The Dharma & Business LO2115

tim smith (timsmith@RedShift.Com)
Fri, 14 Jul 1995 12:22:02 +0000

Replying to LO2031 --

Barry Mallis writes in LO2031:

>I am hinting at a limiting factor in bringing Dharma to business. We on
this list are proof that we can bring it very, very close. But at the
point of contact, there's an explosion of the kind I described at the
beginning of this thought piece.

Mike McMaster Writes:

>Ambiguity is a key element in anything that calls for intelligence.

It is interesting how our aversion (especially in the 'business world') to
ambiguity is a reflection of our clinging to 'self'. This thought
triggers another (Emaho!, as the Tibetans exclaim.) that all learning
(wisdom) is inhibited by this clinging even as it is organized by it
(knowledge). Might it not be that the our dualizing faculties so prized as
intelligence, so necessary for 'getting along' in the world are precisely
those same faculties that result in our stuckness, our inability to get
beyond our clinging to the truth as we see it?

The Dharma points toward a middle way, a way of dancing with ambiguity,
that is difficult enough to practice personally, but almost impossible to
implement on a broader, organizational scale not because it is difficult
to 'understand', but that it is so difficult to experience. The explosion
Barry writes about gathers energy from fear of losing self. How much
greater this fear in the context of the organization, with its inherent
reinforcing mechanismisms of heirarchy, power, punishments and rewards for
doing (being?) certain things for certain results?

One of the reasons I subscribed to this list was to learn more about how
others were implementing Argyris' principles about defensive routines. My
own thinking is obviously colored by my Dharmic proclivities--and I
believe that, at bottom, there are strong connections between a psychology
of awakening (not enlightenment--process, not content) and effective
leadership, i.e. leadership that gets desireable results. I see the
process of overcoming these routines as an awakening process-one that can
be helped along from any number of perspectives as long as the perspective
is understood as only one of many that add value.

My practice teaches me this: that I don't 'know' anything about how
things really are and that, knowing this, I know everything about how
things really are. Some days there is more comfort in this than others.


Tim Smith
Wheelwright Associates
timsmith@RedShift.Com (tim smith)