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Limerence

Limerence, simply put, is an archetype’s intense desire for a higher sort of connection within himself. The change agent not only yearns to be connected with all the other archetypes in the container, but also to the super-archetype: the greater spirit or personal God.

It’s a state of transcendence the best change agents seek throughout their activities in a transformation. And this yearning is inherently linked to the wish to be of service to the bigger container(organization). It pushes the change agent to climb up the rungs of his or her self, to reach the highest point, improving their performance in the process.

It’s a relentless pursuit of excellence which wouldn’t be satisfied until the core is reached.

Limerence, as you might have guessed is arguably the most spiritual of all dynamics. And as with anything spiritual, it’s hard to describe it in any detail, for the dynamic is as deeply personal as it is abstract.

But one useful concept with which limerence could be better explained is that of chakras in kundalini. In kundalini yoga, the self contains chakras which are separate spheres which you could cross or transcend in your ascension to a higher spiritual ground.

Limerence helps change agents push the performance envelope, helping them achieve more

A corresponding idea- almost a pictorial representation of the chakra system- is the mandala. Used by many ancient cultures including the Native Americans, the Chinese and the Indians, a mandala is a circle within a square, at the center of which is the purest form of the self- representing the greatest source of energy within yourself.

Though beautifully rendered mandalas are found in many cultures, according to Longdam Gomchen- a Lamaic rimpoche(Buddhist teacher), the true mandala is always an inner image, created through one’s active imagination. The mandalas thus created would vary in details from person to person but the core structure always remains the same- a circle inside a square, with concentric layers leading to the center. Transcending each concentric circle, the individual strives to reach the center of the structure within themselves- much like an arrow hitting the bullseye.

According to the late eminent psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, the mandala forms a fundamental expression of the human psyche. And the centre of a mandala is also the centre of your personality, which is not to be confused with the ego. The mandala is, in his words, an ‘archetype of wholeness.’

This non-identification with the ego, and the focus on wholeness is important in the context of organizations. For a change agent could only bring about transformation if they set aside their personal ego and take the collective team effort into account. To lead, one should inspire, and to inspire, you need to have the team’s goodwill at heart.

Moving from the definition of limerence to exploration of the same using the mandala as a symbol, let’s now look at an individual example of limerence in the real world.

Curly hair, broad forehead, pudgy nose, deep penetrating gaze and a domineering presence- these things may well have described Martin Luther King Jr. But what King is known for today is none of his physical attributes, but as an icon of the American Civil Rights movement.

Inspired both by the teachings of the Bible and the non-violent activism of Mahatma Gandhi, King put forth a spirited effort from 1954 until 1968- when a bullet claimed his life- to fight not just against racial segregation but also poverty and the tyranny of war. From leading the now-famous Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 to the fight against segregation in Albany, Georgia in 1962 and the non-violent protests in Alabama’s Birmingham in 1963, the list of peaceful opposition King raised against the establishment are many. And that’s without even counting other significant fights like the anti-Vietnam War protests he led.

A change agent with limerence leads the team to the future through an inclusive transformation process

But throughout his highly public latter years as an activist, two things distinguished King. One was his adherence to non-violence, putting human dignity(even that of the enemy) on the highest pedestal. The second was that he never sought a seperate space for a particular race. Rather, his fight was for equal justice and rights - regardless of people’s race or skin color or bank balance. In other words, he saw the container as a whole, and wanted everyone within the container to coexist in peace.

It’s hard to see how a young man(he was just 25 when he became an activist) could have sustained such a high level of inner-peace and equilibrium without a strong adherence to limerence. It should also be noted that not all of his protests were successful-far from it. But even when faced with failures, he had the will to see everyone as equal, to stay in that transcendent state, to continue deriving strength from the greatest source of energy from his inner core, even as darkness strove to suppress him from without. 

In the Temenos lexicology, we call limerence also as the ‘Moment of Temenos’- the moment when you realise your true life purpose and spurred by that powerful realisation, put all your energy in the service of the container. Martin Luther King Jr. exemplified this brilliantly.

As for the continuing relevance of limerence, this should be said: In an organization, limerence helps change agents make great transformations. In your personal life, it helps you become whole- to put together the fragments of our soul when it is broken by sadness, isolation or other ailments of the modern world. And in the divisive political climate prevalent across the world today, limerence may well be hope itself.

As we are fast approaching the end of our series of blog entries on dynamics, you could have a quick rundown of dynamics with the video below:

000001 copy_aFor change agents and leaders, not to benefit from meaningful events and gatherings is a missed opportunity! We invite you to indulge in some of the most transformational events from Temenos; designed with hard-earned understanding, organized just for you.

Temenos Vision Lab- Toronto, Canada( June 8, 2018)

This proprietary lab helps you focus all your energy on building your inner Vision, aiding organizational transformation.

TrustTemenos Adventure Gathering 2018- Frankfurt, Germany( Sep 28, 2018)

We invite you to this special gathering, which brings together a group of wonderful people who fill workplaces with joy and energy. By connecting with each other, you embark on a journey that leads to better clarity about the changes you seek, gain collaboration opportunities and leave with a concrete action plan.

Temenos Vision Lab- Amsterdam, Netherlands( Nov 2, 2018)

Another venue to take an exquisite inner journey, to find your true Vision.

Temenos Effect Gathering 2018- Bengaluru, India(Nov 22 to Nov 25, 2018)

An event dedicated to the idea of personal mastery, for nurturing your beautiful self, for change agents and leaders to become their true selves.

For more details, visit our website - https://www.visiontemenos.com/events


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