Monthly Archives: May 2005


Here’s a web page is dedicated to the charlatan guru Osho. (Exemplifying our point of departure for this entry.) It’s hard to say his early Bagwan Shree Rajneesh persona covered up his later crazy tendencies, or those tendencies developed in his effusive identification with his “powers,” especially powers over people. His story is well-known, (positively, positively 2 [downoad] and negatively, if you track such stuff. Osho may have gone on to a real karmic reckoning or not, but his grip on his followers remains powerful.

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Filed under cultural contradictions


David A. Kolb, Patricia J. Jensen, and Ann C. Baker have published an excellent abstract about their recent book Conversational Learning. (Editor of the abstract: Yoshi Takeda.) The book is important. When you think about it, any dialogical exchange brings together the kinds of difference and interaction between personal fields which can evoke learning through the experience of an assimilation and accomodation of those differences. Conversation, dialogue, is an important feature of squareONE’s dyadic and small group work.

John Dicus offers The Fourth Piece of the Puzzle @Cornerstone Associates. If it provides a gloss to some extent, Dicus does get into some intriguing details; for example, ‘ Whole-System Experiential Learning gives meaning to unused ideas, making it possible to reject some outright and to implement others.’ The conception of unused might also include hidden or heretofore unconscious ideas, so this comment gets at a crucial concept.

Scott Forbes offers Krishnamurti’s Insights into Education: Education as a Religious Activity. He makes explicit in this fine article a different view on ‘unused’ knowing,

Throughout the ages sages have warned us that we can’t see what is true even when it is presented to us because that which is true isn’t what we expect or want to hear.

Obviously this describes the problem of: not wanting to use knowing.


The function of education, then, is to help you from childhood not to imitate anybody, but to be yourself all the time. So freedom lies…in understanding what you are from moment to moment. You see, you are not [normally] educated for this; your education encourages you to become something or other.

In short, who a person really is, is not what many persons wish to learn about or see or is knowledge the person wants to use.

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When I think of David A. Kolb, I mostly think of getting a tip from my pal Laine about a Sunday softball game played at Forest Hills Park since 1987 (or so). I laughed out loud when she suggested I might be able to dig out (2001) my impossibly large mitt (circa 1969) from wherever I left it in the aftermath of discovering the only sport I was ever any good at, doubles volleyball (Vermont, 1982-Cleveland 1996 r.i.p.).

I laughed because this casual ‘open space’ (anybody who shows up plays) ballgame was started by Kolb. But Kolb wasn’t just a weekend zen slap hitter, he happened to be an important theorist and philosopher of adult education. His tomes mentored me in fact and served up tantalizing pitches as if he was standing on some great mound in my mind.

As the Cleveland winter turns the corner toward the rutty diamond with its creaking old guys of summer, I’m reminded Dr. Kolb is a crafty ballplayer, and, the main guy in my practical cosmos of thought.

Here he covers both bases, all the bases.

The capacity for such integrated judgment seems to be borne out of transcendence, wherein the conflicts that those of us at lowe levels of insight perceive as win-lose are recast into a higher form that can make everyone a winner, or can make winning and losing irrelevant. And finally, with centering comes commitment in the integration of abstract ideals in the concrete here-and-now of one’s life. When we act from our center, the place of truth within us, action is based on the fusion of value and fact, meaning and relevance, and hence is totally committed. Only by personal commitment to the here-and-now of one’s life situation, fully
accepting one’s past and takign choiceful responsbility for one’s future, is the dialectic conflict necessary for learning experienced. The dawn of integrity comes with the acceptance of responsibility for
the course of own’s own life. For in taking responsibility for the world, we are given back the power to change it. (D.A.Kolb)

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Although I have no experience working in large or even middling small businesses, the question of leadership, what it is, and what it concerns, and how it is to be developed, arises through my interest in organizational development and professional development practices. (Leadership is germane to entrepreneurial businesses too, but entrepreneurs aren’t very often very thoughtful leaders.) There isn’t one optimal model of leadership, mostly because there isn’t one optimal vision of what it concerns. (There is agreement about one aspect: leaders are almost always very intelligent.)

