Spend a few years engaging in the depths of the MythoSelf Process with me and I’ll promise you’ll leave with NOTHING … interested?
I’ve been thinking lately … a lot. It’s not that I don’t usually think a lot, just that I’ve been thinking about stuff more than usual lately.
When I talk to people about thinking (which I also do a lot) most of them seem to keep their thoughts separate. For them one thing has little to nothing to do with another thing. Like when they are thinking about an issue at work they aren’t connecting that to the little league game they went to the night before with their children. Iit can be anything they are thinking about that they keep separate from other things, as though their thoughts are separate things themselves.
This way of thinking leads to keeping ones self separate from the things your thinking about as well. It’s as if there’s this “stuff” out there and there’s you over here … separate. Of course you are present to the “stuff” that’s happening over there, but “it” isn’t you, or even necessarily connected to you.
Yet I keep getting things connected when I think about them. For me one thought leads to and connects with another, in a seamless, interconnected pattern that forms the whole. Within the whole-form I exist in relation to … I am part and parcel of it. What happens to and within the whole-form I am connected and engaged with happens to me as well. It’s almost at some level like I am the whole-form … inseparable.
When I take this back to a personal level, i.e.: what my experience is in the moment becomes a simple awareness … you can call it a “state” if you prefer. However, that state is not indiscriminate. That state gets organized by virtue of the way I have chosen to organize myself cybernetically.
I’ll keep this simple (really) … there is no choice I have but to be present to my own experience, including what I’m experiencing about what’s going on around me. My responses internally and externally, what I call behaviors – including cognition, are how I know myself to be in response to my experience. Yet I can choose how I respond, i.e.: my behaviors … including the state experience I am having, via my behaviors, e.g.: cognitive and somatic.
This is really cool!!!
I can choose my state (experience) by manipulating my behaviors, cognitive and somatic, and therefore the experience I’m having at any given time can only be what I’ve chosen it to be within the limits of my ability to manipulate my behaviors.
Now of course here’s the most important question: What state do I choose?
What’s Nothing Got To Do With It???
Since I accept that the way I experience whatever happens around/to me gets based in the choice I make relative to it, I hold myself responsible for choosing if I want to have the experience I want to be having.
The fundamental choice becomes one of direction, i.e.: what will this experience mean to me moving forward …”What will I be experiencing moving forward from here (this moment in space-time)?”
My experience and expertise tells me that answering this question becomes first and foremost binary, i.e.: will my experience moving forward be positive or negative (as I experience it personally … remember like the N.Y. Yankees umpire said, “It ain’t nothin’ tills I calls it somethin!”)? Within the scope of the MythoSelf Process this turns into a question of choosing an excitatory or inhibitor bias to be operating and aiming yourself forward from in an ongoing way.
In the excitatory bias I am open to the data stream that is present scanning for opportunities, e.g.: “What does this mean to me in terms of how I can move further towards where/what/how/who I want to be?
In the inhibitory bias I am closed to the data stream and assessing it based on previous experience/s, e.g.: “What does this mean to me in terms of what I need to be doing to remain safe and/or taking action to remain as I am now?”
[NOTE: Within the inhibitory bias the decision about what action to be taking is based on previous experience, NOT remaining open to options that hadn’t been considered or available previously.]
In the inhibitory life is organized around the past.
In the excitatory bias life is organized around the future.
While this is an oversimplification, it’s a simple rubric to use in contemplating the impact of making the binary choice between the inhibitory and excitatory biases in deciding how to respond.
Now here’s the kicker …
It’s fundamentally impossible to choose the excitatory bias until you are operating in relation to “NOTHING”
Nothing is a position of consideration where you haven’t decided what something means before you encounter it, i.e.: you remain open to what continuously becomes emergent as life continues to unfold around you.
YES … it’s that simple … and simple ain’t always easy as I say.
The Path To NOTHING …
The path to “Nothing” is rather simple … and even relatively easy … give up all your fixed beliefs as being absolute (i.e.: “true/real”) and the judgements you attach to them.
Here’s the key …
Your beliefs are just that … i.e.: BELIEFS … not truths, or representations of what’s real … even the stuff you’ve been taught to believe is “true/real.”
Beliefs are just fine, and they serve us in many ways. Believing in our beliefs is where the danger resides. As soon as you can come to terms with beliefs as a product of past learning, which remain useful until you encounter new data and have a chance to update them, you are on the path to “nothing.”
The trick is in allowing yourself to update your beliefs, moment to moment, without much “friction” necessary in the system for the process to occur. In other words, remaining detached from your beliefs other than as “best information I have to date” products.
FWIW the trickiest of all beliefs to remain detached from are those requiring faith … i.e.: the inability to prove or disprove something and simply choosing to believe in it by virtue of choice. Faith is very powerful, in fact I’d venture to day the ability to have faith may be the most powerful thing of all for humans, i.e.: what most defines us as being human.
