The First Discipline Framework

“Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.” – Archimedes

Going home, to the place to stand

This is not about the home on your website or the physical home where we rest our bodies.

So where is home?

6y4 ii3q qn320w3

I got the above gibberish when I shifted from my home position on the keyboard, F and J where I rest my index fingers.  When I move away from my home position, this is the result that I get.  When I am at home on the key-board I make sense else I make non-sense.  I can use appropriate levers and leverage to move the whole world, improve.  If I am not at home, positioned, I create waste, work very hard, feel stressed out, burn myself faster and hurt myself and others in different ways.  Work anyway is not fun. We unmake the world rather than making it. This is the work we work on, overtime.

Home is the only place from which I can move the world.

The real journey begins here.


The home position

Even if we are homeless we have homes on websites.  When we go off course, we can refer back home and continue to navigate.

We understand reality through our tools. It is a long time that I have used a pen or pencil or paper. I spend most of my working time in front of the monitor. The PC is my most used tool.

When we were hunting and gathering, we would have used more of our hands and feet.  With settled agriculture, we became more attached to a physical location so did our mental maps of the world. The fishermen are quite different.   On the high seas they don’t have the kind of stability that we on land take for granted.  Their mental models are different from that of the farmer. They use the compass or GPS since it is much more disastrous if they cannot locate their position/s. They could drift off and never return home.

Do we have a vision compass for the more important journey of our life ?

When we got ‘educated’ we became language and ‘English centric’, says, Wanderer, my friend from an earlier social network which was home to these blogs.  What do you mean by being English-centric?.

Wanderer (UK) adds, your language is Inglish, not English.

I admit. He is a veteran senior and has wandered around far more than any of us.

The paradigms are changing as HTML, visual and the mufti modal  replace text as we used to know it. One is lucky if we manage to retain a wiki page for a life-times work. Technology helps us to see reality as it unfolds. Reading gives way to browsing and if one wants to capture the flea span of attention of the viewer, one has to be multi-modal. It is quite unlikely that the essential message is grabbed from  all the noise about unmaking the world since the deep structures that influence comprehension of reality remain unchanged. We need a ‘Babel fish’ to reduce the noise and help navigate the semantic swamps and to connect across divergences and barriers created by language and tools .

In our times we have become less earthbound in our internal and external horizons. We cover much more distance in a day than ever before, be at home yet remain connected in real time across the planet. 

Perspectives change with the position. The visibility is much more from the top of the mountain but the details get blurred.  Products and solutions are designed and positioned to meet the global and local requirements of the users. Personal and organisational positioning precedes and influences the process.  A critical mass of catalytic material, individuals and organisations are a transformational imperative.  Positioning is about those life changing decisions, the raison d’etre, like choosing a vocation and deciding to be best the in that vocation.

The child in the womb is blissfully unaware of its position. The terrorist is firm in his position that the other deserves death.  The negotiator takes middle ground (yes and no, you and me) The catalysts take the fourth position, the home position or the lighthouse position where they are at home and anchored. Work transforms to living, expression of one’s self. Here is the birth of the fully functional self, the beginning of conscious evolution, characterised by dynamic mental maps, flow, synchronicity and continual renewal. Now, one can fix the direction for the journey (continual improvement) connect with the home position to the variant position/s (reflect) and be certain that one is on course. Evolutionary growth and true community is in emergence.

When we are confronted with problems with our tools we go back to the design – the user manual. Our tools have become very refined yet the problems continue to outpace them. When we don’t understand the basic design we become slaves to our own tools.  Nature has a design, a deep structure, which we have to live with. We continue to pay a price for our ignorance of the basic design. Our designs are but improvisations of bits and bytes of the basic design. Imagine billions of people continuing with a flat earth worldview and the reality we collectively create! While we have ‘progressed’   we have also ‘regressed’ in our connectedness with nature. Deep down we still hold on to the flat earth static models.  Better maps would facilitate faster and sustained improvements by leveraging technology and markets which work in real time and help us to make more intelligent use of these levers.

We have very sophisticated tools for spatial navigation ranging from the compass/ GPS to satellites and communication systems. We have mapped our immediate environs with greater and greater precision and managed to connect machines to communicate with each other across the planet in real- time. For the first time we see the planet in real time. Though machines communicate with each other we do not do it as well.  The man machine interface is still a grey area which slows down the common journey. A real time evolutionary framework  of wholeness is one of the requirements to bridge the divides and disconnects.

The Window to the Self – A Thought Experiment

Imagine yourself at the centre of a perfect sheet of rubber being stretched in the conflict between the old and the new, the ideal and the operational.   Being a perfect sheet of rubber it does not get torn but stretches perfectly. The centre of the sheet remains at the centre, undisturbed

Now imagine the sheet being transformed into a perfect football. What happens to the centre? The centre is shifted to the centre of the football and the football is being kicked around in the world-cup with no timelines. It is a perfect football. Nothing happens to the centre. It remains at the centre absolutely centred, motionless and at peace. Sometime during the process of being kicked around the football becomes aware of what is going on.  Instead of being chased around it decides to chase the players!

Imagine your own self, the conflicts and the process of becoming anchored, taking the lighthouse position and the beginning of the journey of sustained continuous improvement.

