This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.
What is on my mind?
In today’s reflection, I’m combining Joseph Campbell (a mythodological story) with Robert S. Hartman (intrinsic/systemic) and David Bohm (order).
I stumbled upon the following quote by Joseph Campbell this morning (my emphasis in bold):
… the old Sufis … spoke of wearing the outer garment of the law, that is to say the order of the society in which one is living …
Now, in order to find the inner garment, you have to take off the outer garment and let it go. … But unless you can put the other garment back on again, you haven’t really come to the sophistication that let’s you know that this is that, and that is this—that this outer garment is the outer reflection of the same laws and principles that you’re finding within so that you should be at ease somehow in the two worlds.1
This can be paraphrazed as follows (my emphasis in bold):
Now, in order to find authentic organizing, you have to take off the systemic and let it go. … But unless you can put the systemic back on again, you haven’t really come to the sophistication that let’s you know that this is that, and that is this—that the systemic is the outer reflection of the same laws and principles that you’re finding intrinsically within so that you should be at ease somehow in the organization.2
The paradox of authentic organizing, is that you have to take off the systemic order and then put it back, such that the systemic order is a reflection of the organization’s intrinsic order.3
1 Joseph Campbell, The Vitality of Myth.
2 In paraphrazing Joseph Campbell, I’m using Rober S. Hartman’s distinction between intrinsic and systemic value dimensions. See Robert S. Hartman, The Structure of Value: Foundations of Scientific Axiology, pp.112–14.
3 The notion of order is from David Bohm and F. David Peat. See David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010, first published 1987), pp. 97–146.
Organizing in between and beyond posts