Tag Archives: Deepak Chopra

Rethinking AUTHORITY

A conversation between Joe Dispenza and Gregg Braden touched on the challenges of increasingly dangerous, polarizing times and what I’ve described as the leadership deficit.

Authority, they observed, is shifting.

I agree.

As prelude to a deeper look into what this means for us, I’m posting here a 2000 essay which explores the full-spectrum potential of the authority-word. Although my writing style has evolved since then, the substance remains well worth your attention.

King

ESSAY 7. AUTHORITY

Christ was one of the greatest mystics of all time. He knew everything that has been ever said in the Eastern traditions. When Moses asked God, who are you? God said, I AM that I AM. Christ in the Gospel of John says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The very word Abraham comes from the Eastern word Brahman, which means the primordial being. . . So when you start looking, as paleo-linguistic anthropologists do, at the common roots of the various religions and traditions, you find that it’s all universal. Truth has to be universal. It can’t be your domain or my domain. Deepak Chopra, transcript, Larry King Live

Those who are adept in social intelligence can connect with people quite smoothly, be astute in reading their reactions and feelings, lead and organize, and handle the disputes that are bound to flare up in any human activity. They are the natural leaders, the people who can express the unspoken collective sentiment and articulate it so as to guide the group toward its goals. — Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

Archibald Garrod risked a conjecture that would reveal him to be a man far ahead of his time, somebody who had all but unknowingly put his finger on the answer to the greatest biological mystery of all time: what is a gene? Indeed, so brilliant was his understanding of the gene that he would be long dead before anybody got the point of what he was saying. — Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters

THE FRONT

Definitions of authority span the Life Wheel continuum from mundane to sublime. We therefore get meanings mixed up and speak at cross-purposes. The ancient derivation refers to the Creator, the author. In English, the meaning shifts to the power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action or make final decisions.

It changes again to mean the power delegated to another. Further diminished, it becomes a quote supporting an opinion or action. In government, authority refers to those with the power or right to enforce orders and laws. It can also mean an expert, someone with knowledge in a specialized field whose opinion is reliable. Lastly, authority means assurance coming from personal experience.

It’s important to know what standard justifies each type of authority. Which authorities may legitimately exercise what kinds of influence, and by what right?

Traditionally, biological parents, the first authors of our physical form, are the original human authorities, taking responsibility for instilling values and governing childish behavior. After coming of age at 18, however, each adult is responsible for choosing which authorities to accept and follow. For the fortunate, bonds of gratitude, affection and mutual support sustain family ties.

In addition, however, we begin to look to other authorities for education, leadership and support. Communities grounded in commitment to common beliefs, goals and friendship can enlarge or replace family circles. Command of a particular subject qualifies the expert.

In the United States and other democratic countries, popular vote gives legislators authority to write laws. In bureaucratic military and government agencies, as well as in private corporations, rank — regardless of character or motives — legitimizes power over subordinates.

Deeper than credentials and social sanctions, however, is the inner authority called conscience which is deliberately invoked by working with the I Ching. It’s the innate sense of timing within each of us. It warns when and how to act and when to keep still, when to seize and run with opportunity and when to side-step danger.

In sages, authority is the fruit of self-discipline and direct experience. As Daniel Goleman suggests, “natural” leaders possess a cultivated knack for knowing what others need along with the ability to effectively coordinate individual gifts to meet group goals.

The gift for insight doesn’t, however, translate automatically into leadership ability. Those like Archibald Garrod – brilliant but lacking the communication skills to help their neighbors “get from here to there” – may inspire admiration.

But it takes a true teacher to bring the next generation of followers along. This requires a marriage of words, competence and consistent action, the ability to speak with clarity and live according to one’s beliefs. Christ is the ultimate example of such a teacher.

Most of us cherish the memories of authority figures whose lives have touched and improved our own — respected leaders whose accomplishments, example and encouragement have inspired us to honor and lovingly live the law.

THE BACK

The flip-side of authority is unauthorized abuse of power. To the extent those with delegated decision-making power are unqualified by inner experience to represent the ultimate author, the true spirit of authority is violated.

The murderous MacBeths in Shakespeare’s play are a famous example of tragic lust for power. Misled by dark-side mediums into violating the code of hospitality, they kill the sleeping king within their castle walls to usurp his throne. In so doing, they bring down both the kingdom and themselves.

Authority and responsibility are necessarily linked. When power is sought and used without genuine regard for the intrinsic value and practical interests of those governed, a divine as well as secular trust is violated. The scales of justice are knocked off balance, and misfortune for all concerned ensues.