Infographics - Return to the Centre

Infographics – Return to the Centre

Getting started

I have a new DP, dialogue partner. We have decided to meet at the Asoka Pillar in Bangalore where decades ago I had lived for a year during my student days.  The pillar is a replica of the one at Sarnath (250 BC). He is new to Bangalore and spent quite a long time reaching me

I had  a problem with my GPS

Thank god you know that you have a problem with your GPS. Most people think they don’t have a problem with their GPS

What do you mean?

What is the first thing that we need to know if we want to reach your destination?

As usual we get a wide set of answers except THE FIRST which is,

“Where am I now.”

So where are we now?

We may have to ask more questions before we come to the answer.?

When were you born?

That was the birth of your body. You didn’t have anything much to do with it and you are not your 60 Kgs.

Are you suggesting that I am yet to be born?

‘WE’ are yet to be born. How can I be born if WE, the species, is yet to be born?

Birth of self and community self

We were not born when we were born since physical birth is not synonymous with birth of self.

The system at birth is comparable to the bullet that leaves the barrel of a gun. The bullet is helpless to influence its trajectory. Systems that we design do not go beyond this level though the duration could be much longer.

Self-regulation is the differentiator to qualify to be a higher level system, evolving to become aware of the position, direction and regulating itself to influence the outcome choosing the course to the potential of the design.

The key words are birth of self, position, direction, reflection and self-regulation

Another question- what are our basic needs?

We have already re-visited Maslow, meaning / spiritual / whatever…

For those who commit suicide, life is no more meaningful, not worth the trouble.  If life is meaningful, then food has meaning – to keep the body and soul together

Soul is the unifying principle that, which connects, the glue, gives meaning, spirit. We haven’t really started. We are already getting mired in the semantic swamp. The semantic swamp contributes to global warming, cutting down more trees and creates more intellectual poverty rights.

Symbols make it easier than all the text and discourses.

The philosophy and the maths are very simple, the new maths or the very old, I don’t know

0, 1, 2, 3, ∏


0 = nothing

1 = everything

2 = duality, the linear, static, partial truth

3 = connecting, the linear is transformed

∏ = synergy, whole > the sum of parts, dynamic, continual, real time, unending, quality of being connected with the centre and the periphery ( the perfect foot-ball).  When the setting is right, the intent is expressed, the seed turns into the tree, caterpillar to the butterfly and the bullet is aware of its self, takes birth to eternity.  The journey begins here, that of transformation.

“Well-nigh two thousand years and not a single new god”- Nietzsche.

We see the light at the end of the tunnel and walk out of the dark hole, the prison that we built for our SELVES

Oneness is the quality of the whole – the child in the womb is one with the mother and at birth is confronted by the separation, a perceived duality which is the quality of two, a linear world of many, day and night, good or bad, true or false, yes or no – the domain of problems.  The prodigal son revolts, eventually reconciles. The self evolves to resolve the contradictions, duality and recognise the connectedness – oneness.  This is not a return in the sense of going back since the self has moved to a higher level in terms of growth and maturity from the level of yes or no, true or false to the level of yes and no, true and false , good and bad. This is the quality of three – trinity, the third position from which agreement, improvement and solutions are possible, the shift from the static and linear to the dynamic and static. Intelligent choices and conscious evolution follow.

So where are we now?

Other Less FAQs

Which is true north, the direction for the journey?

How do WE make sure that WE are on the path?

Do we have a map of every-THING, to make it easier and fool proof?

Nothing to Everything

Design of the Learning Engine


J.  The learning engine (LE) is any system that continually improves on its previous best performance.

S. Am I one?

J. You can be one. It involves taking the (home) position that you are one knowing what it means to be one. In the same way if a team, an organisation, or a community decides to be one, it certainly qualifies to be a LE.

S. Besides taking position what more does it involve?

J.  It involves understanding the design and matching the performance with the design.

S. Let us get to know the design in detail

Windows take us to the world of the digital. This window to the self has four panes giving us the four perspectives from the centre. It took over three decades to see the connection with the four lions around the centre which communicates the essence of the four-fold view of the wheel of dharma.


J. Quadrants, the four panes of the window, Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 of the LE are analogous to the four wheels of the car and the eye, the centre, the anchor, home position or whatever – a non-controversial  reference point for metrics.

The four quadrants are also directional.


Q1, North West,

Q4, South West,

Q2, North East, and

Q3, South East)

S. Who is the driver?

J. Us, depending on whoever identifies with the system. Q1 and Q 4 are internal to the observer,  driver/s of the LE.  Q2, Q3 are external to the observer. Q 3 is the physical world.

At the centre, where the four quadrants meet, imagine a lighthouse with nine levels. When you climb to the top you get the eagle’s perspective, see everything and have a map of everything.

Level 1 has all the maps, level 2 maps of all the simple machines similar to the clock, level 3 the maps of advanced machines with self-regulation, level 4 the maps of the unicellular world, level 5 that of the world of plants, level 6 that of all the animals, level 7 the maps of the individual – human, level 8 that of the organizational and level 9 that of all accumulated learning, meta- systems – religion, science, philosophy, etc

The gap is the waste, unrealised potential, road not travelled, blue ocean space, the domain for Metrics.

