Designer Lives (3)

Perfection and Psychodynamics

After Xmas and New Year we wait for the next feast /festival, Easter?

We need to celebrate them on the same day, reinventing time. Every moment, day, is a birth, death and resurrection.  Celebrating the new decade makes better sense. We would like to wish you a new decade of real progress and sustained continuous improvement. Given the pace at which we improve, a decade makes a better time horizon to put all the improvements and disappointments in perspective.  When we make the shift to REAL from linear time, time does not run out, it stretches out.

You have always been a champion of laziness and you have invented another jugglery to substantiate it.  So wish you a still slower decade to laze around. Hope you cross the decade setting a new record of doing NO thing and continue to haunt us.

I am not lazy. I work very hard to remain a contrarian. I work very hard to improve my Jowar count and am very pleased with my progress, improvements.

Jowar?

It is a specially designed exercise for seniors, a combination of jogging, walking and running. I hope to join the veteran’s Olympics, post 2020. I also work very hard not to make any money, not to leave any foot prints including the carbon one, to consume less and stretch myself at the physical, mental and the spiritual planes.  I fight very hard not to go in for a new car. I give more than what I take; live more with less and make sure that my output is always more than the inputs.  I work on the fusion mode. I had to work very hard to make that shift from the fission mode. There is always a tendency to slip back and I have always to be on guard.

Let us continue from where we digressed. It is time to look at the other two wheels, quadrants.

You always talk in pairs, at least two balls at a time.

That is true of everything. A photon is a particle and wave. Black makes no sense without white. So here is the counter pair to Potential and Performance. We have Perfection and Psychodynamics to juggle with.

Psycho – dynamics, why the jargon after using the language of the shop floor so far?

Just to impress you!

We started with the assumption that if it takes an Einstein to understand reality, we don’t want any part of that. We have been accused of being too thin, un-academic, unsubtle etc. etc.  Google it, if you want a definition.  We don’t attempt definitions and we don’t have any institutional memory other than our personal ones. I have freed my memory banks of all data available by a simple search so that there is no clutter within.  In the post Google age, forty hours or even less of learning is all it takes to pick up the essentials to be really successful in life. We have been testing the hypothesis for two decades now.

How do you define success?

We don’t know.

I wish I hear this more often.

Each one will have to do that according to his/her standards. For us, if you haven’t got into accidents of any kind, on the road or off the road (relationships), not been ill but improving in heath, making as much money as you have decided to make, your family and friends are also doing equally well, we would say that one is successful.

What about perfection?

Perfection is embedded in us but we don’t want to accept it. Most businesses would go out of business if we accept it including the business of education. Guardians of knowledge, custodians of the keys, the gate keepers would not relish it.  Take a look at the list of gate keepers (the four classes of programmers) in the top right quadrant.

You would be thrown out at the gates itself!

There is this alignment problem between the two wheels of the learning engine. Paying attention to this will be worth the effort. This defines the learning requirements for the journey. Once we recognise the issue, the system, over time, will move towards a dynamic steady state.  It is good to be confused   because ultimately there will be a resolution. We will not have butter without churning the cream. It is said ask and ye shall be given.

Make it clearer. I have a low tolerance for ambiguity.

There is the ideal and our understanding of the ideal, perfection and our understanding of perfection. It is like god created us in his image and we recreate him in our image. Our image is that of the God who art in heaven, a master slave relationship which forms the master template for all our relationships. No dialogue is possible from these positions.  The adult will never be born.

Should we bring in god here?

If for most people god stands for the ideal, perfection, quality, love, order, life, negentropy why not bring in God? I am yet to come across a non-believer. The atheist too is a believer since he believes that there is no god. I am yet to find an Indian who does not believe in his astrologer! For him his astrologer is god. The astrologer works on the premise that there is order and predictability not only in the case of clockwork systems, but similar order and predictability exists in the case of higher level systems too and in the very long run perfection will prevail.

In the short run all of us will be dead!

If god stands for life and we stand for death, this pair certainly needs our attention.

More juggling?

Not yet, we are getting ready for the real juggling.

What do you mean by lighthouses?

Newton (1643- 1727) continues to be our lighthouse since we are, collectively,  yet to move from the clockwork paradigm. Einstein (1879-1955) ought to have stood on Darwin’s (1809- 1955) shoulders.

But the lighthouse industry is extinct. R L Stevenson (1850 – 1894, Jekyll & Hyde) foresaw the demise of the industry and left his tradition in time. His   fiction was brought under the lens by Jung  (1875- 1961). The artist always SEEs ahead of the scientist.

We don’t need lighthouses anymore. The new technologies mimic the metaframework of nature, much better.  The second coming is that of the common Buddha, who will SEE directly without intermediation by the gate keepers.  Visual literacy, not language, helps us SEE together as a community.

The basic divide is between clocks and living systems, chaos and order, Life and death, default and design?

The map shows that there is no divide but we still believe that there is a divide or unity still remains beyond our collective experience.  Reality is what we belive to be true. We are co-creators of death, not life. We see inheritance in place of emergence because of the positrons we take. To co-create life we need to shift our positions for good.

