Transition Time?

OK, so let’s back up a little. Stop, Reflect, Listen . . . ?

What for? I’m too busy as it is, I don’t have time for anything but working to keep my job, paying the mortgage, car payments, credit cards (for the new flat screen TV and that trip last Christmas), etc. etc., so on and so on. (Not you? Fill in the blanks, you know what I mean.)

Yesterday a friend visited the café and we were talking about these things, he’s an elderly gentleman, he’s been around, and he’s African-American, which is relevant because I brought up the subject of slavery, one of the abominations of mankind, at least one we are aware of. But there is another form of slavery, which we are mostly unaware of, which is perhaps more treacherous for its deceptive nature and ability to permeate everything we do, even think; it’s the slavery of our mind.

This slavery doesn’t put us in shackles which cut into our skin until we bleed, it doesn’t work us into a sweat until we fall down exhausted, and it doesn’t rob us of our dignity until we cry, – this is much worse.

This other slavery tells us we are no good until we buy that big house, drive that new car or take that vacation everybody is talking about. I am no good until I can show that I have all of that, am doing all of those things; bigger, better, faster, more often than everyone else. And I believe that I’m no good even though I know that this behaviour is killing me. It’s this “knowing” that is interesting.

We used to be able to say: “look at the poor guy, working so hard he’s gonna get a heart- attack” only now, not is it only killing me, and anybody else that gets into the game, it’s destroying the very environment that supports life on earth! People, we have to stop this nonsense! Life is more than stuff !

(See Annie Leonard’s “Story of Stuff” on YouTube for a great story!)

OK, slow down Christer; I can get carried away. This is what happens when I wake up at 4.30 am and start writing on my blog; I get angry. I’m 51 years old, (born 1958), and considering that most of this went down during the past 50 years, I am co-responsible for the most destructive period in the history of human kind, not me alone of course, I won’t take the whole blame, but as part of a collective responsibility, and I am angry – in a slow, soft, calm, quiet sort of way.

There is a way out, a window of opportunity as it were, but it’s closing – and it’s closing fast.

The opportunity is to embrace change; change the way we do things, change the way we think, but change is perhaps not the right word; we need a radical transformation of the mind, and how do we do that, if the only mind at our disposal is the enslaved mind? How do we fool a fooled mind?

I think I have a clue: we don’t “do” anything, we don’t “think” anything (I call it working towards a “Zero Perspective”), rather, we work very hard at creating the conditions for things to happen.

And this is where our choices come in (a.k.a. “free will”); we choose not to do what everybody else does, we choose to ask ourselves: DO I REALLY NEED THIS? Will this “thing”, will doing this determine who I am, who I really am? Will this “thing”, doing this make me happy?

Or is happiness something else?

What is better; a walk in a shopping centre (with a credit card charging more than 20% p.a. interest), or a walk in the forest picking blueberries, and mushrooms, and lingonberries (we’re talking Sweden here)?  – I’ll give you a hint; the t-shirt on sale at the shopping centre might be coming from a sweat shop in Asia and you’ll have forgotten about it by next month. The blueberry jam on the other hand you can enjoy on your pancakes long into the winter (if you were serious about your forest walks), while debating life on earth with a friend or looking into the eyes of a loved one (or both).

What will make you happiest? What do you choose?

So we’re in Transition Time (yes we are – whether we like it or not), going from something that was, to something that will be. The past projecting into the future, the past repeating itself, unless we Stop, Reflect, and Listen . . .

What will it be? Do we collectively have the courage to make the right choices? More importantly, are we capable of fooling the mind; are we capable of doing nothing, thinking nothing – actively, intensely?

Do we have the courage to shed the shackles of slavery; the slavery of the mind?

Think about it.


About christersoderberg

Living and growing up in nine countries has left strong impressions on the background of Christer Söderberg, helping to create an awareness of the impermanence in life and the uncertain value of knowledge; illustrating the paradox between knowing and what we may do well to “unlearn”. Christer has worked with companies in six countries on four continents, most recently in Brazil where between 1998 and 2002 he started a subsidiary for a Swedish Multinational. Studies in business and a lifetime of social entrepreneurship have further cemented his belief that the only thing we can change is ourselves. This lifelong endeavor expresses itself in creating the conditions for change through places, physical and virtual spaces where the individual can feel safe in him/herself; at least enough to stop, reflect and listen to the world we live in. We exist in our relationship to each other, our environment, and ourselves. Through observation and silence, preferably in close communion with nature, a “zero perspective” can help stimulate the questions surrounding our purpose and a meaningful contribution while on earth. Increased awareness of individual potential plants seeds for long-term success; Open World initiatives help awaken the hidden potential in individuals, creating new perspectives on cooperation and personal development. Increased focus and balance help provide a strong base for individual and business growth, with a deeply ingrained sense of responsibility, respect and awe for the power in nature.
This entry was posted in Leadership, Open World Café & Gallery, Stop, Reflect & Listen . . ., Sustainability. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Transition Time?

  1. Alexandra Söderberg says:

    After all these years I think I finally understand the concept of “Zero Perspective”, being without doing and thinking sure is a hard nut to crack…

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