The left hand path
A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic
Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved
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Any individual, system, organization, collection of individuals and the like has its preferred way of doing business to achieve its ends. This preferred way gives rise to right hand path and a left hand path. There is the convention or tradition way of doing business often called the right hand path. Then there is an alternative way of doing business that more or less parallels the conventional path but is different. It is called the left hand path. There may not be one specific preferred way of doing business or one specific alternative way. But, nevertheless, there is a generally preferred way of doing business and any alternative way would be a left hand path.
The right and left hand paths are related much like the right hand and the left hand. The right hand and the left hand can both be used to accomplish the same type and kinds of actions. However, because the right hand and left hand are mirror images of each other, some things done by the left hand seem to be done backwards as compared to the way they are done by the right. When the two hands are used together, one is capable of accomplishing much more than with using only either the right or left hand. The existence of a left hand path and its use often provides much more flexibility that if one only has a right hand path.
Relative to systems, organizations or ways of doing something, the right hand path, also known as the conventional path, is the conventional way things are done. They are done in the way the system requires, demands or expects. Usually written or unwritten rules, regulations and/or guidance, if not laws, are provided to direct the individuals as to how to do business with the right hand path.
The left hand path seems to lies outside the system in one way or another. The left hand path in some way does not fit all the rule, regulations and guidance. But the left hand path is no so much about opposing society or going against convention, although that may be a consequences, as much as it is doing something differently in a different way.
The left hand path normally functions relative to the system and within the system but is not fully part of the system. The left hand path does not necessarily mean it is a controversial path, an opposing path or in any way that is revolutionary or rebellious. Rather it just doesnít "fit the mold" of the way things are normally and expected to be done. As with a left and right hand, the right and left hand paths achieve the same things but they do them in a similar but different way. One path is just less conventional than the other.
Left hand path and our creative endeavors
Relative to a true creative endeavor and the expectations of social or any organization, one can expect to end up on a left hand path. A true creative endeavor takes us into the unknown where there is no path so anything we do will be seen different. Entering a creative endeavor is about going where society has yet to go.
The key to creating within an existing structure is in actuality the left hand path. It is not to confront or necessarily challenge the existing system. It is to do what the existing systems tries to do and or/obtain but do it in a way that is different and allows one to not become captive by the system and the past way of doing business. In doing so, it opens the door to evolving and change the system and finding those necessary creative solutions. Confrontation and challenging causes the existing system to become defensive and becoming more entrenched in how it responds to a situation. The left hand path allows toleration to exist. That is, the path taken is different, but sufficient similarly to the normal way of doing business it is not seen as rebellious or destructive.
The left hand path becoming a rebellious path
The question which arises is, "When does the left hand path, the alternative way of doing business actually become a rebellious path seemingly opposed to the conventional path?"
The answer to this question lies in what is called the code of honor. Our code of honor, in essence, summaries our guiding principles in life. It consists of those principles that we will not normally, if ever, violate. Most have never explored their code of honor. In fact, parts of it cannot be effectively probed and realized by our mind for our mind will normally always try and present itself in a way that we judge as good and respectable. In reality, our code of honor usually only surfaces in a given situation when faced with a choice as to how we will respond to a situation. Metatheater and something similar are probably the most effective ways to reveal our code of honor and exactly what we think and believe about what we hold sacred and will not violate.
Similar to our personal code of honor any organization or social group has its code of honor. Any system, organization or group of individuals have a way of doing business and code of honor. The way of doing business are the written and unwritten laws the individuals follow. The code of honor tends to be something more subtle. It is about ideas, principles and/or ways of being that are not to be violated.
Relative to an organization, at one level the code of honor is just the composite of the code of honor of each individual within the group with the code of honor of the dominate or leading individual taking president. At another level there is a "group" think or collective code of honor which develops and may or may not be consciously created. In more formal groups a more formal collective code of honor develops and the individual relinquishes their personal code of honor for that of the group. Many organizations consciously or nonconsciously seek to gain control over the individualís code of honor such that the individual will do what the organization desires at all times.
When working within an individual or a system and choosing to work the left hand path to achieve a creative end, we must become aware of the individualís and the systemís or organizationís code of honor. We need to become aware of this code of honor if we are going to pursue a creative endeavor and follow the left hand path. Care must be taken so as to not violate the individualís or organizationís code of honor or otherwise what is done will appear to be rebellious if not harmful and threatening.
