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Understanding Aisling Arann
by Dara Molloy

If you try to put all the numbers there are, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6..., into a box, you will fail. Just when you have them all in and are about to close the box, you will find another number! Aisling Árann is a bit like that. Its logo is a spiral, and a spiral opens out into infinity, just like the natural numbers. Aisling Árann cannot be boxed or defined. Nor can it, therefore, be controlled! Nonetheless, it would be nice if we could have more clarity about what it is and is not. The problem is that it means different things to different people! Some associate Aisling Árann with a group of people living on Aran. But members of this group say they are not Aisling Árann, as such - that Aisling Árann is a much wider network of people from all over. Now, if we say that Aisling Árann is a network, then we are suggesting that it is like a web with no centre, no organisational structure, and no hierarchy of authority. In a network, everybody is equal, and everybody is a centre of power and light. Aisling Árann Teoranta is a legally registered company. It has articles of association, directors, and financial accounts. It has money and property. Whatever about being a network, Aisling Árann is definitely an organisation.
So now we have Aisling Árann as a network and an organisation. Is it anything else? Yes! The subtitle given to Aisling Árann when it was first set up was "The Aran Project". Aisling Árann is a project. As a project, it has clear aims and objectives. Finally, we can say that Aisling Árann is a vision or dream. It is the vision or dream that brought people together on Inis Mór, to live a life rooted in the Celtic, in right relationship, and working for transformation. These four ways of looking at Aisling Árann can lead to confusion, or to insight. I prefer the latter! It so happens that the four ways of seeing Aisling Árann match the four functions of the human psyche, as named by Carl Jung. Jung identifies four essential types of people. Each type views the world from a different perspective.