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Tuesday
Jun282016

changing the world, again

People have a good idea and they immediately want to either join an organisation or start one. Or they want to start connecting with people by writing blogs, articles or posting on facebook, making podcasts, writing books. I’m no different, periodically I imagine building a worldwide network of like minded people doing my bidding by remote control with annual conferences in palm springs or some other natty resort…but this is the way the world works- meaning everything from the Ford motor corporation to Billy Graham to the scientologists to Oxford University…in other words there is enough of this stuff going on already. No need to start another one- because the fact that something is an institution- a power structure- far outweighs the differences between it and other institutions. Am I really suggesting there is no difference between an august university and a nutty religious cult and a maker of fine automobiles. Well, kind of. People talk about changing the world- well that’s how you change it- through institutional amplification of usually a single person’s relentless singlemindedness. The world is changed- but it isn’t. It’s just different. And that world changer just gets disillusioned and goes off like Che to die in Bolivia repeating their earlier triumphs. The desire to change the world is not really a worldly impulse, it is really a desire to break through to some dimly perceived parallel reality, another world, or a world behind this world, that only tangentially connects at certain bridging points. A world suspected by many. Of course this transcendental impulse is very easily perverted by desire for attention, wealth and power- hence all the half cocked ‘doing good’ organisations that end up doing the reverse of their original intention. Or doing something but not quite the grand thing they had in mind and still not quelling the original impulse- which can only be served by looking for those bridges and not assuming you can build one or repair a broken one.

 

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