don't start with this part of the story (at least I don't when I talk to someone who might be interested). On the second side is the essence (like Birgitt calls this) in which Open Space can have a very deep efect on how people work together: they make their Action Planning to a success, because they have discovered that they are connected on a deeper level in the organization and that the essence is not about hierarchy, but about Spirit and that it is really easy to open this special communication canal to do so. Is it that easy?? Yes and no. No if you do the first side Open Space, but the excitement of the experience will fade out...  

Absolutely! Which is why it has always seemed to me that anybody with a good head and a good heart can "do" Open Space, but it probably takes a life time to get to the bottom of things.  

Now I'm stopping, because this is getting to far for the moment, I'm writing an article on comparing Open Space and Organization Constellation but it's not ready yet.  

I will look forward to seeing it.  

toni pet rinovich, washington, usa:  

And wishing to throw my two cents in: And when we realize that it may not be about understanding how it all works as much as allowing it to be what works and to be what we are/are doing, we may find that the Void supports All That Is and, also, all that is - that is what we find in Open Space - an opening to the time/space continuum that allows for all.  

michael molenaar, tilburg,holland:  

Harrison wrote: All of which poses an interesting question -- Does everybody have to go into The Void in order to experience/understand Open Space? I guess the answer is Yes and No -- it is all about levels. It is quite possible to just "do" Open Space. No explanation  


needed or wanted. Or you could dig a little deeper into the question -- Why the Hell does the damn stuf work -- when everything (well almost) in our training and experience says that it couldn't and shouldn't? And I think some sort of an answer starts to emerge when we open up the discussion to include Self-Organizing systems. But is that all there is? to which I must answer, No we are just getting started -- and it is of to The Void. Is there  

anything else? Probably. It might just be pure nothingness... Now try that for a sales pitch in the The Corporate Board Room!  

The levels, yes. This is one of the things I'm trying to get in the attention. Not as an explanation or a way for convincing, but that there is some powerful essence that can be discovered keeping in mind what a real Open Space is: to respect the Space of the others and to leave it up to their choice what level they would like to go in to.  

The notion of levels is useful to me (In my text I used two sides of Open Space, but "levels" feels as a better word). And important to learn that it's a good thing to keep all levels open and not to interfere with someone's choice. (Not to interfere is not that easy, as we all know).  

Still, like the way of the invitation before an Open Space meeting, I think that it is useful to have a notion of "levels" and that it is possible to invite also to the other level, maybe just by the way the facilitator is present.  

In a family or organization constellation the level of the communication canal to what is called "systemic energy" (I can't explain this word for now, it is something like the flow which deeply leads and connects us in our life) has to be opened. There is no choice here: As a participant you don't have to be experienced, but connecting to this level is needed for this work. But here explanation in words is the same as to explain what Open Space is: just experience it and you know what it is.  

Harrison: I will look forward to seeing [your article].  

This invitation will stimulate me to write it, first in Dutch and then in English, it is in my heart, and will definitely come out. I got the idea the first time when I did the training of Birgitt in Holland in may this year, but just now is the time to finish it.  

Beside my article I would really recommend to read or if possible: experience, something about the constellation work of Bert Hellinger. He is a German, but has done a lot of constellations in English and there are also videos available in English, however the most of them are about family constellations. Organization Constellations is still a very young field. Books in English are: "Love's hidden symmetry" (ISBN 1-891944-00-2) and "Acknowledging what is" (ISBN 1-891944-32-0) His website is: http://www.hellinger.com  

julie smith, alaska, usa:  

Michael wrote: The levels, yes. This is one of the things I'm trying to get in the attention. Not as an explanation or a way for convincing, but that there is some powerful essence  


that can be discovered keeping in mind what a real Open Space is: to respect the Space of the others and to leave it up to their choice what level they would like to go in to.  

with spirituality, seems to parallel some of the conversation here. Here are a few excerpts:  

“Eckhart invented the words for letting go and letting be. The two words are Abgeschiedenheit and Gelassenheit respectively….”  

Abgeschiedenheit evokes a mind that is on the way to dispossession from all exteriority which might spoil its serenity.  

Gelassenheit comes from the word lassen, to let go, to relinquish or abandon. It also means to allow or permit. It suggests openness and receptivity. “It means, says Eckhart, to be ‘receptive of all spirit.’”  

“Thus what letting go does is to develop sensitivity and openness to the spirit and this receptivity results in letting be…. Letting be is an act of respecting the autonomy of all things. ‘It designates the attitude of a human who no longer regards objects and events according to their usefulness, but who accepts them in their autonomy.’ Thus a good synonym for letting be might be reverence. Letting be is an attitude of reverence for all things that allows them to be themselves and God’s selves. This represents one more reason why the path of letting go and letting be is not one of putting down anything or any event. It is rather to enter so fully into events and things that we reverence all that is there. This reverence is a gentle letting be. ‘What is being spoken of here is to meet with gentleness, in true humility and selflessness, everything which comes your way.’”  

“Letting oneself be oneself and letting others be themselves.”  

“One cannot learn this [to perceive God in all things] by flight, by fleeing from things, and from Externality to solitude, but one must learn to cultivate an inward solitude, wherever or with whomsoever one may be. One must learn to break through things and to grasp one’s God in them and to be able to picture him powerfully to oneself in an essential manner.”  

