Etikettarkiv: Quotes

Why we need a hug?

There’s a reason why, when my son who’s six is crying, he needs a hug. It’s not just that he needs my love. He needs a boundary around his experience. He needs to know that the pain is contained and can be housed and it won’t be limiting his whole being. He gets a hug and he drops into his body.
—Matthew Sanford

Source: Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise, p. 68.

Masanobu Fukuoka in his own words

This post is a compilation of my tweets from reading of Masanobu Fukuoka’s two books The One-Straw Revolution and Sowing Seeds in the Desert. Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008) was a Japanese farmer and philosopher. He was an outspoken advocate of the value of observing nature’s principles.

Masanobu Fukuoka’s first and last major works (from left to right).

The One-Straw Revolution is Masanobu Fukuoka’s first book which became a bestseller. It is an inspiring book about agriculture, because it is not just about agriculture. The book is both practical and philosophical. Masanobu Fukuoka criticizes our willingness to reduce life to what is know about it, and to act on the assumption that what we don’t know can safely be ignored. Masanobu Fukuoka uses paradox and apparent contradiction to help break habitual patterns of thought. He opens the consciousness to perception beyond the reach of the intellect.

Sowing Seeds in the Desert is Masanobu Fukuoka’s last—and perhaps his most important—major work. One principle that Masanobu Fukuoka followed was to consider how one could do as little as possible. This was not because he was lazy, but because of his belief that if nature were given the opportunity it would do everything on its own. Masanobu Fukuoka saw nature as a single interconnected reality. And he saw time as an uninterrupted moment of the present with past and future embedded within it.

Quotes from The One-Straw Revolution

Eventually I decided to give my thoughts a form, to put them into practice, and so to determine whether my understanding was right or wrong.

Nature as grasped by scientific knowledge is a nature which has been destroyed, it is a ghost possessing a skeleton, but no soul.

The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

I was unable to communicate my view to anyone. Eventually I decided to give my thoughts a form, to put them into practice, and so to determine whether my understanding was right or wrong.1

The usual way to go about developing a method is … bringing in a variety of techniques one upon the other. This … only results in making the farmer busier.2

The reason that man’s improved techniques seem to be necessary is that the natural balance has been so badly upset beforehand by those same techniques.

To the extent that people separate themselves from nature, they spin out further and further from the center.

… if people merely become caught up in reacting, moving to the left or to the right, depending on conditions, the result is only activity.

I think that … the world has become so specialized that it has become impossible for people to grasp anything in its entirety.

A single step away from the source can only lead astray.

Scientists think they can understand nature. … But I think an understanding of nature lies beyond the reach of human intelligence. Why … That which is conceived to be nature is only the idea of nature arising in each person’s mind.

The ones who see true nature … see without thinking, straight and clear. If even the names of plants are known, … nature is not seen in its true form.

An object seen in isolation from the whole is not the real thing.

If you want to get an idea of the natural fertility of the earth, take a walk to the wild mountainside sometime and look at the giant trees that grow without fertilizer and … cultivation. The fertility of nature, as it is, is beyond reach of the imagination.

Nature is everywhere in perpetual motion; conditions are never exactly the same in any two years.

… until the general sense of values changes, the situation will not improve.

… all aspects of the problem … must be brought together and solved at the same time. A problem cannot be solved by people who are concerned with only one or another of its parts.

Food that is not fresh can be sold because it looks fresh.3

If you think commercial vegetables are nature’s own, you are in for a big surprise. These vegetables are a watery chemical concoction … with a little help from the seed.

… if you decide to try to make money … you get on board of the profit wagon, and it runs away with you.

The act of defense is already an attack.

Fast rather than slow, rather than less—this flashy ”development” is linked directly to society’s impending collapse.

Though he was called a poor peasant … The New Year’s holiday lasted about three months. Gradually this vacation came to be shortened to … a three-day holiday. … There is no time in modern agriculture for a farmer to write a poem or compose a song.

I do not particularly the word ”work.” Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think this is the most ridiculous thing in the world.4

[There’s] a distinction between techniques undertaken in conscious pursuit of given objective, and those which arise spontaneously … free from the domination of the volitional intellect.5

Quotes from Sowing Seeds in the Desert

… one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them …

Discriminating knowledge is derived from the analytic, willful intellect in an attempt to organize experience into a logical framework. … Non-discriminating knowledge arises without conscious effort … without interpretation of the intellect.

