Exploring the origins, ethics and future of changemaking

Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

Ethics and reincarnation

In Ethics, Spirituality on June 25, 2012 at 10:33 am

I was at a party the other night and was struck by how many people there had deep spiritual interests. On top of this, they were all pursuing powerful and purposeful lives. In short, they were wanting to do good in the world.

We got talking about ethics and where our western thought around what is right or wrong, good or bad comes from. One woman in our circle studied philosophy and ethics extensively, and declared that she always had trouble with the dominance of ‘white men’ as the pinnacle of ethical thinking, at least in the West. The conversation wasn’t all ‘gendered’ either. We unpacked a number of dimensions of modern ethical thinking, including this obsession with rational thought and how that might have influenced our thinking in this way.

As our conversation unfolded, it became clear that we all shared a belief or knowing around the principle of reincarnation. For some of us the knowledge that we are all Souls who inhabits many bodies over many lifetimes, has become such a central feature or lens through which we view ourselves and the world. Of course, reincarnation is not limited to our conversation circle. Reincarnation has been a central tenet of many spiritual teachings across the world for eons.

While it has not been a central feature of the Christian faith (there are references to reincarnation in the Bible), Read the rest of this entry »

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The world doesn’t need to be changed

In Theories of Change on May 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

A conversation with my friend Ehon on the weekend prompted this post. I shared with him a story of a girl I recently met in San Francisco who by way of introducing herself, asked me a question: “So what are you doing to save the world?”

This kind of question usually grates on me, and probably because when I was her age I also had this drive in my life to “save the world”. When I hear it spoken I recall my own innocent desire to be of service in the world; a drive that while having good intentions actually came from a very limited perspective. Of course, to cut-some-slack and be a little graceful towards myself and the girl I met in San Francisco, it is not surprising that we came to the view that the world needed to be changed.

The world is currently facing many ‘challenges’ including food security, health crises, climate change and in some parts of the world – war and economic collapse. On top of this, the social consciousness is littered with images, stories and examples of this need ‘to save’. From superhero stories to the modern day samaritan-come-changemaker, we celebrate people who save others from vulnerability. It is no wonder that when we see images of vulnerability and suffering, that our first instinct is to save them.

It is difficult for me to pinpoint the moment that I realised the world doesn’t need to be changed, but it started somewhere around the discovery of the principle of Soul. I discussed this in the post on Ego and Entrepreneurship, Read the rest of this entry »

Who put the Ego into Entrepreneurship?

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?
Who put the Ego into Entrepreneurship?

One of the most common misunderstandings and judgements that I come across regularly is this strange notion that all entrepreneurs are full of Ego. Well of course, but who isn’t. The thing that I find most puzzling, disturbing and untrue is how it is often said with heavy judgement and loathing.

Ego is simply the identification with or of the self. We all have Ego, how else would we identify with being part of the world.

There are many views on the nature of Ego and its role in our lives. One spiritual view sees that Ego is only an illusion; different and separate from our true or ‘higher self’. For the purpose of this article I will call this ‘higher self’: Soul. In this sense, I don’t have a soul but rather – I AM SOUL. As Soul I have a body that I use for the purpose of living, creating, learning and service in this world. I call this body and identity Benny Callaghan and while this may not always be that pleasant for others, it is useful for me to get around and be part of the world.

Various spiritual teachings, especially those of the East, teach that the goal of life is to transcend the Ego and enter the pure states of being. By doing this we can be active channels for Spirit in the world.

So what has all this got to do with entrepreneurship? Read the rest of this entry »