I go in and out reading text from the book to adding my own comments. The image is of my own notes from summarizing this highly dense foreword. It is helping me make sense not only of the whole book but also how to present this in a limited timeline.
From the Foreword:
“I look at Zen not as a religion but as a way of thinking, and at scientific breakthrough-the joy of creating something-as a form of enlightenment.”~Albert Low
“Conflict is the very source of creation; thus, what is most to be feared by the company that wants it’s management to remain creative, is loss of a sense of conflict through the resolution of conflict by an old man’s methods.”~Albert Low
More from the Foreword:
“Dilemmas arise out of the whole; problems come with the luxury of being able to reduce the whole to component parts. With dilemmas, unlike problems, there are no right solutions; one can only choose the most suitable decision. This has always been the case but nowadays managers do not simply have to wrestle with dilemmas that arise within their own companies, but also with those that arise from the interaction of their companies with society as a whole.”~Albert Low
Karl Marx said that every system carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. … Pollution is fast becoming the number-one threat to the future- (Note: it is the number one issue here in 2015). “Outpacing other threats such as overpopulation, depleted resources, and nuclear disaster. Pollution, however, is but one horn of the societal dilemma. The need for full employment is another. The present specters of depression, unemployment, poverty, and disillusionment are the other side of the story. The pendulum will swing again, jobs will once more become plentiful, but how much more litter, discarded chemicals, waste material, and waste gasses can our planet survive.”~Albert Low
This was written back in the 70’s.
“A full dilemma, moreover, as this book will show, has four horns, not just two. The societal dilemma also includes the need to control inflation, which still threatens the financial structure, and also free access to credit, which has become a principle feature of that structure. Each of these four is dependent on the others and none can be resolved in isolation. Each is a dimension of the whole.”~Albert Low
He uses the term Life Force in the last paragraph of the Foreword, which is why I like this book and how it is unique for business:
“The life force that organizes species, organs, and organisms also molds organizations,. Human beings cannot conquer nature-they are nature in action. The creative leaps made by man and the creative leaps made by nature are of the same kind. Nature makes use of what may be called “un reculer pour mieux sauter,” a recoiling, in order to leap that much better. When nature’s evolutionary drive has reached a cul-de-sac, it withdraws and breaks out from a new point in a new direction. I am suggesting that Zazen is a discipline that uses un reculer pour mieux sauter; this approach provides greater facility in dealing with those organizational cul-de-sacs that are both frustrations and opportunities. Zazen seems to be as old as mankind; what is new today is its availability to the West, and specifically, its availability for dealing with the complex, multifaceted problems encountered in organizations.”~Albert Low
As in most posts on Zentrepreneurial.com, italicization of words refers to the words of either Jiddu Krishnamurti or Albert Low. The website writer’s words are in regular text.