Kategoriarkiv: Thoughts

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.

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

Organizing retrospective 46-50

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 of the last week, but of the last five weeks from mid June to mid July.

Looking back I can see that my inquiry into a deeper generative order1 for organizing consists of three strands:

  1. The first strand is an inquiry into existing organizing orders.2 It’s about how we perceive and organize work. See, for example, these posts on organizing  ”between and beyond.”
  2. The second strand is an inquiry into the overall paradigmatic framework.3 This is about how we perceive the world in general. See, for example, these posts on philosophy and these on phenomenology.
  3. The third strand is an inquiry into life-itself and its organizing principles. See, for example, these posts on autognomics.4, 5

These strands are twisted together. My focus was initially on the first strand when I started this blog, but it has subsequently grown into an exploration of the second and third strands as well.

Four weeks ago, I found this interview with F. David Peat about David Bohm’s Wholeness and the Implicate Order.

D. Bohm & F. D. Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity.

F. David Peat was a long-time co-worker with Bohm and co-authored Science, Order, and Creativity which has influenced me very much. Here is my review of the book.

D. C. Wahl, Designing Regenerative Cultures.

I finished reading Daniel Christian Wahl’s book on Designing Regenerative Cultures. I need to write a review.

K. Tippett, Becoming Wise.

I also started reading Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett. It’s an excellent book which is full of ‘gold nuggets’ from Tippet’s many interviews.

B. Madsen & S. Willert, Survival in the Organization.

Three weeks ago, two new books arrived. The first is Survival in the Organization: Gunnar Hjeholt Looks Back at the Concentration Camp from an Organizational Perspective by Benedicte Madsen & Søren Willert.  It certainly caught my attention that Gunnar Hjelholt find striking similarities between the concentraction camp and organizations in general!  Here is my book review.

E. T. Gendlin, Focusing.

The second book which arrived is Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin. Most importantly, focusing is not only an internal act which is useful in therapy. It’s also useful in approaching any problem or situation. Focusing is an example of how to access a deeper generative order. Here is my review Gendlin’s book.

I also found this lecture by Mae-Wan Ho on Why Beauty is Truth and Truth Beauty.

Two weeks ago, I found this introduction to Thinking at the Edge (TAE) with Mary Hendricks and Eugene T. Gendlin. Interestingly, TAE was developed from Gendlins’ Philosophy of the Implicit. Gendlin, being both a psychologist and philosopher,  is a most interesting thinker!

S. Kotler and J. Wheal, Stealing Fire.

I read Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALS, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steve Kotler and Jamie Wheal. It’s a well-written book, but the authors are stuck in a mechanistic mindset. They view the brain as a machine.6  And they talk about brain’s ”knobs and levers” throughout the book.7 I don’t find it much of an improvement to view our psychology as a user interface (or UI), rather than an operating system (or OS).8 Both metaphors are misleading. The authors also believe that it’s possible to program living cells with the same ease that we program computers.9 These are just a few examples.

Nordic Friends Yearly Meeting 2017, Nordiska Folkhögskolan, Kungälv, Sweden.

I participated in the Nordic Friends Yearly Meeting 2017. Here is a summary of my experiences. Here is also a beautifully sad Norwegian song which the Norwegian Quakers shared during the Yearly Meeting. The song is about light, beacons, and the fairway which both takes you away from home, and home.

This week, another of Eugene T. Gendlin’s books arrived.

E. Gendlin, Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning.

It’s Gendlin’s book on Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning: A Philosophical and Psychological Approach to the Subjective. I’ve just started reading and already find the book fascinating.

What was good? What can be improved?
It was good that I finally got this retrospective written. It feels really satisfying to see how my love of reading and learning flow into these forms. Now, it’s time to return to my old habit of doing weekly retrospectives.

Notes:
1 The notion of generative order is from David Bohm & F. David Peat. See Bohm and Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01), pp. 80, 148, 154–157, 216, 286–287.
2 The notion of organizing order is mine, but it is based on David Bohm & F. David Peat’s notion of order. Ibid., pp. 97–146.
3 The notion of an overall paradigmatic framework is also from David Bohm & F. David Peat. Ibid., p. 276.
4 The notion of autognomics is from Skye Hirst and Gene Pendergraft. Skye Hirst chose the word autonomics,  while Gene Pendergraft addeded the ”g” to make it autognomics. See History of TAI (accessed 2017-07-16).
5 See also the description of autognomics in TAI’s Glossary (accessed 2017-07-16).
6 Steve Kotler and Jamie Wheal describe the human brain as the most complex machine on the planet. See Steve Kotler and Jamie Wheal, Stealing Fire (HarperCollins, 2017), p. 37.
7 Ibid., pp. 24, 85, 95, 113, 153.
8 Ibid., p. 112.
9 Ibid., p. 133.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 45

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 finished reading Toward a Psychology of Awakening by John Welwood. Welwood’s approach to the psychology of awakening emphasizes practice in three domains: Meditation for the supra-personal, psychological work for the personal, conscious relationship practice for the inter-personal.1 The book represents a thirty year journey and is excellent. I will make an in-depth review of the book in a coming post. In the meantime, here is a compilation of my tweets from John Welwood’s book.

Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

What was good? What can be improved?
Reading John Welwood’s book was well worth the time. However, writing in-depth book reviews take much time. To save time, I will start to make notes while reading.

Notes:
1 John Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation (Shambhala, 2002), p.xvii.
2 Ibid., p.xviii.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 44

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?
Two new books arrived this week. The first one is Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the NAVY SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal. The second is Beyond Being: Gadamer’s Post-Platonic Hermeneutical Ontology by Brice R. Wachterhauser. Simon Robinson recommended the second book in this comment on my retrospective two weeks ago.

Kotler & Wheal, Stealing Fire, and Wachterhauser, Beyond Being.

This week I’ve started reading Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl, and Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation by John Welwood. Both are excellent books! I will review both.

Wahl, Designing Regenerative Cultures, and Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

John Welwood’s description of writing from a felt sense caught my attention. John explains how he approached the writing of his own book:

”In writing … I started with a diffuse felt sense of what I wanted to say, which I have to keep referring back to along the way. I can’t know exactly what I want to say except by letting it unfold word by word, sentence by sentence. Each sentence leads to the next, which in turn builds on what has previously unfolded. At the end … I should have discovered the full range of my intent (although of course, there’s always more).”1

At the end of last year, I mentioned in this retrospective that I have deep fears of revealing publicly my own ideas and beliefs. This fear has influenced how I’ve approached my writing. I’ve given expression to my voice through the voices of others. It has also prevented me from listening to my own diffuse felt sense of what I want to say. My approach has furthermore been analytical, that is I’ve tried to:

  • Get an overview of the parts, or organizing orders (here is an overview).
  • Understand what the parts do (here is the analysis).
  • Assemble the parts into an understanding (here is the synthesis).

The analytical approach has left me unsatisfied, because I already have a diffuse felt sense of what I want to say. And this felt sense goes beyond purely analytical understanding. Going forward, I’ll shift my focus from gathering input — for example, by reading all these books — to letting what I want to say unfold word by word, post by post.

Finally, I found the following interviews with Basil Hiley, a long-time co-worker with David Bohm:

  • Here is a video where Basil Hiley discusses the Wholistic Universe. Basil Hiley starts by saying that ”the world is basically organic, and the mechanistic part is just an aspect of the deeper organic part.”
  • Here is a video where Basil Hiley discusses Bohm’s Quantum theory and more.
  • Here is part 1 (or 2) of Taher Gozel’s interview with Basil Hiley where they discusses the latest developments in physics. And here is part 2 (of 2).

What was good? What can be improved?
I really value feedback from others. This week I’d like to mention three persons:

  • Simon Robinson (@srerobinson) has provided valuable input and inspiration ever since I started this series – well, even before! Simon’s book recommendations have always been excellent. Here are a few examples. Simon is co-author of this book on Holonomics.
  • Skye Hirst (@autognomics) and I have had ongoing conversations over Skype since February, sometimes several times per week. I’ve learned so much from Skye, not least personally! It feels like we’ve become close friends, although we’ve never met in person.
  • Marcus Kempe (@KempeMarcus) and I met for the first time in person this week. We’ve been following each other on Twitter for a few years. Marcus has started writing about unconscious beliefs and assumptions in Software Intensive Product Development.

Notes:
1 John Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening (Shambala, 2002), p. 93.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 43

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 Luc Ferry’s A Brief History of Thought this week. It’s a well-written book which provides a great overview of different philosophical systems.  I mentioned in this retrospective that reading Whitehead gave me insights into my own metaphysics. Similarly, reading Ferry gave me insights into my own thinking. Here is my review of A Brief History of Thought.

Jones, Artful Leadership (left), and Ferry, A Brief History of Thought (right).

This week, I also finished my review of Michael Jones’ book Artful Leadership. It has taken me quite some time to write this review. It’s such a wonderful book that I decided to provide an extensive summary together with my conclusions. Here is my review of Artful Leadership.

If my review of Artful Leadership is unusually long, then my review of A Brief History of Thought is unusually short. I have the habit of putting a yellow index on text which I find interesting (the more interesting, the more visible), while I mark text where I have questions with the corner of an index. The picture below shows how different my impressions are of the two books.

Ferry, A Brief History of Thought (top), and Jones, Artful Leadership (bottom).

There’s much in Luc Ferry’s book which I question, but not necessarily disagree with. After having read Ferry, I realize that I’m much more of a scepticist than a dogmatist philosophically. And I find it fascinating that I hardly found anything in Michael Jones’ book with which I disagree. It’s a powerful experience to encounter someone (Jones) who can express your own thoughts more eloquently than you can yourself.

It’s also interesting to note that I can’t put Jones’ thinking into any of the philosophical systems described by Luc Ferry. One reason for this is that Jones’ thinking goes beyond pure reason. I agree with Jones that the invisible structures of wholeness lies in the spaces between our thoughts and concepts.1 This means that we need to bring our focus ‘upstream’ to where reason and heart may work in common.2 And here lies a paradox: How do you make what’s invisible apparent in language? The deeper generative orders for organizing lie in the invisible structures of wholeness.

