Do fathers always know more than their sons?

01/09/2021

Metalogue between a father and his daughter, by Gregory Bateson

The father: I met a little boy in England who asked his father one night:

"Do fathers always know more than their sons?

"Yes," said the father.

"Who invented the steam engine?" the son asked.

"James Watt," said the father.

"And why didn't James Watt's father invent it?"

Funny, right?

As paradigms shift, who will invent the Future?

When we moved from horse-drawn culture to the industrial revolution, the experts in stagecoaches were not able to imagine the automobile.

In the same way, today, the best chemotherapy experts are not necessarily those who will imagine how to cure cancer with waves and sounds.

Every time we are stuck in optimizing - doing better what we already do -,we miss the opportunity to invent something radically new.

It's not a question of age.

It's about being aware of our ways of thinking (worldviews, beliefs, stereotypes and paradigms).

And to be able to consciously change our perspectives, to freely explore new ones.

Playing with our ideas.

Playing seriously.

The power to transcend paradigms

In an excellent article, "Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System", Donella Meadows, gives what could be the greatest keys to transcend paradigm: detachment and humour.

There is yet one leverage point that is even higher than changing a paradigm. That is to keep oneself unattached in the arena of paradigms, to stay flexible, to realize that NO paradigm is "true," that every one, including the one that sweetly shapes your own worldview, is a tremendously limited understanding of an immense and amazing universe that is far beyond human comprehension. It is to "get" at a gut level the paradigm that there are paradigms, and to see that that itself is a paradigm, and to regard that whole realization as devastatingly funny.

This is what we call : the "Altitude Attitude"

From Altitude, comes Direction

This is what Bertrand Picard, the man who flew around the world in a balloon, said.

The Altitude Attitude" is the capacity to consciously shift our perspectives and to think about the way we think from an "elevated perspective".

  • We can recognize the roads we take.
  • We can make our familiar routines and Thinking habits strange to us.
  • We can discover how they sometimes alienate us by distorting our understanding and our sense of possibility

From altitude, comes new directions: new options, new possibilities, a new life. 

Mapping the Maps

It may sound silly, but if we want to open up a Future that is not a repetition of the Past, we need alternatives based on radically different worldviews.

It is not enough to look at the world as it is AND AS IT COULD BE. It is also and above all a question of looking at our way of "looking", of thinking about our way of thinking.

In other words, to "map our mental maps" and the landscapes they allow us to see.

So we can

  • SEE what water we are swimming in - the paradigm we think within, the "stories" we create - and challenge them
  • SEE a radically different, desirable Future through Radical Imagination. And see that the Future is already here!
  • SEE and make visible the landscape of innovations and actions that allow us to move towards that future
  • Make conscious and wise choices based on freer and broader perspectives.


As Christian Bobin, the poet, says,

The world is full of visions waiting for eyes.

Eyes of all ages.

Shapership can help you become an "I Opener", an "Eye Opener" , an "Eye Hopener" and a "High Hopener", able

  • to think BIG and radically DIFFERENT
  • to consciously try new points of views to transform the way you see the world and your place in it
  • to put your Imagination, Inspirations and Aspirations at the service of your Life and Life in general