Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Therapists & Business Trainers as Mindfulness Teachers – Implementing Kahneman’s S2

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Comments added by Tony Ayaz, Business Trainer, to a recent LinkedIn article* deserve a post in themselves, not only for the important points he raised, but also as reminder of the mindfulness skill he calls “read-listening.”

Rather than speed-reading, skimming through articles for key phrases and/or surfing in search of attack points, he advocates a thoughtful reading between-the-lines. What does the author, deeper than words, really mean?

On first reading of the original comment, out of all that was written, alas, I focused only a single part, overlooking the rest. Out of context, I answered only the final paragraph. He wrote:

I think we expect too much from our brain, we have a choice, we either slow down our pace or keep going till we drop off and no retirement, except to retire in a grave, I live to work.

I responded: If you live to work, I sincerely hope it’s because you love your work and find enjoyment/ fulfillment in what you do.

But that didn’t do his comment-as-a-whole justice. I’d failed to “read-listen” to his words. He corrected me:

Patricia, I have never worked in my life, it has always been an employment and/or running a business and now teaching at uni . . . I have always found what they call as work as learning, teaching is just imparting what I learnt myself and from others like you too. I just prioritise my listed routines so my brain is kept in check, while I observe what is around me from outside my body (have you tried that, it guides your heart and mind together in sync!).

In rethinking his read-listen attitude, I connected it with lessons learned from ethnology research interviews. Here’s the description of how it works from RS:

Simply put, the researcher goes into the “field” and gets to know the people. Either formally or informally, she gathers information about the system from different insiders’ points of view and puts it together to form an overview. From this, the researcher can draw conclusions and, when appropriate, make recommendations regarding change options.

At that time, I found that all the skills previously acquired along the way served me well as an ethnology researcher. It was a living example of a favorite maxim, “Nothing is ever wasted.”

From youthful musician years, I gained listening and technical keyboard skills. Playing the piano eventually translated into typing at computers. This in turn found other applications. For example, when I paid the rent by working as a legal secretary, plugged into a Dictaphone, I transcribed dictated words faster than a speeding bullet.

All this, in turn, came in useful as a researcher. With permission, before beginning an interview, I set up a tape recorder. That way, rather than scramble to take sketchy notes during an interview, I could give the subject my full attention. I was free to observe body language, maintain direct eye contact, give non-verbal as well as verbal cues and gently keep the conversation on track.

But what a shock, when I later transcribed, word-for-word, what had been spoken! Of all that was said, I remembered only a small part. I thought I was listening carefully. But much went over my head. And of what I did hear, I often remembered it inaccurately. Only re-listening and quoting directly from transcripts allowed me to accurately report the information collected.

From this experience, I learned that, when we’re able to slow down and listen really carefully, we find out how much is missed during the rapid-fire pace of everyday communications, be it conversation or reading.

When Tony read-listens, he’s slowing down the pace, much as I should have done in reading his comments.

Read-listening is a form of practicing mindfulness, which is exactly to the point of the article in question. It compared full-spectrum awareness (repackaged in contemporary language as mindfulness) to the empirical research findings of Nobel prize winner, Daniel Kahneman.

As Tony corrected me, in his own way, he practices what might be called “meditation-in-action.” I observe what is around me from outside my body (have you tried that, it guides your heart and mind together in sync!).

Other of his comments raise thoughtful concerns. I missed their full implications on the first go round, and definitely must slow down to read-listen better in the future: I do believe no one understands the brain, it is like finding the black hole or looking for GOD particle. And, I believe it is not only outside the research it is outside the human capability and will always remain a work in progress or humans will become the creator.

These are exquisitely important questions.

But now, an A-ah! Here’s another relevant Tony-clue: To fast and slow decision making of the mind S1 & 2 could simply be linked to time and stage of life and the environment one lives in.

Historically, changes have been observed to occur in repeating patterns on every scale of magnitude. That is to say, the seasons of one’s personal life are writ large on the pages of human history. Just as, on a personal scale, the applications of listening and keyboarding shifted from music to law firms and then to ethnology research, weaving a pattern of unforeseen but consistent adaptations, so also meditation sciences shift. They remain essentially the same, but at the same time are continuously renewed to suit immediate circumstances.

