Chapter 5 Zen & Creative Management


Page 29 ~ So far it has been said that a company is a system, i.e., a set of interacting forces, and that it is a field in dynamic equilibrium that finds its expression through an idea in a form with a demand.  This combination of a field and a set of interacting forces is the organization.

The word “organization” can be used in several ways.  It means the relationship between people and things when doing work.  It also means the right sequence of events.  A well-organized situation has a structure of rules, methods, and procedures that are known and mutually support each other.  The good organizer, on the other hand, is someone who gets a process moving on time with the minimum of delays and crises.  Thus, in organization there is both a structural and process dimension.  However, although these two dimensions are distinct, they are not separate.

Most thinkers oppose structure to process.  For example, the question is often asked whether structure monitors process or process monitors structure.  Traditionally, modern science has emphasized process in contrast to the ancient Greeks, for example, who emphasized structure.  This structure-process opposition has dominated our thinking in the West and has fostered the religion-science dichotomy, with religion favoring structure and science favoring process.  In industry this same conflict exists and is brought out in the denigration of the bureaucrat and the exaltation of the aggressive, result-oriented executive.  

If we are to have an understanding of organization that will enable us to set up situations in which growth, as well as expansion and self-regulation, can occur, we must understand that we cannot oppose these two and therefore must come to terms with the polarity of structure and process.

March 31st, 2020 ~ Field is described as “behavior space.  Structure, as described here, includes procedures.  Is procedure related to process?  At the end of the 2nd paragraph, Low writes: “However, although these two dimensions are distinct, they are not separate.”  We are currently seeing this dichotomy play out in the race to “lower the curve” with the Corona Virus.  Although sad and frustrating, it is interesting to see how the federal government is dealing with the 50 states in the US.  Structure-Process.  Religion-Science.  There is a battle between science-believers and skeptics.  Proponents of the bureaucracy of the federal government and letting the states solve their own problems.  Sometimes they are even competing with each other.  The science of dealing with the virus battling with the structure of the government.   Can the two entities come together fast enough in order to deal with the polarity of structure (government) and process(science)?

Passion The Book of Life

Lost Passion

April 29th ~ The word is not the thing.  The word passion is not passion.  To feel that and to be caught in it without any volition or directive or purpose, to listen to this thing called desire, to listen to your own desires which you have, plenty of them, weak or strong–when you do that, you will see what a tremendous damage you do when you suppress desire, when you distort it, when you want to fulfill it, when you want to do something about it, when you have an opinion about it.

Most people have lost this passion.  Probably one has had it once in one’s youth–to become a rich man, to have fame, and to live a bourgeois or a respectable life; perhaps a vague muttering of that.  And society–which is what you are–suppresses that.  And so one has to adjust oneself to you who are dead, who are respectable, who have not even a spark of passion; and then one becomes a part of you, and thereby loses this passion.

March 31st, 2020 ~ This is interesting.  Yesterday, I put the definition or a comparison of passion to desire.  Here, K is saying the word is not the thing–the word passion is not passion.  There are a few statements that K made that convey what he was trying to say.  The word is not the thing  is in the Top 5–maybe top 2.  If there is one word that I am most passionate about in terms of wanting to understand as a professional, it is Desire.  So, I feel very fortunate to have found Krishnamurti’s work.  I have done all he is mentioning in terms of dealing with desire.  In terms of work, I have struggled with finding a job that I am passionate about where I could make a living.  Although fame was not a huge issue for me, I did want to make a mark.  In terms of money, I wanted to make 100,000 per year.  This in not wealthy, in today’s standards.  

He says: “And Society–which is what you are–suppresses that.  And so one has to adjust oneself to you who are dead, who are respectable, who have not even a spark of passion; and then one becomes a part of you, and thereby loses this passion.”  We adjust to each other.  The self-made individual is a fallacy.  Jeff Bezos doesn’t exist without the warehouse workers  making enough for housing and food, but not healthcare and not for any expense over 400.  He doesn’t exist without the authors selling their books and discounted prices.  He doesn’t exist without the Internet technology and booksellers’s market share developed years before him by the government, military and retail employees and customers.  We adjust our dreams to others in society’s dreams.  We adjust our dreams to what the market will bear, so to speak.

Chapter 4 Zen & Creative Management

Page 28

Each of these ideas is the energized core of a unique design for a business.  The exploitation of each idea requires a comprehensive intellectual grasp of the totality of a business viewed as an interacting system.”  The task demands “special intellectual ability to visualize the translation of ideas and strategies into controlled operating systems responsive to dynamic change.”

