Re: Fadism LO233

Jim Michmerhuizen (
Fri, 24 Feb 1995 20:35:25 +0001 (EST)

Cathie's remarks (LO136 quoted below) on the scariness of challenging or
even doubting one's personal assumptions or world-view are right on.

There are some among us whose reaction to this scariness -- once they've
experienced it -- is just the opposite of what, emotionally, we would
instinctively understand and sympathize with. "If my own ordinary
assumptions about the world are that soft and icky and easily destroyed,
I maybe ought to spend some effort examining them. Some, perhaps, are
softer and ickier than others. If I can identify those and get rid of
them, maybe what's left will be a little more robust and dependable."

Back when philosophy wasn't academic, the name for people like this was
philosopher. Descartes, for example, whose thinking I have an almost
violent antipathy to, was nonetheless admirable for the resoluteness with
which he undertook a program like the one described above.

Much of the work that this group is doing is of this sort too. One of
the revolutions that is going on today -- there are, I suppose, hundreds or
thousands -- is that philosophy is freeing itself from the universities.

There are more different kinds of people in the world than there are people...

On 16 Feb 1995, Cathie Leavitt wrote:

> Replying to LO109:
> Joe,
> Liked your article. I agree that American managers (and probably most of
> the rest of us) are uncomfortable with changing the way we think and
> challenging our basic assumptions. After all, if the system works for us,
> why challenge it? For me, the motivation to examine my assumptions has
> grown out of the pain and hollowness of living a life out of balance with
> natural laws. Challenging my deepest assumptions about work and people is
> scary. These assumptions have formed the ground of my life until now; if I
> challenge them, I start to feel the ground shaking beneath me. Who will
> save me then? (We are so accustomed to believing in an external source of
> salvation: a new theory, belief, system of government, way of doing
> business, the right job, the right relationship.) Unless I have some inner
> source of courage to confront my pain and see what is true, I will retreat
> to the comfort of my illusions. The real question is, how do I develop
> this kind of courage? Can I help my friends, co-workers, and my child to
> develop it?
> Cathie Leavitt