As human beings, we have been concerned, even consumed, with how to transform our minds into their best. If there is a way to transform our minds, what would this mean for how we would proceed in business? For how we would cultivate leadership?
We live trapped in a vicious circle, a world of intense difficulties, a world beset by complex problems and challenges, one of which we would be bad enough, let alone a stack of them. But when we add together all the political, social, cultural and environmental issues we face, the world looks appalling. It is this demand to be constantly safe in any relationship, whether socially, economically, culturally or intimately. This breeds sorrow and fear, because the seeking for security is inviting insecurity, - because have we ever found security in any relationship other within ourselves. That is why we need to comprehend that being completely insecure and followers others instead, - will constantly unbalance any system: socially, culturally, politically, economically and even between people and for ourselves.
The reason we have such a global mess is not simply because we have a wrong system for doing things, whether these are technological, political or cultural, but we have the wrong people assigned to tackle today’s challenges, be it in higher education, the economy, politics or the arts. These self-called ‘accolade-driven’ upper-elite would rather evolve and learn from human instincts, telepathy, perception, intuition and gut feeling. But because science is driven by thought and knowledge, with issues required to be scientifically proven in order to gain acceptance, such an approach is not tolerated. How long can we afford to ignore this?
As soon as politicians or executives start climbing the ladder, they transform into ‘kings’ and ‘untouchables’ protected by followers. I often wonder how this works, but what I do know is that replicas came into the world to make sure that no one is more than anyone else. The pomp of office is like something left over from a feudal past, a remnant of an archaic era.
It might be that our systems are fine, but they are in the wrong hands of the wrong people, as so many are self-seeking, lacking wisdom, lacking courage, lacking clarity, lacking compassion and lacking consciousness, fragile people who are terribly afraid of failure and social pain themselves, but don’t mind if others become victims because they are negligent in terms of understanding what needs to be done. They are unwilling to cooperate, unwilling to open up with others who do not think as they do. But it is us individuals who are wrong. Because we do not know how to be, how to change ourselves to become more comprehensive, creative and mindful, we refuse to be confronted with our inner-self. Instead, we continue craving for more, wanting to go further and higher, failing to cooperate, failing to be humble, and failing to be our true selves. We are pushing ourselves and keep seeking to learn something more from someone so that people will better understand themselves and to change themselves as they become a more creative and humble person and more cooperative person, - most would love that idea, but as long we cultivate this insane “urge” that we must improve is todays biggest obstacle. Why are we in need of constant improvement ?
We are burdened by this urgent feeling that we must constantly improve and crave because if we do not, we feel at risk, risk of being socially, economically and culturally excluded. This is the critical reason we follow the wrong people. The question of why we need to improve ourselves is perhaps more relevant than ever before. If we are in desperate need of constant improvement, we fail to accept how we are or what is real. This undoubtedly prohibits self-improvement, because it leads to, and repeats, the opposite direction, spiralling us into an endless, vicious circle rather than leading us to a plateau of peace.
Our real self is the spirit that we reach when we are in stillness, when we cultivate calmness. How do we do that? We start by observing ourselves internally, listening very carefully to our emotions, feelings, impulses, affections, sensitivities and our thoughts that reinforce inner separation between ourselves and what we experience, until we are no longer driven by our own consciousness but are simply witnessing what is happening. That is what I would call real progress for leadership in the 21st century.
But because we are enticed by today’s intangibles – reputation, greed, lust, sex, power, authority, title, position and image – sooner or later these become a burden to us as they can be attained with so little effort. We want to be seekers distancing from ourselves because somehow we are disquiet about ourselves. We want to get rid of ourselves and be someone else.
So then we turn to the arts – literature, history, art, music or philosophy – believing we can derive satisfaction from those pleasures, until we realise they are not the answer either. So we creep further to spirituality and psychology, yet soon we realise these are not the answer either. So, we slide to culture and religion, seeking an ultimate reward that is not based on material goods, yet which will never satisfy us. So, we keep digging deeper into yet another new territory, but in that quest, we are merely repeating ourselves in wanting to be better, because we are not. We are not better, because we truly, simply desire to be.
All these global ‘do-gooders’, both those who do ‘good’ for themselves and those who do ‘good’ for others, are trouble makers, unbalancing the system, because doing good things is amazingly destructive. Doing ‘good’ is conditioned, stemming from the lack of comprehension of others. As long as we don’t comprehend, we become followers and crave to be an ideal person. We become pedantic, pompous, academic and righteous, dry and dull.
This progress is unfortunately what most people around the world have chosen to cultivate. Because how do others know what is good for them or others? If we seek to improve ourselves, we do not need to follow, we simply shall improve and trust ourselves, but because we do not trust ourselves, we seek assistance to be better. The truth of the matter is we do not really know how to interfere with the way the world is, as it is a complex inter-related organism. But if we are truly aware of our inner-workings, which is true virtue, we realise there is actually little we can do to improve ourselves.
And the same goes for global society. Surely we can demand to change our global society, sharing tremendous enthusiasm and inspiration, believing a new social revolution will initiate changes for the better for each of us. But has there ever been a revolution that ever set anything right? Assume we are stuck and do not know what we can change for the better: that is probably the worst thing the global industrial society could ever hear. But the entire notion of self-improvement is a hoax, another product of ‘global short profit maximisation’. This is not what life is about, is it?
What happens if we acknowledge that there is nothing we can do to be better? For some this will be a relief; for others it may be the end.
Accepting that there is not anything we can do to improve ourselves or improve the world should give us a breather because we simply watch what is currently occurring in the world, observing what happens socially, culturally, ethically and emotionally. In fact, we should question why we keep separating social, economically and culturally the world. We should not be in a hurry to know what it is, because we won’t know. Such knowledge requires a much more profound understanding because it is not materialistic, it is not spiritual, it is not cultural, nor is it social: it is us people, comparing, over-analysing, craving, expecting and striving to become better.
But rarely does anyone spend time doing so. If we watch what is happening, we will see that we let the wrong people do far too many things of far too much weight and bearing of importance, placing the world in the shambles it is today. If we question that we are constantly wanting to improve everything and everywhere ,- by fixing labels , improving people`s reputation, gradations, judgements, we shall watch what truly happens because the great things we do are happening .We start to realise how we live and what we do to each other. If we give ourselves a chance to free ourselves from constant improvement our own nature and environment it will begin to take care of itself, - because we are not getting in the way of ourselves all the time and great things in life are really begin to happening.
Once we realise that something is terribly wrong, we see that things begin to rotate on their own, without purpose, all because we avoid facing our real selves.