In the Interest of Humans
The Eternal Feminine Foundation is to provide support from an endowment of several hundred million to highly talented and passionate females who show a strong desire to be leaders who confront problems of the human condition while being human. In essence they seek a better pathway to relationships with context. While they must exhibit tolerance they do not need to be tolerant of the stupid, the unethical, the wrong, i.e., they do not need to tolerate the intolerant.
It is the sunrise or set for living systems as Humans know them?
Our Foundations fills a hole in contemporary society. It arises from a shared vision that humans must find pathways that enhance what we dream in common. We need ways that better allow individual actors to act individually in the common good, while lessening the perceived need for strong external control. Such control, soon controlled by some humans over others only invites corruption and become counter productive to the enlightenment needed in the human condition.
When population and societies could insulated from each other, via much time and space, it was possible to allow the ethically corrupt and the physically counter productive to exist and eventually eliminate themselves. The societal web is now too dense and too tightly interconnected to manage his risk of this Darwinian approach to change. As the single individual can carry or drive the technical means to destroy millions of fellow beings, or even worse, destroy the environment essential to all life, we see the time is short.
Yes, the motivation for human improvement often begins in rude experience. The looming experiences seem beyond the rude with there being no beyond the experience.
2007, Beijing: The concluding gesture of a meeting with China’s Expert Council, as “drawn” by its Chairperson. The Council, a small group of wise men working to improve the human condition as best they can. Somewhat like a societal-wide foundation except in addition to taking responsibility, they have an ability to respond. Unusual potential.
The Experts Council, a group that strives to bring leadership and stability to an Ancient society occupying very trying and uncertain times. In the Middle East and America this function is assume to be managed by reliance on religious beliefs. Their dilemma is that aspects of the religious beliefs are themselves the source of the instabilities and challenges to life. Just as the central dilemma of governmental agencies feeding what they are sent to control these religious leaders initiate what they can’t then control.
Wisdom is needed. Wisdom is often found in the unspoken thus how are leaders to access it? This is one of the great challenges for the eternal feminine as introduced to early culture in the East and West. How do you lead towards leadership?
In the West there are about 15,000 new books published each year on “leadership.” These include all kinds of how to do it books. Most deal with what is is, where to find it, how to nurture it, etc. The Eternal Feminine Foundation finds leadership of fundamental importance to our human future, if we choose to have one, but looks at the idea of leadership in a fundamentally different way then most research centers set up to foster new leadership for new organizations.
- Along with the gifted business leadership researcher, Warren Bennis, we agree that: “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather then born.”
- We do not support the command and control style of leadership seen in General George S. Patton’s often used expression: “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”
- We operate in a manner consistent with the magic of Lao Tzu: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
- We believe learning, not education, is fundamental to this approach to leadership, as expressed in the US leader John F. Kennedy: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
- We make a distinction between learning and education, where education is the process of individuals acquiring assumptions for acting. Learning is the process of questioning assumptions in order to improve or replace them.
- This is similar to the pattern of science seeking knowledge in the West and the pattern of Lao Tzu reflecting on the meaning of wisdom in the East. Socrates of the West is similar to Lao Tzu, where both find inspiration in nature’s way as change.
- The methods of Confucius in the East and Plato in the West are more consistent with formalized education of a culture and thus its limitations, all to emphasize the value of changelessness. For them change is reality, in that is stays, it does not change. For Lao Tzu and Socrates change is life, since if it doesn’t change it is deemed to be dead.
- Helpful to understanding the eternal feminine are the expressions of the great writer Dorris Lessing, Nobel Prize in Literature winner of 2007. At the time, the Swedish Academy stated: “That epicist of the female experience, who with skepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny.”
Yes, the essential context for human life, i.e., the commons, is in trouble. The concern is how to find ways to support context creation, not context consumption. We cry for leadership in defining and doing this. Men have long had their methods for this which gained much steam in the 18th through 20th Centuries. Now, in the 21st Century we see, clear dilemmas in this tradition and seek alternative values, processes and means. Some of these will clearly come from the idea of the eternal feminine in the human project.
We must also keep in mind the possibility that in the words of Leonard Cohen we are approaching “closing time”, where women and men are engaged in one last party prior to closing down:
UNDERSTANDING THE FOUNDATION AND WHAT IT DOES
The most challenging issue on the horizon of human continuance is Climate Change. The essence of it is seen in the turbulence that will overcome the stability humans require for food, shelter and happiness. Extremes will become the rule of our context. The Foundation confronts the reasons for this change and the changes that will be needed to confront it and manage life within it?
FINDING AND BUILDING ON THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE HUMAN CONDITION
The Peking Opera performs on occasion in the tradition of the Eternal Feminine.
Income from the several hundred million behind the Foundation will be invested in your women that are just bringing form into their careers, attitudes and passions. They will be selected based on their passion for supporting beneficial change to meet the challenges of the day and the era in order to enhance the quality in the human project. This will require clarification of the human project and definition of quality to that project. Those supported by the Foundations financial and advisory resources will come from every continent. What they hold in common is that they require some small resources to help them make a large difference to what matters; to find the differences that make a difference and work on them
There will be many key advisors to those funded by the Foundation. These advisors will represent all parts of the world and ages, as well as many areas of working knowledge.
One of our leaders, advisors and participants will be Annaleena Parhankangas, now a business professor at University of Illinois, Chicago. She specializes in teaching new firm development. There will be others in several countries helping her with this mission.
Another of our leaders is Rachel Engwall, and very unusual and successful woman in the mid-western United States. She owns and farms about 1,500 acres in a manner that rivals any man in her state. Highly respected by men she is also an elected public official in the local management boards that deal with soil and water conservation and land taxation.
A third leader is Christine Engwall, a mid-western nurse practitioner who loves all animals, especially horses. They return the favor.
And an even wider variety of ideas of the Eternal Feminine?
Within the Foundation we will provide funding for gaining college degrees, networking with other students and faculty, providing access to leaders in companies we work with and seed money to start ideas, projects or organizations. To help with this will have advisement and management help from leading teachings and researchers in the area of International new firm development.