chapter
Introduction
Pages 4

The philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel believed that a volksgeist, or “Spirit of the People” was embodied in the culture of communities (Lavine, 1984, pp. 214-239). This Spirit was the foundation for an individual’s sense of ethics. The existentialists deepened this idea when they speculated on the source of a person’s consciousness. They claimed that consciousness is developed through crisis and community. Crisis thrusts one into the depths of the soul, causing one to question, reflect, seek, and develop insights that were unnecessary when one’s life was stable and secure. Suffering-a form of crisis-is necessary for depth of insight as we begin our quest for wisdom and consciousness. But after having suffered once, a person learns to avoid further suffering. In the lingo of the day, we think “been there, done that.” If crisis was necessary for consciousness and wisdom, then we would have to create crises to keep growing. In some ways that’s what is in vogue in the business world where a contemporary motto is “If it ain’t broke, break it.” The reason for that is because we are a culture without true community. Lacking community, we create crisis in order to find depth.