Nour, I don't know what feedback - if any - you want on this very heartfelt piece. I think it's wonderful you are expressing yourself and important that this is out there! And, of course, people who don't get things in the way that you do will probably not get it.

I am responding becuase I think I do get at least a little bit of it, and I feel great empathy with what I think I understand - and because you are illustrating a really big point.

That point could be expressed very simply in the obviously double bind you (and everyone else) is being placed in on the course: 'be yourself' and 'strategically monitor your compliance and acceptability to the system'. There is a genuine psychological cost to that twisted messaging.

It isn't a surprise that three consequences of this are:

* good people with different perspectives (and/or levels of development), who the organisation desperately needs, leave because their specialness cannot be accomodated within the system within the bounds of acceptability

* or they shut down, realising that the game is a Kobayashi Maru scenario (I'm trying a Star Trek analogy, but to be honest the Sci-Fi analogy I'm comfortable with is War Games): the only logical way to play the game is not to play

I can't now remember the third, because this goes in a a lot of diferent directions - oh yes! - they become 'rebels' or cynics and/or form alternative power bases (Oneteamgov?) which puts them constantly in a locked relationship to the organisation.

There's something to be said for all of these, on a tactical level, for the organisation and the person, and some value can be gleaned - but ultimately all the options allowed are sterile and destructive of value and potential. It's an 'if voting could change things, it would be illegal' situation.

I left large organisations when this became clear to me, and set up my own thing (many problems and difficulties!) - and even so I am somewhat limited by the desire to say the (to me) important and true things whenever I'm in the room with senior people.

And it is tempting to say that the organisation doesn't really want diversity, change, challenge. It's probably basically true, except I have no doubt all the people setting up and running the course are (at least for the most part) in good faith. It's just they had to accept a boundary before they started: 'nothing will really change and authenticity is going to be a problem. But with that said, let's see what we can do to encourage change and authenticity!'

I wanted to end on a positive note but I have gone on.

The way out of a double bind is to think on a higher level - let's hold in front of us the tension (if you agree with the analysis), and accept it: the organisation wants more lerts, (as in 'be alert...') but must reject them. So you can:

- see that as a vital part of the system

- be radical but really jump through every hoop they put in front of you

- leave and look after yourself and your loved ones

- put your head down and save your energy for the right moments...

But, as you say, you're a part of it, you're in it, you're something new, so something will give :-)


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