Old Magic vs. New Magic

It’s a tad confusing out there for most of us right now. We have developed models and sets of rules, from economics, politics, science and business over the last few hundred years, and particularly over the last seventy or so that are supposed to enable us to work our world. We developed the magic of “solutions”.

And they’ve seemed to stop working.

Thinking the Unthinkable is an interesting ongoing project that is trying to make some sort of sense of what is happening in the liminal space (the fluid state between defined spaces). We are dealing with huge issues, and we can make sense of them – but not by using the old rules.

In many respects it reminds me of dark matter and dark energy. We have to believe it exists, because otherwise none of our physics works. For for universe to be the way we understand it, our physics requires that there is more mass out there than we can see, and more energy to power it than we can measure with our current tools. Calculations suggest it makes up 95% of the universe.

We have to think differently – not just in the motivational poster way, but in a manner that is potentially much more scary and examine all our assumptions about how the things we’ve been schooled in, work.

Leadership for example. It used to be relatively easy. We had relatively limited remits – tribes, towns, countries, organisations, businesses. They were quite well defined, and had an understood pecking order. Leadership involved keeping them together within the confines of a set of shared beliefs or purpose against other sets of people with different beliefs and purpose. The stuff of politics and its natural extension, war.

Those convenient boundaries seem to have been removed. I can be part of one community, inspired by another, paid by another (or several). My worldview is influenced by what I hear and see, and in turn that is being influenced by invisible people who are shaping what I hear and see to their ends.

There’s a danger that I’m being led by people I don’t know, whose intent is unclear to me. This is the dark energy and dark matter of my day to day world. The stuff I have learned, and the training that things people want me to do are based on doing X for Y to happen. Y has gone missing. The old magic no longer works.

That doesn’t mean there’s no magic left.

Perhaps it just sits closer to home. Not is the cloisters of Universities, or in the shiny boardrooms of the major consultancies.

So, the start of the solution starts with us, and our relationship with our selves. Our sense of purpose and determination, Not just with our learned capabilities, but with our social, emotional and spiritual power. It becomes the filter we use to evaluate what we hear and see.

I think there’s a trust / distance ratio – the farther away someone or something else is digitally or physically , the less we trust it.

Beyond us, those we share deep purpose with (probably no more than a handful). Beyond that, those whose capabilities we trust – probably in the tens and beyond that, people we are prepared to learn to trust. More than a hundred, less than a couple of hundred. That’s our community. Beyond that, we have audiences.

The new magic is in reality older than the magic it is replacing. It works at a human level, using our senses, doing things that are important, with people we can see and trust, for purposes we believe in.

The equivalent of organisational dark energy and matter, the stuff of fake news, loses its power once we understand it is there.

If we trust ourselves, we can do what matters.


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