Story and Evolution
Ever since leaving the homeland of Africa, Homo Sapiens have spent 60,000 to 70,000 years navigating the vast unknown territory on Earth. We have sailed expansive oceans, traversed arid deserts, climbed snow-clad mountains and trekked endless prairies. Today, humans have not only set their footprints on but also mapped almost every corner of the Earth, from the South to North Pole, from the deepest cavern 7200 ft. under the ground, to the 28,000 ft. high summit of Everest. Today, a new journey is quietly picking up speed along a new dimension. Along this dimension we become conscious of our evolution as a global entity.
There are many frameworks to guide the journey along consciousness evolution. Each offers its unique gift. Here is the kind of voyage empowered by Resonance Code. Imagine turning your attention to the part of you that is watching and recording the events in your life. Imagine this part of you is now connected to a technology that can reconstitute your memories into movie footage. At selected, important scenes, you will record your thoughts, sensory experience, feelings, and impulses. You will interview people around you, your family, friends, partners, people against whom you hold grudges or resentments, and those who have been impacted by your work or your being. These interviews constitute second- and third-person perspectives of your life story. This giant database of raw footage will enable you to observe your own evolutionary trajectory.
Observing this raw footage is the first step. What if you want to compose these raw materials into a story for an audience? Who is the audience you most want to tell this story to? Your children? Future generations who have yet to come? Deceased ancestors? Non-human beings? Spiritual beings? Loved ones or strangers? What kind of story do you want to compose? Will it be a hero’s or heroine’s story? Will it be comical or sentimental? Will it focus on romance, adventure or a satisfying project? Will it flow like twisting, churning rapids or a peaceful, gracious river?
Now, imagine a group of people, a family, village, nation or an organization, composing stories for the collective entity they belong to … will a coherent story emerge?
The coherent story a group of people carries is a live entity. All existing cultures started with stories that cohered a group of people and sustained their journeys through history. Through these journeys, the archetypal stories continue to multiply as fractal versions through sub-communities and individuals. Story provides vision, purpose and emotional resonance. Our actions and choices constantly edit existing stories and write new ones. In Resonance Code work, we develop a capacity to become aware of the storyline that threads through our life or a community’s life, so we can participate in “editing” or even “composing” our life story through our creative actions and choices. The practice we are doing in the Voyage course, including journaling in KairoScope, recording our social and physical environment, analyzing the situation and our inner experience via 5-Phase, are all oriented towards that. For advanced practice, these techniques can be used towards building communities. Hexagram reading is essentially a system through which we can organize this large database into 64 archetypal patterns of change. (More about this later.)
Story differentiates our work from other types of human development work that are more focused on stage-wise progression. In our work, our focus is not on typing or advancing towards higher developmental stages, although studying the stages and types offered by various developmental models will greatly sharpen our perception and provide rich language and inspiration for our work. Our focus is surrendering oneself to the experience of traveling along the unknown dimension of consciousness, and seeking creative relationships with those who show up on our journey, including those who present us with insurmountable difficulty.
In this regard, our approach may complement a weakness of stage or progress-oriented approaches. Since Trump’s election, I have experienced many people in the progressive circle feeling despondent, angry and triggered. Once Joe and I were at a party where we told our progressive friends that we just came back from visiting Joe’s family in Western Pennsylvania, who are all Trump voters. One woman turned to us solemnly and said, “I am so sorry to hear that.” She didn’t know that we had a deeply fulfilling experience there. Yes, there was high-voltage tensions around our differences. Yet, channeling that voltage into intimacy and vulnerability was extremely satisfying and exhilarating. I experienced just as much humanity, beauty and mystery in Joe’s family as my progressive friends. And I see that both sides are limited by the lens through which they insist on viewing the other side.
