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.

Learning Plateaus

Learning Plateaus

Teachers’ Day Out and Designer Dreams

S: Good morning, happy Teachers’ Day. No classes, hurray!!

T: Thanks, I didn’t know. You seem to be very happy that you don’t have classes. If teaching is about learning you wouldn’t celebrate it this way. Learning itself ought to be the best fun.

S: The teachers threw a party for us and let us off for the day
T:  How can teachers not teach? It is unethical, against nature to strike work.  A farmer cannot strike work, the cow cannot. How can a few take such freedom?
S: Hmm…. Do you think…teaching in class is the only way to teach. I have learnt much more from my dreams than from class.
T Why should there be any teaching? Chris says they have only one word ‘hweil’ for teaching and learning. We should have only learners and no teachers.

S: One thing…quite weird… about the dreams
T: Shoot straight. Do not beat around the bush, in your usual style.
S:  I see dreams… where people only die  or dreams that revolve only around my world
T You never told me about these deaths other than killing your father and grandpa
S:  Yeah. Last night I saw two babies killed, I did not kill them, but they died, one of them as soon as it was born and the other after a few months
T:  What was the dream?
S:  I forgot if I was the mother or not. All I remember is that children died. I was sad though I did not cry. I don’t remember any more
T: You are stuck at 13. That is the reason for the killings, grow up. You are not yet an ADULT to have babies
S: I saw that someone said these children would have survived if you were 26
T: It shows.
S:  Yeah, very right, amazing.
T: Great learning, now take a break, here is a story that came in mail right now, synchronicity?

A Turkey was chatting with a bull.

‘I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree’ sighed the t turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the energy.’

‘Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?’ replied the bull. They’re packed with nutrients.’
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story: Bull poop might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there
.

T: So how do you move from 13 to 22 ?
S:  I don’t know
T: You are stuck at a learning plateau, like most of us. We are all stuck at different plateaus when we are on the well travelled road, the red road in the visual. Take the green road if you do not want to get into highway pile ups. According to the model, the other plateaus are around 35-40 and 55-60 years, the midcareer and senior levels.  There may be exceptions who take the green road very early.
S:  As I study, I see my competitors. Earlier I saw myself studying. It is different now. I see killing or trying to murder them. That is evil, isn’t it?
T: 🙂
S: Why the smile?
T:It is easy to see physical aggression. There is a more dangerous version that goes unnoticed.   You are in the process of killing the Hitler in you.

Time for another break. Here is another story.

An eagle was sitting on a tree doing nothing.
A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, ‘Can I also sit like you and do nothing?’
The eagle answered: ‘Sure, why not.’
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it
.
T: You are killing because you are stuck. You are killing yourself, refusing to be an adult. What should be the trajectory under ideal conditions from 13 to 21, teens to the adult? I am not talking about chronological aging.
S: Yeah, mm, physical changes, changes in thoughts and perception.
T: What about the most basic drive, meaning or purpose in life?  Has it been resolved? Why are you here? This is the first plateau.
S: Yeah, I think we discussed it when we discussed Maslow and I am fairly clear about it. I know why I am here.
T: Physical changes will happen even without our consent. Nature is good at that but we are more than our physical selves. The mental and spiritual growth challenges need be resolved if you are not to be confused and remain stuck at perpetual adolescence.
S:  Hmm…You tell me. I am clueless I guess
T: Most of us are confused about the role of sex and sexuality to resolve the emotional challenges at this stage of one’s growth. The distortion stays till the end.   Even before Christ we had the Kama Sutra. After 2200 years we are not ready to discuss it, sex and sexuality, in schools or families or even between ‘adults’
S: Hmm. That is right; I wish I were wiser
T: Sex is the most difficult drive to be managed. First and foremost it is a spiritual thing. If you accept the spirituality of it, it cannot do any damage and it will eliminate the commoditization of sex. It is a natural drive. It is not for just reproduction. Reproduction is not such a big issue. Anyway we have more numbers than we want for survival of the species. Had it been just for reproduction, nature would have designed it the animal way. Earlier we had mentioned trisexual men and women