Human life is not sustained by its own power. Nature gives birth to human beings and keeps them alive. This is the relation in which people stand to nature.

Nature is in constant transition, changing from moment to moment. … The face of nature is unknowable.

Trying to capture the unknowable in theories and formalized doctrines is trying to catch the wind in a butterfly net.

Discrimination, a fragmented and incomplete understanding, always forms the starting point of human knowledge. Unable to know the whole of nature, people can do no better than to construct an incomplete model of it …

There is meaning and basic satisfaction just in living close to the source of things. Life is song and poetry.

Just as human beings do not know themselves, they cannot know the other. Human beings may be children of ”Mother Nature,” but they are no longer able to see the true form of their mother. Looking for the whole, they only see parts.

… the discriminating and analytical knowledge of scientists may be useful for taking nature apart and looking at its parts, but it is of no use for graping the reality of pure nature.

People do sometimes sense the sacredness of nature, such as when they look closely at a flower, climb high peaks, or journey deep into the mountain. Such aesthetic sense, love, receptivity, and understanding are people’s most basic instincts—their true nature.

If we have not grasped the intrinsic greenness of the grasses and trees, which originates with the life at their core, we cannot say that we really understand what true green is.

People simply believe they understand by making a distinction based on the outer appearance.

I believe that there is a limit to our ability to know nature with human knowledge.6

In the end, it will require some courage and perhaps a leap of faith for people to abandon what they think they know.7

Plants, people, butterflies, and dragonflies appear to be separate, individual living things, yet each is an equal and important participant in nature. … They form a single living organism.8

In the end it is love, really, that sustains our spirit.

Gradually I came to realize that the process of saving the desert of the human heart and revegetating the actual desert is actually the same thing.9

… what the world sees as cause and effect can be deceptive.10

The first step we must take in countering desertification is not to redirect the flow of rivers, but to cause rain to fall again. This involves revegetation.11

The problem is that the water, soil, and plants are considered separately … A permanent solution will never come about this way.12

Both in the past and at the present, human beings with their ”superior” knowledge, have been the ringleader in turning the earth and the human heart into wastelands.13

I first saw the desert and began to have an interest in it the summer I flew to the US … in 1979. I was expecting the American continent to be a vast, fertile green plain … , but … it was a brown, desolate semi-desert.14

Modern agriculture in the desert is based on the idea that you can grow anything if you just have water. … I advised people, on the contrary, to use as little water as possible … … high temperatures from radiant heat are of greater concern than lack of water.

… una typical scientist I have not tried to … systematically formulate measures for preventing desertification. Instead, my desert prevention measures are strictly intuitive and based on observation. I arrived at the by using a deductive method.

My immediate concern is that unforeseen changes are occurring in the communities of plants and soil microorganisms as a result of using chemicals.15

… while modern agriculture appears to be increasing yields, net productivity is actually decreasing.

As mechanization was introduced … increased harvests became the overriding goal, and efficiency declined sharply. Now … the energy produced is only half that invested.16

… modern petroleum-based farming is not producing anything at all. Actually, it is ”producing” a loss. The that is produced, the or the earth’s resources are being eaten up. In addition, it creates pollution and destroys the soil.

… by using mass-production techniques, the meat and fish industries severely pollute the earth and the sea.

… rather than bombs, it would be better to sow seeds in clay pellets from airplanes that had previously been used as military bombers.17

I do know … the usefulness of aerial seeding for revegetating large areas in a short period of time.18

The problem … is not that a place becomes a desert because there is no water … The relationship of soil, water, trees, and human communities is not as straightforward as specialists would have us believe.19

Originally, water, soil, and crops were a single unit, but since the time people came to distinguish soil from water, and to separate soil from crops, the links among the three were broken. They became isolated and were placed in opposition to one another

… instead of thinking that grasses and trees grow in the soil, it is actually the grasses and trees, other plants, animals, microorganisms, and water that create the soil and give it life.20

… efforts should not be centered on rules and techniques. At the core there must be a sound, realistic way of seeing the world. Once the philosophy is understood, the appropriate techniques will become clear as day.

