The Control Illusion

The Control Illusion

Koestler defined a holarchy as a hierarchy of self-regulating holons that function first as autonomous wholes in supra-ordination to their parts, secondly as dependent parts in sub-ordination to controls on higher levels, and thirdly in coordination with their local environment.   Simply said, “I recognize and accept that I am dependent on and an integral part of a bigger whole and at the same time I am 100% responsible for my own behavior, thinking, engagement, experience and being.”

In his inaugural speech President Kennedy urged his “Fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you – Ask what you can do for your country.” He then continued by addressing his international audience: “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

This is not a sentiment one hears in today’s political utterances and a long way from “America first” and “make America great again.” Brexit, Scottish independence, and many other border disputes across the planet are often justified by regaining sovereignty and self-determination.

Astronauts from all countries reported that their most inspiring experience (referred to as the “Overview Effect”3) was witnessing the majesty and vulnerability of the singularity of our Planet Earth floating in space with no artificial man-made lines visible, which they knew continued to spawn wars, death and division in the quest to survive through gaining control and the upper hand.

So much for the philosophical insights and perspectives on the nature of the Human mind.  What relevance might they have for the world we live in and experience today?  I don’t have answers but rather suggest questions and practices that may help to make sense of the “world sense making” we are bombarded with today, by the media, on-line communication networks, and the marketing from all forms of authoritarian bodies be they political, commercial, religious, educational or cultural.


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Tony TurnbullTony Turnbull is a vastly experienced manager and consultant. He worked for 25 years in the consumer products industry in supply chain, HR and product launch functions and spent the next 25 years consulting to top international companies. His approach focuses on how individuals and organisations can achieve breakthrough improvements through building powerful working relationships. Tony has a passion for innovation and is continually inventing new leadership approaches that keep his clients performing at the edge of their capabilities.

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