“There is nothing equal to human creativity, human caring, human will … And these are not behaviors we keep hidden. We exhibit them daily.” — Margaret Wheatley
I know someone is asking, “If he is concluding a series, just when did he introduce it?” And the answer would be “I didn’t.” (Drum roll please) “Ta Da! I was letting the unknown lead me!” That’s something I’m trying to encourage and that’s the magic of blogging (or its frustration).
Anyway, I’m ready now. Let me introduce and conclude the 11-post series you have just witnessed.
Once I completed the series on clarification dilemmas (which allowed me to introduce the four root images), I knew the next step was to look at imagination and reverie. The first part of this series included the following posts:
The highlight here was discovering how we move from image to word and back. As we saw in the first two posts, “image value” holds the distillation of what is most important to us. Image value is the raw material of our imagination. And as we saw in the next two posts, imagination holds a different and larger kind of “recollection” than memory. The contrast between the two makes it possible to be practical and ideal, to have a past point of view and a judgment about the future.
The general point is that “imagination” plays games with what is visceral and charged, but it always remains positive. Our default “reverie,” holds the vision of highest and best self. And that doesn’t mean we are never pulled in a negative direction. If our edges never allow us venture into the unknown, well then we become prone to various distortions and that is pulls our imagination in a negative direction. We overplay our fears and limitations.
The second part of this series looked at the common distortions and how they impact trust and engagement. This part included:
The highlight here was the discovery that, while we can be distracted by imagination, the value we attribute to our highest and best self is always available to us. And, as we saw in the post about trust and engagement, “the forty ways to Sunday,” must always arrive at Sunday. Judgment clarification must always re-establish trust and engagement. Where we are right now, with our self-imagination (good or bad) is always where trust and engagement happens. The next three posts explored how trust and engagement takes different forms: true-self / false-self, distracted-self / involuntary-self, privileged-self / human-self. All of these variations illustrate how trust and engagement “winds up” after we use the “call-up-and-select” / “hold-and-contain” routine that creates trust and engagement (see …memory or imagination (part two)…).
Finally, the last two posts in the series looked at what’s at stake. The “vocation-of-being-human” is about taking a risk, making a choice to create for yourself “what-you-put-yourself-into.” We are always putting ourselves into what we trust and engage with, and we actually do create that. What’s at stake, of course, is the future – that vast unknown that we cannot determine, but which we can shape – that is the focal point of our efforts. And urgency and convenience are the tools we use to shape that future. Either we become bigger than ourselves and craft the trust that matches our vocation, OR we adopt a perspective of privilege (or distortion, or distraction), and become smaller through an unwillingness to experiment and take risks.
I opened with a quotation from Margaret Wheatley, “There is nothing equal to human creativity, human caring, human will.” Let me close with that as well.
Thanks for listening!