… the techniques will be different for different situations and conditions, but the underlying philosophy will not change.

Without understanding what it is to know things intuitively, people have sought knowledge and have become lost.

My method of natural farming aims at liberating the human heart.21

1 Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution, p.5.
2 Ibid., p.15.
3 Ibid., p.88.
4 Ibid., p.115.
5 Ibid., p.119.
6 Masanobu Fukuoka, Sowing Seeds in the Desert, p.35.
7 Ibid., p.36.
8 Ibid., p.43.
9 Ibid., p.47.
10 Ibid., p.60.
11 Ibid., pp.60–61.
12 Ibid., p.64.
13 Ibid., p.79.
14 Ibid., pp.70–71.
15 Ibid., p.89.
16 Ibid., pp.89–90.
17 Ibid., p.100.
18 Ibid., p.101.
19 Ibid., p.107.
20 Ibid., p.108.
21 Ibid., p.140.

Quotes of Stephen Buhner

This is a compilation of my tweets from Stephen Harrod Buhner’s book The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature.

… the things that you need to find you will find, if only you will follow your heart.

Once people have a name for something, their tendency is to think they understand it and once they think they understand it, they quite experiencing it fresh and new each time they encounter it.

Ultimately life must be, is intended to be, experienced.

You are learning a different kind of language now, and you must be suspicious of the word. Words are the domain of the linear mind …

Allow your sensory perceptions to be your thinking. Sense instead of think.

Eventually you have to move from looking and go into feeling, realizing that feeling is a sense, too. Not the touch of the fingers, but the touch of the heart. This kind of touch has another dimension, deeper than that possessed by the fingers.

… if you have an assumption about the form in which the knowledge will appear, you will overlook much that is important.

We are meant to feel the touch of the world upon us.

The use of direct perception … is an extremely elegant way of truly knowing, not thinking …

In the initial stages of developing your natural capacity for direct perception, the learning itself, the experience of the work, takes all your attention.

The process is a long one. Each year that you use this mode of cognition the more phenomena you will encounter, each of which will demand a greater clarity from you.

You will find that once you begin this process, the world will shape you; the things that come to you will be the ones you needed to meet in order to become yourself, to attain a 360-degree perspective once more.

… direct perception initiates an unavoidable encounter with your own personal history. … unfinished emotional baggage … will interfere with your ability to see clearly … All human beings possess these unclarities — these histories.

The human organism naturally restructures itself around the meanings that are experienced.

… encountered meaning reorients the human, entrains the human, to reflect that meaning.

We live in a world … of meanings.

Our perception of the meanings in the phenomena around us connects us to those meanings; observer and observed become linked through the process of perception.

… the Earth … is not two-dimensional words on a page, not a static thing, but a living, ever-flowing communication of meaning.

Direct depth perception of … any phenomenon in Nature will always reveal dimensions to its being that science can never see because those dimensions are invisible to the linear mode of consciousness.

The difficult thing is to not turn these skills you are learning into merely a method … Ultimately, this mode of perception is not just a tool, it is a way of life, a mode of being.

You will know the importance of the lesson by the power of its touch upon you.

The use of direct perception in gathering knowledge from the heart of the world is extremely ancient. … it is pervasive throughout all cultures and all times.

Take a deep breath
Look at what is right in front of you.

… consciously perceive and identify the embedded communications that come from the world around you and are felt in subtle emotions.

Because Nature does not lie, the direct perception of Nature means that each of us who does lie, each part of us that lies, even in our deep unconscious, must reorder, must restructure, if we truly want to perceive deeply in Nature.

Ultimately, the use of direct perception as a mode of being, as a normal way of cognition, begins to erase mind-body dualism.

When we accept the reality of this mode of perception, begin to use it regularly in a continual, participatory interweaving, we enter a geography of meaning … of which the physical forms of the world are only one aspect.

The drive to know, the intention, is crucial, but it is not the only factor at work. You are establishing a relationship … It is an act of intimacy that is extremely deep.

