by Dennis William Hauck



The Alchemy of Love

by Robert Boldman  (Heartsfire Books, Santa Fe, NM)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        The mysterious alchemy that shapes one’s soul is often initiated by a chance encounter with a more spiritually advanced person. Sometimes just being in the presence of someone more spiritually evolved can cause profound changes in one’s behavior and outlook. That was the case for hospital technician Robert Boldman. In the summer of 1979, when he ventured into the garden of a small Catholic seminary in rural Ohio, he had no idea that the priest he met there would be the catalyst that would reveal the spiritual truths for which he had been searching all his life.

When Boldman was a young boy, he nearly drown in a river near his home and had a near-death experience that revealed another side to existence that no one else seemed to know about. As a result, he began a lifelong search for metaphysical insight that took many directions. He studied the writings of the mystics, traveled alone for many years seeking a mentor, lived one summer among the homeless, practiced kundalini yoga, spent another year in isolation as part of a meditative retreat, and ended up working with terminally ill children to help them in their transition. Though Boldman studied the teachings of the Dali Lama, Thich Nat Hahn, Meister Eckhart, Ramana Maharchi, and other spiritual leaders, it was a mysterious priest by the name of Father Thomas, who would show him that there are many remarkable spiritual figures who live anonymously.

Father Thomas’s message was deceptively simple. He taught that the stream of love is ever pouring into and around us from the mind of God, and the greatest force in the universe is spontaneous and unconditional love. In his lifelong search for meaning, Boldman had experienced many mystical and often unintelligible states of consciousness, which are part of the spiritual alchemy he sets forth in this book. However, none of these experiences provided him with as much strength and focus as what he had learned from the simple lessons of Father Thomas.

“I’ve documented fully what I experienced,” he told Whole Life Times, “so that readers will be aware of the spiritual possibilities and recognize similar patterns in their own spiritual work. However, it is my firm belief that these experiences should not be cultivated for their own sake. Simplicity and loving attention are the spiritual path and its fruition. We are all being led by our own hearts, and if we listen, we will know what experiences have value to our unfoldment. We all are the teacher and the taught.”



The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy

by Gregg Braden (Harmony Books, New York)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        In 1947, in eleven caves in Qumran near the Dead Sea, a cache of 870 ancient scrolls were discovered that represented the earliest known version of the Christian Bible. The scrolls contained many texts that had been deleted from later published versions of the Bible, and the controversial scrolls were not released to the general public until 1991. The problem is that the scrolls contain many discrepancies between the originals and modern versions of the Bible. There are also previously unknown texts, including twelve scrolls written by Moses.

        Among these never before published manuscripts is a disturbing text written by the prophet Isaiah. According to scholars, the Isaiah Scroll is a chronological tale of a global apocalypse followed by a lasting peace. Gregg Braden, however, takes a different view. He believes the scroll is offering us a choice for the future.

        Author of Awaken to Zero Point and Walking Between the Worlds, Braden is a geologist and computer systems designer who has become a respected authority on the spiritual philosophy of ancient cultures. Using a unique blend of quantum physics, and Hopi, Mayan, and Egyptian texts, Braden weaves a compelling theory of how we have lost the mystical power of “active prayer” to choose our future.

        “We are entering,” notes Braden, “a new era of understanding the inner science of prayer, prophecy, and the agents of change that Isaiah and others acknowledged in their writings. Deceptively simple, Isaiah’s prophecies remind us of two things. First, through the science of prophecy we may glimpse future consequences of choices made in the present. Second, we embody the collective power to choose which future we experience. It is through our consideration of others in our daily lives that we piece together the experiences that bring our futures into focus. This is the Isaiah Effect – the expression of an ancient science stating that we may change the outcome of our future through the choices we make in each moment of the present.”

        Ancient cultures knew the secrets of mass prayer – the union of collective focus, thought, and emotion – that enables us to change our course and transcend what appears to be destined outcome. The startling new world envisioned by quantum physics, in which consciousness is a force in nature, reinforces this view. As amazing as it seems, by redirecting where we place our attention, we can bring about a new course of events.



The Lost Memoirs of Edgar Cayce

edited by A. Robert Smith (A.R.E. Press, Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        When Edgar Cayce was seven years old, he told his parents that he could see and talk with “visions” of dead relatives. The boy also learned how to memorize textbooks by going into a sleeplike trance with his head resting on the books. By the time he was 21, he had discovered how to diagnose people’s illnesses by entering a deep sleep and telepathically projecting himself into their minds and bodies. Over the next forty-five years, Cayce successfully diagnosed and recommended treatment for over 6,000 people. He even learned how to peer into the past and future and became known as the “sleeping prophet.”