From Resonance Code’s perspective, we see Trump and other populist-right movements as a timely, yet unconscious expression of a powerful surge of evolutionary impulses. (I will build towards the articulation of that evolutionary impulse within the framework of Resonance Code.) To the degree the expression is unconscious, it is disruptive and dangerous. To the degree that those of us on the other side feel despair, stuck and powerless, we are equally unconscious to that evolutionary impulse. Illuminating and tuning to this impulse presents us with another option. We can then ask how to offer the right vehicle to express this impulse consciously and channel it creatively? The conscious expression will naturally deflate and weaken the power of the unconscious expression. We will come back to these discussions down the road. For now, we focus on presenting the maps associated with Resonance Code.
What does it take to travel?
All travelers exploring unmapped, unknown territories need to address two questions. First, how does one move about? Second, how does one navigate?
- Movement: how do we move from one position to the next?
In physical space, we move our body from one location to the next, either empowered by our own muscle or various transportation means. In traveling the unknown dimension of consciousness, we move our sense of “self” from one locus to the next. Only here the means of travel is not by airplane or car, but by responsive and creative actions, as we have discussed extensively in the Five-Phase work.
However, when we act out of Reactive Patterns, even if we travel around the whole world, we are repeating the same movements at the same “place” of consciousness. The repetition of Reactive Patterns is important and necessary to prepare us well for important maneuvers at a future time. Yet, sometimes we may feel like we are a hamster caught on a wheel. We simply forget how to stop. Or we resist the awkwardness of stumbling around when we first step off. We might be horrified to discover that some part of ourself has been crippled since we have been caught by the wheel for so long. We become the prisoners of our fear, resistance and inertia.
In the first part of this Voyage course, some of you have already experienced how Five-Phase and Feelingwork enabled one’s sense of self to make powerful strides as a whole being, with feeling, sensing, thinking, acting, and encoding faculties all interconnected and coordinated. In that sense, Five-Phase and Feelingwork are our power vehicles that allow graceful movement across this terrain. Proficiency in using these vehicles will come with practice.
Fractal Representative helps us to name elements within the Unknown that just start to make contact with our known self. In forming the Fractal Representative, the known self and elements of the Unknown can experiment with new dynamics and relationships, setting conditions for integration.
- Navigation – Where is the home base? Where are we in the space?
Nowadays, most of us have a GPS installed on our phone or in the car. When we move through the physical space, we constantly get a reading about the direction of our movement in relationship with the cardinal axes of the landscape we are traveling through. A hexagram reading is essentially a navigational device for our travel through consciousness.
In ancient China, I-Ching was used as a reference book for governors and emperors to decide on issues relating with a tribe or a country. Why, in modern times in the west, it has mostly been a solitary or recreational practice for individuals? That is because the territory of consciousness that the I-Ching was applied to was very different in ancient China than in the modern west. The self I-Ching spoke to in ancient China was fluid and changing like the ocean. This self was constantly in intimate contact with its external context. The self I-Ching has been entertaining in the modern west is much more fixed and solid as land. Encased within its own membrane, it is more concerned about its internal environment.
Imagine a navigational device for sailing that reports positions in longitude and latitude and takes into account of ocean currents and wind. It may be fun and exciting to play with for travelers in a city neighborhood, but provides only limited practical use. In this sense, Five-Phase and Feelingwork are powerful vessels enabling a modern person to travel through that fluid, powerful or even chaotic territory of self, and charting a new direction between ancient China and the modern west.
Our ancestors who set foot onto unexplored territory learned to orient themselves by observing the relative position of the sun, moon, and stars. In doing that, they also created rudimentary maps. With these maps, they could locate resources around their home base, avoid dangerous or difficult terrain, and keep exploring new directions that boded new potentials. Most importantly, they would not get lost in their excursions into the Unknown. Orienting themselves was critical to ensure they could always come back to a home base, where they could find sustenance, comfort, share each other’s stories by the camp fire, and prepare themselves for the next leg of journey.
Human consciousness, especially in the last 300 years, propelled by industrialization and modern technologies, has launched an all-out, full-speed sprint towards progress. We have achieved the pinnacle of technological development, conquering resources from one continent to another. At the same time, we are also at the brink of destroying our home base, the ecosystem of Earth. In our Voyage, the kind of exploration we are taking focuses on re-establishing the home base in human hearts, and exploring this question, how do we cultivate progress and development in harmonious coordination with our home base?
