Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures wrote a short post this morning on the role of lineages of thought.
I wanted to expand on this concept a bit, as lineage is a central concept in Buddhism as well, where a lineage, such as the Kagyu Lineage, is passed from one generation to the next.
It is through this methodology that someone like the Dalai Lama can be "discovered" as a reincarnate, indoctrinated in the teachings of the lineage (over many years), and then emerge as a Master.
If you think about it, there is an interesting duality in the nature vs. nurture aspect of a lineage. On the one hand, a conscious effort is made to discover the flesh and bones individual that has the right DNA to be a great leader.
On the other, a deep, prolonged apprenticeship of training and practice is ensures that those raw capacities are forged in a predictable fashion into something "miraculous."
Sadly, our own societal embrace of the tyranny of short-termism has led to the demise of focused apprenticeship as a core part our how we convert our unpolished young adults into skilled craftsmen.
(FWIW, in terms of philosophical learning, I am a 15+ year devotee of Chögyam Trungpa, who was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages.)
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