To “believe” without evidence or proof is divine. To hold your divine believes as being “true” or “real” may be equally demonic. Once you’ve committed to your divine beliefs as being true/real you are likely to have condemned all others who hold equally profound beliefs that are different from your own.
If for no other reason than the ill-formedness this process of denying others their faith requires (i.e.: it’s logically ill formed) it behooves a person of faith to allow others their faith, or faith itself is denied.
Now to be practical … the way to achieve such lofty ambitions is two-fold:
- Create a massive interruption of the pattern that sustains beliefs in the face of new data (this creates a movement towards the possibility of establishing an excitatory bias as the operating position … it should be evident that retaining existing beliefs in the face of new data requires sustaining an inhibitory bias as I’ve described it above)
- Introduce a process for second-level learning in the cognitive space created by the pattern interrupt and align the new learning pattern with the data flow present in context
[NOTE: This BTW is the exact basis for and process I use in my Performance Design programs, for more info you can go here: Performance Design.]
Holding NOTHING … the Somatic Path
One of the primary premises of the MythoSelf Process work points to the singularity of the body-mind, i.e.: the body-mind has no separation … one aspect of the singularity (i.e.: body/mind) reflects the other despite the appearance of difference.
The distinction that is often made between body and mind in dualistic systems is one of form not ontology within the MythoSelf Process model, i.e.: ontologically body and mind are identical, one thing. The “thing” that body and mind represent may differ in terms of the presentation in form, but the ‘is-ness” they represent is identical.
This may be the hardest thing to accept about the MythoSelf Process work when it remain abstract as a metaphysical concept. However, when the idea of the body-mind as a singularity is represented pragmatically it often becomes apparent to even the most hardened critic.
Whatever you are experiencing at any given moment MUST be embodied by you at that same moment, and shows up simultaneously in terms of both the somatic and semantic representations you express in relation to it.
When you simplify the concept of the singularity of the body-mind in this way it begins to make immediate sense. You can’t possibly having any other experience than the one you are having. From this experience you express yourself, and one path of this expression will be your response to the data in the environment, i.e.: what you do in response to what’s happening in any given moment.
Your responses are behavioral as I’ve already stated, including cognitive behaviors and your speech acts. What determines the way you’ll respond are largely two things, A) the extant state you are in when the data you experience arises/emerges in the environment, and B) the beliefs you hold and/or strive to hold constant in relation to that data. The more flexible your beliefs are the more flexible your responses will be too.
While most people cannot, or at least find it difficult, to control their thinking when under stress – e.g.: in moments of uncertainty, complexity and/or chaos – they can usually become aware of and manipulate their body if they choose to, even in those moments … this is the Somatic Path.
Using the Somatic Path you can begin to learn how to manipulate your personal experience and become aware of the experience of others in a way that overrides even the most obstinate “semantic lock” … i.e.: frozen thinking.
This way of operating, i.e.: from within the Somatic Path, begins to simultaneously create a pathway to third-level learning, mental resiliency and the ability to take control of your state experience regardless of the context in which you find yourself needing/wanting to operate well.
I have suggested more than once that this way of operating forms the basis of all elite performance, regardless of context. This is exactly where we begin and ultimately end in the MythoSelf Process work.
We begin by alerting you to your somatic signals, what one of the MythoSelf Facilitators in NYC, Mark Schwimmer, has begun calling your Somatic Signature. Then when you are aware of your somatic responses we begin layering in the knowledge of the autobiographical narrative you’ve built and continue adding to via semantic form, i.e.: your Life Story. Your Life Story is metaphorically organized in mythological form, and when you gain access to this form you gain the ability to shape it to your choosing.
The way you organize your Life Story, when you are choosing for effectiveness is your Success Blueprint, i.e.: the way you organize yourself to perform exquisitely. However, for most people this remains elusive or completely out of conscious awareness … and therefore only happens accidentally when the conditions are right, not necessarily when it is most desired or needed.
Finally, when you’ve begun to master the fundamental technology of the MythoSelf Process, Soma-Semantics, the language of transformation and elite performance, you will experience your life as having become embodied … you will have begun “Having the Experience of YOUR Life.” A nice side effect is that you also begin to gain real insight into how others organize themselves in terms of the embodied experience, and the ability to influence and manipulate that with them as well.
This movement for lack of awareness of personal experience to the complete presence of embodying experience is what makes living and teaching the MythoSelf Process so exciting and enduring for me.
Joseph Riggio, Ph.D.
PS – If you want the long version … and a direct experience of what I’ve been sharing here you can begin by getting a digital copy of my book, “The State of Perfection: Your Hidden Code to Unleashing Personal Mastery – Kindle Edition” or if you prefer the paperback version that’s available too: “The State of Perfection: Your Hidden Code to Unleashing Personal Mastery – Paperback Edition”
PPS – If you want to know more about my upcoming summer MythoSelf Process Professional Certification training (there’s still time to register), go here: MythoSelf Intensive Summer Certification Training