Three classic books on leadership have come to the top of my reading stack recently. Their particular visions of leadership are different. Two of the books are about the same vision, Servant Leadership. The other is even more fascinating, because it is about synchronicity and leadership. The books with links to Amazon are:

(1) Servant Leadership. Robert K. Greenleaf
(2) The Power of Servant Leadership. ed. Larry C. Spears
(3) Synchronicity. The Inner Path of Leadership. Joseph Jaworski

Jaworski’s fine autobiographical book doesn’t directly comment on Greenleaf’s equally interesting concepts. However, Jaworski’s psychological view, drawn from Jung, implicitly expands upon the concretized, (thus engaged with institutional and social reality,) and less psychological views of Greenleaf, et. al. There is no ideal concrete relationship between these two ‘realities’. They stand in dynamic relationship to each other. But, this flux of relationship between business/personal spirit and business/personal soul nevertheless promises radical possibilities: above all, leadership forged in the crucible of the experience of reflective psyche.

This very same critical tension first came to my attention nine years ago in two superb books, Leadership Without Easy Answers. Ronald Heifetz; and Kinds of Power;James Hillman. Both are classics; Hillman’s would be so just for his suggestion that profit is not just one kind of profit, and his psychological and imaginal exegis of both power and profit.

While I on this subject, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner’s The Leadership Challenge is a must read book in the field. Both authors have been asserting intrapersonal and interpersonal ‘values-oriented’ perspectives against the conventionalist instrumental and ‘scientific-operational’ perspectives for some time. Warren Bennis may be the most cogent analyst of leadership of them all; see: On Becoming a Leader may be the most read book about leadership. My favorite Bennis book is his recent Geeks and Geezers.

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Filed under adult learning


Reasoning implements thinking habits. Those habits may be advantageous, or not!

A few quick gleanings from the web in the direction of breaking away.

Provocative Ideas @imaginization
A.L.Tenner-Learning From Paradox
Metasystem Transition @Principia Cybernetica

Metasystem Transition Theory @ PC

Nasruddin jokes
one two
Creativity Techniques

Inheriting from the Innovators

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Filed under adult learning, education, experiential learning, psychology


The true meaning of a term is to be found by observing what a man does with it, not by what he says about it. – P.W. Bridgman

…from a terrific, short page of quotations @The Dallas/Fort Worth Center for General Semantics. Alfred Korzybski figures into my worldview and frames specific reflections on research greatly, but, let’s face it, General Semantics doesn’t lend itself to an informal application one might just lay on someone else. In a better world it’s practicality would make it first out of the toolbox.Because it is a practical model of evaluation, people who find their way to GM tend to stick it somewhere in their toolbox. In any case, The Insititute for General Semantics, is its home on the web and it is an uncommonly free and valuable resource. Find your way, should you need an introduction, to Catherine Minteer’s Words and What they Do to You and Korzybski’s The Role of Language in the Perceptual Processes.

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If you could give up tricks and cleverness, this would be the cleverest trick!

Rumi was one of the great lanterns of experiential spirituality and Sufism. Today, not only is Rumi the most read poet in the world, his work imbues many spiritual ‘schools’ with important psychological, esoteric and yogic principles and methods.

Who was Rumi? What is the Mevlevi Order? For one thing, it’s not one order today. Here are portals to sites in Turkey,, and the United States, The Threshold Society. Many fine web sites are maintained on behalf of Rumi’s continuing influence, ranging from examples of orthodox and heterodox views. Many familiar with his poetry will know the versions of Coleman Barks and John Moyne. There are a many other sources of his poetry on the web, including

Divan e-Shamsa & Mathnavi (Masnavi i Ma’navi ) @rumionfire Blissbat Zara Houshmand. Oneworld-publications maintains a recommended listing of links, as does Khamush. Stan Tenen’s schematic perspective on the Sema, the Mevlevi ritual dance is interesting. Finally, Omphaloskepsis offers many downloads of important Sufi literature.

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Filed under sufism