Shall we include the boundaries?

A reflective appreciation of the book No Boundary by Ken Wilber

By Cees Hoogendijk



Imagine, for a moment, a world in which we forgot to invent the word boundary…

Ken Wilber gives us a clear picture of the social construct we call ‘border’, how we can choose to consider this an area of connectivity, and how this enables us human beings to grow and develop. Could these insights metaphorically also serve organizational development?

Introduction: Who am I?

“What is it you want to learn?” Being a co-creator of learning organizations I would suggest that this question, although posed from the most constructive intentions, might not lead to the desired answer. The proper answer would tell about what is missing at the moment; but how can one know what he or she is missing?

In the past, Ken Wilber crossed my path several times: introduced by Marcel van Marrewijk, author of the Cubrix; interviewed by John Mackey, contributor of the Conscious Capitalism movement, during one of his lectures; and introducing Laloux’ book Reinventing Organizations. Somehow I associated Ken Wilber with ‘a theory of everything’ and, being a mathematician used to be working with emerging paradigms, I did not dig very deep into his credentials.

Entering a period of extensive personal change, a dear friend brought me into contact again with the writings of Wilber; I digitally bumped into ‘No Boundary’ and the title appealed to me at that very instance. The book fuelled my inquiries into ‘wholeness’ and I learned a lot about my ‘self’. I also noticed associations with development of the organizational ‘self’, especially within the realm of generative, inclusive change. I started to use a lot of Wilbers quotes in my classes and lectures on Appreciative Inquiry, especially when addressing collective dreaming, co-ownership and the notion of being connected to each other.

How to write something sensible about a book for which the best review would be: “Buy it and read it.”? I decided to just, in a very fragmentary way, follow the ten chapters, reflect on the contents that appealed to me the most and here and there (in italic) add a few organizational thoughts. Shall we?

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