        There is no doubt that Edgar Cayce was a remarkable man, but most of us know him only through his impersonal psychic readings. Though Cayce hoped to write his personal memoirs, the humble man never found time before he died in 1945. Now, with the discovery of a large number of Cayce’s papers in which he set down his deepest feelings about the events in his life, the public can gain true insight into Cayce the man. The author has assembled Cayce’s lost papers into a seamless “autobiography” of one of the great spiritual leaders of our time. The book presents a continuous chronicle of the life of the sleeping prophet that makes him truly come alive.

        While still a child, Cayce earned the nickname “Old Man” because of his mature demeanor. Quite early in life, he began an earnest study of the Bible and believed “the Scriptures tell us about every phase of psychic power.” He became an active member of the Disciples of Christ when he was just twelve years old and spent much of his time talking with ministers and performing various duties for the church. Christianity became the single strongest and lasting influence in his life, but it was not the typical Sunday school catechism that fed Cayce’s mind. At an early age, he forged a living relationship with God. “It bothered me a great deal as a child that God spoke to the people in the Bible and did not speak to us,” Cayce wrote. “Now I believe that He does speak to us, if we will only listen.” By actively seeking out God through prayerful meditation and the suspension of the bodily and mental states that detract from that connection, Cayce was able to tap into a wonderful source of truth and beauty. “God’s purpose,” he noted, “is that we make ourselves a channel through which His spirit may manifest.”



The Rights of the Dying

by David Kessler (HarperPernnial, New York, New York)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        It is hard to think of anyone more qualified to write this book. David Kessler, a student of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, is the founder of dozens of agencies that work with the terminally ill and has counseled hundreds of people with life-threatening diseases, including Elizabeth Taylor and the late Michael Landon. With this book, he has created a badly needed companion for life's final moments, an insightful guide for loved ones, and a passionate plea for the rights of the dying.

        The vast majority of people still die in hospitals where they are given few rights, where their real needs and concerns are often overlooked, where they are treated like second-class citizens. But the final months leading to the end should be a time of deliberate dissolution, a powerful place in one's life ¾ not an experience of being brushed aside.

        What are the rights of the dying? According to Kessler, the first right is simply to be treated as a living human being. We should be allowed freedom from pain and enjoy comfort without being embarassed. The dying have the right to maintain a sense of hopefulness, however changing its focus may become. They also have the right to be cared for by those who really care, by those who can maintain a sense of hopefulness, however changing this may be. Everyone has the right to die in peace and dignity.

        David Kessler helps us overcome our reluctance to discuss death, teaches us how to talk to the dying, and allows us to maintain hope and balance in a time of suffering and separation. His book can help you face your own death with dignity and inner peace. Just before her death, someone who did just that read Kessler's manuscript captured its spirit in just a few words.

        "This book is source of reflection over that mysterious and beautiful moment which awaits us all," said Mother Teresa. "It helps people to understand that death is the full surrender of ourselves to love, like falling into the arms of God. That is death ¾ going home to God."



Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh

by Matthew Fox (Harmony Books, New York)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        A former priest whose philosophy of “creation spirituality” got him thrown out of the Catholic Church, Matthew Fox went on to write nearly two dozen controversial yet highly influential books. His bestselling Original Blessing laid the groundwork for what he calls the Theology of Spirit, a unique blend of practical mysticism and Christianity aimed at reconciling our modern society’s deep spiritual wounds.

        In his latest book, Fox once again challenges the Puritanical view that all flesh is corrupt and sinful, but this time he expands the concept to include all of nature, the “flesh” of the whole planet. He traces the origin of this fundamental error in human perspective to the fifteenth-century Catholic scholar Augustine, who articulated a worldview in which spirit and matter, as manifestations of good and evil, were forever at war, and it was absolutely necessary to take sides, to reject matter and flesh as unredeemable. This view, according to Fox, is in itself a source of evil on a grand scale. Fox shows that this distorted view is directly responsible for such modern day evils as personal selfishness, racism and sexism, corporate greed, consumerism and economic domination, political cynicism, and ecological destruction.