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m active in this discussion group on sociocracy.  John Schinnerer wrote something very interesting this as a reply to one of my own mails to the group. John wrote:

… note that process and outcome live at opposite ends.
The more we want a particular (our ”perfect”) outcome, the farther we
are from getting to have some particular process, and vice versa.

… if we want to use only this particular process,
we better be open to what the outcome is.
And, if we want this one particular outcome,
we better be open to what process(es) will get us there.

I find this interesting since it’s often assumed that you can control the outcome by controlling the process. It’s, for example, one of the ISO 9000 series quality management principles.3 John clarified his thinking in a second mail where he writes:

I think if we are talking about relatively simple, purely deterministic
systems, that is possible. … [i.e., to control the output by controlling the process]

Any time we have humans involved, I think this [Erik Stolterman’s] model comes
into play, at least in part, or in some aspects of the system. …

I’m now searching for more information about the model which John mentions. The model is developed by Erik Stolterman. Here is Erik’s blog where he writes:

My goal is to be able to formulate a deeper understanding of the relation between technological and societal development.

I can paraphrase Erik Stolterman by saying that:

My goal is to be able to formulate a deeper understanding of the relation between humans and organizational development.

And this deeper understanding has very much to do with what Michael Jones writes about in Artful Leadership.

Notes:
1 Michael Jones, Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p. xi.
2 Ibid..
3 See ISO 9000 – Wikipedia (accessed 2017-05-27).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 42

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?
Yesterday, I published this review of The Future of Humanity: A Conversation by Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm. The book was a disappointment! Not because of Bohm, but because of Krishnamurti. This was my first encounter with Krishnamurti, and I got the impression that he didn’t know what he was talking about. Those who have read this series of post on organizing ”between and beyond” know that I’m deeply influenced by Bohm. Even the notion of ”between and beyond” is inspired by him.1

Krishnamurti & Bohm, The Future of Humanity

After my review, I went back to F. David Peat’s biography Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm to learn more about the relationship between Bohm and Krishnamurti. Here is my review of Peat’s book. Peat writes that Bohm felt that Krishnamurti didn’t give sufficient attention to the social dimension of his teachings. Those who surrounded Krishnamurti were related to him, but not to each other. Bohm also found it disturbing how Krishnamurti’s image was being inflated by those around him, and that the Indian teacher didn’t do anything to prevent it.2 Krishnamurti responded by pushing Bohm in a way that others later described as brutal. As Bohm was thrown into despair, Krishnamurti distanced himself from Bohm.3

New books
Three new books arrived this week:

  • A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry.
  • Toward a Psychology of Awakening by John Welwood.
  • Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl.

I’ve started reading A Brief History of Thought and Before Philosophy, which arrived last week. Both books provide interesting perspectives on the history of thought. I’m somewhat surprised that Luc Ferry describes philosophy not only as ‘love’ (philo) of ‘wisdom’ (sophia),4 but also as a road to ‘salvation’ by the exercise of reason – if not from death itself, then from the anxiety it causes.5 Personally, I think loving wisdom – trying to live wisely – is a perfectly valid aim in itself. I also find reason to question reason itself. I’ve come to believe that reason alone will not save us and the world. Instead, we need to bring our focus ‘upstream’ to where reason and heart may work in common.6

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m learning new things, broadening my perspectives, all the time.

I need to finish my review of Artful Leadership by Michael Jones. It’s such a great book!

Notes:
1 The notion of organizing ”between and beyond” is inspired by David Bohm and F. David Peat’s notion of the ”order between and beyond.” See Bohm and Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), p. 275.
2 F. David Peat, Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm (Addison-Wesley, 1997), p. 284.
3 Ibid., p. 285.
4 Luc Ferry, A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living (HarperCollins, 2011), p. 15.
5 Ibid., p. 6.
6 The idea of moving ‘upstream’ is from Michael Jones. See Jones, Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p. xi.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 40

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 Artful Leadership by Michael Jones. It’s an absolutely wonderful book! What I particularly like is that Michael Jones goes beyond techniques into the depths of being human. Our vulnerability proves to be our greatest strength. Going back to first experiences, acting in ways contrary to how we have been educated is unsettling. Each person leads and follows at the same time. Neither extends beyond the other.1 I will come back with a book review.

Jones, Artful Leadership.

Skye Hirst asked this week what some of the key points are that I want to take away from all I have read:

  • What are the wisdoms I have learned in the last two or three years of reading?
  • What are my personal takeaways from all these readings?