Si: Yeah, in Homo Novus

T: One cannot be sexual with somebody else if one is asexual with oneself.  This is like Christ said; love your SELF to love your neighbor. So the first step is to accept and appreciate the drive in itself so that one can express the same to the other. The other could be from the same sex or the opposite. Now you know what tri-sexual is, self, the other, male, female
T What about marriage? The young ones of the species take the longest time to grow up. In addition this meets the learning requirement for humans. One can learn only in relationship with another person who will not run away from you.
S: Hmm…..I did not get it exactly, I am confused.
T:  If you are not in such a relationship you will never know your blind spots, like I know how immature or mature I am only when I look at my relationships at home because we cannot take such liberties in our outside relationships. So marriage and family is for learning and adulthood and once this is achieved (?) the institution is redundant. For a long time to come this is quite unlikely. Marriage is for mortals.

T: This is the seeding for future dreaming and for transcending the adolescence plateau so that the bonsai becomes the tree

S: But, you know, I think…I felt it very comfortable to remain a baby.
T: Now the dreams should change. The bonsai is happy, people would admire it but the design is not for that. This is why we don’t have adults in this world, in spite of all the teachers, including Christ and Buddha.

T: So wallow, more bulls poop, remain a baby?
S: Gosh. No….well, I don’t know many…who are adults the way you ask them to be, I guess.
T: Probably there are no adults when we look from the position of the species.  We are very immature as a species and more threatened than the animals. When the species is not mature how can any one of us be an adult?
S: Once I thought, It is disgusting and a pain to remember my dreams.
T: I know and you resisted very strongly. The cows align north south when they graze even when they sleep.
S: Hmm. Why do they do so?
T: They have a built in GPS. They know the direction; they are more comfortable when they are in alignment, in tune.  Animals are always in tune. You are a singer and a guitarist. You should know.
S: Why is it that we don’t know how to tune ourselves, SELVES?

T: This is the problem with free will. Animals have no choice. We have options and we need exercise choice. We have to choose the direction. They are naturally tuned, as far as we guess, and we don’t know how to choose. We too have a compass but just having it does not mean that we use it.

S: I: hmm….then… We are worse than animals, it seems they are more intelligent, or may  be luckier?
T: What makes us different from the animal?
S: Brains. As everyone says or may be sense of humor?
T: This is tragic…  You know everything but not this simple thing. People are very smart, they are quiz masters, know everything under the sun, or we can Google it and get the information. But we are bad about such simple stuff. None has answered us within 10 seconds. So smarty, give me the answer or admit defeat
S: I admit defeat!!   Surrender. Well… one more guess…  we choose to go the way others have not gone…while the animals keep going on
T  : I want the unique difference between animals and the human. We don’t choose is what I am saying. To choose we should know and we don’t know, non ADULTs, how can u choose then? You had so many teachers, hats off to all of them on the Teachers’ Day. They did not teach you this!!
S:  May be they did not choose to teach this.
T  We are the only species that can improve, others cannot, and animals can not improve, we can but we don’t.
S: Yeah, right.
T: Ok. Happy dreaming. Now you will see the dreams evolve and the alignment with the internal and external will follow. Bye. Take care
S: Thank you. Bye.

The dreams

Building Our Ark, Living in Real Time

In the beginning was the word and before the beginning, we lived in real-time.

Most of us live in linear time and some in real-time. Those living in real or relative real time live longer, the blue ocean people. Those living in linear time die early.

Noah, Aaron and Abner are kids around us. We are fascinated as to why we go back to the Old Testament to dig up these names? History and myths chase us when we don’t understand them?

Books can be written only in linear time. So is history. In real time all of past and all of future are NOW. From now we connect to a history of the future.

In linear time, we and the world were born at some distant past. We and the world will die at some far away future.

Wright brothers were right. They gave expression to our collective longing to fly. Buddha, Christ, Mohammad and Gandhi voiced our longing to break free in a different way. We played with technology to break free from the confines of the planet driven by some distant memories of longer flights. In the beginning, was oneness and the longing for oneness took us to transcending the barriors of time and space. With the emergence of the web and the cloud, when we are stuck in the clouds for hours we have a semblance of what it is to live in real-time.