 

Rethinking SCIENCE – Does yours explain all the facts?

 

PositiveParadigmWheel

21. SCIENCE

The achievement of decipherment . . . required painstaking analysis and sound judgment, but at the same time an element of genius, the ability to take a leap in the dark, but then to find firm ground on the other side. Few discoveries are made solely by the process of logical deduction. At some point the researcher is obliged to chance a guess, to venture an unlikely hypothesis; what matters is whether he can control the leap of imagination, and have the honesty to evaluate the results soberly. – John Chadwick, quoted in The Man Who Deciphered Linear B

 

Skinner argued for the intelligent and hopefully humane use of reinforcement theory to direct the course of the individual’s and the society’s development. . . freedom and choice are mere illusions. . . Rogers argued that freedom and choice were not illusory but real phenomena, and that a science that dehumanizes the individual and attempts to control human development paves the way for dictators and despots to move society inexorably toward a totalitarian, Orwellian future. — Kirschenbaum & Henderson, The Carl Rogers Reader

 

The genome alphabet does not tell you the full story. . . we are no way closer to understanding the real questions of life, which are, Do we have a soul? Where do we come from? What is insight? What is imagination? What is intention? What is intuition? What is inspiration? What is creativity? What is knowingness? What is understanding? What is free will? — Deepak Chopra, transcript, Larry King Live Interview

 

THE FRONT

The tacit implication of the first definition, with knowledge, suggests living what one knows, not mere theories or words. With knowledge suggests a full-spectrum continuum of awareness, not just rational thought that blocks off sub-rational experience and drowns out the super-rational music that sings from deep inside.

Unfortunately, the practice of inspired science, religions and philosophy inevitably degenerates over time, departing from the vision of original founders. Sadly, verbal codifications of partial knowledge used as guidelines for decision-making and behavior are poor substitutes for inner experience.

Truth seekers soon become aware that what un-in-formed authorities claim in the name of one system or another isn’t necessarily so.

Einstein’s famous e=mc2 formula is an accepted statement of the two-directional relationship of light, energy, and mass. It’s the physics equivalent of divine, natural and human law. This relationship, known and practiced by Taoist masters for thousands of years, is the logical foundation of an urgently needed comprehensive epistemology — meaning prevailing rules of the knowledge game that set limits on who may know what, and how.

In the comprehensive Positive Paradigm approach to science, the inner energy and light components of Einstein’s formula are approached without sentimentality, religious bias or superstition as simply The Way It IS. This worldview accepts the complete meaning of “science” as “with knowledge,” which includes not only the tangible, measurable objects of the material surface of life’s wheel, but the subtle energetic dynamics and causal origins of all the physical eyes see as well.

Ironically, tragic abuse of Einstein’s discovery may have been a necessary prelude to popular dissemination of holistic sciences. For those who must see something to believe it, an atomic bomb explosion is dramatic proof that releasing energies of a subtle sort can produce very tangible, powerful results.

The potentials for transformation embedded in medical DNA technologies and still deeper within the change sciences that are now being made public after being guarded for millennia as the secret treasures of esoteric inner temples will bring upliftment OR destruction depending on how responsibly and wisely they are used. Let the abuse of Einstein’s inspiration serve as warning.

Our challenge is to use the knowledge implicit in subtle sciences not for economic/political advantage or physical destruction, but for personal transformation that serves the common good, remembering that every leap of faith depends on deep honesty and common sense to ground the fruits of genius in the practical here and how. Science is a blessing when we live with knowledge, incorporating it as wisdom that enriches daily life. Abused as a means to conquer and control, it becomes a curse.

THE BACK

The complement of science is conscience. Empirical science depends on observation of tangible things and on rational thought. Conscience doesn’t. It’s instantaneous knowing, received in stillness. Direct connection with the higher mind/will implies profound responsibility to act as an instrument of greater purpose.

Prejudice and superstition are perversions of science. Rigid defense of rational “science” can take on the characteristics of irrational prejudice. When people’s minds are tainted by the whims of personal ambition, appetites and fears, subject to sensory stimulation without the mitigating influence of conscience, their words may sound logical, their acts appear rational. But they’re not.

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John Chadwick, quoted by Andrew Robinson in The Man Who Deciphered Linear G: the Story of Michael Ventris.. (Thames & Hudson: New York, 2002). p. 14.

The Carl Rogers Reader, ed Kirschenbaum & Henderson. (Houghton Mifflin: New York, 1989.) p. 261.

Depak Chopra, Larry King Live Interview, aired June 26, 2000. cnn.com/transcripts.

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