Fears and Desires

It is Man’s fears and desires which permit him to allow his Personality Consciousness to control him. If these can be reduced Man has a better chance of listening to the voice of his Inner Self. It is important to understand that the fears and desires which stifle the growth of Man are of his own creation, his own thoughts. It is as if there were a whole army of fears and desires which have grown out of our society and culture which block our growth.

The media, the newspapers, TV, etc. are not to blame for they are a reflection of our consciousness. They will change as we change our consumption of them. They do provide a window to our Personality Consciousness. It is like a nightmare. The media are quite often stimulating our desire or greed, fanning our fears, or providing an outlet to vent our anger and frustration.

It is not suggested that Man should deny his physical self. If he does so he will tend to deny all physical reality, deny its tensions and its joys, and remove the stimulus for his own growth. Rather it is suggested that he recognize these fears and desires and make conscious choices for those which are valid to him.

What are the fears which control Man? His physical survival fear is only one of many. Anything which could challenge his identity, the security of his relationships and beliefs, or the realization of his desires or wants can be seen as a threat.

These fears and desires are not in the here and now. They are in another time and place in our lives. We can do nothing about them but be controlled by them at the point of creative action. The list is endless. We only need to look at our own thoughts and the reflection in the media of the thoughts of others to seethe extent of the army of fears and desires.

It is a difficult task to challenge the validity of our own fears or desires; to open ourselves up to the possibility that many of them are a product of our conditioning. This is particularly so when our fellowmen and the media continually remind us of the potential happiness in things and that many of our fears are not fantasies but real in an imperfect- world.

To deny that our fears and desires are real can be seen as a sign of surrender to our Personality Consciousness and to those from whom we have traditionally received approval. To not need to fear disasters or to possess things can be seen as a denial of the opportunities of life to those who see no other purpose.

Let us look at an analogy. Our store of grain in our barn is our survival assurance. No matter how much grain we have in our barn we can have our fears. Maybe the harvest will fail for many years in a row; maybe we will be robbed; maybe a fire will destroy the grain; maybe, maybe, maybe; or desires, perhaps if I had two barns, or four; maybe, maybe.

The world of our fears and our desires. If we could only trust our neighbor, there would still be plenty if one person lost his grain store. If we could be sure of our love from our neighbor and ours for him, many of our fears could dissolve away. Man wastes much of his energy competing for financial security for himself rather than combining his energy in cooperative actions which will ensure security for all. In our society our assets are our grain store. They are the potential energy of the planet. Our self interest and greed lead us to consume them and our fears lead us to hoard them and they are unavailable for creative use.

We have ho certainty that our fears are real or that our desires will not be realized. We are responsible for our own attitude to our survival belief. By taking positive steps so that our fears and desires do not control us we are taking steps in consciousness. Steps which will provide a foundation for our own growth.

The Prison of the Material World

Man has the instinct to survive and to ensure the survival of the species by procreation. His purpose has been to satisfy this instinct. His intellect has supported this purpose and the Personality Consciousness is the outcome of his experience, both taught and learned.

In our imperfect world Man’s Personality Consciousness has done its work well. Man has survived for millions of years, but why?  For the pursuit of happiness?  To leave a better world for hisdescendents to be happy in? Fine thoughts, but somehow this just doesn’t fulfill the answer to the question “what is the deeper purpose to life”. The answer is elusive to Man when guided solely by his Personality Consciousness so he gets about the business of survival.

In a particular society and a particular generation in which survival is threatened, i.e. depression, world wars, Man’s survival and procreation consciousness, his Personality Consciousness, takes control of his being. The search for wholeness, for expressions of the spirit and for a deeper purpose is set aside as Man directs his gifts, his energy, his thoughts, to survival. But even when survival is assured to a high degree his fears can continue to possess him and he drives for greater survival assurance, i.e. super survival. Then life is about survival, possession, competition, and not about wholeness or any deeper purpose.

Man believes greater assurance of survival will bring happiness. He looks to establish the outward signs of success in the survival stakes, i.e. material possessions, success in his work, respect from others. But with all this life is empty.

