We Are Indebted to Ourselves

by Maria Scordialos on August 6, 2011

This week – Sarah, Anthi and I had a sacred conversation – one of those conversations that cracks the ribcage open and goes straight to the ‘heart of the matter’ – “no messin’”, as my friend Charlotte says with her Scottish accent.  It was also a conversation that converged many inquiries I have been having with a good friend and learning partner, Mark Siebert. Anthi, Sarah and I were inquiring into what is really happening to this land – and we were listening into how to best serve.  We knew that we had to descend – to deep dive to hear and see more.

We dropped below our rage of Syntagma Square being cleaned of people, tents and community – and being ‘grassed over’ (literally – the Athens Demos/Council – has laid new lawn in the square, so that we look ‘neat and tidy’ for our tourists and visitors) – we dropped below our despair of knowing our land and beloved Aegean is for sale, (well someone has to help the money to keep going round so that the dying system that is already on a life support machine can pretend it has a pulse – never mind if another land and people lose their dignity and are destroyed – like the lands and people of Africa, Middle East, Asia, South and Central America – not to mention the lands and people of First Nations and Native or Indigenous people in Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand – OK lets face it – the whole earth!!) we dropped below our pain of being viewed as lazy, corrupt and deserving of the government and political leadership that has continuously sold us into debt (it is not the first time, folks) and stolen from public funds since it was declared a modern state.  We descended until we hit the bedrock – the power field of this place!

There is something about this Region – it is an Edge place, where things have been edgy for some time and especially recently.  It is the Region that spans the edge of Africa (North Africa), edge of Europe (South Europe), edge of the space between Europe and Asia (Middle East), edge between Europe and Middle East (South East Europe).  Then more specifically, this archipelagos known as Hellas – with the Aegean Sea and its thousands of islands – down to the Mediterranean Sea is the intersecting point of all these edges.  So it is the Edge where many edges meet.  And as we know from nature and science – edges – where two ecologies meet – is where most life happens.  Why – because when ecologies meet the diversity generates the necessary disturbance for new life to emerge.

As we talked, we began to feel and hear that what is really happening on this land, (and in the region) is a form of ‘whistle blowing’ – a shedding of light on truth – a waking up from a deep and long sleep.  It is so loud – that the waking up is not isolated – but sending vibrations right round the world – to match the quakes and tsunami that sent waves from the east – Japan and New Zealand.  What is the whistle, blowing open – what is coming into the light – a form of power and authority that is completely discredited and is, in fact, anathema to our current system of power.  A power that if really released and embodied– has the potential to radically (from the roots up) transform our current system systemically.  What is this power?  Autonomy – a word that wraps together self (who we are – and not to be mistaken with individual) with governance, regulation, organisation (if we used the Greek word – organismos – it means organism – living system).  Who we are includes many things, but essentially we cannot have a self unless we love deeply and participate and engage in the making of it.  So autonomy is the essential practice of participating in the making of life – it is the essential practice of real democracy.

This autonomy is the trademark of this land and this Region as it is known for being the birthplace of democracy – and the Region being the cradle of civilisation and all the monotheistic religions.  This practice has held its own – even through successive empires, oppressions and even our own dictatorship of the Junta in the 60’s.  It is in the DNA of the land – and its people.

We began to wonder if the bedrock of the ‘power field of this place’ is autonomy? Have the rocks, soil, trees, Aegean sea etc. of the land kept this deeper resonance of ‘self making’ pure? And is this the resonance that has recently been re-awoken in people as they gathered in Syntagma and other Squares across the country and the Region, (and is this what the Athens Demos is hoping to grass over?)?  They may look like protests – but are they actually portals instead – moving us to remember that we know how to self make our lives?

These questions were like touching a nerve.  We shot upright into a big YES!  And then we had to ask ourselves – but how can we serve?  This led us to asking what will strengthen the journey of remembrance to autonomy? Our dear ancestors came through Anthi.  They reminded us of the ancient Hellenic perspective to life – life is a journey to learn – not to make, do, sell, use or consume – to learn through journeying. Real Life – real living – can only be through self-making, being autonomous, learning and journeying – anything else is artificial, because you put on what is expected, directed, controlled.  So are we not mainly living artificial lives, even though we love our comfort and technological advances – and is the macro level learning journey we are on as a humanity, making our way home to real living?

We smiled at each other for it is learning that brought us together in the first place – Anthi through her own learning journey with Society of Organizational Learning (SoL) and Peter Senge – and Sarah and I through our own journey of co-initiating the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations and also the Living Wholeness pattern, sourced through the land of Axladitsa Avatakia and with Vanessa Reid.  We realised that all these years we have been preparing by learning ourselves and creating learning spaces where people can come to connect for short periods to Real Life – art of hosting trainings, SoL events, Immersion at Axladtisa.

And this has now set us on the course of the next leg of our journey – to create spaces, places, learning journeys where people of this land and this Region can meet – to remember our autonomy and continue to self make our lives.  Who says we are in debt – no we are indebted to ourselves!

Photos by Sarah Whiteley