Top critical review
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Lots of newagian / jungian sychronism
on 11 November 2006
I was recommended this book as a serious book on new types of management practises. The Theory U, one of the main themes of the book, may turn out to be so. However, unfortunately the explanation of the Theory U is intervened in the book with lots of personal stories, many referring to their alledged personal experiences of various kinds of sychronicity experiences; quite jungian or new age in my opinion.
Most of the personal stories, like dancing whales or communicating with sea lions if something that you cannot touch. They can be true or not. However, on the second last page of Chapter 15, Joseph Jaworski describes his encounter with Carlos Barrios, a Mayan priest. This Barrios told Jaworski about "Perhaps the most famous of [Mayan Calendar] cycles, the Bolopumi", which according to the book started in 1518 and lasted for 468 years. Then, after that, there was several "different shorter cycles", last of which "signals that 'a new child is born'", and that last cycle "began on August 17, 2001." Now, on August 17 2001 there was apparently an important spiritual meeting that Jaworski participated to. "Carlos said that this was not surprising -- that all around the world generative choices were being made on that day."
Now, I went to google, wikipedia, etc, and searched for "Bolopumi". The only hit I found looked like a Chinese translation of that part of the Presence book. The right term for the period might have been "Bolomtikus", though. Looking at various sources on Mayan calendars, I couldn't find any evidence that Mayan calendar experts would consider August 17, 2001 as an important date. Apparently August 16, 1987 was an important date, at least according to Carlos Barrios, though.
So, I am personally very sceptical towards all the "stories" in the book that tell about the "synchronous" or world-opening personal experiences of the authors, and especially sceptical towards those told by Jaworski. He doesn't seem to get even his details right.
Hence, while the Theory U, mostly developed by Scharmer, may represent something remarkable, in general I'm pretty sceptical about the rest of the material included in this book.