Posts Tagged ‘will mcwhinney’

Why Politicians are Afraid to Play the Game of Politics

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Will McWhinney defined six games. In the previous blogs I told you about the Game of Life and the Analytical Game. In this blog I want to tell you about a very special game called the Game of Politics.

The game of Politics is a conflict between the worldviews Unity and Social. Unity is the world of Norms and Social is the world of Values.

Many people consider the Game of Politics a “dirty” game. They don’t like politics at all.

It is a dirty game because many people that call themselves politicians are formulating and enforces rules (by the Analytical Game) but don’t apply the rules. They are not consistent.

It is not necessary to be consistent because everybody learns and makes mistakes but the “bad” politicians don’t admit their mistakes.

When they don’t admit their mistakes or deliberately misuse the rules they enforce, they are making use of the System for their own benefit. They want to gain or increase their power and/or their wealth.

When you want to increase your power you believe that your current power is not sufficient to protect your self. You are afraid. Although they never will admit this fear is the main driver of politicians that misuse the system.

When the fear becomes unbearable they develop an extreme position and focus on one worldview. If they do this they are not playing a game anymore. They are focused on one worldview (Unity) and develop a tendency that psychiatrist call Paranoid.

Many powerful leaders in history fell into the trap of fear to loose their power and created very powerful paranoid systems. Famous examples in recent history are of course Hitler and Stalin. When paranoid leaders enforce rules they become opportunistic. They don’t mind if the people believe they are inconsistent or “evil”. Every act is motivated by the impulsive reaction to a possible threat and every threat is part of a big conspiracy.

Let’s get back to the Game of Politics.

The Social worldview is the worldview of emotions. Emotions help you to evaluate attracting and repulsive forces. We show our emotions with our “body-language” and the tonality of the sounds we produce.

The Game of Politics is a game where we express our feelings directly in concepts. Our feeling evaluates so we could also say that the Game of Politics evaluates concepts and (the other way around) attracts or repels us when concepts are stated. We give our opinion.

The Game of Politics is very dependent on the Emotions.

The Emotions are a “very old part” of the Human. This part “does not understand” rational concepts.

The Emotions are “open” to manipulation when we are in a state a trance. We get into a state of trance when we are focused.  This happens when we are looking at TV or a Movie or Driving a Car.

One of the most simple techniques to move a person into a trance-state is to “surprise” a person. We surprise a person when we do something the Expectation ( our Thinking) is not expecting. Surprise is the basis of hypnosis.

Many powerful politicians knew how to manage the Emotions. They are not managed by words. They are managed by the way the words sound and the body-language of the person who speaks the words.

The emotions are strongly managed by collective contexts. When people are united in a stadium the emotions connect. When pressure is used the personal fields of the humans unite into one collective field. They become one entity, a crowd.

LINKS

About Crowds

About the Games of Will McWhinney

About Manipulation

About Mind Control

About the Invisible Fascist State

About the Infinite Game

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

In the Western World many people play the Analytic Game. The Analytical Game resolves the conflict between the Facts of the Senses and the  Models, Rules and Norms of the Human Prediction System, the Expectation (often called Thinking).

The complementary Game is what Will McWhinney and his friend Burkhard Sievers, called the Game that Creates New Games.

James P. Carse (A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility) calls this game the Infinite Game. Perhaps a much better name would be the Game of Life.

Life is a Journey

Infinite players play with rules and boundaries. They include them as part of their playing. They aren’t taking them serious, and they can never be trapped by them, because they use rules and boundaries to play with.

The players are always busy to continue the Game of Life by creating new Games.

They love to play but the aim is not to win because winning ends the game.

The Infinite Game is a Game where the Imagination and the Emotions are playing their roles. The Emotions e-valua-te and the Imagination creates.

A very important distinction between the two Games is Context. The Analytic Game is “above the Context”.

It uses the Abstractions of Maps and Diagrams. When you use a map to travel you will never see the real territory.

The Game of Life is “in the Context”.  In this game Life is a Journey. You will meet people you will never meet when your life is completely planned and you will see places nobody has seen before.

Life Above the Context is dull and predictable.

Life In the Context is an Adventure and Full of Risks.

Evaluation is a Context-Dependent Process. It takes into account that every Situation is unique and needs a unique approach.

The Game of Life is an Improvisation

The Game of Life is about Improvisation. You listen to the Rythm and the central Theme and start your own variation that is “in line with the flow”.

Sometimes you are the person who starts a new rhythm and a new theme and others follow you. You are there at the right time and the right moment.

Timing is essential in the Game of Life.

The Game of Life is about the Tao and Synchronicity. Things happen by accident but the events are meaningful. They are created by the Imagination.

The Game of Life is about Magic. You are the creator of your own reality and your creation bounces back on you. Reality produces signs but the signs are the result of your own creation.

Your personal Magic becomes much stronger when you have a vision and you believe in this vision.

The Game of Life is about belief and not about truth. You know there is no eternal truth because everything changes but behind the changes is an emerging pattern.

The pattern is chaotic and structured. It arise out of the Whole and moves back into the Whole.

The Game of Life is the game of AND. Life is a contradiction, an eternal conflict, a dilemma because meaning is created by “making the difference‘. It is the Comm-Union of Diversity.

The Game of Life is about Spirit (Imagination) and Soul (Emotion).

The Game of Life is Immortal. When the Fire of the compassion of your soul and the Light of your spirit becomes One with the stream of Creation  you will live for ever.

The Game of Life is eternal and new Games are created all the time.

The Games are not competitive but collaborative.

The Game is fueled by Ideas and Ideas are abundant. Some of them stay for a long time. Other ideas just arise and move away like clouds in the Wind.

The Game is Life is a Field. It contains (Standing) Waves and Waves merge without any problem.

dance

The Game of Life is the Game of Music, Dance and Poetry. It does not force. It gives you the freedom of your own interpretation, your own mood.