In real time the flood is now, not in some distant past. It calls for all our skills to craft an ark to survive the flood. One such skill is to transcend the linear to dynamic and real time.  The ark is the symbol of the self. Everything of the past is embedded into it, a new synthesis of all that has happened in the past, the sum of all improvements in the evolutionary journey, plants, animals, and a select few from the millions who are ready for the transformational voyage, crafting an accumulator to collect everything with a survival value and stepping into a new future of rainbow promises.

The old fisherman took me to the shore, pointed to the horizon, some distant waves and the shoal. I could not see any fish. I pretended that I could,the coward that I was. Then on I started watching the waves, and to learn to see beyond the waves. Gradually it fell in place how all the waves, together, tangible and intangible, come together to create what we create.

It is against our programming to think in waves. Unlike fishermen, men on land have come to think in straight lines which leads us to booms and busts rather than waves and cycles which are but  natural But we are always taken by surprise. The captains could not see beyond the linear,   waves and cycles.

Dev complains, the dialogue brushes past too many issues and leaves everyone of them unexplained

Dialogue is for ADULTs. They need no advice. You can at best draw their attention or perhaps provoke them to ask questions. Once this is achieved they need be left to make the rest of the connections. (If there are gaps one can always Google it). There has to be enough space for the adult to find itself and mature.

Now that the context is set and the flood is more than a myth, choice is between building your own ark or a community one. The latter happens only in myths and is beyond our scope.

There is no substitute to building a personal one. We need as many arks as possible rather than waiting for another Noah. Each one needs to build an ark for oneself. Without learning to ride the waves, one can not lend a helping hand. That would be catalyzing suicide

The pyramids were built when the valley was fertile and the soil supported the community. The floods used to keep the soil fertile. When we were young we celebrated the floods which were a rare event. It was a time for celebrations, taking out the canoes, go frolicking. Now they have built embankments to the river. When the river swells, the currents are stronger digging the bottom of the river further down. The embankments get washed away but are strengthened continuously, further accelerating the death of the river. The forests were replaced by a wide portfolio of crops which more or less acted like natural forests which gave way to the plantations, fertilizers, pesticides and weedicides. Now the soil is dying. Floods when they come spread the pesticides and weedicides all over, further accelerating the rot.

The other flood is more difficult to see. The most endangered species is the Homo sapiens and not the others in the list. History tells us that the collapse takes more than 100 years for the full cycle to be completed. When our span of attention is less than 15 years, we fail to see the flooding that takes a century or more.

The crisis could be the birth pangs of a new species. Nature is ruthless when it comes to the survival of the fittest.

One of the participants had this dream of the pied piper and the giant wheel. We get into the giant wheel and the driver decides when we need to get out. The music is so enchanting that we merrily join the flow, the flood. We become the frog soup – drowned in the flood

Either we dream of a glorious past or a glorious future. Neither helps, the flood/ crisis is a perennial one , taking place here and now. We pray to our father who art in heaven. Just as we push him up  (push HER underground) out of our lives we dream of a golden past or a future. This is the problem with stimulus selectivity. We would like to listen to our favourite music and shut out the inconvenient and the unpleasant, out of focus.

Are you suggesting that we don’t wait to save the planet but be selfish enough to save our own skin.

That may be the best that one can do., appropriate selfishness – Charles Handy

Nature will see that in spite of floods and plagues there will be enough left for the show to continue. One can choose which fork to take. The crowd will always be behind by at least 20 + years behind the lone walker. Nobody is going to build a Lexus, reading the Toyota Way

We can learn from the people on the edge. The African proverb, a favourite of Al Gore and quoted in The Hot, Flat and Crowded by Fried man, “If you want to go quickly go alone but if you want to go far, go together” may at times turn out to be suicidal.

For Galileo it was much longer. Had he gone with the crowd, we wouldn’t have him in the history books. The crowd and the pyramid dwellers took a long long ime to reconcile with his personal vision. One can not always go with the crowd. One has to learn to hunt with the hound as well as run with the hares.

