March 9, 2018

A view from the Sun: #5 Shaping change as it happens


The effects of change may be felt for a long time, personally, organizationally, societally and ecosystemically. The backstory leading up to a change may have taken a long time. But the tipping point at which the change manifests is brief. Personally, change happens in a moment. This moment of personal experience is the kernel exemplar for change at all levels. A person’s moment of realization turned action may occur within a few seconds. A society’s pivotal change may occur within a few hours.                  

In the crucible of this moment, change is being forged. It is an emotional experience. Emotion is the leading edge of thought. Emotional reaction can be shaped as it is happening, and its force directed toward thought and action. All this may happen in a few seconds, and the world is changed thereafter.

The force that shapes emotional force is awareness. Like a magnetic field guiding a stream of hot plasma, awareness shapes and directs the stream of emotion. Noticing an emotional reaction, realizing its meaning, and acting on it can be done when there is awareness of the personal stream of consciousness, which includes emerging feelings. An arising emotion can be detected, shaped and directed, all in a moment. This moment is the tipping point, the instant of enaction of a change event. After that, and depending on the scope of the circumstances, for an intended change to be effected requires continuing awareness. It may be somewhat automated, as in a performance that may be scripted, but still requires awareness in the moment.


It is a common experience to daily engage in a continuous stream of self-talk punctuated by reactions to events. The stream may consist of circular thinking about what is wrong, without ever exiting the circle to take action. This ruminative negative thinking is rampant in human behavior, some of it handed down through generations of culture, some of it rooted in genetic predispositions to depression and anxiety. Reactions to events can also result in circular thinking, for example upon receiving a compliment, and replaying it continuously. Being aware of self-talk and reactions makes it possible to step into the storyline and rewrite it. See “The three-second rule”   

This schema, by analogy, or directly by a massing of conscious agents, applies to groups, organizations, societies and the global ecosystem. Its hallmarks are situational awareness and ability to shape events, starting at the personal level. Enough people who are consciously shaping personal events, will also shape and direct group events. Enough people in enough places will shape the world.



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