In this emptiness he turns to kicks, the smorgasbord of life. In these there must be meaning. He starts to take drugs, his own form, living a fantasy life, football, TV, movies. But there is only a short-lived high. He tries, he tries, he tries again but the answer is always the same. He walks out of the movie house into his own world, and it is empty of deeper meaning. He perceives the prison of the material world, always tempting, always empty. He cannot understand. His Personality Consciousness controls him and it has no answers.

It is in recognizing this emptiness, accepting that his escape into fantasy is not an answer, and viewing the destruction his greed for super survival has had on his environment that he can open himself to contemplating a reason for it all. He can only find the answer within himself, but he will not understand if his own being is drowned in self and fear. Only by recognizing the possibility of something different, entirely different than that which he has been striving for being of value for him, can he hope to find it and recognize it.

The Identity of Man

Death, what is death. One way of expressing it is the point of separation of the spiritual essence of Man from the physical body. In facing up to his inner beliefs on death, Man can open himself up to the possibility that he is both a physical being and a spiritual essence which can express itself through the physical body.

Let us consider that Man’s identity consists of both a Physical Self and the spiritual essence or Inner Self. Life provides the opportunity for the two parts to dance as one. This happens when in the creative moments of life our Physical Self is an expression of our Inner Self. This is the state of wholeness.

The instinct of Man is to survive and to preserve his species. He has been endowed with the gift of intellect. He sees his survival related

to that of his community and his beliefs. Through education and experience Man assumes the mental consciousness of his culture and particular community. I call this consciousness the Personality Consciousness. It has two parts. One which is known to the individual and one which is suppressed or unknown. The Personality Consciousness enables the individual to adapt himself to changes in his environment and to adapt his environment so he can avoid disasters, survive better. However, he can choose to use his gift of intellect in selfish ways and to destroy his organic relationship with nature, and thus use his gift to bring about his own destruction.

But Man is more than his instinct and his intellect. He has intuition, a sense of a deeper purpose and reason beyond his reason. This intuition is the opening to the expression of the Inner Self. The consciousness of the Inner Self is the Intuitive Consciousness.

Thus the identity of Man which will be used in this talk has four major parts, the Physical Self, the Inner Self, the Personality Consciousness, and the Intuitive Consciousness. The collective term for all these parts is Man.

Introduction

I had a dream, a dream that man was not dead, but sleeping.My quest was to search for the key tohow he could awake. I found the key. The key to man’s awakening was his intuition.

This talk is about the process of awakening, awakening to what we really are, awakening to a deeper purpose of life. We are all at different stages of growth, different levels of consciousness and thus it is not possible to cover all the many different stages of man in one snapshot in his process of development. The Man who I refer to in this talk is representative of the group consciousness of Western man. Man at the point of awakening from his sleep. Some men are awake, others will sleep for a long time yet. But let us look together at Western man in the process of awakening.

This process of awakening is called by many names, accepting Christ, achieving Cosmic Consciousness, or Self Actualization. Many names for one journey. I’ll call it the Second Coming.

The Aspects of Man

It is of importance to get the definitions of the different aspects of man used in this book as clear as possible in one’s consciousness in order to assist you in gaining as clear an understanding as possible of the perception I offer of our nature and purpose. It may help to discuss these aspects of man defined here with others in order to clarify your own mental picture. Another way is to sit down with an empty sheet of paper, pencil and crayons and allow the force within you to draw images of the various aspects defined here and to represent these images in relationship to each other. Each person will perform this exercise in their own unique way. I have thus resisted drawing a picture in this book which although it may help some, will confuse others.

I believe it is particularly important to establish a personal picture of what aspect it is of our total being which is contemplating his deeper purpose. The description of the one who is contemplating which is consistent with the terms used in this book is that the contemplator is man. Man is homo sapiens. Man has a physical body and senses with which he experiences his environment. His thoughts gained from the experience of his senses are his Mental Consciousness and it is with this consciousness that you contemplate the following definitions. It is important to recognize that any definition in words is limited in its ability to convey a spiritual meaning. The real deeper meaning of these terms has to come from the enlightened consciousness of the reader.

Our society has generated many names to describe aspects of man’s nature. Many of these terms have different meanings to different people. I ask your indulgence to accept the following definitions of the aspects of man in order to help you understand the perspective I offer.

MAN — The name for a male or female human experiencing life on Planet Earth. Man is a Physical Self with a Mental Consciousness. Man is the reader of this book,

PHYSICAL SELF — The temporal form of man which senses and acts in the physical world.

MENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS — The consciousness of the Physical Self; the learned knowledge of man’s lifetime experience, a portion of which is remembered, a portion of which is forgotten. The Mental Consciousness changes as a result of man learning to become an expression of his Real Self.

FALSE MENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS — The portion of man’s Mental Consciousness which is not in harmony with the consciousness of his Real Self; sometimes referred to as the “innocent villain”.

REAL SELF — The aspect of man which is guiding man’s experience on Planet Earth and learning from his experience. The Real Self consists of the Soul which is eternal and its Intuitive Consciousness.

SOUL — The spiritual form of man which experiences and acts in the spiritual realm.

INTUITIVE CONSCIOUSNESS — The consciousness of the Real Self gained on its journey of experience. The Intuitive Consciousness changes as a result of the Real Self learning to become an expression of the Spirit.

FALSE INTUITIVE CONSCIOUSNESS — The portion of the Intuitive Consciousness which is not in harmony with the consciousness of the Spirit.

WHOLENESS — The state of being in which man’s actions, feelings, and thoughts are an expression of the Real Self. It is the state of being in which the Real Self expresses itself through man without distortion.

SPIRIT — The Spirit is more easily understood as a guiding force and movement rather than as a form. The Spirit can be perceived and experienced in the harmonious movement of man’s body, emotions, and mind. The true nature of man is to be a reflection of his Spirit; this is the state of being which man and his Real Self are learning to express.

ONENESS — The state in which man and his Real Self are pure expressions of the Divine Consciousness; the state of reflecting the presence of God.

DIVINE CONSCIOUSNESS — The will of God.

GOD — God cannot be explicitly defined in terms of the mental reality of man. Man has devised many definitions of an all-encompassing consciousness which gives meaning and purpose to his reality. God is seen by many as the spiritual source of all creation; by others as the love which guides men on to their true life purpose. All definitions of God are limiting. The closest men can get to knowing God is a feeling within their hearts.

In reading and understanding the text, it will be valuable to keep these definitions in mind. In particular, to understand that when the term man is used it is synonymous with Physical Self and when Real Self is used it is synonymous with Soul.

The need for defining two terms arises out of the desire to differentiate between man the human being who has a changing consciousness and the Physical Self the aspect of man within and through which the consciousness is expressed; similarly, to differentiate between the Real Self which has a changing consciousness and the Soul, the spiritual aspect of man within and through which the consciousness is expressed.

These definitions can be related to the story of the spiritual village in the following manner. Our real self with its intuitive consciousness decided to undertake a journey of experience and discovery on Earth. Our real self fell asleep and awoke as man. Man, through his senses, develops a mental consciousness and maintains a link to the intuitive consciousness of his real self through his feelings or inner voice.

The Real Self

The first section of this book is directed to conveying an understanding of my perspective of our spiritual identity and of a spiritual way of life lived in harmony with the direction of our individual spiritual source. This source which we can allow to guide our life I refer to as our Real Self.

A spiritual way of life is an experience. ft is as difficult to explain in written terms as it is to explain the taste of a fresh orange to someone who has never experienced eating one. Thus, in order to convey my understandings I will combine mental ideas with experiential stories. I ask you to take a first step towards understanding my perspective by slowly reading the following story using your active imagination to fill in the gaps that words cannot convey.

Imagine a close, loving family who grew up together in a warm, loving community. Their village is beautiful, without conflict, and their land bountiful. They share all that they have with each other and all are comfortable.

(I suggest you pause and reflect after each paragraph in this story.) .

The family, neighbors, and friends are all different but special people in each other’s lives. In their community they all know each other very well, and they know how and what each other thinks, and most of the time they are in agreement. When they think differently, they just accept what the other thinks.

Imagine this loving community is a spiritual village and the home of your Real Self.

Now sense that although all seems perfect in your village you ponder on the areas where your ideas differ from those of others in your village and you decide to leave your spiritual village on a journey of experience and discovery.

You prepare for your journey and decide to journey to Planet Earth; you know it is a place where you can learn but you also know that for a while you must leave the memory of your village and family behind.

Imagine you commit to the journey and you fall asleep in your spiritual village and awake with all memory of it gone.

