Tag Archives: Saul Alinsky

What’s Most Important – Nature, Nurture, OR . . . ?

The other day, I encountered Ivan Goldberg on LinkedIn. A Chair at Vistage International, his formal title is Executive Mentor and Coach. But it’s his personal handle I find irresistible. He describes himself as an “Enthusiastic Agent for Change, Wise Old Sage, Great Listener, and Author of ‘Leading to Success.’”

globe

I’m an author of books on change based on the book ancient sages have depended upon for eight thousand years and counting. So I had a hunch that I’d found a kindred soul. I sent an email to find out.

When he accepted my invite, I wrote back: “Thanks for the connection, Ivan– Your blogs look terrific. Maybe you’d like mine as well. Here’s one that’s just been retweeted. Thanks for your great work. All best, Pat West”

Sure enough, he answered me, “Hi Pat. Many thanks for the link. Your blog is certainly more academic (that is a compliment BTW) than mine and is very thought provoking. Hope that you like today’s post on Leadership. Best regards, Ivan”

Being an academic (though also much more), I did my homework. On his website, Ivan asks “Are Leaders Born or Made?” He also answers the question: “It is Nature, Nurture and Much More!”

One good blog deserves another. So I answered back:

Hi Ivan. Yes, I liked the Nature, Nurture AND More blog. I also liked the ones on motivating and daring to be different. Seems to me that you do in fact have the soul of a sage, and know a thing or two about change. The Chinese don’t have a monopoly on wisdom after all. Now I’m motivated to write you an answering blog on the subject of nature, nurture, and More. I’ll alert you come mid-week, if you like. All best, Pat”

What follows is my response to Ivan’s blog. He concludes, “Is it a matter of nature or nurture?  It is both.  Leaders need to be aware of their inborn abilities and how they can develop them, which is, essentially, an auto-didactic exercise.”

What? “Auto-didactic?!” I can’t resist a friendly tease here. Ivan, who doesn’t really have much use for academics, uses a pretty fancy word that I (the presumed academician) had to look up. Turns out, it means self-analysis. As a noun, it means self-taught.

Agreed. Self-responsible learning and experience are essential. Potential is necessary but not sufficient. However, the wisdom of sages (not the same as academic theories) can make a useful difference. I’ll give one example here using the Positive Paradigm Wheel of Change which is true to the original, the I Ching. This picture talks to the right brain to balance the left-brain discussion which follows.

It places the relationship of nature, nurture and “much more” in prioritized context.

NatureNurtureWheel

For those as yet unfamiliar with the Unified Theory of Einstein’s heart’s desire, let me explain briefly. The model of concentric wheels-within-wheels is equally compatible with modern atomic science, the world’s great religions, and yoga philosophy.

The surface level that corresponds with MASS includes everything tangible and measurable. It’s the realm of empirical science. That would be “nurture.”

The middle ENERGY level corresponds not only with electricity, but with subtle but measurable energies that yogis call “chi” or “prana.” It’s the level associated with DNA, emotions and “gut” feelings. As detailed below, that’s the level of “nature.”

The innermost level of LIGHT is associated with intangibles. That’s the “. . . and Much MORE.”

On the surface, intelligence is measured by IQ. It’s also the realm of human laws and social codes, including morality.

The middle level is the domain of the natural law encoded in the venerable Chinese Book of Change. Competence at the middle level is popularly called EQ – Emotional Intelligence. This is the realm of native virtues, including but not limited to courage, kindness and calmness. Compassion is the balanced composite of intrinsic virtues.

Still further inwards, deeper knowledge is experienced as intuition, sometimes called guidance. Most notably, the New and Old Testaments speak to this level.

At the hub of life’s Wheel, the unchanging center holds the radiating spokes and rim together. This eternal source of life and light is associated with the silent voice of Conscience. The Chinese call it the Tao, the Way which cannot be named.

Here’s how Ivan’s comments on nature vs. nurture fit into the Wheel. The surface of the Wheel is the level of daily experience, which includes on-the-job and classroom training as well as expert mentoring. This is the level of nurture – leadership development.

Even so, depending on what (or whether) they choose to learn from it, experience shapes different leaders differently. (Academics who are heavy on theory but light on experience are understandably frustrating to leaders whose common sense is highly developed.)

The middle level of the Wheel is where some leaders fall short. This is what Ivan calls nature – innate potentials. Leaders may or may not be self-aware on this level. Some trust their gut feelings more than others. A fortunate few, like Mozart, for example, are born already in-formed. But a deficit can be improved by relevant training, especially when reinforced by practical experience.

The innermost level of the Wheel is where more leaders are gun shy. This is the “And MORE” factor. Deeper than either surface nurture or middle level nature, only the most successful are in-formed by intuition (which is different from gut instinct.) Creative change agents regarded as visionaries receive their inspiration at this level.

The center of the Wheel is, by definition, absolute. The other levels emanate from and return to this creative source. The very best leaders are those who focus here and link the hub all the way to the surface. They’re equally competent on all levels in a balanced way. This is the ideal towards which to strive. It’s also the standard for deciding which leaders to follow, and which ones to promote.

