Do we Think?

What is on your mind?  – FB

Whether to put out my Narcissus or Procrustus best

Can Asians Think? Asks Kishore Mahbubani since 1998

Is there an Indian Way of Thinking? Asked AK Ramanujan in 1990

Do we – humans- think?

We think we think

We don’t – as a species ! There is no ‘ us ‘ thinking. There may be U.S / American thinking !

The question is important since we are what we think we are!

I am tempted to provoke you.  Most of us do not know how to think

And the Powers that be do not want us to think!

What is to think?

That we think is beyond dispute. The quality of our thinking needs to be judged on the outcome of our thinking

If one thinks and thinks and reaches the conclusion that kicking the bucket is the best option that too is thinking. On the other hand, one thinks, connects and improves her and the tribe’s wellness we have thinking as it ought to be.

Asians do not think as one as the Chinese think that they are one, or the Singaporeans do. Indians do not think as one nation. In fact we are the most confused as to what is to be an Indian or even what is to be a Hindu, perhaps because of our heightened levels of complexity !

To be an Indian and to think in the deeper sense of the term has significant strategic implications.   If we subscribe to the view of “vasudhaiva kudumbakam”  we need to indianise the global community –  Indianisation is globalization as against the current paradigm of Westernization as globalization

When we understand the Indian way of Thinking we have a strategic advantage which enhances global community and offers us opportunities as a Global Solution Provider.

The Indian way of thinking vs the western

Read them as, more and less rather than either or

a little crude way of putting it for the more sophisticated

Fusion vs Fission

Analytic vs Integral

Wholeness vs Divisiveness

Process vs event oriented

Unification vs Fragmentation

Moderation vs Extremist

Tolerance vs Aggression

Realisation vs Actualisation

Renunciation vs Achievement

Inclusive vs Exclusionary

Neg-entropic- Entropic

Organic – Mechanistic

We can go on ad infinitum. One need not be an expert to see the obvious unless one prefers to pretend blindness.

Sanskrit, processed, India was the only culture which had a language for process and dialogue, the hallmark of culture. .We are not argumentative as some would say. We would pretend that we don’t know rather than pick up an argument which is counterproductive. This is not to say that Sanskrit is the way out but to reiterate that the product is in the process. Thinking is a process and the process need to be judged against the outcomes. If our outcomes are less than what we expected at start, we need to go back and improve the process.

Asia has been the source of all religions, the failed science of the past. As the Asian begins to think and the levelling happens we will be compelled to rethink  the science we thought scientific.

To conclude:

Most of our problems have roots in the way we think, which also includes our personal health. If we think we are machines, that machine has to break down however sophisticated it is.

“Nothing can be more important than being able to choose the way we think.”- Eknath Eswaran (1910–1999)

Who am I ?

Who am I ?
” I am Christ, the Son of the living God”
It was time to return to Taxila. The two of them shared the same vision  on what would happen once they left. Both were builders par excellence of structures, physical and virtual. They conspired to test them on how they would respond to the one question that held the key to all questions,”Who Am I? “.
A building built to last needs a foundation. As  rock is for physical structures, understanding of the self is the foundation to all buildings that last, the one key to all the other keys.
“But who do you say that I am?”
“You are Christ, the Son of the living God.”
 “Blessed are you, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. ”  it is not something that  is taught, but a realisation that you come into, it is revealed to you.
Thomas, as usual, doubted.
” Peter, Who do you think you are?”
” I too am the son of the living God”.
Thomas was surprised, but he was not. The fisherman needs no lessons in anchoring though this  test was on anchoring one-self.
” And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly charged them to tell no one (!!!) that he was the Christ.
He knew that the promise would be broken, Procrustus would take over and it would sabotage the work of transforming self to Christ / the world transformed to living God. The  caterpillar is to butterfly and water is to wine as the average human is to the true human.
The true human leaves no footprints.
Others left. He could  read Thomas. “It is the experience, not the story that matters. The parable is the container. One has to break the container and get to the content to be transformed to Christ. This is the work that kills work and lightens the burden on our shoulders.
A spark inside and the  lightning outside were synchronous. Thomas remembered the day when he had said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Writing about “the stages of life” Jung argued that we need schools to prepare people in their middle years for something approximating true maturity (adulthood). He concluded,  “we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life’s morning: for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”
There were two adults in the hangout of thirteen. We are lucky if we meet  one in our times.
” The unprohibition in God’s own Kerala marks the complete conversion of the state to the colonial version of Christianity.  The salvation of the state requires the revival of the Thomas version of Christianity which successfully retained its identity against successive waves of Jain , Buddhist and Hindu revivalist influences. The doubter that he was, respected reason over sentiments, adult to the infant, dialogue to sermons. Horses would fly if such wishful thinking were to work. What would be more realistic to expect will be more sheep leave the flock and the shepherds herd together to restrain the birth of The ADULT. Diplomats that we are, this will be more of a silent revolt than an open rebellion.”
What is it to be human, adult, the son / daughter of the LIVING God?
“To be an  adult is to believe in dialogue, leave space for the adult in the other to manifest, to be human is to continually improve, killing death itself from one’s self.  Nature is the living god and the son / daughter of the living god is free from all fears including the fear of death.  There is no death in life and such a one does not live in death.  Perfection is and death too is perfect.
Nobody prohibits anybody from anything. We know and trust. I am that. Thou art that.
One has to find one’s own rock, harder than diamond, invariant and changeless as no building lasts on fissures and fault-lines.

