Thoughts, Engagements, and Updates

28 Apr 2014

On Redefining Change: State, Action, and Passion


The Aristotelian philosophy on the nature of being teaches about the ten categories of ‘being’. The first is ‘substantive’, which is the primary mode of being, while the nine secondary modes are categorized as ‘accidents’.

Accidents are the changeable dimensions of our being that do not change who we are but allow us to do something different beyond our ‘recognizable’ limits and often factored in our core substance. For example to say that someone is black, white or colored represents their secondary mode of being. While saying that someone is a ‘human being’ represents a primary mode of being known as ‘substantive’ because it does not change its mode of being but stands whole in and of itself.

In each of the nine accidents of being – state, quality, quantity, state, passion, action, posture, location, or habilitation – we advert primarily to a different dimension of our being, which are often untapped and under-discovered. Among the nine accidents, ‘passion’, ‘action’, and ‘state’ makes the most sense for me as action words for change. Other accidents like ‘quality’ are extremes of change which often confounds who we really are from what we are called to do by altering completely our life’s trajectory. For instance, trying to change a career on account of its financial scale is a good example of adjusting the ‘quality’ accident. We often run the risk of moving away from our true essence on account of the present challenges when we try to change our quality. On the contrary, is not everything we are called to do would automatically fetch us money. Sometimes we have to serve to save. True changes does not totally pull us away from our life’s course but modifies our being to effectively accomplish purpose.

In the primary philosophic sense, ‘passion’ is defined as a product of ‘action’ which often leads to either a negative or positive change in being. Passion experiences an action that causes an internal transformation in our being. People saying demeaning things about you, for example, can either destabilize or charge you up to prove them wrong. Our passion creates a vibration in us that leads us to access our imagination, ingenuity and intuition in order to transform our recognizable limits. ‘Passion’ and ‘action’ often go together. There must be an ‘action’ taken before our ‘passion’ can replace those famously unsuccessful auto-pilot knee-jerk strategies with well reasoned strategies. A person that is passively undergoing something through but not limited to “action” is changed and perfected. Action does not necessarily imply motion or hyperactivity. It is a mental change in position that allows us to know and understand ourselves better. The producing effect of a mental action changes our recognizable limits, and reveals us to the world as leaders and achievers.

‘State’ on the other hand as an accident of being, seems to imply change in our being which allows us to identify ourselves from other people and point out what it is that really defines us. For example, to become a workplace hero, there must be something about you other workers don’t have. It could be a trait or a special way of doing something. ‘State’ is an important accident to brand ourselves and remain relevant in a changing culture.

To access higher creative power in business, philosophy enjoins us to replace/modify those popular, unsuccessful ideas of ours with well reasoned ‘accidents’ that improve the dimensions of our business sense. We should cause sensible alteration in our being that only allows us to modify our thought pattern in relation to where we are in life.

I think is high time we redefine change in the transforming order of ‘passion’, ‘action’ and ‘state’. It is a passion because we need to access some untapped deposits in our essence. An action, since we need some mental movement to change our present state of configuration. And change indeed requires some evaluation of ‘state’, relating where/who we are to where/who others are. Perhaps we need some mental modification in our thinking pattern to fit rightly into the present state of events in order to make sensible impact to our immediate culture.

If you long for the ‘good old days’, just turn off your air conditioning! Understand the age in which you live and make relevant updates if necessary. Quit doing things the old-fashion way and recognize the unique possibilities that lie by spicing things up with just a little bit of passion, action and rearrangement of your being. Seize the opportunities God has provided for your generation and fully live the one life you have to the glory of God.

Don’t be a human in a culture where everyone is an ape!

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