Angels of Death and Devils of Life, Old and New

What would you prefer to be, an angel of death or a devil of life?  Be a devil of life, a ruthless one at that, 8×5 if not 24×7.

If the belief in god begets the devil, isn’t it better not to believe in that god ?  God and devil, life and death need not be at the poles and in opposition to create each other. If charity begets charity, it takes a lot of courage to stop being charitable.

Can life die?  Everything that lives eventually dies, says, a popular author to his six year old son who asks, will our sun eventually die and the earth turn into a lifeless planet? It takes some understanding and even more courage to say, I don’t know.

The true scientist working to decipher the code for biological immortality has no options  but to take a different position, live that reality at least in part, now. For her life never dies, everything that lives need not necessarily die.  She chooses to pay attention to ‘facts’ to support her position and work towards translating the dream to a lived reality all through her living life. She sees everything alive and not dying. She too could die but she truly lived when she lived, out of the shadow of death. Biological immortality is a virtual reality for her, now.

Nature continually renews itself. We create death working overtime, resisting nature. Our best selling author also does almost the same, paying attention to ‘facts’ to support his position, spreading the message of death all through his dying life. Death is the virtual reality for him now.  The coward dies many deaths.

The author is an angel of death and the scientist, a devil of life. A devil of life is rarer than a black swan.

Black swans are exceptions when we take very thin slices of  time and space. Compare this with the universal, all slices of time and space. Imagine all the unknown earths where white swans are as rare as black swans on our planet.  In some future time we would be ‘successful’ in making white swans extinct so that the black swans will be the ‘normality. Or it could also be true that in ‘her-story’ in some unknown past, nobody wrote a ‘his-story’ of the swans, black swans were the normality. America was doing all right, perhaps better from some other perspective, even before Columbus ! Thanks to Taleb for the trigger, a black swan in our present slice of time and space. In the cacophony of the market place one with the best noise box is listened to and being audacious is integral to a  B-School education. One is advised to have big hoary audacious goals.  We go to great lengths to prove that we belong to ‘mediocristan’ to use one of Taleb’s coins. Mediocristan and extremistan are two sides of the same coin which has a third side for ordinary mortals like us and many more sides to the likes of Taleb, which most students and their professors fail to connect to in their case studies in B-School.  In the medium run all of us are dead or ‘fooled’ in mediocristan, the flatland.

Angels of death come in all colors and shades, most pleasing, gentle, dying to do good, promise to make you all powerful, beautiful, immortal, a full life here, another one after your death – ‘mutually inclusive’, so on and so forth. The cosmetics peddler, medicine man, philanthropist, priest, pedagogues, top of the pyramid, blue chip performance, pied pipers, astrologer, snake oil in all rainbow colors…………noblest of intentions ………….. The effect is invariably malignant and they are so sure of themselves. You will never hear them say, I do not know.  We are not that sure.

The devils of life come in gray. They are very rare. Keep searching. Appearances are very very deceptive. There could be a beginners’ dilemma.

Keep paying attention to the new. Everything is renewed. Life never dies. Somewhere on the way, the tipping point will come, death will be the abnormal and life the normal. Biology will be in fashion than Physics.

Why wait for the prophet who will never come?  Let us begin building our ark.

We become what we pay attention to. Resistance creates resistance. Do not resist. Meera looks at the jaded jeans from her B-School days completing a quarter century of companionship. She chooses to see the new feel of it, today, now.

 

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The Misinformation Overload and another Snake oil Cure

Misinfographics

It is the same wine, in a larger bottle

Packaging is everything in a cosmetic culture

You seem to be at your humorous best

It is not humor, call it pathetic humor.

The best packaging, container, will not take care of poor content in the long run. Snake oil salesmen will make only quick bucks.

That seems to be what business is all about! How do you separate the chaff from the grain?

We will first arrive at the essential content, the ideal, that which renders real value not the kind of value that marketeers   create out of ‘appropriate selfishness’. When we club all our appropriate selfishness we get what we see.  Osama is less dangerous than Obama

What do you mean?