A Map of Everything

From the top of the lighthouse, we can see where we were, prior to the climb, at the end of the line going up (or down?) from the level of animals in quadrant SE. Now, one knows the light house position (invariant) and the ship’s position (variant)

The direction for the journey can now be set, the compass function – towards bridging the gap between potential and performance. Had there been no gap we would have had a straight line in quadrant SE, a mirror image of NW. The gap is the waste, unrealised potential, road not travelled, blue ocean space, the domain for Metrics, inputs for course correction, to make sure  that the journey is one of improvement rather than speeding towards disaster.

SW is about learning and renewal, the process, improvement and revision of mental models to maps

Quadrant NW is the external social system, history, barriers to transcend, opportunities which conflicts with SW in terms of the challenges to learning and improvement.

Perfection, Problems – every single time is a time of crisis, a crisis of the spirit of the time taking its birth, arising from resisting the perfection in us, not a crisis or a problem  when we look at it from the invariant position but the greatest opportunity of the time

Prophets, Peters. Parrots – Christ‘s vision was the foundation for the church and Peter the institution builder. Sans vision institutions become empty drums. In the age of the common Buddha, vision and action go hand in hand. Pyramids and hierarchies collapse. Parroting, rote learning helps to pass on accumulated learning but is not sufficient to lead to improvement

Programmers, Parents, Pedagogues, Priests, Politicians – Even children are trained/ programmed to be terrorists- parroting. Why not programming for sustained improvements?  The major programming influences, family, religion, politics groom to conform. It  is for the individual to discern between the chaff and the grain in his journey of improvement.

Progress – Many a measure of progress fail to capture net improvements in realising the unrealised potential of the human. What we might think as progress may not be an improvement as suggested in quadrant SW. We might believe us to be above the level of animals as a class, but when it comes to realising potential we fall below them.

Power, Peace – Aggression begets aggression. Authentic power follows from facilitating others to discover their power, voice, potential, anchoring and connecting to peace within for peace outside.

Process – The focus on events, outcome and results need to go hand in hand with process dimensions. The product is in the process. If output and results do not meet expectations and standards, revisit the process.

Position – Taking a position calls for multiple perspectives, variant and invariants, the lighthouse position vs. the positions that the ship takes on its course. ( link to the lighthouse story)

The core at the centre is the engine and the four quadrants the wheels

The learning engine is capable of continually improving on its own performance against all odds creating invincibility

Continual Renewal – Continual learning is the path to continual renewal. Nature is in a process of continual renewal but for the ecological footprints from human interventions. It takes more than a year for nature to renew what we consume in a year and some damages are irreparable.

Learning improves our mental models. The frog in the well forms a model of the world. The eagle on the tree has a different model. When the frog is taken out by the eagle and brought back into the well these two merge together to form a map of the world. The world has not changed but the models of the world have changed. We too had a flat earth model in the not too distant past. With better technology and tools these models have given way to maps with increasing precision. Though maps of the physical world have become more precise the mental models that went with them are not easily discarded.

The eagle represents the big picture and frog, the details. Both are connected just as the Hubble telescope sends us pictures from outer space and the femtoscope helps us see the smallest of the small. The eagle represents the global and frog the local which are but different perspectives of the whole. In a connected world – being GLOCAL – is an imperative. So is the imperative of continual learning, leading to continual renewal. We are frogs in the well of nature

The   map to attenuates  variety in sufficient measure to  reveals what is concealed  It  facilitates positioning, fixing direction and self-correction for the process of continual renewal and improvement at different levels – individual, institutions, communities and community. We know where to hang our different hats as practitioners of various disciplines, ‘social programmers’ – parents, pedagogues, priests, and politicians. We can SEE and SHOW (the visual has the highest bandwidth) how everything, living, non-living, internal and external, observer- observed  are ONE, a continuum, in process and evolving. It points to the blue ocean space, the un- trodden path to our evolutionary potential.  The observer could be the individual, a group, an organisation or the species.

Metrics, measurement, of true progress becomes possible.

NW  is a map of the ideal, the deep structure, the conceptual, pure potential, design and the world of ideas .The order, hierarchy, increasing complexity and potential with each level, alignment and connectedness need be re- ‘cognised to understand the performance issues in the external world mapped in the bottom right quadrant, SE.

The wheels must be in alignment for the car to move on. There exists a perennial conflict (resistance to change) between quadrants NW and SE, ideal and the operational, between internal self and the external social system, quadrants SW and NE. To manage is to create, sustain and continually improve the alignment so that the car is on course feeding on its fuel – waste.

What makes the human unique as a class of systems is the potential to improve. There is ‘no’ gap between potential and performance up to the level of animals (see quadrant SW)

The gap begins after the level of animals. The gap can also be seen as the waste in the system, the unrealised potential, the root cause for problems. In terms of potential vs. performance the human is sub animal

Corresponding to the total potential/performance gap, there exists a gap in every one of us which forms the personal sphere for improvement which triggers the question, “What is my potential and my performance?

Quadrant NW represents the ideal, perfect, conceptual, pure potential, internal to the self and in perfect alignment at all levels starting from the maps to Meta systems (represented by the umbrella).

Quadrant SE represents the physical world, measurement, performance. Mirrors NW up to the level of animals. The knowledge gap is the major reason for the gap. There will always be a gap but it is feasible to narrow the gap and bring about sustained and continual improvements

Quadrant SW is internal to the self and NE represents the external social system. While learning is a pre-requisite to improvement, history and habits nurture conformity. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. Self could be the individual, team, organisational or community self. Complexity increases with levels

The map facilitates positioning, fixing the direction for the journey and measurement of progress.  It is possible to visualise the nature of the journey as an on – going process of continual improvement and renewal.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Confucius.

