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Richard Knecht

Director, Children's System of Care
Placer County Health and Human Services

Loved reading your book last month, and it inspired a number of thoughts. Among a host of insights it raised for me....

The concepts and ideas represent a unique, at least in my experience, nexus of spirit and intellect. Of course, you all make that very point, that its unique, but all too often, writer's and thinkers approach problems from one or the other (secular versus religious, for instance). You and your co authors are not threatened by concepts "owned" by either set of ideas, and your work merges them nicely, and with uniqueness. For that reason, I think the book has potential to bring some groups together in new ways, which would be marvelous, of course.

I particularly enjoyed your presentation of Needlemans' account of the founding fathers and how key persons were able to suspend their certainty in order to completely understand. As a person who has often survived and sometimes thrived by the asserted power of knowing (even when I didn't necessarily, it worked to fake it), I have challenged myself, as one of my personal goals this year, to suspend "knowing" and look for the new knowledge or learning that will emerge when I do so. Its against my nature, and our government system does not always reinforce such vulnerability, but I'm going to make it a point to try, and have already experienced some good interpersonal outcomes as a result of some early "piloting". It parallels my personal work of some 10 years to suspend "judgment" in my interpersonal relations. I have a pair of suspenders, with lettering down one side which reads..."suspend" and down the other...."judgment". I never wear them, but they hang prominently at home. Now, I will practice suspending both judgement and knowledge.

Your discussion on pages 86 and 87 of the human collective reality threading itself across the globe is fascinating. It dawned on me that the internet, in the last 10 years, has become a most concrete manifestation of this universal "within" and has so many parallels to the biological and astronomical concepts you cite from Teilhard and others. Fascinating stuff!

Finally, in chapter 8's suggested practices for Mindfulness, I found of course, many parallels with my training as a therapist. These suggestions resonated with me, and I have appreciated finding them so thoughtfully presented in your work. Leadership text books don't generally make room for this type of consideration, but I thought that if persons in authority could refine the way we see others, and the challenges in our day to day functions, we'd likely experience a greater sense of peace, even when there are not enough dollars, or not enough staff, or any of the other issues we become weighted down with.

Thank you for sharing your work with me. I have passed it on, notes and all to one of my peers who I know will value it as well.

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