fear and change

PKaipa at aol.com PKaipa at aol.com
Tue Dec 22 09:29:38 PST 1998

What I understood about human nature and human learning is that we change only
under two conditions: desperation and aspiration. Desperation to keep our
identities as we know them alive, allows for transformation of those exact
identities. We know of many stories in which people who had near death
experiences are transformed for ever. There is a certain lightness and freedom
that they may experience that is certainly not common among others. It is not
that desperation is gone away and now their life is full of light. It is just
that they began to experience certain non-attachment and let go that gives
them freedom to experience themselves and the world more fully.
On the other hand underlying fears, instincts and survival based issues never
go away. If one does not accept and embrace oneself with warts and all
(embracing ones shadow or darkness if you might) the old identity raises its
head more prominently now and actually invalidates the whole transformation
experience. People feel more negative and more upset about what led to
transformation. In other words, the seperation and loneliness is enhanced and
fears dominate.

Aspiration, on the other hand, creates 'a gap' in our perception of our own
identity vs. feedback from others on our identity. Because that feedback is
appreciative we feel like we are larger for others. When we begin to become
comfortable with that 'larger' identity and live into it, the transformation
has sneaked in, in a subtle way and has a chance to change the identity for
ever. Because it is associated with joy and positive emotions, we also invite
such change consciously and work to repeat those 'positive behavioral

That is why appreciative inquiry and Open space are such a great combination.
Both support and build on each other and with a support structure like this
mail list, we do create an appreciative field for people to be themselves and
open to learn from each other.

You might ask what do we do rest of the time when we are neither desperate or
aspring-- we live on auto-pilot. We just keep doing the same things mindlessly
expecting different results.

enough said
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New year
In a message dated 12/22/98 9:32:14 AM, you wrote:

<<Birgitt Bolton wrote:


> And I don't try to convince. When an

> individual or organization is ready for transformation, or has transformed

> and is waiting for itself to catch up with itself, he/she/it will know and

> be ready

Yes! Very well described. As the shrinks say, the client has got

to want to get better.

> As in the life of the individual, so in the life of the organization--we

> often struggle against our transformation not so much because we are


> of failure as that we are so afraid of our success, success beyond our

> wildest expectations. We are afraid of our light as individuals. We are

> afraid of the success that we can be as organizations.

I think it is important to explain why the thought of success can

be frightening. Does everyone know this?

I see think the thought of success can be frightening to people

because it throws light on all the small thinking that went before -

the excuses, conceits, complaining, and general stick-in-the-mud

behavior that produces failure.  The horror is in realising that one

has been responsible for all that misery, and that the solutions were

so simple, and were sitting in plain view all along.

What do you think?

Also, success is not a "state" so much as a continuing process of

growth and expression.


Rhodes Hileman

mailto:rhodes at smsys.com      land: 206-328-8364

http://www.smsys.com/        cell: 206-595-9174

We must always seek to ally ourselves with

that part of the enemy that knows what is right.


Hi Rhodes,

I think success is a process too. And I think the deepest inner core of

people is beautiful. Why we put all the baggage in the way so that others

can't see our beauty is part of the human journey. The unpacking to the

treasure is wonderous when it happens. I've watched many people through the

journey of this phase. And am in tears every time. Quite why fear is such a

big phenomenon, I don't know. I do know that it is. And fear of success---is

this because of our conditioning by our families, our institutions, our

religious institutions over the last millenium. I think so. A state of our

collective consciousness. When individuals awaken out of that state one by

one, it is magical. I believe that now is a time of organizations waking out

of that state so that more and more people have the chance of moving into a

different collective consciousness. One that is inspired. Open Space is

certainly a means of enabling this awakening to our success, to overcoming

the deep inbred fear that collectively we have bought into.

Anyhow, those are my thoughts on the subject.

Warmest regards,


More information about the OSList mailing list