A fundamental premise of this website is that new understanding emerges in language from the tension between opposing ideas.
Self / Systems
The core set of oppositional ideas that permeates my thinking and writing is the one between the conceptualization of the Self as a distinct and singular entity, and Systems theory, which posits that the self exists only as a function of the systems that create and maintain it.
A profound metaphor from the physical world for the Self/System dynamic, is the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages that exemplify this dynamic of tension and its resolution in a concrete and beautiful way. The tall and massive stones remain standing—and have for centuries—supporting the structure, which then allows the beauty of the arches and the delicate light to emerge through the stained glass windows at the top.
The 2016 election in the United States has generated a great deal of anxiety and divisiveness. This new essay proposes a framework for an effective response that can lead to change. It is based on the foundational ideas from systems theory and Bowen theory that underlie this website, and specifically uses my Mag/Min framework.
One of the concrete manifestations of ideas that have emerged over the years is my book Mag or Min: Which Are You? While it is now available on Amazon, you can still read a synopsis on the Book page in this site. You will also find a FAQ page there which helps clarify misunderstandings about the basic concepts. Having a grasp of the major ideas in the book provides a way to make more sense of the essays on the site overall.
There are two podcasts of interviews I have done with John A. Warnick, the founder of the Purposeful Planning Institute. (purposefulplanninginstitute.com).
The first is on Mag/Min, which provides an engaging and thorough summary of the basic framework and content of the book.
The second is on Leadership and Bowen theory which incorporates my Mag/Min framework.
You can read a summary of Mag/Min in the Primer on the Book page above. You can read my essay on Leadership and Bowen theory on the Essays page above under the Leadership link.