No matter how often things change, nothing of real value is lost. Not possible.

By repackaging ancient sciences as Mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn has adapted the timeless essence of meditative teachings, making them suitable to the pace and aptitude of today’s fractured and fracturing world.

Earlier I described therapists as agents of positive change. Now I would add, so also are thoughtful business trainers. By adopting the language of empirical research science, which has arguably reconstituted yin and yang in the contemporary terms of S1 and S2, they too are helping the next generation of decision-makers to slow down, become more self-aware and thus – one can only hope – improve the outcomes of the decision-making process.

 

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* See: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/re-search-look-again-patricia-west

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What’s Your Answer to Hamlet’s Existential Question?

The last post, How Do You Define GOOD, opened with a basic law of nature: in duality, every coin has two sides. “Whatever has a front, has back. The larger the front, the larger the back.” It  explains why surface appearances are often deceiving.

I bring the Two Sides Law up here again in answer to comments from a recent LinkedIn post, To Be or Not To Be PC? There, political correctness was defended:

PC is often viewed incorrectly, fundamentally it is a collective societal attempt to correct social inequity – the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

I responded:

Understood . . . As an Ed Admin grad student, I wrote a paper for a law seminar on Affirmative Action. I observed that, however worthy the goals, the legislation missed the point. Not only was it unenforceable. It would trigger backlash. Which in time proved to be a correct assessment. I recommended Positive Action as a viable alternative for achieving the legislation’s worthy goals then — and still do. The surface definition of PC is, of course, impeccable. But applications and abuses have drifted so far afield from the verbal window dressing and original intent as to be unrecognizable. “Good intentions . . . “

These days, when promises seem too good to be true, I instinctively know they’re a ruse — a cover for something opposite and equally awful. A Shakespearian observation captures the gist. “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

“Change we can believe in?” “Social equity?” Methinks such slogans are market-tested veneer, engineered by behind-the-scenes puppet-masters to tap into and exploit our deepest desires and highest aspirations. They mask political agendas that have nothing whatsoever to do with seductive but empty wrappers. When politicians protest too much, you can depend on their front being a cynical cover for unacceptable, unspeakable motives.

To Be or Not To Be PC

Remember Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid? After Daniel wins the tournament, John Kreese, abusive Sensei of Cobra Kai, corners Miyagi in the parking lot and swings at him twice.

Miyagi simply ducks. Kreese misses, smashing first one fist and then the other through a parked car window, shattering the glass and lacerating both hands.

In Karate Kid III, Kreese calls on a Vietnam war buddy to act as the agent of his revenge. Treacherous but slick, Terry Silver, wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal corporation, confuses Daniel to the point of self-destruction. Daniel mistakes his best friend for his enemy, and vice versa.

“Have no mercy,” was Kreese’s creed.

Silver gives Daniel three rules for winning an unfair fight. First, “If a man can’t stand, he can’t fight. So break his knees.”

Second, “If a man can’t breathe, he can’t fight. So break his nose.”

Third, “If a man can’t see, he can’t fight. So gouge out his eyes.”

That brings us back to the theme of an earlier post, “Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game.” The progressive/atheist Rules of the Politically Correct Game prevent believers (along with those they try to control) from being able to see and take a positive stand against evil.

PC advocates confuse the public, presenting true friends of the people as enemies, and vice versa. Even the existence evil is cast into doubt. It’s quibbled away in double-talk speculations, relegated to the fringes of speculative theory – outside the “accepted” rules of what can be known.

By PC standards, the concept of evil is demeaned, presumed to be a moralistic, judgmental, prejudiced fiction. This is a Yes and No. But denying the existence of evil by an exclusively materialistic standard prevents believers from being able to see grave danger, name it and protect from it – much less fight intelligently and successfully against it.

Is there method to this madness? Take a moment to think about it. Who stands to benefit from this blindness? Who stands to lose?