The enemy within is more dangerous because all our defenses are pointed towards the one outside. And though we might have all the equipment we will not be equipped to pull the trigger when it is called for because of this internal squeamishness. The emperor is naked though fully covered up by the most elaborate and intricate ornamentation

Is there an enemy outside.

It depends on the position. From  a variant position, yes and from the invariant, no. There is no enemy out there. All deaths are suicides and all conversation a soliloquy.

The ideal is an internal dress code, the bare minimum to cover up our nakedness. The day we were discussing the issue one of our participants had a dream of a beautiful tomb. She could also see the rotting body of the emperor inside.

She must have been a good Christian?

She had overheard her parents reading the bible

The ideal is pure potential, perfection, reason, will, design, internal, conceptual, god for ordinary mortals, the grand design  for Hawking, in essence the same content in different packaging. Re-packaging is what creates the best sellers.  The semantic swamp that results appears to be information at first glance.

Let us get back to the roots. Sanskrit means, processed, civilized, cultured as against, Prakrit, the primitive, unprocessed. The essential content is the output of this processing that goes on, something which is perennial, universally relevant, beyond time and space, ‘akshaya’, immortal, culture or the ideal. We need to be clear on this to master separating the chaff from the grain.

This is the most essential competency to survive today.

Why flout all the rules of grammar and convention?

Sanskrit was the language of processing at one time. We need a new language of processing and our language experts suggested, Inglish. Inglish does not have the worldview that goes with English nor most of its rules of grammar. It is a common purpose oriented language which retains the essence. Most memories and conventions keep us tied down to the past.

So how does this competency take care of the information overload?

Information overload is a misnomer since the very character of information is that it kills variety and reduces the overload. It increases the order, fights decay and death. It is life giving.  We might call this data overload which is a boon to the storage industry and those who put all their faith in more power to the machines and less to the humans in general but not necessarily to an elite few.

We need some kind of meta information about information itself.

‘Ravana’, the emperor,  has ten heads, quite a burden for most practical purposes.  The ideal is mapped under ten heads in the call out in the top left quadrant of the map.  We have ten balls within that one ball.

You are making it more complicated? All those ten heads didn’t really help him.

All complexity is not a curse. Requisite complexity and variety are unavoidable. Miss out on anyone of the recipe, the dish goes to the garbage dump.

Why ten?

Ten is the minimum requisite variety to understand the basic design, the master templates of nature.

What do these ten heads stand for?

Let us take the information head. The information head is information about information. In the absence of this information one will not be able to transform data to information and reduce the complexity. Misinformation overload is the result

Another example

2×2 = 4, 4×4= 16, 16×16= 256, 256 x 256 =?

The multiplication table ceases to serve the purpose at a certain stage of increasing complexity. All tools reach this limit and at some stage the wheel needs to be reinvented. Reinventing is a new synthesis. It is relevant in other contexts too. When one has a major accident, on the road or off, it is time for a new synthesis. There are always better solutions and the best is always yet to come. Even health and healing is more about information than about medicines.

Now a little more meditation on the ten will give you all the clues. You are on your own.

Why always leave a large part of it unexplained?

We need to break from treating others as children, like all governments do, and relate as adults so that the adult emerges.  We point to the issue and one has to figure it out for oneself if it has to be of any use.

Bon Voyage

Juggling with Ps – The Picture of Philosophy

  • When everything is a lie, lie detectors are akin to mousetraps where rats are extinct. What we need is a truth detector. Philosophy ought to be that touchstone to detect truth.pic of philosophy
    True normality  
    • When one’s inheritance is from the cloud every one is a prnce or a princess.
    • Will Durant  tells the Story of Philosophy in over 600 pages and Kant takes 800 pages for the Critique of Pure Reason. Yet the story is far from complete. Schopenhauer laments,  “ I could not find a shorter way of imparting it than this book, The World as Will and Idea.
    • Philosophy has gone out of fashion. We should  not expect the princes  to wade through the semantic swamp of philosophy and the other disciplines and  come up with a new synthesis.
    • The shorter way, a new synthesis,  is an imperative. A picture is worth thousand words is an understatement which discounts the value of maps, and mapping. Text can never be free of slipperiness and linearity. We need more maps and pictures to avoid killing more trees, more so when reading has given way to viewing. Visual literacy has become a critical competency.
    • The perceived normal is the abnormal. We can now see the truly normal
    • History is Philosophy in motion (Croce). Pull down the tent poles of space and time, history and philosophy collapse to the present and the two meet. The true historian (all history is lies and it is always His story not hers and western philosophy is no different) and the true philosopher would meet at this  moment of truth. The  artist,scientist, theologian and the pursuers of other paths too would meet at the same cross roads if the synthesis  is effective. We would be saving a lot of wasted effort when all of us use the same philosopher’s compass.
    • Most of our partners in dialogue had  their background in business, governance and developmental management. We worked together to arrive at the common ground since it  is from here that accelerated community learning  takes off.
    • Less is more. “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
    • Connect > Occam’s razor
    • Philosopher’s stone
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Hutter
    • Intelligence > Problem Solving> Continual improvement
    • Why AI, artificial intelligence > Modeling NI, natural intelligence, with gainful compression of knowledge

