"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Soul of a *New* Machine?

Ted Leung writes about a reinventing of capitalism to enhance its positive social effects.

I happen to be reading an arguably related book of essays, and poetry of all things. Poetry does not have the same cultural reception here in the US as it does in other parts of the world. This book, ("The Heart Aroused", by David Whyte, who I knew briefly 18 years ago when I lived on Whidbey Island just north of Ted's Bainbridge Island) addresses the problems of capitalism as they occur in our everyday work life.

Here is part of David Whyte's essay on Beowulf...

Business and politics profess to be hardheaded, but how many businesses, and even countries, have been ruined through decisions that were ostensibly hardheaded but which had more to do with the relutance of those in charge to face fears or vulnerabilities?

This reluctance to enter the deeper waters of the psyche is not confined to modern participants of corporate life. Fifteen hundred years ago in the Old English poem Beowulf, an anonymous bardic author confronted his listeners with a frightening image of this inner lake. His listeners were almost certainly rough warriors used to getting their hands dirty. He found them equally shy of that dark water.

Beowulf is a masculine story of descent into the waters of the unconscious, but where the restoration of a profound inner feminine power is essential to his survival. In that context it is a compelling story for both women and men working in a masculine workplace sorely in need of a commensurate balancing power. In a corporate culture still dominated by the image of the warrior archetype, Beowulf's plunge into the waters of the unconscious seems to be equally instructive for both sexes.

The early English teller of Beowulf asked his listeners to drop beneath the surface of their daily existence, where the rational mind continually prays for dry feet. Since that time the physical details of life may have changed. The elemental motifs have not.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.