I believe it was 2007 when a question steadily popped up in my mind which was connected to the ongoing environmental damage at my place of living and beyond. I was working in an environmental department dealing with climate and soil protection of a larger city in Germany. Ever since I have tried to make sense of how societal change happens at different levels of the organizational and social fields.
In 2009 I took a two years sabbatical in order to study theoretically and deeply practically the question of my heart: “How does change come about, what does it mean to lead or being led 😉 ” At that time I studied also Conflicts and Peace at FernUniversität Hagen; “inevitably” I came across Johan Galtung’s Transcend and Otto Scharmer’s Theory U.
Since those days a lot has happened additionally in my own journey of life and also in the vast field of action research on how change and development take place. What was brought to light by people like Otto Scharmer and other bright change makers is promising and energizing.
However THE question hasn’t stop pulling me and therefore I cannot hold back my today’s reflections and questions on Otto Scharmer’s blog:
“The Blind Spot: Uncovering the Grammar of the Social Field”, posted: 06/06/2015, Otto Scharmer wrote about the invisible dimension of leading profound social change including a 19-Point Journey through the Social Field.”
Here are some very dedicated reflections and questions on it:
- ” If the collective body and mind are separate, social systems will download the patterns of the past (rule-repeating).”
I am curious and asking:
What exact understanding also with regard to my turned question “collective body and mind are one” does Otto Scharmer have about the collective body and mind?
- How does he see the kind of constellation of Quality (Source), subjects and objects and their relationships to each other?
- .’Under 14. Consciousness he continues: “Consciousness is the independent variable that can facilitate a change in the degree of separation between body and mind (or action and awareness) on the level of the collective. …”‘
For example in Buddhist and Pyrrhonian understanding consciousness arises dependently on conditions. Against this background what are Otto Scharmer’s ideas to justify that consciousness is the independent variable then?
- When he speaks about that today he believes, does it mean he believes in something which is non-evident or does he have empirical evidence? If the latter is the case why does he say “Today I believe …”?
- “the degree of disconnect between collective action and awareness (presence or absence of Source). The other axis depicts the split between self and other–that is, the degree of disconnect between actors in a social system. Currently, the social field suffers from the combined effect of both splits.”
Is this understanding of Otto Scharmer sufficient enough to understand why larger systems are stuck in their repetitive actions (by being aware that he has a lot more to say)?
- “Why, then, don’t we wake up? Because at this point the second split kicks in: I am so remote from the people who are beginning to feel the worst impact of climate destabilization that in spite of their suffering, nothing motivates me to move from beginning awareness to action.”
I see here a mixing up of system levels. He speaks about “I am so remote from the people …” and considers processes running at different system levels than the individual’s ones.
Can this inference really be made? What are intrinsic guiding processes which stabilize a big system such as a larger organizations and hinder them to move to eco-system awareness?
I feel that Otto Scharmer’s central question
“What does the mind-matter split mean in the realm of the social field?” hasn’t been answered satisfactorily so far. Maybe there are already new insights available which I am not aware of.
Is there a mind matter split in the way he tries to explain this split?* Are there other ways to explain the constellation of Source, mind and matter which lead to a better understanding why the collective produces results nobody wants?
(*”I am so remote from the people who are beginning to feel the worst impact of climate destabilization that in spite of their suffering, nothing motivates me to move from beginning awareness to action.”)
How can we inquire together that helps us to bring more light, understanding and evidence into the aforementioned central question “What does the mind-matter split mean in the realm of the social field?”
What new insights, patterns and questions will emerge at the Next-stage World Gathering in April on Rhodes with regard to profound innovation at different levels of the organizational and social field?