Jan Jacob Stam
Is mede-eigenaar van en opleider bij het Bert Hellinger instituut Nederland.Profiel
Being defined by others
Jerusalem, June 2019
Exploring the four quarters in the center of Jerusalem, we start to understand that people here developed a very fine sense for who yóu are. They scan you: to which religion do you belong; to which ethnic group do you belong; are you living here a long time or are you a new-comer? In other words: who you are is defined by others and not by yourself.
In order to explore dynamics in this city we talk to people, go into buildings, make ourselves a radar to catch up the signals of what this country is trying to tell us.
We, is our five person systemic peer group, already existing for eighteen years and meeting twice a year for systemic explorations in a interesting area of the world.
The Armenian quarter seems to be pretty closed. Reminders not to forget the genocide of 1915-1917 are everywhere. We sneak into a church, neglecting the sign ‘private meeting’ at the entrance. This brings us into a discussion with Armenians. We try to explain that we do not want to intrude, but want to understand. Then I test the sentence that came to me in Taipei: ‘The only chance we have as human beings is the willingness to understand other people. Even if this is very hard to do’. The Armenian man agrees, and the discussion shifts more into an exchange of understanding. Even though the Armenian man states: ‘…but please respect our signs’. Of course we promise to do so.
Walking on the area of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem our Dutch guide tells us that a mosque is a place to step out of daily life for a moment. Of course it is a place to deepen your relationship with God. But also a place to think free and to think abstract. For that reason mathematics have been developed originally so much in the Islam area.
And I have to confess: walking in the area of this mosque, maybe the most ‘wanted’ square half mile in the world, despite the guards and the request to wear a dress, I feel really free in my thinking and in my being. There is an atmosphere of clarity here. Even while I’m aware that this clarity can also be leading to exclusion.
How was I confronted with my prejudices, being in Israel, in Brazil, in China!
How cleansing it is to dive under the surface in these cultures!
Systemic Constellations are like a universal language.
Systemic principles provide us with the tools and inner state to open up for what is so different and seemingly hostile. May this work provide us with ways into a better understanding of other people.
June 28, Jaraguá, Brazil
Jan Jacob Stam
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