I woke up this morning about 6AM to find the house shrouded in fog.  It was all I could do to see the deck railing from the windows.  By now (7:40 AM) the fog has retreated across the street.  A white line cuts off the bottom of the hill across the way--some trees above it, and cotton batting below.

I was thinking how much fog is a metaphor--we say we are in a fog or that something is foggy thinking.  Having lived in California, and especially since moving to the hills, I've changed my metaphorical relationship to fog.  Fog on a summer morning like this is very refreshing--it brings a sense of moisture to what has been a very dry summer.  The newspaper delivery guy made it through, looming up during the thickest part of the fog, the splat of the paper on the deck, and then away to the next customer.

I'm nearly finished the Sam Keen book (Hymns to an Unknown God), which is the best book on practical everyday spirituality I've read in years.  He's one of those writers who writes so clearly and beautifully that you can honor and respect even those parts of the book you don't agree with.

One thing that struck me with his argument, however.  He feels that there is a strict two way choice--you can accept the material world, science, and reason, and then necessarily must be agnostic about God, or you can have faith in God, and, in some sense, must then be somewhat agnostic about science and rationality--that is, where science and rationality contradict your faith, you must reject them, even if they appear to be logically correct.  I guess I feel that there is a third way.

If one accepts the possibility of reincarnation, then it is possible that you can remember things from your previous states, not just past lives but that time between lives.  And this opens the possibility that you can accept science and reason and not be agnostic.  I find that seeing faith as a process of remembering makes a great deal of sense to me, while having faith because of your early childhood training or because you had an ecstatic experience seems much more suspect.  Perhaps it's just a matter of taste.  Faith as remembering God through the fog.

I continue to be affected by the IBI experience.  Got a call from a trainer who I met briefly there.  I was wondering if there might be some chance of our working together, but it appears not.  Nevertheless, we had a good talk.  We agreed that the biggest problem in managerial consulting, as well as in psychology, is that, by and large, the groups that are open to it don't need it, and the groups that need it are not open to it.  My former company had a CEO with an anger management problem, and several high executives who could not build and run an effective organization.  It also had several high executives who were pretty decent managers and ran pretty good groups.  Guess which ones were open to training and which ones were not!

Some of the problem is ego.  To bring a trainer in to X's organization would suggest that X was not a good manager.  The more this is in fact true, the more X resists it.  Perhaps had the guy at the top been more secure in his own management abilities, training could have been done without being seen as a threat.

In NLP, one of the major premises is that you must accept the client's world view, and accept that they are doing the best they can with what they have.  I realize that this is very hard for me.  It is so easy to fall into judgment, to see the CEO as someone flawed with an anger management problem.  To the extent that I project this to others, I can't be effective in training them.  Even saying that some groups "need training" has a kind of judgment in it.  Compassion.  Compassion.  Compassion!

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.