Same old, same old

5:59

6:00

I got you babe.  I got you babe.  Wake up campers, it’s Groundhog Day!

Look, I know it’s just a movie, but I assure you that contained within that movie are the same learning opportunities that can be acquired by reading John Shotter’s Wittgenstein in Practice and then practicing it in living, or paying 65k for the number one (average over the past 10 years) organizational development master’s program (MPOD) in the world, or cleaning up vomit from a bathroom floor, or reading (attempting at least – can somebody translate the translation please) Heidegger’s Being and Time, or walking face first into a below zero snow storm ‘coming from’ the space of love and joy, or being deployed to a combat zone, or participating in The Forum (as it used to be called), or adopting and raising somebody else’s child. 

Each of these experiences presents learning opportunities for what can be described as “transformational moments”.  I would know, because I’ve had each of these experiences, a couple of them today even.  Now, participating in all of them gives a certain kind of “multi-faceted” view or perspective that participating in only one or two of them will not provide, but this doesn’t diminish the opportunity set for the learning opportunities available in each of those experiences individually.  The above experiences are also not the exclusive set of experiences for providing the learning opportunities.  I’ve had some others and I know there are others who’ve had others.

This entry will not be a “10 lessons I learned from Groundhog Day” presentation.  You’re, as always, going to have to work a little to hear the real value of cleaning vomit off of the bathroom floor or watching Groundhog Day.  The one thing that I will point out very clearly is that each of the stated experiences provides a disruption to the conversational and temporal space in which one is experiencing life.  The taken for granted, always already ways of being in which we normally dwell.  This entry is also not intended to diminish those normally occurring day to day life events. 

Having the opportunity to live the same day in the same confined space of Punxatawney gives Phil Connors the ability to peer into the moments, in intricate detail, that make up ones day to day life.  Even still it takes him a near eternity to learn anything useful about himself at the same time he’s learning minute details about the others in the story. 

Phil realizes, shortly after he finally orchestrates the perfect day with Rita the futility of his frantic quest for the solutions or answers, the getting it right so that it will turn out.  This futility is what ultimately and finally takes him to the edge of the “self” that he knows himself to be, drives him to the depth of complete despair where he wallows for some time.  Bill Murray of course, uses the timing both comedically and dramatically to give us a look, a glimpse, at the Cartesian paradigm that Shotter references.  As a moment in time, turning to Mrs. Lancaster and answering the Jeopardy question “What is the Rhone?” is the turning point, the moment of triumph that is possible for each of us in our lives and our relationships.  This despair, no matter how thorough it is, even has its end.  Freedom to be is the natural outcome.

Phil emerges with his true being, who he’s always been, that he’s been covering up with that desire to look a certain way or do certain things to manipulate the outcomes ripped away.  There is no longer an option to pretend any more, he sees himself newly and shifts to what Shotter describes as a “relational paradigm” where “This new dialogical or relational paradigm puts the primary emphasis on our knowing of other people”.  In the Forum it was that moment when the “big it” is revealed.  In the combat zone it was that peace with knowing that one’s time will come exactly when their time comes.  And in cleaning up vomit or any of the other experiences it is that this is this.  Coming to the thus-ness of the experience…without resistance and being an opening or space for the thus-ness.

This is Truth/Love/Aletheia. Unconcealed.  Within that space there’s a freedom to play the piano, save another’s life, fall in love.  Not as a manipulation but because these are the things we do when we are freed from the constraints we showed up in.  Powerfully relating with one another. 

With Love,

Ed

A Technology Conversation About Lifting The Veil and Revealing Aletheia

Yesterday was a beautiful day and I had an enthusiastic conversation over lunch with a colleague who has read my blog.  We shared conversation about our “most enlightened” experiences and our interest and desire to have enlightened being occur “more often”.

Conversation is a fun, if not limiting, way to presence shared experience or the separate experience that comes from that shared place of who we all are.  We set off to lunch with an anticipated shared sense of commonality, an anticipation that we each mentally knew some of the same things and even that we had individually experienced some type of heightened state of being or being present.

Common language allows for a common way of describing the same things and knowing that another “gets” what you’re saying.  Often it’s the lack of shared language that freaks people out in conversations that are fear inducing such as the ones that  confront your ego.  In a powerful three part series of papers on rhetoric, Dave Logan from USC goes into great depth about these “terministic screens” and the way dual degree MD and MBA candidates were able to translate their medical practice into results in the financial world because of their ability to distinguish these two very distinct language vocabularies.  Having these dual terministic screens gave them the ability to powerfully distinguish things from each realm and tie the two together to make the other more useful.  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=915321

During lunch with this “dual track” colleague of mine, who is both a long time network engineer in the Cisco Systems sense of the term, and a student of transformation/enlightenment/Buddhism/etc., I was pleased to have him suggest a model of viewing our existence in the exact same way as I was recently thinking and viewing it – through my similar dual terministic screen of vocabulary and modeling.  It’s not that it really IS this way, but it’s a way of viewing it that allowed each of us to share the idea and the experience in a way that each of us understood.

Understanding networks and the way they work requires knowing the OSI model.  If you’ve ever studied networking or ever wanted to one of the first things you’ll need to learn is the OSI model – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model.  In simple terms, the model defines 7 layers of the network beginning at the lowest level with the “Physical” layer and moving up through the other six layers to the highest level which is the “Application” layer.  This model defines and allows various distinctions and interpretations to occur at the various layers – each within its own bounds but each complying to various rules that allow the other layers to interact in an expected way.  Certain flexibility but very specific rules.  Each with it’s own protocols and ways of interacting with the layer both directly above and directly below it.

His suggestion (had he thought of it this way before, or did my listening allow for and create it in the moment in conversation?) that there is an OSI model for our existence as human beings was fantastic.  We talked about our moments of enlightenment and how these occurred almost “below” the physical layer that we believe we interact with and we talked about how our allowing ourselves to come from and interact with more power from this Being layer allowed our applications or our Doing in the world to produce different results.  We also talked about people we’ve read or experienced and their unattachment to the various “higher” layers and that this unattachment allowed them to virtually shift the way “reality” occurred for those in their presence.

Mostly though I was just pleased that I was drawing out people around me that were willing to share their experience.  It is only through this conversation of network nodes that further realization of our human potential will occur.  Connected by dark matter, or being, or presence, or time and space, or whatever it is that we don’t yet know how to describe because we’re way up at the application layer, so far removed from the physical layer that we don’t speak in the same protocols, shouldn’t prohibit us from experimenting and reaching out to converse with each other openly and admitting that we may not really understand how it all works.  We know that there’s something there, connecting us all, maybe it’s Truth and Love or whatever words your terministic screens allow for, yet for now it’s mostly concealed behind the veil.  We get glimpses of it out of the corner of our eye or when we’re letting go of attachment to things. Join me in unconcealing, leave a comment, send me a note, have a conversation to explore – maybe you’ll expose the next human facebook riding at the application layer.  Maybe you’ll just experience Light and Beauty, Freedom, Truth and above all things Love.

With Nothing And Love,

Ed