There is more Ps, to be explained.

Problems. From our position, they are opportunities; the more complex they are, the more challenging. It is fun.

Prophets. Take the vision bury the dead.

Peters.  The guardians of lighthouses sans the vision of the prophets drive us away from climbing up the lighthouses to take a peek. That too is in the fitness of things.

Programmers.  We come preloaded with a programme to fail. The winner stakes all which includes all the past programming.

Parrots.   A copy can never be better than the original but copies do come in handy. Why reinvent the wheel?

Power. There is power which makes one free and also power that leads to the making of slaves.  The path to spirituality is through the thick forest of sex. Most get lost here. Narcissus to Pygmalion and Galatea set  the direction of the path and we are yet to go beyond Narcissus. Sex drives the economy and the markets.  Sex and power come packaged in the same container.

What about the bird and the semi dark circle in the bottom left quadrant?

This is what happens when we learn. There is a bolt of lightning that connects the small with the big, local with the global, micro with the macro, like the proverbial apple that fell on Newton, sparking the connect with that very local event with the grand design of the physical world.

What about the Red book?

The book is a pointer to the solution not the solution itself.

Why so?

All the reason, logic and analysis which have given us the technology/ Google, will not help us, if we are primarily driven by the unconscious.  The unconscious will drag us down and we will never achieve take off velocity.  Myths, fantasy, fiction, and hyper reality will rule us rather than reality.  Artificial intelligence will continue to be more fashionable than intelligence and intuition. Magicians and pipers will continue to fool us with substitutes in place of real magic and real miracles. We need to bring back magic and miracles to our daily routine.

Real magic and miracles!

A miracle is something which is unexplainable by the known laws of nature. When we admit that there will always be unknowables but they are not our enemies, the complete system will be working with us.  When the entire nature is working for us the true potential is unlocked. There is nothing hiding in the dark to pounce on us. This is freedom from the unknown. The drag is killed.  There is nothing super-natural when we understand the nature of nature. We need better keys to align with the unknown and that is how we got into designing dreams.

Can we really design dreams?

Yes, if we can get rid of all the accumulated garbage. Look up Shalini here. She has been doing it for the last two years. She had very little garbage to get rid of.

When we align our SELVES / SELF, with the unconscious, we have the best ally and we are no more driven by the unknown which is a huge step to mastery of the self.  We are not driven but we are on the hot seat in charge of driving the learning engine.  We become the magicians, moving to the centrestage from the spectators. We are responsible to ourselves and the journey is about continual learning and improvement.We are here to learn.

There is two more Ps

Peace. If we find it within we will find it outside us too

Process.  Nature is in process. We too are. Let the process go on… There are no full stops, a destination, the journey continues. The direction is fixed, the true north .

Go with the process?

Which process are you talking about, process of inheritance or emergence?

We need to see both together and the outcome , net improvements, progress ( one more P) towards true north.

It is much more complex than a Rubik’s Cube.

It is. But, there is a solution and always a still better one. and then the perfect one .We are on the path to perfection.We may never reach the perfect solution.

Are we through with the wheels? What about the engine and the driver?

We are through with the rough design. We will need to get into the detailed design of the engine and the driver.  That is for another time.

We have covered the generics, not the specifics which are personal and situational.It takes some time to become comfortable with the rough design.

P.S. To our Wordsmith. If the word is your sword what is your battle?

Between the Haiti earthquake and the day of the max eclipse, it is a journey of > 1000 years to the next one of a similar kind. See you there ?   ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

Sustained High Performance By Design

Designer Lives (2)

Potential and Performance

The dog is in attendance and we continue.

“The world is chaotic, disorganized and vexing. Medicine is no exception “says one of my dialogue partners and friend, the surgeon. He advises government on health policy issues in addition to his hectic and often punishing routine.  The only issue on which we come together is our morning routine and on all the rest we take the polar opposite positions.

This is why inner ecology is important. If we don’t find order in our own self, what we see in the world outside is chaos, disorder and when you advise the world, you could be contributing to more of the  chaos and disorder. The intentions are always good but the effect is disastrous.

Since you come at the end of the assembly line in the health system where surgery is the only option, most of what you see influences your world view.

That is ridiculous.

The more you see the conflicts, violence, absence of harmony outside, you are more likely to be caught up in it. You become what you pay attention to and come to believe that this is the nature of reality. The opposite also is true, the more you look for order and organization, one becomes more ordered in one’s own SELF. You will then be contributing more to order than chaos. The choice is yours. What you see depends on where you stand, your position.

What are you driving at, change my career/ position at this stage?

I am not suggesting anything.  I say that this should not be your invariant position which would emerge from a larger perspective of the true potential, a better understanding of the design, so that when the system goes out of order, one can restore order without resorting to extreme measures. These extreme measures are contingent on taking such a position and nothing but belated inferior solutions.

When our car or the net book does not perform, we go back to the design to put it right. Our system doesn’t come with a User Manual which helps us diagnose and bring back the system to order.  Without understanding the design we cannot decide whether the system is true to the design. Most of our expectations are based on ill- informed assumptions about the design and we pay a heavy price for it.