Imagine you wake up as your Physical Self with all your experiential senses but with no memory of your Real Self. Imagine you find yourself in Western society today. Your mind is blank, no knowledge of your real world, of your home, your family, or your friends. You are helpless and at the mercy of the society you are in. You soon learn its ways in order to survive, but somehow, within you, lingers a memory of a different way, a memory of your real identity. You experience this lingering memory in your feelings, not in your mind.

You are initially confused between what you are told is right or wrong and what feels right or wrong. You experience your environment and try to learn for yourself. You start to recognize a connection between your feelings and your own inner sense of right and wrong. You do your best to learn by your experiences and gain skills to survive and serve in your new environment.

As you learn to follow the direction of your feelings and your intuition you start to learn understandings from their guidance. You learn to recognize which of the various ideas within society are consistent with your inner insights and which are not. You start to generate ideas of your own which you have not been taught, but which you know are consistent with the guidance of your feelings and intuition. Although at first you don’t realize it you find you are developing your own unique consciousness, parts of which are in tune with the society in which you live and parts of which are not. Your inner impulses help guide you to grow to become an expression of the consciousness of your Real Self, living in a society which is not your real home. You start to be aware of your own unique inner spiritual voice and aware of moments of conflict between its sense of direction and that of the mental consciousness you have gained on your life journey.

You grow to realize that the others are no different from you. They also come from villages like yours and have also lost their memories; in fact, some even come from your own village. You realize that everyone is in a different stage of remembering the consciousness of who they really are. You realize that even the selfish and angry people are just confused because they have learned the ways of the world and do not remember the consciousness of their Real Self.

You find that living in the world gives an opportunity to experience conflict between yourself and others. You are never sure when you are involved in conflict whether you are expressing truth or if the person you are in conflict with is doing so; but when you find ways to transcend this conflict and it feels good inside you know you are treading the path of your spirit. You realize that you chose this journey to learn more of the truth of God’s will. You realize that your Real Self has been guiding you through your feelings to gain the skills and experience it needs to learn on the chosen journey.

You realize that on earth you meet people from many other-spiritual villages. Some have learned aspects of God’s will which are not generally known within your own village. You find you are able to see the way of God’s truth as it is the one which brings joy and harmony on earth. As you learn and others learn, you help each other to build a world in which there is less self interest, conflict, and anger. It becomes a world closer to your real village and the real villages of others and closer to the expression of the will of God.

When you leave Earth and return to your own village you return with new understandings of God’s truth. You are able to share them, others are able to hear and accept, but there is no conflict in your spiritual village. You realize that without conflict and its resolution there is no way to learn God’s truth. You realize that the only way the other inhabitants of your spiritual village can really learn is to take the trip you have taken and experience its sorrows and its joys.

This imaginary journey provides a background to the more theoretical ideas of who and what we are which I believe can help us on our journey by giving us a mental picture of our complex nature. The theoretical understandings of the ideas and concepts which I offer in the next section are of little value in themselves. The experience of putting them into practice in the school of life is the way in which they can be of value.

A Personal Perception of Reality

I have carried a piece of paper in my wallet for over ten years. The paper has a number of questions listed on it. These questions have been the central questions in my life. During this ten-year period I have lived and worked in California, Switzerland, and North Wales. As I have experienced life’s journey I have searched for answers to these questions. The questions I have carried are:

..What is the true meaning of growth, awareness and harmony?

..What is man?

..What is the purpose of life?

..Is it really possible to help others, and if so, how?

..How do we live and work as individuals and communities such that we are in harmony with ourselves and others and still be a fully alive part of mankind struggling towards finding and fulfilling the purpose of life?

I had asked myself these questions at a point in my life’s journey at which I had achieved a satisfactory level of professional and material success and discovered for myself the empty satisfaction of my achievements. The search for answers to these questions seemed to attract me. I was concerned about the direction Western society was taking. Mankind seemed to be destroying the balance of nature and depleting natural resources in an irresponsible manner. I felt the pull towards understanding myself and my environment and I hoped that in so doing I could find a constructive way to contribute to the health of the society within which I lived.

Each of us has a unique personal perception of reality. This perception provides the framework of understanding upon which we base all our activities. To a large degree we affirm to each other a universal framework within which we co-create.