A User Manual to the Self

“Dad”

“Yes, Johnny”

“The PC is not working”

“Look up the user manual”

“Dad”

“Yes, Johnny”

“The UPS is not working”

“Look up the User Manual”

“Dad”

“Yes, Johnny”

“I can’t figure this out. Where is my User Manual?”

“Ask Panditji”. (Panditji is the neighbourhood astrologer and dad a Professor of Strategic Human Resource Management in an ivy league B- School.)

Machines and gadgets come accompanied by a User Manual. But we do not come across a User Manual to  the most sophisticated system that we own and use, the self.  We use it  in very different ways and pay very heavily for our ignorance of the design of the system.

There must be some principles that one cannot do without for achieving better outcomes. These posts focus on them.

Self is the system through which we ‘see’, create meaning and make choices. The choices decide whether our actions lead to improvement or otherwise.

With more and more options available to each one of us the opportunity could as well be a threat,  how the interface is aligned will decide whether it will lead to greater good or havoc.

Self is the observer and also the observed. Reality is perceived / created by our inherited mental models that evolved over the history of humanity. If the world has turned out to be imperfect, it has more to do with our models of the world than anything else.

Being the instrument of all knowing and learning, study of the self is the first discipline, the foundation/unifier of all other disciplines.

The practice evolved through a process of dialogue since 1990 using the First Discipline Framework as a tool to create  convergence through  a process of discovering, enhancing and strengthening the individual, group, organisational and community self. The approach facilitates the emergence of a roadmap for unification, continuous improvement and renewal,  transcend barriers created by different disciplines bringing the various perspectives together into a coherent whole – a new way of looking at reality.

The approach incorporates positioning, measurement, feedback and self correction – the functions of the compass, clock and the feedback system which enables the traveller to be on course.

Getting started

I have a new DP, dialogue partner.

He is new to Bangalore and spent quite a long time reaching me and the opening sentence when he met me was

I have 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 my 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 to that question?

When were you born?

dd.mm.yyyy

That was the birth of your body. You didn’t have anything much to do with it and you are much more than the physical.

Or is it that I am yet to be born?

WE, the community self is yet to be born ?

Birth of self and community self

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

The Community Self is yet to be born.

The system at birth is comparable to the bullet that leaves the barrel of a gun. The bullet is helpless to influence its trajectory. Most systems 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, creating a more desirable future.

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

Another question- what are our basic needs?

Are they the physiological?  – Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; food, shelter, clothing , reproduction, social, self actualisation and so on. We will revisit Maslow some time later .

For those who commit suicide, life is no more meaningful, not worth the trouble.

If so the most basic need must be the need for MEANING.  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 have’nt 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

New or the very old, I don’t know

0, 1, 2, 3, ∏

Where

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, centre and the periphery

When the setting is right, the intent is expressed, the seed turns into the tree, caterpillar to the butterfly and the bullet becomes 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. 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 happens.

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 everyTHING to make it easier and foolproof?

The Map of Everything

The First Discipline Framework is a map to attenuate variety, reduce the babble among disciplines to facilitate positioning, fixing direction and self-correction for the process of continual renewal and improvement at different levels – individual, institutions, communities and community.

