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The MythoSelf Experience
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Monday, 31/05/2010

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Tuesday, 22/12/2009

The Collected Papers of Joseph Riggio

MythoSelf Morphology 302

The Mythosphere (and the Model) …

Author’s Note: This is the last in a series of papers on the morphology of the Mythogenic Self™ Process model … of its kind. Specifically these papers have discussed the internal form and operating structure of the model. Beginning with the roots of the model historically and progressing through structure and application from a high-level overview of the theoretical and pragmatic foundations. My intention has been to shed some light on the model and expose it in full form to those who are interested beyond personal application, and especially to those who pursue excellence and mastery of the form itself.

The next installment in this series will begin to explore and expose the application to and in group settings. This will apply to both personal development and organizational development contexts. In addition I intend to embed these future papers in the series with “Trainer’s Notes” … only some of which will be explicit.

The Mythogenic Self Process model (MythoSelf) is just that – a model of a process which addresses the mythogenic, or “myth-making” nature of the individual. As noted in previous articles on the MythoSelf-tm elist and papers in this series included there this work has many precedents and predecessors including the “Generative Imprint™” Model designed by Roye Fraser, NLP, Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” Model, philosopher and philosophical antecedents, as well as others too numerous to mention here again. Yet what remains most constant are the fundamental principals of the model.

1.      A positive bias – this is the most basic concept of the “Generative Imprint” Model, i.e.: sorting for and from the “excitatory” bias vs. the “inhibitory” bias. This singular idea made manifest in the form and structure of Roye’s “Generative Imprint” Model is sublime in its simplicity and impact.

2.      A teleological orientation – organizing around a future-held projection “intended” by the individual AND in relation to the context in which it is to occur.

3.      GDS (Generalized Desired State) – this again is a concept lifted whole-form from the “Generative Imprint” Model which suggests a “baseline” state that is held in a particular neurological configuration established and held by an “iconic symbolic representation” (the “Generative Imprint”).  From this state “anything is possible” and a pervasive sense of wellbeing and readiness are present. This is the essence of the excitatory bias.

4.      GTS (Greater Than Self) – this is a “position” that is held which places the individual in context related to “something” larger than themselves which further establishes their sense of themselves. The something referred to is external to the individual, e.g.: another person, their family, nature, the cosmos, G-d … It is only in relation to this position that the individual can truly come to know themselves and also establish and sustain a directionality in their lives.

5.      INTENT – this term is used very specifically in the MythoSelf model to mean, “… the oscillation between the GDS and GTS which establishes a directionality which is itself teleological.” When a person has and holds their “INTENT” they are operating in relation to themselves at their best and in relation to that which is Greater Than Self as well. It is a functional position from which all decisions are made based on the form, “Match/Mismatch” that asks of the decision “Will this more or less allow me to sustain my INTENT?” As such the INTENT is a self-organizing, self-referencing position making it a cybernetic operating orientation of the individual (or organization – more on this to follow).

6.      Ontology/Ontological – the entire MythoSelf model is built on the premise of ontology being the prime organizing principal of the individual. The suggestion is that an individual’s “way of being” or “state of being” is a priori to all other considerations. Simply put prior to anything other first the individual exists … in a very unique and particular way of being that they are. While this may seem self evident most systems of learning and development are epistemologically based, including NLP and almost all of its other “children.” To my knowledge only the “father” of the MythoSelf model, the “Generative Imprint” and the MythoSelf model itself are truly ontologically organized, i.e.: put ontology above/before epistemology.

7.      Somatically Based – as would follow the conceptual premise of an ontologically based model the MythoSelf model is also somatically (vs. cognitively) based. The premise here being, the physical form of the individual exists before the cognitive form and directly impacts any cognition and therefore cognitive form or consideration that may come from it. In this regard the model first seeks to establish the somatic form and track that to the cognitive form which flows from it.

8.      Sensory Representation – this concept is as taken from the NLP model. The essence of it being that the individual holds all conscious thought in sensory based forms or configurations, i.e.: configurations of sights, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes, by which they know the world to be. In the NLP model, and the MythoSelf model from that, the basis of an individual’s epistemology (what they know and believe) is based in these sensory representations and the configuration they are organized into. These configuration have two or three specifically interesting characteristics from the point of view of the model – a) they have a syntax or “order” to them, b) they have sub-components or elements of which they are comprised themselves, i.e.: submodalities (see Richard Bandler, “Using Your Brain for a Change” and Richard Bandler and Will McDonald, “An Insider’s Guide to Submodalities”), and c) a locality or locational preference in which they are accessed and held.

9.      Descriptive Modeling – this refers to the overwhelming tendency for humans to label and describe their sensory experience. This tendency is the root of the mythological form or the “story” (“stories”) from which they live out their lives. There are basic structural components to these descriptions which form the orientation an individual takes as they move through the world and through their life. These forms are well described by Joseph Campbell in “Hero with a Thousand Faces” and the “Hero’s Journey” model that he offers within his life’s work. Fundamental to this premise is the concept of a “Call to Adventure” and the structure that adventure takes. Within the model this form is used to process the descriptive elements of the individual’s personal mythological form.