It is my belief that each step forward in human knowing has required a pioneering step forward from the universal framework of perception accepted by society to something different. Fundamental steps in the evolution of human perception of reality have required courage and faith, Such fundamental steps were pioneered by people such as Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein. Each of them contributed to today’s universal perception a radical new perspective. Each of their contributions was largely accepted in its own time by society because previous theories no longer satisfied current experiences.

My search for answers to my questions has led me to believe that mankind is at a threshold of another step in his perception of reality equally as challenging as any previous step. However this step is particularly threatening to the human psyche as it involves a new perception of our personal identity. It involves a perception of ourselves not separate from but rather as a part of a wider environment. Pioneers of this step from whose ideas I have gained much nourishment, include Jesus of Nazareth, Teilhard de Chardin, and Carl Jung, and of course many, many more.

Each of us must take our own individual steps in consciousness. It is our individual choice if we choose to continue to interpret our experiences from a fixed perception of reality or whether we are willing to modify our perception of reality based on our experiences. I believe that man’s urge to understand himself and his environment will continually provide new knowledge and that the weight of these experiences and knowledge will create the need to revise many areas of our perception of reality. I started the journey to answer my questions because I felt that the answers provided to me by different sections of society seemed inconsistent with my experiences. I felt the need to arrive at answers which satisfied me as I somehow felt that I needed a firmer framework of understanding on which to base my life. I believe that in fundamental terms the perception of reality which resulted from my search is consistent with that of the Christian church, however I have found it necessary to experience and interpret my own faith in order to make it real for me.

When I look back on my journey of exploration I can see a zigzag path through mountains and valleys and I can observe many plateaus of consciousness where I rested before risking moving on to seek further. I now find myself on a wide fertile plain. It seems a fine place to live a while; it is a perspective of reality which I feel pulled to share with others in the hope that it can provide them with some nourishment on their journey.

This book is one method by which I have chosen to share my perception. The book has two sections; the first covers the nature of man and his purpose. The second consists of a series of thoughts and beliefs which I have generated along the journey. It is my belief that the key to man’s search for identity, value, and purpose lies not in achieving a goal but in reaching a state of being on his journey. I am offering the ideas in this book in the belief that man’s search for meaning will be enhanced by the sincere sharing of our inner thoughts and beliefs with each other. The ideas presented are offered with the conviction of faith not as a challenge to the validity of other ideas but as a gift to those who find them of value.

I realize that no state in nature is permanent. However I am encouraged that this place I share in consciousness is somewhere that has value as it has helped me obtain a few glimpses of the peace which passes understanding.

The Oppressive Educational System

Advanced Psychology Research Center inTiburon

As a result of a tragic event at a Denver school where two teenagers killed 13 people and themselves, the nation’s attention has been focused on factors influencing depression, anger and violence particularly by male teenagers.

I have read in the newspaper and heard on radio and TV many debates about the problem and its solutions.  I have heard far less discussion about the root cause of the problem and a search for its solution.  Yes, there has been a recognition that students who are lower performers, not athletic and who are bullied by their schoolmates are more likely to suffer depression, anger and to react violently.  I suggest that the search for the root of the problem has not been exhaustive and that this search will find that the roots of the problem lay in our culture and our views about how to conduct ourselves in the workplace and in the schools that help prepare students for the workplace.

John Cleese has suggested that 90% of business organizations manage predominantly by fear, ie: there are consequences that threaten a person’s security and well-being if they do not act consistent with the organization’s expectations and culture.  My personal experience in the workplace and the research that I have undertaken over the past ten years have convinced me that we have got it wrong.  We have designed an autocratic and mechanistic workplace that has been successful in achieving material goals and blatantly unsuccessful in creating a quality of life in the workplace, an opportunity for people to work with joy.

W. Edwards Demming stresses that the underlying objective of his philosophy outlined by his fourteen points is to provide an opportunity for people to work with joy. The inference is that this is not the case. A parallel exists in the educational system, our children are not learning with joy or in many cases are teachers instructing with joy.  Rather, we have adopted a structured and uncreative approach in which we teach our children to memorize facts rather than facilitate their ability to explore, discover and learn.