“The letting go Eckhart advocates…. is a letting go of the I in order to let the We happen.”  

harrison owen, maryland, usa:  

Nicely put, Julie.  

Occasionally I am asked prior to a training  


program (or even during) -- If Open Space is so simple, why do we have to spend several days working on it? My answer, which may be a little bit flip, goes something like, "Well, there a few details to be considered, but mostly it is about learning to let go. And that seems to take a lot of time for most of us. The harder we try, the behinder we get."  

glory ressler, ontario, canada:  

Hi all! Julie's post on Meister Eckhart's 'letting go' and 'letting be' reminded me of a little story that helps me to remember to live that way... : -) It came to me from Amy and Arny Mindell's site http://www.aamindell.net and is entitled:  

How to Build a Taoist Temple  

Once upon a time there were four Taoists who had nothing much to do. Each lived in a different part of town. Without the ability to call one another and talk about things on the phone, they had to depend upon something else. In fact, that was their whole job "to follow that "something else". Most people thought these four were very funny or else very weird. No one could ever tell why those four did what they did. Even the Taoists themselves did not know!  

Anyway, one day something got in their heads at about the same time. Each thought to herself, "Why not build a temple?" Quite spontaneously they all decided to leave their homes and begin walking through the streets of the town, not knowing the others were doing the same!  

While meandering through the city, one of them suddenly stopped abruptly because of a raging fight on a street corner. She always thought weird things, and this time was no different. She thought to herself, “What a great place for a temple”, and immediately began collecting rocks from the gutter, twigs and beer cans from the street, and dirt and broken glass from the sidewalk. She used them all to make the most sacred place, muttering all the while to herself as she worked, "Just building, doing nothing much".  

Just as she settled into her work, the people who were fighting turned away from each other, and--- barely looking at her - screamed with all their might, "You good for nothing!" and promptly continued their fighting. They threw rocks at one another, and some at hurt her as well. She caught these rocks and joyously said mainly to herself, "thank you, thank you!" and added them to her structure which was growing rapidly. Just then, a dog came by and urinated in the gutter. She held out a broken cup and said again, "thank you, thank you" and mixed it with the dirt to form mortar.  

A kind of stucco-like building began to emerge from her work. It became so large that she could not see the conflict anymore. Nevertheless, she could hear their voices yelling on the other side of the wall. One of them was screaming at the other, "You never take my side! In fact, you insult me. You good for nothing & I hate you!"  

As soon as she heard this, the Taoist muttered to herself, "Thank you, thank you", repeating each of their words ever so slowly, treasuring some awesome presence she sensed behind each  


syllable. "Thank you, thank you", she muttered. "This is the energy I need to build my temple. I was otherwise so tired today".  

Finally, the structure was almost complete. She felt well within its walls, but knew she had to leave because she was all alone inside. As she got to the door, she could not see but heard the screaming begin once again! Without a moment's hesitation, she joined noise and screamed at the top of her voice as well. She yelled, "We never met before, who the hell are you?" Now the screaming of the others abated as they came around the corner and looked in the doorway. To her surprise, she heard them say "Well, how do you do? We know each other!" And she recognized the three other Taoist priests!  

That is how four Taoist priests built a temple. Three had a conflict and the other one loved it!  

julie smith, alaska, usa:  

As I read your thoughts this morning I was reminded of something you said a few days ago:  

Harrison: All of which poses an interesting question -- Does everybody have to go into The Void in order to experience/understand Open Space?  

Matthew Fox is the translator and commentator of the book on Eckhart I've been reading. According to Fox, Eckhart's theology is based on a four-part spiritual path. To the best of my understanding, it goes something like this:  

1.             Celebration of Creation (via positiva)  

2.             Letting Go and Letting Be (via negativa)  

3.             Birthing (spiritual birth)  

4.             _________and Social Justice (I don't recall the full name of this path, and I don't have the book with me)  

It is the empty receptive side of spirituality. In this way of thinking, perhaps Open Space could be understood to be one way of expressing the essential spiritual learning of emptiness.  

julie smith, alaska, usa:  

My last summary of Eckhart’s path wasn’t quite accurate. Here is Matthew Fox’ outline of the “spiral of expanding consciousness” of the “fourfold path in Meister Eckhart’s journey.”  

1.             Creation  

2.             Letting Go and Letting Be  

3.             Breakthrough and Giving Birth to Self and God  

4.             The New Creation: Compassion and Social Justice  


Another aspect of Eckhart’s thinking that parallels many of the conversations here is his rejection of dualistic thinking.  

eric lilius, ontario, canada:  

Harrison's remark..."The harder we try, the behinder we get" brought to mind the Sutra of the Third Zen Partiarch  

The Hsin Hsin Ming --verses on the faith mind  

I am constantly reflecting on the first two lines of this great treasure of wisdom. "The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences." Simple       but....  

I believe this text speaks to the essence of Open Space. A copy of this translation in its entirety can be found at http://www.spiritwalk.org/hsinhsinming.htm#Hsin Hsin Ming  

The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.  

If you wish to see the truth Then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of things is not understood, the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.  

The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.  

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the oneness of things and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.  

When you try to stop activity by passivity your very effort fills you with activity. As long as you remain in one extreme or the other you will never know Oneness. (continued...)  

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