        In response to this dangerous and often unspoken assumption in the human mind, Fox proposes consciously adopting the view of another Catholic theologian, Thomas Aquinas, who defined evil and sin as “misdirected love.” Fox’s blueprint for human spiritual renewal is an active and loving reconciliation between flesh and spirit. Gingerly, as if he were stepping on the toes of generations of church elders, he demonstrates how spirit is capable of sin and then unveils the inherent blessedness of matter. Drawing parallels between the seven sacred bodily charkas of Eastern teachings with the seven deadly sins of Western teachings, Fox suggests an “adjustment” to our culture’s view of reality, a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, and a greater respect for the divine presence in all of nature.

        “God has become incarnate, made flesh,” Fox suggests, “not just in the historical Jesus but in all of us. All of us are incarnations – home and dwelling places for the divine – all people, the poor no less than the comfortable. All races, all religions, all sexes, all sexual orientations, and all beings – four-legged, the winged, the rock people and tree people and cloud peoples – all are dwelling places for the Divine.”



Across the Universe with John Lennon

by Linda Keen (Hampton Roads Publishing)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        Linda Keen, author of Intuition Magic (Hampton Roads 1998), has always been fascinated by the spiritual depth she sensed about John Lennon and always wanted to interview him for a book. Lennon, of course, was the lead Beatle singer who was shot to death by a crazed gunman in front of the Dakota apartments in New York City in 1980. Having missed her chance while Lennon was still alive, she decided to focus her considerable psychic talents on contacting him on the Other Side.

        What is amazing about this book, however, is not that she was able to contact John Lennon ¾ dozens of psychics have already claimed to have done that. What is amazing is the volume of evidence she accumulated to prove her claims. These one-on-one conversations with John Lennon seem like the real thing! They are amusing, revealing, and thoughtful conversations that reflect Lennon's wry wit, spiritual depth, and sometimes absurd manner of telling stories. Along with insights on his new surroundings, Lennon expresses his views on the break up of the Beatles, the dangers of being a celebrity, and even the assassin who took his life. At one point he reveals how he and Yoko Ono always believed they were soulmates from past lives and even incarnated once as Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

        Surprisingly, John Lennon had a more active role in writing this book than anyone might have guessed. In spring 1990, a diskette from Linda's word processor containing three years work had mysteriously gotten erased. She was in shock. All she had left of her work were unedited printouts. "Why, Oh why!" she cried out loud. At that instant, Lennon appeared before her.

        "Poor thing!" he snorted. "But losing the characters on that funny plastic thing is telling you you're working on a project which is getting too big to have on your machine ¾ it can't even make copies, for Christ's sake! Yer being' warned ¾ just in time, mind you ¾ before you have even more to lose."

        "What are you getting at?" Linda asked.

        "Dearie, this is one of those rites of passage. You should start using a computer ¾ a real one, not that half-assed thing you're using now."

After awhile, Lennon finally admits he erased the diskette because he thought the word processor Linda was using would "screw up the project." Linda gets upset and tells Lennon she can't learn a computer plus rewrite everything she has lost.

"Yer fear is naked illusion, believe me," says Lennon. "I'm sure you'll learn to use one of those things. In fact, it'll improve yer creative powers ¾ just wait and see!" 



Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love

by Brian Weiss, M.D.  (Warner Books, New York)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        Brian Weiss is a trained physician and psychiatrist who learned of the hidden, psychic influences in our lives when he first cured a woman of clinical symptoms by regressing her to past lives and working out problems there. Even more amazing was that during the hypnotic sessions, the woman could make contact with higher sources of knowledge, intelligent beings who gave her information and insights that did not come from her own memory. That was twenty years ago, and after Dr. Weiss wrote about her story in his best selling book Many Lives, Many Masters, the woman’s messages from the “Masters” have transformed the lives of thousands of people.

In his next book, Only Love Is Real, Weiss used dozens of other cases and more insights from the Masters to show that we all possess soul mates from our past who wait to reunite with us today. Now in his latest book, he reveals perhaps the most important message of all from the spirit guides who shape our lives. It is an amazingly simple yet powerful truth: the essential life force in the universe and ultimate healing energy is available to us all. It is called love.

“When people have intense spiritual experiences,” Dr. Weiss explains, “the energy of love is nearly always evoked. This form of love is unconditional, absolute, and transcendent. It is like a pulse of pure energy, an energy that also possesses powerful attributes, such as wisdom, compassion, timelessness, and sublime consciousness. Love is the most basic and pervasive energy that exists. It is the essence of our being and of our universe. Love is the fundamental ‘building block’ of nature connecting and unifying all things, all people. Love is more than a goal, more than a fuel, more than an ideal. Love is our nature. We are love.”