To repeat, our most well meaning intentions create the most disastrous results.

You are getting ready for more jugglery.

Simplicity is a noble goal but it should not be at the cost of truth. What I suggest is that we go up together and get the lunar perspective. Perhaps we might come to share the dog’s perspective.

Shoot.

We will first take a look at the potential quadrant, the left front wheel of the learning engine. Though when we drive the four wheels move together the car is  now at rest and we are looking at each of the wheel assemblies in isolation. In juggling all the balls should be in the air but we are just studying the ball which is  at rest. The eye at ground zero stands for the compass perspective.  The compass is hidden here. To use the compass one has to climb up the 10 storey lighthouse.  Or we assume that within the potential ball there are 9 more balls and we start from the small to the large. If we  miss any one ball or storey, potential is zilch.  These are the 10 heads of the Asura King, Ravana in the epic journey of Rama, the Ramayana. (In spite of the ten heads Ravana fails and in spite of defeating Ravana, Rama fails to win the heart of Sita. Men better take a cue from the feminists. The other epic Mahabharata is all about our inabilithy to SEE in which the leader is blind, both in terms of light and the light that enlightens the blind)

Start climbing?  We step in to the ground level.

1. The compass is buried in the foundation of the lighthouse.

2. The ground level is the repository of all existing maps, results from all previous climbs what other climbers have left for us which might make the climb a lot easier.

A map could be on almost anything, not just a map of the terrain. It could be  a story  a myth, music, dance, art, science, technology, religion, from any discipline or aspect of knowledge. The periodic table is a good example.

These maps might as well create a bias. We will look at them on our way back.  Let us move up the stairs to the next level.

3. We come to the world of simple machines. Clocks, compasses, guns. All of those machines which have no ‘mind’ of their own. The bullet does not come back to the gun nor does the clock change its pace to suit our whims.or haste.They dont do any regulation on their own. They are on the path of entropy.

4. We have all the advanced machines with a ‘machine mind’ here.  The compressor in the fridge works only till the desired temperature is reached.

5. The world of the unicellular. A cell in our body, a diatom, an amoeba, bacteria, virus. No machines come anywhere near in terms of its degree of self regulation.

6. All the plants

7. The animal

8. The human, individual.The cell is to the body what the individual is to the organisation.

9. Groups, organisations, communities, community

10. Perfect knowledge

We are on top. We SEE from horizon to horizon, the past and the future. The view is complete. We stand on a 10 layered sandwich. No single layer stands on its own. If any step of the ladder is amiss we don’t reach the top. All the levels are indispensable for the emergence of true potential which is infinite. No limits here, in time or in space.

This is why we need all the ten heads / avatars to realise the fully human, the ideal, perfect, conceptual human.  Here everything is perfect, heaven.

We climb down. We check our new map with the old maps. All of them are correct in some ways but not complete as the one which is fresh in our memory. We start checking our new map against the physical world (hell?) represented by the rear right wheel of the learning engine.

We are in for the surprise of our life! NONE OF US HAVE  EVOLVED BEYOND THE LEVEL OF THE CLOCK ! and we claim outselves to be civilized and cultured ! We need to revisit Newton, Einstein and Darwin at the same time. Have a webcon !

All the levels match one to one in terms of their potential and performance till the level of the animal. The gap begins at the level of the human. It widens as we move up the level of groups, organisations, communities and community. The waste, unrealised potential becomes visible. We SEE and we can SHOW. This is the first step to the first step of the journey of the learning engine, the shift in direction to TRUE NORTH.  Before we take the first step in that journey of a 1000 x miles we need to make certain that we place that step in the right direction.

The design and delivery do not match. The system is not in order. There is no alignment between the two wheels. ( forget the other two for now) We could run the diagnostics to set right the alignment between the two wheels at various levels. .

When we set right the alignment, all the four wheels need to be corrected at the same time, because any small change in any one affects all.  To do that we need to understand the design of the other two wheels also.

What about the metrics?

The process involved in  metrics comes first. It is about reflecting over performance with the design in mind and that the system is designed to continually improving on its previous best performance, in terms of quantity, quality and time. All metrics are approximations and is not an exact science. The actual indicators, criteria of performance, could be quite simple which shows us the progress to true north and reduction in   WASTE. We will come back to the issue of metrics after an overview of all the sub- assemblies.

It is becoming dense. Let us take a break.

You claim to be a virtual Perma – Culturist?

My father was the original. He believed that doing nothing is Doing Everything. It took me a lifetime to understand what he stood for. By the time all the land was gone and I could  only be a virtual Perma ‘culturist’ !

Perma culture is about understanding the design of nature and allowing the design to express itself, not to stand in the way of nature. The templates of nature are perfect and beyond improvement. Our best efforts to improve them most often fail. We need to live with them.

Learning has no cost. It always fetches the best ROI. The metrics need to take  into account the future savings of costs associated with not learning.(eg: savings from avoiding a cardiac arrest)

We need to start with culture before we get into Perma – Culture.