We are engaged in communicating through a highly complex, nonverbal form of linguistics, of which our language is only a reflection. Our brains perform an act of translation. … But this translation must be continually reconnected to the origin itself …

It is our capacity for perceiving meaning that is primary, not language. Our language is a created form expressed out of the original nonverbal languages that human beings have always apprehended. It is a shadow, a reflection, a copy.

The use of direct perception … is an extremely elegant way of truly knowing, not thinking …

You must understand … that this approach … is not a technique. It is not a reductionist series of steps … It is a communication.

When someone truly sees us
and, in caring, urges us
into the warmth of a loving embrace,
we leave the darkness
in which we have taken refuge
and come once more
into the light.

If you follow those feelings they lead you on the most amazing adventure, and you end up becoming yourself in the most wonderful way.

The multisensory nature of human perception and feeling is so commonly repressed that it is often confusing, or scary, or awkward when you open up to it once more. Still, allow yourself to notice whatever you feel and … don’t make any judgments about it. Just notice it.

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Quotes of John Welwood

This is a compilation of my tweets from John Welwood’s book Toward a Psychology of Awakening. Hence all these quotes are the length of tweets.

… how we relate to another inevitably follows from how we relate to ourselves …

… our outer relationships are but an extension of our inner life …

… we can only be as open and present with another as we are with ourselves.

Courage involves facing the world squarely and letting your heart be touched, forever opening to life, come what may.

The core wound … is the disconnection from our own being.

… our lives unfold within … structures … surrounded by vast reaches of open space.

When we laugh, we have just stepped out of a structure.

In any process of growth … we always reach this … point where we must decide whether we really want to move forward …

… who I think I am now is always determined by who I thought I was a moment ago.

At some point in our development, it’s time to let go of the fabricated control structures that once served us so well.

… our larger awareness is the ultimate holding environment that can allow us to embrace all our … feelings & experiences …

Most people in our culture did not receive … unconditional acceptance in … childhood.

The health of living organisms is maintained through the free-flowing circulation of energy.

… the ungraspable, open-ended nature of reality … is what allows life to keep creating and recreating itself anew in each moment

If relationships are to flourish, they need to reflect and promote who we really are …

The less we need to hide, the more we can come forward as we really are.

On one hand, we long to break out of our separateness …Yet at the same time, we also experience trepidation.

If we hold on too tight or let go too much, we lose our balance.

Unconditional love has its reasons, which reason cannot know.

Because we are of this earth, we exist within certain forms and structures (body … beliefs and values) …

The leader in pathological groups is usually a magnetic, charismatic person who exudes … boundless self-confidence.

Corrupt leaders prey deliberately on their followers’ sense of personal inadequacy.

… the more the followers give the leader power … , the more he can … force them to do anything … in order to maintain his approval.

The more that self-trust is broken down, the more the followers try to model themselves on … the leadership.

The more one depends on another for validation, the more one is likely to act in ways that compromise one’s integrity.

… the more one’s integrity becomes compromised, the less one trusts oneself, which increases one’s dependency on the leader.

Failing to recognize important distinctions … only contributes to the confusion …

… identity structures are made of beliefs.

Through learning to speak truthfully and listen respectfully … we start to practice genuine meeting and dialogue …

Community is born in the relationship between I and Thou.

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Stuart Kauffman on emergence and life

Stuart Kauffman (Source: Closer To Truth)

Here is Closer To Truth’s interview with Stuart Kauffman about ”Is Emergence Fundamental?

Stuart Kauffman says among other things that (my emphasis in bold):

Reason is an insufficient guide for living your life. It means we need reason, emotion, intuition, sensation, metaphor. … Life is much richer than we thought.1

The biosphere is creating its own future possibilities of becoming. … That’s not in Darwin. … It’s a radical emergence. … We couldn’t prestate it. … We don’t know how it happened. … It changed the course of evolution.2

It’s radical emergence. It cannot be deduced.3

1 Stuart Kauffman – Is Emergence Fundamental? (5:23), 2015-11-09 (accessed 2017-06-04).
2 Stuart Kauffman – Is Emergence Fundamental? (6:35), 2015-11-09 (accessed 2017-06-04).
3 Stuart Kauffman – Is Emergence Fundamental? (7:43), 2015-11-09 (accessed 2017-06-04).

