“So how will you reach your greatest potential intellectually and spiritually?”
Easy, I thought. “By being a lifelong learner. I’ve noticed that I can bucket everyone into two categories – lifelong learner and lifelong lagger – and I definitely want to belong to the first group.”
“What have you learned so far?”
As a child, I believed that we were at the mercy of randomness, chance, luck, and chaos, the gods of our world. When I searched for meaning, I was repeatedly told: You think too much.
“I’ve learned that people don’t like to think. And they would prefer not to see, hear, and feel either.”
War is okay as long as it’s not on our soil. We like to divide, conquer, and ultimately fail.
“I’ve learned that the goal of international conflict resolution is not global peace; it’s annihilation.”
When the issue presents itself again in a different place or an evolved form, we like to pretend we’ve never seen anything like it. We like to ‘step it up’ and take the destruction to another level.
“I’ve learned that admitting fault is more painful than anything else, because it requires one to reevaluate the past…but we already know that people don’t like to think so we’re right back where we started.”
We continue to fool ourselves while the Universe watches with compassion and urges us to awaken to the primordial reality, the underlying Truth. We belong to an Intelligent System, the essence of which is interconnectedness and thus, nothing and no one can exist in isolation.
“I’ve learned that my soul speaks to me and enables me to discern Truth from its shadow. I know that there are others like me, who have awakened to their purpose, and are preparing to create a new world…”
“How will that happen?”
“I’m not sure. I guess that’s why I need to belong to a conscious community. We would need a shared understanding, a common platform, and respect for our individual journeys, you know? “
[A long period of silence...]
“The new world will be created through a set of integral principles that transcend and include everything…you can contribute by designing and creating holistic healthcare systems, given what you already know about the eastern and western healing modalities. Our world needs that now more than ever before.”
Whoa, doesn’t he know that sounds too ambitious? I gently smiled and replied, “Elijah, I’m too young to do that. I don’t have enough experience…”
As I said that, my own words echoed in my mind…’Over here, years of work experience is a liability, not an asset. Those that can quickly learn, adapt, and innovate will thrive here [in Kabul].’
My mind backtracked and changed its mind. “Actually, you’re right – I can do that. I’ve worked with integrated health systems on two continents now…”
How did he do that? How did he get me to believe in myself? I didn’t wait for him to tell me to update my written want this time. I replaced “I want to work with/in holistic healthcare systems” with “I want to create holistic healthcare systems”.
“You can use the Inflow Matrix to design the holistic healthcare systems…”
“What’s the Inflow Matrix? And by the way, I hear you’re an expert on systems thinking so can you explain what it is?”
“Systems thinking is a holistic problem solving approach where we study the whole rather than isolated parts.”
“Hmm…so systems thinking is to mental processes as integrative medicine is to healthcare.” Subconsciously, I might have been working on a mathematical proof for the new paradigm…
Elijah continued, “The Inflow Matrix is a holistic business thinking system that enables individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to collectively 1) learn, 2) create, 3) communicate, and 4) heal. It teaches people how to program their mind in order to think holistically, rather than linearly or sequentially. They learn to see that events and patterns are not standalone, but instead all are a part of the greater whole.”
That afternoon, I knew I had come face-to-face with a genius. Imagine spending an entire afternoon with Einstein and having him explain the theory of relativity to you before it was published and widely used…
I questioned if I had it in me to learn and understand Elijah’s contributions to the world of systematics. Even today, as his student, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to do justice to it all. But I know that this is my path, nourishment, and joy.
A special thank you to Elijah for accepting me as his student and to my parents for continuing to finance my education.