In Positive Paradigm context, the three levels radiating outwards from the central hub are prioritized. For this reason, a highly proficient but insensitive and uninspired technician isn’t yet qualified to lead others. An enthusiastic, high energy leader may attract followers. But a charismatic speaker whose ethics are shaky or whose connection to the center is unstable needs work. Wherever there are deficiencies, once identified, they can be corrected. This is the purpose and value of the The Positive Paradigm Handbook.

The relationship amongst the levels explains the extraordinary success of leaders who start with few material advantages, but succeed far beyond many who begin with more.

Scriptures tell us, and the best leaders affirm, “With God, all things are possible.” That is to say, from a strong connection to the center, entire empires can be spun. Leaders who demonstrate the courage of their convictions make up for early social disadvantages through native intelligence, hard work and the not-coincidental luck this generates.

Detractors may doubt the necessary connection between material success, emotional intelligence, intuition and conscience. They ask, “What explains the success of the fabulously rich and powerful men on the planet who, as outspoken atheists, get whatever they want, however they want, with no regard for the harm they cause to anyone who dares stand their way?”

Well, there are many stories about bad deals with the Devil. Satan promises – and for a short time, can sometimes deliver – ephemeral success in the transitory world. But never the lasting peace which comes from following conscience. Disciples of Saul Alinsky, an admitted follower of Lucifer, can deliver worldly success to political organizers (you know who they are) willing to deceive, fragment and exploit the masses they pretend to serve.

But leaders who intentionally live true their conscience and succeed in linking the levels of life are key to a viable future. The rest of us will depend on them to out-think, out-maneuver and succeed long after pretenders with no substantial connection to the center of life have been blown away like dust in the wind.

So here’s my ongoing call to sages world-wide. Unite in the vision of Einstein’s Unified Theory. As he warned us, this “substantially new way of thinking” is a matter of human survival.

 Angel Calling

 

Advertisements

Rethinking Atheism

RETHINKING SURVIVAL

 Excerpts from the section ATHEISM ANSWERED

 The Ant and the Elephant

An ancient parable from India captures the dilemma of human inadequacy in the face of Truth. Four blind men were introduced to a gigantic old elephant. After touching only one part, each reported his experience.

The one who embraced a leg said elephants are round and rough, like the trunk of a tree. The next, who felt a tusk, said elephants are hard and sharp, like a sword. The one who felt an ear described elephants as thin, flat and flexible. The last, who grabbed hold of the tail, was certain elephants are like ropes, perhaps even whips.

A favorite contemporary riddle captures the humor of human gropings. Question: “What is the height of ambition?” Answer: “An ant climbing up an elephant’s leg with sex on its mind.”

Next question: “What’s the height of fulfillment?” Answer: “The ant climbing back down the elephant’s leg with a smile on its face.”

Just so, we’re like blind beggars, groping towards fulfillment and comprehension of universal Truth. We mistakenly generalize our partial perceptions of a reality which noone can see in entirety. We’re like ants who aspire far beyond our limits, sometimes fortunate enough to enjoy a taste of satisfaction.

In Positive Paradigm context, heated arguments between religionists and atheists are noisy, short-sighted and futile. Each disputant has a partial piece of the larger puzzle. But only that. Their antics — posturings and posings — would be comical, were it not for the extraordinary waste of time and energy lost to creative endeavors.

Atheists who deny the existence of God are equally hilarious and pathetic. They might as well argue that atoms have no nucleus, or that the solar system has no sun. It’s like ants presuming to deny the existence of elephants. Their superficial (often angry, self-pitying and self-serving) arguments have no affect whatsoever on the eternal center which always was, IS, and always will be.

Have authority-cloaked religionists, for thousands of years, abused the name of God to excuse abuse of power, claiming divine rights for human rulers — be it European kings, Chinese emperors, Russian tzars, Arabian caliphs, or whomever? Certainly. Have their enemies repeatedly wrested temporal power away from its holders, only to abuse it in even worse ways themselves? Definitely. Have humans suffered unspeakable cruelties and injustices at the hands of fellow humans from time immemorial? Sadly so. Continuous upheavals on the surface of the wheel are part of life. It’s nothing new.

But the existence of the unchanging silent center continues into infinity, regardless of what’s happening at the surface. Whether you honor it with awe in simple silence or choose a particular name for it, it remains the same. If you’re totally disillusioned by bad luck or the particular version of religion enforced by your elders, your quarrel is with the ways of the world and its human institutions. Your misfortunes don’t reflect on the Creator’s existence, which is a different subject. God continues to broadcast. Whether you listen remains your choice, the exercise of God-given Free Will.

—————–

Alien Invaders

 In the 1980s, when the Affirmative Action legislation described in Part One was a subject of hot debate, one commentator made an astute observation. If foreign enemies had wanted to undermine the United States, they would have designed exactly this legislation. Valid goals — the window dressing — were buried in burdensome regulations and punitive economic sanctions. Rather than bringing people together, it was alienating, causing an opposite and equal backlash.

