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New Existentialists

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Two: The Paradoxical Experience of Being—Freedom & Death

10/31/2013
The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being: Part Two: The Paradoxical Experience of Being—Freedom & Death
As I immerse myself in “the work” and struggle to seek a new way of experiencing and being, I was able to appreciate the meaning of the four important paradoxical concepts of our human existence Irvin Yalom described in his book Existential Psychology (1980) from a whole new perspective. Freedom vs. Responsibility I flew many miles across the Pacific Ocean to seek freedom—freedom from my assumed responsibilities back home, and from the self-imposed limitations in my way of being as a matured, responsible individual given my cultural/religious values and beliefs. And...

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Rethinking Complexity

Trust, Governance, and the Internet

10/30/2013
Trust, Governance, and the Internet
A recent article by Bruce Schneier, author of the book Liars and Outliers, is titled “The Battle for Power on the Internet.” As he introduces the problem: “We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are the distributed and nimble: grassroots movements, dissident groups, hackers, and criminals” (par. 1).  It is certainly a familiar theme at present.  Reports about surveillance...

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New Existentialists

Death, Grief, and Judgment

10/30/2013
Death, Grief, and Judgment
Part of my faith practice involves the celebration of All Saints Day on November 1. It is a day set aside to remember those people of faith who have died in the past year. This remembrance is a reminder of what the writer to the Hebrews called, “this great cloud of witnesses.” This great cloud of witnesses is all those people of faith who have gone before us, as well as those who will come after us. As I grow older and I know more people who have died, this day of remembrance holds more and more significance. It is also a significant day in my life because it is the birthday of...

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New Existentialists

We Don't Need No Education

10/29/2013
We Don't Need No Education
Our education system is currently in crisis. It is no secret that American children are at best average when compared to children from other countries (see, e.g., this Huffington Post article), and our adults fare very poorly on tests of math, science, history, and general knowledge. This has serious implications for our democracy. Thomas Jefferson stated many times, in so many words, that education is the foundation of a functional democracy. For example: "Knowledge indeed is a desirable, a lovely possession." "Above all things I hope the education of the common people...

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Rethinking Complexity

Can teams be treated as artifacts? Can they be treated as an individual?

10/28/2013
Can teams be treated as artifacts? Can they be treated as an individual?
During a recent business trip, I asked a couple of my colleagues if teams had their own subjectivity distinguishable from the subjectivity of their members. I’d just finished reading an article by Fred Kofman in which the author made the case that teams and organizations are “artifacts” and not true “holons.” For now, let us consider that artifacts are things in the world created by sentient beings, whereas holons are beings in themselves, which inherently have an interior or subjectivity. I will further define holons later in this article. Without much...

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New Existentialists

Sunyata: Transcending the Stream

10/28/2013
Sunyata: Transcending the Stream
Dedicated to Eugene Taylor, Ph.D., who would have celebrated his 67th birthday today, October 28, 2013. Within the framework of personality and consciousness understood by existential-humanistic and transpersonal psychologists, and non-Western epistemology (Berdyaev, 1944, 1951; James, 1902; Jung, 1933; Maslow, 1966, 1970, 1971; May, Engel, & Ellenberger, 1958; Taylor, 1978, Watts, 1991), we live along the lifespan not only horizontally, but also in an ever-expanding and contacting experience of states along a vertical plane in the immediate moment. How does this inform psychological...

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Rethinking Complexity

To connect or disconnect, that is the question

10/25/2013
To connect or disconnect, that is the question
It is puzzling, even perplexing. How can people be more connected than at any other time in human history, yet live and work in such a disconnected manner? Sociologist Manuel Castells describes the Information Age as the era of the “network society,” a time of global interdependence due to cellphones, iPads, the Internet, social media, and information communication and collaboration systems, among other computer-based technology. Self-organization is much easier and can take place in a more spontaneous fashion. As long as you are “in the digital network,” where ever...

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New Existentialists

Counter-Culture of the Counter-Culture: What the Dead Kennedys Taught Me About Anger

10/25/2013
Counter-Culture of the Counter-Culture: What the Dead Kennedys Taught Me About Anger
“Last call for alcohol; last call for free speech; drink up; happy hour is now enforced by law.” --"We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now" On a drive home from a recent family reunion, my daughter and I popped in the Dead Kennedys' (1980) Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. It’s an album that for me marks an awakening social consciousness in junior high. My big brother Chuck used to play Dead Kennedys albums in his basement and my gal pals and I would listen in the next room, sometimes sneaking in and rifling through his record collection. I idolized my big...

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Rethinking Complexity

A Flood of Complexities

10/24/2013
A Flood of Complexities
  It has now been over a month since the major flooding occurred in Colorado. While exact estimates vary, in the City of Lyons we sustained what experts described as a 1 in 1,000 year flood. Over 18” of rain fell upon each of the twin river canyons that form a confluence in the center of the town, with half of that amount falling in a period of  several hours. What occurred on that occasion was not simply high rivers, but was a catastrophic event that will change how we live in this small town forever. The complexities of the human and natural systems involved in this event...

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New Existentialists

The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being--Part One: Being on a Continuum

10/24/2013
The Courage to Seek: An Awakening Journey of Being--Part One: Being on a Continuum
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. -- Alan Cohen Before leaving Malaysia to come to the Bay Area, I received this quote from a close friend of mine as parting words, of a sort. I guess she must have sensed my excitement for the new adventure ahead, mixed with the anxiety of leaving behind what most would describe as a relatively comfortable life. Although I...

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