4-H Camp & Open Space

Glory Ressler on.the.edge at sympatico.ca
Mon May 28 18:00:19 PDT 2001

I would like to thank all who have contributed to this thread!  Further to
Florian's concept of stretching oneself into the open space of another has moved
me deeply.  If you like story, I invite you to read a personal one of mine -
concerning my rocky opening into the worldview of another... as expressed in a
story comprised solely of quotes that spoke to me on the journey...
>The Descent
"We may think we are in the meeting room to preserve our job and our career,
while at bottom the soul is making another bid for first-hand experience through
courageous speech. It has no interest in being right; it simply intuits another
 Folded in on itself by our strategies for survival, it is trying to open.
As Rilke said: Where I am folded in upon myself there I am a lie." (David Whyte)
"Underworld souls perceive by smelling." (Heraclitus) "Culture is not about what
is absolute, real, or true. It's about what a group of people get together and
agree to believe. Culture can be healthy or toxic, nurturing or murderous.
Culture is made of stories 
" (Thom Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight)
 are anything we add to our original experience that alters what we
think is going on, or changes how we think about things
 So the good news is that
if we redefine our cultural norms, re-tell the stories which make up the reality
we follow, then humanity's behaviours will change to conform to the new stories."
(Thom Hartmann) "The universe is full of stories, not of atoms." (Muriel

"Behaviour change matters more than technological changes." (Michael Schrage,
Serious Play) "Initially, when cultural stories begin to shift, the carriers of
the new stories are considered oddballs, cranks, or cultists
 But stories change
when a certain critical mass is achieved." (Thom Hartmann) "Without stories, we
have no way to recollect ourselves when our personal world shatters." (Marion
Woodman, in The Cultural Creatives) "All sorrows can be borne if you put them
into a story or tell a story about them." (Isak Dinesen) "It's not just that we
have lost our story, but that we had to lose it, because every age needs its own
 And that means that those who carry the wisdom for our time cannot be
simply storytellers.  They'll have to be story-listeners, story-evokers, artists,
and teachers of every sort who can call forth the stories we need now
everywhere that harbingers of a new mythos are appearing, Cultural Creatives are
preparing the way." (Paul Ray & Sherry Ruth Anderson, The Cultural Creatives: How
50 Million People Are Changing The World) "Once you see the boundaries of your
environment, they are no longer the boundaries of your environment." (Marshall

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." (Anais Nin) "I have a
great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful
thinking." (Septima Pointsetta Clark) "The trouble with the rat race is that even
if you win, you're still a rat." (Lily Tomlin) "Mistakes are a fact of life. It's
the response to the error that counts." (Nikki Giovanni) "If you do not tell the
truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people." (Virginia Woolf) "Do
the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth." (Katherine
Mansfield) "Power is strength and the ability to see yourself through your own
eyes and not through the eyes of another." (Lynn V. Andrews) "What is rare is the
courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads." (Erica Jong) "You
must learn to say no when something is not right for you." (Leontyne Price) "Life
shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." (Anais Nin) "No person is
your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." (Alice
Walker) "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." (Eleanor
Roosevelt) "To move freely you must be deeply rooted." (Bella Lewitzky)

"I found god in myself
& I loved her
I loved her fiercely."
       ~ Ntozake Shange

"You think because you understand one you must understand two, because one and
one make two. But you must also understand and." (ancient Sufi teaching)
"Perceive all conflicts as patterns of energy seeking a harmonious balance in a
whole." (Dhyani Ywhoo, Etowah Cherokee) "When leaders honour us with
opportunities to know the truth of what is occurring and support us to explore
the deeper meaning of events, we instinctively reach out to them." (Margaret
Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science)

"Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing
There is a field
I will meet you there
 When the soul lies down in that grass
The world is too full to talk about."
       ~ Rumi

Some of the ways I might work with this story would include:
Think of a story about a time you did or didn't exercise your courage in speaking
what you really 'smelled'... What did you allow to prevent you from speaking? OR
What assisted you in speaking?  What personal or professional story is currently
emerging in your life? Is there anywhere or anyone with whom you are fiercely
honest and self-supportive? Re-claim what annoys you most 'out there' by
recognizing when and how it arises 'in here'. Envision a current conflict as
energy seeking a 'harmonious whole'... what would it take from you to bring it
all together?

I would gratefully welcome any responses!
Glory Ressler

Joelle Lyons Everett wrote:

> Chris--
> Your story confirms my feeling that the place and your practice have a
> healing quality that is very needed in the world at this time.
> Florian's concept that each party should come part way, to a place that does
> not "belong" to either, has a lot of merit.  I'm reminded of a friend who, at
> a very busy time in her life, agreed to meet her stepmother, who was visiting
> from across the state, at an airport hotel which had a lovely Sunday brunch.
> The two spent a wonderful half-day in the deepest conversation they had had
> for years--probably their last long conversation, as the younger woman died
> of cancer about a year after that, and her stepmother died two weeks after
> she did.
> Joelle
> *
> *
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