Start with why

Inspiring leaders start with what they believe in first, making their worldview and motivation explicit. … The why defines the how in an action-oriented way. … how expresses the values that guide our actions and how we aim to manifest the higher purpose in action; and what refers to the results of those actions.1

1, Daniel Christian Wahl, Designing Regenerative Cultures (Triarchy Press, 2016), p.36.

Bill Plotkin about speaking in our true voice

Source: DartingtonTV, Bill Plotkin – Soulcraft – YouTube.1

Bill Plotkin is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of Animas Valley Institute. He is the author of Soulcraft, Nature and the Human soul, and Wild Mind. Bill Plotkin says that:1

When we are young …

Maybe when we are just like three years old,
we make a promise that we forgot,
we don’t remember, that we ever made.

The promise we made was:

I agree not to sing in my true voice,
if I can get psychological and social safety
in exchange for that.

And, it’s exactly the right promise
to make at that tender age.
If we don’t make that promise
we’re not going to survive …
We have to, it’s part of being human.
We have to make that promise,
that I have to fit in culturally first.

I have to fit in into my family.
And if my family is not so healthy,
I’m going to have to put
a bigger lid on more of me.
But even if my family is healthy,
I’m going to have some lid
on embodying my true wild magnificance.

So, we make that promise, and …
at some point, we have to break it:

We have to agree that
we are going to speak in our true voice,
we are going to sing our true song.

And, through that we enter into
a conversation with the world …
where we discover …
(this is another phrase from David Whyte)
the largest conversation that
we can have with the world
in this lifetime.

1 Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed), DartingtonTV, Bill Plotkin – Soulcraft – YouTube (26:45–28:33), Published Oct 3, 2013 (accessed Apr 20, 2017).

Martin Luther King on knowing thyself

Number one in your life’s blueprint
should be
a deep belief in your own dignity,
your own worth,
and your own somebodiness.

Don’t allow anybody to make you feel
that you are nobody.
Always feel that you count.
Always feel that you have worth,
and always feel that your life
has ultimate significance.

– Martin Luther King1

1 Martin Luther King, Know thyself, YouTube (accessed 2017-03-01).

The territory beyond

Source: Rosamund Stone Zander, Pathways to Possibility (Viking, 2016), p. 189.

Chapter Twenti-six, in Pathways to Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander, is about The Territory Beyond.

Rosamund Stone Zander writes that The Territory Beyond is ”beyond what we know and expect of ourselves as human beings, beyond the norms of achievement …, beyond our ordinary measures …, and beyond what we picture as vitality” (p.189).

In The Territory Beyond ”the distinction between what it is that we want and what life wants fades and ultimately disappears” (p.189). ”We feel whole and in tune …” (p.189).

We can’t get to The Territory Beyond all by ourselves because ”there is no such thing as a human being by herself” (p.189). ”We don’t exist alone” (p.189). Yet, the territory is ”located inside” each one of us ”where all of creation resides” (p.190).

The Territory Beyond ”might be described as a deeper level of reality than we are familiar with” (p.190). It takes an ”open, curious, and creative” mind that is ”willing to have its worldview overthrown” to locate the territory (p.190).

We enter into The Territory Beyond by ”committing to … exploration” (p.190). We simply ”engage without reservation, without knowing the outcome” (p.191). The field of the territory ”highlights experiences” like ”the surprise and pleasure of seeing the world anew” (p.191).

The inquiry into a deeper generative order for organizing, an organizing beyond, requires that we enter into The Territory Beyond. It is a territory beyond the explicate order.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Diane Musho Hamilton on exploring truth in all points

dianemushohamiltonHere is an article1 by Diane Musho Hamilton where she comments on the US presidential election 2016. Hamilton writes (my emphasis in bold):

… because [truth] … is fragmented, our interiors feel fragmented. When it becomes so difficult to find the truth, we start to allow crude and reductive discourse to limit our own minds. We let our capacity for complexity be reduced. And we start to become adversarial, … refusing to conduct ourselves with compassion.

In the midst of this wild and aggressive discourse, we have to work even harder to see into what other people are wanting and needing. This is essential—because if we don’t understand more deeply, we aren’t going to be able to affect the process positively, let alone, the outcomes.”

