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Evoking Authenticity

Through polyhedral global configuration of local paradoxes (Part #1)


Introduction
Paradoxes
Bridging a paradox: opening a new space
Non-viability of a meta-stable space
Stability through configuration
Containment and authenticity
Nested sequence of polyhedra
Movement and focus of attention
Authenticity as "re-membering" the present moment
Cultivating the present moment
"Making a gateway"
Tragedy of "dis-membered gateways"
Modelling: construction of a dwelling or temple by configuring polarities
Modelling: stakeholders and authenticity
Modelling: configuring paradoxes through the tensional integrity of their relationships
Modelling: authentic dialogue and quarterstaff combat?
Modelling: encoding contrasting understandings of authenticity
Modelling: authentic dialogue as a game?
Illustrations from Taoism and Buddhism ?
Unauthentic
References

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Introduction

Society is highly stressed by a range of amazing paradoxes, contradictions or intractable inequalities. Most frequently cited, for example, is the fact that the top 20 percent of society worldwide owns or controls 86 percent of resources, and the bottom 20 percent owns or controls 1 percent of resources. This situation is most forcefully exemplified by the income disparity between employees of a corporation and the disproportionate financial rewards accorded to their CEOs.

A second example might be the explicit constitutional right of citizens to bear arms in the world's exemplar of democracy (a major trader in such arms) -- which officially supports the "decommissioning" of weapons of opposing factions in Northern Ireland, but fails to promote that constitutional right amongst its coalition partners and as a key factor in its efforts to export democracy to other countries. Is a heavily armed citizenry to be considered essential to the checks and balances of such a democratic system -- and to its comprehension and successful uptake by others?

Individuals have to deal with such "irrational" situations, whether in their personal capacity or through the organizations in which they work. They have to explain them to their children. The track record of national and international institutions in responding to these situations is far from encouraging In the example cited, the gap is known to be increasing between rich and poor.

Following the dramatic shift towards a monopolar world system as a result of the new new strategic policy of the USA, this paper explores the fruitful implications of the challenges highlighted in an earlier paper (America as Eve-ill Empire: Evocation of Authenticity Elsewhere, 2003)

The exploration which follows focuses on the possibility that by both recognizing the range of these paradoxes, as well as configuring them appropriately together, a much healthier way forward will emerge. This approach is distinct from that employed in global modelling (based on systems analysis), or in identifying the elaborate networks of relationships between problems or strategies. The concern here is with how the configuration of paradoxes is comprehended as a whole, especially by an individual who is in many ways torn apart by them -- for example: longing to be richer (evoking envy) and feeling guilty compassion for the poorer (associated with a degree of disdain).

The specific focus is on whether the range of paradoxes can be represented and comprehended as a spherically symmetrical polyhedral structure. Of particular interest is whether such a "global" structure could be endowed with the mnemonic properties which, through their pattern of interference, could evoke another way of being in the world. The question is whether, appropriately configured, a pattern of paradoxical disparities could constitute a form of "gateway" -- through which a more authentic and integrated mode of being becomes viable, whether for society or for the individual.

hentic and integrated mode of being becomes viable, whether for society or for the individual.


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