Tuesday 29 January 2013

Checking behind the curtain of words.

If you focus on words, that's all you get. As any body language analyst will tell you, words are a very small percentage of communication. Analyse the curtain, play with the curtain, do what you want with it, the curtain is what you'll get until you open it.

Here in Africa, there's sunshine. There's a lot of it, and the temperature goes up, where I live, over 40C, sometimes over 50C.

One of my favourite stories is a true one about the business on the hill on the other side of the dam who called the aircon people to say that the aircon wasn't working, so please come fix it now as the temperature is up there in the forties somewhere. The aircon people came, took a look and said your aircon is working fine, what more do you expect it to do? It can only bring the tmerpature down reasonably by 20C and you're siting at 31C so be satisfied. It's working as well as it ever will.

"Children are dumb to say..."

I'm glad that the web of language is cool, if the metaphor for reality is heat. Yet no matter what you do with language, you have to be strategically wrong if you pick a fight with anyone about their words. I pick fights about tone, intent, meaning and I lose all those too, because that's still at the level of language. I've learnt that when I go silent, that's when others go silent too, because they're trying to work out what's going on.

Open the curtain and say nothing. Another one might draw the curtain and say nothing. But everyone will know.

The light might be sunshine or a fire over at the Frankenstein's place, yet the curtain will have been dealt with.

I recommend: listen to words well, and listen even more to where they're coming from. There are no secrets.

Monday 28 January 2013

Attention is a gift.

I've come to realize that the label "individual" doesn't mean "one". A human being is a concentration of attention, emanating not only from family, friends and community, but also from the spiritual realm.

You look at people who fascinate you. You listen to those you admire. You gaze into the eyes of those you love. You touch those who are in your field of intimacy. Your attention reflects a bigger pattern of attention.

To speak of "God" is too glib. Neither words nor concepts can ever matchbox dynamite. Soup-bowls at the bottom of the Victoria Falls would be smashed rather than contain the flow in any way.

Yet, we are given God's full attention. This forms within and and is expressed through character: sensitivities, actions, decisions, growth of conscience.

Conscience was emphasized when I was a child: I grew up greatly influenced by exhortation to conscientious living. Along the way I've learnt that knowing the difference between right and wrong isn't the whole of conscience. Growth in consciousness and formation of conscience are almost the same thing. For a long time I focused on achieving dogmatic purity because that was the call that my tribe laid upon me. I learnt that intellect, emotive insistence and commitment reached by active decision can't really be summed up dogmatically. What we say in words is communicated by that which flows through us, and an attentive awareness will soon recognize the strength, direction and effect of that which flows through us.

In a word, the Holy Spirit flows through us, if we allow and co-operate. Yet we tend to get too solid with thoughts, perceptions, blockades of belief, using our very gift of awareness to limit growth of conscience. We become self-oriented. We get greedy. We are fearful of losing family, of being rejected by the tribe. We dwell on pleasures.

In the world of industry, commerce and business we don't speak of the Holy Spirit. We speak of EQ, NLP, coaching and mentoring, and a variety of strategies to invest in human capital. There are so many solutions that choosing one can become a problem in itself. Here's a short cut: appreciate the gift of attention by slowing it down to feel, sense and acknowledge the sense of presence that attention provides. That sense of presence is mysterious because you will soon learn that more than you is present, if you keep on attending.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

How to go viral in 7 easy steps.

1. Pique curiosity.
2. Deepen curiosity so that it becomes fascination.
3. Maintain fascination so that it becomes an emotional habit.
4. Create buzzwords that are also fuzzwords to explain the emotional habit without really explaining it.
5. Maintain this confusion about knowing without really knowing what you think you know because you feel that you know, and you don't wany anyone to take this feeling away.
6. Take this to the next level by declaration: "the next level is here..."
7. You're the leader of the next level. Congratulations and keep it up. When the levels level out, go sideways and make up more words to keep ahead.


Monday 7 January 2013

The "bio" of biofocusing

Life. Alive. Living. Livingness. Participating in living. Being conscious that although mortal, consciousness never dies. Aware that living this life  is not only a once-off but a single movement in eternal dance.

I am always amazed that humans stop so short at realizing what lies in the palm of the hand: that everything is there, within, and neglected mostly out of ignorance.

I once stood in for a reverend friend who has now gone to heaven, and preached a sermon on "Participating in the life of God".  I began by telling the congregation about my Irish friend who refused to get out of bed on Easter Saturday because on that day, as he said, God is dead and we're waiting for the resurrection before we dare to go about our business again.

That was to get their attention. The real point was that living is a gift that is way beyond our sense of control or genesis, and has very much more to it than seventy years of experience and wisdom. Science boggles at trying to work out how to work it out but intuition knows pretty shrewdly how quickly connections and meanings are created when we focus on humbling ourselves in the eternal scheme of things rather than elevating ourselves in respect of temporary greed and self-importance.

Ecological intelligence goes beyond hugging trees: this planet is a living system that connects the solar system and the Milky Way with a quantum system that's become a buzzword for connecting with that which is spiritual, and human consciousness is the bridge. Physicists, preachers, philosophers, poets - any profession, art, or trade - our common goal is to cross the bridge and return intact with a message that is singularly and collectively convincing.

We'll struggle with words, and disagree on stories: our attitudes and actions will fail or convince. From that human core, the living one that forms and informs the verbal balancing trick, our real intentions flow.