LO and A Vivid Imagination LO30084

From: ACampnona@aol.com
Date: 04/10/03

" Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief
will help you create the fact."
William James

'Modern management was born proclaiming that organizations are the triumph
of the human imagination. -Deceptively simple yet shattering many beliefs,
one of which was the longstanding conviction that bureaucracy, oligarchy
and other forms of hierarchical domination are inevitable. Today we know
this is simply not true. Recognizing the symbolic and constructed nature
of the human universe, we now find- the empowering thesis that to an
extent far more than is normally recognized, we create our own realities
through symbolic and mental processes and that because of this, conscious
evolution of the future is a human option- the thesis then becomes that-
the artful creation of positive imagery on a collective basis may well be
the most prolific activity that individuals and organizations can engage
in if their aim is to help bring to fruition a positive and humanely
significant future. -Human systems it seems are heliotropic in character,
meaning that they exhibit an observable and largely automatic tendency to
evolve in the direction of positive anticipatory images of the future.
Just as plants grow to the light, human systems tend to do the same."

It seems that it is the 'time dimension of the future', what Harry Stack
Sullivan referred to as 'anticipatory reality' that acts as a proponent force
in the dynamic of all images, the recognition therefore of every social
action involves anticipation of the future. - It involves a reflexive looking
forward to and a looking backward from.
Similarly, Heidegger's "brilliant" formulation that, "It is our nature not
only to be thrown into existence but to always be ahead of ourselves in the
world, to be engaged in the unfolding of projected realities." All action,
according the Heidegger, has the nature of a project- the continuous
projecting forward of a design. "Human systems are then forever projecting
forward ahead of themselves a horizon of expectation that brings the future
powerfully into the present as a causal agent."
I find in this an affirmation of a slightly confusing present, in which I
have been engaged, more driven than driving, but following passions,
intuitions and instincts however blindly nevertheless trusting innately that
I had to follow that course. All roads are good roads.
This is not a 'for' or 'against' one thing or the other, past, present or
future, it is merely to say that in this and related writings I have found a
realizable 'theory of practice' that I find in the articulation of a part of
my vision and passion -'selfhood'.
It fits even better when one reads the materials I have been researching
today that threw up these paradigms.

"A vivid imagination compels the whole body to obey it."
"One of the basic theorems of the theory of image is that it is the image
which in fact determines the current behavior of the organisation or
organism. The image acts as a field. The behavior consists in gravitating
toward the most highly valued part of the world."
Kenneth Boulding.
"Mental anticipation now pulls the future into the present and reverses the
direction of causality."
Eric Hjantsch
"Man is a being who, being in the world, is ever ahead of himself, caught up
with bringing things alive with his projection...Whatever comes to light owes
its presence to the fact that man has provided the overall imaginative
sunlight for viewing."
Edward Murray
"To the empowering principle that people can with-hold legitimacy, and thus
change the world, we now add another. By deliberately changing the internal
image of reality, people can change the world."
Willis Harman
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"-given the central and pervasive role of the image in relation to action, it
is not surprising that research on the workings of the image has risen to be-
one of the hottest topics in cognitive science."
"-Interpersonal imagery accomplishes its work very concretely, it appears
that the positive image plants a seed that redirects the mind of the
perceiver to think about and to see the other with affirmative eyes.-It is
well established that focusing on images elicits strong emotional reactions,
whereas verbal processes are linear, the (advantage of) the image is that it
provides simultaneous representation (affording symbolic content), making it
vicariously possible to experience that which is in the imagination."
"- Looking less for the sorts of things that connect plants and pendulums and
more the sorts that connect chrysanthemums and swords"

