Today we finally reach the last of the Zentropist’s Primary Attributes. In doing so, we travel full-circle, reflecting an observation made by the Lakota Medicine Man Black Elk who said, “The Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round.”
For those that choose to walk the path of the Zentropist, every day presents new challenges and new opportunities, with the possibility of uncovering fresh insights as well.
Although many in the West are more familiar with the Japanese term “Zen” in reference to a particular strain of Buddhist philosophy, its origin and roots lie somewhere to the West of Nippon, perhaps in India although it rose to prominence in China, particularly in its adaptation (along with Taoist teachings) by the monks of the now world famous Shaolin Temple order. In China, it goes by the name Ch’an Buddhism, and is spoken of as “The Middle Path,” which provides some clue to its essential nature.
Many are familiar, at least superficially, with the concepts of Yin and Yang, of opposing forces that cannot exist independently and must operate in harmony and balance each other; for one in excess of the other leads to chaos and disharmony. If the Zentropist is to realize the over-arching goal of the path, one must come to terms with the Seventh Attribute, “The understanding that amid the seeming chaos of the world lies balance and we must seek to maintain this.”
There are many who would suggest that it is the very imbalances that manifest in our world which lead to the greatest discord and suffering. Such issues are perhaps best left to another discussion, but there is an underlying truth that our world is one filled with contrasts which operate in apparent harmony regardless of our efforts to change them or otherwise impose our will or desires.
The Zentropist must remain aware at all times that when pursuing a desired outcome, there will be consequences, intentional or not, and these must be carefully monitored so the net result of our efforts is beneficial rather than harmful. If one accepts the notion that entropy is but a measure of the order and disorder existing within a system, and the premise that chaos is invariably present to one degree or another, finding constructive means to channel the available energy into productive work is paramount.
In many respects, the Zentropist is not unlike the director on a film set, providing the unifying creative vision which is influenced by the collaborative actions of many others, ideally working in harmony but upon occasion, deliberately or not operating at cross-purposes. It is the responsibility of the Zentropist to intercede in these instances so that balance is restored and that progress continues with as little interruption as possible. The Zentropist, by virtue of working on behalf of others, does not operate in a vacuum and all actions and behavior must be governed accordingly.
The Zentropist is also wise to keep the following axiom close at hand and to diligently practice it, for the Zentropist by definition must assume the mantle (and burden) of leadership and in exercising this responsibility, may need to delegate his or her authority. However, while a leader may delegate authority, a leader can never delegate nor abdicate responsibility or accountability. As a general rule, Corporate America has shirked this philosophy for years and the results are all too apparent in the current global financial crisis. Those that pursue personal financial enrichment and material rewards at the expense of all else will inevitably suffer the consequences and reap the whirlwind which their selfish and self-serving desires have spawned.
The leader that embraces the simple yet vital principle above may very well have what it takes to walk the path of the Zentropist.