Sunday, January 25, 2009

#67 Archetypes crossing - Paratheatre with Antero Alli, part 1 -Introduction

Antero AlliToday we are starting another series of conversations with Antero Alli on an experiential medium called ParaTheatre.

Antero has been producing work in various mediums of theatre and
paratheatre since 1977 and, experimental video documents and feature
fiction films since 1993.

His paratheatre work is documented in his book, “Towards an Archeology
of the Soul” and in his videos “CRUX”, “Archaic Community” and “Orphans of Delirium”. Alli’s 2005 docufiction feature, “The Greater
Circulation”, incoporates a paratheatre performance in a critically
acclaimed cinematic treatment of poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Requiem
for a Friend”. His recent experimental feature, “The Invisible Forest” was inspired by the ideas of French Surrealist playwright/actor,
Antonin Artaud.

Twice a year, he facilitates paratheatre labs in Berkeley, California
with each lab having a focus on rituals based on specific themes, like
movements recalled from dreams, beginer’s mind, and others.

In this first episode, we touch upon the following topics:

  • What is ParaTheatre?
  • Reasons to do ParaTheatre
    • To get high, to get in a certain state of consciousness
    • Spiritual reasons, self-healing in a way. Experience communion with minimal interference of one’s beliefs, conceptions, ideas.
    • To stay honest to one’s impulses, get in touch with spontaneity, flexibility of ego
    • To induce visions: it’s a process of entering of feeling my body deeply; releasing energies that are trapped in my body, committing fully to the expression of those energies, and releasing images that have been trapped in the body with these energies.
    • Performance arts people enter because they’ve got into a rut of repetition, to let their talent take over
    • As a yoga: a physically intensive discipline with mind attention and intention and focus
    • Those who have outgrown the hedonic motivation, the need to get high, move to circuit 6 in a way
    • People who approach it more like a worship, more like a 7th circuit
  • What is a ritual?
  • Ritual as initiatic experience
    • Cultivate greater receptivity to the unknown
  • Ritual Process
  • Group Circle
    • Talk about what happened
    • Let off steam
    • Begin psychological intergation of pre- or post-verbal experiences

Friday, January 23, 2009

Osho's Code

I have finished reading “Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic” by Osho. What a beautiful and intelligent man. An agent of radical change. As usual, I modeled him as I read, so here is his code (see below for a short intro to modeling):

  1. I am not going to tolerate anything that is wrong to my conscience.
  2. God is not a thing but a process.
  3. Everything belongs to me.
  4. Whatsoever the consequences, I am not going to be deviated from myself.
  5. Don’t give me advice, – I want to learn on my own, – life has to be learned through trial & error.
  6. If I accept death, there is no fear. Only life creates worry.
  7. I am not here, I am a nobody, nothingness.
  8. Never to allow an unintelligent thing to be imposed upon me, to fight against all kinds of stupidities, whatsoever the consequences. Be rational, logical to the very end.
  9. Be more and more alert, so I don’t end up being just intellectual.
  10. When I do something, I do it to the very end.
  11. What is gone is gone, – I never look back.
  12. I am not a man who can be stopped.
  13. I am satisfied with something very simple – the very best of things.

Modeling forms the heart of NLP. It is a process of extracting the recipe, the blueprint behind repeatable success. Such recipe typically consists of patterns of beliefs, psychosomatic states and specific behaviors. When modeling from a book, only beliefs are visible (the other two require being with the person), so that is what I have listed above.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

#66 Leading the Change - Catalyst and Enzyme, part 2

In the previous talk, we have explored the difference between being a catalyst and an enzyme of change. In this episode, we continue our discussion, and move it into the realm of personal stories, experiences, and learnings.

In this talk, we cover the following topics:

  • Personal stories
    • Learning NLP
    • Relationships and jealousy
    • Changes in business
  • Switching from catalyst to enzyme, and from enzyme to catalyst

[techtags: Change, Transformation, Catalyst, Enzyme, Structural Change, Deming]

Friday, January 16, 2009

Waking Life - An Adventure in The Mind, Body, Spirit

This is a very very good movie, something to chew on many times over. Watch it, and BUY IT!!
It is a movie you want to keep, and an artist/movie maker you want to support

A boy has a dream that he can float, but unless he holds on, he will drift away into the sky. Even when he is grown up, this idea recurs. After a strange accident, he walks through what may be a dream, flowing in and out of scenarios and encountering various characters. People he meets discuss science, philosophy and the life of dreaming and waking, and the protagonist gradually becomes alarmed that he cannot awake from this confusing dream


Thursday, January 15, 2009

the Belief in scarcity leads to Coercion

“Scarcity has always been imposed upon the community to serve the interests of those in control. Scarcity has been maintained by the system of organization so as to perpetuate inequity in service of the privileged. Privilege requires coercion; coercion is justified on the basis of scarcity. In the absence of coercion and in the presence of scarcity is the actuality ‘war if each against all’. So scarcity has always been jealously guarded as a justification for the use of force. The use of force requires social acquiescence if it is to have persistence as a means of control. But availability of resources is limited only by the poverty of ideas.

