Författararkiv: Jan

Organizing retrospective 63

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I’ve read The Power of Eight by Lynne McTaggart this week. It’s a fascinating book which gives glimpses into what’s possible when we connect deeply with each other. Lynne McTaggart uses a special word to describe this type of connection, ‘homothumadon‘. Here is my book review.

L. McTaggart, The Power of Eight.

I’ve also continued following what’s happening in Catalonia. As mentioned here last week I’m deeply concerned with what will happen next, in Catalonia, Spain and Europe. UN has repeatedly urged Spain to respect democratic and human rights, while EU leaders have been remarkably timid in their comments.

Here is an excellent article about Catalonia and European Democracy by Richard Youngs. Richard Youngs writes that:

  • The EU clearly prioritizes the rule of law over participative democracy.
  • Rule of law is not simply about obeying rules.

The Spanish government now calls for a strict application of the rule of law when it comes to preventing Catalan independence. Yet in recent years it has itself been criticized for undermining the rule of law through its political control over the judiciary. Madrid has also called for flexibility in EU rules in order to overrun its deficit.

What gives me hope is that there’s close cooperation and experience-sharing between local democracy innovators in both Madrid and Barcelona. This has made Barcelona a vibrant hub of democratic innovation in recent years. I’ll try to get more information on this.

Here is a news report from BBC where Jean-Claude Juncker reportedly says that he ”does not back Catalan independence, fearing others may follow the same path.” Jean-Claude Juncker also urges Mariano Rajoy ”to bring the situation under control.” I’d like to challenge this by asking:

  • What if it’s impossible for Spain to ‘control’ the situation?
  • What if the only way to govern Europe actually is to give all regions full autonomy?

Jean-Claude Juncker should instead urge Mariano Rajoy and Carles Puigdemont to collaborate. A most relevant book in this context is Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust by Adam Kahane. I’m now reading the book and will write a book review next week.

A. Kahane, Collaborating with the Enemy.

What was good? What can be improved?
The recent events in Catalonia have reminded me that deeper generative orders for organizing are as relevant in politics as in business. There’s an important distinction between being autonomic (obeying self-law), and being allonomic (obeying some other’s law).1 People are autonomic, while rule of law assumes that people are allonomic.

This means that Spain may use force to coerce, but that Catalonia still will have its desire for freedom. The bigger the external force, the greater the resistance. This is also why Mariano Rajoy never will be able to bring the situation under control. Mariano Rajoy and Carles Puigdemont have to collaborate even if they don’t agree, like, or trust each other.

Notes:
1 Norm Hirst, Research findings to date, Autognomics Institute (accessed 15 October 2017).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Book Review: The Power of Eight

Introduction
The Power of Eight by Lynne McTaggart is the story about the miraculous power we hold to heal ourselves, others, and the world. This power is unleashed the moment we stop thinking about ourselves and gather with others into a group.1 But what is it about a group of people thinking a single thought at the same time that produces such dramatic effects?2

Outbursts of passion in unison
The only thing that appears to be needed is any sort of group.3 Throughout the ages, small circles of people have held a special significance in many cultures and among indigenous groups.4 Prayer groups have been used in most religions.5 The greek word homothumadon is used to described group prayer in the Bible. The word itself is a compound of two words: homou (‘in unison’ or ‘together’), and thumuous (‘outbursts of passion’ or ‘rush along’). The word emphasizes group prayer as a passionate unity, with a single voice.6

When people are involved in a passionate activity […],
they transmute from a solitary voice into a thunderous symphony
.7

A familiar feeling rarely experienced
Group meditation and prayer certainly promote a sense of unity among the participants, but usually not as deep as in homothumadon.8 In homothumadon, the participants move away from their isolated state of individuality into a pure bond with others. It’s a state that is familiar when felt, but rarely experienced.9 It has nothing to do with the outcome and everything with the act of participation.10 There is one essential element: other human beings.11

Working for the greater good
A sense of connectedness increases altruism. People have a natural desire to help when they temporarily step into a state of oneness.12 Working for the greater good produces more than just a warm feeling — it’s strengthening for both mind and body. There are health-giving effects in focusing on anyone besides yourself.13

Something about the desire to do something for someone else,
with no strings attached or personal benefit, has an impact on
health and wellbeing far and above that of anything else […]
14

Conclusions
Lynne McTaggart provides glimpses into what’s possible when we connect in homothumadon. A Power of Eight group is more than just a collection of separate individuals. They are not just connecting, they are merging.15 It’s as if the individuals in the group become one brain together. There’s something more going on here that we don’t understand.16 Some things in our lives are just beyond our explanation or understanding.17 It’s a fascinating book!

Notes:
1 Lynne McTaggarts, The Power of Eight: Harnessing the Miraculous Energies of a Small Group to Heal Others, Your Life and the World (Hay House, 2017), pp. xvi–xvii.
2 Ibid., p. 53.
3 Ibid., p. 50.
4 Ibid., pp. 55, 107.
5 Ibid., p. 56.
6 Ibid., p. 57.
7 Ibid., p. 61.
8 Ibid., p. 95.
9 Ibid., p. 97.
10 Ibid., p. 98.
11 Ibid., p. 140.
12 Ibid., p. 179.
13 Ibid., p. 185.
14 Ibid., p. 186.
15 Ibid., p. 225.
16 Ibid., p. 231.
17 Ibid., p. 233.

Organizing retrospective 62

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This is going to be a political post. I was deeply disturbed by the Spanish police brutality during the Catalonian referendum last Sunday. I’ve been thinking about this all week. I’m really concerned what will happen next, in Catalonia, Spain and Europe.

The statement from the European Commission on Monday that ”violence can never be an instrument in politics” is, to say the least, timid.1 Amnesty International has confirmed on the ground that members of the National Police force’s Police Intervention Unit and Civil Guard officers used excessive and disproportionate force.2 United Nations Human Rights in Geneva urged Spanish authorities on Tuesday to fully respect fundamental human rights.3

And yet, the First Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, defended the use of force by the Spanish police in a debate on the Catalonia crises in the European Parliament on Wednesday. He said that ”it’s the duty for any government to uphold the law”.4 Well, here’s the thing. Rule of law isn’t everything. Apartheid was legally enforced in South Africa. And general Franco had his rule of law. Actually, all dictators are big on the rule of law.

