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Reference Points

We have seen again and again how immense can be the power of limits, the power of circumstance, the power of life’s pull in generating original breakthroughs of mind and heart, spirit and matter. It’s wonderful to retire to a mountaintop and point pretty pictures. But more wonderful and more challenging still is for the artist to sit right in the midst of the karmic struggle, all the sufferers of all times and places hanging on his brush…… The least mark on the paper becomes an act of supreme courage in which the suffering of the artist and his world are alchemized into something quite different, a thing of beauty and wonder.

S. Nachmanovitch, Free Play, p196-197

This element addresses working with the deeper influences of our attitudes, behaviours and beliefs in uncertainty and change. For ease of access we have identified these areas of focus:

  • Vision
    – the North Start that provides a sense of the ultimate direction (telos?) in the uncertainties we face

  • Purpose
    – provides some evolving certainty that leads to something greater than ourselves and future generations

  • Principles
    – the fundamental mindsets or precepts that inform our ways forward in thinking and actions
    – towards authenticity (Workplace of Tomorrow, p.26 in the context of the evolving needs of complex, demanding organisations….it is not just individuals who need to be authentic, the system in which they function also needs to be value-based and authentic.)
    – connecting people with their passion, purpose and planet (Workplace of Tomorrow p23…. self awareness is a fundamental component of the healthy complex societies, organisations and communities in which we hope to exist.)

    – supporting life in future generations (providing supportive contexts/environments where people and planet flourish) For example, a section of the founding article for the Long Term Project states “We’ve started the Long Time project as we believe that (1) Our capacity to care about the future is crucial to our ability to preserve it (2) Developing longer perspectives on our existence will change the way we behave in the short term and (3)Art and culture will be crucial to making the much needed transformative shift in attitudes and behaviours.” Another helpful source is Roman Krznaric (new book is ‘The Good Ancestor’)