Analytically different, but really entangled

Mark 7:24-30. Jesus cures the daughter of a Gentile woman

Does Jesus really distinguish between Jews and Gentiles? This gospel, together with the parable of the good Samaritan, demonstrates that regardless of a person’s background, as long as the person seeks what is truly good, that person shall be healed and made whole (i.e., integrally developed).

In business and management, we are always keen to draw boundaries – externalizing costs, segmenting the market, distinguishing what is inside and outside one’s business model. From a cognitive perspective, boundaries are comfortable; the constraints we place help focus our thinking given our limited understanding.

However, the trap we should avoid is conflating an analytical or epistemic perspective with what is actually or really “real”. Analytically different, but really entangled.

From an analytical perspective, we can distinguish the different parts and systems of our body: fingers, toes, arms, legs, nervous system, respiratory system, etc. But in reality, these parts are really, complexly, and beautifully entangled. Our being is more than the “sum” of our parts and subsystems. Analytical models are simplified, useful, but fallible; it is our duty to always update our models and to recognize that reality may be a beautiful mess of entanglement different from the convenient analytical differences we may prefer.

This makes our fascination for bandwagons and exclusive tribes unfortunate, like the politics in our country. The derogatory labels we ascribe each other — pinklawans, dutertards, etc., — these are more driven by ego, and it may divide us further.

Today’s gospel continued the trend. Jesus wanted no one to notice His healing, and I stand by my interpretation: Jesus did not seek to be a cult leader that others only follow because of sheer amazement. Rather, Jesus sought that others follow the True Good through their own discernment, without regard to a person’s accidental background or context.

[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 41: FEBRUARY 10, 2022]

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