THE BOOK:
On a personal level, do you want to lead a more self-reliant life?  Do ideas like personal independence, self-actualization, self-fulfillment, liberty and freedom appeal to you?  Self-Reliance:  Achieving Personal Resiliency and Independence (link) is designed to assist you in pursuing your own destiny.

Self-Reliance:  Achieving Personal Resiliency and Independence is the first of a series of books (it is a workbook) that lay the foundation of the Well-Formed Personality
(TM) and for Integral Leadership.  This book is a product of a sustained effort to address the issues of accelerating change and complexity in life.  

In this book you will learn about:

Your integral role in the natural order of things
Your capacity to master the challenges of living
A holistic framework for learning
Practices for living more effectively, and
An intensive practice in individuation:  The Well-Formed Personality
(TM)

How do you prepare individuals, organizations and communities to achieve self-determination?  

How do you achieve adaptive resilience in the face of massive change?  

How do you undertake purposeful transformative change?


This is the mission of the Cove Institute. 

What is Self-Reliance

Resiliency is the ability to adapt, to recover from challenges, problems, setbacks, and misfortunes.  But it is more.  The Cove approach to resiliency is the capacity not only to adapt but to anticipate, to innovate, to gain better control of the destiny of individuals and organizations.

Self-reliance is about personal resiliency. 

The term self-reliance originates with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous essay by that title.  Emerson’s ideal was the man or woman who sought to better understand life and the world we live in, who sought independence and self-determination, who lived fulfilling lives. 

The path to self-reliance is life-long practice.  It requires disciplined effort.  The workbook, Self-Reliance, provides a program for this practice.  The objective is to assume greater control over our own lives and the conditions that affect those around us.

This book includes the first of nine parts related to personal and community development.  These nine parts are from the Well-Formed PersonalityTMmodel developed by the author.  These nine parts represent a sequence, a spiral, of development.  

The book draws heavily from the work of Alfred Korzybski, R. Buckminster Fuller and Ralph Borsodi.  It is founded on the understanding that human beings are a functional product of nature adapted to overcoming adversity, solving problems and seeking a better life.

The objective of this book can be found in the statement:  "We have the option to passively accept what life gives us or to actively engage in it -- to seek self-reliance and self-determination.  I believe we must pursue that option. Society is the product of its members. The more humane its members, or at least its leaders, the more humane the society."

Cove Institute

The name came from a beautiful cove on the California coast.  I was standing with one of these mentors, overlooking the cove, a late sun, heavy surf; we were discussing the course of this work.  What do we all it we wondered as we gazed into that cove.  And that was the Cove Institute vision.

The CI program came out of a sequence of projects with five extraordinary mentors over a period of years. We worked to find the key principles that define our human essence.  The Cove Institute objective is transformational change.

The work explored literature and practices from Emerson and Thoreau to the present.  Much of it came from the peak days of the Human Potential Movement.  The idea was to develop a synthesis, a handbook if you will, of this work.  We needed to define the essential principles and key players.

During the months following the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and following another meeting at the cove, from an initial synthesis of materials came three major premises for the work to follow:

This is a time of unprecedented change and transformation of human society.
People are individual, self-conscious beings who long for emotional and spiritual unity with others, or community.
If any single quality defines the human purpose for existence it is our uniquely human capacity for learning, our capacities of perception, cognition and creative imagination.

The model was defined as a resilient learning community, a self-sufficient institution to pursue the knowledge and skills for purposeful transformative change in the challenging new century.

There are four cardinal principles of the Cove Institute:

  1. Learning
  2. The Well-Formed Personality
  3. Community
  4. Integral History


Learning and action are integral. In an era defined by crisis, a new model of leadership is required, men and women who can perceive patterns in complexity, plan, organize, motivate, and act to achieve objectives.

The basic “curriculum” consists of the framework of the Well-Formed Personality, 27 modules to develop the individual, who can form community, to achieve purposeful transformative change.

A Well-Formed Community is the product of healthy individuals.  A community is a group that share values.  It sees itself as an ecosystem within the larger ecosystem defined by human society and nature.

Integral history is the cumulative record of human experience.  It is a model of the progress of civil society.  It explores the inevitable rise and fall of civilization and seeks to draw lessons for our current global civilization

In 2008 sustainability was added to the basic configuration as it became apparent that this was the defining progress our era.  In 2018 a shift was made from sustainability – or trying to manage our resources – to resilience – or what we do when we don’t achieve sustainability.