Weiss’ goal in writing this book is to show us how to recognize the power of love, how to cultivate and enlarge our experience of love in ourselves and in our relationships, and how to manifest and radiate our love to others. Love realized in this way brings joy, health, and happiness into our lives. In this book, this courageous modern physician is telling his colleagues and the general public that love is the ultimate healing force and that it works on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels simultaneously. That is a staggeringly important message for our materialistic times.   



Operation Earth Light: A Glimpse Into the World of the Ascended Masters

by Brian Keneipp  (Aetherius Press, Los Angeles)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        The author of this fascinating book was a close disciple of Dr. George King, a respected metaphysician and master of yoga who died in 1997. They spent twenty years together working on a variety of esoteric projects, including vital missions for mankind in cooperation with the Ascended Masters, a group of human adepts who achieved enlightenment and became part of the spiritual hierarchy of earth, the Great White Brotherhood. These advanced masters have decided to stay back on earth rather than progress on to higher dimensions and civilizations in order to help mankind evolve.

The Ascended Master have been guiding our spiritual leaders for thousands of years, and this book documents powerful keys to our continued evolution that were transmitted to Dr. King in 1990. Called Operation Earth Light, the information reveals that our world is due for a major spiritual change that can only be fully understood from the broader perspective of these teachings. These truths, which have never been published before, are based on the actual transcripts of conversations between Dr. King and the Ascended Master. They show how the planet itself is releasing the energy that will fuel the transformation of human beings and even instruct us in how to make various machines to accumulate and direct this energy. By consciously joining the Operation Earth Light effort, we can work with that spiritual energy to heal and transform ourselves and the earth at the same time. But that work is of necessity both physical and spiritual, and the Great White Brotherhood is not what most people would think of as Ascended Masters.

“These evolved Masters,” explains the author, “ do not become instant Gods, so to speak, spending all their time in blissful meditation. They still act on the physical plane. They use their hands, build equipment, and operate machines. Physical equipment is still needed and used by such spiritually advanced Masters. However, such work always has a spiritual side as well. The equipment in Operation Earth Light is linked to different psychic centers of the Mother Earth. To build and position such equipment one needs an advanced sensitivity to the Mother Earth. The equipment must also be handled very carefully, as potentized spiritual energy will be flowing through it. All parts of the equipment must be kept clean both physically and psychically. All this takes a high degree of awareness, awareness gained through hundreds of lives of spiritual practice and experience in the classroom of earth.”



A Higher Standard of Leadership

by Keshavan Nair (Berrett-Koehler Publishers)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        There are seemingly hundreds of management gurus, each with their own views of how supervisory personnel can meet the modern challenges of re-engineering, the global economy, downsizing, team dynamics, and other changing organizational paradigms. What qualifies these authors and workshop leaders is usually some combination of academic credentials and consulting work spent reconfiguring real-life organizations. In such cases, lots of enthusiastic operating procedures and new programs with catchy names are introduced, but often it is very difficult to see if they are actually working any better than the old systems. In fact, sometimes it seems as if the emphasis is being put on the structure of the organization and not the front line where the battle is fought ¾ the individual manager. It is almost as if a doctor tried to cure his patients by remodeling their houses. Our attention is being diverted to the place where the manager works and not what is going on inside him or her.

That is not surprising, since it is a lot easier not to have to deal with the human qualities of leadership, and instead, take the “objective” approach, which also makes for more colorful slide presentations. After all, it is much more impressive to create stunning bar graphs and flow charts of departmental efficiencies than to get up before an audience and try to talk about the intangible qualities of leadership that are undeniably the most important ingredient in organizational success. Every once in a while, however, an author comes along who understands that management is primarily about leadership, and one such person is Dr. Keshavan Nair. Though Dr. Nair has the same impressive credentials as most of his colleagues ¾ years of experience as a corporate executive and now a management consultant to Fortune 100 companies ¾ he is not afraid to go right to the heart of the problem in all his books and lectures. For Nair, management is about managers, and the only way to judge managers is the degree to which they have developed their skills of leadership. There is no single magic fix for all organizations, and nothing brings an organization to its knees faster than a management force that behaves like a bunch of mindless robots. Good leadership is a messy, human act of creation every day.