The map makes it possible to hang our different hats as practitioners of various disciplines, ‘social programmers’ – parents, pedagogues, priests, and politicians connecting the various disciplines and put them in perspective, SEE and SHOW (the visual has the highest bandwidth) how everything, living, nonliving, internal and external- is ONE, a continuum, in process and evolving.

The framework helps the observer self, to connect with the observed SELF, position, visualise the gap between potential and performance, fix the direction for the journey and make sure that we are on the path of continuous improvement/renewal.

Metrics, measurement, of true progress becomes possible.

The map has four quadrants and the observer is at the centre. The observer could be the individual, a group, an organisation or the species.

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 four quadrants are like the four wheels of the car, a learning engine which continues to improve its performance as it goes forward

The eye at the centre represents self, the observer, and the driver of the car

The wheels must be aligned for the car to move on

But there exists a conflict between quadrants NW and SE, ideal and the operational

Between internal self and the external social system, quadrants SW and NE

It is for us to create the alignment so that the car moves on

First step is to see the interconnections and see the whole as one system in process, evolving

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 would lead to 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 encourage 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 ongoing process of continual improvement and renewal. The first step is having a map for the journey. “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, though 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

Sustained High Performance by Design

Facts, fiction and metaphor

Are we guided by facts or fiction?

We are guided less by facts and more by myth, fiction and fantasy.

9/11 is a fact, not illusion, so are the war 1, war, 2 and the war 3 now going on. We have democratized wars and conflicts, flattened it (The world is flat- Friedman) dispersed them all over the planet.

Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, AIG, the pharaohs of financial pyramids walk away leaving their accumulated follies on to the public. When the same happens to the farmers the escape route is suicide for many

Facts do not take hold of our minds as myth, fantasy and fiction do. The superman, batman, hunks, WWF, larger than life heroes/heroines, science fiction, the star wars and particle accelerators are attempts at creating modern myths. We need more and more potent amnesiacs, analgesics and anti-BIOTICS – substitutes to do away with the grim reality of life. Older myths still survive and we continue to be driven more and more by shadows and myths. We wish to forget facts or sweep them under the carpet. In India, we have an ancient text by name Bavishya Puranam. Bhavisya means future and puranam is an old epic story. I hope you see the twist. It is time for us to rely on myths to create a more desirable future. This is why we are compelled to talk in metaphors, since we are in a process of creating something which does not exist .

As technological bandwidth and connectivity increase, human bandwidth and connectivity decrease. I see this all around me, with my own children demanding more and more bandwidth and becoming less and less concerned about broader issues. I have begun to suspect that their jobs are creating an occupational hazard to them and the society at large. The higher incidence of suicides in Bangalore, to me, is a bandwidth problem of the latter kind. So is the terrorist issue. The first step to the making of a terrorist is to narrow his bandwidth. The multitude of disciplines and the silos they create offers the best setting for the narrow bandwidths which in turn chokes the channels creating more noise than communication. We need a Meta discipline, the first discipline, which connects the scientists, priests and the artist to transcend these barriers to communication and community since all the three are in the same business – that of explaining reality to lesser mortals like us. The knowledge hole is more serous than the ozone hole.

The bandwidth problem is not exclusive to the younger generation. Institutions too pass through the process. The midlife crisis of the CEO is passed on to the organization he heads, that of the politician to the country and of the Guru to the disciples

I met Jo on the beach, in my time with the fishermen. We continue to meet on the beach, less frequently, since he has moved to another shore. He is a PhD in his area of expertise but you would not get these thoughts anywhere in his work or even in the class rooms when he teaches. There is a risk attached with a wide bandwidth. One could be ‘excommunicated’. He believes in many births/many lifetimes. He still has hopes of pulling me over to his position on birth and rebirth. I am tempted to do so when confounded by the recollection of childhood memories in our workshops. I am afraid that after the age of five there is a kind of growing down in the process of socialization. Much later one could reconnect with these memories and grow up. I am yet to make up my mind whether to join his school or not but I have gained a lot from his arguments

Here is a brief on our many sessions on the beach over many years, since 1985

He would watch the waves beating on the shore and would talk about the waves in the production of bio-mass in the sea and the consequent rise and fall in fish production, what it does to fishing, corresponding waves in farmers’ produce on the land, the waves in life, business, and markets. He taught me to see things as waves and cycles. He foresaw the present crisis in financial markets and the coming economic slowdown, the big crunch in demand driven by the inability to connect to the voice of the masses across the planet.He has a pet theory on why Jesus recruited Peter as his CEO against our current paradigms of selection, recruitment, training and development. He challenged my B-school education. “If you have any competencies that you claim to have, go to the bottom of the pyramids and prove it rather than skimming the cream and stamping them with Ivy League labels”. Christ made the choice since Peter would fit the bill in terms of his mental maps that go with a fisherman.

