An image that has provided rich insights to me is the image of the chambered nautilus. I realize that I draw on concrete images to provide a model to represent abstract and dynamic processes.
The chambered nautilus provinces such an image. As I look at this amazing creature I see an organism that carries its present and history on its back. Each of the chambers in the shell on its back are chambers in which the little fellow once lived. Each of these chambers contain varying amounts of gas that provide support and buoyancy to the natulilus as it wanders the sea floor. I think of these chambers as places that at one time were large enough to provide shelter, home and protection to the nautilus but now the nautilus lives in a much larger chamber. I imagine that each chamber remains important to the natilus throughout life as a source of remembrances of important life lessons learned in the various stages of life. The space that was completely sufficient at one stage of life becomes too small, limiting and cramped for the next stage. Life is always moving forward to ever expanding spaces. JD Phillips wrote a book with the title Your God is too Small. God and the life that God has created is always larger than we can comprehend. New Life is a continual process of moving into larger and more inclusive spaces of ourselves, each other and the creation itself. Someone has said that organizations are either growing or dying. This is true of individuals as well. Ideally as we move through transitions in life we are constantly transforming. As we transform we are able to appreciate more and more of life. This transformation “makes space” for more of ourselves and others. It has been my experience that isolation, fear, secretive living, defensiveness and the like stunt transformation and keep us stuck in the smaller chambers of life. In a sense we need to be open to grow beyond ourselves to become ourselves.