Monday, May 23, 2005

Bees and Open Space?

I was walking in the garden today, thinking about some deep and difficult things and once again noticed the bees. There seem to have been lots of bees around lately. Or is it just that there have been lots of bees around me lately. Anyway they seem to be buzzing incessantly wherever I am these days.

So today, I took some time to slow down and watch them and wonder about what I might learn from them.

The hive has been getting bad press these days. Seen as mechanistic, rigid, and suffocating to all we hold near and dear about human nature. I saw something different today.

I saw individuals each carrying the responsibility for the care and feeding of the hive. I saw unique, creative, adaptive, responsive flights--each as individual as the bee who flew it. I saw each bee share its discoveries (in dance) with its hive mates. I saw some bees respond to the dance and join the dancer in its knowing until the resource was consumed. I saw other bees continuing with their own explorations...returning again to an unceasing, reiterative flow. I saw a way of being in the world that had been successful for at least an hundred million years.

Wondered if we adopted a human version of bee behaviour, what would it look like? Each individual, as he/she reached maturity, took on responsibility for the care and feeding of his/her community. Each individual pursued her/his own quest and returned regularly to the community circle to share in song and dance and art and oral story what she/he had discovered. Some individuals joined together to further explore the discovery until all were satisfied it had been thoroughly understood. Other individuals continued with their own quests, coming back each evening to share and learn together.

Each unique being necessary, each valued for her/his contribution. Sounds interesting...

Then I found an interesting article studying bees and the evolution of rationality. Seems like we're not so different after all...

The link to this and Open Space may not be immediately apparent. But in order to live with this kind of deep co-operation, flow and connection, a practice like Open Space is necessary to bring us out of juvenility and into true mature freedom.

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