What’s happening is that Spain is attempting to impose rule of law without democracy on Catalonia, while the European Commission ignores its obligations under the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in its response. The Spanish police contravened the following articles during the Catalonia referendum:5

  • Article 1: The Right to Human Dignity
  • Article 6: The Right to Liberty or Security of Person
  • Article 11: Freedom of Expression and Information
  • Article 12: Freedom of Assembly and Association
  • Article 54: Prohibition of Abuse of Rights

The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his government has, in fact, ruled primarily by decrees since 2011. Further evidence of the authoritarian turn of the Spanish government is the approval of repressive laws that criminalize many forms of protests in order to protect public order.6

Spain could instead choose to host the freedom of Catalonia, but that would require a different political leadership. When rule of law takes precedence over human rights, we end up with coercive repressive systems. The danger that threatens democracy is the tremendous gap between those who think in terms of human values and those who think in the terms of rule of law.7

What was good? What can be improved?
All I’ve said above about political leadership is applicable to organizational leadership as well. Authoritarian leadership is ubiquitous. Coercive repressive systems are everywhere. There’s a callousness to intrinsic human value behind all this.8 Nothing will change until the underlying values are changed. Do not give your power away to systems and people who are totally unworthy of it.9 Sometimes we allow people to exercise destructive power over us simply because we never question them.10

Notes:
1 European Commission, Statement on the events in Catalonia (Statement/17/3626), 2017-10-02 (accessed 2017-10-08).
2 Amnesty International, SPAIN: EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE BY NATIONAL POLICE AND CIVIL GUARD IN CATALONIA, 2017-10-03 (accessed 2017-10-08).
3 United Nations Human Rights, UN experts urge political dialogue to defuse Catalonia tensions after referendum, 2017-10-04 (accessed 2017-10-08).
4 Maïa de la Baume and David M. Herszenhorn, Brussels defends use of ‘proportionate force’ in Catalonia, POLITICO, 2017-10-04 (accessed 2017-10-08).
5 Official Journal of the European Union, CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (2012/C 326/02), 2012-10-26 (accessed 2017-10-08).
6 Monica Clua Losada, Catalonia’s referendum unmasks authoritarianism in Spain, The Conversation, 2017-10-05 (accessed 2017-10-08).
7 This is a paraphrase of Robert Hartman, who said that ”danger that threatens life” is the ”tremendous gap between those who think in terms of human values and those who think in the collective terms of non-human systems”. See Robert Hartman, Freedom to Live, p. 124.
8 The ”sickness which we have suffered throughout history can be clearly attributed to our callousness to the intrinsic value of life coupled with our sensitivity to the systemic value of thought”. Ibid., p. 114.
9 This is something John O’Donohue discusses in his books. See, for example, John O’Donohue, Anam Ċara, pp.174–182, 264, and Eternal Echoes, p.93.
10 John O’Donohue, Anam Ċara, p.174.
Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 61

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I’ve read Human Dynamics by Sandra Seagal and David Horne this week.1 Sandra and Seagal introduce a framework consisting of nine different personality dynamics of which five make up over 99.9% of the population. The framework feels artificial somehow. I didn’t feel fully at home in any of the personality dynamics described. Here is my review.

I’ve mentioned in this retrospective that Roger Penrose strongly argues that mind cannot be described in any kind of computational terms. This week, I found an interview with Roger Penrose by Robert Lawrence Kuhn on YouTube. Roger Penrose explains in this interview why consciousness is non-computational, i.e., why consciousness can never be simulated. If Roger Penrose is right, then tasks which requires understanding—in principle—lie beyond the capabilities of automation. There are limits to what can be automated.

I’ve also discovered that Václav Havel has much to say about organizing. He writes in this article on The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World that the ”conception of the world” that science has fostered ”now appears to have exhausted its potential.” ”Man as an observer” has become ”completely alienated from himself as a being.” Havel also mentions the urgent threats facing humanity. He says that ”it is clearly necessary to invent [new] organizational structures”, but that such efforts are ”doomed to failure if they do not grow out of something deeper, out of generally held values.” A deeper generative order for organizing is related to deeper generally held values.

Václav Havel writes more about organizing in this article on The Power of the Powerless. He writes that ”life, in its essence, moves toward plurality, diversity, independent self-constitution, and self organization, in short, toward the fulfillment of its own freedom”. Havel believes in the ”principle of self-management”. He also thinks that the ”principles of control and discipline ought to be abandoned in favor of self-control and self-discipline.” It’s the only way to achieve ”genuine (i.e., informal) participation” and ”a feeling of genuine responsibility”. The organizational structures should arise naturally ”from below as a consequence of authentic social self-organization”. They should ”derive [their] vital energy from a living dialogue with the genuine needs from which they arise”. When the needs are gone, then the organizational structures should also disappear. ”The principles of their internal organization should be very diverse, with a minimum of external regulation.” A deeper generative order for organizing derives its vital energy from a living dialogue with genuine needs.

What was good? What can be improved?
I always appreciate comments and reading suggestions. Sophia Montgomery (@Sophiam1973) sent a link to an audiobook, The Language of Archetypes: Discover the Forces that Shape Your Destiny by Caroline Myss. And Jesse Soininen  (@jessesoininen) sent this article on Confronting the Technological Society by Samuel Matlack. It’s an article about Jacques Ellul’s life and work. Ellul was a French historian, sociologist, and lay theologian. He has much to say about technology. Ellul writes that the machine has created the modern, industrial world, but that it’s a poor fit for society. Social conditions have been adapted to the smooth churning of the machine. ”All-embracing technique is in fact the consciousness of the mechanized world.” The primary concern for everyone involved becomes improving the means, while the ends—the ultimate purposes—move out of sight.