If you doubt this, consider the fact that the mutual convertibility of the elements means that all things are available everywhere; what is lacking are the ideas about how to get at those things. And this general principle applies not only to this extreme case. Ideas have always been controlled for the benefit of the few: the chief, the shaman, the God-king, the priesthood, the lord, … the power elite. It is in the control of ideas that we find the source of scarcity, and hence the justification of coercion.”

– an excerpt from “The Moon of Hoa Binh” by Cong Huen Ton Nu Nha Trang and William Pensinger.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Are You Out Of Your Mind?"

“Believe me when I say we have a difficult time ahead of us. But if we are to be prepared for it, we must first shed our fear of it. I stand here, before you now, truthfully unafraid. Why? Because I believe something you do not? No, I stand here without fear because I remember. I remember that I am here not because of the path that lies before me but because of the path that lies behind me. I remember that for 100 years we have fought these machines. I remember that for 100 years they have sent their armies to destroy us, and after a century of war I remember that which matters most… We are still here! Today, let us send a message to that army. Tonight, let us shake this cave. Tonight, let us tremble these halls of earth, steel, and stone, let us be heard from red core to black sky. Tonight, let us make them remember.” And the drums beat and dancing begins

– Morpheus In Matrix Reloaded before the cave explodes into
the ecstatic dance

Sunday, January 11, 2009

#65 Leading the Change - Catalyst and Enzyme, part 1

We’ve all heard the phrase – “being the catalyst of change or transformation.” But have we really thought of the implications of this metaphor, and how often do we consider the alternatives?

  • Changethe process of becoming different (Wikipedia)
  • [Catalyst] is a substance that increases the rate of reaction without being consumed by the reaction (Wikipedia)
  • Enzymes are biomolecules that catalyze chemical reactions. As with all catalysts, enzymes are not consumed by the reactions they catalyze, nor do they alter the equilibrium of these reactions. However, enzymes do differ from most other catalysts by being much more specific. (Wikipedia)
  • Coenzymes are small organic molecules that transport chemical groups from one enzyme to another. […] Coenzymes are chemically changed as a consequence of enzyme action. (Wikipedia)

In this talk, we cover the following topics:

  • Why studying change is so crucial?
    • Either you live in a rut and eventually die, or live a full life. And to live a full life, you better study change.
    • You are always changing – whether you want it or not. The question is only, do you want to take the reins of your transformation into
      your own hands, or not?
    • “Change is the only constant” – and Deming added “you don’t have to change. Survival is optional.”
    • It’s in the moments of change fortunes are made and lost;
    • It’s in the moments of change you either survive or die;
    • It’s in leading these changes that great shifts happen.
    • It’s knowing the waves of change enables you to ride with the change, if not lead it
    • Like in surfing, if you calibrate it right, you ride the wave. But if you misjudge it, you go underwater.
  • Kinds of change
    • Cyclical and Structural change
    • How do you know a priori what kind of change it is?
  • Catalyst and Enzyme
    • When leading change, what primary behavior you are demonstrating?
    • Are you putting yourself on the line and changing with it, or simply observing the change on the outside?
    • As in language – are you a verb or a noun (nominalization)?
  • Contexts for being enzyme or catalyst
    • When it’s appropriate to be one or the other; sequencing

[techtags: Change, Transformation, Catalyst, Enzyme, Structural Change, Deming]

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Business of Art and The Art of Business And....

Andre: What does it do to us, Wally, living in an environment where something as massive as the seasons or winter or cold, don’t in any way affect us? I mean, were animals after all. I mean… what does that mean? I think that means that instead of living under the sun and the moon and the sky and the stars, we’re living in a fantasy world of our own making.
Wally: Yeah, but I mean, I would never give up my electric blanket, Andre. I mean, because New York is cold in the winter. I mean, our apartment is cold! It’s a difficult environment. I mean, our life is tough enough as it is. I’m not looking for ways to get rid of a few things that provide relief and comfort. I mean, on the contrary, I’m looking for more comfort because the world is very abrasive. I mean, I’m trying to protect myself because, really, there’s these abrasive beatings to be avoided everywhere you look!
Andre: But, Wally, don’t you see that comfort can be dangerous? I mean, you like to be comfortable and I like to be comfortable too, but comfort can lull you into a dangerous tranquility.

