1496 Slices
Medium 9781609940041

Lead Without Blindness

Charles C. Manz Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

They are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit. (Matt. 15: 14)

Jesus presents a simple commonsense idea in this passage. It contains a lesson that is well worth considering deeply by anyone who aspires to lead others. It raises important questions such as the following: Are you about to lead others blindly into a pit? Are your followers better equipped to lead themselves than to follow you? Do people who live with their problems day in and day out see their situation more clearly than anyone else? How blind are you to the real issues that need to be addressed in this leadership situation? Can you lead others to see their own situations more clearly so they can practice more effective self-leadership? Is the ultimate act of leadership to facilitate others so they can lead themselves? Is it presumptuous, maybe even preposterous, to assume that an external leader can exercise leadership that is more effective than that person’s own self-leadership?

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Medium 9781608682294

6. Heraclitus and the Art of Cosmic Contemplation

Jules Evans New World Library ePub

EDGAR MITCHELL WAS ON HIS WAY back from the moon when the ecstasy overwhelmed him. Mitchell was one of the three-man Apollo 14 space mission, which left Earth on January 31, 1971, and landed on the moon five days later. He was responsible for the lunar module, and spent nine hours on the surface of the moon. He was the sixth human ever to walk there. On the way home, with his lunar responsibilities fulfilled, Mitchell had “more time to look out of the window” than his fellow astronauts. He tells me:

We were orbiting perpendicular to the ecliptic — that’s the plain that contains the Earth, moon and sun, and were rotating the shuttle to maintain thermal balance. Every two minutes, a picture of the Earth, moon and sun, and a 360-degree panorama of the heavens appeared in the spacecraft window as I looked. And from my training in astronomy at Harvard and MIT, I realized that the matter in our universe was created in star systems, and thus the molecules in my body, and in the spacecraft, and in my partners’ bodies were prototyped or manufactured in some ancient generation of stars. And I had the recognition that we’re all part of the same stuff, we’re all one. Now in modern quantum physics you’d call that interconnectedness. It triggered this experience of saying wow, those are my stars, my body is connected to those stars. And it was accompanied by a deep ecstatic experience, which continued every time I looked out of the window, all the way home. It was a whole-body experience.

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Medium 9781576752630

18. Miracles, Telephones, and Serendipity

John B. Izzo Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


I am asked “Do you believe in miracles?” and it occurred to me that no one had asked me that question since my days in ministry. I was taken aback. Did I believe in people being spontaneously cured of cancer, virgin births, raising of the dead, parting of seas, burning bushes, and so on? Did I believe in serendipity, synchronicity, and moments of seeming happenstance that wind up being instrumental to our path?

At one time, most of us believed in miracles just as we believed in “magic.” Surely part of our childhood innocence was recognizing and appreciating the wonderful serendipity that seemed to exist in the world around us. Most of us believed in miracles when we were children, but now that I am a (sometimes) grumpy middle-aged man, long past the innocence of youth, how would I answer the question: Do I believe in miracles?

What is a miracle anyway? A working definition might go something like this: An event out of the ordinary, an event that is unique, something that defies our logic and causes us to feel awe and wonder. A miracle is, above all, something we simply cannot explain, but that somehow gives us hope.

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Medium 9781855759060

4. "The Music of What Happens" in Poetry and Psychoanalysis. 77

Thomas Ogden Karnac Books ePub

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

S. Heaney, “Song,” 1979

In this chapter, I will be asking the reader to do something a litde different. I ask the reader to listen to his listening: that is, to listen to the ways he listens, and hears me listening, to a poem; and then to compare those “soundings” to the ways he listens, and hears me listening, to an analytic session, I will try to stay out of the reader’s way as he or she does this work, and only at the end of the chapter will I offer some thoughts about what I currendy think listening to and saying a poem have to do with listening to and speaking with a patient in analysis.

Before turning to Frost’s (1928a) “Acquainted with the Night” and to a session from the twelfth year of an analysis, I will make a few introductory comments. Over the course of the past fifty years, there have been a number of important shifts in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. Among them is an increasing awareness that the most interesting and productive avenues of analytic inquiry seem no longer to be adequately addressed by the question, “What does that mean?”—that symptom, that set of dream images, that acting out, that rageful response to the sound of the analyst’s coughing, and so on. An inquiry into personal meanings has become inseparable from an understanding of the unconscious intersubjective context in which those meanings are generated. Consequently, the question “What does that mean?” has gradually expanded so as to increase greatly the emphasis on such questions as: “What’s going on here?” “What’s happening between us consciously and unconsciously and how does that relate to other aspects of the patient’s (and the analyst’s) past and present experience, both real and imagined?” With this shift in our conception of the analytic process comes the need for a commensurate change in the way we use language to speak to ourselves and to our patients. It seems to me that we must develop a capacity to use language in a way that does justice not only to the task of understanding and interpreting the conscious and unconscious meanings of our patients’ experience; in addition, our use of language must be equal to the task of capturing and conveying in words a sense of “what’s going on here”—in the intrapsychic and intersubjective life of the analysis, the “music of what happens” in the analytic relationship.

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Medium 9781576754306

14 Forget about It

Jack Foster Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

It is sometimes expedient to forget who we are.

Publilius Syrus

Eric: My wife’s got a terrible memory.

Ernie: Really?

Eric: Yes, she never forgets a thing.

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise

There are three things I always forget. Names, faces—the third I can’t remember.

Italo Svevo

This is something you do only after you follow the advice in the previous chapter.

It is also something that I didn’t get the chance to do often enough in advertising. Usually there wasn’t time to forget about problems. You had to get ideas now. Not tomorrow. Now.

It’s the same in journalism. Just listen to Andy Rooney: “The best creative ideas are the result of the same slow, selective, cognitive process that produces the sum of a column of figures. Anyone who waits for an idea to strike him has a long wait coming. If I have a deadline for a column or a television script, I sit down at the typewriter and damn well decide to have an idea. There’s nothing magical about the process.”

But I think Mr. Rooney is making a law out of a necessity.

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