Notes:
1 Sandra Seagal and David Horne, Human Dynamics: A New Framework for Understanding People and Realizing the Potential in Our Organizations (Pegasus, 1997).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Book Review: Human Dynamics

Introduction
The underlying direction and purpose of Human Dynamics: A New Framework for Understanding People and Realizing the Potential in Our Organizations by Sandra Seagal and David Horne is to enhance the quality of life that people express individually and collectively.1 People are different both in how they process information, and in what information they process.2

Nine Personality Dynamics
Nine different personality dynamics are identified based on people’s mental, emotional, and physical capacities. The book presents five of them, which make up over 99.9% of the population.3 The authors claim that most people in West are emotional-physical (55%) or emotional-mental (25%), while most Japanese are physical-mental, and a majority of Chinese are physical-emotional. The authors suggest that the fundamental difference between East and West derive more from these differences in personality dynamics than from the differences in culture.4 What if it’s the other way around—or, at least, works both ways—that the culture influences each individual’s personality dynamics?

Conclusions
The construction of the nine different personality dynamics feels artificial to me. While reading, I couldn’t identify my own personality dynamic. Maybe it’s because I had difficulties in remembering each personality dynamic. Or, maybe, it’s because I’m in that 0.1% of the population which isn’t covered by the book? Anyway, the key takeaway for me is that people have genuine, and often drastically different, ways of looking at the world. Different ways of perceiving, processing, and acting. Talking about that and how we need to deal with each other is eye-opening, challenging, inspiring, and painful—regardless of the framework used.

Notes:
1 Sandra Seagal and David Horne, Human Dynamics: A New Framework for Understanding People and Realizing the Potential in Our Organizations (Pegasus, 1997), p. 13.
2 Ibid., pp. 30, 32.
3 Ibid., p. 23.
4 Ibid., pp. 32–34.

Organizing retrospective 60

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This week, I’ve read John O’Donohue’s book Anam Ċara. Here is my review. John O’Donohue writes that it’s very difficult to bring the world of work and the world of soul together. I’ll explore this further in the coming weeks.

J. O’Donohue, Anam Ċara.

I’ve also read Doug Kirpatrick’s Beyond Empowerment: The age of the self-managed organization, and John Seddon’s In Pursuit of Quality: The Case Against ISO 9000 this week.

Doug Kirkpatrick’s book is about self-management, which interests me, but the format—an imagined story—didn’t work for me. Chapter Eight: Self-Management Comes to the Organization is worth reading. I’ll come back with more on this.

D. Kirkpatrick, Beyond Empowerment.

John Seddon’s book In Pursuit of Quality: The Case Against ISO 9000 gives an interesting perspective on ISO 9000 and its history. The message is that management by command-and-control must be replaced by managing the organization as a system. The main arguments are repeated over and over again throughout the book. The last chapter contains a final review of the arguments set out in the first chapter. It’s a repetitive reading.

J. Seddon, In Pursuit of Quality.

I agree with much of what John Seddon is says, but I don’t think he goes far enough in his argumentation. Yes, management by command-and-control treats people as cogs in a machine, but managing the organization as a system is still like treating the organization as a machine. The case against ISO 9000 can actually be extended to include Lean and Six Sigma as well. John Seddon criticizes Lean in these books.

Here is also a post on the historical parallels which Bob Emiliani sees between Scientific Management and Toyota Management. Again, it becomes evident that the focus is on technical aspects, while human aspects are largely ignored.

Living dynamics cannot be ignored in a living company.

Living organisms have an adaptive intelligence. External force may be used, but the organism will rebel as soon as the force is removed. Here is a post on Norm Hirst’s distinction between machines, which are allonomic, and organisms, which are autonomic.

Finally, here is an article by Paavo Pylkkänen where he discusses David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum theory, including mind and matter. David Bohm went as far as to say that electrons have a ”primitive mind-like quality.” Maybe it is not so surprising then that a very complex aggregate of matter is accompanied by a mind that guides it? This certainly goes against the prevalent mechanistic way of thinking!

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m making progress. I’d like to spend more time on this work than I can today.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Paavo Pylkkänen on David Bohm’s interpretation of the quantum theory

Paavo Pylkkänen discusses David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum theory, including mind and matter, in this article — Is there Room in Quantum Ontology for a Genuine Causal Role for Consciousness?

Source: Twitter.

Here are some quotes from the article (my emphasis in bold):

… active information is playing a key causal role in physical processes at the quantum level.

organisms that are conscious of their own and others’ mental states have a better ability to interact, cooperate, and communicate.

… conscious experience … presents us with the options to choose from …

… certain conscious states … have an intrinsic motivating force … as an indivisible part of the experience itself.

… consciousness seems to be decisive for meaningful interactions with our environment.

… consciousness, flexible control, free will, and unified and integrated representations are all interconnected.

… information in conscious mental states is globally available to a number of different mental subsystems …

… information in conscious experience is typically very rich in its content — it is unified and integrated.

… consciousness both enables the sort of information that flexible control requires, and it also makes it possible for such information to reach the subsystems that are required in the execution of the control.

matter at the quantum level is fundamentally different from the sort of mechanical matter of classical physics

then it is perhaps not so surprising that a very complex aggregate of such elements … has a body, accompanied by a mind that guides it.

Bohm proposed that we understand mental states as involving a hierarchy of levels of active information.

Bohm saw nature as a dynamic process where information and meaning play a key dynamic role

the higher level of thought can organize the content in the lower level into a coherent whole.

Bohm went as far as to say that electrons have a ”primitive mind-like quality,” but by ”mind” he was here referring to the ”activity of form,” …

… we could say that suitably integrated active information is conscious.

… in my view a major reason for its being ignored is that it goes so much against the prevalent mechanistic way of thinking …

Bohm’s suggestion was that a natural extension of his ontological interpretation of the quantum theory can include mental processes and even conscious experience …

More flexible control means … that the organism is able to choose from among different options the one that best fits the situation

In Bohmian terms … consciousness enables the organism to suspend the activity of information.

