Updated: Jun 26, 2021
A few years ago, after leaving a company because the chairman made some extraordinary exhibition of his own vacuity, I decided to form my own company (again).
I wondered what to call this new creation. Calling is naming. I'm rubbish at that. Names are words.
Those words that are just the right clay to build the dimensional prototype model of what I hope this company would be all about... a pithy descriptor.
But, companies are not real. They are just legal vapour ware. A constructed front for people like me to hide in. The company soul is just a projection of its protagonist(s).
So if I’m the founder, what are my intentions? What word best describes intention?
The truth was not that I did not know, but that I know too much.
I'm a curious soul, everything interests me. Traveling a lot like I do, you just get more and more fascinated.
Working in emerging economies exposes all sorts of complexities, contradiction. The work to be done in these contexts endless.
Mixing with people of diverse cultures, religions and economic wealth reveals so much otherness (I like otherness).
Words came flooding in from every angle.
The problem with words are that they are 'wordy'. To cut through this dense forest of words running through my mind, each with with its own speech bubble of meaning, all jostling and shouting "pick me, pick me!" required a lot of letting go.
Out with of all the 'nice to have words', all the co-words, all the supporting actors and scaffolding terms. (Literally the parade of life learned prejudices, hobby horses, memories, experiences, books, conversations, pet-loves, dreams, ego, ambition, vanity.)
The letting go process requires just the heat of observation, without engagement.
Finally, after much frothing and distillation what remained for me was the word 'One'.
It surprised me in that 'Where did that come from?' way. So, I thought to take time out to sit very quietly and stare at the word 'One'.
It has an almost symmetry to it, the 'o' and the 'e' pivoting around a single rock like 'n'. The 'n' has two little roots to fasten its base, the 'o' and the 'e' float on their base. The 'o' and the 'e' are almost similar in shape. But the 'o' is whole, infinite, complete. The 'e' is bent back into itself, incomplete, finite, broken in its circular line.
The 'o' at the beginning introduces these three letters, it alone can be capitalised, it is the first, it is perfect, it is infinite, first to be confronted by any burning eyes.
The 'e' is at the back, at the end, following.
Yet, these three individual, separate letters come together as 'one', a bigger, new universe.
So who is this 'O'?
What is the pivotal and rooted 'n'?
And what about the tailing, incompletely rounded, bent into himself narcissist at the end?
The last bit is easy, its me.
The 'O' let's presume the you have some notion to follow the hints above.
The 'n' is a sort of linking bridge firmly rooted (in the earth, down facing) and connected more to the side of the 'O' than that of the 'e'.
A bridge? Rooted? More connected to the one side? Yet, these three individual, separate letters come together as 'one', a bigger, new universe.
I spent days meditating on the word 'One'. Walking through the rural farmlands and lovely Warwickshire countryside, chatting to God and the jabbering away to my good lady, her indoors, as to what does this mean now practically? How to turn such a word thought into a manifest, fruit bearing thing that people will invest into?
I’ll spare you the technical bits. So that now gone, some intangibles stepped forward.
Some of what came out (not all, you probably have much better things to do):
The things falling apart like entropy that carries on dividing us into ever more ideologies, genres and sub-cultures, factions. A hundred years ago the planet had 1.6Bn people, each with their own idea(s), today there are 7.8Bn, each with their own idea(s). A hundred years ago, one could not, even if so wanted to, communicate our little idea(s). Today we are drowning in ever cheapening and useless communication, wanting our love and attention (yes please read this, it takes time to write stuff!). Plurality needs the gravity of "One" to pull it all together in balance. One is the megaphone to elevate out of mediocrity.
I read about a bad farmer that stated that he gets up in the morning thinking what needs to be killed today. A good farmer told me that he wakes up in the morning thinking what new life can he attract today to help him with his work. The difference between these two relates to their closeness or distance in the understanding of 'One'
Knowledge is fast becoming meaningless, because the time it takes to get a grip on its contextual motive. But flooding in decontextualised knowledge, ready for that rumour mill of fake news and conspiracy, dead-end spirituality, ideas that don't actually work, we seek for meaning and truth contained in 'One'.
At times we seem naturally gifted to be cruel, unkind, judgemental to shield ourselves, inflate ourselves or just being perverse. Yet, we crave attention, approval and affirmation ourselves (please like this blog!!). The broken 'e' needs to draw from the whole 'O' to overcome its own needs, bridged and root as it is in 'One'. It is 'One' that has a vast surplus of love, not 'e'.
I get pissed (yea sorry) off that some people are so stinking rich while others are grovelling in the dirt. I had to learn not to be such a simpleton angry at the fortunate. The mechanics of the system is bent out of shape. The force of 'One' is wiser.
And so I can go on and on. In the end I called the company 'one global city' the last is just because I love that celestial cube community coming down from heaven in Revelations and some other lot already calls themselves 'one'.