I suggest that the root cause of the depression faced by many teenagers is that they are being forced to meet the expectations of an unhealthy educational system.  This struggle is far more difficult for the student who’s underlying personality is one that wishes to foster creativity, exploration, discovery and learning.  It can be understood that students with this inclination are not as successful within the current educational system as those who are willing to follow the rules and suppress their needs in order to be successful in an unhealthy educational system.  Our society is suffering the pains from having chosen a mechanistic and materialistic root to survival.  We urgently need leaders within our community who can help us find the pathway to a successful and meaningful lifestyle which also yields sufficient material success to satisfy the needs of all.

I personally believe this way is awaiting discovery and that many have discovered it but are unable to be heard within what has become a largely self-serving and competititve struggle to gain financial security no matter what the means.

What is our primary challenge?  I suggest it is that those who lead us today have succeeded within a system that has been driven by material terms for the few who have capital, unsuccessful from a material viewpoint for the majority for those who rely on their wages for survival and unsuccessful and in fact corrupt for the spiritual life of the whole community.  Not too many years ago, people who spoke out against the existing power structure in China were executed.  There was no freedom of speech.  Fortunately, our society is open to dialogue and I believe it is now time to challenge the ways of the past and work together to build a healthy and meaningful future for all.

Agile Organizations and World Peace

Agile organizations are partnership organizations that achieve agility through excellence in process management, self organization, and multidisciplinary teamwork.

At first glance, there may seem to be little connection between creating agile organizations and influencing world peace. The connection lies in establishing values that enable effective partnerships with others.

One of the programs on TV I found fascinating was the series, “Connections,” by James Burke that illustrated how events that occurred in history created turning points, which dramatically influenced civilization and created new possibilities, which were widely embraced.

The way we perceive the world influences our actions. In an earlier work Darwin performed on the Galapagos Islands, he observed that birds with longer beaks were better able to obtain food than birds with shorter beaks. The way he perceived the world led him to see this as supportive of the view that life involved competition for survival, and the development of attributes that enhanced survival such as long beaks, enabled one species to win the evolutionary competition. However, later studies with different observers perceived the situation with the same birds differently. These more in-depth studies indicated that when food was plentiful the birds with longer beaks fed freely on all available food. However, when food was scarce, the birds with longer beaks went for the food that was accessible only to them, leaving the food that could be reached by the birds with shorter beaks for them so they could survive. It illustrated cooperation in nature rather than competition.

The predominant paradigm upon which corporate success is based has been founded upon the atomistic view of the world, which stresses competition at the corporate level and at the personal level. This paradigm has been very successful; the fittest survive very well and many are barely surviving.

In her book, The Chalice and the Blade, Riane Eisier documents that there are only two prevalent models upon which social structures have been based: one she refers to as the “domineering model,” and the other the “partnership model”. In the domineering model, a hierarchy of power was established and individuals jockeyed for prestige and position within the power structure. However, to do so, they had to demonstrate allegiance to organizational leaders with positional power. To a large degree, people had specific roles within the domineering organization and specialized at these roles, and as a result, the system worked well in handling increasingly complex technology and products. Peter Drucker gave the name “command and control” to this type of organization. It worked well in relatively stable times.

I ask the question, why was the domineering approach more successful in our increasingly complex technological society than the partnership alternative that had worked in other times and other places? I answer this question by saying that the work environment in early twentieth century organizations favored this approach. Organizational managers were given the opportunity to understand the big picture and to integrate daily work. Also, societal culture encouraged people to develop specialized competencies and compete with each other to succeed. Many professionals lacked the people skills to work effectively together to a common purpose without the command-and-control direction of superiors. Another problem in successfully implanting the partnership organization was the availability of current, relevant and accurate information upon which to base decisions and actions. These were some of the factors that resulted in the dominance of the command-and-control model in business and industry, and this paradigm has influenced our actions in other areas, including education, politics, and international relationships.

It has become increasingly apparent that factors such as an increasingly competitive marketplace and rapid changes in technology require 21st century organizations to adapt continually to changing circumstances. The ability to achieve this adaptation is not built into the specialty-based command-and-control organizational structures that served us well in the past. What is needed to be competitive in today’s marketplace is often referred to as organizational agility, which is the ability to adapt the way work is done to changing circumstances so as to increase the organization’s performance.