… flexible control in the Bohmian view seems to involve higher-order, meta-level information that we are conscious of …

there isan interesting analogy between Bohm’s notion of common pools of information at the quantum level and the notion of collective intentionality in social ontology.

… Bohm emphasizes that information is typically active …

One possibility is that the presence of consciousness increases the level of activity of the information.

… quantum active information … is semantic and has both factual and instructional aspects …

… our ethical judgments (e.g., ”the choice of the best”) can typically also affect the way information is activated, and consequently our behavior.

Our choices of ”the best” are somehow related to value intelligence.

Related posts:
Book Review: Mind, Matter and the Implicate Order
The meaning of meaning
Meaning as being
Free flow of meaning

Book Review: Anam Ċara

Introduction
Anam Ċara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World by John O’Donohue is a book which is intended to be an oblique mirror where we might come to glimpse the presence, power, and beauty of both inner and outer friendship.1

John O’Donohue was born in Ireland and spoke Irish as his native language. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul, and ċara is the word for friend. So anam ċara means soul friend. In the Celtic tradition, the anam ċara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life.2

Overview
John O’Donohue writes that friendship is a creative and subversive force.3 He describes friendship as an act of recognition and belonging.4 Your forgotten, or neglected, inner wealth begins to reveal itself in the belonging between soul friends. The soul is the house of belonging, and the body is in the soul.5

Where you are understood,
you are at home
.6

John O’Donohue not only explores outer friendship, but also the art of inner friendship. Solitude awakens new creativity within us. And when our inner lives can befriend the outer world of work, new imagination is awakened and great changes can take place.7 It is, however, very difficult to bring the world of work and the world of soul together.

Work […] should be an arena of
possibility and real expression
.8

John O’Donohue contemplates our friendship with the harvest time of life, old age. He even reflects on death as the invisible companion who walks the road of life with us from birth.9

Conclusions
The book is a broad and deep reflection on friendship. John O’Donohue takes his inspiration from his Irish heritage. The book is, in essence, an inner conversation with Celtic imagination and its spirituality of friendship.10 It’s a beautifully written book full of wisdom. I will return to the book again and again!

Notes:
1 John O’Donohue, Anam Ċara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World (Bantam Books, 1997), p15.
2 Ibid., p16.
3 Ibid., p15.
4 Ibid., p16.
5 Ibid., p17.
6 Ibid., p36.
7 Ibid., p17.
8 Ibid., p169.
9 Ibid., p18.
10 Ibid., p19.

Organizing retrospective 59

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I’ve read Marina Abramović’s memoir Walk Through Walls this week. Marina Abramović Abramović has spent her life exploring the limits of the body and mind. The wall in the book title is pain. Sometimes the artist becomes one with the audience. A single organism. This is an example of a deep generative order for organizing. Here is my book review.

M. Abramović, Walk Through Walls.

I’ve received three new books this week. The first one is Doug Kirkpatrick’s book Beyond Empowerment: The Age of the Self-Managed Organization. Imagine a company organized solely around shared principles of freedom and self-management. This book is the story of such a company. I’ll read the book and write a review.

D. Kirkpatrick, Beyond Empowerment.

The second book is John O’Donohue’s Anam Ċara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World. It’s a beautifully written book. John O’Donohue has surprisingly much to say about work and the workplace. Chapter 4 is about Work as Poetics of GrowthAgain, I’ll come back with a book review.

J. O’Donohue, Anam Ċara.

The third book is John Seddon’s In Pursuit of Quality: The Case Against 9000. Previously I’ve reviewed John Seddon’s Freedom from Command And Control: A Better Way To Make The Work Work. Here is my review.

J. Seddon, In Pursuit of Quality.

Finally, I’d like to mention this article by Diana Divecha’s on What is a Secure Attachment? And Why Doesn’t “Attachment Parenting” Get You There? It’s an article about the scientific notion of attachment.

Diana Divecha’s conclusion at the end of the article is that ”the hard part will be navigating the distracting advice”. ”Distracting advice” is misinformation. It’s a kind of ”pollution.” I’ve written about it here.

What was good? What can be improved?
John O’Donohue’s writing is exquisite. However, I’m reading too fast. I need to slow down. Otherwise, I’ll miss what’s between and beyond his words.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Book Review: Walk Through Walls

Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramović with James Kaplan is a memoir. It’s the story of Marina Abramović’s life and how she became a performance artist. Marina grew up in Belgrade and was often punished for the slightest infractions. The punishments were almost always physical.

Marina Abramović’s mother and aunt used to hit Marina black and blue. Sometimes they would lock her into a closet. Marina was afraid of the dark and used to talk to the ghosts in there.1 Marina’s father was often absent but he never hit her. She came to love him for that.2

It’s incredible how fear is built into you,
by your parents and others surrounding you.
You’re so innocent in the beginning;
you don’t know.
3

Art was holy to Marina Abramović’s mother, so she encouraged Marina to become an artist.4 Actually, art was the only freedom Marina had. There was money for painting, but not for clothes.5 Marina Abramović realized however that two-dimensional art truly wasn’t her thing.6 Instead, she became interested in performance art.

A curator from Scotland visited Belgrade at the end of 1972, looking for fresh ideas for the next Edinburgh Festival.7 This gave Marina Abramović the possibility to visit Edinburgh.8 While performing Rhythm 10—which is a violent game with sharp knives—at Endinburgh a strange feeling came over Marina. She became one with the audience. A single organism.