This picture of the PC problem may help:

Can't See.sized

Here’s how the Motive/Purpose/Intent (MPI) standard – the Why/How/What – applies to Daniel’s situation. He sees the surface What of Mr. Miyagi’s refusing to train him for another karate event. He compares it to Silver’s sly What – an all-too-eager willingness to act has his trainer.

What Daniel doesn’t know because he can’t see them are the underlying intangibles. Mr. Miyagi doesn’t support the fight because there’s no worthy Purpose. His Motive is to protect Daniel’s best interests. In contrast, Silver has set Daniel up to fight, even pressured him into entering the contest. But his ulterior Motive (the Why) is to exact revenge. His Purpose (the How) is to defeat and humiliate Daniel as painfully as Kreese was beaten, breaking Miyagi’s heart in the process.

Details. But important ones. For lack of inner awareness, Daniel was steered into a world of hurt. As are we all in similar circumstances.

Here’s another example of confusions resulting from operating on limited and limiting PC rules taken taken directly from an ongoing LinkedIn discussion in the New Philosophy Network. The thread is called HOW DO YOU DEFINE EVIL?

I entered the discussion, thinking my viewpoint would be interesting, perhaps even helpful, by offering this comment:

I’ve written to this subject, so let me sum up a few basics from my perspective. First, morality is technically an ephemeral social construct at the surface of the Life Wheel, whereas virtues (compassion, including kindness, gentleness, courage, etc.) are inherent potentials residing at the middle level of the Wheel. Evil in Positive Paradigm context is defined as destructive acts or intentions which violate the integrity of the whole, the aim of destroying the life pattern itself. If there’s further interest, pictures and explanations are available online. Pls. see http://wp.me/p46Y5Z-9B (“How Bad People Become Leaders”).

There were two responses. One dismissed the definition as a bit obtuse. The other seemed like a back-handed compliment – condescending, perhaps flirtatious. Thanks Patricia, nice and simple for a simple mind like me to understand. I would love to read some of your books 🙂

Not sure what to make of this, I reviewed many of the 523 comments posted over the past 24 days. They were sickening, both literally and figuratively.

The opening statement, made by medical doctor and research scientist, is this:

Christians condem anyone who does not follow their beliefs to live forever in Hell ( the bosom of all evil) , Fundamentalist followers of Islam believe everyone who does not follow their beliefs are evil and condem them to death via evil attrocities, Other religions have gods to protect them against evil, and gods to explain evil. Society explains evil through Freudian concepts of psycopathy and sociopathy. It would seem that evil is perpetuated by intolerance of other peoples beliefs?
And is this not the basis of human conflict throughout all history? What are your philosophical views on this concept?

(Turns out, it’s the platform for promoting a forthcoming book.)

But a wide range of contributors — atheists, agnostics and theists – chime in. The first comment reads, Evil is just anything contrary to the norms of the one judging and no more. The concept rests on inauthentic or authoritarian thinking.

A “top contributor” takes it upon himself to moderate the discussion, repeating the same mantra, straight out of the PC progressive handbook – evil is what effectively undoes or blocks any progress to greater purposeful complexity and abundance.

Suffice it to say, the level of discourse quickly degenerates into a testosterone-saturated, contentious and extraordinary disrespectful exchange. “Childish” comes to mind. The troll word is thrown back and forth. On the defensive, one commenter states:

I would prefer your responses were less transparently hostile (and as abusive of metaphor as you have accused me of being, I suspect to win the point). : ) I am not a member of any sort of ‘guys’ and my pants are on.

One remark criticizes the self-nominated moderator: Your sarcasm is showing; you should at least try a little to be more balanced, your post is so one-sided and shows such negative bias you should be embarrassed at the lack of balance. It’s so unbalanced it reminds me of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. . . .

To some extent, I empathize with the deep, underlying frustration. They’re struggling inside the box of dysfunctional paradigms. Trapped as if in a Japanese wicker-woven finger-prison, the harder they struggle to get out, the stucker they get. They sense that somewhere, somehow, something is terribly wrong – but without a comprehensive paradigm, they have no way to identify the heart of the problem much less find positive solutions.

