(HarrisonOwen? was approached by host team members a few minutes into his talk & asked to be gentle in the space which had just been energetically cleared; and then also to cede way to open the space rather than talking. He said he’d rather continue & did. This gave rise to an intense and rich conversation, see notes on that called /PlenaryConversation and /ContinuationOfThePlenary)
Chaos not just an interruption to life but it’s what gives the open space life – no chaos no life.
Confusion = intellectual equivalent to chaos – opens minds to new thoughts Beginning of wisdom.
Conflict is what sharpens the mushy ideas – just needs enough space to work itself out.
Destruction also not a bad thing! Think of all the bad ideas and institutions that have been around – if they still were there’d be no room for innovation.
Every moment is a moment of dying – that’s what it means to go from here to there in every moment. Dying every moment with grace and joy. We could welcome it and deal with it. Built into us is the mechanism to deal with it: Grief Work (described by Kubler-Ross). We all know it. Stuff happens. Could be anything. First response: Shock & Anger. In English it’s inevitably “oh, shit” – eminently useful – gets people breathing again. This is where we can help each other. Space to say it with a vengeance (rather than saying oh, it’s OK, don’t cry) Next is laughter. Need space for both. Second: Denial. What wave riders do for each other is help each other. Denial is like a bandage on a raw wound. 3rd is Memories. Retelling the fundamental mythology of our lives, without whatever it is that ended. “Where were you when” We can help here, massively: give people space to tell the story. We can create the time and space for that to happen. Then you get to heart of the matter. Despair. The final letting-go. Still hanging on to what was, and the moment we let it go, the pain disperses. Wave riders can help people to ride through that.
Analogous to or identical to the process of birth. This one is rebirth of the human spirit.
Despair drives us to something new and different.
We’re born because the womb goes toxic – when there’s too much baby for the plumbing system. Why else would any of us ever be willing to come out?
Baby’s first “words” – “oh shit!”
Open Space = the Empty Void of the Buddhist perspective. Grief time: deep and holy moment of open space into birth, renewal, possibility.
If we decide to cross the Open Space it’s usually because of a question: “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?”
The answer: “I wonder if…”
When you take wonder and imagination and bring them together, then you have vision. At that moment in our passage, it doesn’t come out in bullet points – it comes out in colors, in excitement, it’s inviting. Point of renewal individual/organizations.
What can we do as wave riders assisting in the process? We can celebrate. Absolutely essential in human life. Acknowledgment of the journey, where we’ve been and what we’ve done. Celebrate the point of renewal.
Bad news for the leaders is good news for us. Chaos, confusion and conflict are just everyday parts of the universe. We’re stuck with it – and it works. It goes even better with some help. We need midwives for the grief, and that’s the job for the wave riders.
This is what it means to be in these revolutionary times, with no small amount of ending and death.
Every time you are privileged to be with someone in the moment of dying, you will grow. Nothing you can experience will match that. This is the heart and soul of wave rider work.