Things get even more disorienting when we confuse limits to behavior with limits to our thinking. We do have to draw boundaries around behaviors that threaten our safety and oppress others, but we don’t have to draw limits around our curiosity or willingness to try on another point of view more deeply.

By bringing our curiosity forward we can increase our creative potential for working with others. Instead of letting ourselves become adversaries (because we all know where that goes), we can choose to humble ourselves and lead with a question: How do we promote change in service of growth and higher levels of understanding?

1 Diane Musho Hamilton, The Truth of Trump—Every Perspective is True and Partial, LinkedIn, 2016-03-30, (accessed 2016-09-21).

David Bohm on ecology, organization, thinking, dialogue, and wholeness

David Bohm on ecology, organization, thinking, dialogue, and wholeness:1

… the ecology in itself is not a problem. It works perfectly well by itself. Its due to us, right?

The earth is one household really, but we are not treating it that way …

… the more you made society big and you had organization, and you had to get to the top, and people on the bottom would suffer. … it’s a mistake.

So the first thing we have to do, in the long run, is to look at our way of thinking …

Now, that means that people have to participate, to make a cooperative effort, to have a dialogue, a real dialogue …

… wholeness is a kind of attitude or approach to the whole of life. It’s a way. If we can have a coherent approach to reality then reality will respond coherently to us.

1 Wholeness: A Coherent Approach to Reality – David Bohm | Creative by Nature (2014-10-01) (accessed 2016-08-20).

Holacracy and Arthur Koestler

The organizational structure in Holacracy is a holarchy, a term coined by Arthur Koestler in The Ghost in the Machine. Brian Robertson writes in his book on Holacracy that:

The type of structure used for organizations in Holacracy is not a traditional hierarchy, but a ”holarchy.” Arthur Koestler coined the term in his 1967 book The Ghost in the Machine. He defined a ”holon” as ”a whole that is a part of a larger whole” and a ”holarchy” as ”the connection between holons.” 1

Arthur Koestler actually defined a holon as a node in a hierarchic tree which behaves partly as wholes or wholly as parts, and a holarchy as a hierarchy of holons. Koestler writes that:

… to talk of sub-wholes (or sub-assemblies, sub-tructures, sub-skills, subsystems) is awkward and tedious. It seems preferable to coin a new term to designate these nodes on the hierarchic tree which behave partly as wholes or wholly as parts, according to the way you look at them. The term I would propose is ’holon’, from the Greek holos = whole, with the suffix on which, as in proton or neutron, suggests a particle or part. 2

… we may say that the organism in its structural and functional aspects is a hierarchy of self-regulating holons which function (a) as autonomous wholes in supra-ordination to their parts, (b) as dependent parts in sub-ordination to controls on higher levels, (c) in co-ordination with their local environment. Such a hierarchy of holons should rightly be called a holarchy …3

In Holacracy, people act as sensors for the organization, processing tensions. Brian Robertson writes that:

An organization … is equipped with sensors — … the human beings who energize its roles and sense reality on its behalf.4

Organizations running with Holacracy are first and foremost purpose-driven … with all activities ultimately being for the sake of realizing the organization’s broader purpose. Every member then becomes a sensor for that purpose, and the rules of Holacracy’s governance process ensure that no individual interest can dominate.5

The organization is depending on you, as its sensor, to give voice to the tensions you sense so that it can evolve.6

Holacracy is focused on the organization and its purpose — not on the people and their desires and needs …7

What’s interesting is that Arthur Koestler not only coined the word holarchy, but also criticized the mechanistic view of organisms. Koestler called it a monumental superstition:

[The doctrine] … that all organisms, including man, are essentially passive automata controlled by the environment, whose sole purpose in life is the reduction of tensions …8

To paraphrase Arthur Koestler, it’s a monumental mistake to view people essentially as sensors controlled by the organization, whose sole purpose is to process tensions.9,10

Update 2016-07-26:
Notes 9 & 10 added.

Update 2018-01-26:
Formatting changed (tables changed to blockquotes).