March 30th, 2020 ~ This seems like it would be really challenging to to pull off.

Passion The Book of Life

Passion Without a Cause

April 30th ~ In the state of passion without a cause there is intensity free of all attachment; but when passion has a cause, there is attachment, and attachment is the beginning of sorrow.  Most of us are attached, we cling to a person, to a country, to a belief, to an idea, and when the object of our attachment is taken away or otherwise loses its significance, we find ourselves empty, insufficient.  This emptiness we try to fill by clinging to something else, which again becomes the object of our passion.

Examine your own heart and mind.  I am merely a mirror in which you are looking at yourself.  If you don’t want to look, that is quite all right; but if you do want to look, then look at yourself clearly, ruthlessly, with intensity–not in the hope of dissolving your miseries, your anxieties, your sense of guilt, but in order to understand this extraordinary passion which always leads to sorrow.

When passion has a cause it becomes lust.  When there is a passion for something–for a person, for an idea, for some kind of fulfillment–then out of that passion there comes contradiction, conflict, effort.  You strive to achieve or maintain a particular state, or to recapture one that has been and is gone.  But the passion of which I am speaking does not give rise to contradiction, conflict.  It is totally unrelated to a cause, and therefore it is not an effect.

March 30th, 2020 ~ Passion totally unrelated to a cause.  What does that mean?  I am reminded of Krishnamurti’s book “The Kingdom of Happiness.”  He talks about having a vision.  I often remind myself of this.  It feels like ultimately the only way to live a happy full life is to help others, not just a few but as many as possible.  That has been my goal for a long time.  Specifically in business, work and spirit.  In the second chapter, Interest and Enthusiasm, page 23, he writes: “Because then I am able to forget the “I” and identify myself with the rest of the world–with every kingdom, vegetable, animal, and human!  I am then nearer the Truth, nearer that perfection.  It is the separate self, it is this narrowing down of the self, this division which self creates that stands in the way.”  

There is desire here.  There is passion here.  Perhaps it is coming from a different place.  In Buddhism, the desire to become a Buddha or to wake up.  Yes, it is a desire, but not your typical desire.  Is passion the same as desire

From Quora:
“Even though both passion and desire mean that you want to have or to be, passion expresses the condition of a very strong and even overwhelming feeling. … It would be called a burning desirePassion can also mean erotic and strong romantic feelings. To desire is to want as well, but the intensity is much less.”
Chapter 4 Zen & Creative Management

Page 27

The form that a product takes is given by the material, equipment, and components of the company.  These are provided by the shareholder dimension.  The form represents the cost of the product.  The form of the product is, therefore, the commitment of the shareholder in action.

But a product is not simply an idea in a form.  There must be a demand for the idea before it can be said to be a product, and this is provided by the customer.  It is a form that frames the evanescence of an idea, but it is demand that makes it real.  By demand we mean need, with the willingness and ability to work, i.e., pay, to have the need satisfied.  Through demand the form meshes or fits in with other forms.  Through demand a link or interchange is established between the company-as-product and its environment.

The recognition of the product as an idea in a form with a demand, and therefore of the idea being “the central and dominating value” in a company, puts the total human being back into the industrial scene.  The perception and realization of an idea is the employee dimension in action.  “A business devoted to the identification of central ideas, the formulation of strategies for moving swiftly from ideas to operations, will differ in structure and activity from a company primarily concerned with management of money or physical resources.”

Undoubtedly the major concern in industry to date has been with materials handling.  “Human relations” has been addressed to a very large degree to ensuring that people do not get in the way of the material.  But to survive in the future the problem for industry will be increasingly one of idea generation.  A company could be looked upon as an organism whose primary food is ideas.  Ideas originate along the employee dimension.  Strictly speaking, however, it will not do to say that men “create” the idea.  Man’s creativity is realized in the expression of the idea, in “pressing out” the idea, and so making it fact.

Management by idea is a broader concept than management by objective, or long-range planning.  In some of the more advanced industries, top management has defined a “core idea” around which total company effort can be designed, such as ” a shift in the definition of a business from one concerned with the sale of a product to one concerned with the delivery of a complete system of customer values–as in airlines marketing packaged vacations and computer manufacturers marketing systems to solve customer information problems.”  


March 29th, 2020 ~  The idea mentioned often in the beginning of the book is poignant in society right now, given the virus outbreak and the shutdown of the economy as we know it.  I have wondered about idea, form and demand.  What does the consumer demand in how it relates to what I am working on–food, consulting services, and the gig economy.  That has been thrown upside down, it seems.  Resourcefulness seems like it will be at a premium.  The author talks about not only a product but a “business concerned with the delivery of a complete system of customer values.”  Stay tuned.