What is common to the Amazon forest dweller and the Wall Street investment banker is the basic template? One stakes his claim to be civilized and from  the first world while . the other does not make any such claims. One is blissfully unaware of the design whereas the other claims to have all the keys to unlock the potential.  We need to strike the miiddle path between the two.

When Vasco Da Gama reached Malabar, he was shocked to find the women going topless. Now when the tourists come to the very same beaches and bare themselves,  they are ogled at. The wheel has come back full circle in just around five centurires!It is not even two centuries since we abolished slave labour. We abolished it when we found better ways to achieve the very same purpose ‘in style’. Same goes for dictatorships.

Why does the emperor shout that he is the emperor?

The emperror is not certain that he is the real one !

You have a Freudian fixation with the Ps

My professor (Ramaswamy) was much better at it. He would juggle with 100s of Ps and make them dance in the air while my professor of maketing was juggling with just 4 Ps. I am told that he has gone up to 7 now. I am just using around 40 Ps, the very minimum to show you what I want you to see. This is a minor fixation, synchronicity at work.

Why do you always take recourse to myths?.

Beware of  myths because they will survive all the mass wipe outs. It is better to understand them so that we go beyond them. The myth is the key to our unconscious, the silent sub-surface driver of the engine, a source of mis-alignment. We will get to this much later.

Where do we go on from here?

We take a look at the other two wheels, the engine and the driver of the learning engine.

It is getting complex.

Complexity is the best challenge to stretch your self. It is a headache but I peddle a ‘one minute cure’ for headache. Complexity feeds me.

Continued

Designer Lives ! Greening Our Selves

I did a search on Google India when I started this post and abandoned it when I saw

Designer lifestyle – 26,400.000

Designer life coaching – 14.400,000

Designer Sarees – 8,69,000

Designer Sarees pic – 22,80,000

I also spent some time finding a coach to air  these ideas. I was not successful because I had modelled my theory on my understanding of two of my role models who could be life coaches. One was over 100 years when he died (he ran out ot work) and the other is 113 years and still going strong. So all that search amounted to nothing?

Not really because now I know that Indians are slightly more interested in  design than designer sarees and designer jewllery. The last time they were looking for somebody to head the national centre for design they approached one of my neighbours who dabble in jewellery design

I turned my attention to the Times of India and the interview with Malcolm Gladwell. He says we are information rich and theory poor.  If the dogs can ‘see’, what they ‘see’ will be worth a look.

My search had to be abandoned because most theories, in the long run have not  even helped the proponents other than getting some flea span of attention.

Many gods die very young! At my age, I cannot afford to be taken for many more rides.

Why don’t you stop theorising and get to the issue? Do you have a set of principles? Where do we begin?

Get ready for some mental jugglery.

  1. We need to make a SHIFT
  2. We need to approach Potential ,Performance, the WHY and How  of  the potential performance gap, simultaneously
  3. We need to take an informed position and be our SELF
  4. We need some simple metrics to be certain that we are on the PATH

Well that is juggling with too many balls at the same time?

It is now established that juggling improves your intelligence. More the balls, bettter it is. Most of us can manage just one or two at the same time.

Moreover, we have the four wheels, the engine (self) and the driver in place to begin the journey.

Wow. It is a DIY Manual !

Yes, it is.

It is another day.

Which dog are you talking about?  There are 162 dogs, the slum dog type, in our gated community and another 36 luckier (?) ones  owned by dog lovers who have taken permission from the management committee of the community headed by an animal rights activist.The dialogue happens after our morning walk. There is this one dog which seeks us out and joins our company  on a regular basis.

Of the 162 dogs why is it that this one finds it worthwhile to join us?

It knows that you are a recruitment manager who knows the difference between dog-ness and human-ness! It sniffs the difference between the rest of us and the one who knows what it is to be human!

Wow. That’s an idea. Dogs could be used in recruitment. It would be more effective than most of our metrics. Perhaps I could patent the idea and leave my job to the dogs!

Well it is coming to that very soon. There are agencies that teach us to mimic animals or the rest of nature as if they hold the key to human-ness?

Why mimic?

  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
  • It is such a headache to think, know, understand

But mimicry is a kind of pathetic humour that comes out of help – less – ness. When we don’t have the original we make do with copies.

When we hear the next guru talking of inner ecology, take it that the inner desertification (or interior decoration?) is complete!

What does this dog, the other dogs and the pet dogs see?

Well dogs, as a community, seem to believe in the steady state theory since at the last count too we had around 160 dogs. They know what dog-ness is all about.With every one out of three of us likely to get cancer, one in ten to get  a heart attack and with all the other odds taken together shows that dogs are healthier than humans. We live a dog’s life !

Somebody  I knew was chased by a pack of dogs on a beach. He had no option but to get into the water. The dogs stood howling on the shore and were chased away by his friends. He lived for another six months and took the exit route on his own.The dogs knew, it seems.

Well what does this ‘special dog’ in the visual see?

This dog sees the two paths. It sees that most of what we see as progress is a fall and together we are heading in the wrong direction. It also sees the path that we should take, the path of human-ness, continuous improvement, real progress.

