Re: Not-doing LO1265

Barry Mallis (
17 May 1995 12:40:49 -0400

Replying to LO1236 --

Replying to Bernard Girard regarding LO1215, Is it of any use to
understand organizations?

Cher Bernard,

I suspect you'll stimulate response to your entry regarding the need to
study organizations, and that spirit or soul cannot be found beneath the
scalpel of scrutiny.

This is a very interesting philosophical topic, and also as your comment
suggests to me a highly charged issue. I can even see where it might call
into question many paths of investigation by humans into our exoteric and
esoteric environments.

One of my brothers, home from college many years ago, asked me when I was
a teenager "What is a city?". I replied that it was a place where there
were usually larger buildings and lots of people and traffic and commerce,
etc. etc. He countered, "Barry, those are just manifestations of the
City. What is the City?" So I tried to build a case for others
characteristics which were city-like, and again he caught me up with the
same question. "Aside from place and people and objects, what exactly is
City?" He had caught me in a semantic spiral which I found nonetheless

These recollections return to me as I review our observations and
reactions concerning spirit, soul, organizations et alia. Why, indeed,
attend to spirit and soul questions when considering organizations?

Each working day I arrive to my job with one goal of bringing bread to the
table in my home. Interactions with 750 other people are high on my list
of duties. I can sometimes tell--and also be told--if my communications
with or to these many people (a small city) is effective. I am charged
with, among other things, raising the "spirit" of employees about ISO
9001, Total Quality practices, team participation. While I cannot (ever?)
explicitly place my index finger upon spirit or soul, I see some essence
of it in my environment. We all do, no? We talk about it with friends,
spouses, co-workers each and every working day, no? I see the vapor
trails left by the movements of spirit.

But just as particle physicists cannot stop in time and space the actual
quark so as to have a good look at it; just as he can only study the
particle trails, just so do we study the interactions of soul/spirit as
they manifest between humans. We KNOW how to shape or direct these to
some extent. Each interaction between us is a shaping experience, a
directing experience, whether directed inward or toward those around us.

None of these thoughts, as you say, are terribly new. IMHO there are good
reasons to study interactions of spirit in order to continuously improve
our chances of positive action for the group.

Saint Francis said, "Man looks for what is looking." Merci, Bernard, pour
votre evocation.

Here's a poem from Rumi:

Today I'm out wandering, turning my skull
into a cup for others to drink wine from.
In this town somewhere there sits a calm, intelligent man,
who doesn't know what he's about to do!

Tous mes voeux,

Barry Mallis
Total Quality Resource Manager
MARKEM Corporation
Keene, NH 03431