Excerpt from “My Dinner With Andre” (1981)


“Just imagine what it is like to carry the other-awareness like on carries a mantra. But how difficult it is to be aware of the other! It is not that our awareness slips; it just never gets established. How rare is the occurrence of other-awareness. We have no taste of what it is to truly hold-the-other-in-awareness. We cannot stand such joy! We are afraid. To hold the other-awareness-in-fullness is to voluntarily embrace the dissociation. The ego I-ness framework has to split. How could it be otherwise? One just happens. One is not a happen-er. The other-awareness is not just knowing that he or she is there. It is knowing that the other has a being-for-him/her-self as a self-limitation-of-the-whole. The other is a symbol of the self; the self, a symbol of the other. Ha! But to hold such an awareness: that is truly an act of sanctification. A benison for the beloved is to hold the other-awareness before-the-self. One must never forget that there is only one real I-ness. Before-the-self is not self-denial; it is other-self renewal. The other-self is a multi-unity. But, of course, one must embrace the split to real-ize that. 

Why is it that no one is interested in experiencing the multi-unity of the other-self? Why is woman no leader? She should know! She should feel it in her abdomen. She should demand a fullness of the other-awareness. But she, too, never remembers the miracle of being-ness, or reaches for the fullness-of-the-context in moment to moment awareness. She, too, lives in a fog. What is it with woman that she does not know? Why does her inner taste not tell her? Why does she believe what she is told? Why she not already learned? If anyone should have deep sensitivity to the omni-multi-relation at the root of existence, it should be woman. Man-woman relating should highlight this omni-multi-ness. Why does she not know and insist? Why is she, too, afraid to embrace the being-branching at the heart of existence? Is not to birth a child, to experience the multi-unity? Where is her integrity? How can she let the intellectual aporia of enculturation short circuit her acting-from-the-being?” 

– an excerpt from “The Moon of Hoa Binh” by Cong Huen Ton Nu Nha Trang and William Pensinger.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Arrested by Beauty, Bailed Out of Time

The intellectual is always showing off, the lover is always getting lost.

The intellectual runs away.afraid of drowning;

the whole business of love is to drown in the sea.

Intellectuals plan their repose; lovers are ashamed to rest.

The lover is always alone. even surrounded by people;

like water and oil, he remains apart.

The man who goes to the trouble of giving advice to a lover

get nothing. He’s mocked by passion.

Love is like musk. It attracts attention.

Love is a tree, and the lovers are its shade.

– Rumi

I sat down at The Palace of Fine Arts, wondering what the evening would be like. And appears this demure and understated man, in a pair of jeans and an old white shirt. Shy, somewhat clumsy when you first see him, and he bows to the crowd three times and sits down on his piano. And out of nowhere this once seemingly shy man is transformed, into sheer poetry. The music flows, and enthralls one and all. His piece ends and there is silence, before the crowd erupts in a crescendo of applause.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Want Clarity on Our Financial Situation and the Solution?

Receievd this email from Marshall Thurber as a part of his Positive Deviant Network this morning, and its an article by one of the most brilliant minds of our time, Hernando de Sato. Enjoy it

Dear M,

I just received an article (see below) from David Neenan as part of Live Capital LLC. This is an extraordinary document that, hopefully, will soon be published in the New York Times. Because of this possibility please do not send it to other newspapers.

This article makes sense; please take the time to read and digest it. When you have, and if you agree with the contents, I would like you to forward it to as many influential people as you know for their assessment and ask them to get it to as many influential people as they know (network science at its best).

Your action in doing this is democracy at its best; you can be part of improving our and the global financial situation; you can help by being part of a ground swell demanding this action. In most cases, politicians don’t lead; they follow the will of the people. Let them hear your voice and those of your friends.

If our Politicians follow this course of action the economic pain will be dramatically shortened. You can clearly make a difference by doing this.

This is the first time I have ever written a request like this. Please do your part.

With gratitude,

Marshall Thurber

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Story of Punished God

This story landed in my inbox today – if you know the origin of this story, please let me know…

This god-like being had committed a great transgression and was punished by his fellow gods, condemned to live imprisoned in a mortal human body.

At his birth, he was trapped inside an infant body with only an infant’s ability to move and speak. As he grew, every outward aspect of his life seemed ordinary, except that he knew inside he was a god. He knew that in
spite of his appearance, his family and his upbringing, there was nothing ordinary about him.

Happy New Year - and What's Coming

Happy New Year 2009 to all of you!

As the founders of RCG, we have gone a long way, and sometimes,
looking back, it is hard to recognize the people we were just over two
years ago. And yet, as we look forward, we see that the journey has
but just begun.

In the coming year, we have a whole bunch of podcasts already lined up
for you as gifts from the Radical Change Group, and from the people
and practitioners who are working with us, and through us, in bringing
this to you.

The coming year will see some exciting topics that the three of us
cover – the original trio of the three friends.