What about the Gurus, Best sellers, the secret, the law of attraction, the self improvement industry – NAN

There are enough saviours/ pied pipers who promise salvation. The crutches help till you learn to walk. Once you have learnt to walk, it is time to dump the crutches and listen to the guru inside. One cannot see through the other’s eyes. We need new eyes to see a new vision NOW to create a desirable future

What is the visual about ?

The new eye, window to the self/reality’.  We have attempted to map, create a visual of what we have been discussing. Perhaps one could meditate on it for some time. We were talking about a learning engine.

The Ark is the learning engine which continually outperforms, beyond booms and busts, floods, feasts/festivals.

It is about our self and selves.

Year 2065

Creating the future now/Remote seeing  !

At times, on certain roads,  we can see to the front as much as we can see behind us if we look back. I am over 60 years and can ‘see’ into my past rather well for 55 + years. Assuming 55 years to be the radius of my mindscape I can see 55 years into the future too.

Due to prevalent mental models I do not see farther than 2024, life expectancy being 74 years in my context.  If I subscribe to this my planning horizon need be just another 14 years which in turn would certainly be influencing my decisions, the prime reason why managers tend to believe in the sprint rather than the marathon.

We believe we can ‘see’ even much farther. If we can see through our DNA  and our collective mind we can see much much farther. Everything about the past is mapped into us in so many different ways and we are as old as the universe. There is something immortal in all of us.

We have been using the following exercise in ‘remote seeing’ mostly with young MBAs in the age group, 22 – 26 years, since 1990 and this gets revised every year.

The mental horizons keep on expanding but what we see hasn’t changed much.

The trends became more pronounced. The majority was taking the exit and the new generation, homo novus, was taking over. The flooding started much earlier but was not recognized by many. The minority could not influence the general flow. They found it more sensible to conserve their energy; certain that time would solve the problem.
The markets were collapsing. Longer life-spans and decline in births changed the very character of demand. The seniors influenced the markets much more. Most products and services could not hold on to market share. People found them not giving any more satisfaction, that many of these were just substitutes, products of survival drive distortions and had no basis in reality. The gold and bullion markets had become part of history. The chemicals and fertilizer industry was putting up a stiff fight to stay afloat. The stock markets too were on the brink of collapse due to the upsurge of loosely held voluntary business associations of real stakeholders. The cities were facing a crisis giving way to communes and virtual communities living a life in communion with nature, part of a loose network of similar ones elsewhere. People often shifted residence from one to the other. People in the communes lived a different life in contrast to the majority who failed to grasp the philosophical backdrop behind such lifestyles.

The shift could, now, no more be ignored.
Marriage and family seemed to be the most affected. With adults freed of the long years of responsibility and investment of their time and effort on child rearing, marriage itself lost most of its relevance. People of similar interests seemed to band together into communities of practice for reasons of professional and personal growth. These networks were more like extended families. Life expectancy had crossed the 100-year mark but people were, surprisingly in much better health for their age than at any time before. The communities were self-sufficient in meeting most of their needs. Products and services were by-products of life rather than ends in themselves. Work, fun, learning and leisure merged to become an indivisible whole and expertise in various aspects of knowledge accumulated in specific communities. Established religions were giving way to a new spirituality focused on conscious evolutionary growth by design.

It appeared that Homo sapiens was being overtaken by Homo novus.

Whether you agree or disagree, future is influenced now.

We can choose the world that we want to be in.

Homo Novus

Is the species of the future?
Gathering the scattered remnants of humanness,  building the Noah’s ark of vestigial human qualities
To salvage Homo sapiens from extinction, the most threatened of all species
Sapiens worshipped the dead, never really buried them fully
Oblivious that they were stuck in the mud
They chanted Buddha and Christ for millenniums
Not wanting to go beyond them
Found immense pleasure in wallowing in the mud
Homo erectus never evolved fully
Never really walked erect, mentally or spiritually
Just another of nature’s game of dice
Now vanishing in the millennium flood
Killing each other in the name of God and Satan
By-products of ignorance, another gate to learning

Homo novus is the human of the future
To be one or not to be is one’s conscious decision
THE CHOICE
Homo novus is androgynous, trisexual
Building islands of sanity in the midst of chaos
Islands of love and connected-ness
Networked beyond borders
Of those who by choice, select the road not travelled,
The Road by Design

Potter at the Wheel

The river of life flows forever – renewing itself.

