[NOTE: If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 in this thread you might want to go back and read those before reading this post. – JR, 24 June 2012, Princeton, NJ Part 1 … Part 2
In 1981 Moshe Feldenkrais released his book, “The Elusive Obvious” about the nature of habitual behavior and it’s limits. A brief and summary description of Moshe’s message in this book is that habits are elusive and embodied. While that description in way does justice to the book or Moshe’s message it’s a good starting point and a great filter to use when reading the book for yourself.
Essentially what Moshe found was that people habituated patterns that worked for them and then cross-mapped these patterns into other domains of experience where they did not work well causing them significant discomfort, distress and damage … in their health, in their careers, in their relationships and in their lives.
The challenge is that these habits are so deeply ingrained that they are elusive, to the point of being invisible, to the person operating them. Another thing Moshe noted was the nature of habitual embodiment, i.e.: habits follow along a habituated way of moving and acting that is somatically organized.
If you want to create results and outcomes other than the ones you are now getting, you must shift the way you habitually embody your responses and actions in the world.
In my own work I’ve discovered there is a direct overlap and relationship between somatic organization and semantic organization that determines the perception and behavioral responses in an ongoing way. It’s for this reason I refer to the fundamental technology of the MythoSelf Process model as Soma-Semantics.
The singularity present in the somatic and semantic relationship forms the fundamental experience of reality.
When there is a perfect alignment between the singularity of the Soma-Semantic form, the essential nature of the individual and the directionality they are organized to pursue, the overall system comes to rest. When your system is at rest your responses and actions become effortless. I refer to this way of being as being in INTENT.
The directionality that ensues when you are operating from INTENT occurs along a line I call the “Trajectory of INTENT.” Few people operate along this kind of pure, aligned trajectory, instead they pursue a trajectory that is misaligned for who they are, that was imposed on them and incorporated by them as part of the process of their enculturation (into society).
The enculturation process is so ubiquitous that it remains unseen for most, or all, of one’s lifetime. Instead of organizing in a way that would express your natural State of Perfection, the enculturation process creates a distortion in your essential nature predisposing you to discomfort, distress and damage in your life. Unless you reset the fundamentals of how you are organized at the habitual level it becomes impossible to live your life naturally, express your essential nature or fully realize your potential.
Resetting the ground of being, where the habitual patterns are stored and organized, is the promise of the transformational work of the MythoSelf Process. The fundamental premise is that these habitual patterns are stored somatically, typically as patterns of movement and response, and before semantic form emerges. These patterns remain largely inaccessible to us and are primarily organized and operated in what I refer to as the Silent Brain.
The Silent Brain refers to the neurological processes operated in those parts of the brain and central nervous system outside of and before language. In my experience the primary locus of these processes is the cerebellum as manifest as the operations of the coordinated movement and responses of muscular memory.
Moshe Feldenkrais’ work reflected the same preferential knowledge I refer to in the MythoSelf Process using the technology of Soma-Semantics …
A Bit More Moshe …
Moshe Feldenkrais developed a somatic education process known today siimply as “Feldenkrais” or “The Feldenkrais Method.” Many people and some practitioners see his approach and the method that evolved from it as primarily somatic re-education, i.e.: training in how to move better, more efficiently, more effectively. The result of this re-education for them has multiple returns, e.g.: relief of pain, rehabilitation of injury, freedom of movement …
I came to Moshe Feldenkrais’ work via my education in NLP. Both Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the original co-developers of NLP, were highly influenced by Moshe Feldenkrais and his work. My mentor and teacher, Roye Fraser, was also highly influenced by Moshe’s work … both theoretically and practically. Roye met Moshe in the military hospitals of Israel working with soldiers who had been wounded and had few other options for recovery … yet Moshe often found a way according to the stories told to me by Roye.
So, when I read about Moshe’s method and work I read it from the point of view of a Master Transformational Change Artist offering his insights, i.e.: Moshe “speaking” to me.
While I’ve read all of the material on Moshe that could get my hands on, the most influential was and remains his book, “Body Awareness as Healing Therapy: The Case of Nora.” In this book Moshe works with a woman who’s suffered a severe stroke and lost significant neuromuscular function, including the ability to read and write. Instead of following a prescribed protocol Moshe works with her intuitively to assist her in regaining her neuromuscular skills. In the process she also resets her abilities to focus, pay attention and use her facilities of perception and imagination in new and profound ways.
The Pattern That Connects … Laying Out The Path
3-Steps Linking Movement, Method and Metaphor
The descriptions of his work that Moshe Feldenkrais shares in “Body Awareness as Healing Therapy: The Case of Nora” was the kind of thing I witnessed again and again working with Roye in my apprenticeship and association with him. It’s also what I’ve witnessed a multitude of times working with my own clients and students over the decades I’ve been at this work myself.