It would probably not join us  if we start imitating the other 161 dogs!

This dog knows. Most facts are stranger than fiction.

The Pipers of Hamlin, Wall street.

We are back at it again with the special dog in company.

The master said, be the child. Where on earth are the children? They have vanished with the Pipers from Wall Street!

The children are so ‘well informed’ these days that I feel myself an ignoramus. They know what is in and what is out and I am certainly out by those standards.

How do you take an ‘informed position’ and be my SELF?  How can I be my SELF when there is such a well- intentioned, charity driven,  messianic attack on our collective SELF, the most threatened and endangered entity in our current context.

I am not complete in my SELF without a fan following (my twitter count of followers is zilch) or following somebody in sincere flattery.

Is there a gold standard certification in these things? I see that every guru of the day, self – certifies his /her claims ! Most of them are younger than me, never been married, never raised any children.Another set of pipers ?

I am afraid I would prefer not to follow anybody and drive away potential disciplies who would rob me of my silence.

Well in that case you can not be a GURU.

How long will gold be the standard?  When everything else is of no value can gold have any value? If everybody does a Gandhi or Thoreau what happens to the economy?

You have’nt cotributed much to the economy. You are taking more than what you give to it. You have not been ill for a long long time which means you are contributing to the recession. You dont use any cosmetics. How will the economy recover ?

Are we getting to the age of The Descent of Money ?

The ‘piped music’ is so enchanting that i don’t want to unplug and listen to my SELF which is under attack from all the four directions, from the bottom and the top. 24x7x 720. Perhaps what we consider music is noise which has silenced the silence, the real music from a dog’s perspective.

We wonder where all the children have disappeared. They have lost their innocence and with it the wise men too have vanished.  The Pipers have been doing a very good.

Look at all the exercise freaks. They are all plugged in, connected, wired to their i-pods, i-phones, i-touch, i-book, i-spouses. It is a connected world ! There is very little else to be connected and be taken over by the machines. Sci-fi has become the reality.

In spite of all the stretching many of my one time friends vanished in their forties.

The problem can be abstracted as:  i > I  or self> SELF

We cannot solve the puzzle without a decision compass which would help us to find the directions and fix our position.  The four directions are the four P balls that we juggle around – Potential, Performance/metrics, Perfection and Psychodynamics (Continual renewal/ Continual Learning/ Continuous Improvement, Kaizen,  whatever you choose to call this wheel of the car / the learning engine)

What is a learning engine?

A learning engines improves on its pervious performance. II feeds itself on waste. If is a fusion engine. There is no cost for learning. The ROI is always positive.

I hope you will stop with the four balls!

I was about to pull out more smaller balls from each of the four big balls

That is enough for the day. Time for a break.

(B…s to you. I could almost hear it)

The next day:

What is the gap between self and SELF?

This is the space between the two paths, what we call the blue ocean space, the solution space or the problem space depending on which position one takes. This represents the unrealised potential, the gap between best of individual realisation of potential to the  best of the collective potential of the human.

KISS !

Example: PCD lived for > 100 years while the life expectancy for males in this context was 72, the normality of the time. The potential / performance gap is 28 years if we just take this one dimension. To make it simple we adon’t take into account the quality of life of the masses against the quality of life that PCD enjoyed or any of his other achievements.

If we consider the case of SRC, 113, who is still working and hopes to work for more years, we get an idea of what potential is and where the masses are! We cannot really fix an upper limit to potential but we can chart out the broad contours of the direction of the path.

I get a rough idea of the direction that we are talking about.

As we move forward we will be able to see what is beyond the next bend on the road.

The visual also suggests that a good part of our behaviour is sub-animal!

This is our shadow side, the porn that greases the web engine, the medicines, drugs, cosmetics, the years wasted in asylums, prisons, lives lost in conflicts, suicides, terrorism, so on and so forth. Unrealised potential is  the root cause of all our problems.

When we say be myself, what we mean is be my true SELF as distinct from what we have come to believe as dictated by the noise around us.

WHY this gap exists and HOW to bridge it or narrow it  are the other two balls.

It is in relation to these four directions that one can fix the position  just as a compass or GPS would deliver what they are designed to.

There are two kinds of positions as in the case of the lighthouse and the sailing vessel, the invariant and the variant.  The ship has to change course in relation to the lighthouse.

Be more specific?

As a surgeon I take the position that I am a professional which means I have a set of competencies which I practice in a specific domain which I continue to perfect over a life-time.  I am also bound by a code of behaviour which expects me to hold my client’s well-being as my overriding principle which provides the context in which my performance becomes measurable. The standards are the most challenging. In case of non-delivery, the surgeon will not be able to go scot-free as the Pipers of Hamlin, Wall Street.

I hope you see the invariant postion and the variant postions in the journey of the professional. The invariant is, come what may, even at the cost of my life,I would remain a professional. it is a do or die postion. The variant is as I move ahead on the journey I continue to improve my competencise and scale higher and higher levels of perfection.

It is time we pull out the balls within balls. The journey from our animal self (i)  to the human (I) begins here.

