Friday, December 16, 2005

Urban Shaman

Serge Kahili King's view on openness in Urban Shaman is refreshing. "Widely spread knowledge actually has more potency than secrets locked up and unused. Knowledge held secret is about a useful as money under a miser's mattress. And the sacredness of knowledge lies not in its reservation for a few, but it's available to many. He goes on to say, "...shamans recognize no hierarchy or authority in matters of the mind; if ever a group of people could be said to follow a system of spiritual democracy, it would be the shamans of the world."

To read the book review, go to The Illuminated Innovant.

Monday, December 05, 2005

What is the question?

There is a story I can't get out of my head. It is the one that is told in the movie What the Bleep. Whether or not the story is 'true' seems less relevant to me as the more I learn about story I see that the power IS the story. Like the power IS the circle.

The story:
""When Columbus’s armada landed in the Caribbean, none of the natives were able to see the ships, even though they existed on the horizon. The reason that they never saw the ships was because they had no knowledge in their brains, or no experience, that clipper ships existed. So the Shaman starts to notice that there are ripples out in the ocean, but he sees no ships. And he starts to wonder what’s causing the effect. So every day he goes out and looks and looks and looks. And after a period of time, he’s able to see the ships. And once he sees the ships, he tells everybody else that ships exist out there. Because everybody trusted and believed in him, they saw them also." -- Joseph Dispenza

For me, this story is a metaphor for what is going on now. If we can't see it, it [is as if it] doesn't exist. The big picture/whole/ship is not clear yet, but we (some of us, increasingly more) can see/feel its effects, the ripple. That said, we can keep focusing our attention in it and expect to see a 'vision' as we piece together various puzzle pieces, which we can then communicate to others. In providing words in our language we automatically enable people to see it. [logos meaning both language and reason, and many linguists and sociolists speak of naming things as making a construct real/exist].

As I do more and more work - reading, learning, dialogue, conversing...I sense the ship we are looking for is the question(s), not the answer(s).

In this light, here are some questions that I am finding. It may help to note that my current focus is on space and physical movement, as the time we live in does not seem to fit with the construct I know.

Some questions:
- what languages are there that have many words for space?
- how can we represent space on something other than a cartesian plane? (beyond axis models…artists and children seem to hold some keys)
- what are other ways to work with space?
- how do we create ‘dialogic’ spaces when we are not all ‘physcially’ there together but want to bring ourselves there so that we can feel the sphere of the between, the space between the space/sphere we hold (without being bogged down by media …which is merely a channel)
- what type of environment ensures good and honourable and real conversation and interconnectedness will emerge? ie what is a healthy conversation space?