To take that first step we need to know where our position is and the direction in which to take that step, to be on course.

The potential performance gap is illustrated by life expectancy vs. longevity of exceptional people. Life expectancy in developed countries is around 75 which is an indication of performance. Potential is reflected in the exceptions, people living beyond their 100. The gap or the waste in terms of unrealised potential is 25 years.

Life expectancy is not the only aspect to be taken into account. There are exceptions who achieve much more than average people with shorter life spans and those who continue to be much more productive in their second careers than in their first.

We need to visualise human potential if we are to realise it.  On a global scale the aggregate waste is astounding. The estimation has to be on multiple factors to illustrate the issue better. A corporate would attempt to look at the issue from many different perspectives, in terms of market potential vs. performance or the human potential vs. performance. The same could be attempted at different levels- individuals, institutions, communities, nations, global

The scope for improvement is defined by the current performance against potential of the system. Improvement is constrained by gaps in understanding / internal competencies that define the learning requirements to realise such improvements. The roadmap and metrics to narrow the gap between potential  and performance emerges.

“Poverty in the world is an artificial creation. It doesn’t belong to human civilization, and we can change that, we can make people come out of poverty and have the real state of affairs. So the only thing we have to do is to redesign our institutions and policies, and there will be no people who will be suffering from poverty.” – Muhammad Yunus

When breakdowns are pervasive it is time to go back to the design. We have many – poverty, the recession, illness, crimes, suicides, terrorism, climate challenge, enough reasons to go back to the basic design, the template/s of nature, the system of systems

The unknown is a rabid dog without its master. When it finds the master it turns into his/her most faithful ally. It is the submerged portion of the ice-berg of our self, personal and collective. The prodigal son returns to his father. It is time to celebrate, being reconnected to the roots. Farther we move away from the basic design and it remains unknown and unconnected, the scale and complexity of our challenges assume gargantuan proportions.

Back to storytelling

Stories live on very much like living organisms with much longer life-spans

Ravana is a mythical character with 10 heads (from Ramayana, the Indian epic narrates the journey of Rama). Which are these 10 heads?

How can one have 10 heads?

At the centre is the self, the observer in us – a compass – purpose of the compass is to fix the position in relation to some reference points prior to starting the journey. Let us take this dialogue as a journey to illustrate the issue

The second head is having a map/plan as to the direction of the journey. In this case let us say we want to understand the basic design. It could as well be designing the future.

The third head is the clock. One needs to keep some measure of the progress, keep counting, have some tools, technology, etc to go on the journey.

Without tools where would we be? We could at best walk 20 miles a day and that would be the limit of our potential to travel for a day. In the last one decade, our internal landscapes have broadened much more than in any time during recorded history.

The thermostat function in the journey is to check back with the starting position – reflect –to make sure that the step is in the right direction and correct myself if i have gone wrong

Level of the cell, the basic unit of the body, a virus or bacteria, a higher level system than a clock, or thermostat, beginning of life as we understand it .  Where would we be without our understanding of the cell?

Plant – the world of plants, extension of the cell, a higher order complexity than that of the cell

Animal – All the animals

Human – the individual human

Community- organisations, teams

Learning / Knowledge. Learning is equated with improvement, accumulated wisdom. Our collective wisdom has evolved through our understanding of all these levels through history and various disciplines. The journey is towards more of it in sufficient measure so that we are not victims of the unknown. There will be unknowables and room for surprises and miracles so that life does not fall into monotony and meaningless repetition, eternal recurrence.
We need all the ten heads to be fully functional. Think of it as a ladder with 10 steps. Take away any one, potential is a myth. Being positioned /anchored is to place the ladder on firm ground and go up to take the eagle’s perspective. Another way to visualise it, is to see it as a lighthouse with ten levels each level corresponding to the steps of the ladder. The lighthouse does not change its position, but the sailing vessels do have to if they are not to perish. “ Dasavataram “ stands for the ten avatars of Vishnu, the ten stages of evolution of the human.It is also the title of a recent movie by Kamal Hassan, the south Indian actor, who acts in ten different roles, avatars. Ramayana is the epic journey of Rama. (Ayanam is journey). The anti hero – is Ravana (An Asura) with ten heads who abducts Sita (the feminine) wife of Rama (masculine, an avatar of Vishnu). The choice is between turning into a 10 headed monster or to the truly human positioned to realise the design, the higher unrealised human potential. One needs to take a conscious choice to by the design than against it. Knowing the design is a required condition. Who wants to grow into a monster intentionally? Not even Hitler would!

Quadrant 3 is the performance quadrant. In an ideal situation we would have had a straight line beginning from the centre and going to the opposite corner. This is the fall of man which we often view, as ‘Progress’. One can now see the gap between potential and performance – the waste in the system, the unrealised potential, the root cause of all breakdowns.

To illustrate at the personal level, what is the potential vs performance of the body? Since we are all selfish this would be more appealing.

I knew somebody from age 75 till he died at the age of 100 years, 6 months and 15 days. Life-expectancy in the context in which he lived is 74 years. There is a gap of 26 years when one compares his performance against what is considered to be normal. He was abnormal in a positive sense because he achieved many times more than the normal individual and was healthy and cheerful, till the very last. But for an accident towards the end, he never had to go the doctor or take medicines. Other than the last few weeks he continued to work.