You are a pain. Enough for the day

I believe in the PIA theory of motivation.

Good day, JM

My Inglish style sheet says, “break the container and get the content”.   What Sanskrit is to Prakrit, Inglish is to English.

Hope you too see what the dog sees or ‘god’ sees the big picture. The headwind is strong. It is better for a take off than sailing.

Continued

Profit, not for profit, for love and the problem of metrics!

If you are smart, why is it that you don’t have your not for profit foundation, NFP?

Smart people ought to become rich, super rich and further down the road they ought to start their own NFP. The next lower version of the smart ones, with a flair for the ‘philosophical and the academic’, (this has nothing to do with the truly philosophical or truly academic) move to these NFPs to churn out the intellectual fodder essential to keep the business going!

Is business so ‘anti-social’ that we in business seek to counterbalance the evils/ or our guilt of making money (or is it creating wealth?) by creating NFPs even in emerging markets, where the business agenda still remains green and virgin. Most of us work towards retirement as if what we have been doing was so unpleasant, unlike good professionals who would practice to their grave.   If what we do is enriching we will not be retiring from work which points to the problem of work-life balance.

We need some fresh perspectives on the issue.  The more perspectives we have, closer are we to the real. It is something like designing a learning Gestalt as we did during the last weekend. The trekking, walking up the ancient forest path, the walkabout along the tank bunds, playing in the mud with the children, dancing in the rain with the musical fountain in full blast of sound and water, the rare uncluttered flow of traffic, all of them together wreaking out something powerful, an upheaval/awakening of the collective consciousness towards the transformational.

Upheaval, whispered the breeze

Upheaval, murmured the leaves

Coming on stage said the stars

Flow said the fountains

Sing said the dancers

Dance said the musicians

Let the symphony begin

Remember the dance?

Remember the song?

It is time again

Upheaval whispered the night

Upheaval echoed the wind

Snoosh, said the setting sun.

Upheaval is the breath of life, learning and love. Work that tires is the breath of death. The gestalt is complete.

Let us create another gestalt of perspectives on work itself. Before we look at work we need to look at the nature of business because it is primarily business that defines the work agenda.

“The language of business is money and the language of love is barter. This is the difference between work and work expressed as love. One is work as most of us understand it, something from which we run away on week-ends. We cannot have quality work without bringing in the love element to work” says my mentor.  The first helps us pay our bills and the latter keeps us healthy like the proverbial apple that keeps the doctor away.

As a onetime academic, I work for money to meet my essential survival requirements.  I moved out of academics to work hands on for most part of the week and found some time on weekends to teach. The latter seemed to offer some stimulation to write since I need to talk it out with somebody before I can put something down on paper.

As I grow a little more mature with age (this is not an imperative) I don’t find it as essential to keep up with the joneses. Just as I yearn to realise more of my transformational needs what I seek from work too undergoes a transformation.  I move from making money to creating wealth.

I find that my teaching does not offer all the stimulation that I look for. Very often it is about meeting some academic norm which is obsolete. I move on to work as a consultant and coach. with a small circle of students/professionals  who provide me with the stimulation that I was missing in academia.

I would say that I work with them on the barter mode because it is mutually rewarding and both the parties learn from the process. This work satisfies the transformational – meaning, emotional, spiritual. Most people understand work in the language of money, some understand work as love expressed and the significant few, understand work as learning and creating.

At times we get in touch within the circle when we get stuck with the routine.

Here is one such incident.  One of my best students, a significant one from the talking circle, calls me up. I just light up as I am sure it is going to be something of a new challenge.

J. How s your love meter going?

(The love meter is slang for how are you at work. Assumption is, work is love expressed)

S.  I wanted to discuss a problem with my love metrics.  Here is it, I am sending my metrics sheet. Please take a look

J. I was looking forward to it. We have a problem more or less a generic one and you need to break free of it. We need a one to one. When can we meet?

S. Sure, I am out of the place already. See you at the musical fountain. I hope we create another gestalt

J. We meet in about 30 minutes. That was real fast and out of the blue. We start of from where we left. There are two types of metrics, one is operational or transactional and the other is transformational. The difference is between the ‘significant few and the insignificant many’. Most metrics do not go beyond the operational to the transformational as they focus mostly on the insignificant many.  Your metrics sheet is no different.

S. What do you mean by the significant few and the insignificant many. Sounds like the chosen few.

J. The logic is simple. Focus on those few things that take you closer to the designed transformational outcomes. It is not about the talented few. Everyone is talented and is in wait for the transformational. Or if you want a crude example, in over two millennia the significant few that we remember are a handful, Buddha, Christ/Judas, Gandhi/Godse, Hitler, King. It is pathetic that we haven’t gone beyond them. We need to look at them as a gestalt and distil the essential learning to go beyond the mediocrity of the insignificant many. Once the transformational agenda is designed the operational focus will be of a different order quite unlike what you already have brought into your metrics.