My spontaneous answer is that we don’t know what we are doing. I think our organizations work, not because of the structures we impose on them, but despite of them. There’s so much meaning-less structure. And there’s so much misinformation out there – some of it is unconscious, some of it is conscious. We are all susceptible to hype. Here are some takeaways:

  • Assumptions are context dependent. This is related to unconscious misinformation. Something which is valid in one context is not necessarily valid in another. An example is that we treat living systems as machines. We acknowledge that people aren’t machines, but we still treat people as cogs in the machine. Mechanical thinking is EVERYWHERE and shows up in our use of metaphors. Here is an example.
  • Always go to the source. And I mean ALWAYS. This is related to conscious misinformation. An example is quotes which are incorrect and thus misleading. Here is an example.
  • We all have our blind spots. My search for better ways of working has become as much an inner as an outer journey. I didn’t expect this five years ago, but it makes sense today. In order to see the big picture, connecting the dots, we need to see clearly.
  • We have to jump into the water to learn to swim. To read about something is one thing, to experience it is another. I was reminded of this earlier this year, when I participated in a Quaker decision-making meeting. The ‘dance’ I observed in the search for unity cannot be fully described in words.

One idea worth exploring is how structure is related to meaning, and vice versa. Structure is ‘explicate,’ while meaning is ‘implicate.’ Meaning generates ‘authentic’ structure. Structure without meaning is ‘counterfeit.’

Robert E. Quinn’s book Change The World arrived this week. It’s a book is about personal transformation and how to be ”inner-directed and outer-focused.”

Quinn, Change the World.

What was good? What can be improved?
Skye’s questions got me thinking. I need to come back these questions.

Notes:
1 Michael Jones, Artful Leadership: Awakening the Commons of Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p.129.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 39

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 have spent this week reading Soulcraft and Wild Mind by Bill Plotkin. Bill Plotkin writes that contemporary society has lost touch with soul.1 We call the outer nature wild. The soul is our inner wilderness. It’s the core of our human nature.2 Our human souls consists of those aspects of self that are most natural, most of nature. Diminished human soul means diminished nature. The world cannot fully express itself without each of us fully expressing our selves.3 Soul is the primary organizing, sustaining, and guiding principle of living beings.4 Here is a post where Bill Plotkin talks about speaking in our true voice, singing our true song.

Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft, and Wild Mind.

Artful Leadership by Michael Jones arrived this week. This is a wonderful book. Michael Jones goes beyond techniques into soul (although he doesn’t use that word). Leading is, for him, about developing our unique gifts, cultivating our connection with one another, our work, and the world. Michael Jones is a leadership consultant, improvisational pianist, and composer. His being with music has influenced his leadership work and way of teaching. He no longer teaches from models and concepts that others have created. Instead, he lets the words come from the same place from which his music comes. We need to find our own feeling and our own thought, which comes from being at home with the place of undivided wholeness within ourselves.5

Michael Jones, ”Artful Leadership.”

What was good? What can be improved?
I found it remarkable that two very different books, by two different authors, using very different vocabulary, essentially are about the same thing. It’s about our unique way of belonging, and contributing, to the world. It’s a soul journey for Bill Plotkin and artful leadership for Michael Jones.

Notes:
1 Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (New World Library, 2003), p.1.
2 Ibid., p.15.
3 Ibid., p.16.
4 Foreword by Thomas Berry, Ibid., p.xiii.
5 Michale Jones, Artful leadership: Awakening the Commons of the Imagination (Pianoscapes, 2006), p.24.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 38

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 finished reading Floyd Merrell’s two books Change through Signs of Body, Mind, and Language (2000), and Becoming Culture (2012). Merrell is an excellent author. And Becoming Culture, which is Merrell’s latest book, is brilliant. The book taps into Charles Sanders Peirce’s alternative style of logic, which is useful for understanding cultural processes. Peirce’s logic is also useful for understanding organizing.

Books by Floyd Merrell.

People are self-directed. Floyd Merrell introduces the notion of resistormity to describe the middle way between conformity and resistance.1 Merrell uses the Spanish American colonial period as an example. He writes:

  • ”Conformity plus resistance is reminiscent of that maxim, made notorious during the Spanish American colonial period: … ‘I obey (overtly), but (covertly) I do not comply’ …”2
  • ”… prior to adopting an alternative response, these subjects were likely suffering from what in today’s terms we might call ‘cognitive dissonance’. They seemed to be in emotional and intellectual limbo … They were … awaiting the chance to embrace some possible and somewhat promising alternative.”3

In other words, people are resistormers – conformers, yet resistors.

’Resistormity’4
Conformity Middle Way Resistance
Iteration (Linear) Recursivity (Nonlinear)
Many is of utmost importance Singularity, Oneness, uniqueness, is of increasing importance
Predictability, of the collectivity Uncertainty, of the unique individual
Conventional knowing Unknowing knowing
Knowing upfront is prioritized Knowing through retrospection is usually of greatest value
A ‘Black Swan’ is a shocking and unwanted surprise, hence initially resisted A ‘Black Swan’ is expected, and readily accommodated
‘Grue’ remains virtually unintelligible ‘Grue’ can be made intelligible  (through the ‘middle way’)

Books by Carl Rogers.

I read several of Carl Rogers’ books in 2013. I revisited some of his thinking this week. Here is Samuel Tenenbaum’s article about Carl Rogers and Non-Directive Teaching. Tenenbaum writes that ”Non-directive teaching has profound implications” which ”extends to every area where human beings communicate and try to live with one another.”4

Here is also Nicola Davies post on Carl Rogers’ Organismic Valuing Process,5 which reminds me of Robert Hartman’s theory of value.6 Organismic valuing is based on authenticity, autonomy, internal locus of evaluation, unconditional positive regard, process living, relatedness, and openness to inner and outer experience. All this is related to life enhancing and life sustaining organizing.