A drop from the ocean has the ocean in it

The body is a drop from the ocean of nature.

We are much more than our physical self.

The spirit clothes the physical, animating it.

Soul , the unifier , is yet to take birth, the second birth, more real than our first birth.

It is both a personal and COLLECTIVE CHOICE for true community to emerge.

The soul is the unifier that bridges the divides within and without, in us, amongst us.

Beyond time, without before or after and as ‘old or young’ as the universe.

The body, the physical, is just the potter’s clay, soul the potter and ‘time’ the potter’s wheel.

Potter fashions the pot in tune with his internal map

If the map is of death we die and if that of illness we become ill

We have programmed our – SELVES to die, to fall ill (what a fall?)

Life is anti-death and its only purpose is to defeat death

It is not the food or the medicines but the maps that make the difference

–         The biology of our belief

–         What we believe together is the reality we create

If the map is of health, renewal, the river of life, the body regenerates

In the flow of life, wrinkles vanish, skin glows, old cells flow out, new cells flow in.

Re- collecting the body that we had at 25 and improving it further

Perfect health is so natural and our ‘efforts’ make it unnatural

RE – ‘COGNISE’ the possibility allowing nature to express itself

Not standing against the flow of life, continual renewal
Eat just for the fun of it, fact is you don’t need to (see the blue ocean people) Eat what brings joy to you, drink what you feel like

For it is the soul that fashions the body

The unifying principle, the glue of life, that connects and binds everything together,

That which re – NEWS continually

(Context in which grown 50 + Couples)

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen. I want to live on in my apartment.”    Woody Allen

Buddha’s smile, silence is

1990.

We had a Buddha’s picture and one of us would start off

Why is the Buddha smiling?

Some of the answers were

“It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure it out. It is simple. If it is that complex God wouldn’t have anything to do with it – that only the ‘Einstein’s’ would be able to figure it out.” ‘

It is all there in you. You don’t need me.”

“Stretch your lips. That is all it takes to improve the world.”

We took the game to our community stretch workouts which would go on for 8-10 hours for 3-5 days, to give us breaks in between. The game came to be called ‘The Buddha’s Smile’ and continues to evolve.

Here is how it goes after a bout of questions and answers on his smile.

Close your eyes. Stretch your lips just enough to feel the gentle vibrations around them when you smile. Be with it. Come back when you notice that the stretch is lost to regain the pleasant feeling. Observe your breathing as it goes in and out of your nostrils. Go with it, in an out. Observe the breathing becoming slower and slower

Imagine that you are lying down on the ground on a rectangular sheet of rubber with your hands and legs along the diagonals

Keep observing the stretch of your lips and the rate of breathing

Imagine the centre of the sheet, where the diagonals meet and the sheet being stretched evenly in all directions. The sheet is under stress and there is conflict all around. But the centre is not disturbed. At the centre, ground zero is the lighthouse with nine levels. Keep connected to the stretch of your lips, breathing, the centre and the growing silence. Four garden plots of rectangular and equal size spread out from the centre. The sheet turns into a foot ball and is filled up. The centre of the sheet is shifted to the centre of the football. It is being kicked around but the centre is not disturbed. Imagine the football to be a living organism, an amoeba or a cell in your body capable of going on continually

Re-NE…Wing its self.  Observe the stretch, rate of breathing, the centre and the silence

Silence                                                           IS

This is a rough cut of the game. The details vary with the facilitator, community and from events to events. Buddha continues to smile

Stretch your lips. The body chemistry improves….

Silence                                    IS
Most eloquent

the space between every letter, word and sentence. But for these, gaps nothing would be communicated.

