The Art of Hosting

It started with musings and an invitation by Tenneson: (March 2011)



With welcome of the ideas it stirs for you and your imaginings of who we are in these times.

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Reply by Brigitte Kufer:

Hi Tenneson,

Thanks for opening this public learning space and your invitation to reflect.
While reading your blog and especially the last sentence: "The sciences of these times make me feel a bit crazy. But then so do the old scripts." ,  Goethe's words, from about 250 years ago, came to my mind: "We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds ; our planet is the mental institution of the universe."
I remember when I first read this quite a while ago, that I felt kind of comforted by this quote and not so alone in my despair about the insanity I observed, seeing how we humans have been continuously creating systems which alienate us from nature and each other.
Yes, I believe we do have to enter this space of feeling a bit crazy when we step out of the insanity of surrounding life-alienating memes and processes and to step into our life-affirming zones of radical knowing. The New Sciences might help us a little bit on the way (my favourite is "Interpersonal Neurobiology"), but ultimately we will have to face the unknown without the safety net of any acknowledged science when we through our practices move towards the communal science of the heart.
Mentioning "Radical Knowing" lead me to take Christian de Quincey's book out of the shelf again. The central thesis there is: first, that consciousness is fundamentally relational (the nature of consciousness is, ultimately communion); and, second, that to explore and understand consciousness we need to be open to radically different ways of knowing beyond reason and the senses. 
Denying our relational nature and interdependence has been making us crazy. Now we have to be crazy enough to leave the safety of the old story.
In De Quincey's words " this  "new story" we emerge as subjects from intricate networks of interrelatedness, from webs of intersubjectivity. This paradigm of consciousness tells us that intersubjectivity is primary, and our sense of individual subjectivity is a transient pattern in a much vaster ocean of reality. We are fleeting vortices, dancing whorls of consciousness and energy, in the Great Play of Being. In a very literal sense: We are the world. We are the way the world shows up - uniquely and meaningfully here and now, at this time and place where we experience ourselves to be. That's why each and every one of us is precious. The world could not be complete without us.
While we have not met personally, our words meet in the "web of intersubjectivity" and "imagineer" a part of the new worldssss for ourselvessss.

Reply by Michelle Murton:

Thank you for this post, Tenneson.

I am taking a quantum leap—having lurked and learned from so many of you on this listserve, I am finally going to begin creating my new world by responding.
Quantum Physics. Crazy and dizzy and exciting, indeed! However, I am past my intense jnana stage (Sanskrit: seeker of wisdom and understanding) of trying to understand with my mind. I am happy to remain in the mystery, ripe with possibility. Now I am in a phase of trying to feel my way through with my heart.

What feels familiar in your words is the power of intention. When we invite others (and ourselves) to imagine what is possible (what we want, love) in as much detail as possible—so that we can see, feel , smell, taste and hold it, as if it is already here, we make it real. We create a new reality and enter a new world. So too, when we invite others to join in co-creating something that “does not yet exist” by calling it forth into “it does exist” through our collective intention, we have created a new reality, new world. Or perhaps, we collectively have shifted worlds. Or perhaps we have joined others who have this intention.
I love this sweet and powerful mystery! I look forward to feeling out more of it!
Michelle Murton

Reply by Susan Cerato:

Yes, sync with this.  I made my leap of faith...following my heart's knowing...and moved a 17 hour drive west of what has been home...returning to the land that was my father's and my grandfather's to caregive...and now I am the One.  There is much to be done....its having been entrusted to others for a while...but, if it results in nothing more than my have spent a summer with my hands deep into the soil and a very large garden's worth of food will have been good work.  Beyond that, my intention for the space would be that it become a gathering and learning center.  That is firmly held in my heart...


A link from Helen Titchen Beeth:


Thank you for posting this. I feel you are exactly right about the power of intention. 
Here's another perspective on it: Aquarian conversations: The power of Intention

Reply by Maurice Stevens:


Thanks for sharing this. I've been nudging these kinds of wonderings along with AofH practices into classroom spaces of various kinds with undergraduate and graduate students, and I continue to be excited and presently optimistic by the way these students catch fire with the possibilities. When we get to that point where I can say, 'ok, now that we've determined and shown one another what we know, let's show ourselves what we don't know!', I find such bubbling excitement and engagement. Even among these 'high achievers' in academic settings who have had just the opposite rewarded again and again. We get to share such delight and energy when we find we are able to link our passions to the ways of knowing they bring and that they find emerging from our learning communities. It's being lots of fun. It's also being connective. That is, the students are connecting with one another in ways they say are completely new for them in classes. They are also connecting with communities outside the classroom, and connecting with knowing in multiple ways (and having that knowing be respected and assumed to possess its own 'rigor').

I have it be so important, that we encounter intersubjectivity in experiential relation with, that the sense of seeking and not knowing and knowing is always in formation. I have it be, that it is emergent among.

And, the part of me that is most comfortable when presented with 'clear' and 'specific' 'knowledge,' still struggles to value sentences like the one I just wrote! HA! I'll trust that I'm getting it across, until it comes back changed and questioned...

all the best,


More from Helen Titchen Beeth, on not knowing:

What a beautiful story, Maurice!
My own children are still at school, but I notice how liberating 'I don't know' is for them - and the message that it's OK not to know! In another context, it has been given to me to understand that not knowing is sacred: 
"There is no part that knows the whole. There is nothing omniscient in the Kosmos. What keeps the universe expanding from each point in it is the search for knowing. The outcome of this search is not 'more knowledge' but 'more relationship' – greater embrace and interpenetration between the parts of the whole.

It is not knowledge that is sacred, but the deliberate embrace of not-knowing, the opening up to the thirst for intimacy with more of God's creation. God's creation is God surrendering up every part to not knowing and setting out on the eternal adventure of exploration, encounter and discovery of the manifold forms of being.

Beholding the mystery of all that cannot be known but through experience, we are suffused with aliveness that is too great to contain. Surrendering to the wonder of it all, overcome by the delight of each fresh encounter, radiance is born."


An offer from Ursula Hillbrand:

Dear all,
I love this thread! thanks for sharing your stories.
I do see some synchronicity here, as I just started a group on our Ning community on hosting with the subtle worlds...   where I described my experience of something non human collaborating with us, inspiring us, making things possible in a hosted meeting at the European Commission last year. And it keeps happening!
For the moment I am in an oberving space, trying not to analyse, just accept the loving radiance that so often occurs in our gatherings. The gratefulness and humility of people, the innovative sparks that seem to jump out of nowwhere, and yet somewhere...the fear being, that often lingers around in the beginning of meetings in a new group before trust is being establised, it just crumbles away after a while and even dissolves completely. We seem like being kissed by Grace..
To share these stories was my call when opening the group. So maybe you want to capture some of it there..
Much love and gratitude for being in this work with you,

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