The Art Of Spaciousness – A reflective journey through the phenomenon of political power. (version 1.5)
In this dissertation, I explore the possible effects of combining a reflective development practice (the “Art of the Invisible”) with political activism (the “Art of the Impossible”). My own journey in bridging these two fields is described to illustrate how, when a practical wisdom is built from this encounter, a broader understanding of political life may emerge and become embodied – one which reverses a common sense in which “there is no empty space in politics”.
Drawing on the legacy of Vaclav Havel and in dialogue with other reflective practitioners from both fields, I argue that politics can be faced as an open and fertile space for citizens to create their own ways to participate in the destinies of humankind, and to assume true responsibility and thus to nurture a deeper notion of belonging in the world. How is it possible to build another level of awareness, collectively, in the realm of political action?
My own participation in a new-born political party and a community of political practice are brought forth to demonstrate how this understanding can be held with a phenomenological quality of thinking, from which another way of seeing the world and ourselves, in practice is to be found: from a deeper encounter with our experiences, political practitioners may embody the virtues and attitudes of a radically different political practice.
One combination of the two fields of practice is suggested in the holding of formative spaces, in which political practitioners may gain abilities that enables them to embrace the paradoxical aspects of the political realm, and thus to collapse the seemingly unavoidable split between theory and practice that diminishes their authenticity and conviction. When a delicate kind of power is found, an ever-renewed sense of spaciousness emerges, from which a radically open, horizontal and meaningful way of participating in the broader destiny of humankind takes place.