Aruna is beautiful, deaf and dumb, in her teens. She comes home with her mother in the morning to help Lizzie with the household chores. Liz makes a lot of noise with her mother, to get things done her way and often fails. Aruna is different. Nothing needs to be said. She connects directly to Liz – no noise – in silence.  She connects intuitively to whatever Liz wants done and always exceeds her expectations.  There is perfect communication, best results and no noise. When they leave Liz makes a lot of noise. She is overwhelmed. All praise and wonder as to how she does it

We learn, communicate, connect and reflect in silence yet seldom do we recognize the power and value of silence and to be connected to the centre. Silence is the most powerful weapon, the communicator. We are afraid to face it and keep making noise to avoid facing it like an idiot box that cannot be switched off.

Connect to the centre in us, the silence, at the core of our being.

At the centre there is absolute silence

Return to the Centre (Bede Griffiths).

Silence                                  is

The singularity perspective

The Singularity Drive

The Singularity Drive

What drives the learning engine is the Singularity Drive.

How do we accelerate (CHANGE) continual improvement and align our SELVES to PERFORM?

Over 100 would be warriors wait to be tested in their skills of using the bow and arrow. The teacher asks the same question, what do you see? before they are allowed to let the arrow leave the string of the bow. All of them see different things. Arjuna is the only one who sees the bird’s eye, the target. He is poised to shoot and there is absolute silence.   Arjuna shoots and hits the bird’s eye. He only passes the test.

When we talk about singularity, the singularity is broken. The artist knows it which drives him to the visual medium. The silence is not broken when the painter or the sculptor achieves IT.

The child in the mother’s womb is in singularity. The singularity is broken at birth, oneness to duality. The newborn becomes more and more aware of its self , the process of taking birth of the self and grows into maturity (do we?) when it reconnects with the whole , Trinity, Singularity ‘ (singularity and singularity ’ !  ?  )

Up to the animal level there is a singularity, akin to that of the child in the womb

Freewill   comes with responsibility, informed choice, between the two arrows that branch out from the level of the animal in Q 3.  The animal pulls us down and the human attempts to break out of the ‘gravitational’ pull, to go into orbit something similar to a space vehicle. Once it goes into orbit it strives to break out from the monotony of repetition, being bounded like a clock.  The linear and static is transcended to the dynamic and real time.

BETWEEN THE TWO ARROWS IS THE UNREALISED POTENTIAL, THE WASTE IN THE SYSTEM, THE BLUE OCEAN SPACE.

Real improvements lead to narrowing the gap. Yet there will always be a gap like a road which unfolds as one move forward. The invariant lighthouse position (reference point), the direction of the journey, where we are now and true progress in relation to these three become measurable. The problem of metrics is resolved.    We now have the map for accelerated continual improvement.

If the periodic table is a map of the world of matter, this map is a navigational tool for the journey of life.

The singularity drive makes us leap for the impossible. It drives Bubka and Isinbayeva, to take those leaps again and again.  It drives us to sing, paint, sculpt, and create history

The singularity drive

That which drives the mystic

That which drives us to stories, folklore and myths

That which drives us to outperform, from our previous best

The fusion fuel for the learning engine that drives science, religion, art

That which drives us to take the leap into deep space, science fiction

That which drives us to aspire for community, immortality

That which will drive us out of the recession, from booms and busts, to the road of continual renewal and improvement.

What leadership is all about

What managers/institutions are expected to deliver but consistently fail to achieve. The disappointment comes when we park our trust and money elsewhere, much more than in our own SELF, in stocks, gold, god men/women, the consultant, prophets, the new President, at the top of the pyramid.

The foundation and the top needs to be in alignment for continuous improvement to prevail, the new habit, over the habit of precedence. Such alignment transforms the pyramids to continual learning communities.

The world is flatter but not flat.

A Nano to Immortality

David did a nano to Goliath

The Vietnamese did a nano to the US

Chandrayan did a nano to NASA, perhaps Virgin Galactic too.