Why is it that there is such variance? If we visualize a future society with 100 yrs as the norm, there is a waste of 25 years. Why do such variances occur and how do you explain the gap between potential and performance?

The problem is not with the potential of the body or the design, but with our understanding of the design. First problem is the knowledge hole, much more serious than the ozone hole! The human potential is something like an iceberg. We see only a small part of it. What is hidden is much more than what is revealed, far beyond all that is known to us, beyond all those who are in the Guinness book, all the great ones who have passed away or the person whom I was referring to, who lived a meaningful life for 100 years . Nothing about the past gives us any clues to this unrealised potential other than perhaps the myths. There is plenty of room for miracles to happen because a miracle is something which is unexplainable by the known laws of nature. What we know of nature is so fragmented that it does more harm than good and precedence will not take us to Mars.

The model is about understanding the design in nature. The second step is to use this design to check whether the performance matches the design. It doesn’t. The gap between potential and performance as shown in Q 3, helps us to visualise this gap. How do we connect to that potential in us that is hidden, connecting to an infinite source of power ( at the time when we face an energy challenge) change course for good to the totally positive, never to return to the road by default. The moment of truth! The alignment needs be right for the car to move. The known and the unknown, conscious and the unconscious, are to be in alignment if the full potential is to emerge, If not they work at loggerheads. The unknown is our enemy which fights/plots against our own selves. Dreams and myths offer a bridge to the unconscious. During the time of Hippocrates, the patients had to dream that they are healed prior to the physician commencing his medication

In Quadrant 3 the potential performance gap begins from the level of animals. What we see as a rise in the line from the diagonal is a fall, the great fall of man turning himself to the sub- animal in spite of our “ progress’ which goes into the sorry state of affairs that we have created for ourselves. For animals there is hardly any gap between potential and performance but from the level of the human there exists this gap. Human is the only species that can improve itself, the unique differentiator about humanness. And when we don’t improve as a species, we turn sub-animal. It is not that we don’t want to improve, but there has to be a method by which we differentiate between real improvements and pseudo achievements

Q 3 is the physical world, the tangible and material

Quadrant 2 deals with the external world, the accumulated wisdom or ignorance of the social system which influences the self and the barriers created by the external world in realising one’s higher potential

In  ‘Beyond the Waves’ , we were discussing the four different worlds , the eco-system people, farming communities, the industrial world and a post modern knowledge community in the making. There are lessons to be integrated from all the four worlds to create a more desirable future. The first world lives or used to live in harmony with nature living off on nature without hurting sustainability. Agriculture in the developed world has become industrialised. Farming communities in developing countries, though not industrialised to the same extent, are compelled to compete with industrialised agriculture. Industrialisation brought about major shifts in the way we think because the tools we use influence our thinking and leads to behavioural modifications. With emergence of connectivity and communications, paving the way for the emergence of global community, the possibility of another paradigm shift is emerging

However the dominant thinking, the mental models of our opinion makers – politicians, economists, engineers, medical professionals – essentially follow the machine logic.

It is not an unfounded fear that in some distant future, robots or artificial intelligence will take over humans. It has already done so because we are driven by the machine logic, a product of industrialisation, as our prevalent paradigm, the internal map. Are we turning into Pavlovs dogs ?

The machine logic is focused on entropy. No machine can regenerate itself, reproduce itself or make a copy of it. It is not a self –regulating system though advanced machines have some limited capacities to self regulate. Economists visualise the economy as an engine and the allopath sees the body as a machine.

The biologist has a better model guided by the bio-logic, in stark contrast to the machine logic. The bio-logic is about creating order, increasing self regulation as we move up through the different classes of beings. That humans do not often self-regulate does not mean that there is no potential. Entrenched habits block this potential form emergence and conscious choice is a pre-requisite to self – regulation. The cell, the basic unit of life, is negentropic with increasing order and evolution. 200 years since Darwin, the biologist does not influence our thinking to the extent that other more fashionable professions do, the engineers, managers, economists, or those in the medical profession. These are essentially derived disciplines emerging out of our progress in knowledge and there will always be a lag between new understanding and such understanding influencing mainstream thinking. One has to take position against the limits of mainstream thinking, the burden of normality, if one has to move beyond the average, a perceived normality rather than true normality.

The cardinal illness is a thought disorder and other problems are derived ones from this fundamental distortion, the original sin?
Quadrant 2 More Ps

Q2 comes in between, the blocks/barriers to transcend to narrow the gap between potential (Q1) and performance (Q3)

Nature is perfect, beyond improvement. Nurture follows from history, institutions, assumptions, habits and positions. All of these together create the knowledge hole, barriers to realising the unrealised bur realisable potential, personal and collective.  This is the learning imperative, the syllabus for graduation from the school of life.

Being from and of nature we are complete and whole (by design) but we seldom take such a position. We take the position that we are incomplete, sinners and wait for the second coming of the prophet, to be redeemed.

