Relating relationships

Nicholas C. Westbury posted a question in Systems Thinking Network. What is your perspective on ‘relationships’ ?

As a facilitative facilitator, I was drawn to this question. Here is my reply (with some comments between { [and even highlights] }):

300px-DrawingHandsAre you familiar with the drawing by Escher of the hands drawing each other?

{Of course, the picture illustrates a paradox, an illusion. These are not “drawing hands”, but a picture of “drawing hands”. And hands cannot draw each other. Or do they? Furthermore it is a picture within a picture.}

That’s my perspective on relationships: I’m in the process of both drawing something which is drawing me. When I/you relate to something, I/you create (“shape”, or ship) in the same movement, a relationship with my/yourself. So I’m also “drawn” and “drawing” and “being drawn” in the process of drawing. And in doing so, there emerges a (fourth) “thing” I can call “meaning”. In Dutch, the word “drawing” (tekenen) is the same word as “meaning” (betekenis).

{You see [ (:-) ] , I’m drawing – with words – a picture here of both “I” and “U”. Of course, it is a picture of “U” and not you (dear reader). Yet, as you’re reading this – you are relating, creating relationships – you create a picture of “U 2”, and “I” and “U and I”. So you’re both hands too. For practical purposes, we’re not aware of this double interact – off course.

Yet, this “unawareness” is – in my opinion – the source of our (systemic) problems. For instance, the situation with the refugees at the “border” of U-rope has its roots in our “unawareness” of the fact [a word that also means “to create”] that I (relate to) am drawing U and U are drawing (relate to) I. “there are no others, only human beings“. Drawings within drawings, pictures within pictures.}

Meaning, in my opinion, is an emergent quality of relationships. Or, to put it differently, what is being created (“shaped”) emerges from the relationship it-self. So a relationship is also self-referring. Please note the use of “to make” (the Latin facere) and again (“re”) {yes, fact again}. Relationships also recreate “me” {or should this have been “I”?}. We have been trained to ignore, that every relation contains a creator. And this “creator” has to be both “U” and “universal”.

{so from this, it is easy to see how a universal creating [a being I can call creator or g’d or the great drawing drawer [yes, Spinoza’s God. As this being coincides with the meaning and therefor the meaning of life, it explains why it has been written “in the beginning there was logos” (words)”]} is being (re)created from every relationship AND that this creating creates both “I” and “U”. There exists nothing outside creative relationships [facilitating facilitators, pun intended]. I’ve also hinted at a fact [created by me and “I”], that this universe should always be fourfold and that the fourth element – meaning, or fire – cannot exist without the other three [“I”,”U” and US (U and I)], both destroying and recreating “this” full stop.}

About Jan Lelie

Met diversiteit kom je verder, wanneer je elkaar beter begrijpt.  Jan Lelie kan helpen. Ik faciliteer besluitvorming met behulp van mijn mind@work methode. Sommigen noemen het agile, anderen lean of serious play. Het zit er allemaal in. Daarnaast geef ik workshops en master classes aan professionals die zelf beter willen faciliteren.
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