This developing consensus on the importance of the 'symbolic' realm-on the
power of integrative ideas- by such independent sources embracing such
diverse times and perspectives reflects the complex reality of organizational
(not always to be called organized) life in the modern world.
The difference now is that what was once background is becoming foreground,
(-this related directly to 'meaning' in the depth psychology of creative
process speaking of symbolic formation again in my own interpretation.) Peter
Senge has written that, "We are entering a new era in which tapping the
creativity and imagination of people is now the central management challenge,
but there is also this deep realization that there must be an antidote to
Society's existence and continuance is viewed increasingly humanistically as
a construction of inter-acting minds, -" a game between persons." (Bell)
Friedlander says reflecting his own passion and vision; -" I am impatient.
Let's get on with it. Let's not talk it, write it, analyze it, conceptualize
it, research it, lets instead actively engage and experiment with new designs
for producing knowledge that is, in fact, used by organizations."
"Instead of trying to present oneself as an impartial bystander or
dispassionate spectator of the inevitable- (become) driven by a desire to
-break the hammerlock-
of what appears as a given in human nature, - (to) build theories that can
expand the realm of what is."
Today's 'Learning Organization's' can be infused with dynamic life force
through such insight and foresight.
The 'visual disciplines' can lend themselves uniquely and 'inclusively' not
'exclusively' to the 'larger inquiry' that is a model for learning in the
modern world and promote the stream of ideas that contributes to the shared
greater 'river of our experience and knowledge', understood metaphorically as
the flow of meaning that David Bohm referred to as the essence of dialogue.
Senge again, "The LO embodies new capabilities. It must be grounded on
transcendent human values of love, wonder, humility and compassion. A set of
practices for generative conversation and co-ordinated action, a capacity to
see and work with the flow of life as a system. This applied looks like this:
- acceptance of others as legitimate beings (love) replaces the will to
homogeneity. The ever-surprising manifestations of the world show up as
opportunities to grow not breakdowns for which somebody is to blame (wonder).
People understand that life is not condensable, that any model is an
operational simplification always ready for improvement, (humility). And when
they encounter behavior they neither understand nor condone, people
appreciate that such actions arise from viewpoints and forces that are, in
some sense, as valid as those that influence their own behaviors
(compassion). LO's are spaces for generative conversations and concerted
action, language functions as a device for connection, invention and
co-ordination. People should talk from their hearts and connect with one
another in the spirit of dialogue."
I sense that one might wish to investigate further the notions espoused in
this since,
" -The process remains grounded in experiences of individuals, as the stories
come to the surface, new images and possibilities can emerge and become
realities in new and unforeseen ways. People see and act differently. They
and society may be transformed organically and spontaneously without
resorting to any kind of planning process. -The nature of the inquiry is not
sequential but simultaneous, change happens with the first question (that may
not use words alone) to firmly ground the process in peak experiences or
shining experiences of individuals which makes it ideal for personal
"One way forward is through the process of learning from efforts at and in
envisioning, which is surfacing to the collective attention that which truly
matters via the creative effort of individuals who compose the whole. This is
a key function of any creative exploration; that the organisation encourages
whether it is through dialogue or through practical and reflective workshops
of a variety of means and media."
Peter Senge
The following text is from Paul Klee, the Swiss artist written in Germany in
the nineteen thirties.
"As creation is related to creator, so is the work of art related to the law
inherent in it. The work grows its own way, on the basis of common, universal
rules, but it is not the rule, universal a priori. The work is not law; it is
above the law. As projection, as phenomenon it is 'for ever starting' and
'for ever limited'. -Measure everything by the natural process and its law.
That prevents obsolescence, for everything is in flux and flows fast today.
Do not define today; define backwards and forwards, spatial and many-sided. A
defined today is over and done for."
A stunningly contemporary sounding essay is it not?
>From the works of the psychologist Carl Rogers I have excavated this set of
questions which we might pose ourselves reflectively to discover and chart to
what extent we are alive to the possibilities inherent in the ideas above,
1. Would you like to live with freedom from threat and freedom to choose, to
more closely align directions and goals?
2. Would it be good to move away from self-concealment, to move away from
being the expectations of others?
3. Would it be good to permit yourself to become freely the changing, fluid
process, which you are?
4. Would it be good to move toward a friendly openness to what is going on
inside you?
5. Is there value to learning to listen sensitively to yourself?
6. Is there value in being increasingly harmonized with complex sensing and
reactions rather than having to be the simplicity or clarity of rigidity.
7. Is there value in your life to moving this skill outward, accepting
others in the same listening, understanding way?
8. Would you like to trust and value the complex inner processes of
your-self as they emerge towards expression?
9. Is there value to becoming creatively realistic and realistically
10. Would being in this process enable you to maximize your potential for
change and growth?
11. Is there a place in your life for a growing pride in being sensitive,
open, realistic, inner directed, able to adapt with courage and imagination
to the complexities of changing situations?
12. Can you commence with the crucial 'one step' to the many that take you
toward an awareness that one can become congruent with one's growing, total
'organismic' reaction to the world?
13. Finally, a most compelling question,
Do you understand that this work is never completed and that it is a
continuing way of life?

Well, well, well ;-)




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