The thin life

Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.*
(John O’Donohue)

In life, the challenge is not so much to figure out how to play the game; the challenge is to figure out what game we’re playing.**
(Kwame Anthony Apihh)

In a short TV series on the development of children, researchers explore the idea of there being three basic personality types – excitable, calm and timid – how this is set for the rest of our lives.

Of course, his doesn’t say nearly as much as we need it to.  We live as swirling, changing worlds within a swirling, changing world.  Increasingly, we’re understanding that our environments can change us, even transform us.  These become the thin places for our lives.  In this way we understand our lives to be thin, not in terms of lightness or shallowness, but open to the more-just-beyond.

This isn’t to say that we’re more likely to be excitable, calm or timid, but being honest about who we are is the place we have to begin when exploring who we can become.

Graham Leicester and Bill Sharpe describe Three Horizons Thinking for transforming education, identifying three voices:

‘The voice of Horizon One is the voice of the manager. […] The voice of Horizon Two is the voice of the entrepreneur. […]  The voice of Horizon Three is the voice of the visionary.‘^

These three voices exist in each of us, too.

Horizon One is where we are at the moment; it’s usually not working but it’s all we have.  Horizon Three is the future possibility, the things we dream of, where things are most thin.  Horizon Two is the transition between these, how we invent ways of moving from here to there.

(*From John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us: For Presence.)
(**From Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together.)
(^From Graham Leicester and Bill Sharpe’s Transforming Higher Education.)

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