10.     External Orientation – the model presupposes that the individual operating at their best and in relation to that which is Greater Than Self, i.e.: holding their INTENT, will organize their attention externally, to the outside where information is entering the system.

11.     Omni-Holographic Awareness – within the model there is the drive to establish a fully represented state of being in which the awareness of the individual in addition to being tuned externally is also fully open with regard to all sensory modalities (vision, hearing, touch/feeling, smell, taste) and full-brain access which bypasses both linearity and causality. This state is a fully in-time access position with references to both through and between time considerations. There is a direct and open access to all brain functionality, i.e.: cortical access and processing, cerebellum access and processing, brain stem access and processing, limbic access and process … A person with this orientation will exhibit a profound relaxed readiness and an impulse to action from within a quiet and still ready state. This is the stance of mastery.
12.     WholeForm Preference – the model orients to whole form and synthesis operating in a multi-level, multi-channel way. The unfolding of experience is taken as it comes for what it is within the omni-holographic consideration and without dissection.

13.     Topological Consideration – the MythoSelf model is topologically organized. The points of reference in the model are considered in relation to one another and what is not yet present forming a topological landscape that can be referenced, utilized and modified. This landscape can be referred to as the “Frame of Reference” and is typically dependent in form upon a singularity, the “Reference Point.” Ultimately the model seeks to collapse individual experience into the reference point making the entire topological form into a singularity experienced in a moment of space-time … moment to moment to moment. An example of the topological form is the difference between the concepts of a “Timeline” and a “Timescape.” On a time line “time” flows linearly forward and/or backward or stands still. In a timescape time is held three dimensionally and in relation to the space to which it is organized which then is the context of experience.

While these thirteen points form the basis of the model in whole they are only a cursory examination of what is present within the model itself. It is not any of these points in isolation that makes the model a model, but rather the totality of the thirteen points taken simultaneously in relation to one another that form the essence of what the model is and how it operates. 

Anyone desiring to function in the capacity of a MythoSelf Facilitator or MythoSelf Trainer would have to first be competent in operating each of these aspects of the model independently and then in concert, orchestrating a seamless structure within which to weave the movement of the individual through the experience of themselves in relation to the singularity referenced in point thirteen. Only when this is possible is it possible to say that an individual has experienced the MythoSelf model. 

Probably the greatest attribute required to hold the form intact (INTENT) is the ability to operate the description within which it is held. This is both deceptively easy to do and alarmingly challenging. From a particular point of view the description is literally the linguistically/symbolically held mythology of the individual. This is their description of who they are, what is important and what they are becoming (as well as their descriptions of what and how the world “is”). Ordinarily this description is held as a “storyline,” a dynamic unfolding. The themes of mythology and the “Hero’s Journey” are evident in these descriptions. The individual is a character in a plot of their own design … “The world is a stage …” Yet this plot while seemingly and actually their own is massively influenced by the descriptions fed into the individual throughout their lives, including at any current moment of their ongoing experience. And there are also seemingly critical points of development where the individual is particularly susceptible to input that shapes the descriptions they hold. 

What makes the process of accessing, utilizing and modifying (if appropriate) the description held (i.e.: the personal mythology) particularly easy is that it is held in linguistic/symbolic forms which are familiar and recognizable to most users of that particular language and culture. What makes it challenging is that it is also held somatically, pre- and post-verbally as well. In addition a significant part of the mythology hasn’t happened yet. The “core” of the mythology held by the individual is in regard to what they are becoming.

All of this occurs in the context of a swirling mélange of mythologies, all competing and interacting for the attention of the individual at any given moment in time and space. Further the identification with any of them, including the one held by the individual, traps the individual into the consideration of the unfolding of experience from within that particular storyline. That is we seem most capable of making sense of what has and is unfolding in relation to what we’ve identified with thereby recreating the necessary elements for that story that we’ve identified with to unfold proving itself “true” to us … and further reinforcing this dynamic cycle.

So what do most models and processes recommend … “Get a better story!” If only you could find the “one” that fits and is “real” … then you’d be okay. Yet this is just another iteration of the same story, mainly because you can only pick those stories which make sense from the story you’re already living.

Within the MythoSelf model we accept the premise of the “Story” governing most of our lives. Yet we don’t advocate “getting it right.” What we advocate is getting that it is a story. And getting that you’ll most likely always have one going on. What you can also have is an ongoing awareness that a story is going on and you can choose the story for what it is … a story … that most serves the “becoming” that you are. This creates malleability in functionality at the cognitive and behavioral level that presents the opportunity where anything becomes possible. (Recommended: “Einstein’s Dreams”)

However the model also recognizes that this malleability could in its extreme generate a centerless, groundless chaos where what is desired is a life lived in wholeform. The ground then is the pre- and post-verbal center of the individual, i.e.: the ontological position they hold. This is organized somatically both before and after the cognitive, conscious act of accessing the descriptions held and organized to. The somatic basis then forms the decision-making center of the individual and organizes to form a center from which both balance and directionality are held firm. The continuity of this center forms the basis for integrity in the individual.