So next time you go head hunting check their mental maps!

He stripped me of my notions of an internal flatland which he told me is the inheritance of all land based humans, since the beginning of settled agriculture, some 10,000 years in the past. Prior to that, the fishermen and the people on the land had the same worldview. Both were hunting and gathering. He was born in a fisher family, used to go fishing with his father as a child, an outsider to the flatland, having lived on the coast and the sea for generations. A good fisherman has a different worldview closer to reality than the humans on land. He is pushed to the brink much more than the farmers. He produces much more than the farmer yet he is poorer. He is seldom driven to suicide and the spirit of community is more alive in the ecosystem people who survive on common property resources

He is the one who introduced me to the concept of digital, analogue bandwidths and the other bandwidth, of expectancies in human communication and how the net result has not been any better. He has a very wide bandwidth which you would know only at a personal level. He would go on how water is recycled on the planet, how everything is in a cycle or process, that there is nothing linear or ‘straightforward’ about nature and then take the quantum leap to conclude that we too pass through a higher order version of the process. If we want we can break out of that giant wheel of births and rebirths

He challenged me with some insights from his many life times

Of the time he was in Egypt and Joseph’s dream of the good years and bad years. How the natural cycles in primary production would hurt the farmers and how famines would result unless the state steps in to lend a helping hand when the cycles turn against the farmer and why left to themselves, markets will fail the farmers. More so in the case of fishermen who have no property rights other than common property and open access to resources.

Of the time he was in Jerusalem and how Jesus had been reinvented over centuries to suit the bandwidth requirements of different times. Low bandwidth of practitioners leads to creation of silos and pyramids in disciplines which kills community and would conclude with a sigh. “It is all about bandwidth, of people, technology and the interface”

The Process – Enhancing bandwidth

I was playing a game with 57 MBA students for two days. It went on from 9.00 AM to 9.00 PM on day 1 and from 9.00 AM to 6 .15 PM on day 2

Prior to the game, I talked to a local politician to understand the business he is in, that of development of the locality

I also talked to their professor to get some insights about these young men and women who are in the business of becoming businessmen

The game commenced with an assessment of their present position, globally and locally, in the context of the global meltdown and the situation of the locality

Both the politician and the professor were exceptional people who will not fit in with our perceptions of the run of the mill in this category

Then the game with the students began, simulating an organization working together as a community for two days and an open selection process of identifying a group who would be offered premium placements   on the basis of their mental maps. Then I checked their mental maps on many issues.

All of them had a map as shown in figure 1 deeply ingrained in them, the code for failure – BOOMS AND BUSTS. They will with those maps will build their towers of babylon and will be wall street smart.

Mental maps

Fig. 1 is about birth maturity and death. Fig 2 shows the shift to a dynamic one of continual improvement and renewal. Is such a shift possible?

The first set never goes beyond the level of a clock or a bullet leaving the barrel of the gun. The difference is only in the duration, time.  The potential to self-regulate or the potential to transform to a learning engine, a sustained high performance system, is not expressed. The claim to culture, civilization, evolution, improvements are but empty boasts

Why so?

Columbus reached America. He never wanted to go there.  We too are as good as our maps.

Can we have a better set of maps? I told them of the Eagle’s gift

Between before and after, it is not the world that has changed but the map of the world. This is all that we can do and that is good enough.

The problem is not with the world but our maps of the world

We did quite a few other things, more stories, team learning, dialogues, Buddha’s smile, discussed the First Discipline Framework

They presented their understanding of the framework, told me of their dreams on the morning of the second day. They were surprised to look at their own process. All of them came up with evidence and data about the shifts, each contributing to the community learning process

We can indeed observe ourselves 24/7, the first step to continual improvement.