What we see depends on where we stand, our position. The individual, organisation, community or society at large could be positioned for improvement or otherwise. Some take the informed choice, goes by the design and others take the road by default. The two options are by design or by destiny and the answers could be yes, no and yes and no. There is enough room for dialogue

Positioning is the first step to progress or continuous improvement whether personal, organisational, community/ communities. Clashes arise from the differing positions and finding common ground is essential to bring in peace. Power comes in between, sometimes genuine and authentic and at other times, distortions of power that arise from the primary distortion in the meaning of power. (Hitler vs. Gandhi)

Nature is always in process, of continual renewal. The ecological footprints of human interventions block renewal and we come to suffer from our own actions. It takes more than a year for nature to renew what we consume in a year and some damages are irreparable.

The body is in the process of continual renewal which depends on what we pay attention to. Pay attention to entropy, decay is the result. From completeness arise completeness, growth from acceptance, being to becoming.

Programming – socialisation- of the individual thorough its institutions of politics, religion (priests) , education (pedagogues) parents,   influences progress.   To the better or the worse depends on the position one takes.

Peters and Parrots – the effectiveness would depend on the vision with which they are driven. Rote learning is parroting not real. Real learning leads to real improvements. Sometimes parroting helps. But for parroting we wouldn’t have any myths, folklore, culture. We would have lost our roots and become impoverished,

Problems could be perceived as problems or as opportunities.  Complexity is a challenge to those who enjoy it and a puzzle for those who are perplexed by it.   The solution focus would accelerate progress and the opposite to compounding of the problems.

Quadrant 4 addressing the learning imperative

The eagle lives on the tree near a deep well in which lives a community of frogs. None of them had ever been out of the well. The granny frog has her bedtime story telling session. The eagle could hear the stories. On a sunny day when the thermals had begun rising, the eagle swooped into the well, grasped one little frog in its claws and rose up with the thermal. The heights and the fear of death overtook the little one. The eagle let go of the frog from the heights above the well.

During the fall back into the well, the frog had just a glimpse of the world outside. The eagle returned to the tree, waited for the sun to set and to hear the story of the day. What will be the story of the day?

We have been collecting these stories since 1990. Initially everyone connects it in their own ways. Some identified themselves with the eagle and some with the frog and the fear of death.

Not many with both, eagle and the frog

The big and the small

The telescope and the microscope, Hubble and the Femtoscope

Global,  local and the connections in between

How mental models are formed, revised and improved to mental maps

How best to continually learn, not to stop with any of the new maps

How an old world of the frog has collapsed, how a new world is born

That we are all in that well – of Nature and that we will never see all of it

But we can see much more now, than it used to be

Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.

Learning improves our mental models. The frog in the well forms a model of the world. The eagle on the tree has a different model. When the frog is taken out by the eagle and brought back into the well these two merge to form a map of the world. The world has not changed but the models of the world have changed.

We were inhabitants of a flatland in a not too distant past. With better technology and tools these models have given way to maps with increasing precision. Though maps of the physical world have become more precise the mental models that go with them are not easily discarded. The eagle represents the big picture and frog, the details. Both are connected just as the Hubble telescope sends us pictures from outer space and the femtoscope helps us see the smallest of the small. The eagle represents the global and frog the local which are but different perspectives of the whole. In a connected world, being GLOCAL is an imperative. So is the imperative of continual learning, leading to continual renewal

With a little facilitation everyone comes to share the common ground, the foundation, for a Taj Mahal, an ashram or a lighthouse to be built.  We have looked at the four wheels of the learning engine. We now need to move to the centre, the observer and driver of the learning engine and what drives her. It is also time to move away from orbiting, repetition, to join the dynamic conscious evolutionary spiral of continuous improvement /renewal

Potential vs Performance

Potential and Performance

Potential and Performance

We take the two panes together so that the contrast helps us to grasp the nature of the problem, like black vs. white a duality. We hold the view that a duality is nothing but a gate to learning.

Without black we cannot make sense of white. When we put it in black and white, we put only the black. White is the context. Meaning is contextual – relative, in comparison.  Same goes for good and bad, true and false, war and peace. In the same way if performance need to be  put in perspective we need to hold potential with performance together and make sense

The potential quadrant is of a conceptual nature whereas the performance quadrant is the tangible physical world as in design of a car and the car.

In the potential quadrant

Ground zero is the meeting point between all quadrants the position of the observer symbolised by the eye/ self.

Level of maps

The level of the clock – all simple machines, a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun

Systems with self – regulation

Level of the unicellular.

Level of the plant

Level of the animal

Level of the individual human

Level of groups, organizations, Community

10.  Meta – all accumulated and potential future knowledge

Potential is emergent from positioning and alignment with all levels.  InRamayana, the journey of Rama, Ravana, the anti- hero has ten heads (nine more heads within) corresponding to all the levels, yet he fails to win the heroine.

In the performance quadrant the gap between potential and performance begins from the level of the human. We can improve, but do not in aggregate terms. The blue ocean space is the collective unrealised potential of the system or in other words, the waste.

Metrics deals with the reduction in waste (pollution, illness, suicides) the measure of net improvements, real progress, the reduction in the gap between potential and performance. The journey is in the right direction if continual renewal / improvement results.

Perfection vs Psychodynamics


Nature is perfect by design. Our understanding is not and we refuse to accept our inherent perfection. This is the barrier to be transcended for the fuller expression of performance.

Psychodynamics is the interaction of conscious or unconscious mental or emotional processes influencing   behaviour and attitudes. The following story explains the problem and also points to the solution space.

