For centuries, people have gathered in temples with one common purpose. For the most part, these structures were reserved for religious or spiritual activities such as prayer. And, although such gatherings continue well into our time, I am particularly interested in the type of gathering that has nothing to do with worship of a specific kind, and more to do with creating abundance through the sharing of one’s talents, experience, knowledge, and wisdom for the purpose of serving one another. Isn’t it true that two minds are better than one, more hands serve more people, and that diversity of experiences and knowledge around an executive table lead to better ideas?
As I contemplate this question for myself, I am reminded of Plato’s Symposium1, where Aristophanes shares a speech in the form of a myth about the nature of love. He describes how humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. As they were powerful and at times unruly, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other half. And when this other half would be found, the two would come together in an embrace that denoted a restoration to wholeness again.
The idea that we are more when we are together is quite provocative especially when so much of our world today has us thinking in terms of scarcity- there is not enough to give everyone a bonus, there is only one executive position, there is only one seat on the council, there is only one parking space left, there is only one office with a window, and so on, and so forth. Scarcity thinking gives rise to fear, which leads to a protective stance against colleagues and friends. And, where fear lives, no gathering is possible because there is no love.
« Who are you gathering with? » asks you to notice whether you stand alone in scarcity or with others in abundance. In the next blog on Radical Generosity, our Guest Client Blogger Bhaskar Goswami gently pushes us to consider how we can become really good at noticing what is real, which has nothing to do with what we accumulate in terms of possession. The invitation to practice radical generosity so that we can create temples of re-generativity, with many serving many is the core of his message.
Note 1: Plato, The Symposium, trans. by Christopher Gill. London: Penguin, 2003. ISBN 0-14-044927-2.