Bullet Brain, Liquid Soul: A new metaphor and a strategy for empowering your humanity and improving your results
The title you see for this LEAP!psych item is the one I used for an article that appeared in the January, 2016 (Vol. 3, No. 1), edition of Assumption University of Thailand (Bangkok) business school’s ODI Journal.
I used the much appreciated invitation by the journal’s editors to talk about how new ways of tracking changes in human thinking perceptual, belief-forming and decision-making skills began to emerge in the 1950s.
In the abstract I wrote to accompany the article, I noted that Dr. Paul Kordis and I took a look at those changes in the late 1980s and concluded that the work of the late Clare W. Graves, a pioneering American evolutionary psychologist, towered above the field.
Dr. Graves’ model of a stair-step path to mental, emotional and spiritual maturity that is closely tied to how a person’s brain develops became a major basis for our best-selling book, Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World. (See cover at right. The book is now available as an ebook.) What has not been widely understood is how—or why—we created our model of the carp, shark, pseudo-enlightened carp and dolphin mindsets or belief/value systems. That’s what this article helps to explain.
Here are a few highlights from the article:
Metaphors are shortcuts, quick ways to get people’s imaginations and understandings across bridges that—as a cartoon I saw depicted it—“can only be accessed from the other side.” I invented my metaphor of the dolphin for just this reason. To help my fellow and sister participants on the planet grasp something important and do it in a hurry. That “something” is the idea that human thinking and consciousness are in play, and evolving—along with their technologies—rapidly. That people and organizations failing to notice this, and act on it—who failed to do something different—could be seriously at risk.
At its most basic, [the dolphin mindset] is a consequence of your brain having wired itself in a new way so that it is less, much less, of a Rube Goldberg when it comes to representing the “outside” world to itself and deciding what it means. And that’s a justifiable way of characterizing all our perceptions and interactions with “reality” in the outer world: Rube Goldberg-type outcomes cobbled together by a process that one learned observer, confining himself merely to the process that we call sight, has called “the end product of chopping, coding, long-distance transmission, neural guesswork and editable cut and paste.”Users of the dolphin mindset have either taken a goodly amount of guesswork out of deciding what is happening in the outer world or else have an advantage in being able to ascertain what kind of guessing is going on and how much faith to put in what the brain concludes. What difference does this make? Well, think of attempting to climb a ladder in total, continuous darkness and then having the advantage of at least occasional illumination.
How does your brain manage to find itself rewired so that it is entitled to call itself a dolphin’s brain? That topic is worthy of several chapters—or books!—in itself. [That's the cover to one of those books at left. You can read more about all of them here.] But for now, perhaps the most succinct answer I can give is that the brain of a dolphin-in-training achieves the payoff we are describing because somewhere along the way it succeeded in putting itself squarely in the widest available path of advancing life.
Users of the dolphin mindset are by no means totally shielded from bad consequences, or even poor judgment. But where the dolphin swims, the odds of an outcome that is positive or at least little threat to the user of the dolphin mindset substantially exceed the odds for participants whose dolphin “headware” has not been activated.
The mindset of the dolphin first announced itself to a few astute observers in the 1950s. Over the decades, it began to qualify as a paradigm. The dolphin’s openness to new perspectives and the interrelatedness of things has, in a very short time, begun to revamp our understanding of our world and ourselves on a breathtaking scale. But even in the 21st Century, it is still unfamiliar to most individuals, no matter how high their I.Q., how well pedigreed or educated or how savvy and ambitious.
[For the moment] you are probably best advised to be cautious with whom you speak about what it is like to be in your very own shiny, efficient, options-filled cockpit of new personal controls, decision-making skills and people-analyzing proficiencies. But you are well within your rights and the evidence that there is something fresh and exciting afoot in the human experience.
[You can view the entire article here (you will need to register as a user, but it only takes a moment to do that). If you have comments, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]