I’ll speak further to important issues from this heated discussion in the next post, “The Great Reconciliation.” But here, the subject remains defining evil.

In “How Bad People Become Leaders,”I offered another picture, defining “evil” as anti-life: intentionally shattering and fragmenting the creative pattern. In Positive Paradigm context, the intentions and actions of any person (or group) that destroys its own and/or threatens to annihilate enemy groups, devoid of respect for the inherent sanctity of life, are defined as evil.

In metaphysical circles, by the way, in addition to extremes of black and white magic, there are shades of gray and yellow, depending on the extent of harm done and degree of intentionality.

In Karate Kid III, the central villain runs a toxic waste disposal business – an apt metaphor for abusive defenders of toxic PC ideas and attitudes! Why do I take such exception to PC “ideologies?” Because misleading, dysfunctional paradigms are life-threatening, a danger even to human survival itself.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the procrastinating prince debates the suicide option: To be or not to be, that was his question. He waivers and philosophies right up the the 11th hour. As a consequence, in the final act, the stage is littered with bodies – not only his, but also others whom he might have saved.

If rules of the knowledge game prohibit the general population from seeing genuine evil clearly for what it is and if they inhibit us from standing firm against it, they effectively prevent us from protecting ourselves and those we love from it’s toxic, destructive effects. In the name of tolerance, PC progressives pretend to be the best friends of minorities and women. In practice, they function as worst enemies. As a first step, would-be survivors must restore a full-spectrum reality map that allows them to recognize who’s who, and what’s what.

To be or not to be, asked Hamlet. That is the question. Today, to be or not to be PC is the burning issue. Whether to commit national, even global suicide through ignorance, or to WAKE UP to existing dangers of Titanic proportion and take a positive stand – while there’s still precious time left.

What’s Your Definition of GOOD?

In duality, there are two sides to every coin. It’s a basic law of nature. “Whatever has a front, has back.” Further, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” This explains why surface appearances are often so deceiving.

I mention the Two Sides Law here because I’ve been following a LinkedIn discussion group called The New Philosophy Network. The subject of the particular “thread” is HOW DO YOU DEFINE EVIL?

Not to worry. You haven’t missed much. Philosophy isn’t what it used to be. If there was any “love of wisdom” (the definition of philosophy), it got lost in the one-upsmanship jousting of an extraordinarily uncivil ego contest.

But it got me to thinking about the opposite, shadow side of evil. Did the negative approach influence the quality of conversation? Has anyone asked lately, HOW DO YOU DEFINE GOOD?

Come to think of it, I did awhile ago. So here, for the sake of balance, is the three-part Essay on GOOD from Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide.

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Essay 30. GOOD

“The true genius of living is to carry the spirit of the child into old age. And what is the spirit of the child, but that of wide-eyed open wonder, excitement and zest, the optimistic attitude that nothing is too good to be true, that the world is literally a wonderful place?” — Norman Vincent Peale, Enthusiasm Makes the Difference

“We all want the good things in life; we all desire to be surrounded by friends; but we have no right to expect to attract any of these things except when our own lives have earned us the right to be honored, respected, and admired. . . .” — M.P. Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics

“It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants: a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow man. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.” — Medical Officer, Nuremberg

THE FRONT

The roots of good mean to unite, be associated, or suitable. The term goes through seventeen permutations in Webster’s Dictionary alone.

The first definition is a general term of approval or commendation. Good means suitable to a purpose or effect. It means efficient, producing favorable or beneficial results. It can mean fresh, unspoiled, uncontaminated. It can mean valid, genuine, or real, as in good money or a good excuse.

Good means healthy, strong or vigorous, as in good eyesight. The word is used to mean financially safe or sound. It means honorable, worthy, or respectable. It is used to mean enjoyable, desirable, pleasant or happy, as in the good life. Good can mean dependable, reliable or correct, as in good advice. It can mean thorough or complete, as in a good job of cleaning.