I see this work fundamentally as the noticing for patterns of habituation relative to the intentionality of the individual. Whether it’s Moshe, Roye or me working with a client the same process ensues. Clients reveal themselves in an ongoing way in every expression they manifest, both verbally and non-verbally.
The Simplified Formula Leading to Transformational Mastery:
The first step in doing this work is to reset the system, bring it to rest and potentiate the full response potential present is noticing for the coherency or lack of coherency in the system relative to itself. Most people hold multiple frames of reference in place simultaneously, often in competition with one another. This creates internal conflict and confusion, often manifesting in hesitation, procrastination or a total lack of ability to act. In other cases this manifests as significant misdirection of action leading to distorted or disastrous results and outcomes. These outcomes can have negative ramifications across a huge swath of time and space, essentially effecting every aspect of someone’s life.
When the system is brought into alignment with itself, i.e: establishing the Soma-Semantic singualrity, it comes to rest and you become instantly able to take action leading to the results and outcomes you intend. The critical factor in creating the singularity begins with noticing the coordination and congruency between the somatic expressions and the semantic expressions in and through time. Establishing coherency in these expressions stabilizes the system and brings it to rest.
The next step is then to link the system at rest to the patterns emerging in the environment. This means observing the immediate responses to the localized information in the system that contains the individual. This can be done in time and/or through time as well, e.g.: the facilitator can use their own behavior as the stimulus for response to track the immediate and local response of the client in time, the facilitator can also provoke historical and teleological memories and track the response of the client through time.
The focus of step two in this process brings the client’s system to remain at rest despite the varying stimuli they are responding to, regardless situation, circumstance and/or the specific nature of the stimuli. This step establishes a Generalized Desired State (G.D.S.), what we often refer to in the MythoSelf Process model as “The Ready State” – an overarching state from which free choice, high-level decision making and all action becomes possible,
Step three aims at linking the ability to perceive data in the system and align one’s actions with intended outcomes effortlessly. This step requires a coherent metaphor of response, that is overarching relative to any specific situation. To establish the overarching metaphor there has to be a metaphor that is large enough to contain both the individual and the circumstance and situation they find themselves in, as well as to account for all the data present. In the MythoSelf Process work we call this framing, “that which is Greater Than Self, or the G.T.S.”
Experiencing G.T.S. also manifests as a state unto itself. In this state a profound sense of being deeply and profoundly connected manifests as a result. The scope of connection relates to the unique way the individual expresses the G.T.S. state. In the work we do in the MythoSelf Process work scope is an extremely important concept, i.e.: the range through time and space that an individual considers, projects and experiences consequences of their perception, decision making and actions.
Aligning one’s self to the data that is present in the system, at an appropriate level of scope, determines the effectiveness of one’s actions in creating intended results and outcomes. This is the purpose of the overarching metaphor, to align one’s self to emergent data in the system in real time appropriately.
The key in making step three effective rests in how deeply the overarching metaphor become embodied in the individual’s psyche and mode of operating. Often this step requires first creating room in the psyche for a new, overarching metaphor to become present … doing this requires significant “unlearning” to create the opening for transformational change to occur.
Pulling All The Pieces In
When these three steps have been successfully executed the system comes to rest in the excitatory bias and a cybernetic loop is established that creates the “on/off” oscillation from the inhibitory bias back to the excitatory bias in response to stimuli in the environment and your response to it. In other words you become habitually potentiated to possibility and manifesting your full potential through your perceptual, decision making and action taking capabilities.
The highly potentiated state of possiblity, or INTENT,
organized in the excitatory bias is the basis of all mastery.
When you are operating from INTENT you are naturally aligned to notice for and respond effortless to the Signals in the System intentionally, i.e.: you will be operating along the Trajectory of INTENT.
An overarching metaphor emerges for you naturally as a result of operating along the Trajectory of INTENT. This metaphor allows you to remain at rest, aligned and responsive despite the challenges you may encounter along the way. Operating under the umbrella of this metaphor you become able to act without hesitation or limitation regardless of the circumstance or situation.
Once you are living inside the paradigm of mastery and outside of the limits of cause and affect linearity, you are able to operate and act creatively.
In Conclusion …
These three posts, “The Pattern That Connects … Parts 1-3” summerize my approach to the transformation to mastery, philosophically as well as practically. If you want to read deeper into the process you’ll find a full description and presentation of this work in my book, “The State of Perfection.” My intention in writing this book was to transmit the direct transformational experience in writing, leading readers through the transformational process both implicitly and explicitly … as enfolding and unfolded experience … here are the direct links you need:
“The State of Perfection” Kindle Version:
“The State of Perfection” Paperback:
Thanks for reading, and as always I look forward to reading your comments …
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.