Intelligence The Book of Life

A Mind Rich with Innocence

May 1st ~ Truth, the real God–the real God, not the God that man has made–does not want a mind that has been destroyed, petty, shallow, narrow, limited.  It needs a healthy mind to appreciate it; it needs a rich mind–rich, not with knowledge but with innocence–a mind upon which there has never been a scratch of experience, a mind that is free from time.  The gods that you have invented for your own comforts accept torture; they accept a mind that is being made dull.  But the real thing does not want it, it wants a total, complete human being whose heart is full, rich, clear, capable of intense feeling, capable of seeing the beauty of a tree, the smile of a child, and the agony of a woman who has never had a full meal.

You have to have this extraordinary feeling, this sensitivity to everything–to the animal, to the cat that walks across the wall, to the squalor, the dirt, the filth of human beings in poverty, in despair.  You have to be sensitive–which is to feel intensely, not in any particular direction, which is not an emotion which comes and goes, but which is to be sensitive with your nerves, with your eyes, with your body, with your ears, with your voice.  You have to be sensitive completely all the time.  Unless you are so completely sensitive, there is no intelligence.  Intelligence comes with sensitivity and observation.

March 29th, 2020 ~ The current situation with Covid-19 and being advised to stay home, is as many are saying surreal.  The death of war has been over there in other countries apart from us.  They are calling this a war against a virus.  So it is close to home.  As Albert Low mentions in a chapter titled Center and Periphery in the book Zen & Creative Management, the closer tragedy comes to us, the more we feel it.  Over there in another country makes it harder to feel.  When it is a family member or someone in our town or county, we feel it.  What K is saying is that all of this doesn’t matter.  We feel over there like it is here.  He has said we stop loving an individual and love the whole world.  Can we feel what is happening in Italy like it is here in our hometown?  Sooner rather than later, here could be like Italy.  War is still happening in the Middle East.  More will follow.


Technology and Emotions Uncategorized

Online Emotional Lives

One other idea to leave you with.  You know that old adage: “You have to have money to make money.”  Like attracts like, the law of attraction people might say.  In Buddhism, there is a saying or concept–you can’t grow a cherry tree from an apple seed.  Why wouldn’t the same apply to learning technology? You will have to have learned some technology to learn more technology.  That’s a fact.  So when someone says: “I can’t learn technology,” it simply isn’t based in reality.  “Won’t” might be the better description.  So, when moving into this new milieu or medium that many of us are facing, can you see that you know technology and that it is necessary to work, get around, survive?  Can you see that you already know technology?  Can you approach this process as if you are seeing this for the very first time, with all the reactions: “isn’t this exciting?,” “can I really do this?,” “do I really want to do this?”, etc.?  If you are a teacher, wouldn’t this be nice to model for your students?  Inviting your students to look at learning from this perspective will help them cope with these changes, and it might just make the online classroom experience a little more tolerable.

Good morning.  Hope everyone is doing okay.  Just wanted to say that many people are moving online due to the current situation.  For some of you, this may be a challenge not only emotionally but technologically as well.  Even though you might find you have more time to work on your project or small business, that free time can be taken up learning new technology like online meeting software.  Since we are often isolated from our previous helpers, it may fall on us individually to work it out, at least in the beginning.  That energy from in person interaction has changed. First thing to remember is our habits are being turned upside down.  We try to learn new habits and that takes time and energy.  It’s a good time to see this.  Ironically, its our conditioning that got us into trouble, both good and bad ones, and we are hard on ourselves for not knowing.  Can you see this? Can you see how our old methods are trying to help us cope?  Can we see that this isn’t a problem, something we have to deal with even though we think it is–buying up toilet paper and canned food, etc.? It’s a fact–our current situation.  Can we see our habits, many learned long ago, as a fact?  Just sitting with these emotions is important.  See if it doesn’t provide some relief about your online situation.

Health Meditation Uncategorized

Technology—Not the Solution to Our Problems

Hello everyone.  I wanted to write about technology.  We are being exposed to new technology, both in person that we use everyday,  but also technology in the news.  Even though it is necessary to live–we sure are seeing what happens when we don’t have necessary technology to keep us alive, it isn’t the answer to our deep down emotional needs.  Ventilators are important temporarily.  As with all technology, it only goes so far.  With technology we use everyday, why do we beat ourselves up for not being good enough when we use it?  In Buddhism, there is the term “ignorance” and “ignorance of our ignorance.”  This makes it tricky.  Technology is kind of like that. 