Good can mean excellent of its kind, as in a good novel or considered the best, as in her good china. It can mean morally sound or excellent, virtuous, honest, just, pious, devout, kind, benevolent, generous, sympathetic or well-behaved and dutiful.

It can mean proper, becoming, correct (good manners) and therefore socially acceptable (a good family). It can mean able, skilled, or expert, as in a good swimmer.

It can mean loyal or conforming, as in a good Democrat. In law, it means an effectual or valid title.

The Ten Commandments that Moses gave to the people of Israel, enumerated in the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament, are a generally accepted code of right conduct. They prescribe what we should and should not do to live a good life. Though the cultural context is different, in principle they are consistent with I Ching philosophy.

Revisiting them from an I Ching point of view enriches their meaning. For example, the seventh commandment has become the focus of special public attention, taking on political overtones. “Neither shalt thou commit adultery.” This one-sentence commandment has depths of meaning which span the energy continuum.

For example, at first chakra level, it includes refraining from contaminating air, water and food with pollutants. At the second, it includes not violating marital or parental responsibilities.

At the third, it includes not tampering with legislation for antisocial purposes. At the fourth, it includes not mixing compassion with sentimentality or greed.

At the fifth, it includes not misconstruing scriptures to suit political agendas. At the sixth, it includes not adulterating conscience with the ego impulses.

In addition, each level’s “shalt not” implies a positive shadow: “thou shalt.” At the first chakra level, this includes taking active responsibility for cleansing air, water and food of pollutants.

At the second chakra level, it includes fulfilling family commitments. At the third, it includes adjusting corporate and government practices to serve the common good.

At the fourth, it includes quietly serving those in need without public fanfare. At the fifth, it includes aligning personal and political goals with natural and scriptural law.

At the sixth, it includes practicing self-awareness methods to purify ego.

THE BACK

In I Ching context, evil violates divine and natural law. It is antithetical to the life process, tearing the pattern apart. Good and evil cannot be equated with yin and yang. Good is inclusive of the harmonious whole, both yin and yang, attainable by males and females of every race without limitation.

In moralist context, violating codes of generally accepted social or sexual conduct is regarded as bad, the opposite of good. Sages, however, define correct or incorrect behavior in terms of context and results. Right or wrong action is defined in terms of the immediate situation and the actor’s deepest, underlying motives.

Where in the Wheel Are We NOW?

Utopia.sized

Comments on my last post, A Philosopher’s Response to Boomer & Millennial Blogs, are the logical springboard to a series. This the first installment.

Jerry Pociask (Life Coach | Inspirational Mentor | Author | Speaker) remarked, I have seen this diagram many times in the past.

Of course. This archetypal, mandala structure repeats in every civilization throughout history. It’s a map of the basic internal dynamics that make everyone, everywhere tick. It’s present throughout the records of cultural anthropology and embodied in the creation stories of the world’s enduring religions.

What IS news here is that this perennial diagram is also the stuff of modern physics, as well as the foundation of an inclusive Self-Awareness psychology. Rethinking Survival correlates this universal pattern with both the ancient Chinese Book of Change and Einstein’s famous formula of energy conversion.

It describes the universal pattern:

The Positive Paradigm’s Synthesis Wheel mirrors the micro-cosmic structure of atoms as well as the macro-cosmic structure of planetary systems. At the microscopic level, its concentric rings mirror the structure of atoms around a nucleus. It equally mirrors the symmetry of the planets orbiting around an organizing star, the sun. On the largest scale of magnitude, it reflects the in- and out-breaths of perpetually expanding and contracting universes.

This familiar atomic structure repeats smallest to largest in the patterns of nature, from snow flakes and intricate flowers to spiders’ webs and sea shells. Similar symmetrical patterns repeat worldwide in the art of every culture — including the prayer wheels of Native Americans, the colored sand mandalas of Tibetan Buddhists, the stained glass windows of European cathedrals and the intricate geometrical patterns that cover Muslim Mosques, to name but a few.

They offer proof of the universal awareness of a central inner reality, of an inner structure common to all humanity — a continuity of experience deeper than individual lives or transitory cultures.

