I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.
-- Albert Einstein

Presence - book notes

Presence - book notes

PRESENCE - A book by Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers


Meandering book notes for a pending outline for Clifton group meeting.

It's common to say that trees come from seeds. But how could a tiny seed create a huge tree? Seeds do not contain the resources needed to grow a tree. These must come from the medium or environment within which the tree grows. But the seed does provide something that is crucial: a place where the whole of the tree starts to form. As resources such as water and nutrients are drawn in, the seed organizes the process that generates growth. In a sense, the seed is a gateway through which the future possibility of the living tree emerges. - FROM THE OPENING

Our normal wayof thinking cheats us. Makes us think mechanically... Like a car is made of parts... Like we're made of parts... Like a tree is made of WOOD... Unlike machines, living systems, such as my body or a tree, grow themselves... A part is really a manifestation of the whole, rather than a component of it.

According to Goethe, the whole is something that is continually coming into concrete manifestation...

Buckminster Fuller -- and Barry Wakeman... -- liked to hold up his hand in front of audiences and ask "What is this?"

When we see a hand -- or an entire body or any living system -- as a static "thing", we are mistaken. "what you see is not a hand," said Fuller. "It is a 'patterned integrity,' the universe's capability to create hands."

Reminds me of: Morphic field: Rupert Sheldrake.

Arie de Geus, author of "The Living Company

Relationship between parts and wholes in living systems: night sky, seen by our eyses, tiny pupils, yet enough light...

Spiral vs. Circle: like a labyrinth, it can seem we are moving in circles, but every circular journey is a spiral, because time and space affect its flow.

Growth of awareness is a subtractive / reductive process. Seeing freshly starts w/stopping our habitual ways of thinking & perceiving.
According to Francisco Varela, that kind of STOPPING involves SUSPENSION - removing ourselves from the habitual stream of thought.

SUSPENSION is the first basic 'gesture' in enhancing awareness.

'normally, our thoughts have us rather than we having them' - physicist David Bohm.

Suspension allows us to 'see our seeing'

Suspension starts when I release my hold on my thoughts and start to actually notice them... Their flow... Their separation from me...

I REFER TO IT AS UNCLENCHING in my own mission wording... By unclenching, I am able to LET GO and begin the process that leads to suspension...

page 31 - the idea that self judgment & lack of honesty in groups & teams thwarts & covers up our creative energies... So 'lying' appears to cut off access to our natural and most vital elements of the life force - (rw)

"the one brings the many out of itself" - Goethe


When we try to figure out a larger system intellectually, at best we end up with a conceptual understanding, what Bortoft calls "the counterfeit whole." When we encounter the authentic whole, we encounter life at work, and we are transformed from passive observers to active participants in ways that intellectual understanding can never achieve.

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