grok/ɡräk/Learn to pronounceverbINFORMAL•US
- understand (something) intuitively or by empathy. “because of all the commercials, children grok things immediately”
- empathize or communicate sympathetically; establish a rapport. “nestling earth couple would like to find water brothers to grok with in peace”
Grok/ˈɡrɒk/ is a neologism coined by American writer Robert A. Heinlein for his 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. While the Oxford English Dictionary summarizes the meaning of grok as “to understand intuitively or by empathy, to establish rapport with” and “to empathize or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment”, Heinlein’s concept is far more nuanced, with critic Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. observing that “the book’s major theme can be seen as an extended definition of the term”.
“Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because we are from Earth) as color means to a blind man.”
It’s what I do … I grok.
I am a Master Grokker.
I grok professionally with and for others.
I , Joseph Riggio, grok the MythoSelf Process, and within that universe of understanding, the underlying developmental modeling principals that the building of worldviews, and the narratives that form and inform them, ultimately rests upon.
Now, if you’ll stick with me for a short bit longer I’ll get to how and why this may be of critical important to you too.
Hackers also grok, as in “I hack reality, because I grok it.”
The word was later woven into hacker culture, appearing in the earliest editions of the Jargon File from the early 80s, which was later edited and republished by famous programmer Eric S. Raymond under the title The New Hacker’s Dictionary.
The primary definition given there is consistent with Heinlein’s, but the more religious and mystical connotations have been dropped:
- To understand. Connotes intimate and exhaustive knowledge. When you claim to ‘grok’ some knowledge or technique, you are asserting that you have not merely learned it in a detached instrumental way but that it has become part of you, part of your identity. For example, to say that you “know” LISP is simply to assert that you can code in it if necessary — but to say you “grok” LISP is to claim that you have deeply entered the world-view and spirit of the language, with the implication that it has transformed your view of programming. Contrast zen, which is similar supernal understanding experienced as a single brief flash.
Here’s an especially interesting bit for me:
When you claim to ‘grok’ some knowledge or technique, you are asserting that you have not merely learned it in a detached instrumental way but that it has become part of you, part of your identity.
I am quite literally asserting that after thirty plus years of immersing myself in the work I do, i.e.: the MythoSelf Process, and all the bits and pieces that it contains and it built up from and in relation to, I grok this stuff like nobody’s business!
NOW onto why this is all important, maybe critical, for and to you …
I’ve been laying out a premise for what I’ve playfully been calling Outlaw Thinking in my last couple of posts.
The essence of the idea is that A) I think (and therefore communicate) differently … other than as folks normally associate what thinking is or how it should be done, i.e.: in a straight linear way, from point A to point B, as efficiently and directly as possible … and, B) I help others to think and communicate like an outlaw too, meaning that I help them build new and more complex worldviews and narratives, that give them unique perspectives, options, choices and opportunities, because they develop significant adaptability in the way they think and communicate.
Okay here that is again …
B) I help others to think and communicate like an outlaw too, meaning that I help them build new and more complex worldviews and narratives, that give them unique perspectives, options, choices and opportunities, because they develop significant adaptability in the way they think and communicate.
SIMPLY … I train people to grok their world, their work, their own lives, and the other folks they engage and interact with … and I also train folks to do this work I do with others, so they can help their clients grok too.
Now you have what you need to decide if this is important, or even critical, to where you find yourself in your life today.
If getting to this kind of thinking and communication in your life and work means something to you, you’re in the right place … YOU’VE FOUND IT!
OUTLAW THINKING REVISITED:
So what do I do again, and why is it important, or critical, for you:
Applying the MythoSelf Process model with my clients helps them to unwind sticky, or wicked, problems and situations in their lives, relationships, work and businesses.
“Grokking” the MythoSelf Process model gives me a kind of genius superpower … because it makes it obvious what level of thinking someone is operating from, and where the limitation in their cognitive process exists, and then points the way to resolve that so that my clients can literally upgrade their mind.
The “genius” in the model is available to anyone who groks it, and that’s ultimately the effect of working with someone deeply versed in the MythoSelf Process.
All perspectives, or worldviews, rest on narratives that describe what is real for the individual, or organization, that is living within and in relation to the narrative … the stories they tell about themselves, others and the world as we know it to be.
The MythoSelf Process model uncovers the existing narrative, as well as the “primal narrative” — the origin narrative that contains the uncorrupted and uncompromised form of the individual or organization, before any attempts where made to reshape them to fit into what society wants them to become.
The primal narrative is the pure mythic form of the individual or organization, and provides access to a teleological trajectory the pulls them into the most desirable future possible for them. In some models of transformational work this would be referred to as becoming authentic, or operating authentically.
The advantage of accessing the primal narrative, or mythic form, that working within the MythoSelf Process provides any user, is that decision making becomes unclouded, and action taking become virtually automatic in relation to creating the outcomes you intend … the effect is that taking effective action, and creating results, feels effortless.
Solving wicked problems is especially important to what we’re discussing here, what I’ve call Outlaw Thinking.
The MythoSelf Process allows you to process complexity that gives rise to wicked problems, and develop effective strategies that unravel the complex issues that have tentacles in multiple directions, having multiple consequences that are overlapped, intertwined and potentially costly if you fail to resolve them, and when they are resolved well are highly rewarding.
Doing this requires operating from a different mind and elevating your performance in relation to the world we now live in today.
The deep challenges we face include:
- A brain that evolved somewhere between 500,000 and 50,000 years ago, not in the complex and interrelated global world we now move in
- Cultural learning and impositions designed hundreds of years ago, imposing explicit laws and implicit rules that order our lives today, that no longer effectively represent the world we are living in now
Only by upgrading your worldview, i.e.: effectively upgrading your mind, can you hope to effectively deal with the actual levels of complexity and circumstances we live in relation to on a daily basis today.
The MythoSelf Process is a method for working with someone who will guide you through the specific things you need to do to shift how you are experiencing yourself and your life, usually in relation to a specific situation or circumstance you are currently facing, that then generalized the upgraded pattern of thinking throughout your life.
Beyond the MythoSelf Process work with a facilitator or trainer of the Process, there is an opportunity to learn more about the foundational principals that form and inform the Process.
These principals used with the MythoSelf Process model are built on a developmental model of cognitive maturity, and will dramatically shift the way you think and the way you communicate (because quite literally communication is thinking — as you raise the level of your cognitive maturity communication, and language use in particular, become a controlling mechanism for thought).
If you’re ready to take the next steps in exploring how you can make this kind of leap in advancing yourself, your thinking and your communication have a look here now:
Mastering Cognitive Maturity
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.
Architect & Designer of the MythoSelf Process and SomaSemantics
Developer of A.C.T. | Adaptive Cognitive Training and the Cognitive Maturity Model
P.S.: If you’re interested in working with me in one of my small coaching groups or 1:1, there’s no need to wait any longer, reach out to me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll come back to you about how to find out more about taking the next steps to do that …
Hey Joseph. This new lens on your work is very useful, creative and impactful. I really enjoyed and was impacted by your reference, definition and application of Grok. I do find that my Grokogenic skill and orientation has been impacted by being facilitated in and from your work.
Is some of this in your second dissertation? When will it be accessible.
Thanks for always innovations from your one-trick pony plus a million moves from there!!!