What is Natural? – The future of life

Ask more questions?

If you have run out of questions, I have a few for you, questions that I keep on asking. Raj paused  and threw his dart of a question at the group.

What is natural ?

Current average life expectancy at birth is 71 years, 68 years for males and 73 years for females.

Wiki has many lists of centenarians. Here is the one on currently living centenarians

How do we explain the gap of 29- 39 years between the average and the exceptional?

The average is no reflection of the normal or natural and our constructs of normal or natural are far from the true or natural. This is  the brick and mortar with which we build the dungeons to imprison our selves. What we do is break when we say build.

Do centenarians and women live a more natural life?

What is  the design for, to live for  110 years, or 200 +  years?

I believe it is for 200 + years.

If so what is the magic age when you are fully born – physical, mental, spiritual, social – adult ?

What can make you live for 200 + years ?

What happens to work ?

What about marriage ?

What happens when you exhaust your bucket list ?

Summing up 1990-2013

Image

Summing up 1990-2013

“For over 1200 years Taxila and Nalanda were the finest centres of learning in Asia and the world. Emperor Ashoka was the political outcome of this intellectual leadership. As Taxila and Nalanda declined, centres of learning emerged elsewhere. This process continues.

What is now emerging is far more exciting, driven primarily by open — often free — real-time access to information and technology. With social networks and the immense possibilities of online learning, the centres of learning have shifted homeward. Critical to the success of these new, emerging centres of learning is the maturity of the learner. In fact, the key outcome of this new literacy is the emergence of the adult who thrives on dialogue and community. Yet existing leadership styles and organisational practices often tend to stifle the blossoming of the adult, especially in large organisational and governance systems.

This is where First Discipline comes in — as the management equivalent of the graphic user interface. The graphic user interface took technology to the masses; this book seeks to do the same for management, facilitating accelerated learning and mastery of the critical set of sustained high performance competencies.

Management is often understood as a derived discipline. This book though, rests on the conviction that management is a foundational discipline that offers a meta-framework to integrate all other disciplines. The limitations of the discipline of management thus arise from the failure to recognise its integrative role. Through visual semiotics, the integral First Discipline Framework takes the reader to the philosophical foundations of management, highlighting its integrative nature, connecting the east and the west and the process of achieving accelerated mastery of this practice.

Developed in 1990, the First Discipline Framework is a visual compass for our journey through personal, organisational and community life. The tool continues to be used in diverse contexts — schools, MBA programmes, start-ups, industry, non-profits, government and for capacity building among the ecosystem people.

From 2007, the dialogue has gone online and global. This book is an outcome of the expanding dialogue on First Discipline.”

