Joe Reilly: Is there an individuation process for the
elders themselves? Did they have to cross a certain
boundary in their own life?
Jay Hughes: Yes, there would have been some, almost always some midlife crisis in which they discover who they truly are. Not yet, not different from the function they're performing, but how to perform that function. Is it about me as an expert or is it about me possibly imagining sometime I might be a master? What a difference that journey is. The journey of the expert is sadly way too often, much too short. The journey of a rising elder through a beginner's mind, and then the journeyman attempting to use the mind, to the master potter who always makes sure that there's a flaw in the pot for the human reality.
It's a whole different journey.
Joe Reilly: So you think there's a certain letting go and
hoping that the answers will come, or knowing the answers will
come versus trying to know everything.
Jay Hughes: To use a very modern term, the elder in the profession has no product, none. The expert only has a product. The elder, the person in service, says to the family, I can help you with the process. You already have a process. And I can help you if you'd like to evolve that process, not change it. Evolve it.
That's a whole different process too, isn't it? Change is radical. Evolution is human. How do I find within the process the next orderly place for this process to evolve.
I think we all know that if you say to a human being there's no product, it's a process, they're probably going to leave the room as fast as they can go.
Of course, they will. And yet, for those who are truly interested in whether there is a third or fourth flourishing generation, they're already thinking out 50, 60 years. They understand that it can only be a process, and that no product can be of any use. Now, there can be an assessment, you could call that a product, that can be useful in the process of understanding how to evolve.
But that's not a product. That's a process within the process. If I say it as an example, great families all spend some of their early time, when they begin to look long term on how everyone in the family learns.
Of course they do. Because if you're going to be on a journey with somebody, together for 50 or 60 years, you'd probably like to know that when you're making joint decisions together, and you're going to make hundreds of them, that person has received the information in the best way he or she can process it.
That's the only way a family can succeed. A product can't fix anything. Processes are what works.