The Game of Life is a Spiraling Spiral.

The Game of Life is about Values and Quality.

Your personal Values help you to evaluate and Quality is what you want to accomplish.

Quality is the complement of Quantity.

It is something the Numbers and the Names are unable to Express.

LINKS

About the theories of Will McWhinny

About Buckert Sievert

About the Infinite Game of James P. Carse

About Boundaries

About Context

About Adventure

About Synchronicity

About Collaboration

About Fields

About (Standing) Waves

About Music

About Poetry

About the Spiraling Spiral

About Values and Quality

About Ethical Dilemma’s

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Moral Dilemma’s are situations where two or more moral rules are in conflict. You have to make a choice between two or more actions you don’t want to perform because Ethics forbid you to do so.

A famous example was formulated in Book I of Plato’s Republic, Cephalus defines ‘justice’ as speaking the truth and paying one’s debts.

Socrates quickly refutes this account by suggesting that it would be wrong to repay certain debts – for example, to return a borrowed weapon to a friend who is not in his right mind.

Socrates’ point is not that repaying debts is without moral import; rather, he wants to show that it is not always right to repay one’s debts, at least not exactly when the one to whom the debt is owed demands repayment. What we have here is a conflict between two moral norms: repaying one’s debts and protecting others from harm. And in this case, Socrates maintains that protecting others from harm is the norm that takes priority.

A tragic moral dilemma is formulated in William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice. Sophie and her two children are at a Nazi concentration camp. A guard confronts Sophie and tells her that one of her children will be allowed to live and one will be killed. But it is Sophie who must decide which child will be killed.

Sophie can prevent the death of either of her children, but only by condemning the other to be killed. The guard makes the situation even more excruciating by informing Sophie that if she chooses neither, then both will be killed.

Actions are organized in chains of cause and effect. An (ethical) rule defines a `forbidden` effect. The effect is caused by an actor. In one situation the effect is certain in other situations the effect is (highly?) possible.

Ethics tries to formulate action-guiding principles to prevent that humans create a “forbidden” effect. In the case of Sophie this effect is the killing of a human being. In the example of Plato more or less the same (“doing no harm”) applies.

The example of Sophie shows that some people are able to create contexts where ethical dilemmas are forced upon people. In this context “Sophie has no choice” and when there is no choice ethics is simply not applicable.

The only thing we can do is to avoid these contexts and to prevent the creation of these contexts (concentration camps, crime, war, violence).

Ethics is not only a cognitive action. The emotions are also involved. Although the choice of Sophie is enforced she will feel guilt when she has made a choice. The emotional effect of a forced choice is the same as the effect of a free choice. Avoiding a certain emotion (“feeling guilty”) can be the reason to formulate an ethical rule.

Some people are more empathic than other people. That is why the acceptance of ethical rules varies. People without any empathic feeling don’t agree with the rule that it is forbidden to kill or to do harm. In some cultures those people are called mentally ill in other cultures they are highly praised.

We can always create an example where one rule conflicts with another rule or where the precedence of one rule over the other rule is violated. The rule of “not killing a human being” is overridden by many other rules and these rules are again context-dependent. Some people believe “killing a human being” is allowed to punish or to defend (a human being or a country) or even to enforce a principle (“freedom of choice”).

It is always possible to formulate an external cause. Finding an External Cause is the best way to remove the feeling of guilt or to prevent the feeling of guilt. The Guard in the concentration camp was able to do his work without any remorse because he was helping to accomplish the aims of his Fuhrer.

A soldier can accept the killing of a human being when the other is an enemy. Somebody has convinced him that killing enemies is an important goal. The same applies for all the other people that are part of the immoral context. All of them have created a chain of reasoning where they are not direct connected to the immoral situation. They “have to do it” to make a living or to make a career.

It both cases people have failed to prevent the concentration camps or the war.

What is really behind this all?

Behind this is the issue of world-views.

Ethics shows itself in many (five) flavors and combinations of flavors. The most important combination of these flavors is a combination of the Unity (Rules) and Sensory (Cause/Effect) worldviews. Will McWhinney called this combination the Analytical Game.

The Analytical Game is the dominant game in Western Society. It is highly cognitive. It denies the existence of the emotions (Love, Empathy, Social) and the imagination (Art, Poetry, Music, Mythic).

The emotions and the imagination are transformed by the Analytic Game in a cognitive instrument. Everything has to be planned and evaluated. It blocks improvisation (context-dependent behavior) because it is “Afraid to Loose Control”.

What to do?

The most important advice is to avoid and prevent (!) Ethical Dilemma’s.

When you are encountering a dilemma please trust your “gut feeling”. It is guided by your Emotions and Imagination.

Thinking with our Muscles: About Mirrors, Spindles and Acrobats

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

bacteriumIn 2002 Will McWhinney was writing his never finished book Grammers of Engagement“.

One of the scientists he was communicating with was Rodney Michael John Cotterill (1933-2007).

Will send me an article of John Cotterill called “Cooperation of the basal ganglia, cerebellum, sensory cerebrum and hippocampus: possible implications for cognition, consciousness, intelligence and creativity” .

The article contains a systematic exploration of the Sensory-Motor System of all the organisms on earth noting that the underlying behavioral strategy of Earth’s creatures does not appear to have changed in the four billion or so years since they sprang from their last common ancestor.

In the body the motor output is supported by the underlying anatomy. The various signaling routes appear to converge on the frontal lobe’s movement-mediating areas, that is to say the primary motor cortex (M1), the premotor and supplementary motor cortices, and the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

The anatomical details show that the three main movement-provoking streams in higher animals function cooperatively. When the cooperative mechanism is working at full strength the result is overt movement.

