As human beings, we have a problem, we experience the world and all in it through our senses, and they are limited instruments.
So let’s imagine, we look at my hand through a microscope in a child’s kindergarten, we see that there are many cells covering the hand.
Then we look at the same hand through a better microscope in a college or university and we see interacting molecules and atoms.
If we look at the same hand through one of the gigantic microscopes (we also call particle accelerators) we see nothing but space and flickering lights.
Understand that our eyes do not give a real picture of the world, yet we act as if what we see is real.
Now what are the flickering lights?
We could say, with today’s science, these are Photons (Greek for Light), i.e. light particles which carry information.
Evolution, meaning all progress, all forms that have been ever evolving from the beginning of our earth, are actually light particles that carry and share information.
Now at the base of evolution is ‘co-operation of light-particles, as this co-operation helps to survive and evolve’.
The theory of Darwin (survival of the fittest), which is at the root of our present paradigm, is long superseded. It is that paradigm, which has led the world to the extremes resulting in destruction, exploitation, the extinction of a multitude of species every day, global warming, and a greed for material gain that leaves tens of thousands of people starving and 1.1 billion people without clean drinking water.
It means that progress, wellbeing and health does not come from ‘survival of the fittest’ but of co-operation!
Thinking back to the hand we saw, one could describe ‘the Ultimate Reality’ as an ocean of space with light particles, or simply as an unlimited ocean of light.
Now an ocean has movement, there are different currents, thousands of different waves, different temperatures etc. The same applies to this ‘cosmic ocean’ in which we live. Ancient wise Ones and modern Scientists today agree on this, the latter call this ocean a Unified Field and the movement in it electromagnetic energy; let’s call it energy for short.
So in the ‘ocean’, the energetic field in which we exist, the currents and waves are streams of energies, or co-operating energy–fields, which in popular language we call ‘Elements’.
The world over there are Five different such energy fields recognised. If we want to use scientific language we could call them, gravity, electromagnetism, weak and strong nuclear forces, symmetry and the combined ‘strong force’ (which we do not really yet know what it is).
But the world over, these are in many contexts referred to as Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.
Now these words are not labels as we are used to. Such as thinking of Earth as the mud in the vegetable garden, or the globe we live on. But rather as Energy Fields, i.e. vibrating energy of a certain type that ultimately our eyes can register as the mud in the garden…or the planet.
And so it is for Water, Fire, Air and Space too.
As we use words from the natural world to describe these energy-fields, let’s look briefly at nature to get a feeling of what they actually mean. Nature is the greatest teacher… yet we destroy it at an alarming rate, what does that say about our ability to learn, to exchange information, to evolve?
So a short look at Nature:
Earth is what we stand on, through its gravity it allows us to stay put and not fly off into space. It means earth holds us, and it does so continually, without rejecting anyone or anything; there is stability, integrity and there is solidity.
Water lives in a cycle, it arises from the ocean as vapour, comes back as rain, gathers underground, becomes a spring, becomes a river flowing back to the ocean. This is permanently changing form without losing its identity. On its way it nourishes many plants, people, animals… nothing can live without it.
Fire is action power; it converts coal or anything burnable into heat, light and ashes. The process is much faster than the change of water and it destroys one form into something different, thus is destruction and creation at the same time.
Air is a subtle element, much finer, thus we can see through it, it’s transparent, brings clarity. Through it, because of it, communication can happen. It also moves, just like the two previous ones; movement here though is the original, whose effect can be seen in both previous ones (flames and waves). It influences on a big sweeping scale, the winds move clouds and influence weather on a global scale (weather pattern), clearing away all that is in its way, letting go of the past.
Space is the ultimate womb, the potential from which all creativity happens, its possibilities are unlimited. Out of it all forms arise, in it all forms exist.
All forms, all existence are a mixture of these FIVE; meaning any organisation, your personality, as much as your physical body, are made of these energies.
Co-operation of these in balance is that huge power of life, of evolution which makes for a healthy and well body, a healthy and successful business and much more, indeed in all aspects of life.
So we will look at two angles for this:
Firstly, how can it be used for building organisations in a good way?
Secondly, how can this concept help in the relationships with colleagues and partners, as well as your own personal health and wellbeing?
In order to understand each of those fields/currents of energies let’s have another look, linking it to organisations (but also with an eye on the human being).
There is Earth, the manifest level of creation, the embodiment of solidity,
that holds all without judgment,
that attracts with its gravity all objects,
that holds within our body and mind all phenomena (food, thoughts, feelings).
Meaning in the world of organisations and business:
It is that energy which gives form, which can be the buildings, the assets, the factory. Or, the constitution, the base of what does the company want to do (sell shoes? Build a house? Or educate children?) A solid, stable base is needed.
There is Water, the fluid element,
which adapting to any circumstances and on its way nourishes all life,
which has enormous determination and uses willpower to flow
towards its goal (to reach the ocean/fulfilment of its purpose).
On its way it is ever ready to take on a new form, as required, to serve and
Yet in essence it remains true to its identity, is committed to its goal without
fear of losing out/losing its identity.
