There is much talk of ‘conscious capitalism’ and ‘conscious business’, and since I’m not a complete pessimist or cynic, I believe that there is potential for business to be a force for good. And when I say ‘business can be a force for good,’ I don’t mean the superficial ‘window dressing’ that speaks one thing, throws out some bread to distract the mob, and then wreaks havoc while everyone is looking the other way.
Why am I still a believer? Because ultimately, despite our collective delusion that business is a ‘bottom line’ affair, and that the ‘bottom line’ is a matter of ‘show me the money’, a business is a community of people. Not widgets; not units; not resources; but actual, real, live, breathing, heart-pulsing human beings. The Divine Spark remains within, whether acknowledged and actualized or not, and our potential — individually and collectively — is far greater than even we suspect.
When it comes to envisioning and creating something greater than the current mostly-destructive juggernaut that is “the Western Corporation”, the seeds of our alternative have already been planted. What will they grow into, possibly, if we turn the power, creativity and intention to nurturing them to healthy adulthood? A business culture that is predicated on a truly holographic and conscious vision, drawn from the very highest and greatest of our potential.
Assuming a holographic and truly conscious definition, what would this new-era enterprise look like? It would need to reflect these elements:
- Alignment with the most unflinching definition of ‘right livelihood’, as defined by the Right Livelihoods Award organization and by the Buddhist ‘noble eightfold path’.
- Centered in a more wholistic definition of wealth, and a solid definition of ‘enough’.
- Holographic awareness demonstrated by the organization’s leaders — a willingness to see with new eyes, hear with new ears, and embrace possibilities and tools that were once seen as ‘fringe’ (but that were adeptly practiced by our wiser ancestors and contemporary healers, shamans, visionaries, etc.).
- Truly bold and visionary leader-entrepreneurs who do the inner work and are courageous enough to step out of the mainstream, out of the ‘norm’, and embrace a much larger, much more holographic vision of what’s possible. And then set about experimenting it into existence.
- An uncovering of unexplored or unacknowledged assumptions and ‘perceptual prisons’, and a courageous releasing of those that contribute harmful effects or that don’t boldly lead to whole-system well-being.
- Asking and living into the challenging questions — radical creativity is stimulated by asking into the questions without the old, limiting assumptions or ‘perceptual prisons’.
- Humane or cruelty free — respecting the sacredness and dignity of all beings.
- Eco-balanced — minimal footprint. What you use or take, you contribute back or replenish in a way that is equal and balanced in comparison, rather than use or take the quality resource and, if anything is returned at all, it is of a quick-and-easy, inferior quality.
- Masculine/feminine balance — this speaks primarily to archetypes, which show themselves in the ‘face’ and actions of the organization.
- Inside-out — in sharp contrast to the more entrenched ‘outside-in’ (based on external feedback, norms, conditions, approval), inside-out action is influenced by true thoughtfulness, interconnectivity, intuition, and connection with something greater (Spirit, God, Universe, Creative Intelligence, etc.); demonstrative of the age-old wisdom (reflected in more recent consciousness research and theoretical physics) ‘as above, so below’ and ‘as within, so without’.
- Value-thought-word-action alignment — aligning within, and then walking the talk. • human scale and locally, independently owned, though connected, collaborating, cooperating, cocreating, and in positive relationship to the rest of the web.
- Conscious Word — aware of the power of intentions, words and thoughts; and committed to individual and organizational communication that is mindful and skillful.
- Natural systems / cycles — respectful of Nature as a teacher, and cooperative with Nature rather than ‘conqueror’ of Nature, ‘subduer’ of Nature, or exploiter of Nature. Applies the wisdom of Nature teachings to individual and organizational ‘doing’.
Anyone who has operated a business in the current, prevailing business paradigm, knows that this definition of ‘conscious capitalism’ or ‘conscious business’ is radically different from even what is considered bold or visionary within the normal, Patriarchal, Empire-derived and -aligned business culture.
This more holographic vision of ‘conscious business’ requires a significant degree of commitment and authenticity of the enterprise creators and leaders — who need to ‘know themselves’ and do the inner work to experience the outer ‘manifested wisdom’ — as well as a thorough revisiting and revamping of many underlying assumptions, institutionalized limitations, and other ‘perceptual prisons’. It calls for a willing leap into a purposeful Dark Night of the Soul, which would release the potential for courageous, unflinching, joyful, wisdom-inspired transformation.
For those who are called, it’s an exciting prospect and a noble adventure. It is, as others have said, our Great Work if we are to experience The Great Turning and leave a laudible legacy to future generations.
This article was originally featured at Ivy Sea Online and is reprinted with permission.