The article shows what part of the system was added at what moment and what the effect was of this addition. Strangely enough Cotterill comes to the conclusion that we THINK with the SPINDLES in our MUSCLES.

Muscle spindles are found within the fleshy portions of muscles, embedded in so-called Intrafusal fibers. These fibers are walled off from the rest of the muscle by a collagen sheath. This sheath has a spindle shape. While the intrafusal fibers are wrapped with sensory receptors, their counterpart, are responsible for the power-generating component of muscle and are innervated by motor neurons.

In another Blog I already showed that the Collagen Fibers in our Body are exactly mapped on the Meridians that are used in Acupuncture.

The article of Cotterill is very difficult to read if you don’t know anything about the terminology of the Brain but the Schema’s (The Wiring) in the article are very convincing.

This is what Will wrote: “Rodney Cotterill (2001) presented an important integration of the research on the brain structure. His neuro-physiological work radically undermines any support remaining for the stimulus-response schema, replacing it with motor-environment-mind schemata of complex feedback loops. The complex of feedback loops enables one to “Know what one knows.”

Cotterill goes beyond this, writing: “The ability to know that one knows is referred to by psychologists as first-order embedding. Higher embedding, such as that exemplified by knowing that one knows that one knows, merely depends on the ability to hold things in separate patches of neuronal activity in working memory. This manifests itself in the creature’s intelligence, which also dictates its ability to consolidate existing schemata into new schema.” “This ability, labeled intelligence, is a unique feature of mammalian brains. Intelligence and reflection are explained as due to functioning of the web of feedback loops, both internal and external, that evolved in higher animals“.

What Will is explaining is that the connection between all the spindles in our muscles is a very complex feed-back system. This feed-back system is able to create higher levels of “Abstraction” by the use of “Self-Reference”.

The experience in our body is stored in Schema (Action Patterns). “A schema is a reproducible linking of motor-directing actitity to the optimal environmental feedback resulting from that activity, the reproducibility stemming from the fact that schemata are laid down in the available form of memory“.

The schema are learned by Copying the Behavior of Others. We are not only copying we are Mirroring the Other. This is exactly what people in NLP call Pacing & Leading.

Recent advances in the cognitive neuroscience of action have considerably enlarged our understanding of human motor cognition. In particular, the activity of the mirror system, first discovered in the brain of non-human primates, provides an observer with the understanding of a perceived action by means of the motor simulation of the agent’s observed movements.

This discovery has raised the prospects of a “motor theory of social cognition“. Human social cognition includes the ability to mindread, which in turn plays a crucial role in human communication.

Again a citation of Will McWhinney:

Pacing develops through a harmonizing across the spectrum of enunciations and responses. In human communication, rhythm orchestrates the voices, expressions, e.g., sentences, reception processes, rhythms of the body, demands for attention within and among the participants, and long waves of cultural accommodation across the whole set of conversants.  A conversation is effective when the pacing of each element synchronizes with the others: all the phonemes of a word need to be completely expressed before a speaker begins to generate the next word.  Interruptions in this flow produce stuttering, in speech or thought. The breathing must enable a sentence to be phrased, expressed on a single breath or broken in relation to its grammatical structure. The listeners simultaneously construct the sentences in their own neuro-muscular structure“.

When we are Unable to Mirror we are “Out of Tune” and the dialogue stops. Mirroring forms the basis for Empathy and Language. It is also the main reason why Autists have a difficulty to communicate.

I end this blog with a citation of Ritchie produced in 1936:

At the suggestion that muscular movement may be intellectual I feel that there will be a stirring of indignation among the highbrows. They will say, “Why all these talk about acrobats and muscular activity? Granted that what the acrobat does is perfect of its kind it is not properly an intellectual activity, like the mathematician’s for instance”. In reply to this I should admit at once that what the mathematician does is much more useful than what the acrobat does; but is there any reason apart from snobbery for saying it is more intellectual? In effect the acrobat thinks with the muscles of his whole body while the mathematician thinks with – well, whatever it is he thinks with. Of course it may be that the mathematician does not think with anything but just thinks. Even if this were true, which is doubtful, I find it hard to see why thinking with nothing should be more truly thinking than thinking with your muscles. Because thinking is mental it does not follow that it is not bodily too“.

Cognitive Scientists like Lackoff, Nunez and Dehaene have found an explanation for the “Thinking of the Mathematican“. They are able to mirror, to entrain, to tune, to pace, to synchronize to the “Actions Patterns of the Conscious Universe“.

These Actions Patterns have a lot in common with Music and Harmony. Pythagoras was not the only one who talked about the Music of the Spheres. It also explains why Mathematicians are always (like me) in Love with Music.

LINKS

About Mirroring

About the Emotions of Bacteria

About the Evolution of the Mammals

About the Tetraktys of Pythagoras

How the US could Move Out of the Drama Triangle: About Games People Play

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

George Lakoff wrote very interesting books about Metaphors. At this moment Lakoff his main subject is US politics. In an article called the Metaphors of Terror he analyzes the “framing” of the US Government in his “battle” against Terrorism that started at 9/11.

The initial framing was as a “crime” with “victims” and “perpetrators” to be “brought to justice” and “punished.” The crime frame entails law, courts, lawyers, trials, sentencing, appeals, and so on”. Later “crime” changed to “war” with “casualties,” “enemies,” “military action,” “war powers,” and so on. Later “Evil” was added. “To stand up to evil you have to be morally strong. If you’re weak, you let evil triumph, so that weakness is a form of evil in itself, as is promoting weakness. Evil is inherent, an essential trait, that determines how you will act in the world. Evil people do evil things“.

The most important change in the framing is the move to Religion. I think and many people with me this was a very dangerous move. It revived the time of the Crusades. The move to Religion correlates with the strong influence of the Conservative Religious movement in the US. They were already for a long time in the “Crusade Mode”.

