18 June 2007

Transformation for (Rather Than Of) the Self

“Infinite nuances are needed if justice is to be done to individual human beings.”
- Carl Jung

Transformation has historically been worked outward to in. That is, the individual is expected to aspire to excel within the games, the institutions, given by society. We live in a time when that can change.

At every level of society, institutions seem enamored of process. Religious rituals, manufacturing processes, standardized testing in schools - all of these show the triumph of proven processes aimed at creating conformity rather than genius.

It would seem though, that progress is marked by increased diversity, an impulse that moves in the opposite direction of the curve of the past 100 centuries. As this diversity continues, the game will change from measuring how well one does within a particular system than in how well the system does in drawing out the individual.

It seems the oddest kind of lunacy that corporations, schools, and governments have been so utterly disinterested in the individual realizing her or his potential. We will know that the final chapter of the economic transformation has begun when our institutions have become tools for the individual to realize potential rather than the individual harnessed as a tool to realize the goals of the institution, goals that invariably are more directed towards continuity and predictability than the unfolding of self.

Seeds are little things that bring forth entire plants. The details of the individual are the little things pursued that unfold into potential. What a fascinating community in which to live if we learn how to transform for the self rather than expect tranformation of the self. Sadly, such a goal still seems years away, perhaps further proof that we're still preoccupied with getting more out of the old system rather than creating a new one.


Anonymous said...

When leaders in educational programming and culture do not understand the laws of basic human decency, it is evident to me we are indeed light years away from these insights.

Meanwhile, I am burdened with defending a profound understanding of the learning process, because from a place of no light, the facilitation process looks chaotic.

I am frustrated as are many who share my vision. I see you are among those who share it, and I am grateful for this.

exskindiver said...

I am drawn to your site to get my daily dose of profundity.
You are like a brain quest for 40 somethings.

Anonymous said...

I am not yet 40 someting. Feels like it could take a couple more decades at this rate.

Anonymous said...

Another thought- we don't _create_ genius. We merely choose to reward it or ignore it. The old system tried to stifle it. It can't be stifled.

An ideal system nourishes potential regardless of whether genius is present. Standardization is obsolete.

But you know a lot of awareness is taking place these days on this subject. Dare we say we have successfully introduced the concept of holistic education into the main stream? Not an insignificant feat.

Dave said...

An incomplete thought:

I think we as a society change in fits and starts, if I used that phrase correctly. Society is moved along by individuals at the margins. Those at the margins, using whatever measure of margin you want, dance along the border and in doing so, move the border. It may stay where moved, or it may bounce back to where it was.

I don't see our society, or upcoming societies, as encouraging the margin movers. Though that is so, I don't think those movers will be deterred from their dance and the inevitable change of society.

Anonymous said...

I don't think these fringes really exist anymore. They've been assimilated, making change much harder to come by.

Ron Davison said...

I agree that marginal characters always seem to be left at the margins.

potential needn't lead to genius, but genius is, by some counts, something that transcends process or the norm.

glad to provoke that intriguing brain of yours. I'm not even sure what brain quest is, but I'll take it as a compliment.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but I would never say genius = marginal force.

Genius is an integral part of process. What makes it genius, as opposed to insanity, is it's inevitable position at the center.

And of course, this begins to lead into the gray, gray area of artificially sustained irrelevance, and I don't want to go there tonight. :)

Life Hiker said...

Ron, you say, "It seems the oddest kind of lunacy that corporations, schools, and governments have been so utterly disinterested in the individual realizing her or his potential", but I know you know better.

All institutions are primarily focused on their own development, and only secondarily on their customers - the industrial customers, the students, or the citizens. Those with the most power in these institutions - top management, the teacher's unions, and the political string-pullers (not necessarily elected), consider increasing their power to be the number one priority.

"Developing individual potential" represents a threat to these institutional power-brokers who rely on conformity and docility to maintain the status quo they've created. And, everywhere you look they've erected effective barriers to keep the individual at bay.

But you ended on a sad but correct note: it will be years before the bankruptcy of this conspiracy against the individual is realized. Robert Heinlein, where are you when we need you to write another great book?

Anonymous said...

It is a supreme poverty to stand in the way of progress, and in doing so, to surround one's self with misery and suffering.

Ron Davison said...

Well said. Yes, its true that it makes sense for the power brokers to try to keep the rest of us broke (when it comes to power) - but it only seems to make sense to me in a fairly confined analysis.