As Albert Low wrote about Martin Heidegger: “It is technology’s very success that must be feared because it so captivates, bewitches, dazzles, anld beguiles us that it threatens to become someday accepted and practiced as the only way of thinking.”  Here’s what Heidegger wrote: “Then man would have denied and thrown away his special nature–that he is a meditative being . . . The issue is keeping meditative thinking alive.”  

Remembering that technology is necessary for us to live but won’t solve our most pressing emotional needs might help us navigate through our new found online-lives.  What can help us?  Meditation.

Chapter 4 Zen & Creative Management

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Much of the work done at middle and senior management level, much of the consultation work, is simply the expression of ideas in a verbal form through reports, financial statements, contracts, and decisions.  The result that ensues from the work of a financial, engineering, or industrial relations consultant is no less a product than the result of a heavy steel worker or an automobile engineer.  A medical diagnosis is a product, and so is a lecture.  A lecture may be written or given orally, it may be fixed in some laboratory apparatus, or given incidentally to the process of constructing, maintaining, or operating a machine.  In any case, it is a product as we have defined the word.

Materiality is but one way to make an idea endure; ideas are also captured by the mind through language.  A word is an idea in a form with a demand.  Words are products, and just as  one product subsumes another product, so some words or elements of language subsume others.* 

Normally the economist does not consider banking as a product.  It is considered a service.  But this service is still an idea in a form with a demand.  The idea is that there should be readily accessible finances, and the form is that of the check, the bank statement, the overdraft, etc.  The term “Product” will therefore be used to cover the full range of the expression of an idea in a form with a demand and will include those services that a bank, insurance company, or a hotel provide.

*A fact is the express of an idea; it is that which arises when the idea has been limited by matter, energy, space, and time.  We are inclined to believe that a fact is a mental construct only, yet it is well to remember that the word “fact” is derived from the Latin “facere,” which means “to do” or “to make.”  From facere is also derived the French word “fait,” which means “do,” “make,” and “fact.”  What a man makes or does derives from the idea that he perceives.  All the artifacts of men are in a way “facts.”  The manufacturing that a man originally did consisted of expressing the idea through fact by hand (In Latin, manus means “hand”).  With the rise of capitalism, machines have taken the place of hands, but manufacturing is still basically the express of an idea through a form even though it occurs in factories rather than is studies. 

March 26th, 2020 ~  In Jiddu Krishnamurti’s work, seeing things as a fact rather than an idea is very important.  Idea is mere thought.  It is a concept.  Seeing things as fact is more permanent.  He refers to facts as “seeds” of a flower, if seen, will eventually wither away.  Ideas are thoughts, which are related to time and past and future.  These lead to fear.  Seeing things as facts will flower, and wither away, if you let them. 

This is all grist for the mill, as Steve Hagen said in Meditation Now or Never.  Ironically, there is a quote early in that book made by Jiddu Krishnamurti that, and I am paraphrasing, that there is “only this” in meditation.  It is now or never.  That quote led me to inquire about who this Jiddu Krishnamurti was.  It forever changed my life.  So these ideas, no pun intended, are in good company.  Let’s explore as friends together Ideas and Facts. . .

Intelligence The Book of Life

What Role Has Emotion in Life?

May 2nd ~ How do emotions come into being?  Very simple.  They come into being through stimuli, through the nerves.  You put a pin into me, I jump; you flatter me and I am delighted; you insult me and I don’t like it.  Through our senses emotions come into being.  And most of us function through our emotion of pleasure; obviously, sir.  You like to be recognized as a Hindu.  Then you belong to a group, to a community, to a tradition, however old; and you like that, with the Gita, the Upanishads and the old traditions mountain high.  And the Muslim likes his and so on.  Our emotions have come into being through stimuli, through environment, and so on.  It is fairly obvious.

What role has emotion in life?  Is emotion life?  You understand?  Is pleasure love?  Is desire love?  If emotion is love, there is something that changes all the time.  Right?  Don’t you know all that? 

. . . So one has to realize that emotions, sentiment, enthusiasm, the feeling of being good, and all that, have nothing whatsoever to do with real affection, compassion.  All sentiment, emotions, have to do with thought and therefore lead to pleasure and pain.  Love has no pain, no sorrow, because it is not the outcome of pleasure or desire.

March 26th, 2020 ~Emotions.  Desire.  Pleasure & Pain.  Love is not connected to these.  Thought is connected to these things: Emotions, Desire, Pleasure & Pain.