“Radical open-mindedness is motivated by the genuine worry that you might not be seeing your choices optimally. It is the ability to effectively explore different points of view and different possibilities without letting your ego or your blind spots get in your way. It requires you to replace your attachment to always being right with the joy of learning what’s true. Radical open-mindedness allows you to escape from the control of your lower-level you and ensures your upper-level you sees and considers all the good choices and makes the best possible decisions. If you acquire this ability – and with practice you can – you’ll be able to deal with your realities more effectively and radically improve your life.” – 3.2. Practice Radical Open-Mindedness, Chapter 3. Be Radically Open-Minded, Part II. Life Principles, PRINCIPLES (Ray Dalio 2017), p188
“When two people believe opposite things, chances are that one of them is wrong. It pays to find out if that someone is you. That’s why I believe you must appreciate and develop the art of thoughtful disagreement. In thoughtful disagreement, your goal is not to convince the other party that you are right – it is to find out which view is true and decide what to do about it. In thoughtful disagreement, both parties are motivated by the genuine fear of missing important perspectives. Exchanges in which you really see what the other person is seeing and they really see what you are seeing – with both your “higher-level yous” trying to get the truth – are immensely helpful and a giant source of untapped potential.” – 3.3. Appreciate the Art of Thoughtful Disagreement, Chapter 3. Be Radically Open-Minded, Part II. Life Principles, PRINCIPLES (Ray Dalio 2017), p191
“Why doesn’t thoughtful disagreement like this typically occur? Because most people are instinctively reluctant to disagree. … The reluctance to disagree is the “lower-level you’s” mistaken interpretation of disagreement as conflict. That’s why radical open-mindedness isn’t easy: You need to teach yourself the art of having exchanges in ways that don’t trigger such reactions in yourself or others. … Holding wrong opinions in one’s head and making bad decisions based on them instead of having thoughtful disagreements is one of the greatest tragedies of mankind. Being able to thoughtfully disagree would so easily lead to radically improved decision making in all areas – public policy, medicine, science, philanthropy, personal relationships, and more.” – 3.3. Appreciate the Art of Thoughtful Disagreement, Chapter 3. Be Radically Open-Minded, Part II. Life Principles, PRINCIPLES (Ray Dalio 2017), p192
A simple act of reading above passages – just a few excerpts out of vastness of life and management philosophy and principles – might make you feel astounded. It’s because we can see Ray Dalio’s rigorous application of far-fetched and difficult subjects into real decision-makings in his personal life and in business.
These are just a few remarkable sets of principles on which Bridgewater is run and through which its people are tightly glued to arrive at great decision-makings and to build a great life together.
Here is an example of another ‘great company’ (I am using the definition of Good to Great companies) which has a rigorous culture that nurtures facing and seeking truth and in which people are committed to grow themselves and build great business together. And of course, we see Ray as a leader who sets clear directives in the form work principles for both the firm and its people to stand firmly on the shared spirit.
We realize, however, that these rigorous principles are challenging to practice both in real life and business situations unless you are prepared or up in the game. What do I mean by ‘being prepared?’
In order to fully grasp and appreciate Ray’s Principles and thus make them our own, and to ‘prepare’ us to be up in the game, it’s necessary to fully understand where Ray is coming from and the meaning of ‘going beyond mind.’
Eckhart Tolle says in his book: ‘The number of people who have gone beyond mind is as yet extremely small.’ He defines an enlightened person as someone who has gone beyond mind. The majority of us, yet, are unenlightened, because we are identifying ourselves with our mind, disconnected from our true power. (Tolle p37)
If I use Tolle’ definition, Ray Dalio is certainly one of rare enlightened persons. Please re-read above excerpts and carefully observe his words such as truth, higher-level yous, and lower-level yous. I perceive these are just a few clues.
He has a clear understanding of how and why our mind works for our benefit or our impediment and why it’s important to rise above. To share his insights on this subject, he allocates a major portion of his Life Principles with scientific understandings of our brain.
Not only that, there is another important aspect to understand where he is coming from. I have found that his keen perception on our mind, reality, our world, and the universe are clearly from his mental clarity and capacity harnessed from his practice of meditation. Yes, he is a meditator just as Steve Jobs was.
Important qualities – ‘radical open-mindedness’ being such an example – that Dalio emphasizes and elaborates through his principles can be well-understood if we recognize what an enlightened mind can perceive from a higher perspective.
What are those important qualities?
In this series – Mind and Beyond Mind -, I would like to illuminate a few important qualities highlighted in Principles in the spiritual context, based on The Power of Now, a powerful book by Eckhart Tolle that helped me not only gain clarity on my true self as well as on our age that we are living and but also build awareness of workings of my mind on a deeper level.
In each article, I would like to start with excerpts from The Power of Now for a specific subject I cover, followed by how Ray is highlighting the same qualities in a more systematic and scientific manner. In this way, I aim to shed light on how an enlightened or harnessed mind can achieve greatness in business and in life.
I would like to proceed the series in below order.
Mind and Beyond Mind [Intro] – A Rare Book Review of Ray Dalio’s Principles Illuminated in the Spiritual Context (in Reference to The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle)
Mind and Beyond Mind  – A Brief Introduction of The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle 1999): You Are Not Your Mind
Mind and Beyond Mind  – Principles and The Power of Now: On Higher Perspective
Mind and Beyond Mind  – Principles and The Power of Now: Mind-Identified Egoic State of Consciousness versus Pure Consciousness
Mind and Beyond Mind  – Principles and The Power of Now: On Fear
Mind and Beyond Mind  – Principles and The Power of Now: On Emotion
Mind and Beyond Mind  – Principles and The Power of Now: The Relationship Between Inner Stillness and Creativity
Mind and Beyond Mind  – Principles and The Power of Now: Who Do We Become After All? – A Fully Conscious Person
Mind and Beyond Mind  – Principles, The Power of Now (Eckhart Tolle 1999) and The Way of Peace (James Allen 1901): What Is Truth? What Is Real Power?
Mind and Beyond Mind [Closing] – Principles and The Power of Now: Implications for Our Self Development