We positioned ourselves, fixed the direction for the journey and reflected over our improvements during the process. The shared space expanded as we moved along with the work.  The map for a learning community was crafted and the process is on.

Simulating High Performance – Defying gravity

The Business Strategy Simulation: New University, Udayagiri, TN. Number of participants – 61 including the three facilitators. The System of Profound Knowledge, (Deming) helps us to see how complex organisations work.   Organisations   guided by SPK will be more effective and successful. We demonstrate this using the First Discipline Framework. We tell stories, about 15 of them. Every community need to tell its own stories and recreate old stories. We reflect every now and then and the participants develop the game. Harvard agrees with what we have been doing for twenty years. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6119.html

The Simulation

  • How do we fix the true north (the true point)
  • The business, transformation of the crowd to a sustained high performance community
  • Choose the CEO , prescribe a process, Position him so that he positions the community and make sure that the community is on a path of continuous improvement – sustained high performance
  • The CEO selects a custodian of maps, CTO, Facilities Manager, other additional positions as required
  • Selection of VPs Marketing, HR , Finance, Learning and Development , timelines
  • Position them in the appropriate quadrant by consensus of the group
  • The CEO fixes the true north , describes his compass function
  • The VP marketing outlines the market potential, BDP and personnel requirements / product/market mix, pricing, targets
  • VP HR – translates the business plan and organize the human component
  • VP Fin – the controller of weights and measures – Metrics
  • VP L&D – his/her business is that we learn continuously
  • Other roles: Regulators/industry associations/venture capitalists , external public

In the mornings we recollect our dreams to check whether our unconscious is aligned with our conscious. The process goes on for six days from the beginning to the 12th evening. Everyone worked on their own during the two holidays in between and continued to add value.  We climbed peaks and took glimpses of the blue ocean space and at times fell down to the valleys like humpty dumpty but managed to gather ourselves together and continue on the journey.

The game continues… but we are back to our respective places of work. Are we back to the same place? Certainly not, we have moved ahead towards true north, 61 of us … a learning community.

The journey/process is on. We plan to meet again

Reflections – The dream catcher

Dreacm catcher, male 34 years, shares some of his dreams and experiences with synchronicity

Shadows Play

There should have been 3 or 4 pillars, and strings connecting consecutive pillars towards the pillar bottoms. Over this string, shadows move as if on a rail. It’s like a shadow play using three windows. I am just able to make out the shadow of a horse, a camel and an elephant while it slides from first pillar to the next.

And while it slides in the next window, between the next two pillars, the three shadows are out of focus and zoomed in so big that I cannot make out the figures. But while they slide slowly in the last window the figures are very clear and sharp.

Cracked!

I am inside a maximum security prison in a small house but I come out of that house. I have mastered how to unlock all the locks and doors. No prison can hold me anymore. Now happy and enlightened, I am out and I provoke my mother: “Mummy, tell me to go back in and I will be out in a jiffy”. Afraid that she will not see me again, she persuades me to stop playing games.
But now I love to play it. So I jump back into the prison in the house through an opening on the roof and quickly pick the first prison door with some splinter. The next door lock is trickier, this requires some lateral thinking and so I tilt my head (:-)) to solve and break open the door. The third lock is purely at some higher level.  I focus and recite something and I am out again!

Free and Happy!

Self-Centred

Something has attacked the city and was killing off the inhabitants…like an epidemic or genocide. I was busy escaping off when ‘movie’ of the dream is re-wound to the point where I am in a multiplex just before the cataclysm. I see a sweet looking toddler at the ticket counter and my train of thoughts goes this way:

Why don’t I save the kid from the impending horrible death?

But if it is impending, what can I do about it? You can’t save everyone in this world?

You are wasting precious time…SAVE the kid!

Why should I change anybody’s destiny even if this was possible?

Jupiter in Action

A huge Anantha Shesha (serpent) statue is being completed. And under its shade a commanding looking Vishnu is being made. Here Vishnu is not in the reclining posture but takes the upright one.  Vishnu’s normally pleasant and peaceful face is demonic as an Asura’s (Rahu?) can be. He has a tough commanding posture as if he is about to put a whole army into action.

