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Self- Organization, Spirit ...and Invitation

责任编辑:ccpg  来源:  作者:  人气:790  发布时间:2014-03-11 17:08:31

harrison owen, maryland, usa:  

Further to our ongoing conversation about self-organizing systems -- a possibly weird thought. Self-Organization is what Consciousness (Spirit) does. Rather than being in opposition (as in either/or), or even in juxtaposition (as in both/and) there is unity. Self-Organization and the work of Spirit are one. The problem comes when the "self" in self-organization is understood to mean my self. Then it seems that I am imprisoned by unseen powers that restrict (destroy) my freedom. And I don't like that. However as the evolution of consciousness proceeds (My Spirit grows up, my Now gets bigger), it is realized the my self is inextricably related to all selves --and ultimately to The Self, -- and there is no problem. This is not the destruction of ego (self), but the transcendence. And what else would The Self do -- but organize. How about those bananas?  

A little esoteric and abstract to be sure, but it may just accord with one of the often reported experiences in Open Space. On the one hand there is a profound realization of community (the appearance of a larger self) and simultaneously folks report that they feel a heightened sense of personal empowerment, but always in the context of that community. They go with the flow and get with the program -- willingly, and with a remarkable sense of joy. And it is all self-organization. Maybe?  

jim metcalf, ontario, canada:  

It seems to me that the ancient Hebrew prophets wrote poetically about the Spirit of Love bringing order out of chaos. Harrison, Winston, are you talking about this kind of thing?  

...I recall that in the “Venus” book of his space trilogy, C. S. Lewis wrote about individuals finding enhanced individuality in their divine unity with one another, much as Harrison writes.  

jeff aitken, california, usa:  

Harrison's post reminds me about four questions offered by Wheatley and Kellner-Rogers, authors of A Simpler Way http://www.berkana.org. They offer four questions for group reflection after a meeting or crucial event which are intended to support self-organizing the way that Life does it:  

1.   Can we talk?  

2.   What just happened?  

(To me these are the implied questions of the closing reflective circle of an OST. Nice to speak them out loud.)  


3.   Who else should be here?  

(The third question might speak to the Exterior development of a system -- thinking about Wilber's quadrant model.)  

4.   Who are we now?  

(The fourth question might speak to Harrison's notion of a new and bigger Self, which we might call the Interior development of a system. "Life organizes around a Self. Organizing is always the act of creating an identity." - A Simpler Way, p 3)  

Think these can be helpful after OST? Seems like another level of the work, beyond action planning. Cheers - Jeff  

PS: I do not expect that one let go of the benefits of an identity in order to embrace the benefits of a new & larger one. I enjoy this body and personality and cultural heritage, thank you very much. Let's not become hairless gray cerebral space aliens; long live Star Trek!  

...and later:  

PS I was not commenting on anything Harrison wrote with that note of mine about space aliens! Thanks for your generous responses HHO. Jeff  

harris on owen, maryland, usa:  

Right on! And another verse to the same song (in my song book) is The Medicine Wheel -- which I find to be a simple, elegant way of enabling the reflective process. It is clear to me that having a great meeting, converging all the issues, and generating an action plan is all very nice, but not sufficient -- without some reflection (albeit brief) on Who is the "we" that has done all this, and what are we becoming?????  

Nor are we required to -- in my experience. This is not an either/or but a both/and. I find my personal identity and power increases to the extent that Iam consciously a part of a greater community. The "bigger" the community, the bigger the me. Martin Buber all over again. I become an "I" only in relationship with a "Thou" (read an other or community). But that relationship must be of a particular sort -- respect. And, I don't think that is the end of the journey, nor does the journey necessarily ends in our becoming a "hairless gray cerebral space alien." There could come a time when, what we experience as a transitory peak experience of being in the flow (in the zone), becomes a continuing reality. I have seen groups in Open Space (as also in the open space of our lives) achieve and sustain such a condition for some small periods of time. And they weren't all esoteric weirdos -- a jazz group, a basket ball team, even a bunch of AT&T folks. Sitting on the "outside" i can only describe the experience as incandescent. Those involved spoke of effortless flight. Pretty neat.  


julie smith, alaska, usa:  

By letting go and letting be, OS allows for an expanded consciousness that results in the natural fading of existing problems (and passionate engagement in what is important to the group), while most forms of mediation and facilitation tend to focus on solving problems logically on the existing level of consciousness.  

carl jung:  

“All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble…. They can never be solved, but only outgrown. This “outgrowing” proved on further investigation to require a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the patient’s horizon, and through this broadening of his or her outlook the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms but faded when confronted with a new and stronger life urge.”

harrison owen, maryland, usa: By Jove -- I think she's Got it!  