Marina Abramović describes this feeling of total connection with the audience as she—at the same time—became a receiver and transmitter of a huge Tesla-like energy. The pain and fear was gone. She had become a Marina which she didn’t know yet.9 It felt as though the possibilities for performance art were infinite.10

Marina Abramović was later invited to Naples in 1975,11 where she turned herself into an object in Rhythm 0. There were several objects that anyone could use on her as desired. There was even a pistol with one bullet.12

At first not much happened, but then someone cut her neck with a knife and sucked the blood. A very small man put the bullet in the pistol and moved the pistol toward her neck. Someone grabbed him. The audience became more and more active, as if in trance.13 Marina Abramović realized after the performance, half naked and bleeding, that the public can kill you.14

In 2010, over 750 000 people waited in line for the chance to sit across from Marina Abramović in The Artist is Present. From the beginning, people were in tears—and so was Marina.15

…to achieve a goal,
you have to give everything until you have nothing left.
And it will happen by itself. That’s really important.
This is my motto for every performance.
16

The wall in the book title is pain. At first, the pain is excruciating, then it vanishes. That’s when you’ve walked through the wall and come out on the other side.17 Marina Abramović grew up with very much pain. She has spent a lifetime transcending pain through her performance art—not only her own pain, but also the pain of others.18 And sometimes there’s a deep connection on the other side of the wall.

Notes:
1 Marina Abramović with James Kaplan, Walk Through Walls (Penguin, 2016), p.7.
2 Ibid., p.8.
3 Ibid., p.1.
4 Ibid., p.13.
5 Ibid., p.14.
6 Ibid., p.48.
7 Ibid., p.56.
8 Ibid., p.57.
9 Ibid., p.60.
10 Ibid., p.64.
11 Ibid., p.67.
12 Ibid., p.68.
13 Ibid., p.69.
14 Ibid., p.70.
15 Ibid., p.309.
16 Ibid., p.146.
17 Ibid., p.75.
18 Ibid., p.342.

Organizing retrospective 58

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I mentioned in the last week’s retrospective that I’ve been reading John Seddon. Here is my review of Seddon’s Freedom from Command & Control. Two of Seddon’s observations are (1) that you ‘get away’ with command-and-control in manufacturing because the products are standard, and (2) that it’s an unquestioned assumption in command-and-control that managers should set targets and then create control systems to ensure the targets are met.

Command-and-control is logical for economic machines – but it’s the wrong logic for living companies. This is something Arie de Geus addresses in his book The Living Company. His message is that a living company needs to be managed differently from an economic machine. The book is brilliant so I will take the time to write a book review.

Arie de Geus, The Living Company.

A book which arrived this week is Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramović with James Kaplan. Abramović is a Serbian performance artist who explores body and mind. I will continue reading her memoir next week.

Marina Abramović, Walk Through Walls.

Yesterday, I went to Stockholm to learn more about Quaker decision-making. Here are my notes (in Swedish). This book was required reading prior to the training. Here is also a very interesting book on employing Quaker processes of communal discernment in research.

What was good? What can be improved?
I enjoyed my trip to Stockholm yesterday. Interestingly, some of the Quaker stuff increases my aliveness (how to enter into dialogue with others in the lived moment), some of it reduces it (the awkward historical language).

While in Stockholm I also met with Marcus Kempe.

There are a number of books which I read four years ago which I need to re-read. (Arie de Geus book, which I read this week, is one of them.)

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Fördjupningskurs i kväkarnas beslutsmetod

Bakgrund
En fråga som intresserar mig är hur man i beslutsfattandet kan ta vara på en grupps kollektiva kunskap och intelligens. I februari 2014 gick jag därför en kurs i kväkarnas beslutsmetod på Kväkargården i Stockholm. Här är mina intryck från den kursen. Och här är mina anteckningar från ett kväkerskt beslutsmöte i januari 2017.

Inledning
Detta inlägg innehåller mina intryck från en fördjupningskurs i Vännernas beslutsmetod lördagen den 9 september 2017.

Kväkargården, Stockholm.

Kursens innehåll
Inför kursen blev vi ombedda att läsa Lloyd Lee Wilsons bok Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order. Denna bok ger en förståelse för kväkarnas syn på beslutsmetoden. Här är min recension av boken (på engelska).

Kursledaren, Wilhem Dahllöf, hade förberett en agenda, men valde att lägga denna åt sidan när han hörde förväntningarna på kursen. Dagen blev istället ett samtal (på kväkerskt vis) med fokus på erfarenheten av att vara ombud.

Några frågor som berördes under dagen var:

  • Hur vågar vi lita på att mötets mening kan urskiljas?
  • Kan man vara ett bra ombud om man är konflikträdd?
  • Hur undviker man att ‘ytan’ blir dominerande?

Några slutsatser och råd som kom fram under samtalet var:

  • Det finns en god ordning (Gospel Order). Vi kan alla ställa in oss på denna goda ordning. Det handlar om att stå i rätt förhållande till skapelsen och Skaparen.
  • Beslutsmötet påverkas av andaktsmötets förmåga till andligt djup.
  • För att nå fram till mötets mening, känn av mötet tidigt och ofta.
  • Inbjud till ‘framkallningstid’.
  • Låt det som sägs sjunka ner i tystnad.
  • Lyssna på utrymmet mellan orden.
  • Känn efter hur det känns i kroppen.
  • Låt beslutet växa fram gradvis.
  • Skynda aldrig på ett beslut.
  • Skydda mötet.
  • Se till att den som talar mycket inte dominerar.
  • Se till att den som talar motvilligt kommer fram.
  • Sätt gränser mjukt, t.ex. genom att påminna deltagarna om metoden.
  • Lita på gruppen, och som grupp, hjälp ombudet.
  • Rikta uppmärksamheten mot ombudet.
  • Undvik småprat.

Sammanfattning
Jag är intresserad av kväkarnas beslutsmetod och vill förstå den på djupet. Det var därför intressant att vara med och lyssna. Förutom kursledaren hade några av deltagarna egen ombudserfarenhet. Att vara ombud är som att spela ett instrument. Det bästa sättet att lära sig är att öva.

Fokus för kursen låg av naturliga skäl på kväkarnas egen användning av beslutsmetoden. Det innebar också att vi under kursen kom in på kväkarnas teologi, där Lloyd Lee Wilsons representerar ett konservativt synsätt.

Personligen är jag övertygad om att beslutsmetoden även kan användas i profana sammanhang. Den del av kväkarerfarenheten som handlar om att ha dialog med varandra är relevant i många sammanhang, t.ex. forskning. Boken A Quaker Approach to the Conduct of Research handlar om detta. Här är min recension av boken (på engelska).

