The fifth portal of Insight is Atmosphere.
In Visionmaking, atmosphere is seen as the resonant field created by emotion, both expressed and unexpressed. It is the surrounding or pervading mood, environment or influence, the emotional tone, the character of a place.
Many of us are familiar with the experience of warmth and security when we enter a family home; high tension on entering a place of conflict or turmoil; peace and serenity in nature or in a place of worship. These are all experiences of atmosphere.
Atmosphere has four expressions: affect, mood, attitude and ambiance.
Affect is personal atmosphere. It is our personal emotional state. As such, Visionmakers pay close attention to affect to ensure that it is contained, meaning that his or her feelings do not impair discernment or the ability to take action.
Mood is the atmosphere that surrounds another individual. Mood provides important clues about the emotional state, needs and potential actions of others. We track each other's moods daily to gather social clues about how to best interact.
Attitude is the atmosphere of groups of people. It is the collective decision, conscious or unconscious, expressed or unexpressed, that a group has formed about their experience. When the decision is positive, the attitude of a group is filled with high spirits. When the attitude is negative, the atmosphere is lethargic, conflicted and struggling.
Ambiance is the spirit of place. It includes both the residual emotions that have remained as an emotional history or record and the indigenous energy of the place itself. The Greeks called this genus loci.
Visionmakers pay close attention to Atmosphere and its four expressions. They recognize the importance of tracking emotions, expressed and unexpressed, and the resonant field that they create.
Emotions leave a mark on people, places and things. And strong feeling emit a scent. Like a connoisseur, a Visionmaker develops a good nose. Insight can be gathered from these signs.
© Patrick O’Neill 2008. All rights reserved.