There was a time in history, when wisdom appeared to be vested in a few individuals called Masters. People travelled from far and wide to sit at the feet of these Masters and seek clarity in their lives. The Masters were characterised as being of few words, many parables, great humility, inner peace and regularly withdrawing from the distractions of the city to connect with their spirituality. The words of wisdom they imparted were more inclined to send Seekers on further quests, as they found their answers by observing the wonders of nature, self-reflection and empowering themselves from within.
Fast forward and we come to a place where technology is the Master. Answers are instant and we spend more time engaging each other in a wide ranging exchange of knowledge as acquired through technology, but not necessarily actioning the solutions generated.
And even as technology appears to be poised on becoming the new Master of wisdom, we see emerging other Masters, in the forms of Life Coaches, Business Coaches, Happiness Consultants. Have we gone full circle? For like the original Masters, adept present day Coaches do not give the answer or forcefully guide the Seeker to the solution. Rather through skilled questioning, they encourage Seekers to rewire their thinking patterns, become reflective, identify self-defeating patterns, become Mindful, be focussed and empower themselves from within.
Yet there seems to be something(s) lacking, something(s) that impedes individuals and the organisations that engage them from delivering at their full potential – some of the gaps lie in self awareness, interpersonal skills, effective performance management (linked to interpersonal skills), transitioning values from wall plaques into alignment with the being and doing of employees (the organisation fabric).
In “Developing Practical Spirituality in The Workplace” Robin Alfred, with Robin Shohet postulate that “The successful business of the 21st century will need to be “spiritually intelligent”. It will need to understand its purpose in the world and be able to translate that into meaningful work for its staff. It will seek to operate by spiritual, as well as economic, environmental and social values. It will live more comfortably on the edge of chaos, and welcome paradox and uncertainty, intuition and creativity, collaboration and co-operation.
Above all it will see itself as simply one part of the huge web of interconnectedness that makes up our planet, striving to be in right relationship with all of its parts, and playing its own unique and humble role in the evolution of society.” Should we then,
- Rather than playing “cafeteria” (choosing the elements that we like or are comfortable with) with the effective practices of the original Masters adopt them wholeheartedly?
- Rather than eliminating Spirituality from Meditation and focussing on Mindfulness revert to the age old original tradition as practised in all major religions?
- Consider that Science is playing catch up and if we were to wait on proof/statistical evidence before adopting practices that have successfully worked for centuries, we may be impeding our own progress?
Ken Wilber argues, the separation of elements was a necessary strategy at earlier stages of human evolution. Art, science, and religion had to separate from each other to develop into more mature forms. A characteristic of earlier stages of human development is that critical elements are so merged together that they have no separate identity. Thus, for development, the key elements need to be separate.
However, at our current stage of human development, we face a new challenge. We have gone too far in separating the key elements. We need to integrate spirituality into management. No organization can survive for long without spirituality and soul. We must examine ways of managing spirituality without separating it from the other elements of management. Perhaps it is time open the office door to the whole person.
Judy Joseph Mc Sween is the Business Intuitive/CEO of Meredith Mc Sween International and developer of the Time Out Suite of Corporate and Personal Interventions which facilitate transition of Knowledge to individual Being and Doing. To contact Judy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 868 684 9827