The importance of starting conditions

Virtually everyone thinks they have to be ready before they can go and do something and achieve a successful result. But they don’t know how to get ready as getting ready is too much work, there’s too many things to do before they are ready… At some point they may try to fix this process by buying books about organising themselves (David Allens’s GTD or Getting Things Done approach is fabulous by the way) or want to be more in the now so listen to stuff by Eckhart Tolle or other guru’s. But somehow never get there.

The reason why this doesn’t work is that the path or route these people are using to try to get there is an epistemological path. This means they’re trying to think there way there. And it’s not somewhere you can get to by thinking.

For those who know the Graves model (which is also known as Spiral Dynamics) get that to go up a level it’s a matter of transformation or evolution (remember Claire Graves model is an evolutionary model) not translation which is what most people do and what most personal development systems offer. So yes NLP, hypnosis etc., it’s all about getting you to think differently.

So how do you do this transformation?

The answer is that you have to give up everything you know that is true about yourself. These are all the markers of your current identity, what tells you who you are. They’re are held in your body, wound into your somatics. Some people might say that’s your unconscious, and yes it’s certainly true that you are unconscious of those markers.

The film the Matrix is a contemporary story of the search. The search for how you wake up, what some people might call enlightenment. Neo’s searching for Morpheus because he has the answer. Many people are searching for some guru, some enlightened teacher to tell them what to do. That they need to train long and painfully to get themselves ready to reach enlightenment.

But that’s not how it is. It’s just the next step. Think of what you were like at half your current age… You didn’t think about things the way you think about them now do you? In fact you’re probably amused at the way you used to think and be at that young age.

How you take that next step is you just do. The step into the unknown. Joseph Campbell calls this the leap of faith. It’s that step off the ledge that Indiana Jones takes in the film The Last Crusade, where it seems like certain death, there’s no way forward, it’s totally impossible to get where you want to go.

But in the end that’s what this is all about, doing the impossible. Because it’s only impossible for you, the YOU, you currently are. This is working in the domain of the transpersonal, this is transformation, and it’s as easy as taking the next step and becoming who you are becoming. Orienting not within the limitations of cause and effect, not stuck there but orienting teleologically, with who you’re becoming being the cause of what you do, what draws you to becoming who you want to be.

But that’s for next time :-)