Lakoff shows that the role of the parent in childhood determinates the distinction between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are in favor of the Strict Father (or Parent). Democrats like the Nurturing Father.

Parents were born as Children. Children often take over the behavior of the parents when they raise their own children even when the children did not like this behavior at all. The first reason is copying but there is more at stake.

When you look at Interpersonal Theory (Why a Slave needs a Master) the Strict Father is high in Agency (the Self) and the Nurturing Father combines Agency and Communion (The Other). He is able to create an “internal” bridge. The Strict Parent is unable to commune. He is unable to give intimacy, warmth, closeness, social support and love to the Child. The child is “left Alone“.

The Child has to start his life high in Communion. It needs to be Taken Care of. When the Parents are unable to give Intimacy the Child cannot receive Intimacy when he is an Adult. He or She is unable to create a stable relationship of Compassion.He or She moves from relationship to relationship or when he/she is living in a Strictly Moral Environment sustains a relationship that is not “Taking Care” of the Children. History repeats itself.

The next move in Life is the state of the Senses (Communion/Agency). This state ends in the Ego-State (Puberty). Many people don’t want to leave this state because they don’t like the Responsibilities that are connected to the next State.

When they become a Parent they have to move. They can move to the Nurturing State (Communion, Self AND Other) or to the Strict Parent State (Agency, Self). If they don’t know how to Commune there is only one state possible, The Strict Parent. Again History Repeats itself.

The Adult State is the State in the Middle or the Center (Balance, Harmony, Conscioussness). It can be reached when people Take the Time to Reflect (Look Inside).

At this moment almost everything we do is directed at the opposite, Look Outside (TV, Movie, Games, …). The Media take so much time that many people have no time left to “Observe” or “Step Out of” their own situation.

Children and Adults are always Playing Games. One of the psychologists that has analyzed Adult Games is Eric Berne. He created Transactional Analysis.

Berne presented his theories in two popular books: Games People Play (1964) and What Do You Say After You Say Hello? (1975). The most famous book was I’m OK, You’re OK (1969) written by Berne’s longtime friend Thomas Anthony Harris.

Will McWhinney analyzed Two Persons games. Berne discovered also three person games (Triangles).

One of the most dysfunctional triangular games is The Drama Triangle (Stephen Karpman).

Each point on the triangle represents a common and ineffective response to conflict, one more likely to prolong disharmony than to end it. Participants in the Drama Triangle create misery for themselves and others.

Each player in this particular mind game begins by assuming one of three archetypical roles: Victim, Rescuer, or Persecutor.

  • Victims are helpless and hopeless. They deny responsibility for their negative circumstances, and deny possession of the power to change them.
  • Rescuers are constantly applying short-term repairs to a Victim’s problems, while neglecting their own needs.
  • Persecutors blame the Victims and criticize the enabling behavior of Rescuers, without providing guidance, assistance or a solution to the underlying problem

The ‘switch’ is then when one of these having allowed stable roles to become established, suddenly switches role. The victim becomes a persecutor, and throws the previous persecutor into the victim role, or the rescuer suddenly switches to become a persecutor (“You never appreciate me helping you!”).

It is not difficult to see that the Persecutor plays the Strict Father Role. Most of the time the Mother plays the Victim and the Child acts as the Rescuer (The Nurturing Child).

Later the Model of Berne was extended into a Five Factor model (The Tokyo University Egogram). It contains the Nurturing Parent, the Critical Parent (Strict Father), the Adult, Adapted Child (Victim) and the Natural Child (Nurturing Child).

According to my insights A Five Factor Model is a complete model. According to Berne the Adult is “in the Now”. This proves to me that this part could be called Consciousness.

Now it is time to move back to US Politics.

I am convinced The US is Playing Roles in a very complicated Drama Triangle. In this triangle all the players are constantly switching roles.

The Role of the Victims is played by the PEOPLE of the Islamic Countries. The US is constantly switching between the role of the Rescuer AND the Persecutor (“You never appreciate me helping you!”).

The US as a Rescuer implements Short-Term Repairs, ”Capitalism”. Capitalism destroyes Islamic Culture based on the Nurturing Father metaphor (Family, Taking Care of the Other) . Kapitalism stimulates Individualism (Ego). It dis-connects people from a Whole.

Not everybody in the Islamic Countries applies the Nurturing Father Metaphor. The Islamic Conservative Religious Movement has a lot in common with the US Conservative Religious Movement. They are the people that want to fight the Holy War again. I don’t think both of them really see that the (poor) People are always the victims.

As a Rescuer the US helps Islamic Strict Fathers (Iraq, Saddam Hoessein) but it also acts as a Persecutor when it destroyes the same Strict Fathers. The US helped Saddam Hoessein and later destroyed him. They also helped the Taliban and is now destroying them.

All the time the People that lived in these countries were and are the real Victims. Some of them Move into a very Special Victim State, they Kill ThemSelves (Suicide Bommers). When you want to Kill Your Self you are really desperatly asking for Communion.

The People in the Islamic Countries believe that when you Offer Your Self you will reach the Ultimate Place of Communion, Heaven. The Strict Islamic Fathers confirm this believe. The Nurturing Fathers in the Islamic Community (The Mystics, Sufi) tell another Story. The believe just like the Mystics in the West (The Essenes) that the Love for the Other is crucial.

Could it be that US never left the Puberty State?

If this is the Case it Explains a Lot to me. It Explains the Enormous Amount of food People Eat and the need to Add Sugar. It explains the US Porno Cult. It explains the most Crazy City on Earth: Las Vegas where every building is A Game in an Adventure-Game. It explains The Cowboy Culture and it explains the Excessive Waste of Energy. It also explains the Exageration: Big Cars, Big Buildings, Being the Best and the Biggest.

It also shows the Way Forward.

The US has to accept that is now an ADULT Country and has to accept the Responsibility of this State.

