the inner Wall Street and Right Action

15 Dec

Zen teacher Elizabeth Hamilton in the December issue of the Zen Center of San Diego Newsletter:

“It’s probably easier to see corporate greed than our own “Inner Wall Street” of entitlements, particularly when our grasping is socially condoned. Our Inner Wall Street includes our strategies for seeking comfort and avoiding discomfort: addictive approach to substances, attitudes, and emotion-based thoughts. Then there’s our baseline addiction, the attempt to maintain a carefully crafted identity for public consumption. Even if this identity is well received, it can’t heal the fear in the belly, or the deep-seated belief that we don’t measure up.”

Consultant and Speaker Peter Block just came out with an article, “Changing Our Thinking About Action,” that I think is especially relevant in the Occupy context.

Here are some of the gems:

“Authentic change in the quality of our experience, of our culture, change which shifts rather than reinforces the ground we stand on, is of a different nature than what grows from decisive decision making and pointed problem solving. If we want to not only fix the symptom, but also revise our part in creating the conditions that trouble us, then problem solving and quick action change nothing. 

We might make a distinction in our conception of what we call action. Something shifts when we differentiate between decisive action and what we might call profound action. Profound action is about our way of thinking, our way of being with those immediately around us, and the nature of the conversations we engage in. Profound action exists in contrast to decisive action, where we choose to spend or save money, build or eliminate a structure, pick or refuse a destination…

In a culture that values decisive action, relationships are viewed as a means to an end. Every time we meet it is for a purpose other than simply meeting. We want to “decide” something. It is almost illegal to end a meeting without summarizing what we have decided to do. Real change, though, comes when authentic commitment, passion, and whole heartedness are released. These are social phenomenon and are created from the nature of how we come together. They are an outgrowth of the quality of our relationship with each other.”

Block’s Community: the Structure of Belonging is one of the most significant books I’ve read in the past few years.


2 Responses to “the inner Wall Street and Right Action”

  1. riabaeck2 December 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Raffi, is this article from Peter Block somewhere on the net that you know?

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