Sammanfattningsvis var det en givande dag.

Book Review: Freedom from Command and Control

Freedom from Command and Control by John Seddon is a book about a better way to make work work. The focus of the book is on the translation of the principles behind the Toyota Production System for service organizations.1

The better way has a completely different logic to command-and-control, and that, perhaps, is the reason it is difficult to understand. People interpret what they hear from their current frame of reference, so what they hear is not necessarily what is meant.2

The cornerstone of command-and-control is the separation of decision-making from work. Command-and-control is based on top-down hierarchies where managers manage people and money. Managers make decisions on budgets, targets, and so on.3

The command-and-control management pioneers were Frederick Taylor (scientific management), Henry Ford (mass production), and Alfred Sloan (management by numbers). The issue is not that command-and-control was without value, but that we have not continued to learn. The problem is a problem of thinking.4

Taiichi Ohno at Toyota developed a radically different approach the management of work.5 Instead of top-down command-and-control management, Toyota uses local control at the point where the work is done.6 This philosophy is fundamentally different. The attitude is no longer to make the numbers, but to learn and improve.7 It requires power-with, rather than power-over, and runs counter to the underlying hierarchical command-and-control philosophy.

People who work in a command-and-control environment become cogs in the machine. Management makes the decisions and manages the scheduling, planning, reporting and so on. It’s an environment that works with information abstracted from work.8 Integrating decision-making with the work produces a totally different management infrastructure.9

Measures are usually derived from the budget in command-and-control organizations. Moreover, connecting work to arbitrary measures creates the need to have additional people scheduling work, reporting on work, and making demands on those who do the work. Separation of decision-making from the work is the defining logic for command-and-control-management.10

Integrating the information needed with the work itself changes the point of control, from external to internal, and, consequently has a positive impact on motivation. Optimizing the flow leads to lower costs because you only do what you need. Moving the locus of control to the worker makes it possible for him or her to perform different work depending on what is needed.11 Moreover, if something goes wrong it can be seen and corrected at once.12

In manufacturing you ‘get away with’ command-and-control because the products you make are standard. Traditional command-and-control responds to variety by establishing procedures, standards, and the like. The consequence is enourmous amounts of waste when applied to service organizations.13 Maximizing the ability to handle variety is central to improving service and reducing costs. This can only be done by intelligent use of intelligent people, where workers are connected with customers in self-organizing relationships.14

Diversity of flow is the hallmark of good service. In managing flow the work itself is the information, and this in turn comprises the information required to direct operations in the work. It is an unquestioned assumption in command-and-control that managers should have and set targets and then create control systems to ensure the targets are met. In Toyota these practices simply do not exist. To make service organizations work better, they need to be taken out.15

The Toyota system exemplifies economies of flow, which is a step beyond economies of scale. The concepts associated with the economies of scale have governed management thinking for the last century and more.16 Economies of flow represent a challenge to current beliefs. It is a challenge of of such a scale that this becomes the most important hurdle for managers to get over. The ideas themselves are simple, logical, and practical. However, they are different, unfamiliar, and, as a consequence, often perceived as a threat. They are certainly counterintuitive to the command-and-control mindset.17

The management principles that have guided command-and-control are logical – but it’s the wrong logic. The better way has a different logic. John Seddon uses the entire book to eloquently explain this better logic.

Notes:
1 John Seddon, Freedom from Command and Control: A Better Way to Make the Work Work (Vanguard Consulting Ltd, 2005, 2nd edition), p.23.
2 Ibid., p.8.
3 Ibid., p.8.
4 Ibid., p.9.
5 Ibid., p.15.
6 Ibid., pp.15–16.
7 Ibid., p.16.
8 Ibid., p.17.
9 Ibid., p.19.
10 Ibid., p.19.
11 Ibid., p.20.
12 Ibid., p.21.
13 Ibid., p.21.
14 Ibid., p.22.
15 Ibid., p.22.
16 Ibid., p.22.
17 Ibid., p.23.

Organizing retrospective 57

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This week I’ve read John Seddon’s Freedom from Command & Control1 and The Whitehall Effect.2 The first book is about the Toyota system for service organizations, while the second is about how successive British administrations have interfered with public service and consistently made things worse during the last 35 years. The theoretical content is the same in the two books. I will write a review of the first book next week.

Seddon, The Whitehall Effect (left) and Freedom from Command & Control (right).

What was good? What can be improved?
Continued progress. Connecting with my fire inside.

We cannot neglect our interior fire without damaging ourselves in the process.”
—David Whyte3

Notes:
1 John Seddon, Freedom from Command & Control: A Better Way to Make the Work Work (Vanguard Consulting Ltd, 2005, 2nd edition).
2 John Seddon, The Whitehall Effect: How Whitehall Became the Enemy of Great Public Service and What We Can Do About It (Triarchy Press, 2014).
3 David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America (Currency Doubleday, 1994), p.91.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 56

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This week I’ve read Evelyn Fox Keller’s biography A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock. Barbara McClintock was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Here is my book review. Barbara McClintock pushed her observational and cognitive skills so far that few could follow her. She stressed the importance of having a ”feeling for the organism.” It was her conviction that the closer her focus, the greater her attention to the unique characteristics of a single plant, the more she could learn about the general principles by which the plant as a whole was organized.

Keller, A Feeling for the Organism.

Likewise, I think the greater the attention to the unique characteristics of a single organization, the more we can learn about the generative order for organizing. Paraphrasing Barbara McClintock, it’s important to have a ”feeling for the organization.”