A lot of veneration, funding and decoration go into the  making of the statue. Gold coins are stuck all across the flooring. Photographers light up the place with their flashes.

Lost search

I am cruising on a short black tri-wheeler mo-bike through the alleys. Instead of the ordinary dials on it there is a GPS panel which indicates the path I should navigate in order to ‘locate’ a lost item. Having found something, I reach home as the vehicle brought me near.

The house has only a square hall; walls are all reddish-purple in colour. There is my mother and also others in the family and some guests whom I don’t know them. There is a mother and her daughters. Too many females in the room, I think and I feel uncomfortable. I go out and continue my search.

The vehicle moves but the panel displays that the moon is quickly covered by thick clouds and so the search cannot continue. Moreover the display goes off as the battery charge is out. So I push the bike around the house hoping that its dynamo 🙂 will trigger it on. Some of the ladies in the house asks me what am I doing while they walk around the house in the opposite direction.  I ignore them and carry on. What am I searching for??

I go back into the house. Mom asks me something about passport and identity verification. I question her back angrily  ‘WHAT??! She then clearly says that the ‘authorities’ need to see facial hair on me to prove my identity! Embarrassed.

Rooting

I am at my uncle’s well kept house.  I am surprised that it is not in Kerala but in Kuwait and that too right next to the awesome Kuwait (trio) towers. The house is not very large but is well kept and furnished as a typical central governmental employee home is. I notice that the house plan is like a narrow rectangle in alignment with the neighbouring towers. The long house opposite lies over a very small rock mount.

I stand in their garden which is being well stocked with potted plants by the numerous helpers they have. While this is being done I have a look at smallest of the towers in front. I notice that this tower doesn’t look original and is smaller than I thought. I shift my head and find there is another bigger trio of towers being constructed. I shift my head again and see the original and awesomely high towers.

Both of my cousins are inside the house. The eldest tells me that he has some dental work to be done and asks me to show him my tooth fillings. I am hesitant and grind my teeth in preparation to show him, feel like I am going to blow off my teeth. While I do this he undresses and stands in front of me shamelessly and innocently as we were when we were kids. His naked body is as ugly as mine, now that he has a huge pot belly just like my grandfather.

He asks me to open my mouth and he sees the fillings, the silvery-metallic and the tooth-coloured caps.

Embarrassed.

The hotel lobby was posh and well lit. Good light brown woodwork and stainless steel. A short metro carriage runs through this place carrying executives.I am well dressed in a charcoal colour suit with matching ties and black shoes. I am fitted out to charm any crowd. But I forget where I leave my brief case and laptop. I stop the metro and tell them that I need to check for my bag in their glass bag carriage. I find all sorts of bags except mine. I doubt whether I have brought it with me to this country  at all. Mr nice guy that I am, I don’t like to keep others waiting. I let the metro move which moves quickly and almost out of site when I realize that one of my expensive shoes is missing! I must have left it in the cabin while looking for the bag and the metro has left.

Oh! God! What am I going to do now? How will I face them? I will look like a fool. I have to be ready before the meet. I don’t have spares too. I am imperfect.

Exploration

I am with an Iranian friend, whom I met during the Landmark advanced course in some interesting building. While I try to climb the wall, he runs under me carrying something (treasure?)

Then we are scuba diving. Both of us hold some semi-precious studded silver pots and we are supposed to pour the blood-like liquid in the pots into a hole in the sea floor. I wonder how this can be done. I see a hole belching out some blood like liquid too. To my surprise, when I pour into the hole it sucks the contents from the pot and some  water around into it neatly like a vacuum cleaner.

Synchronicity

I browse through Wikipedia to learn the worst commercial flight accidents ever specifically the ones that went down under the ocean and if anything went hidden or missing underwater. I see that India has the credits for the longest list of flight accidents in general. The Emperor Kanishka, the Air India flight ended s up in the Atlantic, most horrible, I note and see pieces in the dark.