1 Brian Robertson, Holacracy: The Revolutionary Management System that Abolishes Hierarchy, (Penguin, 2015), p. 38.
2 Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, (Last Century Media, 1982, first published 1967), p. 48.
3 Ibid., p. 103.
4 Brian Robertson, Holacracy: The Revolutionary Management System that Abolishes Hierarchy, (Penguin, 2015), p. 4.
5 Ibid., p. 166.
6 Ibid., p. 194.
7 Ibid., p. 198.
8 Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, (Last Century Media, 1982, first published 1967), p. 3.
9 People also have the responsibility to act as role fillers in Holacracy. This is a sacred duty. See Brian Robertson, Holacracy: The Revolutionary Management System that Abolishes Hierarchy, (Penguin, 2015), p. 85. Role and soul are separated. Ibid., p. 42–46. People energize the roles and enact its accountabilities. Ibid., pp. 43, 97. And the organization depends on people processing its tensions. Ibid., pp. 7, 113, 125, 194, 200.
10 Arthur Koestler introduced the concepts of holarchy and holon in search for an alternative to the robot image of people. See Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, (Last Century Media, 1982, first published 1967), p. 348.

Michelle Holliday on thrivability

Michelle Holliday

I tweet quotes from the books I read from my twitter account @janhoglund. Here is a compilation of the most retweeted and liked quotes from Michelle Holliday’s upcoming book The Age of Thrivability: Vital Perspectives and Practices for a Better World (in italics):

… thrivability – the intention and practice of enabling life to thrive as fully as possible, at every level.

… what if we made it our primary intention and goal to enable life to thrive …?

… our … role is not to tightly control … but to cultivate the necessary fertile conditions for life to self-organize …

… systems thinking remained (and still generally remains) grounded in a mechanistic model …

… the persistence of mechanistic thinking … is valuable to some degree and absurd if taken as the total view.

Even Deming’s forward-looking systems vision was implemented in mechanistic fashion.

… the patterns and larger goal of all life … [is] to connect to itself in ever more complex forms …

… all life is … a single interwoven tapestry of living, evolving, creative organisms.

… engaging … life in our organizations and communities … unleash unprecedented wisdom, collaboration, creativity and impact.

If … divergence is not integrated into the whole, then the living system … is jeopardized.

… the real point of our efforts is to participate in and support life’s ongoing ability to thrive.

… the mechanistic view of organizations as machines prompts us to put people in service of infrastructure and process …

When infrastructure is … in service of the life in an organization, what naturally emerges is what I call Practical Play.

We have mistakenly assumed that play is the opposite of work.

Seeing the organization as one coherent living system … opens up new possibilities.

When we see organizations as living ecosystems, the goal more naturally shifts to enabling life to thrive …

… the most effective solutions will be those generated by the organization itself.

… our opportunity – and pressing need – is to participate consciously, intentionally and in harmony with life’s processes …

… “thrivability” – … can be understood as the intention and practice of crafting an organization as a “space for life.”

… “responsibility” … is most of all “response-ability.”

What is needed in the Age of Thrivability is … integration of … [divergence, relationship, wholeness, self-integration].

For some reason, it’s only MBA students who ask me: how do you measure thrivability?

… fundamentally reconceiving the organization and our role within it is the most powerful “social innovation” possible.

Related post:
Book Review: The Age of Thrivability

Carol Black on the wildness of children

Carol Black writes the following in On the Wildness of Children (my emphasis in bold):

When we first take children from the world and put them in an institution, they cry. … But gradually, over the many years of confinement, they adjust.

The same people who do not see themselves as “above” nature but as within it, tend not to see themselves as “above” children but alongside them. They see no hard line between work and play, between teacher and student, between learning and life. It is a possibility worth considering that this is more than coincidence.

The underlying belief that somebody always has to be in charge is stubbornly persistent, woven into our thinking at a very deep level. There always has to be a subject and an object, a master and a slave. We have forgotten how to live and let live.

Control is always so seductive, at least to the ”developed” (”civilized”) mind. It seems so satisfying, so efficient, so effective, so potent. In the short run, in some ways, it is. But it creates a thousand kinds of blowback, from depressed rebellious children to storms surging over our coastlines to guns and bombs exploding in cities around the world.