What was good? What can be improved?
I make progress, but—again—would like to spend more time on this work than I actually can.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Book Review: A Feeling for the Organism

A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock by Evelyn Fox Keller is a story of the interaction between an individual scientist, Barbara McClintock (1902–1992), and a science, genetics.1 The book serves simultaneously as a biography and as an intellectual story. Evelyn Fox Keller shows how science is both highly personal and a communal endeavor.2

The role of observation in Barbara McClintock’s experimental work provides the key to her understanding. What for others is interpretation, or speculation, is for her trained direct perception.3 McClintock pushed her observational and cognitive skills so far that few could follow her.4 She talked about the limits of verbally explicit reasoning and stressed the importance of having a ”feeling for the organism.” Her understanding emerged from a thorough absorption in, and even identification with, her material.5

The word ”understanding,” and the particular meaning Barbara McClintock attributed to it, is the cornerstone of her entire approach to science. For McClintock, the smallest details provided the keys to the larger whole. It was her conviction that the closer her focus, the greater her attention to the unique characteristics of a single plant, the more she could learn about the general principles by which the plant as a whole was organized.6

Over and over again, Barbara McClintock emphasized that one must have the time to look, the patience to ”hear what the material has to say to you,” the openness to ”let it come to you.” Above all, one must have ”a feeling for the organism.”. ”No two plants are exactly alike. They’re all different, and as a consequence, you have to know that difference,” she explained. Both literally and figuratively, her ”feeling for the organism” extended her vision.7

For Barbara McClintock, reason — at least in the conventional sense of the word — is not by itself adequate to describe the vast complexity of living forms. Organisms have a life and order of their own that scientists can only partially fathom. No models we invent can begin to do full justice to the prodigious capacity of organisms to devise means for guaranteeing their own survival. It is the overall organization, or orchestration, that enables the organism to meet its needs, whatever they might be, in ways that never cease to surprise us. That capacity for surprise gave McClintock immense pleasure.8

Our surprise is a measure of our tendency to underestimate the flexibility of living organisms. The adaptability of plants tends to be especially unappreciated. There is no question that plants have all kinds of sensitivities.9 The ultimate descriptive task, for both artists and scientists, is to ”ensoul” what one sees, to attribute to it the life one shares with it.10 In short, one must have a ”feeling for the organism.”

Barbara McClintock had a holistic perspective and got a much deeper understanding than most scientists because she was interested in and got a ”feeling for the whole organism.” Barbara McClintock was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. I find her life and work most fascinating.

Notes:
1 Evelyn Fox Keller, A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock (W. H. Freeman and Company, 1982), p.ix.
2 Ibid., p.xiii.
3 Ibid., p.xiii.
4 Ibid., pp.xiii–xiv.
5 Ibid., p.xiv.
6 Ibid., p.101.
7 Ibid., p.198.
8 Ibid., p.199.
9 Ibid., p.199.
10 Ibid., p.204.

Organizing retrospective 53-55

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
This is a retrospective not only of the last week but of what has happened so far in August. I have been very busy doing other things than working on this series the last few weeks.

Anyway, here is an interesting interview with David Bohm on Bohmian dialogue and the nature of thought, which showed up in my tweet flow via Marcus Kempe (@KempeMarcus).

Source: Twitter

Another tweet pointed me to the following words by James Kavanough.1 I am one of the searchers.

I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean […] We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.

We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.

For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.

A person who caught my interest this week is Eileen Fisher. Here is her view on Leadership: The Personal Side of Organizational Change. And here is her TEDx talk in the form of a dialogue with Raphael Bemporad on Practicing Change. Eileen Fisher says at the end of the TEDx talk that:2

What’s so interesting to me is that it isn’t about changing the world out there, it’s about how we show up. It’s about […] all those little moment to moment choices where we need to let go of those things that trigger us, and distract us, and confuse us, and keep centering ourselves to what is our unique voice or gift in that exact moment.

Source: YouTube

Brené Brown is also a person well worth listening to. Here is a Facebook Live video where Brené says what is painfully obvious, that we give lip service to how all men are created equal. She also points out that we must talk about it in the most pointed, uncomfortable, and honest way. Among other things she says that:

The stories that we don’t own collectively, own us.

There is no evidence anywhere that power over is effective.

Every time we dehumanize someone it rips a little piece of our soul apart.

Source: Facebook for Business

I finished reading two books this week:

  • The first one is Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence by Matthew Sanford. Matthew was in a car accident at the age of thirteen which left him paralyzed. This is a book about stepping more deeply into our lives, staying open to our own experience. Matthew discovered, for example, that if he listens inwardly to his whole experience, he can actually feel into his legs. It’s a fascinating book. Here is my book review.

    M. Sanford, Waking.

  • The second is Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure Of Ancient Man by H. Frankfort, H. A. Frankfort, J. A. Wilson, and T. Jacobsen. The authors concentrate on two old civilizations, those of Egypt and Mesopotamia. As villages grew into city-states and national states, authority and power became centralized. There was a movement from democracy, where a general assembly had the political power, to kingship. I find it most revealing that no human institution had as its primary aim the welfare of its own human members. The view was the humans were created especially for the benefit of the gods—and the king was god.3

What was good? What can be improved?
I make progress but would like to spend more time on the work with this series.

Notes:
1 James Kavanough, There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves.
2 Eileen Fisher, A Dialogue on Practicing Change, TEDxWashingtonSquare, at 17:56 (accessed 2017-08-20).
3 H. Frankfort, H. A. Frankfort, J. A. Wilson, T. Jacobsen, Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure Of Ancient Man (Pelican Books, 1949), p. 200.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Book Review: Waking

Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence is a book where Matthew Sanford shares his own story without judgment, protection, and sentimentality.1 It’s a book about appreciating and believing in your own experience.2

At the age of thirteen, Matthew was in a car accident that killed his father and sister. It also left him paralyzed from the chest down.3 Matthew met his yoga teacher, Jo Zukovich, twelve years later.4 This changed his life and lead to an exploration of the possibilities of yoga and paralysis together.