It could start by accepting US Culture as a FUSE between many cultures that came out of The East (India), Africa (Slaves), Europe, East America (mainly Mexico) and of course its Indian Heritage (Harmony and Nature).

The US could except that its Own Culture is a Self-Reference of the World Culture.

Is it Possible to Leave a Drama Triangle?

When we use the Five Factor Model and move to China we are able to find a solution. The most important strategy in Chinese martial arts is to Refuse to Support your Attacker.

The first step is to Move into the Center. In terms of the TA Model “Become Aware”.

Use your consciousness. Resist the Temptation to play an Exaggerated and Complementary role to a Victim, Rescuer or Persecutor.

Understand that you are not fighting a Person (A CAUSE) but you are in a State (EGO).

The force you are fighting is trying to move you out of the state of Awareness.

In the Centre you can help the other with giving them awareness and performing Enlightened actions (Out of the Heart).

If we move back to US Policy we have to find where the Consciouss of the US can be found.

The Consciousness can be found in the Press.

The Consciousness can be found in its History.

The Consciousness can be found in Law and Justice.

The Consciousness can be found in the Congress.

The Consciousness can be found in the UnConsciousness (Dreams).

The Consciousness can be found in the Arts and Music (Culture).

One of these has to Move to the Centre and Resist the Temptation to Support the Attacker (Ego).

The last thing I want to tell is that I love the people of the US. I travelled the country from East to West and from North to South. Almost everybody I spoke did not like what the System was doing. They wanted a change but they did not know how. The feeling that the System has taken over Control is something that many people in the West (also the Netherlands) are feeling. They feel extremely Powerless.

The only thing we can do is support all the people all over the World that are from the Heart. The Times are Always Changing and at a certain moment the Age of Aquaris (Love will Steer the Stars) will certainly come. It is just a matter of time.

LINKS

About Addiction and Burn-out

About Inter-personal Psychology 

About Life Stories

Monday, October 1st, 2007

When you want to build a Story-Based-Game the best way to interview is to ask people about their Life-story. Let us first have a look at the The Foley Center.  The Foley Center of Northwestern University is specialized in Life Stories.

Dan P. McAdams of the Foley Center uses Agency and Communion as the major “modalities in the existence of living forms“. These two modalities may be viewed as two thematic clusterings in life narratives, each articulating important life goals, strivings, needs, and desires”.  When I read the articles of McAdams it was not difficult to see that he was using Interpersonal Theory .

Because I was able to map Interpersonal Theory to The Theory of Will McWhinney . I was able to to open up a huge potential to litterally Play with Life Stories. Will has also mapped his World Views to Games Levels.

When you consider a Life Story as a Narrative a mapping to the Theory of Bakhtin about Chronotopes is also very helpful.

When you use the concept of the Chronotope you will see that a life-story takes Place in a named Time/Place-continuum (A House, The Office,). So not only ask When an Event took place but also Where it took place. A place is are very important factor in a life story. Many people remember the atmosphere of a Place. The House I was born felt Warm and Cosey. In my office I felt Alone.

When we had a look at the thoughts of Bahktin about Context we realized that we were really trying to describe a Situation and that other Actors in the Situation also plaid an important Role (Father, Mother, Manager, …..). So not only ask Where and When but also Who was playing an important Role.

Many people are unable to make a distinction between the Self (I AM) and the Role they are playing in a Situation. This is an important cause of conflicts. When you are a Manager you have to play the Manager and not be the Manager.

A life story is a Sequence of Situations that are always started by a CRITICAL Event. There a many ways to classify Events but a simple classification is a high point, a low point or a turning point.

In his book Paths of Change Will explains that there a many “Strategies” to change a life and of course a Life Story. Every connection of a World View to another World View can be considered a Change, a Conflict, a Game or a Dialogue.

An Event is related to the the World View Sensory. Sensory People view the world as a Causal Chain. When an Event takes place the Emotions come into play. Emotions are related to the Social World View.

According to Nico Frijda:

  • An emotion is usually caused by a person consciously or unconsciously evaluating an event as relevant to a concern that is important; the emotion is felt as positive when a concern is advanced and negative when a concern is impeded.
  •  The core of an emotion is readiness to act and the prompting of plans; an emotion gives priority for one or a few kinds of actions to which it gives a sense of urgency – so it can interrupt, or compete with, alternative mental processes or actions. Different types of readiness create different outline relationships with others
  • An emotion is usually experienced as a distinctive type of mental state, sometimes accompanied or followed by bodily changes, expressions, actions“.

Emotions Evaluate a Situation. When they Evaluate a Situation they use a Concern to Priotize. When they are able to priotize with ease or when the Event is Dangerous the Action is Unconscious. When a dangerous event takes place the Reptile Brain starts to work and the only re-actions that are possible are Fight, Flight and Freeze.

When a Major Event happens the priotization becomes Conscious. The Actor has to make a Decision. This decision is crucial for the next step (a new Situation).

When you have a look at (or feel, or listen to, ) Life Stories the Process of Decision Making is the most important factor. Socials always feel what the Others are doing or start to take care. Unities start to manage and want to restore Order. Sensories take care of Themselves (Ego) and Mythics want to restore harmony. What we see here is the Self-refererence of the Model of Will McWhinney. Inside the Emotions the World Views are again at play.

If we know how people Evaluate we are able to learn a lot about their Personality.

When we look at the Chronotopes of Bahktin we also know their Favorite Life Narrative. A Sensory uses the Chronotope of Destiny. His or her life is a sequence of events that are just happening.

A Social uses the Biography, the praise of a public figure who has accomplished something in life. When he has not accomplished anything his life is worthless. He is a total failure.

A Mythic is always searching for something (The Grale). His story is described by the Chronotope of Adventure. Deep inside the Mythic wants to find Rest and Harmony. When he finally finds Rest he feels the urge to move on. Therefore the Life of a Mythic is full of Turning Points.

