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Zen & Creative Management

Foreward–Page 3

For example, instead of wastes being the very basis for new life and growth, they lie on one side–unusable, polluting.  When people no longer fit the system, they are unemployed, poor, discarded.  In nature there is interpenetration; each is a whole supporting and sustaining the whole.  In technology there are only parts; everything is a part of something and everything is ultimately replaceable, and, ultimately, meaningless.

It is not that technology is “bad.”  It simply lacks any self-regulating mechanism.  Technological thinking is a marvelous creation but, as Matin Heidegger has pointed out, it is its very success that must be feared because it so captivates, bewitches, dazzles, and beguiles us that it threatens to become someday accepted and practiced as the only way of thinking.  “Then man would have denied and thrown away his special nature–that he is a meditative being . . . The issue is keeping meditative thinking alive.


  This meditative, intuitive thinking assumes wholes are intrinsic, that they are relative, and that we cannot reduce the complexity of a whole without changing its nature.  This calls for an awareness of the organic integrity of a concrete situation–an openness to all its aspects.  In Zen Buddhism such an openness and awareness is called Zazen.  Within the practice of Zen lies an alternative way, one of the very few remaining ways, of facing our predicament.

Zen is the outcome of the profound need each of us has for meaning, which can only truly be found when we have understood clearly who and what we are.  Zen is not exotic or otherworldly; it concerns practice more than theory.  In the practices of Zen a person comes to terms with life in a meaningful way.  Many would say that if only they could become better managers., their lives would be more meaningful/.  It would be truer to say that if we could find our true meaning, we would stand a chance of becoming better managers.  Becoming a better manager would be a byproduct of a practice aimed at reaching the source of our most pressing need: the need to be whole and significant.  The solutions to our managerial problems are inextricably connected to the solutions to our personal problems.

 

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