The eagle lived on the tree beside a deep well and in the well a community of frogs. None of them had ever been out of the well. Every night the granny frog told her bedtime stories to the young ones in the well. The eagle could hear the stories. One morning when the thermals had begun rising in the air, the eagle swooped into the well, grasped one little frog in its claws and rose up with the thermal. The heights and the fear of death overtook the little one. Then the eagle let go of the frog from the heights above the well. While falling back, the frog had just a glimpse of the world outside. The eagle went back to the tree and waited for the sun to set, to hear the story of the day. What will be the story of the day? Tell us?

We have been collecting these stories for over 19 years now. Initially everyone connects it in their own ways.

Some identify themselves with the eagle and some with the frog and the fear of death. Not many with both, eagle and the frog, the big and the small, telescope and the microscope, Hubble and the Femtoscope, Global and local and the  connections in between, how mental models are formed and revised to become  mental maps – knowledge

How best to continually learn and how an old world of the frog collapses or the new frames come to sit on the older versions of our mind ware.  A new world is born. Yet we are all in that well – of Nature

We will never see all of it, but we can see much more now than any time in the past and ‘there are miles to go before we sleep’.

 Abstract to concrete – Imagination, Intent, Manifestation (IIM)

Where are you?

Nishtha asks, “JM, Where are you?  “

Where am I NOW?  I am 20 years into the journey with Nishtha

In Sanskrit, Nishtha means,

Assiduity, great and constant diligence and attention,



Firm devotion



Discipline comes very close to it.

The question is about my position then, what is your “nishtha”, position,   in space and time, now?

My profile gives shows my location as Bangalore. So the question is not about my physical location. She is referring to my growing up as a person, my journey. We need to ask more questions to give an answer to the question, Where am I ?   The first question on any journey- outside, inside, inside out, outside inside.   The second question is where do I want to go – the direction of the journey. The third is how do I make sure that I am on course – am I moving in the direction that I wanted to go and not speeding towards disaster. This is what a GPS or compass facilitates in our regular journeys.

So where am I now? I need to look back – where was I?  1949, physical birth, bullet that left the barrel of the gun – have written about it earlier, a low level system without self regulation. 1981, takes the lighthouse position, the invariant one, the Facilitator. I am my position (Peter M Senge) I have not shifted from this position since.  But I have other variant positions like the ship in relation to the lighthouse. 1981-90, I was busy making a map for the journey, a tool that help me answer the three questions, ‘The Map of Everything’.  From 1990, I am on the journey better ‘equipped’.

We are on course, we believe.

That leaves room for more questions. Where were you before?

Where will you be in 2049? – Centenary of the bullet?

Thank you, Nishtha. The universe must have conspired that we meet and you ask me this question.

The journey continues with nishtha – Discipline

The Path

The Path

The Path

Nature is perfect, beyond improvement. Nurture follows from history, institutions, assumptions, and habits- the knowledge hole.

Being from and of nature we too are complete and whole. From completeness arises completeness – being and becoming.

Why all the Ps?

It was nothing but (was it?) synchronicity. It just fell in place. There are volumes written on each of the Ps but the volumes will not give us the perspective that the visual gives.

Position, Align and Leverage

Sergey Bubka is my mental map for being positioned and ALIGNED for continual improvement.  The link takes you to a visual of Sergey standing poised with the pole for the leap. We also have a female version in the making in Yelena Isinbaeva.  Sergey is not just another sports person. He continues to do what he did in the field in other realms. The pole vaulter leverages the pole against the threshold to cross over and does it over and over to set new heights of performance. He is positioned and aligned to perform.  Every pole vaulter does the same, but Sergey is the exception. So what goes into positioning and alignment and leveraging is much more than a question of mechanical advantage. We take  our cars to check for alignment. One could think of a similar service for people, organisations, communities and community (for the species).

The threshold level of performance is the benchmark against which positioning and alignment are tested and the proof of the pudding is in the eating – better and better results.

We can learn a lot from the animals about positioning and alignment. It is natural to them. For us it is not natural, it is a matter of choice. Freewill has its disadvantages too.

Matrix and Matrix Thinking

The very same wine, slightly different bottle


The sun rises in the east.  The coin has two sides, Change is the only constant. Time runs out, Time is money. Death and Illness are essential. It is true or false, yes or no. It is destiny. Oh my God, what the Devil, Black and White. I need 2000- 3000 calories/day from food. Let us vote for change.  Resources are limited and wants unlimited.  These little programs, cookies, were rejected by the matrix for incorrect logic. The programs reflect the logic of the programmer, the way they are internally organised. These programs were sent back to the recycling facility in Bangalore India. They were bangalored. Programs compete with each other. Every program, good or bad has life and the life-span varies with the quality of the logic. One with better logic prevails over the others. Such programs evolve and coalesce into maps. It appears to us that the sun rises in the east survives over the one which says the sun rises in the east. The one which says the coin has many sides over ‘the coin has two sides’. Resources are unlimited and needs limited take precedence over the old paradigm of scarce resources and unlimited wants. The neo-logic was that the creative intelligence is unbounded, the prime resource which transforms/catalyses the other resources.  The unlimited wants were found to be derivatives of some of the primal survival drive distortions. The realisation was found to have survival value since it appealed to the selfish gene

English > Inglish

COBOL> COPOL (common purpose oriented language)

The logic for the new language was that the syntax of one’s mother tongue went against the purpose of connecting – building bridges. It works like an empty parrot’s cage or the classic golden mouse trap where rats were extinct for a very long time. The syntax of the mother tongue promoted imperialism (read, version Anglo-Saxon). With an emergence of the syntax of viewing the syntax of text which promoted linearity became redundant

The programs are stacked into levels beginning with maps to Meta systems.