It is when an individualís or groupís code of honor is challenged that what is being done is seen as rebellious and not longer just a different way of doing business. As long as one stays within the code of honor, the path taken will not be judged as rebellious. The goal in a creative endeavor is to explore all options in our creative imagination and then choose options that lie within the code of honor as much as possible.
However, this is not always possible for something truly creative. It is when our creative solution will take us outside the individualís or organizationís code of honor that we need to look carefully at what a code of honor requires and why. To implement a creative solution which goes against an existing code of honor, we need to look carefully as to the intent and true hazard which lies within that code. We especially need to explore as to whether the governing code of honor arises from the truth of one's being or is based on an enculturation for a given time and place.
If our creative solutions can effectively address the true hazard in the code of honor and the intent as to why it was originally introduced, making the change to implement a creative solution may be difficult but they can be accomplished. However, if the creative solution cannot address the intent and hazards for which the code of honor was designed to protect against then there will be the need for a culture change and/or reprogramming. The cultural change and/or reprogramming is about changing the way the individual and/or organization thinks and believes as to how business needs to be done and/or life should be lived.
In approaching an individual or organizationís code of honor, it needs to be realized that working in any way other that in alignment with the existing system we must understand our true intention for acting. Noble sounding goals are often only a mask of the ego furthering its own needs. To work effectively around any system in addressing the code of honor, the goal and intention we hold must be higher than the system in which you are working to change or get around.
Our ethics often needs to be higher than what is required by the individual or the system. It is not that we hold our ethics higher than the individualís or systemís ethics in a judgmental fashion. That is, ours ethics is not somehow better than the ethics of the individual or the system. Rather we respect the goal and intention of what the system tries to achieve in its ethics. We just try and achieve what the individual or organization desires more effectively, passionately, and to bring creatively more freedom to the individual or into the system in a way that gives respect even to those things that we are seeking to change. We need to respect the fact that the individual and the system and those in the system are doing the best they can with what they have been given. If we know and have a better way, then it is our responsibility to educate them and not judge them. If we are not willing to educate and bring others along within our understanding, then we are probably just serving our ego and not the good of the individual or the organization and the individuals within that organization.
The issue is not to rebel, become angry or fight against anything. Rather it is about choosing to look for an alternative way that allows the individual to step out of the cage that keeps both their creative spirit and that of the organizationís captive. We need to understand rebellion is based on not being in control and wanting control. It is a anger type response at not being allow to do what we want to do.
To make changes that go against an existing code of honor and making it as gentle as possible, we need to seek to access a love in ourselves for ourselves, the other and the organization. We need to remember, we cannot give what we do not have. Unless we have love, compassion and understanding for our own internal changes that needs to occur, we will not have love, compassion and understanding for anyone else. We need to look at our true needs and what we need to become true to ourselves and express ourselves and our truth in true freedom. Only then can we will understand what it takes for another to access and express the freedom of their truth and live it in the world. We then need to learn to nurture ourselves no matter what we look like or how we appear to the outside world. We will still be a type of rebel going against some existing code of honor but it will not have anger. In doing this there will be an unfoldment of love and a passion to recreate the world out of love and not or of control. In having this experience we can then begin to understand what the individual faces within themselves and within the organization which must change and why the left hand path will look frightening to them. In having faced the fears, anger and the like within ourselves, we can better guide others through their fears and angers as the code which they have upheld changes.
Any cultural change or reprogramming of oneís code of honor forces an individual to give up something they hold sacred whether they realize it or not. For creative changes to occur and last, the fears, anger, apprehension and the like about what the changes will cause need to be addressed. Additionally, the individuals must be given a new code of honor, not rules and regulations, which will replace whatever in their original code of honor was taken away. This is where a "higher" ethics is important. That is, the individual are able to give up one code of honor for something they consider more honorable. Here "higher" is not based on the judgment of the mind. Here "higher" refers to the ability to tap into a understanding that lies deeper within oneís being that allows to operation on an internal compass that forgoes the need for laws and regulations to determine right from wrong. Rather, it is about knowing and understanding what serves the creative spirit within the individual and the creative spirit within others.
It is here having had an experience of the freedom of our own creative spirit becomes important. If we have experienced the freedom of our creative spirit, we know what it feels like and will never forget it. Creating from that feeling of freedom will give the space to other to experience such a freedom. That freedom then creates an organization or social structure that will be able to optimize the creativity and creative spirit of each individuals within that organization. It will create a system that allows for that freedom to exist for it will create as broad a set of rules and regulations as possible under which to operate.
Additional thoughts about the left hand path and our creative endeavor in found in the topic, "The left hand path and our creative endeavor."