The competencies required for organizational agility are those that are required for partnership. Individuals need to be able to see the big picture, so any changes are undertaken with an awareness of the impact on the whole. People need skills to work together effectively for the benefit of the organization as a whole and they need relevant current and accurate information to support decision making. Agile organizations require the individual organizational habits advocated by Stephen Covey, the competencies advocated by Peter Senge, and the adaptation of the new philosophy advocated by W. Edwards Deming. Agile organizations are partnership organizations and their culture and way of being are radically different than the traditional command-and-control organizations of the twentieth century.

Agile organizations rely on process management to provide the framework for achieving agility. Process management and self-organization require current, relevant and valid information. Information technology has been used in the past to enable top-down command and control processes to constrain self-organization, a strategy that supports the domineering model but inhibits the partnership model. Information technology’s future lies in enabling organizing agility.

Building agile organizations requires a shift of thinking from competition to cooperation for the common good. I suggest this shift in thinking as it pervades our educational system and our political system will influence the way we view the world and in doing so enable us to be proactive contributors to areas that influence peace and harmony at a local level and a global level.

Let There Be Peace on Earth

And Let It Begin With Me

I can’t remember a time when I was not asking myself the question, how do I live as an active participant in society and experience an organic and harmonious life?

One important answer to this question came from reading Scott Peck’s book, “The Road Less Travelled”.  In the opening of his book, he shares the thought that “life is difficult”, and once one accepts that  life is difficult, one can view the difficulties one faces as part of life.

As I have thought about this issue, I have seen the view that life’s difficulties should be viewed as the grist in the mill that helps facilitate our personal learning and growth as human beings.  I learned to see that what is important is not avoiding difficulties in life, but rather, how you choose to act in meeting the challenges those difficulties present.

Life is not fair.  When I look out of a world that is not perfect I feel despair in the harm that is inflicted on innocent people by the actions of others and the calamities of nature.

However I think that calamities can provide opportunities for people to care.  A recent example I saw in the Press was that a community was devastated by flood, and as the residents dealt with the aftermath of their flood,  people from neighboring villages turned up to help.

The term “balance” comes to mind as we need to face the challenges of our own lives as well as selectively choose ways in which we can contribute to the well being of others.

These introductory notes are provided to help place in context some personal thoughts that may be helpful in us building a more peaceful world together.  I recognize my notes cover only a small fraction of the ways we can work together to make a positive difference in the world.  I’ll try and state my thinking as simply as possible by using a series of statements.

  1. The building blocks of peace on Earth and well being for all are the changes each one of us chooses to make in the way we live our lives and particularly, the way in which we choose to behave in relationship to others and our environment.
  2. People do not choose to change unless they have a personal experience from which they learn and which provides the foundation for their choice to change.
  3. The characteristics of the environment in which people live their lives can enable or constrain their efforts to gain the experiences they need to learn and change.  Thus, helping build an environment that facilitates learning and growth is a useful contribution to building a peaceful world.
  4. A cultural environment in which people dominate each other and in which people are expected to do what others say, rather than what they think is right is a major constraint on human learning and becoming.
  5. Elaine Isley, in her book, “The Chalice and the Blade” made a valuable contribution to understanding the two primary organizational forms mankind has used to survive.  She referred to these as the domineering model and the partnership model.
  6. In human history, particularly in Western culture, I assert the domineering model has prevailed.  Whether or not this is true and if so, why it has prevailed, is open to an interesting debate.  My view is that it has prevailed in many different forms, whether it be in the work place or in the family.
  7. Early in the Industrial Revolution, the ideas of Tailor and Scientific Management prevailed.  Scientific Management involved breaking work down into simple and mechanistic tasks and workers being instructed on how to do them repeatedly.
  8. Traditional management is a “top down” domineering management approach and, in general, those who are better cogs in the wheels of the organization gained promotion and dominance, and sustain work places that are graveyards for the soul.  
  9. Traditional management fostered a mechanistic rather than experiential educational system.
  10. As the rate of change and international competition has accelerated, the traditional domineering form of management has been resistant to change.  The associated rigor mortis has and is being the death nell for many companies.
  11. The Management methods approach that is adaptable to change is based upon the partnership model.  It’s known by many names, one of which is Process Management.  To be successful in partnerships, people need to understand the work processes that they contribute to, and in particular, the needs of those within the work place with whom they interface.
  12. The implementation of Process Management is thus an important contribution to establishing work environments in which people can affectively learn and grow, and in this growth, help incrementally to build a more peaceful world for themselves and others.