Presence

Now I’ve read enough of the book to mention that it certainly takes a close look at the eureka moment, from a certain perspective, and it has also answered many questions I had. The book is called Presence: An exploration of profound change in people, organizations and society. It is by Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers
and from their website,

explored the nature of transformational change—how it arises, and the
fresh possibilities it offers a world dangerously out of balance. The
book introduces the idea of “presence” —a concept borrowed from the
natural world that the whole is entirely present in any of its parts—to
the worlds of business, education, government, and leadership. Too
often, the authors found, we remain stuck in old patterns of seeing and
acting. By encouraging deeper levels of learning, we create an
awareness of the larger whole, leading to actions that can help to
shape its evolution and our future.

For one heartbeat, I thought to myself that all my questions had been answered and my thesis obsolete, but then I realized that while they do indeed answer many of my questions, including what exactly happens in the eureka moment, I’m seeking a different perspective. At first, if you read the description, it gives the impression that they are talking about liminal space, or living in liminality. But as I read through the book, I realise that while to a great degree they have articulated the concept of living in liminal space, and leveraging it’s unique properties, they have remained just one step apart from actually stepping into limnos. Perhaps it could be that while the metaphor of a gateway or a threshold is certainly articulated, they, as individuals have yet to experience limnos. This is not a pejorative or a complaint so much as an observation that people can observe from one or the other side of a doorway, and their frame of reference will inherently take on the qualities of the side on which they stand, subliminally.

I would say, as I attempted to follow their guidelines to still my thoughts, connect with the big picture, the whole, if you will, and watch carefully to see what insights emerged, that I realised that they were attempting to use, what felt to me, clumsy concepts and terminology to articulate what they saw. So, what I’m saying here, is that while I can see what they were trying to say, and it’s value, much of their theory was difficult to follow due to this problem of articulation. However at this point, I must add this quotation from the book here,

"You know, it’s amazing how we can pursue a question and eventually come to a place that wise people have reached before and ‘know it for the first time.’ But I think it’s also important to point out that while leadership cultivation has been the main part of wisdom traditions of the past, it will be different in the future. The leadership of the future will not be provided simply by individuals but by groups, institutions, communities and networks."

How powerful these words are; look, here I am, taking these words from a book on my lap, and sharing the thought on my blog, continuing the conversation with them about my thoughts on their words, like a virtual version of the conversations in the agora, 2500 years ago. What little perhaps I build upon their theory, for example, could possibly be taken further by someone else, and so the meme spreads. Lets take the concept of a meme right there, did the word even exist in common usage more than 10 years ago?

This conversation will continue.

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