— Carol Black1

1 Carol Black, On The Wildness of Children, April 2016. (Accessed 24 April 2016)

The dancing rainbow within

Mae-Wan Ho’s new book Living Rainbow H2O is dedicated to the dancing rainbow within, which is made possible by the water that makes up all organisms. 1 Mae-Wan Ho writes (my emphasis in bold):

The organism is thick with coherent activities on every scale, from the macroscopic down to the molecular and below. I call the totality of these activities ”quantum jazz” to highlight the Immense diversity and multiplicity of players, the complexity and coherence of the performance, and above all, the freedom and spontaneity. The quantum coherence of organisms is the biology of free will. 2

The quantum coherent organism plays quantum jazz to create and recreate herself from moment to moment. Quantum jazz is the music of the organism dancing life into being. It is played out by the whole organism, in every nerve and sinew, every muscle, every single cell, molecule, atom, and elementary particle, a light and sound show that spans 70 octaves in all the colours of the rainbow. 3

There is no conductor or choreographer. Quantum jazz is written as it is performed; each gesture, each phrase is new, shaped by what has gone before, though not quite. The organism never ceases to experience her environment, taking it in (entangling it) for future reference …” 4

The quantum jazz dancer lives strictly in the now, the ever-present overarching the future and the past, composing and rewriting her life history as she goes along, never quite finishing until she dies.” 5

Intercommunication is the key to quantum jazz. It is done to such sublime perfection that each molecule is effectively intercommunicating with every other, so each is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. 6

The coherent organism is a unity of brain and body, heart and mind, an undivided bundle of intellect and passion, flesh, blood, and sinew that lives life to the full, freely and spontaneously, attuned not just to the immediate environment, but the universe at large. 7

Quantum coherence and quantum jazz are possible because of the 70% by weight of liquid crystalline water that makes up the organism. Quantum jazz is diverse multiplicities of molecules dancing to the tunes of liquid crystalline water. Water is the means, medium, and message of life. It is the dancing rainbow within, to which this book is dedicated. 8

1 Mae-Wan Ho, Living Rainbow H2O, (World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2012), p. 5.
2 Ibid., p. 4.
3 Ibid..
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid..
6 Ibid..
7 Ibid., p. 5.
8 Ibid..

Related posts:
Quantum Jazz
Mae-wan Ho on the autonomy of organisms
The organism is wildly uncontrollable and unpredictable from the outside

Ralph Stacey on beliefs

Ralph Stacey writes that if

we believe that nature’s systems function like a clockwork and human systems move to the dictates of designing minds,1


we quite naturally believe that nature can be controlled once the laws governing it have been discovered and human systems can be redesigned from scratch once a new intention has been formed.2

If, on the other hand,

we believe that systems in both nature and human society are creative when they operate in chaos,3


we will see that it is impossible to be ”in control” of the future of such systems or to redesign them from scratch.4

We will understand that people interacting in an organization may produce a pattern in their actions through self-organization, provided that the context in which they work enables them to discover and learn.5

The focus for action will shift from speculation about the future to dealing with current issues that have long-term consequences, from persuasion and propaganda to learning and discovery.6

1 Ralph D. Stacey, Managing the Unknowable: Strategic Boundaries Between Order and Chaos in Organizations, p. 125.
2 Ibid..
3 Ibid..
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid..
6 Ibid..

Related post:
Ralph Stacey on rule-following

Keeping your heart alive

When we are present in our work as human beings, when we are connected to the lives around us, and the stories around us, the work itself will sustain you, and inspire you, and even heal you.
— Rachel Naomi Remen

Keeping Your Heart Alive: Rachel Naomi Remen talks about the importance of connecting to your heart in healthcare.

People evolve their own responses

A mechanical system simply acts according to its instructions. But a living system, with its internal intelligence and complex feedback organisation, reacts to the meaning it finds in the information. The system selects the messages to which it listens and then evolves its own response.1

Human beings are a prime example of living systems with internal intelligence and complex feedback responses.2

1 John McCrone, Review: Hidden Connections by Fritjof Capra, The Guardian, 2002.
2 Philip Harland, The Power of Six, (Wayfinder Press, 2009), p. 51.