Saturday, November 12, 2005

Kairos and OST

I posted this on the OSlist and I bring it here as it is definitely about being in open space.

I often think of OST as a means of creating conditions that assist individuals in greater listening to self and to others... expanding awareness and deepening connection. A friend recently wrote to me, teaching me about the word Kairos:
"Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning the "right or opportune moment". It is now used in theology to describe the qualitative form of time. In rhetoric kairos is "a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved." (E. C. White, Kaironomia p. 13)"
Living my life in Open Space has really intensified my awareness and recognition of kairos. The principles and law are my little friends, whispering sweet encouragement into my ears, reminding me that what is of essence arises at the right time, it is only myself that must rest into patience and acceptance. OST has helped me recognize the "right or opportune moment" when it is present, whenever it starts is the right time, when it's over, it's over. Listening for the wisdom emerging in the group, listening for what needs to be spoken has helped tune me into that passing instant when an opening appears, and the law of two feet, taking responsibility for what I love, drives me in with guided forcefulness.
"In The Interpretation of History, Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher made prominent use of the term. For him, the kairoi are those crises in history which create an opportunity for, and indeed demand, an existential decision by the human subject."
It is my sense that this is what so many of us Open Space facilitators are sniffing out. Our attention is awake and attuned to the aromas of crises in history which create an opportunity for, and indeed demand, an existential decision by the human subject. From my perception so many of you not only acknowledge and honor these moments but at the same time, open and hold the space for as many individuals as possible to rise to this occasion. You open space, creating a container within which people are ready and listening, and at the right and opportune moment they gracefully embody and move forth with their existential decision.

I give thanks for each of you and for the living entity of Open Space, sharing its gifts with the world.