May 28, 2012

there is an "essence of love"

From David Spangler's newsletter:

"...let me offer my definition of love. After all, the quality of light that a bulb gives off is the same however the dimmer switch is set. Dim light is no different from bright light in its “essence of light”; dim and bright light are both comprised of photons in motion.   In an analogous way, there is a quality to love that is the same wherever the expression of it is along this spectrum; there is an “essence of love.” What is that?

            I think this deep quality of love isn’t an emotion; it’s not about attraction, acceptance, approval, or even affection. Rather, I think of it as an act of nourishment, a way of holding another so that that other’s unique character and identity can find its wholeness and an empowering expression of that wholeness in a collaborative connection with creation as a whole. It empowers participation as an individuality in the essential sacredness of creation.

          Love is freeing, not binding, but it is an act that empowers connection: connection with oneself, connection with others, connection with the world, connection with possibility and potential, connection with the Sacred. This connection is one in which each participant can thrive and unfold in safety within themselves, in their relationships, and in what they offer to the world. It is a partnering connection in which each is a gift to the other demanding nothing in return. As such, love reveals and expresses the ultimate Gift through which the Sacred gives itself that the universe may exist and unfold. Each act of love replicates to some degree that primal Gift."


school for the future of learning

That's the catchy title that Gabriel invented for the energy that a number of the "elders and fellows" (this particular group, a configuration which has closed, is experimenting with letting go of the designation of "elder" and playing with just all being "fellows" now and next) have for exploring our learning about learning together. Together and remotely. In a time-bound container (3 years?) and for our whole lives. From the platform of these particular friendships and collegiality and inviting in more friends and strangers. Right now that possibility seems to be pointing to an online community of practice/discussion and an in-person convening on Whidbey next May.

Concurrently I am writing a proposal for a project for the naturopathic profession and our schools, that would take advantage of the learning about distance and remote and multi-media learning tools that's in the field right now, and translate that specifically into ways of sharing information and skills and exploring the wisdom old and new about naturopathic philosophy and principles of practice.

Here are some pieces that I want to keep track of:

* What are we learning about "the flipped classroom" and "hybrid classrooms" now that they've been around for a bit? and the TED-Ed contribution, plus

* The importance of polymaths, (which led to this interview with Maya Angelou from 2003) plus
*"...the eclectisim of influence necessary for the true originality and the idea that creativity is combining and connecting things...", plus
* how generalists are more important in these times than specialists - people who know how all the pieces fit together - how does the artist contribute to the builder contribute to the psychologist contribute to the engineer to translate ideas into action that changes culture (from Milenko's remarks at the Pomegranate Center breakfast a couple of weeks ago), plus

There's this, too: "It All Turns on Affection"

handful of sparks

Here are some of the sparks I'm tending/have started, and want to work on this week (in random order as befits the sparks that spit out from the fire in their own good time):

* harvest of good questions, striking metaphors, red threads, from the third/last elders-and-fellows gathering I participated in a few weeks ago
* and also some thoughts on design and dreaming
* a brief article I want to contribute to the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine textbook project on the orbital resonance of group process arts/participatory social technologies and naturopathic medicine principles of clinical practice (and now most recently, also, the meme-theme-biome of "thriving" per Anne and co - following and opening to and inviting the life force, and the perspectives and models developed by vitalistic medicine traditions throughout history and in the present)

Also wanting to pay more attention again to these connective tissue possibilities:
*mapping what's already happening, across disciplines and domains  
*connecting the myriad notes I've taken/gathered/hoarded over the past 10+ years ((is there a way to search for terms just in the tabs I've got open currently in my browser??))

is the essence usually "not seen"?

More on essence:

"I think of what Doris lessing wrote in The Four-Gated City: 'In any situation anywhere there is always a key fact, the essence. But it is usually every other fact, thousands of facts, that are seen, discussed, dealt with. The central fact is usually ignored, or not seen.' And a sentence of Yukio Mishima's in Spring Snow: 'To live in the midst of an era is to be oblivious to its style.'" - Michael Ventura, in We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse by James Hillman and Michael Ventura.

What I think: even if we don't see the essence of a thing or person or moment or our own self, or understand it well enough to talk about it, we can still feel it, and it sure can still come through us. Maybe devotion and practice help to make way. And for some people, an essence pours into and through them even when there are all kinds of obstacles. I know that for me, the more noise and distraction there is, the harder it is to catch a glimpse or let it through: this makes me suspect that continued practice in listening with every sense, and subtle attunement, would be helpful.
(Something about this lovely stained glass (detail from Laura Fuller's Tree of Life) connects to this - maybe simply because I tumbled across each of them, quote and photo, on the same day as these thoughts came to mind.)