Roma is full of illusions.
Some of them are optical.
Perhaps the largest and most famous optical illusion is in Piazza San Pietro, where if you stand at a particular point, the 4 rows of Bernini’s colonnade line up as if to appear only as one. It is only at this precise point... a few steps in any direction and you won’t get the same effect.
It leads you to wonder...perhaps we could see them as pillars of our own life (health, relationships, work, spirituality, learning...) and maybe everything is aligned, everything is happening perfectly; we just have to be in the right position to perceive it as such. Or it may trigger us to think that maybe nothing ever is in alignment and we are fooling ourselves to believe otherwise. We may muse that if we get to that point where everything is in alignment, we will find ourselves non-plussed, restless to move on or perhaps urged on by an external force.
Illusions, delusions, collusions – all have their etymological root in the Latin word ludere, to play. We can be swept up by them. They can serve us in many ways; helping us to be creative, develop new hypotheses and ideas and can provide comfort, hope, distraction, safety and escape. And they can also be our undoing.
In working with clients, Organisational Development consultant Peter Hawkins encourages us to question ourselves regularly as to whether we know our areas of illusion, delusion and collusion. In the world of consultancy, this could be where you have wrongly perceived that an approach for one group or region can be rolled-out to another; you may have deluded yourself about your firm’s ability and capacity to undertake a particular piece of work; or you may have found yourself agreeing with your client’s illusions and delusions and avoiding challenging them only for fear of losing the account.
What are your areas of illusion, delusion and collusion?
It is indeed a useful question to ask whatever work we do.
And it is, of course, a pertinent question in our personal lives.
Photo: own image
Extract from www.quoteland.com: by David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order and Creativity
Question from Peter Hawkins, Coaching Supervision Course at Lane4 (2009). Hawkins, P. and Smith, N (2006) Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consultancy: Supervision and Development, The Editors and Contributors