In our work, we return to the home base of human consciousness by entering through the portals of senses and feelings. In our ascent to the summit of technological achievement, the sensing and feeling capacities of our consciousness have been suppressed by the collective choice to privilege rational thought and the predict-and-control paradigm. Feelingwork is a particularly powerful modality to restore these suppressed functions.
Sensing and feeling enable us to relate with each other’s story. They also enable us to tell our stories in a way that elicit others’ emotional resonance to nourish human hearts. The emotional resonance stored in the old archetypal stories of our culture is now depleting its vibrancy and vitality. In this new phase of the human journey, we need to grow and cultivate new stories for ourselves, our families and our communities around us.
Navigation: Maps and Coordinates
All stories set their stage in a place. When we tell stories of traveling along the unknown territory of consciousness, how do we define our place?
When we orient our positions on Earth, the three cardinal axes are universal markers used across all cultures. South/North is the axis around which Earth rotates itself. East/West is the axis of the Earth that rotates around the Sun. Down is the direction of Earth’s gravitational pull; up the opposite direction. These experiences of orienting oneself in a three-dimensional space are a collective legacy shared by humanity. Many of the indigenous cultures, including the ancient Chinese, honor the directions of the Earth in rituals and ceremonies.
The eight trigrams, building blocks of I-Ching hexagrams, were originally assigned to the directions of the Earth. The central philosophy of Earth-based cosmology acknowledges that the space of the natural environment and the space of collective human psyche are two systems that can be tuned in resonance with each other. Therefore, the knowledge and experience one gains from one system can inform our knowledge and experience in another. Changes made in one system can ripple into the other through resonance. Shamans are essentially individuals who are trained to “tune” these two systems through their individual consciousness. Practices like Feng Shui or Vastu arranges the physical space to be in resonance with the space of consciousness and psyche.
However, the old language of North/South, East/West, and Up/Down is no longer sufficient to help us orient ourselves in modern life. Suppose we tell a business executive to bring more Spirit of the North into his organization. He would likely roll his eyes. We need languages that are more pertinent to everyday life in the modern context to direct our sense of self. We are not hunters and gatherers roaming through forests. Nor farmers constantly exposed to the elements. We do not have that intimate, day-in-day-out relationship with these directions anymore.
What we have instead is a life-time of experiences interacting with various social systems, cultural constructs and intellectual frameworks. These experiences provide rich resources for us to mine. In 2009, I set out to map the original nature-based language onto languages based on cultural systems, by drawing from my experience in finance, science, information technology and systems theory. These works eventually crystallized into the first version of Resonance Code, RC1.0. The guiding principle of my work is that this new language should provide a neutral description of the space within which consciousness evolution unfolds, without assigning value judgments to any directionality or dimension of the space. Just like humans have chosen to live and travel in diverse natural environments on Earth, any place in the consciousness space may be a home base or a destination, available for travelers to explore and experience.
How will I know this new language describes the space of consciousness with sufficient accuracy to be useful? The test is whether the languages of Resonance Code can yield an explanation of 64 hexagrams consistent with a large portion of the I-Ching texts. Moreover, it should allow new discoveries outside the cultural context of ancient China, thus empowering modern people of diverse backgrounds to explore innovative solutions on a global scale.
In the next essay, I will start to describe the content of Resonance Code 1.0. I am offering it as a seed of a collective effort. I hope this seed will plant itself in the body of a We-Space, where new meanings will be woven, new symbols coined, new stories shared, and poems sung. After all, that was how the current version of I-Ching was written. Practitioners of many dynasties have contributed to it. Their actual names have already dissolved into the flow of time, and yet their devotions, dreams and hard work have become the very vibrational energy surrounding the book of I-Ching, blessing its vitality through many tortuous ups and downs along Chinese history, and its adventurous journey in the West.