This structure continues to take on new expressions to meet the unique needs of immediate times. Today is no exception. Star Wars and the Indiana Jones movies are examples of how a timeless fascination with the war between good and evil is being retold using modern technologies. Today, a worldwide audience relates to archetypal adventure stories reenacted by dynamic action heroes.

Similarly, The Positive Paradigm Handbook gives new clothes to the timeless perennial philosophy. It is intentionally designed to meet the needs of decision-makers in every walk of life. Its practical methods and examples show how to personalize the timeless pattern, first bringing one’s individual life into alignment with the universal pattern and then restoring harmony to a chaotic environment.

For example, the universal pattern has been modified to use as a method for restoring mindfulness to the decision-making process. It emphasizes the critically important relationship between self-awareness and effective leadership.

Be Aware.sized

The Life Wheel in pristine form is complete. The levels are all present, correctly prioritized, and in balanced proportion. Were our lives so complete, we would be called “perfect.” Were our society equally whole and balanced, it would be called “Utopia.”

Few of us are there now. Although originally created in the image of the Creator, as a consequence of our own choices and actions over a very long time, our personal Life Wheels have become fragmented and “bent out of shape.” Like Dorothy stranded in the Land of Oz, our dearest, deepest wish is to find our way home again.

Getting there requires a map, methods and proactive discipline. Converting the abstract Wheel into a practical diagnostic tool is a first step. The self-healer can use it to diagram the immediate situation, design a better future, and then decide on the steps necessary to get from here to there. Initially, the levels and sectors of one’s own life are drawn into a Wheel template. Then, taking a sequence of steps one-at-a-time leads towards the experience of an increasingly full and satisfying life.

For example, here is the diagram of an intermediate Life Wheel. It pictures the “state of the art” of an individual whose life is a work in progress. The X at the center represents the conviction that there is no God. The possible existence of a vital center has been ruled out. The innermost level of light (intuition, guidance) is therefore missing.

fagmented

Nevertheless, this improved personal Wheel a represents a major step forward from the starting point. New sectors have been added. Excessive focus on the Professional sector has been reduced and brought into relative balance. The sliver of a missing Family sector has been restored to the picture. An honest NO to the question of whether life is experienced as fulfilling has resulted in the decision to expanding the Entertainment sector to include time for self-improvement.

Redrawing the map can become a daily morning discipline. Ask yourself, “Where in the Wheel am I NOW?” And, if you don’t like it, “What am I willing and able to do about it NOW?”

In addition, however, there’s plenty more work to be done. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible.

Jerry Pociask’s comment hints at what’s next. He concludes, The diagram can be applied in so many ways . . . unfortunately it probably isn’t available on mobile phones!

That’s where I’ll begin next time.

Boundary Spanners Connect at the Center

Recently I posted what follows on LinkedIn. Because it reached a different community of followers, I’m reposting the substance here for the benefit of WordPress followers.

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Several LinkedIn experiences sparked this blog. Here’s the initial back and forth:

Me to John K. Dunston: I’m writing a LinkedIn blog that speaks about the importance of “‘boundary spanning.” I’d like to mention your name as a great example. Am asking your permission to do so.

John K. Dunston to Me: I’m flattered that you would consider me an example. What is your idea and why am I a good example?

Me back to John: Basically, your profile and answer to my question are a great example of how love of wisdom (the definition of philosophy) is surely linked to your success at work. Also, coming full circle in an infinite loop, your work — surely done with love and keen intelligence — has been a great wisdom teacher. This is the short story. Do you agree?

John back to Me: I concur and would be honored to participate.

The story behind our connection is this. When John originally initiated contact a few months ago, giving him the benefit of the doubt, I accepted his invitation. But I was baffled as to why a Master Plumber/Project Manager would seek out an Author of books on Human Survival, Einstein and the Positive Paradigm of Change.

So I asked, and got back this humbling response:

“I’m a student of positive change and having an impact in life. I have studied the masters from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, John Maxwell, John Kotter, Viktor Frankl, etc. Your profile seemed interesting. I hope I have answered your question. I have also studied Dr. Einstein.”