S. How do we take it forward?

J. I don’t know really. I think each one of us is in a unique situation.  We need to evolve what is appropriate to our specific context and at the same time keep working on our own personal transformational agenda. When both are in balance, there is nothing to worry. So go back and rework your metrics. Remember the keywords

Operational to transformational

Insignificant many to significant few

Reconfigure the Gestalt Matrix

Do you get the gestalt?

P.S

The transformational do not wait to happen. It just happened. We go on working hard to communicate what really happened. Meanwhile we have moved from conceptualizing to creating the upheaval and awakening on ground, giving birth.

Design of the Learning Engine

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

S. Am I one?

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

S. Besides taking position what more does it involve?

J.  It involves understanding the design of the  LE and using this understanding when the going gets tough.

S. Let us get to know the design in detail

J. Quadrants Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 of the learning engine are analogous to the four wheels of the car and the eye at the centre (self) is the engine.

The four quadrants are also directional.

Thus

Q1, North West,

Q4, South West,

Q2, North East, and

Q3, South East)

S. Who is the driver?

J. Us, depending on whoever identifies with the system. Q1 and Q 4 are internal to the observer or the driver/s of the LE.  Q2, Q3 are external to the observer. Q 3 is the physical world.   At the centre, where the four quadrants meet is a lighthouse with nine levels. When you climb to the top you get the eagle’s perspective, see everything, have a map of everything. The level 1 has all the maps, level 2 maps of all the simple machines similar to the clock, level 3 the maps of advanced machines with self-regulation, level 4 the maps of the unicellular world, level 5 that of the world of plants, level 6 that of all the animals, level 7 the maps of the individual  human, level 8 that of the organizational and level 9 that of all accumulated learning, meta- systems – religion, science, philosophy etc

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

A Map of Everything

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

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

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

Quadrant NW is the external social system, history, barriers to transcend, opportunities which conflicts with SW in terms of the challenges to learning and improvement. There are more  P s —-Position , Process and so on.

Perfection, Problems – every single time is a time of crisis. a crisis of the spirit of the time taking its birth, arising from resisting the perfection in us, not a crisis or a problem but the greatest opportunity of the time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continual Renewal

Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.

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

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

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

Ref: Idealised Design, Russel L. Ackoff

Designer Lives

Matrix and Matrix Thinking

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

English > Inglish

COBOL> COPOL (common purpose oriented language)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you suggesting?

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

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

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

The matrix is a perfectly balanced equation

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

Black and White > Grey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is this fact or fiction?

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

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

Let the noise die down

The Glass Bead Game

“All the insights, noble thoughts, and works of art that the human race has produced in its creative eras, all that subsequent periods of scholarly study have reduced to concepts and converted into intellectual values the Glass Bead Game player plays like the organist on an organ. And this organ has attained an almost unimaginable perfection; its manuals and pedals range over the entire intellectual cosmos; its stops are almost beyond number.” – Herman Hesse

This organist plays in real time. He is one with all understanding of the past and the future too. He makes perfect music. We work with limited information, knowledge and much less of wisdom. Though we have great faith in our decisions and they are invariably taken with the very best of intentions, most of them turn out to be not very wise.

The DC is a tool that enables the user to appreciate the complexity of the decision making process and to improve the outcomes in terms of quality, sustainability and community.

Decision Compass and the Blue Ocean

The DC reduces the search effort involved in managerial problem solving, points to the solution space (blue ocean), accelerates learning and brings the woods and the trees together without missing either of them.

The tool and methodology were evolved in the context of working with very challenging developmental issues and communicating these issues to the stake holders, over two decades.

The Game

The decision compass (DC) is at the apex of a series of frames which together form the First Discipline Framework.

Mastery of the DC frame is achieved through accelerated learning and competency development work shops by simulating a high performance work environment.  The participants work together (play) with specific roles corresponding to the levels and functional expectancies of the DC.

The duration varies from 16 – 40 working hours for an introductory workshop.  The duration varies with the level of participants and the mix of the facilitation team.

Participants: 50 – 60.

The First Discipline Framework is broken into its component frames numbering 60 cards in VIBGYOR. Red cards are six in number and green four. Other colors are ten each.   Red and Green represent governance and sustainability issues and are external to the organization. The organizational groups are positioned at the centre and at the centre of the four quadrants. They change positions anti-clockwise after each round of discussions and presentations.

Time:  16 – 40 hours in 2 to 5 days.

Round  1

Step 1- Pre process metrics

Step 2 The facilitators explain the DC (60 minutes)

Step 3 Each participant picks up a card. In case total number of participants is less than 60, some participants may have more than one card. These participants will perform the additional roles implied by the extra cards. Each participant on his/her own prepares and presents a brief understanding of his /her role. The facilitators supplement clarifications if necessary. As the process picks up extent of facilitation comes down. At the end the learning from round one is summed up and shared (45-60 minutes)

Step 4 Participants group into each color and assume their roles.  They work towards connecting the learning from the exercise and its strategic implications.  Presentations follow at hourly intervals. Further clarifications are provided by the Facilitators at the end of each presentation (4-5 Hours)

Step 5 Post metrics.

