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Meditations on Respect and Love in a Fragmented World

September 22, 2017

‘Man knows himself only to the extent that he knows the world; he becomes aware of himself only within the world, and aware of the world only within himself.’ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer

What is within us is within everything. Once we understand this truth, we step outside of the parameters of our individual self and come to realise the power that is within us. This shift in awareness is a very simple step that has profound consequences’ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, mystic

‘And now here is my secret, it’s a very simple secret, it’s only with the heart that one sees rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.’  Antoine de Saint Exupéry, writer

‘Unlike the egoic operating system, the heart does not perceive through differentiation. It doesn’t divide the field into inside and outside, subject and object. Rather, it perceives by means of harmony…When heart-awareness becomes fully formed within a person, he or she will be operating out of nondual consciousness…where they will discover the resources they need to live in fearlessness, coherence, and compassion – or in other words, as true human beings.’ Cynthia Bourgeault, contemplative

The ability to deeply listen and speak from the heart while creating a space for generative courageous conversations is a primary aspect of the leadership we need in these times.

At its heart, generative dialogue is nothing more nor nothing less than speaking and listening with our whole-selves while being receptive and responsive to our social field. This is what allows ourselves and others to open up for an altogether more human sharing.

‘Dialogue is a conversation…taking the energy of our differences and channelling it towards something that has never been created before [an emerging co-creation] thereby a means for accessing the intelligence and correlated power of groups of people…You relax your grip on certainty and listen to the possibilities that result from simply being in a relationship with others.’  Bill Isaacs, dialogue specialist

Dialogue is like a dance, where the emergent space between the people and between the words shared is all important. The flow of the dance and the depth of openness between the dancing partners is what allows the dance to come alive and for deeper co-creativity to emerge.

Difficulties, tensions and disagreements are held in a generative non-judgemental way that provides a deepening of sharing rather than a rupturing of relationships.

As we deepen the receptivity and responsiveness of ourselves, the generative field widens; energy and creative potential is unlocked and the life-force of our people and wider system flows.

It is up to each of us as leaders to seed a culture of dialogue through the quality of conversational inter-relating performed by us in the day-to-day thick-of-it-all, whether informal corridor chats, email conversations, telephone calls or meetings.

The more we practice (often stumbling and failing, but learning as we go) the more we become aware of how we are influencing the generative field of our conversations and the generative field of our stakeholder ecosystem. In-so-doing, we consciously cultivate the conditions conducive for life to flourish – we become a conscious company through our respectful relations hand-in-hand with our sustainability reports, purpose statements and cultural charters.

Here, we are co-creating an empathic environment of love through our sense of connectedness with life: self-other-world.  We can consciously sense when we are enclosing/fragmenting ourselves with inner turmoil, alienation, anxiety and over-sensitivity that then warps into blame, judgement, anger and polarisation in a botched bid to protect the wounded-self.  We can also consciously sense beyond this ‘noise’ into the deeper vistas of life’s unfolding /enfolding implicate order of Nature.

Rather than being tossed this-way-and-that by the surface waves, we find our root-connection deepening into the Earth-and-universe to gain true perspective in a non-possessive non-fragmented transpersonal perspective. The universal kinship of the implicate order of Nature is seen not through the ego-eyed squint of separation and polarisation but as an evolutionary unfurling of growth and renewal. We participate in the evolution of life as a dance towards harmony (diversity-and-unity) rather than a competitive struggle towards domination and monoculture.

‘To love well calls for all that is demanded by the practice of any art, indeed of any human activity, namely, an adequate measure of discipline, patience, and persistence.’ – Roberto Assagioli, psychotherapist


It is worth reflecting on this famous poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling :


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


Easier said than done! But is this not the real challenge that lies before us? We might wish to hide from it, and engross ourselves in slumber, but it is real enough if we so choose to see…

Perhaps learning to respect ourselves, each other and our world is what being a ‘human being’ is all about.  As we deepen this learning, as we become more respectful, we see the world more richly, we sense the inter-relationality, the ebbs–and-flows, the wider constellations and hidden connections. Each day becomes our sensing-and-responding learning school, each moment our opportunity to grow and deepen as a Homo sapiens ‘wise being’.

Every authentic relation in life requires us to open up beyond judgement and projection into a real sharing with-and-through love. This involves us being vulnerable. It requires courage. It requires constant practice, dedication and devotion.

When we think or comment with a judgemental tone, we project something of our own lack of self-love on to the other. With judgement, we see the world through a fragmented, separating lens which fractures and filters.  This defending, rising animosity, polarises us-versus-them. It all originates in a lack of self-love, our own shadows. We get caught up in a vicious cycle of being wounded, wounding others; being judged, judging others. Sub-personalities cloud our deeper truth, we supress even more into the shadow and the polarisations heighten. Enter Trump.

When we centre ourselves in the heart, in our centre, then we begin to see rightly once again, and we can truly listen and truly share.  This is our humbling, courageous response-ability. This is the core to sustainable living – yet so often over looked, in part because it’s ‘messy’, whereas in comparison supply-chain metrics are ‘neat’.

A human being flourishes through empathic, respectful relations with others, not through metrics although, for sure, metrics are useful.

This respectful relating is primary to any organisation seeking to enhance conscious living in today’s world.  Seeking to enhance conscious living in today’s world is, arguably, the essential purpose of our time.

To explore ‘the new paradigm’ further, join the Face Book community here

For Giles Hutchins’ personal website

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