Though there’s no quick way to recognize it from his profile, John has balanced technical and leadership responsibilities with philosophy to become a master of not only plumbing but of life as well. His profile does show the broad range of abilities that are the mark of an interdisciplinary boundary spanner.

His competencies span a wide range from project estimation and scheduling to construction code compliance, from material ordering and installation to direct supervision of journeymen and apprentice plumbers. And much more.

I can relate. I started as a musician, but. as described in I’m a Boundary Spanner. Are You? , technical skills weren’t enough.

“As a musician, I wasn’t satisfied with training limited to violin technique. I wanted to know everything about everything that goes into music from every point of view.

“I wanted to know about the physics of sound vibration and the science of violin making. I needed to know about the history behind composers’ biographies, the literature they read, about psychology and the religions that inspired their music. Eventually, my search included kinesiology and yoga, the fundamental disciplines of movement and breath- awareness practiced by musicians in India.

“Traditional schools didn’t help much in this quest.”

It seemed to me that the benefits of specializing, taken to extreme, have opposite and equal drawbacks. This narrow approach to expert-education has an isolating, “divide and conquer” effect. The right hand has no idea of (or interest in) what the left hand is doing. Nor does the right brain coordinate optimally with the left.

Personally, I was fascinated by human nature. I didn’t major in psychology, however, because research-oriented departments didn’t seem relevant. History, literature and philosophy better satisfied my curiosity. Applications to leadership issues were an inevitable extension.

But when I recently sought to reach outside the “author” box on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded therapists and leadership coaches to share the value of my ideas, I found that the shoe was now on the other foot (so to speak). Just as I initially couldn’t compute a person with John’s background having much in common with my work, some didn’t appreciate my invitations. In fact, I found myself blocked!

This experience reinforced key ideas which I’d like to share with LinkedIn colleagues. First, it’s critically important to cross disciplinary lines to become fully competent in the many aspects that impinge on any particular profession. Second, in balance, “well-rounded” success depends on moving increasingly inwards through the levels of the Positive Paradigm Wheel associated with emotional intelligence and intuition to the eternal silent core called “conscience.”

We urgently need to restore an approach to education, especially leadership training, that enables social and physical scientists as well as business and government leaders to first link the multi-faceted aspects of everyday experience and second, balance the outer rim of their Life Wheels with the deeper, full-spectrum levels of emotional-spiritual self-awareness, linking these levels in an mutually reinforcing, infinite loop of intuition, passionate aspiration, intelligent planning and effective action.

Positive Paradigm of Change

No matter where we start on the surface rim, the deeper we dig into the mysteries of any profession (whether in the arts and sciences or business-government-military leadership), the closer we come to our common core — the eternal center which everyone everywhere shares in common. Connection with that center is the foundation of authentic communication and viable community building. Lacking it, we remain, as most of us find ourselves today – disconnected and in a world of hurt.

—————-

P.S. In fairness, I should add the “happy ending” to this story. Yesterday, when I asked Victoria Ipri, a savvy and generous LinkedIn expert, if there was anything I could do about being blocked, she advised that I could contact customer service. If I promised to do better, they would lift their restriction. I contacted, promised, and the restriction was lifted. She’s one of the good guys!

Rethinking CRIME

Today, I’m fulfilling a promise made on a LinkedIn thread in answer to the question, “Crime, Is It Natural?” I responded to look here for my perspective on this very important question. After all, CRIME just happens the very first of the UPSG Essays.

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1. CRIME

 “Our time has committed a fatal error; we believe we can criticize the facts of religion intellectually . . . The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room, or disorders the brains of politicians and journalists who unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.” — C. G. Jung, The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 13.