When we know the Favorite Life Narrative we also know “How to Help“. A Social needs to be re-valuated. He needs a tap on the shoulder. He needs to be praised.

A Sensory has to stop to Wait and See. He needs to do something and learn from his mistakes. Somebody has to tell him that others have made the same mistake and he is able to prevent mistakes by looking (!!) at other life stories of comparable people. The most important persons could be his father or mother. They also have made mistakes and when they just tell their children frankly what they did many children would simply learn from the parents.

I hope you understand why the theory of Roger Schank is so important. His theory is able to help the Unity/Sensory-combination (Experts or Craftsman) and this combination covers about 80% of the people in Western Civilization.

Roger has now created an impressive Virtual School for Children all over the World. He is teaching children to learn a CRAFT again. He is not teaching THEORY but he is giving children the opportunity to ACT in REAL LIFE SITUATIONS. He is teaching them to become a Nurse or an Engineer. Craftmanship is HIGLHY needed in the underveloped countries.

The Virtual School is FOR FREE. It is financed by people who want to take care of the poor children in the World. The Virtual High School is using Games and it able to train Children to move to the level of the University within a very short time (max 8 years). Roger has made connections to Famous Universities in the US. They are also giving away their educational content (again Games developed by Roger Schank!) for free.

Funny enough I was unable to find anybody in the Netherlands who just wanted to try out his Virtual School. Every School and University in The Netherlands is re-inventing the Wheel. This is a Rule. The Dutch Government is spending billions to create something that is already available. This is also a Rule. If you want to know more send me an EMAIL.

Why Weapons are Unable to Enforce Peace or How We Create our own Enemies

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

You don’t need to be a scientist to understand that hostile behavior always attracts hostile behavior. So if you want to Enforce Peace with Violence you will always attract Violence.

Perhaps if you could eliminate the Cause of Violence it would be possible to stop the Violence.

If you could eliminate Saddam Hussein or Adolph Hitler you end it all. Sadly enough those people are not the only cause of the violence. They are the Symbol of Something that is creating the violence. Behind those people are other people who support the Leader, the Followers.

They support the Leader because they believe in his cause or they support the Leader because they are afraid to show that they don’t agree with what he is doing. There are also people who don’t do anything (the Silent Majority). They “Wait and See”.

If you eliminate the supporters of the Leader (The Taliban, The Nazi’s) the Others will stop the Violence and Peace will come.

If you use extreme violent weapons you will always make a mistake. Sadly enough you will always kill innocent people. Because of the first rule some of them will be attracted by hostile behavior and join the followers.

When Extreme Violent Weapons are used a small amount of violent people is able to destroy many people. This is called A-Symmetric Warfare.

If the Enemy looks like “a normal person” they are able to do what they want. If you want to stop the violence of people that look like a normal person you have to suspect everybody is a violent person. This will increase the amount of mistakes and because of the first rule it will attract hostile behavior.

When Extreme Violence is used a new Level of the Human is opened the Level of the Reptile. The Human starts to react with violence but he is not able to control this actions anymore. He is dissociated. Dissociations can stay for many years. You can observe Dissociation when you have a look at the Eyes of People. They Stare.

I hope you see the problem. Every time you kill a follower with Extreme Violence a new follower will take his place. The violence will never stop.

Is there Solution to this Problem?

When people of two different World Views meet they are unable to understand the Other.

When they don’t start a dialogue the mis-understanding will lead to a conflict. The conflict can be resolved when they generate Ideas, Act and Learn from their Mistakes. They start to Innovate.

To do this we need two World Views, Mythic (Ideas, Artists) and Sensory (Act, Sense, Facts).

The World View Unity (Rules, Control) is always blocking Innovation because Innovation leads to Chaos.

A person is mentally ill when he is only able to handle one World View (Interpersonal Theory). A mentally disabled Unity is called a Paranoid. If we observe people like Hitler or Saddam Hussein I think many of you will admit that they were Paranoid.

The Social World View is Easy to manipulate by a Paranoid. They are influenced by Status and always “Do What others Do”.

Soldiers in the Western Armies are recruited from two categories Social and Unity. The Unity is trained to become a Manager. They always obey the Rules. The Socials are trained to become Soldiers. They will always do what the Managers are telling them to do. They can be easily forced by Status and Violence.

What we need to solve a conflict are Mythics and Sensories. Both of them almost never join an Army. They are not violent and it is also very difficult to get them into a violent state.

To build a bridge to the Unities we need the Unity/Mythic or the Unity/Sensory-combination.

A Unity/Mythic (Transform Ideas into Models) is an Architect, A Designer. A Unity/Sensory (Put Models into Action) is A Maker, A Builder. A Mythic/Sensory (Put Ideas into Practice) is an Entrepreneur and An Inventor.

So a Conflict is solved when people start to Build and to Trade in the Social Ecology, The Context, where the Conflict Takes Place. When People build and trade the context moves to new levels of Culture by itself. This what happened in Western Civilization. It took about a 1000 years to move from the level of the War Lords to the level of the State.

A Conflict Never Stops when “the Context is Killed” (Bahktin) by Extreme Violent Weapons. People are able to rebuild their environment but when the environment is totally demolished this is a very complicated process. The US created a special program (The Marshall Program) to help Europe after the Second World War. It took more than 20 years to rebuild Europe.

Unity People really believe (!) Violent Weapons will end a Conflict. They believe this because their World View is aimed at Controlling Others.

Unity People also believe in catagories. They believe in the Good and the Bad. Sadly enough the Bad believe they are the Good and vice-versa. Both of them will endlessly go on fighting each other. This is not a real problem. The real problem is that the Unities make mistakes. They kill innocent people (Collateral Damage). Unities don’t believe in Mistakes. They believe they are always Right. They believe in the Absolute Truth.

