My chapter opens with a description of my journey in the world of group relations (GR) conferences, my journey on the ladder, with specific attention to the themes of the third Belgirate conference, namely tradition, creativity, and succession. I will also reflect on the place of the Leicester conference within the GR global network and my understanding and experience of these.
I will start with a chronological tour of the years leading up to me taking up the role of conference director and will include key themes and experiences of them. I will then attend in more depth to three specific developments I introduced into the conferences’ journey.
The first has to do with the link between creativity and spirituality and their place and form in a GR conference. The second has to do with the notion of “learning” and “experience”, particularly changes that I encouraged in the training group-cum-advancing praxis group. The third has to do with some thoughts I have about leadership in the GR conference context.
Can the mind dissociate the feeling which is called envy from the word?
This is rather a complex process but, if you will kindly listen, I am sure you will get the signicance of it. Let us say I am greedy, envious, and I want to understand that envy completely, not merely get rid of it. Most of us want to get rid of it and try various ways of doing that, for various reasons, but we are never able to get rid of it; it goes on and on indenitely. But if I really want to understand it, go to the root of it completely, then I must not condemn it, surely. The very word envy has a condemnatory sense, I feel, so can the mind dissociate the feeling which is called envy from the word? Because the very terming, giving a name to that feeling as envy, with that very word I have condemned it, have I not? With the word envy is associated the whole psychological and religious signicance of condemnation. So can I dissociate the feeling from the word? If the mind is capable of not associating the feeling with the word, then is there an entity, a me, who is observing it? Because the observer is the association, surely, is the word, is the entity who is condemning it.
The next day, the Panamanian government sent a man to show me around. His name was Fidel, and I was immediately drawn to him. He was tall and slim and took an obvious pride in his country. His great-great-grandfather had fought beside Bolívar to win independence from Spain. I told him I was related to Tom Paine, and was thrilled to learn that Fidel had read Common Sense in Spanish. He spoke English, but when he discovered I was fluent in the language of his country, he was overcome with emotion.
“Many of your people live here for years and never bother to learn it,” he said.
Fidel took me on a drive through an impressively prosperous sector of his city, which he called the New Panama. As we passed modern glass-and-steel skyscrapers, he explained that Panama had more international banks than any other country south of the Rio Grande.
“We’re often called the Switzerland of the Americas,” he said. “We ask very few questions of our clients.”
Late in the afternoon, with the sun sliding toward the Pacific, we headed out on an avenue that followed the contours of the bay. A long line of ships was anchored there. I asked Fidel whether there was a problem with the canal.
We begin with some general facts related to programming and
programming languages that will help to give the main subject matter
of this book some perspective. After all, VBA is just one of many
programming languages, and anyone who wants to be a VBA programmer
should have some perspective on where VBA fits into the greater
scheme of things. Rest assured, however, that we will not dwell on
side issues. The purpose of this chapter is to give a very brief
overview of programming and programming languages that will be of
interest to readers who have not had any programming experience, as
well as to those who have.
put, a programming language is a very special and very restricted
language that is understood by the computer at some level. We can
roughly divide programming languages into three groups, based on the
purpose of the language:
Languages designed to manipulate the computer at a low level, that
is, to manipulate the operating system (Windows or DOS) or even the
hardware itself, are called
languages. An example is assembly language.