Alien invaders infiltrating Planet Earth, weakening humans to eventually take over and enslave them, is a familiar theme in science fiction. For example, in his various incarnations, Dr. Who — television’s time traveler — continuously detects nefarious alien plots and rescues heedless humans from annihilation.

Current events indicate there’s considerable truth cloaked in that science “fiction.” Starting with the premise that hidden alien enemies are covertly scheming to undermine humanity, ask, “How would they set about to destroy us?” Logically, they’d create chaos, setting everyone at each others’ throats. They’d trick humans into mutual self-destruction by stirring up dissension and fragmenting their governments.

As discussed in Part Two, the Old Testament and yogic scriptures both maintain that we’re made in the image of God. Each individual mind is a complete miniature of the Universal Mind. When open, receptive, and aligned, everyone everywhere mirrors the wisdom and strength of the Creator. Therefore, it’s an absolute priority for evil aliens to attack the mind. Their agents will do whatever it takes to pollute your mind. They confuse it with false paradigms. They clutter and distract it with the ongoing media circus. Every doubt planted in your mind, causing you to forget who you are, to disbelieve in your ultimate origins and creative potentials, is a victory for the dark side.

To totally undermine humanity, atheism is a must. The unifying beliefs which hold families and nations together and fortify them in times of adversity must be destroyed at all costs. Again, how would this be accomplished?

For one thing, language which makes communication and community-building possible would have to be polluted beyond repair. In Part Two, this ongoing process is described as the Tower of Babel factor. In the English language, for example, every value word has devolved to mean both one thing and its opposite. So people often talk at cross purposes, unaware that they’re missing each other coming and going.

Timothy Daugherty nails this tactic from the radical adversarial-political play book. They have nothing of substance to offer and unacceptably destructive intentions to hide. So the political left uses language “not to communicate ideas, but to create a kind of rhetorical fog that obscures real issues.

Alien agents are masters of double-speak, the child of deception and second-cousin of spin. Wayne Allyn Root paraphrases the lessons he learned together with Obama at Columbia on “How to Destroy America from Within:”

The plan taught us to hide your true intentions (in other words- lie, misrepresent, commit fraud) . . . A key component of the plan involved fooling the voters by calling yourself “moderate” and a “uniter,” even though you are a radical Marxist. We were taught to never admit what you really believe in. It involved demonizing your opponents, calling them “evil, greedy, extreme, radical, and terrorist.” Look in the mirror and call your opponents the very things you are.

He continues:

Why the lies? We were taught at Columbia that “It’s for the greater good” and “We know what’s best for those people” and ”The ends justify the means.”

Next, by every means available, alien agents would strive to pollute the idea pool. Promote dysfunctional paradigms. Ideas have consequences. False concepts will have predictably disastrous consequences.

————————-

In the first chapter [of Rules for Radicals], Saul Alinsky stated his exact purpose, namely to coach those who “want to change the world” from what it is “to what they believe it should be.” In I Ching context, this assumption-packed premise is an extraordinary feat of tragedy-fraught hubris.

First off, what blind, ant-like mortal would dare to think that he can comprehend what, in its entirety, the world — the elephant — really is? What human could possibly be so foolish as to think she is qualified — on the basis of one puny view — to judge what it should be? Alinksy’s rules extended an invitation for blind mortals to jump in feet first where good angels know far better than to tread.

Second, who really understands change? Many bandy the word about. But it’s a profound science of which few have in-depth knowledge. Confucius dedicated a lifetime to understanding the dynamics of natural law encoded in the perennial Book of Change. Never in his wildest nightmares could he have anticipated anyone daring to force the world to conform to personal preferences.

——————–

Divide and conquer. Pit each group against the others. I can almost see alien puppeteers behind the scenes clapping their hands in glee over Alinsky’s contribution to escalating worldwide conflict. It matters not to them which side wins. Let Sharia law advocates, members of Putin’s Eurasian Union and American exceptionalists squander their precious resources duking it out. If they destroy each other and no one’s left, so much the better.

What seems comical in the context of ant and elephant fables isn’t so funny played out in human history . . . It becomes horrific for humanity (members of every class alike) is when leaders like Mao, Lenin and Stalin slaughter untold numbers of civilians. They destroyed prevailing religions only to turning the State into a God. They ransacked houses of worship to fill their own coffers.

Alien invaders delight in cheating. They stack the deck, gumming up the works with false information driven by dysfunctional paradigms.

If you accept the game and its rules as alien agents define them and proceed to rebel against uncivil authorities, mindlessly hating and resisting, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you give all your attention to what other guys are doing wrong, playing the role of contrarian, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you quit on humanity and live only for yourself, leading a life of self-centered indulgence, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you persist in thinking narrowly in terms of political interests and institutions, not human survival, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win big time.)

The only chance of winning — ultimately, surviving — is to demand a new, clean, unmarked deck, one with all the cards. In other words, make a fresh start based on an accurate, complete Positive Paradigm.

globe