Re-emergence of Asian Management

First Discipline

Discipline of disciplines

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The Re-emergence of Asian Management 

Ancient Roots, Global Reach 

Analytics, integration, the three imperatives and six perfections 

Category: Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Business, Development, Governance and Management 

Contents:  Foreword, Dialogue Development and CommunityNew LiteracyFirst Discipline FrameworkProcessMetaphoriaReflectionsFutureFAQs

Foreword

First Discipline (FD) is the discipline of disciplines, the base from which other disciplines are derived. Disciplines, art, science or religion, are but collections of maps of physical or virtual spaces. Literate or illiterate, we cannot survive without maps. We start with models and when results meet our expectations consistently, we elevate them to the level of maps. An example is the periodic table. At the highest level maps  connect meta-disciplines unifying them into knowledge and wisdom. The silos get connected. The self is the agent of learning and transformation of data to information creating sense, meaning and structure. It follows that FD is also the study of the self in relation to the whole, from the level of the personal to family, groups, organizations, and society.

Technological bandwidth increases at a frenetic pace. We also find instances of human bandwidth shrinking even faster. The paradox necessitates that we develop a framework, lens, that facilitates analytics and integration,  seeing and showing the deep structures to achieve much higher levels of integration

Growth is a process of resolving issues of identity, moving from dependence to independence and to interdependence. Individuals, teams, organisations and communities need to go through the process. Copying from less complex contexts will not suffice to stay ahead. It is essential to go far beyond imitation to create competitive advantages. FD offers an analytic and integration tool and methodology to address these challenges and disconnects. Through visual semiotics, it incorporates eco-literacy, the new spirituality of work, system thinking, cultural archetypes, continual renewal, mental maps, personal mastery and other unifiers to work together like an operating system of the self at different levels.  Transfer of learning and mastery of  competences are acquired at a faster pace in comparison to any other approach. If the world has turned out to be imperfect, it has more to do with these models of the world than the world outside. The visual semiotic tool, the new eyes,  show us a coherent whole giving us the new vision an essential prerequisite to creating a more desirable future. As in the case of a terrestrial journey, the approach incorporates positioning, measurement, feedback and reflection, functions that are carried out by the compass, clock and the feedback system that enables the traveler to be on course.

How and what we learn as individuals, communities and community will decide our common future. Targeted learning is context and problem specific and seeks to connect, reflect and catalyze- better, faster and deeper. The pace of learning is the differentiator in the race for market share. Technology and the internet have changed the paradigms of learning. The full impact is not felt since habits linger on. It is feasible now to leave rote learning to the memory devices freeing time and effort to more productive. Learning on a need to learn basis at the time it is required is feasible. Self mediates in the process of transformation of data to information and knowledge creating sense, meaning and structure in turn leading to learning and improvement. Mastery of this process, at the level of individuals, organisations, community and society at large is critical the developmental process.

Icons and symbols, like road signs and traffic signals, can function like a compass. The Graphic User interface accelerated the emergence of a connected world. Within the networks is silicon which has the innate quality of connecting and forming very long chains. Digital and other deeper disconnects of multiple dimensions slow down the journey toward the higher evolutionary potential in us, individual or collective, creating serious threats to the very survival of the species. Marshall Goldsmith tells us ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There‘. If we go by history and precedence we wouldn’t have made the moon shots. History is created when we make it history.

The nature of the common journey is that we move towards our completeness and to greater completeness. A parallel can be drawn for this journey too, similar to out other journeys. Let us say that the journey begins now. I am in Bangalore and the time is 10 AM, 31 May 2008. We need a compass/map and the clock to do this. I would like to go to Mumbai. The direction too is fixed. As I take every step on my journey to Mumbai, I need to make sure that I am moving in the right direction and not away from it. This is reflecting looking back and forth to make sure that the process is in control. The three keywords are Position, Direction and Reflection the basic essentials to take on the physical world. Given the other requisites one is certain to reach Mumbai. Without the first three all the rest will not take us to Mumbai.