So how do we teach good leadership? One way is to examine the lives of great leaders and see what similar chords can be struck inside us. In his latest book, Nair has taken that principle to the ultimate in his study of what many consider to be one of the world’s greatest and most practical leaders ever ¾ Mohandas Gandhi. Through illustrative examples from Gandhi’s life and writings, Nair identifies the commitments to leadership discipline that Gandhi made and describes the courage and determination necessary to work and lead by them. By looking at Gandhi’s commitments to conscience, openness, service, moral values, and reduced personal attachments, Nair explores the process of making decisions, setting goals, and implementing actions in the spirit of service that is essential to the realization of a higher standard of leadership, not only in the workplace but in our communities and governments as well.

When he was nineteen years old, Nair was forced to spend many months in bed because of a serious illness. He used the time to read books by and about the life of Gandhi. “In the hurry of my youth,” he confesses in the introduction to this book, “my evaluation of Gandhi had been, to say the least, superficial. I embarked on a reading and study program and came to realize that Gandhi was not a saint. Making him into one was to do him a disservice: it made it too easy to categorize his life and ideas as impractical ¾ which is exactly what I had done. I began to understand the heroic nature of the man in his willingness to address fundamental questions and then to try with all his being to live by the answers he found. I developed an appreciation of his personal courage, his faith in human nature, and his spirit of service. I realized there was a majesty to Gandhi that came from his inner strength. I became convinced that, among those leaders who had been engaged in social and political activities of any significant scale, Gandhi stood alone in representing the best in human spirit. He was a man of action who devoted his life to service within the context of politics and social reform, always striving ¾ though not always succeeding ¾ to live up to his ideals of truth and nonviolence.”  

This book will probably be the most interesting management book you will ever read. It is full of insight and surprising distillations of Gandhi’s thought that apply directly to the mundane world of the workplace. Supervisors and managers at all levels will feel a new esteem based on the fact that they share in a exalted process ¾ enlightened leadership ¾ that can effectively change the world. Gandhi exemplified that highest standard of leadership for us all. 



Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership

by Joseph Jaworski (Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        Most supervisors have had moments when things come together in an almost unbelievable way, when events that could never have been predicted seem to conspire to help us reach our goals. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung named this ability “synchronicity,” by which he meaningful coincidences or significant patterns of chance that seem to align with our own thoughts or contribute to our progress towards reaching a personal goal. Many of us have experienced this in the form of what has been dubbed the “library ghost.” We are deeply involved in doing research on a subject or looking for a specific reference, when a relevant title falls off a shelf or is lying open on a table, or just the right quote we are looking for appears on the first page to which we turn.

        Another example, showing how synchronicity works across time, is the writing of this book. The author’s inspiration for this project came from his father, Leon Jaworski. Sound familiar? He was the counterpart to Clinton-nemesis Kenneth Starr in the Nixon scandal. As Watergate special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski often expressed to his son his dismay at how moral and ethical standards could be lacking at such high levels of government. Disturbed by these issues and the questions they raised, his son began a life-long journey to an understanding of the deeper issues of leadership. His efforts culminated in this book, which was released not long before the latest crisis in America’s leadership erupted in newspaper headlines and a blitz of special television reports across the nation. Clinton’s alleged paramour lives at the Watergate, and taped recordings are once again the medium that threatens to topple the presidency. Now that’s synchronicity!

        Of course, synchronicity is a force in government in other ways too. In fact, it has been called the most essential leadership capacity for our time: how we can collectively shape our own future. Management specialists are beginning to realize that the great intangible ingredient in great leaders is the ability to set the stage for “predictable miracles.” It is a trait that has more to do with our total being ¾ our total orientation of character and consciousness ¾ than what we say or do. Effective leadership is about creating, day-by-day, a domain in which human beings continually deepen their understanding of reality and are actively involved in shaping their future and the future of the organization.

        Jaworski describes three basic shifts of mind required if we are to create and access a synchronistic unfolding of future events. The first major shift in consciousness is in how we see the world. Surprisingly, this is the same shift of consciousness that physicists went through in changing from a mechanistic view of the universe to the quantum view of interconnectedness and constant change. This view changes the universe (and the organization) from a static, fixed entity to a fundamentally open and living presence that adapts to the changes around it. This immediately opens up the potential for change. The future is no longer fixed or certain in our minds, and we shift from resignation to a sense of unlimited possibility in which we create the future every moment.

        The second major shift required to develop synchronistic consciousness is in how we understand relationships. In a universe in constant flux, the only things that can stay the same are those that keep their relationship to one another; the organizing principle of the universe is relationship. The business world, like the quantum world, consists of “intermediate states in a network of interactions,” and the only method of organizing this chaos is in how we interpret the relationships between the individual components of the network. In a synchronistic organization, the effective leader is not tied to a specific paradigm but is alive and responsive enough to focus on the relationships between people, events, and positive and negative influences throughout the organization.  

