by OPEN Fellow Dr Eleftheria Egel
Last week, on 22nd March 2018, a research day was co-organized in Paris by the University Paris II , its Research Laboratory on Management (LARGEPA) and its HRM Center (CIFFOP). The best way I can translate the theme of the conference for the non-French speakers would be “Spirituality in Management: Is it its time and place ?” (https://spiritgestion.sciencesconf.org/). It was a day rich in exchange among academics and practitioners who shared their research papers, experiential exercises, and best work practices. Highlights of the day: Professor Mafffesoli’s (Sorbonne Emeritus Professor) inaugural speech on “Spirituality: A post-modern standard” and the closing session on how business leaders apply spirituality in their practice.
For some of you reading this post, you might wonder: “ Why is this post in the OPEN blog? What does spirituality have to do with sustainability? “ It is my humble view that all the challenges(crises) that our world faces and which sustainability movements and networks like OPEN try to solve are outer manifestations of an inner crisis, which is spiritual. An inner crisis is spiritual as it draws into question our relationship with nature, the role of humans on the planet, and what is of ultimate value. In order to be resolved, it requires a transition from a dualistic towards a holistic conception of the relationship of individuals with themselves, of people with people and people with nature. This transition has been defined as “a profound change of mind and heart” (O’Murchu 1997, p. 26); or a “spiritual transformation” (Coates, 2003). Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche expressed it vividly with a metaphor: “Trying to change the world without changing our mind is like trying to clean the dirty face we see in the mirror by rubbing the glass. However vigorously we clean it, our reflection will not improve. Only by washing our own face and combing our own unkempt hair can we alter the image. Similarly, if we want to help create conditions that foster peace and well-being in the world, we first need to reflect those qualities ourselves.” (Lama Shenpen Drolma, 2003, p.4).
Coates, J. (2003). Ecology and social work: Toward a new paradigm. Halifax, NS: Fernwood.
Drolma, L. S. (2003). Change of heart: The bodhisattva peace training of Chagdud Tulku. BookBaby.
O’Murchu, D. (1997). Quantum theology: Spiritual implications of the new physics. New York: Crossroad.