Re: Clinging and grasping LO2063
Wed, 12 Jul 95 20:37:41 GMT

Replying to LO2031 --

Barry, thanks for your comments.

Thinking on it, I would opt for this metaphor, which has been
around for a long time - that of the ocean. Observing into the depths
from afar, it might seem that a sudden and drastic change between light
and darkness occurs, an "other side" perhaps. A place of mystery. But
upon approaching this boundary, it could become perceived as a slight
transition of the same continuum, merely an increasing absence of light.
A change in one's horizon of perception. I think that there are many
mythologies that encourage an avoidance of "darkness," as a place where
evil lurks, chaos reigns, passions run rampant. Judgment and guilt are
assigned on those who dare enter. (Biting the apple, if you will)
Culturally quite daunting. But if you think in terms of "As above, so
below," it becomes no big deal. One just needs to learn to be still
enough, so as to notice the first furtive glimmers. Figuratively
speaking, your eyes get accustomed to the dark, shadows become forms.

My unconscious is a very friendly place for me. I like to just
hang out with (in?) it. Go swimming, so to speak. Who cares what Freud
said?? I tend to think of my unconscious as simply a neat
information-processing gadget that lets me not always have to consciously
worry about how to throw my spear when I'm out hunting sabre-toothed
tiger. Also keeps my attention free to notice the woolly mammoth coming
up from behind while I'm throwing.

Okay, I'll admit, there's more to it than that. But I do find an
"evolution utility check" helpful in avoiding ethnocentric messiness. In
the end the question is "do you have habits or do your habits have you?"
(ditto for culture, ideology, philosophy, science, religion, etc.) (I
think I'm paraphrasing Morris Berman. Was it in Coming to Our Senses??)

And, yes, I can definitely relate to a sort of Kafka-esque double
life with respect to the business world. However, I see it as nothing
more than a result of mental habits and prejudices. I think these
different realms coexist quite well, it's just that many people have never
learned how to "switch gears" between them. Or perhaps they have never
realized that there are gears to switch. External objective reality, and
all that.

For me, much comes down to how one deals with ego and ambiguity.
I think this will be the test in adopting groupware, by the way.
Companies that deal better in redirecting old organizational habits of ego
and power will ultimately have an easier transition towards new
organizational forms. The creation of a new frame of mind. (Secondo me.)
A brief anecdote... Last year I was working freelance for a large
multinational company, dealing with some administrative yukkiness in
setting up an international Notes database that they were implementing. I
went to several of their European offices, did some user training on it,
and whatever else that had to be done. The company thought that they were
real hot tickets in being a market leader in implementing groupware. I,
however, was floored by the attitudes.

The company had no informal mechanisms of feedback on performance.
No back patting, "your effort is recognized and appreciated" kind of
thing. Employees were going the extra mile, yet felt no recognition.
Subsequently, people were groping for credibility by grasping on to what
little was left of the hierarchy. Who's got a dotted line going where.
Job title. The database, which ideally would have replaced part of the
role of hierarchy through appropriate workflows, was used as a weapon of
control and influence. "To whom shall I *deign* to give access?" "Oh,
you mean you've got access??" My own tenuous position, being an outsider,
was also undermined by the fact that my "boss," although countries away,
would constantly refer to me as "the temp." I knew quite well the
significance of this word for her, and the organization. The whole
experience was like: "welcome to my corporate nightmare." And problems
were given no voice, no forum. Other than basic lip service. *There was
no introspection.* But, interestingly, they really did think that this was
all "cutting edge," that this behaviour was "normal" and bound to happen
in phases of transition. Completely schizophrenic.

I can only laugh at the experience. Maybe my age and sex provide
me with a perfect cover for being an "undercover consultant." You go in
as a "temp," a fly on the wall. No one bothers to do a whip and chair act
for you. It's illuminating. Any interest? Drop me a line! :-)

	Jackie Mullen