What was good? What can be improved?
It’s so interesting to notice how books I’ve read recently gives me new perspectives on books I read several years ago. I need to re-read Carl Rogers’ books.

Notes:
1 Floyd Merrell, Becoming Culture (CreateSpace, 2012), p.159.
2 Ibid., p.156.
3 Ibid., p.158.
4 Floyd Merrell invites the reader to contemplate this table in view of what is suggested throughout the book. Ibid., p.159.
5 Samuel Tenenbaum, Carl R. Rogers and Non-Directive Teaching (ASCD, 1959) (assessed 2017-04-23).
6 Nicola Davies, The Organismic Valuing Process (2014-11-21) (accessed 2017-04-23).
7 Robert S. Hartman, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology (Wopf & Stock, 2011, first published 1967).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 37

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 Petra Kuenkel’s The Art of Leading Collectively. What I particularly like about this book is that she emphasizes the importance of ”life” and deep human values. If problem solving and conflict resolution is increasingly important in our complex world, then the skill of dialogue becomes one of the most fundamental of human skills.1 One of Petra Kuenkel’s conclusions is that we know deep inside how collective leadership works. It’s, in a way, about setting free what is already there. Here is my book review.

P. Kuenkel, The Art of Leading Collectively.

I’ve also written this post about enligthened organizing, which is a notion from Organizing a Buddhist Way by Dian Marie Hosking.2 Organizing is based on many different assumptions and beliefs. A dominating one is the positivist belief in rationality. There are, however, other possible beliefs. Dian Marie Hosking’s enlightened organizing is relational rather than rational. Again, dialogue plays a central role.

What was good? What can be improved?
The ongoing conversations with Skye Hirst. Giving expression to my personal voice.

Notes:
1 Petra Kuenkel, The Art of Leading Collectively (Chelsea Green, 2016), p. 107. See also Edgar Schein on dialogue, culture, and organizational learning, Reflections, 4(4), pp. 27–38.
2 Dian Marie Hosking, Organizing a Buddhist Way. See Peter Case and Hugo Letiche (editors), Belief and Organization (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), Chapter 5, pp. 69–89.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 36

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?
Skye Hirst and I have continued our conversations on living process and the shift from a mechanistic worldview to an organismic worldview. Skye sent me two papers this week:

  • The New Emergent Life-itself Paradigm Requires Understanding of Values by Norm & Skye Hirst
    For 30th Anniversary of Hartman Institute Conference Foundations For An Axiological Science.
  • Hartman’s Science Realized by Norm Hirst
    To appear in Journal of Formal Axiology: Theory and Practice.

Merrell, Change through Signs of Body, Mind, and Language

I’ve started to read Change through Signs of Body, Mind, and Language by Floyd Merrell. It’s an introductory text to semiotics. This is one of Merrell’s earlier books. Skye Hirst told me that Merrell’s latest book is Becoming Culture. I’ve bought this book too.

Toffler, Powershift

Alvin Toffler’s book PowerShift arrived this week. There’s now a long list of books which I’ve not had the time to read yet:

  • Good Business: Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
  • Management of the Absurd by Richard Farson.
  • Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action by Nan Lin.
  • Connectography: Mapping the Global Network Revolution by Parag Khanna.
  • Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives by William R. Miller & Janet C’de Baca.
  • Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald A. Heifetz.
  • Human Rights Horizons: The Pursuit Of Justice In A Globalizing World by Richard A. Falk.
  • A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-violent Conflict by Peter Ackerman, Jack DuVall.
  • Roads to Agreement: Successful Methods in the Science of Human Relations by Stuart Chase.
  • The Art of Leading Collectively: Co-Creating a Sustainable, Socially Just Future by Petra Kuenkel.
  • Process and Reality by Alfred North Whitehead.
  • Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Power at the Edge of the 21st Century by Alvin Toffler.

What was good? What can be improved?
The conversations with Skye Hirst are good.

I’m reading a lot, but need to get started with my own writing.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 35

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 have spent this week looking into how Quaker gospel/right/good order might be related to deeper generative order for organizing. Lloyd Lee Wilson writes in his Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order that good order is an organizing principleHere is my exploration of good order as an organizing principle. And here is my book review.

I have mixed feelings about Lloyd Lee Wilson’s book. Wilson trusts the Quaker faith tradition (systemic value) more than the individual’s ability to discern his/her own beliefs and what s/he needs to learn next (intrinsic value) .1 He also values the use of historic Quaker language (extrinsic value) more than his ability to communicate with non-Quakers (intrinsic value).2

Lloyd Lee Wilson speculates that its the lack of Quaker Vision which is the reason why (Conservative) Quakers are unable to invite others to join.3 I’d say that the reason is that (Conservative) Quakers value their faith tradition and historic language more than newcomers. Try to protect Quakerism from external influence and it loses its vitality.