        The third shift necessary to alter consciousness and become an effective leader is in how we make commitments. “In my old way of operating,” says the author, “I was very clear about my capacity to commit to something. Commitment meant being highly disciplined in sticking with something. It was the idea of commitment where you seize fate by the throat and do whatever it takes to succeed.  

        “It was only later that I began to understand another, deeper aspect of commitment. This kind of commitment begins not with will, but with willingness. We begin to listen to the inner voice that helps guide us as our journey unfolds. The underlying component of this kind of commitment is our trust in the playing our of our destiny. We must have the integrity to stand in a state of surrender, knowing that whatever we need at the moment to meet our destiny will be available to us. It is at this point that we alter our relationship with the future.”



New Traditions in Business: Spirit and Leadership in the 21st Century

Edited by John Renesch (Berrett-Koehler)

Reviewed by Dennis William Hauck


        A fundamental change in management thinking is underway in the business world. The transformation goes beyond the traditional quest for productivity and profit. The movement focuses instead on such issues as creating a more caring workplace, empowering people to unleash their full creativity, and achieving more congruence between our inner spiritual values and our work. Management and business are now seen as a positive forces for change in the world.

        This book brings together fifteen of the foremost thinkers about the new business traditions, and is the first collection of seminal writings about the various dimensions of the paradigm shift that is occurring in the workplace. These visionaries include futurists, such as Willis Harman, president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences; authors of important new books like Peter Senge (The Art and Practice of Learning Organization); educators such as Michael Rey, developer of Stanford University's "New Paradigm Business" courses; and leaders of organizations promoting the new thinking, such as Charles Kiefer, chairman of Innovation Associates. Together, the contributors present a clear picture of how to implement new management principles that place a greater emphasis on meaningful work, spiritual values, social responsibility, and visionary leadership.

        Part I of the book describes the common foundations and key dimensions of these new principles. It follows the historical roots of the movement and points out how the new paradigm differs from traditional business practice. This section identifies the shifts in human consciousness that form the context for the transformation and emphasizes the role of spiritual values , vision, and community in the new business culture.

        Part II details specific strategies and management tools for business transformation. It describes how to create greater community in organizations, how to develop and communicate visionary leadership, and how to empower people to shape their own destinies and tap their full creative energies. In other words, this section lists the new leadership skills needed to build learning organizations that bridge the gap between the "material age" and the "relationship age".

        The material age is one of two possible worldviews that have competed for consensus throughout history. This view is based on the assumption that the universe is an immense number of separate parts, each of which competes for its own self-interest in relation to all other things. In this way, evolution is seen as the result of the survival of the fittest through competition. The other worldview is based on the assumption that the universe is an immense number of connected parts, each of which cooperates with all the other parts in the interest of the whole and only secondarily cooperates in the interest of itself or any sub-group of parts. Evolution, in this view, is the result of the cooperation of all things for the maturation of the unified whole.

        The continuum between these two opposing worldviews is really the spectrum of human maturity. At the extreme of the material viewpoint is competition onto death (war). At the extreme of the relationship viewpoint is self-conscious harmony with other people and the universe as a whole (peace). In between are perspectives that might be described as restrained competition, enlightened self-interest, or self-conscious cooperation.

        The tradition view of management seeks to make business a well-oiled machine with a structure shaped like a pyramid of individual boxes. The organization is run by an army of hired hands under the direction of an elite group of upper management. Lower level managers execute an aggressive strategy to lower costs and attack the competition. Such an organization is either in the service of minimizing budgets or maximizing financial returns to stockholders. The recent problems of corporate giants like General Motors and IBM can be traced to their rigid adherence to such traditional management principles.

        The emerging view of management sees the organization as a dynamic community linked by networks of interdependent teams. These teams are composed of individuals with diverse characteristics using all their talents and guided by a shared purpose. Managers are committed to a living strategy of environmental scanning and continuous learning, seeking to stimulate and direct the energies of the workers. Such an organization is in the service of the good of the larger society and long-term customer satisfaction. The success of innovative corporations like Microsoft and Federal Express can be traced to their flexible, holistic management policies.

        This book is dedicated to managers in all types of business communities, who possess a vision for a better world and have the courage to evoke positive change — helping to establish new traditions that enable organizations to thrive while being responsible to the whole of humanity.