The Art of the Real
The Edge of the Real: Our Fragmented World

Reclaiming the Real - a Leading Questions series


RECLAIMING THE REAL series. (March - October 2013)

What Defines Us? - "It has become clear to me that the way we understand what defines us has to change."

The Spectacle of the Real - "Living in the world of the image and the spectacle is a world where reality is an appearance and beyond our capacity to determine is this real, true and the way things actually are. This is a hyper-real world which turns reality on its head."

The Path to the Real - "To recover reality, we need to recover our awareness, our perception, of the physical spaces that we live in each day. We need to immerse ourselves in the processes of change that carry us forward. To do so is to seek to discover the fullness of human experience within the world as it exists."

The Reason for the Real - "The reason for the real is to create environments where doubt, suspicion and anxiety are replaced by trust, understanding and peace."

Reclaiming the Real through the Living Past - "Recovering the real from the hyper-reality of today's culture of the spectacle is partly accomplished by remembering the past as a living reality, here and now, in the present."

The Map of Memory - "We need to see that the world is not a collection of parts, of time and history as simply a linear list of dates, names and events, and that our lives are lived in a meaningless succession of discrete moments in time. We need to see life as whole, as integral and complete when the linkages of time and space are recognized and recalled."

The Lost Maps of Reality - "If we are to recover reality from the nullification of our minds and souls, then we must reclaim the context of history as a the map of memory, connecting past and present together as a living reality."

Hope that is Real - "Hope is visionary. It is something we can see, something we can imagine that is worth holding to, worth sacrificing for to gain a greater good in the future. In the case of Admiral Stockdale, he could see making it through, and going home. What does the unnamed author of lost hope see? Hard work and commitment without hope of success."

The Art of the Real - "Context matters because it is the ground upon which we live in the real."

THE EDGE OF THE REAL series. (March-May 2014) 

Our Fragmented World - "Hyper-real contexts always place us on the outside of the screen, looking in at those who are doing the real living. We are meant to see a reality that is larger and more important than our own existence, filled with the fascinating people we must follow, and never, ever, involving us as direct participants in their lives. The result is that our inner lives take on a stunted, not flourishing life, disconnected from an outside world that can fully engage us."

Fragmented Boundaries - "The boundary between our inner selves and the outer world is where we can see the fragmentation of our lives. It is here, along these fragmented boundaries, that wholeness can be discovered."

The Call of Desire - "Desire is a longing which bridges our inner life with the outer world. It is a longing for connection, completion, and relationship."

The Unfolding Story - "Our unfolding story is not the one we tell others. It isn't a brand or a marketing narrative. It is, instead, the story we tell ourselves."

The Leader's Call - "This call to lead comes from within us, and stimulated by our engagement with various settings of our life and work. The call to lead through one's own initiative is born in three desires that define us as individuals."

THE PLATFORM OF DESIRE series. (November-December 2012)

Part One: “I want to change everything related to 20th century organizational purpose and structure. I want to replace the institutions that created the problems we face now.  I no longer want to be sad because of the waste of human potential that I see around me.”  

Part Two:  Our loves and desires are shaped by how we live in the world around us.  The social and organizational systems and structures that are the context of our life and work is a place of engagement where we either find our desires fulfilled or frustrated.  Our happiness is not so much about what we think, but how we intersect with the social and organizational places where we live and work”

Part Three: When Nature is a platform, like any social or organizational structure as a platform, it influences what we value and desire. Or in the words of James K A Smith, what we love. To live in nature is to love it, but not in the abstract sense of love, but in the deeper sense of understanding, of respect, and of a relationship that requires listening and giving.”  

Part Four:  “The Platform of Hyper-reality- The world of social media is very far removed from our premodern ancestors' experience. Our experience is not one of a constant awareness of the physical danger of the natural world or of life on a farm. We live in a world mediated through sophisticated technology that, for many people, has removed them from any direct exposure to the world of nature."

"We live in an immersive world of an always-on information feed directed at our sub-rational desires. And the worst of these onslaughts focus on our fears, not our ambitions.”

Part Five: “Desire isn't just an idea. It is a movement within us drawing us towards some value or experience or person."

"This drawing, like water into the porous membrane of a sponge, is the activity of connection.”

THE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS series. (August-October 2014)

Situational awareness is a skill of insight, anticipation, and respect for personal boundaries in social and organizational contexts.

 It is the skill of perceiving reality as it is, not as we want it to be, or how others see it, but as it is.

 Situational awareness is knowing how to be yourself regardless of the context you are in.

Three Keys to Situational Awareness - "There are three keys to developing the skill of situational awareness: Objectivity, Engagement and Discernment."

The Speed of Change - "As we encounter the speed of change, we need to move more quickly than we have in the past. We will find when we do, that much of what we are now doing is adapting to changing circumstances. The quicker we do so, the better off we will be."

The Social Space of Situational Awareness - "To practice situation awareness is to see a larger picture, where my needs, wants, desires and demands, are not at the center, but just another set of considerations to be addressed in that moment of decision."

Social Conformity and Situational Awareness - "Social conformity breaks down situational awareness by suppressing individual initiative."

In the Moment of Situational Awareness - "From this place, situational awareness enables us to discern the influences that affect us both internally and externally. From those perceptions, we gain perspective. We can because we see the distinction between external realities and inner strengths. The external realities of the situation we are in seeks to control and absorb our attention. Our inner strengths are those qualities, so may say character, that enables us to move into a wide variety of settings without losing our sense of who were are."

The Story We Tell Ourselves - "What I've learn by working with a wide variety of people and groups, who are in the midst of change, is that we need a story that we tell ourselves. This story distinguishes us in every situation we are in. It is a story that enables us to know who we can trust, and who we can't. It is a story that tells us, don't go there, or, let's find out more."

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