Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Two Ends of the Candle

My wise friend chimerae said:
Remember that in systems practice, you cannot solve systems problems from within the system. You can't address systems problems from outside the system. To address and correct systems problems requires episodic engagement and the attendant alienation.

You know what though? It means that OUTSIDE the system there is peership available, that it's impossible to experience while committed as a system component.
By some weird coincidence of the universe (he tries to convince himself!) I was thinking of a similar topic. Allow me to share. I will purposely leave out names and details as the innocent are merely symbols of a larger concept. As always, there is a wag factor here.

A short time ago a learned and wise person posted a blog that spoke of the complexities of holding a particular office. Speaking from first-hand experience, he said that the office was not what people thought. It was a lot of work with a lot of misconceptions of how people should "act" when they held the office. He got a standing ovation for the blog. People agreed with him. Good stuff. The catch is that he was merely stating the trials and tribulations of the office. There was not a solution offered. His audience didn't expect one either! It was nice to hear a person be honest about a gorilla in the middle of the room.

Flash forward about two weeks. I wanted to respond to the overall vague, self-depreciating comments in another blog. The topic was about an office that I do not, and may never, hold. I couldn't write from first-hand experience, so I went the route of generally talking about the institution from the outside. Well, I got busted as being an outsider. I didn't have my facts straight, didn't know what I was talking about, and was not qualified to even start talking about core of the matter. Besides, to really talk about this would expose oath protected information. OK. I learned from the experience. I couldn't address the topic from outside the system.

Flash forward to now. The learned and wise person posts again about the same office. This time, he seems to speaks against the institution itself. His remarks SEEM to suggest that those who propagate the office have agendas, are mad, and so on. Ok, he's probably joking. There is such a thing as poetic license. The interesting thing was the difference in reaction. There was some agreement. This was followed by multiple "hey, that office has a purpose" responses. There was not a standing ovation this time. What was the deal here? IMO/WAG, the learned and wise person attempted to address the office's shortcomings by coming at the office's institution from the outside. He spoke like an outsider instead of one who really lives and breathes the same office (to his credit!). For a brief moment, he had moved to the outside of the system. Those who found value in the system responded with supporting/defending statements.

The same person got two different types of responses on the same core topic. I found this to be fascinating. While I apologize for this being vague, I did find this to be more fuel for my understanding the complex arrangements of group dynamics. "Attacking" an institution will stir those who find value in the institution. Having an innate value in the institution does not give one the leeway to break this rule. It is permissible to speak of personal experience, but be very careful if the experiences of others are made light off.

I like chimerea's verbal picture of "episodic engagement and the attendant alienation". This is a small set of words with a lot of meaning and depth. It worthy of more study and consideration!
Tags: engagement, office, pagan

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