Meaning in the world of organisations and business:
It’s that energy which allows permanent change to serve the whole. It’s that energy which drives us ever forward to reach not an individual goal but the goal for the benefit of the whole. While fulfilling its own purpose, it does so for the benefit of all concerned.
There is Fire, which transforms gross to subtle.
It does so while destroying one form – at the same time as it produces and
It’s action power that drives to the turning point, it’s the inspiration
that makes sure there is joy and warmth.
Meaning in the world of organisations and business:
It is that energy, which is willing to take risks aware that movement always means old structures, habits and forms have to be permanently transformed. It is not about adaption (like water), but renewal; it’s a creative process, that uses enthusiasm and innovation to fuel a new form, a new way. But be aware of the dangers…if the fire burns too bright, it destroys.
There is Air, the rhythmic breath, vital breath,
which is transparent, bringing clarity and knowledge,
the rhythm of its nature, means things come again and again, creating
systems, structure and thus order (ultimately even the cosmic order),
it’s an elusive element; we understand and respond; (i.e. communicate).
Responding appropriately means discrimination; let go of all that which
Meaning for the world of organisations and business:
It is that energy which asks for transparency, which asks for clarity on all levels, thus it stands for intelligent plans and decisions; all parts of a business respond to that clarity, which brings knowledge/insight which in turn brings willingness and co-operation. This is the life-force and will make participants want to do their best, and work towards progress…by letting go of all that which holds back.
And there is Space, all-pervasive,
timeless, spreading from known to unknown;
containing the creative potential, that generates all phenomena.
It contains the door to infinity and is laden with divine intelligence;
carrying information from the dawn of time, which in spiritual traditions is
called (Consciousness) making it sacred Space.
Meaning for the world of organisation and business:
It is that energy which taps into the potential to bring force creative energy.
All forms, all success, on the subtle level is there as potential; this energy taps into the potential, hence is innovative, creative and unlimited. It means no censorship. First comes allowing, to bring the potential into form…then one can work with it. If there is stifling, early criticism or enforced limitations, how can new forms grow? Space gives the freedom to evolve… discrimination comes later.
All these different energies work together, co-operate in nature, in life.
They make the trees, as much as they make a successful business…or any humanitarian effort – as long as they co-operate. However if one of these thinks “I am the greatest and I do not allow one of the others”, imbalance is created and disruption, failure, suffering will certainly result, even death and destruction. And that is so for politics, for families, for individuals…
So now we can ask ourselves, some very pertinent questions:
What is lacking, where is imbalance for example – in the issue, of the Migrant/refugee crisis in Europe?
Where is the imbalance, what is lacking in the issue of Global-warming?
Where is the imbalance within our banking systems (world-bank or any)?
Where is the imbalance in our education systems (i.e. how do we raise the next generation)?
Any number of the contemporary problems, and/or even your own behaviour, family and business can be inquired into through this ‘microscope’.
For if there is a problem with the solid foundation, assets, the product you are selling etc. – then there is a problem in the Earth Energy.
If there is not enough flexibility in the way the business is run, there is a problem with the Water Energy
If there is only routine, no inspiration, no drive and inspired action, there is a problem in the Fire Energy.
If there is a lack of transparency and structure, there is a problem in the Air Energy.
If there is a problem with innovation, lack of new ideas, there is a problem in the Space Energy.
And be aware that the problem can be with either too much of a certain energy or too little. Either way brings imbalance and problems.
Imbalance and disharmony brings failure; or if it is in ourselves – unhappiness and illness, and if it’s on the world scale, death and destruction.
So what’s the Job ahead…? Whether we talk about an organisation or company, the first thing is to apply the Air Element, and gather knowledge to analyse and see a clear picture of what the situation is. Only from this awareness can change/healing come.
Secondly observe nature, how do these Elements interact in nature. Take one example, Earth balanced with Fire, it is warmed by the sun. In balance with Water, it is kept moist. In balance with wind (Air), it is aired and loosened, in balance with Space, it is allowed to keep its holding ability. Altogether Earth thus, is fertile and can yield good crops. However if the fire fails to warm the earth, it freezes, if the water fails, earth becomes dry, if the air blows too much it carries it away as dust and if the space shakes its very foundation…then nothing can grow on the ground; the earth itself becomes a waste-land, a desert.
So nature is a great book to learn from.
Observe and learn how nature interacts with the different Elements to co-operate to maximise fruitful balance and harmony. That is if we humans don’t interfere and destroy the very fibre of it.
In many philosophies there exists the notion, “as above so below, as inside so outside”. The same cosmic laws apply in organisations/business as in nature and within the human being. In Science this is talked about as fractals, or symmetry.
So we can take nature, or the energy-fields we call ‘The Five Elements’ to solve our problems, no matter whether in our relationship, in ourselves, or in the world of organisations and even business.
All we have to do is open our minds.
People have done this for thousands of years, but in our time, we forgot – the simple art of living!