The power of love for sustainable business and beyond
It is now self-evident for many influential people across a number of disciplines – business, politics, education, science, philosophy – that our current prevailing logic, with its dog-eat-dog competition, separation and fear, is exacerbating the very problems it is seeking to solve. The time is now ripe to transform, not just our ways of operating but our ways of thinking and being, of attending to life as Homo sapiens (wise beings).
In a previous article I took part in an interview about the role of love in business. Here I expand on that theme by digging deeper into the power of love and the logic of the heart in exploring Rudolf Steiner’s Vision of Love and how this may relate to today’s transformational times.
Steiner is one of the great modern philosophers who set about trying to synthesise science and spirituality, developing the spiritual science of Anthroposophy. His concepts have been applied to great effect in education, agriculture and medicine, as well as in the practicalities of living with love. For Steiner, the discipline of living with love is attained through the direct perception of the heart, where our soul is found, the aperture to our authentic being within Spirit.
Bernard Nesfield-Cookson is the author of the book Rudolf Steiner’s Vision of Love which lucidly explores Steiner’s spiritual science. For instance, Nesfield-Cookson notes that Steiner warns against intellectual speculations which can divert us from the path of living with love. Steiner points to artistic introspective quiet contemplation as the best preliminary condition for this path. When in this state of contemplative presence, we may feel love emanating from the soul found within the heart. It is this Love that then permeates our entirety, enlightening our ego for right thought and deed. And so it is through opening our heart that we allow for a transition from the logic of head-thinking to heart-thinking. This shift is fundamental to ensuring our thinking is unpolluted by yesterday’s logic, as it is only through the logic of the heart that our thoughts and deeds flow rightly. From here, each interrelation we embrace throughout the day is powered by Love allowing for us to love everything we do: our ‘being’ and ‘doing’ are infused with love.
This is a great challenge, especially within today’s busy humdrum of mass distraction, anxiety and egoistic posturing. It requires great courage not to succumb to the corrupting allures of the prevalent paradigm.
This power of love nourishes feelings of veneration, reverence, wonder and acceptance enabling us to empathically resonate with our human and non-human kinship. This is the foundation of ‘true sustainability’. It is also ‘radical sustainability’ because to goes to the root of the problem by addressing our carcinogenic way of life. From this foundation an attitude of criticism and condemnation transforms into one of nurturing and encouraging. Compassion can be understood as the active principle which fuels our empathic resonance through love, in-so-doing nourishing and nurturing others. Compassion is the living power of love.
This wisdom of the heart is ancient. For instance, all ancient shamanic cultures are rooted in a deep heartfelt understanding that shows humility and respect for all relations. It is a wise way of attuning with Nature’s rhythms, learning to become wise through our empathic interactions.
There are a great variety of ways to develop contemplative presence in our lives from which this power of love spawns. For example, sitting quieting, feeling the space between our heart-beats, feeling the in and out breath in our nostrils, meditating, chanting, drawing, playing music, writing poetry, practicing yoga and T’ai Chi. For me, I like immersing myself in the natural world, finding stillness within the movements of Nature, along with some gentle T’ai Chi and yoga movements. Feeling the creative energy within my bodymind helps me re-member that I am – like all aspects of Nature- energy, and the conscious co-creator of my feelings, emotions, ways of interacting from which polluting or loving interrelations flow. It is a daily struggle yet can also be a joy.
Allowing the power of love into the moments of each day is of primary importance in our transformation to a sustainable future. It is the logic of the heart that ensures any new paradigm goes beyond yesterday’s logic of dog-eat-dog competition, separation and fear. Now, more than ever, we need to re-member the profound logic of the heart.
Giles Hutchins is author of The Nature of Business (Green Books) and the upcoming book The Illusion of Separation (Floris Books) which is due out this Autumn. For a short video clip on love within business see here.
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