A flight going down under water is just one of my nightmares. Ever since my mom composed her own bedtime story of a ‘plane going down into the deep sea’, ever since I watched a cinema trailer of such an ill-fated flight and the plight of the passengers in it.

Bored of browsing, I walk into the office lobby and notice the breaking news on TV ‘Air France flight goes missing’!

Wet and dirty

Friday, 24th Oct 2008: After some cardio-exercise, while I alight from the car for some grocery shopping my wallet drops into a muddy puddle. It was raining cats and dogs and I take some time to fish it out of the puddle. My driver’s license, visiting cards, cash, cards etc. all soaked and speckled with mud.

I get the feeling this is a ‘to be continued ‘ situation.

Saturday, 25th Oct 2008: I am in the habit of reading while in the toilet. I place the newly-purchased novel ‘The Abyssinian Proof’ very carelessly on top the geyser outlet tube.  While I stand there and think of what to do next, the book falls straight into the blue-coloured, Harpic stained waters in the commode below. My wife then ‘washes’ it with the spray, ‘disinfects’ it with Savlon 🙂 and blow dries it with the hair dryer.

I wonder, what next, probably me?

Monday, 27th October 2008: We get in on a coracle  at the fishing camp. A stinky wave from the rapids splashes on to me and I get wet thoroughly wets me to my underwear.

Miserable  Marius?

I watched parts of two movies last night. First one the ‘Da Vinci Code’ and the second the vampire chronicles ‘Queen of the Damned’. Something caught my attention while watching the first. During a chase the car moves off and the scene pauses at a poster of the play ‘Les Miserables’ on a brick wall. The second movie made me focus on two things, ‘Marius’ the original vampire and a short violin jugalbandhi. The music was awesome, it sounded Carnatic. I told myself that I will have to browse the net tomorrow on all these focus points.

My convenient amnesia refreshed my RAM on these matters but I did go to Wikipedia and coincidently I found ‘Les Miserable’ on the home page as a featured link! It seems today was the day in 1985 that the play opened in London. I went through the link to find that there is a character in this play called Marius.

Dialogues – Aging out of life

Meenakshi asks, In our time do we age out of life?

Like most questions, the answers are yes, no, and yes and no

“Death is not essential’, said The Mother

Reading this, has been a milestone in my learning.

Life begins when we resolve our issues with death and ageing

We are not designed to die but to live

Death is a habit and we are breaking more and more out of this habit – people are living longer.

What is time? Is it linear, a one way traffic, an arrow that moves from birth to death?

This cannot be natural since nothing in nature is linear. There is an arrow of time that goes in the opposite direction, memory – how we RE-collect our past.  The sun we see  is around 9 minutes old but our  thought does not take nine minutes to reach the sun  we see, the sun that was nine minutes ago.

Yes thought is faster than light.

As we talk our cells die and new cells are born, two more arrows, to put it in a very crude way. In place of the first arrow we have four arrows of time now.

When this is experienced, birth and death become simultaneous, not a journey from point A to B, birth to death. One transcends linear time and steps into eternity, become ageless.

So we age out of linear time, not out of life, and start living in the NOW, – eternity.

When was I born?  MM DD YYYY? That was the birth of my body.

Did I have anything to do with it?

The real me was born much later when I  RE-collected all that scattered stuff and put them all together and I walked out of the shadows of death, linear time, my unconscious and took that first step to the birth of myself , eternity and continual renewal.

How old are you?

I have multiple choices to suit the questioner

I am 61, for the straights

I am 39 when I count from the birth of my SELF

I am 29  if I count from  when I decided to live life on my terms ( It took ten years for the self to become mature enough to make that decison)

15 billion (in arrow terms) years.

The logic is I am as old as the Universe and everything  that went on is mapped in me in many ways

> 15 billion years – something in me will go on living for ever.

< 2 years – age of the oldest cell in my body ?

Take your pick or all of it.

Have some more of your own answers.

It is always better to have as many answers, perspectives, than anyone single answer.

NAN?

What is NAN?   The Indian bread?   New Age Nonsense?

Well I could have been dead yesterday. I haven’t. What greater miracle do you need to make life wonderful?

So what is the answer, without beating around the bush?

In “our times “, we can age out of time itself.

We can age out of life too.

It is a Choice.