Introduction to the MythoSelf Process™
The MythoSelf Process was designed by Dr. Joseph Riggio in the early 1990s. It was initially based on the Generative Imprint™ model developed by Roye Fraser.
Since the original model was designed it has undergone many updates, revisions and refinements, especially those involving the use of mythic form and metaphorical language in relation to autobiographical narrative, the specificity and precision of somatic form including cerebellar processing and intelligence, and the introduction of developmental modeling based on the work of individuals like Clare W. Graves, Jane Loevenger, Robert Kegan and Ken Wilber.
Today the coaches, consultants, facilitators and trainers using the model focus on assisting individual and organization clients in creating transformational performance improvements. The typical work they do includes developing a greater range of choices and clarity in focusing on high quality outcomes and results. The approach they take is centered in building situational awareness and sensory acuity, developing state control and strategic thinking as well as behavioral flexibility leading to extraordinary communication performance and the ability to create outcomes and results on demand on their own and with others.
The Purpose Of The MythoSelf Process™
Facilitating Transformational Performance
The MythoSelf Process is designed to allow individuals trained in the process to facilitate transformational change leading to break- through performance.
NOTE: Transformational Performance Requires Fundamental Change
Changing performance requires us to change our perception, changing our perception requires us to change the symbolic/metaphorical form, changing the symbolic form requires us to re-encode sensorial experience, re-encoding sensorial experience requires us to create new sensorial imprints, creating new sensorial imprints requires creating and transcoding new direct sensory experience as a new imprint, creating a new imprint requires operating at the level of the felt sense of being.
It is also possible to access older more well-formed sensory and symbolic imprints as an option to creating new imprints as the basis of creating transformational performance.
Principals Of The MythoSelf Process™
The Seven Primary Principals Of The MythoSelf Process™
1. All experience is perceived sensorially, processed somatically and transcoded into symbolic, iconic representational form.
2. Primary sensory perceptions/projections generate somatic responses that are subse- quently perceived and encoded symbolically.
3. Symbolic, iconic representational form creates a symbolic representational logic with a somatic, semantic and syntactic structure.
4. Symbolic representational logic has an algorithmic, propositional structure that determines meaning, intention and response.
5. Symbolic representational logic is encoded and processed as metaphorical narrative using the form and structure of story.
6. Autobiographical narrative is the essential story and fundamental algorithm, change the story and change the perceptual experience.
7. Autobiographical narrative forms the ground of personal ontology and gives rise to aesthetic (sensorial) awareness/perception.
NOTE: Understanding these seven principals is essential to understanding and utilizing the Mythoself Process to facilitate Trans- formational Performance.
When these seven principals are understood individually and in relation to one another as a system, it is possible to create funda- mental, transformational change at an ontological level with individuals and groups, precipitating their ability to experience and enact breakthrough performance.
Some of What Makes the MythoSelf Process™ Unique
There are a couple of aspects to the MythoSelf Process model that make it unique.
Unique Elements of the Model
Among the most obvious are the intensive attention to somatic processing and communication, the consideration of ontological awareness as the basis of identity, the use of mythic form in the development of the autobiographical narrative, and the insistence on wholeform communication and learning.
Taken together these aspects identify the way someone trained in the MythoSelf Process model approaches their life, their work and their relationships with others. The most outstanding thing that is noticeable is the way that trained individuals tend towards sorting for what's working, rather than what isn't working. This organizes them by default to have a positive outlook and attitude, and to notice for commonalities as a starting point.
Another unique aspect of the model is the strong teleological orientation that pulls the system forward to the end point, and organizes it in relation to outcome versus circumstance or response to current evidence only. A model within the model, The Trajectory of Intent, clearly lays out the movement of action forward as influenced by information flowing from the future to the present and shaping the past in relation to itself. This way of organizing oneself or a system of individuals makes it possible to deal with high levels of uncertainty in the moment and remain highly creative in response.