What was good? What can be improved?
I really appreciate the ongoing conversations with Skye Hirst. I value her perspectives and experience. This week I realized that Skye has given me a new language with which I can describe my own knowing and lived experiences.

Notes:
1 This is from Lloyd Lee Wilson’s discussion on how to teach newcomers about the Religious Society of Friends, and how to bring them into the fellowship of the faith community. See The Meeting as Convenant Community in Part Two of Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order by Lloyd Lee Wilson.
2 Ibid..
3 Ibid..

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 34

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 needed to take a break this week after having read Alfred North Whithead and Robert S. Hartman. Here is my review of Sherburne’s A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality. And here is my review of Hartman’s The Structure of Value.

A week ago, Sky Hirst sent this post on Why War: Einstein and Freud’s Little-Known Correspondence on Violence, Peace, and Human Nature by Maria Popova. I was struck by the big difference between Freud and Hartman’s perspectives. Freud thinks, for example, that ”the Roman conquest” brought a boon, while Hartman sees the Roman conquest as the ”Tragedy of Rome – military despotism.”1

This is an example of how Freud turned Hartman’s axiological priorities (intrinsic > extrinsic > systemic) upside down (systemic > extrinsic > intrinsic). This is very common, and it has all sorts of pathological consequences. Hartman goes as far as to say that the ”danger that threatens life” is the ”tremendous gap between those who think in terms of [intrinsic] human values and those who think in the collective terms of [systemic] non-human systems ”.2 I think Hartman is right. This means that, deeper generative orders for organizing need to be grounded in intrinsic values.

Now, I’m reading Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order by Lloyd Lee Wilson. I’m interested in how organizing order might be related to Quaker gospel/right/good order. I’m also interested in how Quaker good order might be related to Hartman’s axiology and definition of goodness.

Wilson, Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order

Next, I’ll read Floyd Merrell’s Change through Signs of Body, Mind, and Language, which arrived this week.

Merrell, Change through Signs of Body, Mind, and Language

What was good? What can be improved?
I’ve become very good at absorbing large amounts of text. I need to improve the sharing of my observations.

Notes:
1 Robert S. Hartman, Freedom to Live: The Robert Hartman Story, p. 115.
2 Ibid., p. 124.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 33

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 Robert Hartman’s The Structure of Value. Here is my book review.

I found it interesting to see how Hartman constructs the foundations for his value science. As a consequence, the book also raises many basic questions for me related to science, knowledge, value, and even life-itself.

Hartman points out the versatility of mathematics, which is both general and precise. My question, though, is whether the precision in mathematics also limits the contexts which it can address? What if mathematics, with its precision, puts requirements on the contexts which it can handle with great generality? This probably doesn’t have any consequences for Hartman’s foundations of axiology, but it can possibly have consequences for, say, a science of life-itself?

Hartman says over and over that the concepts of philosophy are analytic, while those of science are synthetic. Analytic concepts are vague and general abstractions that arise from arguing about a subject. While synthetic concepts are precise and exact constructions (syn-thesis = con-struct) that arise within the body of a system. The key assumption is that axiomatic synthesis gives rise to a system which mirrors the total variety of the corresponding actuality. Within what limits is this assumption valid?

Hartman writes that it’s a true art to find a correspondence between reality and a formal system. Interestingly, the axiom itself is captured only through another and very distinct form of knowledge – direct and immediate intuition. This means that you ultimately have to build your science on intuitionIntuition is, in other words, a deeper generative order. If your intuition is misinformed, well, then your entire synthetic construction will become misconstrued.

Personally, I think that neither synthetic nor analytic thinking can penetrate the essence of life-itself. Life-itself is neither a construction nor an abstraction. Life-itself is, on the contrary, direct and immediate. I believe, therefore, that the essence of life-itself only can be penetrated by direct and immediate intuition.

I also believe, contrary to Hartman, that the more precisely, that is synthetic-ally, you want to think, the more limited your context, or corresponding reality, will have to be. And, vice versa, the larger the context, the more difficult it will be to keep the thinking precise. Human synthetic thought is limited. It’s both related to a limited human capacity to thing precisely, and to limitations inherent in synthetic thinking itself. Precise thinking is like a laser beam. It has both focus and intensity, but a too high intensity also kills. At least, this is my thinking right now.

The book itself is an excellent example of axiomatic synthesis. I notice that Hartman relies on extensional logic, in this case combinatory mathematics, to construct his intensional logic. This gives the impression that Hartman’s intensional logic basically is a subset of extensional logic. In other words, Hartman’s distinction between between extensional and intensional logic becomes somewhat arbitrary, or analytic. However, I may display my total ignorance here?

Nevertheless, Hartman’s book is a remarkable achievement and his insights are profound! Hartman calls, for example, disvalue posing as value a perversion of value. A common example is when the horrors of war are disguised as virtues. Another insidious example is learning children to value not valuing themselves.

What was good? What can be improved?
I’m surprised and pleased that I was able to finalize my review of Hartman’s The Structure of Value in just a week. Now, I need to take a break! I won’t touch a book in a few days.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 32

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 spent this week studying Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy by reading Donald W. Sherburne’s A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality. Here is my review of Sherburne’s excellent book.