The only constant then is the integrity held without compromise. All other functions can be accessed, utilized and modified at will. As long as the “check” is from this center the individual is assured of being in relation themselves and the teleological projection they hold in regard to their becoming. This is organized in relation to that which is Greater Than Self and keeps the individual in contextuality.

The power of the process is the ability to both simultaneously access, hold and address the description as it is formed and generated linguistically/symbolically and to access, hold and address the form and structure that resides outside of the description as it is known consciously to the individual and most others interacting with them. The form and structure that is outside of conscious awareness is a function of the non-verbal processing of information in omni-holographic form. This requires a relationship with the unconscious processes with which the information is processed outside of language, i.e.: linguistic/symbolic form. The MythoSelf Facilitator then has to hold this awareness regardless of the level of awareness of the individual in relation to the omni-holographic form. In relation to groups the MythoSelf Trainer has to hold this awareness for the entire group and the form the group and the individuals comprising it create. This is an exponential function of awareness in relation to the awareness required in working with a single individual. (Note: This is more readily understood in relation to the concept of “topology”)

Then in working with an individual or group the MythoSelf Facilitator/Trainer assists them in organizing to a mythology that is most useful to them in attaining their becoming. This mythology has to be organized in relation to the mythologies that it will operate within and in relation to. This larger frame of mythologies that form the context within which the individual experiences themselves is the “mythosphere.” The mythosphere is ubiquitous and potent. The influence of the mythosphere is inevitable. There is no reality that does not include other. As long as there is “other” there is a mythosphere. The form of the mythosphere will determine what we “know” and “believe” at any moment in space-time, and to a large extent the course of the actions and events of human affairs. Yet the mythosphere is only the compilization of the individual myths that comprise it. When these myths are changed, even one, the entire mythosphere must shift in response.

Ultimately, when an individual becomes able to recognize and choose the personal mythology they are operating out of and from they begin to shift the mythosphere. First this shift is proximetric and in relation to their position topologically, but ultimately the shift radiates outwords without end – both eternally and infinitely. The range of the impact is unlimited, yet the potency of the signal is significant. While any level of signal that can be discerned is “enough” the sensitivity of the receivers is dependent upon the general level of “noise” in the system. The higher the “noise” level the stronger the signal must be to activate the system to be received. As the “noise” in the system increases the sensitivity of the receivers is turned down to minimize the intrusion of the irrelevant information. The capability of the individual to extend the range of their effective signal in the mythosphere is what we refer to as the “Scope of Decision” (a topic of future articles on organizational application).

However in the immediate proximity of the individual the mythosphere is inexorably changed. Those within immediate contact of the individual must shift in response to the impact on the mythosphere within which and in relation to they are operating. The “world” for all intent and purpose has changed. Again simply put the only way we seem to make meaning is in relation to the story within which we are operating, when this story changes any meaning we make changes in response. The mythosphere determines what any and all of these individual stories mean and a shift in the mythosphere immediately and profoundly impact each and every story contained within it. This then is the power the individual has to make a shift in their world. 

When the individual is aware in an omni-holographic way they begin to use their mythology, and upon the dissolution of their identification with it cease to be used by it. Yet at any and all times and spaces they are in relation to “other” and will be impacted by the mythosphere. Any and all attempts to interact with “other” requires a sensitivity to the mythosphere and a sensitivity to the personal mythology in place as well Only then does it become possible to interact in relation to what is becoming as opposed to what has been or even is now.

So once again I hope this proves to helpful in illuminating the structure and form of the Mythogenic Self Process model, especially as to the intention of its operation and application. Also, I hope that it makes even more clear the relationship to and differences from other models and approaches to human interaction and performance. The overall intention of the model of course is to create a position from which the individual can first experience and then become themselves, then after this to provide a platform for interacting in the world from this position without compromise. While it is highly obliged to and even dependent upon its predecessor’s and antecedents the model clearly isn’t any of them – for whatever that means for the faults and foibles that it contains, as well as the opportunities and possibilities it creates.

In closing I’d like to add only one additional point – the essence of the mode is the exploration and continuation of the journey into what we hold to be the community of the human experience. This community before almost all else within this experience is sacred.

Best regards,
Joseph Riggio

Copyright 2001 Joseph Riggio Applied Behavioral Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved, may not be copied or distributed by any means, including mechanical, photographic or electronic without express prior written permission.

"Generative Imprint" is a trademark of Roye Fraser of NLP America/Blue Dell Systems and is wholly owned by him. Mythogenic Self and MythoSelf are trademarks of Joseph Riggio of Applied Behavioral Technologies, Inc. and are wholly owned by him.

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