They also believe they are able to develop new weapons that reduce Collateral Damage. That is why the Arms Race goes on and on.

When the War Lord were in power battles were fought at the battlefield at a certain time and a certain date. Soldiers wore uniforms so everybody could see “who’s who”. Most of the weapons where used in a man-to-man fight. There were also rules for combat. These rules were improved all the time and are now worldwide applicable (The Geneva Convention).

When the Rule Systems went UP the battlefields went DOWN to the level of the Human again. Soldiers are now playing the guerilla game and ignore all the rules. We are back at square one again. We are now in the stage of the 1 Soldier-to-many Civilians combat.

This is an innovation the World Wide Legal System cannot handle. It can only be resolved at the Local Level. People that are part of the Culture of the guerilla-fighter have to convince him that Extreme Violence will not solve their problems. This is the only solution. Inspirational Leaders (Mythics) like Nelson Mandela and Gandhi were able to do that.

The Weapon Systems also moved UP. Weapons were and are able to destroy the World. Strangely enough nobody was able to stop the development of Arms by International Law. Only the EFFECTS of weaponsystems were “forbidden”.

Many people believe this is easy to explain by the theory of “The Evil Weapon Industry“. “They are behing Everything that is Happening

The US en the Sovjet Union are the biggests Users and Exporters of Arms in the World.

Personally I don’t think the explanation is so simple. My feeling is that many factors are at work and if we are unable to move to the right level of observation we will always ignore something. If we ignore something we will interfere on the wrong level. Instead of solving a conflict we will create a new conflict.

My feeling is we have to Observe at the Level of the World but ACT at the lower level of a Country or Culture according to the State of the Cycle this level is in.

The Arms Industry shows the same behavior as any Industry. Industry is the place where the Sensories are developing new tools (technology). They are the Experts, the Technicians. When a Sensory has developed a Model he wants to put the Model into Practice. When they have build new technology somebody (A Social) starts to Sell to a Unity. When a Unity has bought a new tool he HAS TO use it (Don’t Waste the Money!).

Many Scientists (Mythics and Unities) spend all their time and enthousiasm to develop the Atomic Bom and the Hydrogen Bom. Much later they awoke and saw with their own eyes what they had given to the World.

The problem here is the Process of Creation. When an Idea takes you you HAVE TO DO something with the Idea. The only thing that could happen was that the Creators took some time to have a look at what could be the effects of their creation. The Mythics had to take some time to reflect but time was running out.

If they would have a look at the Context they would realize that Worldwide Weapons of Destruction will always have a negative effect. They were “blinded” by the Enemy (Japan, Germany). They were Idealists and really believed the Bom would create a better world for everybody. This was the Final War. After the Final War Democracy would Rule the Earth. This proved to be wrong.

The most important factor that influenced the final decision to drop the Atomic Bomb was Russia. Japan was in the state of surrender and the bomb did not influence their decision. Everybody agreed that it was very important to stop the expanding Russian Empire ruled by Stalin.

The dropping of the Bomb was a signal to Stalin to show the Power of the US. Again innocent people outside the context of the “upcoming” conflict were the victims. The most important effect of the decision was the Cold War and the Atomic Arms Race. Nobody at that time was aware of this.

Let us have a look at the local level of the Conflict in Afghanistan.

The Culture of Afghanistan is “way behind the European Culture”. It is dominated by the War Lords. Afghanistan looks like Europe in the Middle Ages.

If the War Lords and the Taliban would use their old tools (the Jezail, Guns) nothing would happen. They would fight their battles on the battlefield. After some time one of them would become King and later the Renaissance would start. Just what happened in Europe. The big difference is that this process of Cultural Development would not take a thousand years.

The big business of the Warlords in Afghanistan is opium. Everybody is trying to change the attitude of the farmers. They have to grow wheat. Wheat is not what the War Lords want. Opium is paying 15 times more money. When the Warlords stay in power nothing will ever change the situation. When the people in the West keep on buying and using opium the market will also not disappear.

Afghanistan was already in the stage of the King. This stage was stopped by the Russians. They wanted to create a Socialistic (Read Paranoid) State. To stop the Russians (The Bad Guys) the US Secret Service (CIA, The Good Guys) started to support the Warlords and the Taliban. They supplied them with weapons to fight the Sovjet Union. They had a rule that no weapon in Afghanistan could be traced back to the west, so they supplied Soviet designed equipment from Egypt and China. Unfortunately the Soviet Technology was Inferior (!!!!) so they gave them the American Stinger. When the war with the Russians ended the CIA tried to buy the Stingers back from the Taliban. They wanted to pay $150,000 each. It is almost certain that the Taliban still have a few left.

The US and NATO are fighting their Own Weaponsystems. They are fighting their Own Creation, the War Lords and the Taliban. They are fighting a Market while they promote the Free Market. Many of the consumers of this market are living in their own country. They are fighting their own consumers in their own country. The consumers are addicted. Addiction is a problem of Socials. They get addicted when they are highly stressed. Many soldiers are addicted because of all the stress they have experienced in the War against the Enemy the Unities (or the Paranoids??) of their own Country have created.

How can we resolve this conflict?

It sounds strange but my feeling is by doing nothing in Afghanistan but doing something in Western Civilization itself. If We Solve our Own Problems first this will have a huge impact on everything that is happening in the World.

Observe at the World Level but Act Locally in your Own Context. This is the only Context You Understand.

Start a Dialogue with the other Contexts and accept their Local Culture. Try (!) to understand Why they are doing the Things they are doing.

This can be done by looking at your own Cultural History.

Somewhere in the past You were doing the same things they were doing. Find out what happened that made your culture move to the Next Level. Now you have a common ground to talk. Accept that the others are trying to find a solution of their own. Perhaps this is also something that will help you in your own culture.