“Nature itself has a pulse, a rhythmic, wavelike movement between activity and rest . . . We are capable of overriding these natural cycles, but only by summoning the fight-or-flight response and flooding our bodies with stress hormones. We can only push so long without breaking down and burning out.” — Loehr & Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement

“Your life is created from the inside out, so you must get right with you on the inside — and that takes time and focus on you; not your social mask, but you. . . You are uniquely equipped for a mission in this world, and to fail to commit to finding that mission and then achieving it is to wither the mind, body and spirit.” — Phillip C. McGraw, Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out

THE FRONT

Linguistic roots of crime indicate a verdict, an object of reproach, or offense. According to Webster’s, crime is an act which the law prohibits. Conversely, it is failure to act as the law orders. Crimes are variously punishable by death, imprisonment, or the imposition of fines and restrictions.

A second kind of crime is an offense against morality, called sin. More loosely, this word is used to refer to something regrettable. “It’s a crime you didn’t finish school.”

What’s significantly missing from Webster’s definitions is reference to violations of natural law. Over millennia, Asian practitioners evolved sophisticated sciences which map the subtle laws of energy movement and study the effects of natural change on human physiology, behavior and institutions. For thousands of years, health sciences, social structures, business practices and the education of monastic, government and military leaders alike were based on this practical understanding of human dynamics.

Westerners, in contrast, have little functional understanding of natural law and violate it with impunity. We experience subtle energy shifts as emotional reactions or the erratic ups and downs of daily life. Because Western cultures are historically out-of-tune with energy dynamics at this level of law, it is often referred to as the unconscious. Crimes of passion and self-sabotage are proof of this bind spot.

The focus of Conscience: The Ultimate Personal Survival Guide is the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Change. It embodies a time-tested method for making the unconscious conscious. As the repository of natural law, it fills a gap in the way we’ve been taught to think about life.

Restoring its ancient wisdom to current awareness could correct mistakes in the ways we think and therefore act, revitalizing virtually every field of endeavor, from the healing and entertainment arts to the political and social sciences.

In I Ching context, the worst crimes are those we commit against ourselves when we accept and act on limiting suggestions. When we block out the lower octave of sub-rational intelligence (the middle, energy level of the Life Wheel) as if it didn’t exist, we fail to recognize and release the buried fears that sabotage our rational decisions.

When we disown the higher octave of our super-rational awareness, (the center of the Wheel) we block out intuitive access to the Book of Life, written in our very DNA — the universal source of creative solutions, the means of healing every disease, and hope of ultimate survival.

Those who dismiss, demean or control children with fear condemn them to empty lives of masked conformity on the material surface of the Life Wheel. Instilling extreme ideas about death, as if it were either a reward or ultimate punishment, one’s only hope or worst enemy, results in living inappropriate to reality.

 The more moderate, I Ching view accepts mortality as a natural change. Sages use keen awareness that time on Earth is limited as motivation to live authentic to their true selves, making the best possible use of every precious moment here and now.

To keep people in ignorance, lulling them into inaction by minimizing future dangers or the opportunities inherent in them is irresponsible. To withhold the information we need to be effective in meeting and surviving immanent challenges is most certainly the ultimate crime against humanity.

For a timely wake-up call would serve to shake us out of self-denial and shatter the prisons of narrow thinking. It could rouse the courage to face up to the unknown, to slay the demons that lurk in the sub-rational mind. It might also open us up to our super-rational potentials and the distant calling of eternal life.

 THE BACK

The positive resolution of crime is atonement. In social relationships, it’s accomplished by setting wrongs right. At a personal level, it’s accomplished by returning to a lifestyle compatible with natural law. At the deepest level, at-one-ment is attained by overcoming separation and restoring one’s original at-one connection with conscience and the creative source.

The negative consequence of unrepentant wrong doing is punishment. Breaking human laws, as Webster’s enumerates, precipitates punitive results. Over time, the natural law of karma returns actions in kind to the doer. Retribution can be visited in many forms, from mental or physical disease, to personal, professional or financial misfortune. The biblical admonition holds true: As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

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Carl G. Jung, The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 13.Alchemical Studies. (Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, 1967.) p. 36.

Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal. (Free Press: New York, 2003.) pp. 30, 31.

Phillip C. McGraw, Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out. (Free Press: New York, 2001.) pp. 12, 13.