Sherburne, A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality

Surprisingly, reading Whitehead gave me insights into my own metaphysics. I can see that I’m very much influenced by David Bohm. Interestingly, I think that Bohm went beyond Whitehead’s actual entities. There is no going behind actual entities to find anything more real, according to Whitehead. From a Bohmian perspective, even actual entities have an implicate order. Active information, rather than process, is constitutive of the world. I’d say that my metaphysics is a philosophy of in-formed order. Here is a post on life as an order of orders.

Hartman, The Structure of Value

I’ve also started reading Robert S. Hartman’s The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology. Contrary to Whitehead’s Process and Reality, it’s a well-structured and clearly written book. Interestingly, Hartman touches upon Husserl’s phenomenology and argues that phenomenology is itself a formal axiology. I will, of course, write a review of this bookHere is my review of another of Hartman’s books, Freedom to Live: The Robert Hartman Story. Hartman’s writing and life experiences are very interesting and engaging.

This week, I’ve also spent quite some time going deeper into my own self-knowing.

What was good? What can be improved?
Skye Hirst’s coaching is very helpful! It makes it possible for me to go deeper into my own self-knowing. Seeing your own blindnesses is very difficult, if not impossible, alone.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 31

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?
It has been an intense week involving deep personal work with coaching support from Skye Hirst. Skye and I have also discussed our working together with the aim to explore ”Living Process”. I think that our conversations are going to be the core of our working together. We need to use what we know and come to the ”sense of our conversations” together. There are ‘jewels’ in Norm Hirst’s papers, but I need to understand where Norm came from, and how he got there.

A candle as a metaphor for the living process.1 (Drawing by Jan Höglund.)

The exploration of ”Living Process” is in itself a living process. I’ve setup a wiki which allows us to write collaboratively if we’d like. Setting up the wiki and its initial structure has been great fun! I have used a candle as a metaphor for the living process.1 A living process requires energy (a sense of purpose), inflow (a sense of direction), inner life (a sense of coherence and wholeness), outflow (harvesting, discernment), and feedback (learning) to stay alive. So does Skye’s and my exploration.

”EarthDance” by Sahtouris.

I’ve finished my re-reading of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution by Elisabet Sahtouris. I read it the first time in April 2013. It’s such a great book that I definitely will take the time to write a thorough book review. Here are, for example, the principles of healthy living systems which Elisabet Sahtouris has identified. And here is Sahtouris distinction between operating as mechanism vs. organism. I would probably have used notions like coherence instead of coordination. And I would also have emphasized that there are no ‘parts’ (it’s a mechanistic notion) in organisms and living living systems, but overall I like the book very much!

”Process and Reality” by Whitehead and ”A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality” by Sherburne.

I have started to read Process and Reality by Alfred North Whitehead (recommended by Skye Hirst), and A Key to Whiteheads’s Process and Reality by Donald W. Sherburne (recommended by Simon Robinson).

There are several books which I have received but haven’t had time to read yet:

  • The Tree of Knowledge by Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela (recommended by Jeff Loeb).
  • Good Business: Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly.
  • Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership by Richard Farson.
  • Connectography: Mapping the Global Network Revolution by Parag Khanna.
  • Roads to Agreement by Stuart Chase.
  • Human Rights Horizons: The Pursuit Of Justice In A Globalizing World by Richard A. Falk
  • Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives by William R. Miller and Janet C’de Baca.
  • Ronald A. Heifetz book Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald A. Heifetz.
  • The Art of Leading Collectively: Co-Creating a Sustainable, Socially Just Future by Petra Kuenkel (I’ve promised Petra Kuenkel to write a book review).
  • A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-violent Conflict by Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall.

What was good? What can be improved?
I really appreciate the coaching support from Skye Hirst. I’m also very glad and enthusiastic about our working together.

I’m very impressed by the wiki’s functionality and openness. The possibilities to quickly search through and edit pages are great. And I’ve really enjoyed the working with the evolving text.

I’m not sure how I will find the time to read all books. I need to become more efficient in capturing the essence of the books. However, I do love reading!

Notes:
1 This is an adaption of an idea which originally comes from Lasse Ramquist and Mats Eriksson. See Ramquist & Eriksson, Manöverbarhet: VU-processen—en ledningsmodell för strategisk fokusering, medarbetarengagemang och konkurrens på livets villkor (Ekerlids Förlag, 2000).

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Organizing retrospective 29

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?
Now, I’ve read the compendium of papers by Norm Hirst which Skye Hirst sent a week ago. Norm and Skye Hirst propose that a new metaphysics, value logic, and science (beyond physics) are needed, which are more fitting to the emerging organismic worldview. My reading of Norm’s papers also led me to briefly revisit Robert Hartman’s books Freedom to Live and The Structure of Value. Here is my review of Freedom to Live. And here is also a new post on value-intelligence as organizing order. I think value-intelligence is an example of a deeper generative order for organizing that is present in anything that’s alive.

Books by Robert Hartman and papers by Norm Hirst.