Start to innovate and collaborate.

About InterPersonal Theory

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

interpersonal

World Views are Perspectives on the Inner and Outer World. “Every man has his own Universe” so there are so many Perspectives as there are (and were) Humans. To communicate we have to decrease the Amounts of Perspectives.

Will McWhinney has found a model that covers most of the perspectives of the Human Being. It contains Four Perspectives circulating around a Center. His model is Self-Referencial (A Fractal) which means that the Model can be Applied on its Self.

It can be expanded to the Infinite Perspectives of all the Humans on Earth by detecting the Right Enfolding of the Fractal Pattern.

When I was working with Will McWhinney on his theory of World-Views I found many theories that could be mapped to his Theory of Change. The World Views proved to be a generic explanation of almost everything. This was a big surprise.

One of the sciences that interested me the most was Psychology. I studied Philosophy, Psychology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics and kept my knowledge of these fields always Up-To-Date.

My main problem with Psychology was the conceptual  mess it was in. I read book after book and all the time new ideas came up. It was fascinating but also frustrating.

Suddenly I found a book that helped me to see everything from one Perspective. The book contained a Model and I was able to Map the model to the World Views with ease.

The book I found was Horowitz, L. M. (2004). Interpersonal foundations of psychopathology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Interpersonal theory looks at the world from the perspective of Relationships.

According to attachment theorists, the infant’s attachment system keeps the child close and connected to the adult, thereby increasing the child’s chances of surviving infancy. As children come to feel sufficiently secure in their attachment to the caretaker, they separate from the caretaker and explore the environment, a first step toward autonomy.

When a person initiates an interaction with another person, the other assumes that the behavior is motivated (purposeful). When an important goal is satisfied, the person experiences a positive emotion; when it is frustrated, the person experiences a negative emotion like sadness or anger.

Internal motivations can be conflicting. This can result in serious mental disorders. The interpretation of the motivation of the other is often ambiguous leading to misunderstanding and even conflict. To resolve these potential conflicts an open dialogue is necessary where people make their motives clear to others (and themselves).

Motivational constructs (desire, motive and personal striving) can be conceptualized in two very broad, abstract categories, namely, Communion and Agency.

A Communal motive is a motive for a connection with one or more others; it is a motive to participate in a larger union with other people. A communional motive can range from Indifferent (no connection) to Love (a complete connection).

An Agentic motive, on the other hand, emphasizes the self as a distinct unit; it focuses on the person’s own individual influence, control, or mastery over the self, other people, and the environment. An agentic motive can range from Dominating to Submitting.

Interpersonal behavior can be described with the so-called Interpersonal Circumplex (a Cycle). This is a widely tested model that predicts the reaction of a person to a Motive (a combination of agency and communion) of the other.

The motivational behavior of a person is more or less determined in his youth. People that are extreme in the connection/agency-matrix (e.g. indifferent to the other, too dependent, very dominant or submissive) are unable to work in a collaborative manner. They are Psychopathic.

Interpersonal Theory is very helpful to understand relationships.

interpersonal2

The Interpersonal Circumplex or Interpersonal Cycle suggests that there are Infinite Types of Relationships. Some of them are named (Friendly, Dominant) most of them are not named.

When two persons are reacting according to the complementary expected behavior of the Other they feel “Related“. A highly dominant partner, a Master, needs a highly submissive partner, a Slave,  and vice versa.

By using the World Views Interpersonal Theory can be easily mapped to other Psychological Subjects like Learning. When we use the method of Mapping it can also be transformed to Art, History, Ecology, Mathematics and Physics.

To use the Four World Views (Unity, Sensory, Social and Mythic) we have to Map the Matrix of Horowitz to the Matrix of McWhinney .

Sensory people (Experts) are disconnected from their Self (Ego-istic). They are focused on the Senses (Facts).  An addiction to the Senses is called Schizophrenic.

Mythic (Artist)  is a Union with the Self. Mythic people are highly Imaginative and Creative. An addiction to the imagination is called Histrionic.

Social is a Union with Others. Social people are highly Emotional and influenced by the Other (Status). An addiction to the emotions is called Dependent.

A Unity (Master) is disconnected from the Self. Unity people want to control the Future. They are planning and expecting. An addiction to Control is called Paranoid.

Consciousness, the Observer,  the Center of the Cycle, is a Balance between Communion and Agency. People that are Constantly Out of Balance are called Neurotic.

What is Happening?

Paths of Change explains why Life is a Paradox.  It is a Paradox because the World Views are completely independent. They are valid ways of Looking At the World.

Normal” people combine Two or more Worldviews and are able to Switch from one View to the Other but they always look with one View at the Time.

Normal” people are mentally ill but we don’t see their illness because they are Switching all the time.

The Switch is called a Relation in Interpersonal Theory.  It connects two parts that are disconnect and will always be disconnect.

Is there a Structure behind this Structure?

Behind the Four WorldViews lies a much simpler structure. This structure contains just Two Views, the View of Control and the View of Desire.

Control is the proces of Compression. Control makes thing simple and essential. It brings everything back to the Void, the state of Infinite Potential.

Desire is the process of Expansion. Expansion makes things more complex. It generates an infinite amount of new combinations. It moves away from the Infinite Potential.

Control and Desire are Complementary Powers. When they join they are annihilated. If this happens They combine and become the Void again.

Control and Desire are constantly moving around the Void to A-Void that they move back to the state of the No-Thing, that is Every Thing.

The Four Views are nothing but Four Combinations of the Two that are Avoiding the Void which is the Center, the Connector, the Relation, the Switch, between Every Thing.

LINKS

A website about Interpersonal Theory

About the Interpersonal Circumplex

About Learning and Interpersonal Theory

About WorldViews

About the Void and The Logic of Creation

About Wordviews and the History of Literature

About WorldViews and the Cycle of History

About Mapping