The Past is our Future
In last weeks column I talked about a book that I used as one of the foundations in developing my strategic management concepts “ The Tao of Organization”. The I Ching for group dynamics by Cheng Yi, translated by Thomas Cleary. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who over the past week asked me what the I Chang was and why I used it in developing my urban strategic management concepts.
To quote Thomas Cleary, who in my opinion is on of the best translators of the Chinese classics “ The I Ching “ The Book of Change” is considered the oldest of the Chinese classics that for the past 2000 years has been considered a book of fundamental principles by philosophers, politicians, mystics, scientists and mathematicians. The I Ching is the foundation of the Taoist Yin/Yang theory.
The importance of the I Ching came to me has a Philosophy student at The City College of New York at a Black Studies program where the guest speaker was Dr. Ivan Van Sertima who gave a talked about his new book “African Presence in Early Asia” a wonderful book that opened a new world of understanding for me. Dr. Van Sertima explained that that the general consensus is that the I Ching originated in China but its origin can be traced to the West Asian Black Akkado-Sumerians of Elam-Babylonia 2800B.C.E.
You may still ask what does the I Ching have to do with today? There are many answers to this question but the two most important to the world today in my opinion are the following. The discovery of the genetic code, which has changed how we see the world. It has allowed scientist to use the DNA code to pin point the exact location in Africa where the human race begin, and it has changed the way we look at both life and death. In 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick announced their discovery of the genetic code consisting of 64 binary figures which correspond directly to the 64 binary figures of the I Ching which was a factor in their discovery.
The second important world development is Information technology, we all know how computers have and will continue to change the world. In 1675, German mathematician Gottfried Von Leibniz, after being introduced to the binary system of the I Ching while traveling in the East introduced to the world the concept of binary mathematics which became the foundation of computer science.
Dr. Van Sertima’s book shows without a doubt the close relationship between Asia and Africa. Wise men say that history repeats its self I believe this to be true, that is why I am sure that the time for strategic multi-cultural marketing and management is now. So when I am asked why I used the I Ching in the development of the Urbanology Strategic management system. I reply that I am just following the direction given to me by my ancestors.
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