Ronald A. Heifetz book Leadership Without Easy Answers arrived this week (lower right). This means I now have several books available to read. I also need to review The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, and Governing the Commons by Elinor Ostrom (lower left).

Books to read and review.

What was good? What can be improved?
I so appreciate the connection with Skye Hirst. Based on Skye’s recommendations, I’ve bought Change Through Signs of Body, Mind, and Language by Floyd Merrell, and Process and Reality by Alfred North Whitehead. I’ve also bought A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality by Donald Sherburne, as recommended by Simon Robinson.

I need to continue working on my narrative, integrating my thinking into a coherent whole.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Value-intelligence as organizing order

Foreword
Value-intelligence within life is related to my interest in organizing principles. I think it’s an example of a deeper generative order for organizing that is present in anything that’s alive. Here are my other posts on organizing.

Value-intelligence
Skye Hirst, Co-Founder of The Autognomics Institute (TAI), presents here the idea of a Value-Intelligence present in living organisms. Skye Hirst writes (my emphasis in bold):

”… capacities for value-intelligence are operative throughout all living contexts …”

”… anything … alive … is a dynamic organism, and … functions according to similar organizing principles.”

”… we act from assumptions that are formed through our value lenses …”

”[The Hartman Value Profile] … points to the existence of … organizing principles of value-intelligence within life …”

”[The] … inner intelligence does not control; it liberates and frees living entities to find the most effective acts …”

”… there are organizing principles that allow … for all life to be co-creative, self-organizing …”

Afterword
Skye Hirst introduced me to the Hartman Value Profile in February 2017. It was amazing to experience how quickly Skye helped me to picture my own inner relational realities. I could understand some of how my own value intelligence has developed. And it was immensely helpful to see where I have my own strengths and blindnesses.

Related post:
Book Review: Freedom to Live

 

Organizing retrospective 28

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?
A month ago, I revived my interest in the Quaker’s approach to making group decisions. It was a profound experience to observe a decision-making meeting. I’ve written about it in my previous retrospectives here and here and here. The Quakers reach unity by searching for the ”sense of the meeting.” After having read Centered on the Edge I’d describe what the Quakers do like this:1 (1) There’s a deliberate and consistent holding of a fundamental intention for unity, and a kind of spacious inclusiveness, which results from that intention. (2) There’s also a deep listening for the meaning conveyed behind the words, and for its significance in the life of the speaker. The Quakers stay with the speaker, trusting that all that is being said is needed for the group as a whole, even if they disagree, or don’t yet understand its implications.

This week, I’ve revived my interest in the work of Norm and Skye Hirst. Their work is most interesting!  They founded The Autognomics Institute (TAI) in 1993. Here is TAI’s web page. TAI has spent decades researching the fundamental organizing principles of Life Itself, and to translate this understanding into practical use. It was Skye Hirst who introduced the notion of autognomics, which means self-knowing: (1) The study and processes of life knowing itself, its systems of order. (2) Auto–to reflect within and upon self, Gnosis. Next week I’ll read a compendium of papers by Norm Hirst and Skye Hirst.

Two books arrived during the week, Human Rights Horizons: The Pursuit Of Justice In A Globalizing World by Richard A. Falk, and Quantum Change: When Epiphanies and Sudden Insights Transform Ordinary Lives by William R. Miller and Janet C’de Baca.

Human Rights Horizons by Richard A. Falk and Quantum Change by William R. Miller and Janet C’de Baca.

I also finished reading The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. This is a wonderful book which is full of uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes. I will write a book review next week.

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.

Reflecting on the discovery process itself, I can now see how my work is divided into three interwoven strands:

  1. The first one is to gather input. This is primarily done by all my reading.
  2. The second strand is to reflect on the input itself. Is there any misinformation? What are the key assumptions? Within what limits are they valid? (This goes back to the fundamental organizing principles of Life Itself.)
  3. The third strand is my own narrative and how I’m structuring my thoughts.

The challenge is that

What we need to understand may only be expressible in a language that we do not know.
–Anthony Judge

Another challenge is how can you see what you don’t see?

What was good? What can be improved?
It was great to speak with Skye Hirst this week! We are going to explore how we might work together going forward. She sent a compendium of papers which I will read next week. Skye encouraged me to share more of my own discovery process coming to my own ”sense of meeting” (coherence making) as I have moved from feelings of depression (low coherence) to finding new meaning trusting my ”sensed” experience.

Skye Hirst also introduced me to the Hartman Value Profile as applied to myself. It was amazing to experience how quickly Skye helped me to picture my own inner relational realities. I could understand some of how my own value intelligence has developed. And it was immensely helpful to see where I have my own strengths and blindnesses. Thank you so much Skye!

Notes:
1 For more on the practices of holding the space and listening deeply, see Alan Briskin, Tom Callahan, Sheryl Erickson, Joan Lederman, John Ott, Dave Potter, Mitch Saunders, Megan Scribner, Chris Strutt (thinking partners), Centered on the Edge: Mapping a Field of Collective Intelligence & Spiritual Wisdom (Fetzer Institute, 2001), p. 60.

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Organizing in between and beyond posts