Mapping the physical world has become very precise in our times. Between Galileo’s telescope   the Hubble and the Femtoscope, are the very large and the very small – farther and deeper. The observer connects the two attempting to comprehend the whole. Yet we will never comprehend the whole in its totality. At best it will always remain an approximation and there will always be unknowables. What we can comprehend of the physical world is so vast that a system is required to navigate. The journey of life is much more than a journey through external space since we are much more than our physical selves. How does one position oneself for this journey? It is the self which fixes the position, direction and reflect on itself as to the progress of the process. The observer and the observed are parts of the same system. Mapping the whole system, physical, nonphysical, external and internal and evolving a navigational tool is one of the basic requisites for the journey on that less travelled road. From 1981 to 1990, we worked towards evolving the FDF, the road map. Eco-literacy, the new spirituality, system thinking, cultural archetypes, continual renewal, mental maps, personal mastery, and many more unifiers are embedded in the tool.  Since then we have been using tool for dialogue in diverse contexts though dialogue is not in our habit. Politicians and priests preach, professionals prescribe, teachers lecture, parents advise. Dialogue needs adults, not leaders and followers or shepherds and sheep. The approach is process and dialogue based, in real time, stretching without burnout and improves alignment at deeper levels of the self for sustained high performance.  Dream work, re-framing of mental maps through storytelling/writing, envisioning, action learning in a simulated work environment are some aspects of the methodology. The context and details vary but the principles remain the same. Since going online from May 2008, the dialogue continues globally and in real- time.

This living document is the outcome of this continual dialogue. It gets written on its own. In the past, several thousands, bulk of them from the edges, have participated in the process.  I/we in the document represent any one or the community which includes me. Among others, I remain one of the facilitators to the process and I alone am responsible for the biases, errors, omissions and jargon that would have crept in, un-noticed.

Many dots remain to be connected.  Welcome to the dialogue and to connect more of them.

Joseph Manuel

Maturity Metrics,Stages of Growth and Levels of Awareness

“If 50 is the new 30 when do you turn into an adult?

“Adulthood is yet to be defined. We have different numbers for different purposes, contexts and cultures pegged at 13, 16, 18, 21 “

“You may be 100, but that is no guarantee that you are an adult”

“Most metrics are quite arbitrary and we give undue weightage to numbers”.

“Dealing with the demographic imperative necessitates bringing quantity; quality and time to be reckoned with at one go. Erikson’s eight is too inadequate.”

Most of us may never pass through the gate to adulthood if we define adulthood as maturity to self-regulate, take informed decisions that leads to continuous improvement. Adulthood in the information age is about discerning information from data, the competence to ask the right questions or search. Information is data that kill misinformation that takes us to more order than decay.

Collectively we do not even manifest the wisdom of a single cell in its ability to take care of itself. We are yet to graduate from the level of the clock/ simple machines. Perhaps our institutions partially exhibit some of the characteristics of advanced machines with limited self-regulation.

The cell is to the body as an individual is to the community. Let us look at the issue at this level before proceeding to higher levels of complexity.

Event Process Metric/s

Stage /  Event Process Metric/s
1 Conception One-ness, Ignorant bliss Dreamers
2 Birth/death Duality, Separation, Pain, paradise lost Conflicts, noise
3 Positioned Purpose Clarity, Work to fun Silence, voice
4 Map Directional Clarity Improvements
5 Clock Mechanical awareness Rituals, Measurement,Breakdowns
6 Thermostat Self-regulation Decisions
7 Cell Organic life Increasing order
8 Plant Rooted Glocal
9 Animal Perfection Design awareness
10 Human Identity, Independence, Freedom Gender intelligence
11 Community Interdependence Happiness Index, Community Intelligence
12 Meta maps Accumulated learning Expertise, Practice
13  Aligning with the unknown Balance Humility, sustained improvements
14 Graduate/Warrior Catalyst Adulthood, Continual Renewal, Servant leadership, Reflective

We are still struggling with improving this tentative proposition. The dialogue is on.

Why blue?

20 April

“So what is the new 21”

“60 and in perfect health”

” then the new 74 will be 222+”

“Yes, computationally speaking, otherwise no such limits. You are not your 58 kilos”

” oops”

“Then what are you?”

” You are your work”

“Hmm”

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”  -Buddha

Aligning with the unknown

Connect to your best friend

  • Why should I?
  • How do I diagnose whether the unknown is working for or against me?
  • How do I align myself with the unconscious, the unknown and the unknowable?
  • What are the payoffs of aligning with the unknown?

If this makes sense, go to next:

Start here:

Build the lighthouse

Light the beacon, Watch out

Notes from light house keepers

Before: self, by default

After: SELF, By design