Ratan Tata did a nano to automobiles

India did a nano to China in auto exports, by default

Raymond Kurtzweil is the champion of technological singularity who Bill Gates endorses as the smartest futurist around and Intel CTO, Rattner says ultimately machine intelligence could match human intelligence.  I wonder whether it would match the average intelligence of sapiens or the smartest human around, perhaps that of Ray. In both cases I am not very thrilled because the average and the exceptionally intelligent equally fail to trigger my curiosity.

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/092109-intel-cto-interview.html?hpg1=bn

Ray predicts this to happen around 2029 when those who are 60 now will be able to live forever with the help of technology available by then. Perhaps nano robots will do the scavenging of your system and continually keep it in shape for ever. I am 60 now and had decided sometime in 1990 that singularity always existed and will continue to exist. Perhaps, ultimately when technological and human singularities are aligned we could design an ideal future and translate this into reality?

What would you choose?

Wait for 2029 or start living now on the assumption that eternity is now and whether you make it to 2029 or not I want to have the most of now?

Even if technological singularity arrives sometime in the future, I could be run over by a BMTC bus on the least walker friendly roads of Bangalore during my daily grind of 9 Kms in 70 minutes and take the exit route. It could be today or tomorrow. Since I believe in human singularity rather than technological singularity I would have lived my days till that inglorious exit with the satisfaction that I lived a full life

I wonder, assuming technological singularity to be a reality in 2029, what would Ray be doing for an eternity to keep boredom at bay. I have never been bored since my shift to human singularity and every one of my decisions since were governed by the eternity time scale rather than my bonus at the end of the quarter.

POSITION, FOCUS and the LEVER: Do you see all the three as ONE?

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

– Archimedes.

Community Intelligence

Are we intelligent,  as a species?

Yes and no.

We are not intelligent going by many aspects of our performance. We are much more ‘endangered’ than any other species. We are a threat to our SELVES and the other flora and fauna.  We are more ill than the animals, we kill within the species without any reason which no other species does and we are the only threat to life. So we need an UNPROJECT – the new Noah’s ark – to protect and conserve the species.

But how will you identify a pair? What will be the criteria for selection?  If we pull it off the species and the environment will be very safe.

We have been asking (large groups of some very “intelligent people”, what is the unique differentiator between the human and the rest of the species.  We never got the answer right the first time and without some triggering and a process of creating agreement. Unless we agree we cannot achieve community.

If we are not intelligent as a species, how can there be intelligent people around?

We now understand intelligence so ‘much better’ – with different versions of it.  We claim that intelligence can be taught. Another business is in the making. Which parent wouldn’t want it?  Of all the ‘intelligences’ my personal favourites are the Gender and Community versions. Why are we not intelligent?  One reason is the way we understand intelligence, without seeing and relating the connection with the One and the Many, the whole and the parts, intelligence and Intelligences, the different or ‘differentiated versions’  and the undifferentiated. We need to integrate and differentiate simultaneously. We are intelligent, if we go by our potential to be intelligent, by design but not intelligent going by our history and performance.

The emperor has no clothes but claims very loud that he is The Emperor. What we think as great progress, an ascent and evolutionary progress is but a descent, the great fall.

So what makes us human?

The community learning engine

Community Learning Engine. Technology and markets are  levers to bring about improvement. Some communities have achieved remarkable progress is using them. But conventional measures of improvement fail to grasp the cost at which such improvements are achieved. Economic growth needs to be balanced with improvement in community. Some communities have achieved physical quality of life at a much lower cost to community and there are also communities like the eco-system people where in spite of improvements in growth, corresponding improvements in quality of life has not materialised. The focus here is how a particular community responds to the challenges of managing technology and markets along with improvement in communityOne way to assess the quality of community is to monitor the number of suicides, crimes, addictions of various types, mental illness and similar indicators.

The learning engine is capable of continually improving on its past performance against all odds. Focus of metrics need to be improvement on community as reflected in reduction in waste – conflicts, violence, illness, suicides, crime, infant mortality and in realising unrealised potential – quality of life and environment, longer life-spans, improvement in wellness.

It is the core which drives the process of improvement that reflects on its position, direction and corrects itself – ensure that the process is in tune.

