The devil in your story

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In his book Honoring the Body, Alexander Lowen, tells a story that he heard from Willhelm Reich.

One day a young devil who had been on earth causing trouble went down to Hell and, in an agitated and distraught manner, demanded to see the Master Devil, because the devils were in serious trouble on earth. The guards were so impressed by his serious demeanor that they brought him to the inner chamber, where the Master Devil was sitting on his throne. The young devil in a trembling voice exclaimed ‘Master, we’re lost. They’ve discovered the truth on earth.’ The old Master Devil looked undisturbed, and in a quiet voice said. “No problem. Go back and organise them.”

Alexander Lowen struggled for many years with the internal dynamics of his International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis. He wonders in his book why organisations are so vulnerable to deception, and concludes that it is because every organisation is based on power.

The time will come when you will have to face the question of how to create a structure that can hold your vision for the future. In his books Alexander Lowen offers a very honest view about how he handled this situation, and one can infer from his experience that too much emphasis on structure invites power games, whereas too much focus on the individual can invite individual ego games.

Nobody wants to work for an organisation that wants to do good but is disrespectful to its members, and neither do people want to work in a place ruled by individual personal egos that make it impossible to make any impact.

Striking the balance between these is one of the most difficult elements of turning your vision into a story.