Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Autonomy (2): Control vs Change

In my 6 June 2017 blog, I explained that Autonomy is an example of one of the 7 Belief systems, being Philosophy. Our belief in Autonomy explains why we want to be in control in/of our lives. However, Control conflicts with Change. Hence, we welcome Change when it creates order (and control) and we fear Change when it brings chaos and lack of control.

Change is a continuous cycle of 4 elements that govern our lives: Faith, Hope, Doubt and Fear. As François de la Rochefoucauld once stated: “Hope and fear are inseparable. There is no hope without fear, nor any fear without hope.” Change has 2 main phases: Order (or equilibrium) and Disorder (or Chaos). Faith and Hope are part of Order & Control. Doubt and Fear are part of Chaos and lack of Control.

The 7 Belief systems are at the core of human beings. The Order & Control phase of Change rules over the Power domain of the 7 Belief systems (Money, Politics, Religion). The Chaos phase of Change rules over the Knowledge domain (Philosophy, Science, the Truth). Love, the 7th belief system, is impartial. The Power domain leverages on (profits from) Order & Control. The Knowledge domain fights Chaos.

The former paragraph made me realise that our belief in Autonomy was originally an example of the 7th belief system Love, and more specifically self-Love. Our views on Autonomy gradually changed from self-Love to Love for others (e.g., end of slavery, equality, fraternity, liberty). Nowadays, Autonomy has become a Philosophical Belief which is no longer connected to Love (others or self). This explains part 1 of this blog.

Our daily struggle to be in control in/of our lives will be successful as long as Change provides Order & Control. Our success will enhance our illusion that we can control our lives. Our illusions will be shattered, once Chaos enters our lives. This shattering will usually announce Grief and the 5 steps of the Kübler-Ross model: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Chaos and Grief will challenge our core beliefs, including Autonomy. Both will bring a choice in our lives: clinging on to our old beliefs or finding new beliefs (e.g., Awakening). We always have a choice. There is no better or worse involved in this choice. There has to be a match: right time, right place, right person (e.g., Idries Shah quote).

The contemporary human belief in Autonomy conflicts with other concepts like ecology, interconnectedness, society, and – perhaps most of all – Love and caring for others. Autonomy promotes different concepts like being in control, egocentrism, independence, individualism, and being self-supporting.

Perhaps Chaos is our wake-up call that a philosophical – or political – belief in Autonomy is an illusion or – worse – delusion. Chaos teaches the benefits of caring and sharing through cooperation and reveals the weaknesses of individualism. Cooperation brings synergy (wealth) and “social interaction [which] is critical for physical and mental health” (NYT).

“As an actor there’s no autonomy, unless you’re prepared to risk the possibility of starving.” Quote by Ben Kingsley

Control (1986) by Janet Jackson – artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

This is a story about control

My control

Control of what I say

Control of what I do


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