Science is a meta- system. So are art and religion. The matrix holds nothing to everything together.

While all programs have life a very small set of programs (+) have material form.

The current version of the matrix has been in existence since 1990 (PME 0). A new skin has been added in the version PME 19, the only improvement in 19 years

The project had begun with a class room discussion during 1981. The case study was ‘IT or MIT’. (MIT, read Misinformation Technology). JJ had taken the position that the critical issue in IT is the issue of standardisation of the observer matrix. Since every observer sees with a different internal matrix the resultant complexity would be unmanageable and IT would turn into MIT. Others stood for the remaining mostly hardcore technological issues. JJ took the position that what they see as hard is really soft and what they see as soft is hard. The entire class went against JJ’s arguments. JJ stuck to his guns and walked out of the discussion. The project had begun.

We see what we pay attention to.  What we choose to focus on is limited by the program which runs us and the positions we take which most likely has nothing to do with the common good. We could be charging full steam towards our own destruction. This possibility no more exists with the emergence of the matrix which has taken over the collective unconscious. Since the year of the matrix, 1990, 5169 Neos have been trained in the matrix. Somewhere in between, the 100th monkey effect took over and the program now exists in everyone. The Neos are conscious of the existence of the matrix. Others are not. Some Neos work as teachers and healers, in food and livelihood security, software engineering, and in medicine.

If you come across a neo-doc, s/he is more likely to ask you in his diagnostic foray what your work is or what you do for a living is in sync with your purpose of life. The data shows that this is the MFQ among Neos, what the purpose of the program is.  Another MFQ is about the fabric/quality of community that support our lives or about the quality of relationships outnumbering other questions on smoking,  exercise or number of calories that go into the  system. One is less likely to be asked who your employer is, a question often loaded with the hidden agenda of finding out if he can go ahead with all the diagnostic tests without worrying about your ability to afford

It took eight years for the matrix to fall in place. The cardinal frameworks had to pass the immortality test. The levels and hierarchy were to be assigned.  Example:- Christ is relatively more immortal than Shakespeare.  The matrix went through innumerable tests to pass through all possible contexts, past, present and future.

Successful centenarians work for over ninety years .Many of them have never consulted a doc. For them work is self-expression. These at the other end of the immortality continuum were studied in the formulation phase of the matrix. The single major challenge they faced for further extension of life-spans was the absence of community, as most fellow travellers had taken the exit route. More than anything else it was concluded that the quality of one’s work decides health and life spans and quality follows from the purpose. When one is ready to die for it death will be afraid to approach such.

What are you suggesting?

We are over deterministic in our assumptions and more often than not end up with the wrong diagnosis of our problems. We need a new way of looking, a set of new eyes if we want to craft a new vision

In the matrix trilogy, the Frenchman says, it is my business to know. Yet he wants the eyes of the oracle

The key maker is a meta- programmer. His business is to architect the meta-program, key to all programs, to make keys for all possible variety of programs

The matrix is a perfectly balanced equation

It is our business to know because knowing is doing. Doing without knowing is not doing

Black and White > Grey

Day and Night > Dusk and dawn, the in-between, gaps to fill, to connect

We have a pair of eyes, but we see as one

Ravana had 10 heads and 20 eyes. Still he could not see, avoid defeat or win the heart of Sita

Dritarashstra, the king, was blind, inside and outside. The queen / advisors had eyes but they opted to keep them shut or could not see the conflicts in the making.  They were myopic blinded by their selfishness.

One can have forty heads- levels – thinking hats/positions, take in 40 different/variant perspectives and bring them together into one vision. Each level has infinite elements that form the class. It is for us to choose the specific ones relevant to our specific context/s. When one is ready to die for what one sees others have no option but to come round to what such people see.  Community is in the making when more and more agree to the immortality of the program. Ideas also follow the norm, survival of the fittest.

Nature is not impatient, in a hurry. For nature time does not run out.

Meanwhile the pearl material accretes around the nucleus. The clusters which continually do this progress on the path reducing the waste in the system, a self improving program, the only metrics being how much of the garbage, waste, has been recycled, transformed to organic manure. Non-physical garbage took priority over the physical.

In comparison with the successful centenarians, most of us squander nearly half a century of our lives. The centenarians do not experience any recessions.

Multiply with the billions to visualise the total waste, the unrealised potential. The list could be pretty long. Add poverty, illness, infant mortality, terror strikes, and wars in the name of peace………..

Quality and Quantity is the count. Quantity without quality is waste

We can go on ad nauseum, but if you got it, you got it – explanations are redundant. If you didn’t, ASK

Is this fact or fiction?

It is fact and fiction. Fiction is more powerful than fact. Myths live on, facts are forgotten. Leverage both, facts and fiction; tell a future story (?)

Matrix thinking is thinking with nature, co -creating……….. No need to go out to fight any wars …………… a home improvement project,

Let the noise die down

Suggested reading: Idealised Design, Russel L. Ackoff


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s