In addition, we’ll be introducing some new conversations. Some
highlights of the topics include:

  • The talks on Shamanism with Ismana
  • On 5Rhythms dancing with the originator of the 5Rhythms Gabrielle Roth
  • Continuing our conversations on the strategy of the dolphin with Paul
  • Speaking about a form of theatre known as ParaTheatre with Antero Alli
  • Mythology with Paul Rebillot

And we’re going to have a new focus on a few other areas, such as the works of Buckminster Fuller that impacted us deeply, and the work of Joseph Campbell and Richard Roberts.

We are also going to have more regular blog posts on our webpage – please visit us, read it, and if you like it – share it with your friends, and help us spread the word.

Why are we doing it?

In the spirit of Positive Deviance, because some things need to be done – to cause both societal and personal change. The key questions that we ask are:

  • What if… Transformational teachings were given as gifts, rather than traded for money?
  • What if… You had access to iconoclasts and change makers on-demand, rather than at their limited availability?
  • What if… The conversations were spontaneous, open, and emergent, rather than scripted, dogmatic, and dry?
  • What if… Change was approached holistically, through the synthesis of many streams of thought?
  • What if… The project was based on a sense of contribution to a vibrant community of like minded individuals?

The Gift Economy

This is a whole notion that we have started with the RCG. We want to get involved – help us shape what is becoming a shared gift, a shared reality, and also for you to take charge and shape it in your own ways.

Currently, we have two more projects going:

For both of them, our goal is to restore these tapes and videos, digitize them for the modern media, and distribute it across the World for free. We need your help here, we need you get involved, in any way possible.

We also have a Listener’s Survey – please take a minute to fill it out, so we know what resonates with you and what doesn’t, and how we can improve this.

[techtags: Radical Change Group, Transformation, Gift Economy, New Year, Shamanism, Ismana, 5Rhythms, Gabrielle Roth, Mythology, Paul Rebillot, Joseph Campbell, Strategy of the Dolphin, Paul Kordis, ParaTheatre, Antero Alli, Positive Deviance, Buckminster Fuller]

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's The Mutants That Make It

Having been a long-time scientist myself, I’ve observed time and time again one very persistent approach by most of my fellow scientists to innovation: take what’s been done, and improve it. Not a single project that I’ve participated in could skip this important step – look what’s already been done, study the literature, talk to those who walked there before, learn what their approaches do well and where they have weaknesses, and see if you can keep the "good stuff" and somehow avoid the pitfalls, generally by tweaking things here and there. Granted, most of the technology comes from such an approach of learning more and more about the specific methods, and polishing them to perfection, until hardly anything can be improved, at which point the science proudly declares it to be "the state of the art" and "the best it can ever be", mathematicians formulate theorems proving that nothing better can be done with this technology – no matter how hard you try, and the method enters the classical textbooks as "the way to go". Until someone invents a new technology that totally outperforms the "old and tried" ways, making everyone wonder what has just happened…

"You don’t replace the old.
You make it obsolete by introducing a superior methodology."
(Buckminster Fuller)

Remember the vacuum tubes? Neither do I. Perhaps, the only surviving vacuum tubes these days are the CRT TVs and computer monitors – but even those are becoming increasingly obsolete. With the invent of a transistor, electronics suddenly became cheaper, more energy-efficient, and much more compact. I remember playing with transistors as a kid – soldering simple radios and amplifiers for my home fun projects.

Did you say connect Bruce Lee, Joseph Cambell, Buckminster Fuller, Frank Herbert and Osho??

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.– Robert Frost

I did not see that roundhouse kick coming in, and the next second I was bleeding on the floor, and the shape of my face was to be changed forever. This was the late 80’s and once again, when doing my kumite (free sparring) against someone from another style, a very senior member of a different school, had managed to get me flat on the ground.

Inspite of being a brown belt in Shotokan karate, I was unable to defend myself. I trained 3 nights a week, for 3 hours each session and yet my results were a broken nose and bruised ego. I started to ask the question “why is my speciality of shotokan karate not working” and why do I seem to do so well against members of my own style and when faced with another stylist I am at a loss for what to do.

In my teens then I quickly arrived at the conclusion that I need to train more, and train in more diverse disciplines. I went out to a book store and ran into a copy of Tao Of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee. I was hooked. He helped me understand that I could not let my style be my limitation, I had to learn to fight at all ranges and with all styles. I worked hard, training with a hard Kenpo sensei, a soft wushu sifu, a crazy sports karate coach and with friends who dabbled in mixed arts and boxing. A few things began to click and yet i was not as effective as I wanted to be. My sparring improved, I was more fluid and able to move in and out of different ranges with ease, however was unable to weave/tie the various systems together. This all started to change when I ran into quite by accident into my present Sensei, sensei sastri. When I met him, he was not able to negate all my styles and throw me around like a rag doll but had a sense of calm and peace about, the kind of calm and peaceful confidence that is both very appealing and scary.