Context – global or local but glocal-ness is recognised

Technology and markets need to be used as levers to enhance community

Vision – renewed continually and aligned for sustained high performance

Development is the most complex process that needs catalysts. The catalysts do not burn out in the process but in their absence the process is not initiated and sustained

Storytelling – Walking out of our shadows

Pygmalion coaxes Galatea out of stone and she comes alive. The Pygmalion position is that of the facilitator who catalyses performance, who has audacious expectations of performance, of sustained high performance, moving from peaks to still higher peaks. The expectation is not unfounded because Pygmalion has experienced the magic of sustained high performance. Every stone may not be good enough to be turned into a beautiful statue but every human has the potential to be an outstanding performer

How does Galatea respond to the hard knocks by Pygmalion in his efforts to coax her out of stone? If she can see the results of the hard knocks, she would certainly enjoy the process because she can see that between the caterpillar and the butterfly, the seed and the tree, there is the world of a difference. She knows that this is the moment of truth that she had been waiting for ages. Like what happens in the story of Ahalya and Rama. Ahalya has been waiting for that divine moment of Rama’s coming. The process is certainly complex and miraculous and the catalyst is integral to sustained high performance. Pygmalion and Rama play the role of catalysts, facilitators, in the transformational process.

People are waiting like Ahalya. Nations are waiting. Billions are waiting – like the farmers and fishermen, at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ (sic), essentially because the top is unable to connect with the bottom in the exchange and valuation process. It is debatable who is at the bottom and who is at the top. If you change the criteria of measurement, the bottom will become the top and vice versa. For example who leaves a larger ecological footprint? The cathedrals (Taj Mahal – Gurcharan Das) remain to be built.

Sergei Bubka, Isinbayeva. They do it over and over. They take the position – I can and I will do it. I will outperform myself, again and again. Can we take the same position, as individuals, a team and as a community? Nations have taken such positions. Kishore Mahubani asks this question to all Asian countries – Can Asians Think? , like Singapore has been thinking together since 1965

As individuals we don’t have to go on waiting, for miracles to happen or for another prophet to turn up. While billions are waiting we can have islands of sustained high performance around each one of us. The islands will eventually connect together for that defining era of collective transformation. We are in that transition phase of achieving critical mass and gaining take off velocity of the process, of more and more of us transforming our SELVES to catalysts for the tectonic shifts.

So what is your position?  Pygmalion and Galatea got to come together on this, the alchemist’s marriage. Later Galatea will take the Pygmalion position, and the process continues.

Back to Bubka and Isinbayeva, what is the pole that we are talking about, the lever? How long is the lever?  Where is the fulcrum? How does a community of practitioners ALIGN and LEVERAGE themselves for sustained high performance. Longer the lever more is the mechanical advantage.

MetricsThe Community Consciousness Quotient

Less is more. At 61, I am not a gadget geek. Yet I love my mobile and the way it has been shrinking over the few years that I have been using it, accommodating more and more of my requirements. I have accumulated a lot of electronic waste over the years like my compass, VCP, music player of progressively smaller sizes and better quality,  the desktops. . Very soon my notebook too will join the list. We are consuming less of the material and deriving much more. Small is beautiful and smaller is still better.  The tangible is shrinking and the intangibles are scaling up becoming more tangible than the tangibles. Capital too has been shrinking being substituted by intellectual capital, brawn by brains. My wants (not needs) too have shrunken, at least most of those that I considered important in my thirties and forties, like a gas guzzling SUV. Being glued to my LCD screen and not travelling to work I have earned a few carbon credits, not using my car except for the weekend shopping trip. (It would be much better to dispose it off and hire one when I really need it) But all needs do not vanish with age, perhaps they grow with age. The need for community (to be connected), quality and richer experiences, need to learn and express myself.  Sometimes more is less. Intelligence has evolved into intelligences, multiple intelligences, emotional, gender, social and in the process we have become less intelligent in community consciousness. So the metrics need to take into account improvement in community within and without along with conventional measures of improvement in performance.

Community Consciousness Quotient (CCQ) is an imperative for Sustained High Performance. The absence is killing us in many ways which we don’t need to go into. The blasts keep us reminded.