Passionate Race -- Emptied Or Filled? LO26357

From: John Dicus (
Date: 03/14/01

Replying to LO26323

Andrew Campbell writes:

John, There is a living Native American who is now a Jesuit priest who
once wrote in a forward, "I am a person filled with many questions." John
Dicus, are we in this passionate human race;-) to become emptied or
filled? Love, Andrew Campbell

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dear Andrew,

Are we in this passionate human race to become emptied or filled?


Here's where my thinking is.

Yes, we are in this passionate race to become emptied. Yes, we are in
this passionate race to become filled.

A "Law of Systems Thinking" says we can have our cake and eat it too, but
not at the same time. In one sense I can be emptied and filled, but not
at the same time. A balancing loop. I empty then get filled then empty
then get filled. I like the play on words. A balancing loop that brings
me balance. I empty myself of cynicism, doubt, fear, self-interest,
selfishness, overactive ego, hate, jealousy. But these things pop right
back no matter how often I shoo them out turning myself upside down (and
sometimes inside out) to empty them in the trash. I also need to clean
house (empty myself) of less ominous possessions, letting go of things
that no longer serve me. Letting them die. Not so easy here either. I
want to be ready (empty) to receive the things that have meaning and honor
and purity -- the great things that people yearn for, and sometimes die to

Yet I also can be emptied and filled all at the same time. Did I just
violate a law? Or are there exceptions? Will I be arrested by the LO
police? Dia-Pol! (Andrew, I think knowing that I'm writing in answer to
you makes me take these literary risks.) While I'm emptying myself of
certain things, there are many things I want to retain. Things I want to
grow and mature within. Reinforcing loops. Things like courage, trust in
my fellow man, faith in virtuous processes, systemic knowledge, ecological
wisdom, balance, perseverance, integrity of my moral compass, ability to
build and nurture community, servant leadership, stewardship, ability to
love and accept love. ...a small voice nags in the background "hey what
about limits to growth?" Is there a limit to the growth of love, for

I see part of me constantly needing to be emptied and made ready to
receive. I see part of me constantly growing in a way that would make me
proud in the long run. Emptied of the kind of passion that hinders.
Fuller of the kind that tempers.

So "yes / both" to your question.

Warm regards,


John Dicus  |  CornerStone Consulting Associates
 -- Leadership -- Systems Thinking -- Team Building -- Open Space --
2761 Stiegler Road, Valley City, OH 44280
800-773-8017  |  330-725-2728 (2729 fax)  |

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