Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Experimental Me

"Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was, first and foremost,an empiricist, a scientist of self; what he learned he learned by conducting experiments on the closest speciman on hand, himself"

Pico Iyer,The Open Road

A similar approach is evident in the ways Ghandi, Ben Franklin,and many others lived their lives. Treating self as source of knowledge and as something to be improved upon is an inexpensive, if not always simple, recipe for living a good life. Unfortunately, as I discuss in Nonprofit Leadership, sometimes we only discover our experiments with self by looking backwards at how we have acted, what we have done, choices we have made. That is, it's challenging to be explicit and conscious in the here and now about our options,preferences, ambivelances, and hypotheses about life. So, we act, often in response to situations, some opportunities, some not, and then, at best, reflect later. Is it looking back at the end of each day, the inner court in action, or is reflection over the longer haul. A bit of both, I suspect. The danger is being swallowed by inertia and new situations.

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