Conflict can be handled (indeed it is a very positive thing) so long as there is plenty of space, and the space keeps growing. At a physical level this is all about the Law of Two Feet. At a more subtle level, I agree Julie -- it is about expanding consciousness. A bigger Now that allows plenty of room for all sorts of differences which become conflict if too narrowly constrained.  

ralph copleman, new jersey, usa:  

Julie and all... Let us be careful.... The key word in your statement may be "allows". I have seen what you describe happen in OS countless times – but expanded consciousness does not *automatically* occur. I also believe that OS is not the only technique (large group or other) that makes expanded consciousness possible. So if we're looking for ways to distinguish OS from other approaches, I'm not sure this is it. But keep at it!  

harris on owen, maryland, usa:  

Ralph, I think your caution is a very valid one, and a key word is "allows" or I might prefer invites. The invitation to an expanded Now (consciousness) is issued each time space is opened. It is certainly permissive, in that room is provided that allows consciousness to expand, but I think it is more than that. There is a positive expectation, hope, dream that those present will see their world in larger terms, that the narrow options they entered with will be expanded to include options previously un-thought of. Importantly, this is a true invitation -- which means that it cannot be coercive. Nobody has to do a thing, which is why The Law of Two feet and voluntary  


self-selection are so critical. So does consciousness always expand? Probably not -- as doubtless there are folks who enter as curmudgins and leave in a similar condition. I can attest to that very personally. Having said all that, I think it is also important to note that "expanded consciousness" is probably not an absolute. As in you either got it or don't got it. For me it is always a process, a journey of expanding consciousness. So even us curmudgins probably grow a little bit, or at least we can see the possibility.  

To your last point: ". .that OS is not the only technique (large group or other) that makes expanded consciousness possible." For sure. But it seems to me that there might be a useful "metric" here of sorts. Specifically in terms of other large group interventions and the place that Open Space may hold amongst them -- we might ask, how much space does each intervention offer? I can't say that I have been through all 18 (if that is the magic number), but I can say that some of those 18 which i have experienced make me feel absolutely claustrophobic, and others less so. It is only when I enter Open Space that I begin to feel fully free to be my self, and fully explore my/our possibilities. Obviously I am a very biased witness, and others will feel differently -- which is as it should be. But I think the question remains valid -- How much space do we really have?  

julie smith, alaska, usa:  

thanks, Ralph!...As I was pondering this, I realized I didn't quite hit the nail on the head. It isn't that Open Space allows for expanded consciousness, perhaps, but that it invites us to more fully express our current level of consciousness. (And what a gift that is!) It is unlike many other group processes in that it doesn't erect artificial barriers to our full expression of our present consciousness. (I get it, Harrison.... we are invited to more fully express our Now, our current state of consciousness.... to the extent that we express it and share it, we individually and collectively expand.) The experience might lead us on a spiral of expanding consciousness, and it might not. That part is up to each of us to choose. What Open Space offers is simply the invitation to more fully express who we are in the present moment. Is that closer?  

harrison owen, maryland, usa:  

I think so. It is all about an invitation to expanding consciousness -- with the emphasis on invitation and expanding. Nobody has to take the trip. But we can. The choice is ours -- first, last, and always.  


michael herman, chicago, usa:  

Harrison Owen wrote... your caution is a very valid one, and a key word is "allows" or I might prefer invites. The invitation to an expanded Now (consciousness) is issued each time space is opened.  

just wanting to put in another plug for this notion and story of 'inviting,' as i think it captures so much of the difference between open space and the rest of organization and org development... the voluntary self selection, the call to become what you want to see in the world, passion bounded by responsibility, the open circle and marketplace, cycle of self-organization (inviting to gather, inviting to breakouts, inviting to proceed(ings), inviting to gather again where needed, inviting to breakouts, inviting to proceed...)  

achieving in org is required, inspiration and aspiration are often wished for but flattened if we try to put them on the 'to do' list. 'inviting' is something we can do as an everyday business practice... issuing invites to open spaces large and small, short and long... and inviting is also something we can aspire to be as individuals and organizations...  

like the 'open' in open space, it's also a word that is known to all and fairly uncorruptable, meaning if the leader says he/she wants to invite but doesn't embody 'inviting' everybody knows. as harrison has said, if people call something 'open space' when it's really not, those participants are sure to notice the difference.  

more often than not frame the whole open space story as practice in invitation. we often talk about 'opening and holding space' as the doing of the facilitator, but i find people understand 'inviting' a bit quicker, and understand how they could actually do it. it's just a bit less mystical, i think.  

i've posted a whole collection of materials in something that i describe loosely as 'a book'. it's called "inviting organization: evolution is now and open space." it's all about opening space as invitation in organization... and the emergence of the inviting organization. fully browsable and downloadable, free for taking and sharing. http://inviting.michaelherman.com  

   

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