Further briefing with organizational data or using data from sample case studies

Round 3

Step 1 The groups work with organization specific / case study related information to demonstrate the application of the model and the implications

Step 2 Summing up

Step 3 Post metrics

More rounds will be required in the case of new recruits. The rounds are repeated till the facilitators are certain that the participants have reached the required level of proficiency as reflected by the metrics, quality of the presentations and proficiency with the language of sustained high performance.

Perfection vs Psychodynamics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potential vs Performance


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

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

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

In the potential quadrant

  1. Ground zero is the meeting point between all quadrants the position of the observer symbolised by the eye/ self.
  2. Level of maps
  3. The level of the clock – all simple machines, a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun
  4. Systems with self – regulation
  5. Level of the unicellular.
  6. Level of the plant
  7. Level of the animal
  8. Level of the individual human
  9. Level of groups, organizations, Community

10.  Meta – all accumulated and potential future knowledge

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

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

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

The First Discipline Framework

We are as good as our maps. These maps decide where we end up. The map above is a map of maps that sits on top  of a stack of frames.

We will be looking at the map and the frames step by step.

The map acts as a window to the world both internal and external. The window has four panes

You/Me

Potential                           Perfection

Psychodynamics           Performance

The potential and psychodynamics quadrants refer to the internal. Perfection and performance quadrants refer to the external. The four perspectives together point to the direction to be taken for the improvement process, the journey inwards and outwards.

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

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

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

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

How do we understand the basic design, our collective inheritance, and connect it to our challenges to fix the direction for a life by design – personal and collective?

Quadrant 1 – A conceptual understanding of our personal and collective potential which follows from the basic design

Quadrant 3. The physical world of tangibility, performance and metrics

Quadrant 2. The social system as it exists now

Quadrant 4. The process of continual renewal, learning and improvement

The four quadrants are akin to the four wheels of the car. What drives the car, the process, is the process of the self – personal /community – as the case may be.

Understanding the basic design, Q1

Let us look at the body as a system and try to connect the map. In general it can be any system, small, large, very large or the largest

Back to storytelling

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

How can one have 10 heads?

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

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

The third head is the clock. One needs to keep some measure of the progress, keep counting, have some tools, technology, etc to go on the journey. Without tools where would we be? We could at best walk 20 miles a day and that would be the limit of our potential to travel for a day. In the last one decade, our internal landscapes have broadened much more than in any time during recorded history.

The thermostat. With every step that I take I need to check back with the starting position – reflect –to make sure that the step is in the right direction and correct myself if i have gone wrong

Level of the cell, the basic unit of the body, a virus or bacteria, a higher level system than a clock, or thermostat, beginning of life as we understand it . (There is no beginning/end as such since we are talking about a continuum)

Plant – the plant world

Animal – All the animals

Human – the individual human

Community- organisations, teams

Learning / Knowledge. Learning is equated with improvement, accumulated wisdom. Our collective wisdom has evolved through our understanding of all these levels through history and various disciplines. The journey is towards more of it in sufficient measure so that we are not victims of the unknown. There will be unknowables and room for surprises and miracles so that life does not fall into monotony and meaningless repetition, eternal recurrence.
We need all the ten heads to be fully functional. Think of it as a ladder with 10 steps. Take away any one, potential is a myth. Being positioned /anchored is to place the ladder on firm ground and go up to take the eagle’s perspective. Another way to visualise it, is to see it as a lighthouse with ten levels each level corresponding to the steps of the ladder. The lighthouse does not change its position, but the sailing vessels do have to if they are not to perish. “ Dasavataram “ stands for the ten avatars of Vishnu, the ten stages of evolution of the human.http://www.scribd.com/doc/2310279/Dasavatharam.It is also the title of a recent movie by Kamal Hassan, the south Indian actor, who acts in ten different roles, avatars. Ramayana is the epic journey of Rama. (Ayanam is journey). The anti hero – is Ravana (An Asura) with ten heads who abducts Sita (the feminine) wife of Rama (masculine, an avatar of Vishnu). The choice is between turning into a 10 headed monster or to the truly human positioned to realise the design, the higher unrealised human potential. One needs to take a conscious choice to by the design than against it. Knowing is the design is a required condition. Who wants to grow into a monster intentionally? Not even Hitler would!.

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

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

I knew somebody from age 75 till he died at the age of 100 years, 6 months and 15 days. Life-expectancy in the context in which he lived is 74 years. There is a gap of 26 years when one compares his performance against what is considered to be normal. He was abnormal in a positive sense because he achieved many times more than the normal individual and was healthy and cheerful, till the very last. But for an accident towards the end, he never had to go the doctor or take medicines. Other than the last few weeks he continued to work.
Why is it that there is such variance? If we visualise a future society with 100 yrs as the norm, there is a waste of 25 years. Why do such variances occur and how do you explain the gap between potential and performance?

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

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

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

Q 3 is the physical world, the tangible and material

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quadrant 4 addressing the learning imperative

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

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

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

Not many with both, eagle and the frog

The big and the small

The telescope and the microscope, Hubble and the Femtoscope

Global,  local and the connections in between

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

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

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

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

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

Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.

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

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

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

More: The Picture of Philosophy