Jo Zukovich had the patience and foresight not to force the Iyengar system of yoga onto Matthew’s body. Instead, Jo had faith in the system’s underlying principles. Iyengar emphasizes alignment and precision. Jo and Matthew discovered that alignment and precision increase mind-body integration regardless of paralysis.5

The mind is not strictly confined to a neurophysiological connection with the body. Matthew discovered that if he listens inwardly to his whole experience, he can actually feel into his legs. It is simply a matter of learning to listen to a different level of presence, a form of presence that subtly connects the mind to the body.6 Matthew describes this form of awareness a tingling, a sense of hum.7

Although Matthew’s life has taken much away, it has also revealed a powerful insight. The outer layer of Matthew’s legs and torso have been stripped away through the paralysis, but he has also learned to experience a more direct contact with an inner presence of consciousness. The silence Matthew encountered within his paralysis is the nexus within his mind-body relationship.8

Matthew’s memoir is a page-turning story, which I find most fascinating. Life presents its purpose and beauty in all sorts of ways.9 The challenge is to step more deeply into our lives, to stay open to our own experience — to not deny it, but rather to simply have it.

Notes:
1 Matthew Sanford, Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence (Rodale, 2006), p. 245.
2 Ibid..
3 Ibid., p. xv.
4 Ibid., p. 161.
5 Ibid., p. 188.
6 Ibid., p. 193.
7 Ibid., pp. 194, 198.
8 Ibid., p. 200.
9 Ibid., p. 233.

Organizing retrospective 52

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I finished reading Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning by Eugene Gendlin this week. It’s a most interesting book, so I will write a book review.

As mentioned last week, I think that Eugene Gendlin’s notion of experiencing is directly related to David Bohm’s deeper generative order. Experiencing is a generative source of felt meaning which unfolds into action, which has further meaning.

I can see many parallels between David Bohm and Eugene Gendlin’s thinking. David Bohm’s generative order is a deeper order out of which the manifest form of things emerge.1 This order is fundamental in nature and in consciousness. The generative order escapes definition according to Bohm.2 Gendlin’s view is that experiencing is preconceptual.3 A moment’s experiencing contains implicitly so many meanings that no amount of words can exhaust it.4 That includes the whole life of the person as it occurs in the present.5 Experiencing is always richer than what can be expressed in language.

The generative order is very different from how a machine works.6 Generative orders are not fixed by rigid hierarchies where lower levels are dominated by higher levels.7 Rather, the hierarchy grows out of the basic generative order.The implicate order extends the notion of generative order.9 The key point of the implicate order is that it is fundamental. The explicate order unfold from the implicate order.10 Implicate and generative orders are ultimately at the ground of all experience, according to David Bohm.11 Experiencing is enfolded deep within the generative order. I think Eugene Gendlin would agree.

What was good? What can be improved?
I am excited about the parallels I see between David Bohm and Eugene Gendlin’s thinking. However, I need to look more into Bohm and Gendlin’s views of meaning.

Meaning, in Bohm’s view, is inseparably connected with information. Bohm suggests, furthermore, that activity is the meaning of information. All action, including inaction, takes place immediately according to the meaning of the total situation at the moment. Meaning indicates intention. Intention arises out of the perception of meaning. A choice to act, or not to act, depends on the meaning at the moment. Intention is sensed as a feeling of being ready to respond. Meaning and intention are inseparably related. Meaning unfolds into intention, and intention into action, which has further meaning. There is a constant unfoldment of still more meanings. Meanings can extend to ever greater levels of subtlety as long they are perceived freshly from moment to moment. The perception of new meaning profoundly moves people. Again, I think Gendlin would agree, but I need to look more into this.

Notes:
1 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), p. 148.
2 Ibid., p. 155.
3 Eugene Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective (Northwestern University Press, 1997, first published 1962), p. 30.
4 Ibid., p. 34.
5 Ibid..
6 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), p. 156.
7 Ibid., p. 161.
8 Ibid..
9 Ibid., p. 168.
10 Ibid., p. 176.
11 Ibid., p. 187.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 51

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. This is a retrospective of what has happened during the week. The purpose is to reflect on the work itself. Here is my previous retrospective. Here is my next retrospective.

What has happened? What needs to be done?
I’ve been reading Eugene Gendlin’s book Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective this week. It’s a most interesting book.

E. Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning.

I can see how experiencing, as defined by Gendlin, is directly related to the deeper generative order for organizing which I’m so interested in. Gendlin provides, furthermore, a language to describe this. I also see parallels between David Bohm and Eugene Gendlin:

  • Bohm talks about the implicate and explicate, while Gendlin talks about the implicit and explicit.1
  • Bohm explores the nature of consciousness, with particular attention to thought. Gendlin explores experiencing, with an emphasis on the ability to think with the intricacy of the situation.2
    • What matters most for Gendlin is the way in which the next step follows (continues, carries forward, makes sense) from what preceded it.3
    • Instead of relating mostly in roles, we need to relate from our own intricacy.4
    • Our next step of thought comes from our experiencing.5
  • Bohm proposes that there is order in all aspects of life.7 So does Gendlin, who describes nature as a responsive order, which always gives more exact results than could have been constructed or deduced.8
    • Experiencing is non-numerical, but it’s never just anything-you-please. It’s, on the contrary, a more precise order which is not limited to any set of patterns.9
    • The content of experience is generated by the process of experiencing itself.10

David Bohm would probably have agreed with Eugene Gendlin that we can think everything more truly if we think it with attention to how we think.11

I will come back to all this in my review of Gendlin’s book!

What was good? What can be improved?
Skye Hirst and I had our 40th conversation this week. I’m amazed at how new ‘gold nuggets’ always turn up in our conversations. Again, Skye cracked me open with her questions and suggestions. It all boils down to trusting your own organism(ic) self. By getting in touch with your own organism(ic) life force you can navigate the world. Self-trust gives you access to an entirely new repertoire of behaviors. The deeper generative order for organizing is to be found within the organism itself.

Notes:
1 Eugene Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective (Northwestern University Press, 1997, first published 1962), p.xiii.
2 Ibid., p.xii.
3 Ibid., p.xiii.
4 Ibid., p.xiv.
6 Ibid., p.xvii.
7 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01), p.146.
8 Eugene Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective (Northwestern University Press, 1997, first published 1962), p.xix.
9 Ibid..
10 Ibid., p.xx.
10 Ibid., p.xxi.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts