Foundations of E-Consciousness

Overview 


Throughout the twentieth century, the dominant paradigm of management has been changing. As a consequence, there has been an evolution in the concept of leadership and in the way executives think about business strategy . The trend in both leadership and strategy began with an emphasis on the concrete or material aspects of business and focused on production. This was followed by progressively subtler interpretations of business enterprise that emphasized the importance of the human element.

Contemporary thinking about both leadership and strategy focus attention on the knowledge base of the firm and emphasizes the value of creativity and learning in organizations.

However , I wish to emphasize that in  the twenty- first  century, management surpasses   even this level and will be  based not only on knowledge but   on  ” knowingness” – a comprehensive consciousness based model which explores inner realities that touch sensitive core values hitherto unexplored.

The transition of management thought towards the emphasis on continuous learning and leadership at all levels in a learning organization is a progression beyond organizational processes. In the latter part of the century, management scholars attempted to identify the true depository of knowledge in organizations. Recognizing that organizations are indeed knowledge- based, they wanted to know how and where in an organization knowledge actually resides.

 

Historically the answer has been that it can be found in the databases, files, and accounting systems of the firm, because knowledge contained there is owned and fully controlled by the Institution. But a deeper analysis revealed that a company’s knowledge lies in the Human Resources.  These apply to all levels of staff. The true depository of knowledge in the institution is therefore the consciousness of the knower himself.

 

My own research has revealed that until and unless the inner core of a person is radically transformed, training undertaken at the outer superficial sensory  level  will not be sufficient enough to penetrate deep down and  make an inner transformation at the “Core” or at an  integral level. This is the level that human beings have often sensed, or have often felt a need for, which is broader or larger or fuller than the ordinary world, and in some sense lies “beyond” the threshold which normally bounds our existence.

 

 What are some of the results of transcendence experiences of the sort instanced above? In the first place, it is likely that these are experiences of a very high order, of the sort Maslow  terms “peak experiences”, in which the individual is most alive, most healthy, and at the peak of his capabilities. Maslow allows for gradations in peak experiences, and would fit this sort of experience high on the scale, perhaps as the intense most type of peak experience. The results that accrue as a result of peak experiences are: positive changes in the self image, positive changes in interpersonal relationships, remission of neurotic symptoms (at least for a time), increased creativity, increased spontaneity and self-expression, and so on, in the realm of psychological improvement. 

 

There is significant evidence that altered states of consciousness hold major personality growth, improved interpersonal relationships, and an enhanced potential for significant psychological benefit, i.e., that ASC experiences are often avenues leading toward therapeutic effect and psychological growth. Some ASCs, in other words, have therapeutic significance for the human person in that they effect positive psychological changes in the person, changes ranging in value from learning control over habit patterns (primarily with Deep Meditation , Bio- Feedback and hypnosis), all the way up to ability to live fully. 

 Such personality changes, most of which are mediated via noetic insight (i.e., self understanding), may be called therapeutic changes if they result in the remission of psychological disorders (e.g., neuroses or psychoses), or the changes may be called personality growth if they are a movement from psychological normality to a state of being which is healthier than the normal.


Therefore , any outside developmental activities devoid of such inner alteration  will only yield short term results which  any Organization can ill afford at this juncture when every effort is being made towards accelerated development.

 Strategies with a  narrow focus would then leave much ” Head” knowledge but little or no “Heart” value shift, thus in the long term leaving the person with an inner sense of restlessness and emptiness  which contributes in no small measure to producing superficial leaders devoid of substance, highly stressed nervous systems and as it has been reveled in Criminology , the possibility of  latent criminal tendencies activated.

Today everywhere we witness a steady erosion of values and morals and  an immense shortage of leaders of substance. Our alcohol consumption, drug addiction, prostitution and suicide rates are leading indicators of our deep inner restlessness and a vacuum within. Vacuous minds can only produce vacuous thoughts so we witness a bandwagon of leaders who promote outer show to cover up their rotten inner core.

The recent international examples, such as, ruthless leaders of the caliber of Bin Laden or deceitful leaders like those in ENRON, make us question the very concept of leadership. It was reported that one top leader of ENRON, Charles Baxter had committed suicide a few days ago. At the superficial level Baxter was also a top leader, ruthless, Type- A, winning the admiration of his subordinates, kind and generous to staff- yet at the inner core he was unsettled and corrupt. ENRON was one of the companies that had the best industrial relations, vacations, bonuses and all that an employee dreamed of.  Alas, they turned out to be dreams only.

There was no harmony or inner calmness within –  but conflict consumed him and led to a depression that cost his life. Today in our own country and at various leading  organizations also there are hundreds of Managers and Executives who are driven by unrealistic demands that may reach their limit if the tendency is not reversed.  Ulcers , High blood pressure & coronaries have a close connection with a stressed up nervous system, and cancer at the root of hopelessness.

Organisation culture and management style can be a source of stress. Poor communications and indifferent leadership also create anxiety. Lack of competence causes stress too. This may arise from poor selection practices at the time of recruitment, promotion or transfer. It may arise because people have been inadequately trained for the new job. Social and economic events outside the employment relationship cause stress and need to be considered.

Research has found that the way people are managed is the biggest influence on employee attitudes. Adoption of enlightened management practices, (e.g. job design, skills development, involvement, work environment and culture, and effective occupational health programmes) is the basis for a positive psychological contract. In turn, a carefully thought through psychological contract supports organisational commitment and job satisfaction – which are associated with higher productivity and profitability.

People who feel under excessive pressure are likely to be working long hours and have a poor psychological contract. Those who find pressure motivating on the other hand also have high levels of commitment, this suggests that a positive psychological contract can help reduce feelings of uncomfortable pressure and help people deal with circumstances. In turn, this will have a payoff in terms of increased performance, job satisfaction and enhanced well-being. However those with a poor psychological contract who are under continual pressure and working harder and longer are likely to suffer stress. This will result in increased sickness absence, job dissatisfaction and quitting the job.

Today we witness a  further alarming trend, a tendency towards cynicism . The only thing that matters is whether you succeed or not . everything is subordinated to success . At this level of reasoning, if you achieve the end the means do not matter. Now that is the hallmark of cynicism.

The teachers and trainers  cater to this group by arranging hundreds of hours of training , with scant regard to programmes that develop use of full brain potential, creativity, reversal of negative emotions of the past etc that releases a person’s true potential. With only the horrendous “Outer show”  and our tendency to focus on short term results, lack of strategic focus, the prospects are bleak and they stand as a monument to the repercussions that  will be felt for decades to come.

Is there as way out 


Along with various value added training programmes that impart knowledge and diverse skills,  specific attention should be focused on the transformation of the leader himself  at the deeper level. With that  inner radiance  now released he or she will be able to lead a calmer, more focused life. This would facilitate an inner dialogue and correct any negative impressions of the past and open the valve of inner release. He will think for himself, develop assertive skills , creativity, higher job satisfaction, and move  away from the IQ trap to EQ – Emotional Intelligence and beyond to SQ , the spiritual intelligence.

Then you will come across an enlightened  leader.

This would also increase the creativity and inter- personal skills that would contribute enormously to bring about a society focused on higher values and maintaining unity in diversity, a sure way of laying a foundation for a culture of inner and outer peace. This truly would then become transformational leadership. Downplaying this element and engaging only at sensory level is bound to fail.

What is unique with E- CONSCIOUSNESS

For the first time I am happy to  introduce the concept of transformation from e- business to e-consciousness which will help tap the ” Collective Consciousness” of the organization to gain lasting results.

The elements discovered and the methodology are all unique and original. We encourage the participants to explore the inner realities and revisit Einstein’s famous equation E=MC ^2 now with consciousness added which emancipates and energizes both simultaneously while helping extinguish the raging fires within that makes one helpless if not hopeless.

The therapeutic effects of Altered States of Consciousness

There is significant evidence that altered states of consciousness hold potential for significant psychological benefit, i.e., that ASC experiences are often avenues leading toward therapeutic effect and psychological growth. Some ASCs, in other words, have therapeutic significance for the human person in that they effect positive psychological changes in the person, changes ranging in value from learning control over habit patterns (primarily with Deep Meditation , Bio- Feedback and hypnosis), all the way up to major personality growth, improved interpersonal relationships, and an enhanced ability to live fully.

 Such personality changes, most of which are mediated via noetic insight (i.e., self understanding), may be called therapeutic changes if they result in the remission of psychological disorders (e.g., neuroses or psychoses), or the changes may be called personality growth if they are a movement from psychological normality to a state of being which is healthier than the normal.

The concept of psychological growth is by no means a simple matter, for if we are going to say that a person has made psychological progress away from  disease and toward health, we must have some pre-established notion of what we mean by disease and health. In some cases, of course, there is very little of this theoretical problem. For example, a man suffering from compulsive eating habits which have lead him to excessive obesity seeks out a psychiatrist who hypnotizes him, suggests that the compulsion disappear, that he return to normal eating habits, and that his weight then slowly return to normal. The suggestion is effective, and within a year the man has returned to normal weight, his compulsion completely gone. The therapeutic process may, of course, have taken several sessions and may even have included some psychoanalysis, but the point I wish to emphasize here is that the compulsion was eradicated. In cases of this sort there is very little, if any, theoretical question about what is disease behavior and what is healthy behavior.

Similarly, there is very little, if any, theoretical problem in cases involving other sorts of compulsions, phobias,  anxieties, and the like, which can be helped with hypnosis, dream work, phantasy techniques, systematic desensitization, and other therapies which involve the use of ASCs. Nor does the theoretical problem about what constitutes disease and health arise in the case of manifest psychoses that involve extreme nightmarish, waking hallucinations of the most painful and terrorizing sort. In these cases, the subject wishes to terminate the symptoms, the psychiatrist considers them sick, and there is no question but that to terminate the symptoms would be a positive step toward greater mental health. Thus, when we are dealing with symptoms which are manifestly maladaptive, painful, and destructive, which both the patient and doctor would like to be rid of, there is no question about what constitutes a move toward health.

The question becomes a bit subtler, however, in the case of a “normal” individual who seeks “greater fulfillment”, or a “fuller life”, or “greater happiness”. In this sort of situation, the struggle is not form disease to health (as in the former cases), but is rather form a state of normally toward something healthier than just the average. Physicians have begun to think in terms of higher and higher degrees of healthiness, and psychiatrists (and psychologists) for a long time have been speaking of supra-normal psychological health. But how can we define that supra-normal psychological health? This will certainly be a concern if  we are ever to claim that one who is already “normal” now makes progress in the direction of greater psychological health, for it can legitimately be asked; just what constitutes greater psychological health?

 Now I do not wish to minimize the importance of this problem, rather I wish to emphasize its importance for the difficult task of assessing personality growth. Yet, on the other hand, it seems to be the sort of question that is best answered by the theoretical psychologists. I shall rely specifically on the ideas of the humanistic school of psychology, sometimes referred to as “third force” psychology, represented by the work of Gordon Allport, Carl Rogers, Fritz Perls, Victor Frakl, and Abraham Maslow. I shall rely specifically on one central concept that has been developed in that school of thought and that is the concept one full humanness, or rather the concept of approaching full humanness. That concept declares that some persons are more or less fully human than others, i.e., that some persons have actualized more of their potential for humanness than others. Maslow, in this connection, speaks of self-actualizing persons, applying the term to those persons who are well involved in the process of actualizing their potential for full humanness. Without examining the matter in all its detail, it will suffice here to mention only a few of the characteristics of self-actualizing persons. They are generally more creative, more spontaneous, are very much engaged in what is to them a life-important task, they seek solitude and enjoy it more than average persons, are more able to fully engage themselves in a task or project or concern, and are less ego-conscious and timid. They are generally more concerned with the traditionally “higher” or nobler values (Maslow’s B-values), such as truth, justice, liberty, moral goodness, beauty, authenticity, and so on. Their interpersonal relationships are more fruitful than most, less superficial, and more in line with Buber’s concept of the I-Thou way of being (Maslow’s B-Love, Rogers’ unconditional positive regard). Self-actualizing persons, to add one final characteristic, are more acceptant of them selves (in Fromm’s sense of self love, or self-esteem), more acceptant of others, and generally more acceptant of the cosmos and their being in it. They are, in other words, healthier persons than the average, and they are healthier in the sense that they are more human, more free, more fully expressive of their person hood.

With this notion of full humanness in mind, for which notion I have relied on the work of the psychologists we can now considered the theoretical question mentioned earlier: what does it mean to say that a person has experienced therapeutic benefits from ASCs, or what does it mean to say that he has undergone personal growth? In light of the above considerations, I take it to mean that he has made progress toward approaching fuller humanness. Perhaps he has removed some obstacles of blockages (therapeutic remission of neurotic or psychotic symptoms), or perhaps he has found the strength to take steps he had never before taken, or perhaps he discovered something which allowed him to move in a direction that he had previously not been able to see.

For whatever reason, personal growth means the movement toward a greater actualization of human potential; in Maslow’s terms, toward greater self-actualization.

Keeping this in mind, it can now be said that in innumerable cases ASCs are responsible for personal growth. In fact personal growth occurs, to one degree or another, in ASC experiences at all experiential levels, from the more shallow sensory level to the most profound integral level. It must also be said, however, that the deeper the level of the ASC experience, the more profound and thorough-going will be the personality growth. For example, the growth that occurs as a result of peak experiences at the sensory level will be far less profound, far less thorough-going, and likely to concern only certain aspects of the personality; whereas growth that occurs as a result of ASC experience at the deepest integral level is likely to be more profound, more lasting, more complete, and likely to concern one’s entire person hood from top to bottom. One is liable, in that case, to find his whole being re-oriented, liable to find that his foundations have been shaken and rebuilt anew, and that he has been, so to speak, reborn as a new person. So personal growth occurs as a result of ASC experiences at all of the various levels, but is more profound, lasting, and complete if it occurs as a result of ASC experiences at the deeper levels.

The personal growth that occurs as a result of ASC experience at the sensory level, the lightest of the four levels, is likely to be along the lines suggested by Maslow as after effects of peak experiences: the person will feel more integrated, less at odds with himself, more creative, more expressive of himself, more perceptive, better able to relate openly with other persons, more acceptant of self and others, etc. This in fact is what is meant by personal growth, but at this more shallow sensory level, the change will likely not be so fully profound as in deeper levels. At the recollective-analytic level, the level of human consciousness that Freud was so aware of with is emphasis on dreams, free association, phantasy, hypnotic revivification, and the like, similar personal growth can take place. Freud was well aware of this, and was also aware that the completeness of growth depended on how deeply a person was able too go into his subconscious, and then how well he was able subsequently integrate that material into his waking consciousness. Freud was well aware that personality growth depends on integration of the different layers of human consciousness, but he was aware of only two of these layers, the waking consciousness and the personal sub consciousness (which is the layer probed at the recollective-analytic level of ASC experience). Personal growth, thirdly, can take place as a result of ASC experience at the symbolic level of consciousness, one stop deeper than the first two, and growth that occurs at this level will be far more profound than at the previous two levels. It is at this level, as C.G. Jung was well aware, that the person experiences the more primitive, the more ancient levels of this being, the deep primordial foundations of his being, foundations which underlie everything that has more recently been built upon them. It is at this symbolic level that the person plunges far deeper than the level of his personal subconscious, and begins to explore the vast regions of the collective unconscious, the regions in which are found the great symbolic archetypes described so effectively by Jung. Here again personal growth occurs, though now it will be far more complete and fundamental than that which occurs at earlier, shallower levels of consciousness. And here again, as Jung was also fully aware, growth occurs as a result of integration of the different levels of consciousness. It is not enough that one simply experience these various levels, but he must somehow assimilate their contents, and integrate the matter found there with the other levels of his being. Profound personal growth toward fuller awareness, fuller humanness, fuller being in the world, can occur as a result of such integration. Finally personal growth can occur at the most fundamental level, the integral level, and here the growth is most profound, most complete, and most lasting, as a survey of the great mystics will quickly show. James and Poulainand Underhillhave recorded such profound changes in a person’s being as a result of mystical experience. Here the experiences are most fully integrated into the total being of the person (hence the term “integral” level), and affect all the various dimensions of his self, and his relations with the world. At this level a person finds himself able to integrate all the various layers of his existence, all the various levels of his consciousness, and able to orient them in   a unified way toward the life goal at which he wishes to aim his being. It is at this level that his foundations will have been shaken most profoundly and the structures rebuilt a new; a new person is born.

We have seen now that personal growth occurs at all the various levels of consciousness, and that the deeper the layer that is experienced, the more fundamental and thoroughgoing will be the growth achieved.

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