Mark Crosweller, AFSM, is the author of          The Allegorical Life blog.

About The Allegorical Life

An allegory in its most general sense is an extended metaphor that can readily illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.

One of the best-known examples of allegory is Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. In this allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows, using language to identify their world.

According to the allegory, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality, until one of them finds his way into the outside world where he sees the actual objects that produced the shadows. He tries to tell the people in the cave of his discovery, but they do not believe him and vehemently resist his efforts to free them so they can see for themselves.

This allegory is, on a basic level, about a philosopher who upon finding greater knowledge outside the cave of human understanding, seeks to share it as is his duty so as to free others of their pervading suffering of ignorance.  Thus, the great philosophers, theologists, mythologists and spiritual masters taught me to lift the veil of ignorance, hence my decision to adopt the term allegorical.

I have willingly spent many years studying and teaching – through allegories, myths, metaphors, philosophies and theologies, and particularly in studies, practices and teaching of Buddhist thought – the ethics that underpin concepts of leadership. And whilst I am a committed Buddhist, I have found great profundity in the writings and teachings of many other philosophies and faiths, both eastern and western.

At the request of many people, I’ve decided to start this blog and share some of the things that I’ve learnt and taught. In so doing, I’m not trying to convince you of anything specific other than to help you discover truths about yourself and your own life path by sharing insights from people much wiser and knowledgeable than I. I hope you enjoy my posts!

More about Mark Crosweller, AFSM

Mark has dedicated much of his life in the service of others. He brings with him 33 years of operational experience ranging from fire-fighter through to Commissioner and now Director-General, as well as 20 years in senior executive leadership and strategic management. During this period, he has led major strategic reform at the National, State, Territory and Local Government levels in the areas of governance, strategy, policy, operations, and capability. He has held various senior leadership roles during major crises involving both severe to catastrophic natural hazard events and human caused disasters.

Mark regularly speaks to a broad range of audiences on both his professional and personal experiences of crisis and adversity as well as speaking on the ethics of trust, humility, compassion and forgiveness.   

Mark currently holds a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Masters of Management Degree and is currently a PhD Scholar with the University of Western Australia. His research topic is “the “ethical premise of leading people through the adversity and loss of disasters”.  

Mark was awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation for Service in May 1999, the National medal for distinguished service in June 2000 and the Australian Fire Service medal in June 2003.  He is the Founder and inaugural Chairperson of the Coffee4Kids Foundation, a charity established since 2006.