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The MythoSelf Experience
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The Collected Papers of Joseph Riggio

MythoSelf Morphology 202

Hello again folks,

I've been working on the working model and I've refined a few of the steps as I understand and utilize them so I thought I'd pass along some of my recent thoughts to the group.

Before I can go forward I think I it would make some sense to first go back. It is useful in understanding what I'm writing about to remember as you read it that it is a model based in the technology that comes out of the NLP model. It is not necessarily limited to this model (NLP) however it is definitely grounded in it. What this means in terms of influence is that many of the assumptions critical to the NLP model are relevant to this model as well. I hesitate to use the terminology "presuppositions" because there are many of the presuppositions spoken of within NLP that do not apply and this terminology tends to cause some readers to think wholesale with regard to the presuppositions of NLP as they're often spoken of.

A momentary tangential comment - I believe that the presuppositions of NLP are context dependent and do not apply everywhere or with everyone. I think the presupposition that they do is one of the gravest errors made in NLP circles and thinking, especially when they are used as a defense.

The assumptions in NLP that apply to the model as I use them include:

1. All experience is sensory based.

2. Experience is almost immediately translated into ‘semantic forms' representing sensory experience - language.

3. Every person does this process of responding to and coding experience in a subjective manner unique to the individual.

4. All experience is held in the body-mind in simultaneity.

This is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather a good starting point to consider what follows.

A basis assumption of the model I refer to as the MythoSelf is that behavior is contextually driven. That is that the perception of and response to information is contextually sensitized. The context always includes the environmental information present and perceptually available. For individuals the internal ontological construct informs them about the meaning of events and information. In interactional settings (i.e.: settings in which interaction occurs between individuals) it is the social construct that informs the individuals who participate in it what the events and information within it mean.

So there is a primary context by which events and information are conditioned - the ontological construct. And there are secondary contexts which condition the meaning of events and information as well, including the social construct as in interactional settings. In this use "conditioning" of events and information refers to "perceptual conditioning," the process by which perception occurs and "semantic conditioning," where meaning is created and applied - the semantic form.

The MythoSelf model assumes a pre-semantic form of perception of the events and information that is available to the individual as well. This pre-semantic form is closer to the direct perception of the events and information within the context than the semantic form. The pre-semantic form is also conditioned by the ontological construct with regard to perception of the incoming events and information (perceptual conditioning), and occurs prior to the semantic conditioning. This pre-semantic form is held somatically as a neurological condition of the body system, which includes direct sensory representations that exist before language. This includes symbolic representations as they are encountered, prior to semantic conditioning - this could be referred to as the "gestalt experience" of symbolic representation.
What is also assumed in this model is that the ontological construct informs the epistemology. That is to say that the ontology of the individual determines the individual's epistemological structure. The epistemological structure is the form by which the individual knows things. The semantic form is in turn determined by the individual's epistemology. Following this assumption of the model meaning only exists for the individual in relation to the ontological configuration they hold.

What the MythoSelf model aims at is a deliberate methodology for choosing the ontological configuration held and influencing that configuration in the direction of choice. In order to accomplish this aim the model must have the means to evoke the ontological configuration explicitly and also the means to influence the configuration held.

The MythoSelf model holds that the ontological configuration is held in somatic memory and reinforced semantically. The overlap of these forms - a Soma-Semantic form - can be extrapolated and made manifest from the behavioral acts of the individual, including speech acts using neurolinguistic modeling.

Using this information the ontological configuration can be influenced by deliberately shifting the Soma-Semantic form held. As it is utilized and understood within the MythoSelf model this form, the Soma-Semantic form, can be represented as a mythological construct. A mythological construct informs by way of isomorphic representation, usually in the form of symbol, metaphor, narrative, story, ritual and/or tradition. The MythoSelf seeks to uncover the personal mythology of the individual and when and how appropriate to influence it. The intention is to generate a deep alignment of the individual with their sense of their relationship to the larger system in which they participate, both in relation to time and space, including others.

The result of this alignment is a larger "decision scope," the scope of decision the individual applies to their acts. This is the distance from themselves considered in terms of the consequences of their actions in time and space, including others. The means of generating the alignment and the larger "scope of decision" is the building of a greater awareness of the personal mythology that the individual is living from as an operating position as well as the deeper ontological configuration held as a Soma-Semantic form, especially in relation to the larger system in which the individual participates. The larger system in which the individual participates is referred to in the MythoSelf model as, the GTS - that which is Greater Than Self.

The tools used in uncovering the Soma-Semantic configuration and the associated mythological configuration are collectively referred to as, Soma-Semantic Modeling. Soma-Semantic Modeling begins with an astute awareness of the ontology of the "modeller" and the Soma-Semantic form and mythological configuration associated with it. This is a hyperconscious perceptual awareness of self. Then this hyperconscious awareness is extended to include the other individual(s) beginning with an attending to the shifts within the Soma-Semantic form of the modeller in relation to interactions as they occur. The Soma-Semantic Modeller also notices with a high degree of astuteness the shifts in the somatic and semantic configuration of the individuals within the interaction at the most minute possible perceptual degree - we refer to this as adumbration.

Those familiar with NLP are also probably familiar with the concept and skill of calibration - tracking the sensory information available about another as "minimal cues" and linguistic representations as well as the changes to this information. Adumbration is the ability to calibrate what hasn't happened yet, yet is most likely to happen based on the pattern of events that have most recently unfolded. This ability to foreshadow the future is the definition of adumbration.

We agree with E.T. Hall (American Anthropologist) that adumbration is a biological capability of higher mammals, especially those that are social by nature. We also agree with his evaluation that this capability has mostly been lost in deference to dependence on "extensions" including language.

When the only component being tracked as containing the information in the interaction is the linguistic or symbolic representation, the information that is present neurologically in the biological response becomes unavailable, often time leading to violent misunderstanding. (Hall - The Hidden Dimension).

The MythoSelf model emphasizes an appreciation and awareness of the adumbrative sense. The methodology of adumbration is a fundamental part of the MythoSelf facilitator's and trainer's training. Using this skill the context that instigates a shift in the ontological configuration can be framed before the conscious awareness of the individual experiencing the MythoSelf process becomes informed about the contextual shift. In this way the attention of the individual experiencing the MythoSelf process is directed in such a way as to shift the ontological configuration to adapt to the context they find themselves operating within.

In this shifting of the attention the structure of the ontology of the individual is taken into account so that the new contextual form matches it isomorphically. This is done in relation to the larger system in which the individual is participating - including their intent in regard to it. The result of this contextual framing and the subsequent shift to a greater alignment of the individual to their GTS and their intent with regard to it, is that it instigates is a deep sense of satisfaction and pervasive well-being in the individual experiencing it. There is an accompanying sense of possibility and "readiness" from which the individual is capable of extraordinary acts of intentional behavioral competency.

After multiple exposures to this way of being, the ontological configuration that is aligned with the GTS, the individual begins to operate in relation to sustaining and intensifying their awareness of this ontology of choice. They begin to make decisions in relation this ontological configuration and the impact their decisions will have on it. At this point their scope of decision includes the ontological configuration which is in relation to the GTS.

© 2000 - Copyright 2000, Joseph Riggio and Applied Behavioral Technologies, Inc. May not be reproduced or distributed in whole or in part by any means including but not limited to mechanical or electronic without the prior express written permission.

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