One more unique aspect of the MythoSelf Process model is that it is an aesthetic model that treats sensory experience as primary and preferences it over intellectualizing experience. The experience of the sensual is essential to perceiving the data flow in the environment within the structure and form of the model. The ability to respond aesthetically as well is a critical component of performance as as described in the model.
Essential Notions of the MythoSelf Process™
There are only a few essential notions of the MythoSelf Process™:
Reality Is Extant ... It's Happening
Extant material reality contains and includes us, e.g.: "This is really here ... this is really happening." regardless of what we are aware of, perceive, or our experience of it.
Experience Creates A Felt Sense Of Being
We process sensual experiences somatically, before we encode them symbolically, and the result is experienced as a felt sense of being.
Experience Is Encoded Symbolically
We process sensual experiences somatically, and then transcode them into symbolic representations, including but not limited to words, that we encode as the experience.
Perception Is Symbolically Organized
Our encoded symbolic representations become the referential filters we use to process sensorial and imaginal experiences.
Imprints And Traumas Create Filters
Significant events are encoded symbolically as iconic, sensual/somatic, metaphorical forms that create our perceptual filters.
Perception Becomes The Ontological Filter
Reality is what is perceived as being real, which isn't necessarily a homomorphic perception of extant form or action.
Perception Is Encoded Isomorphically
Transcoding sensorial experience generates isomorphic, i.e.: symbolically matched representations, not homomorphic "same to same" forms.
Isomorphic Algorithms Generate Meaning
Isomorphic metaphors generate "this means that" algorithms, your response becomes the meaning, e.g.: your pleasure/displeasure means I have done something right/wrong.
Transformation Is Algorithmic Change
Shifting the symbolic form of the referential filter changes the fundamental perception of reality experienced and the response to it.
Perception Determines Outcome
What we perceive to be real determines the meaning we assign to what we experience and expect to experience, the outcomes we create or not rest on the perceptions we hold.
Open and Closed States in the MythoSelf Process™
The MythoSelf Process starts from the premise that you can and do choose your fundamental orientation as either open and sorting for what's working, or closed and sorting for what's not working.
Open & Closed States
The open, or excitatory state, is a state in which you are open to and available to receive new information and to process information in new ways. The closed, or inhibitory state, is a state in which you are closed to receiving new information and/or processing information in new and different ways.
Both the open/excitatory and closed/inhibitory states are neurological states, referring to how the neural systems are organized to perceive and respond to experience and the information present in relation to it.
GDS - Generalized Desired State
A fundamental organizing principal of the MythoSelf Process model is that choosing to start from an open, or excitatory, state leads to higher quality perceptions, sense making, decision making, behavior and performance, as well as producing higher quality outcomes and results overall. The most generalized desired state (GDS) is a state in which the system is organized positively in relation to possibilities and from which a pervasive sense of well being permeates the system-at-large, In this case the "system" can refer to a single individual, a relationship, a group, an organization or possibly even an entire community or society of people.
Applications of the MythoSelf Process™
Applications of the MythoSelf Process range from personal development, to professional improvement to wholesale organizational transformation.
Coaches and Consultants
Coaches and consultants using the model often work in organizational/business settings or with individuals in such settings around the topics of leadership and sales performance. They will also work with individuals and groups to improve the connection between strategy and action.
Another common application of the model is communication performance improvement. Practitioners of the model will often work with individuals to improve their verbal and non-verbal communication skills, in one to one relationships as well as in group environments such as meetings or presentations.
Some facilitators use the model to assist clients in resolving behavioral performance issues they are dealing with ranging from things like habit reformation to social anxiety issues and fears, or personal limitations like procrastination, maintaining a positive outlook or state control in difficult settings. The crux of most of these issues revolve around the quality of perception, sense making, decision making and behavior leading to an inability to create and produce the specific outcomes and results that the client desires. The resolution is most often an greater range of choices available and the ability to focus with greater clarity on the specific outcomes and results intended.
The commonality across all applications is the concept of Transformational Performance. Transformational Performance is the result of transformational change leading to significant performance breakthrough, where the evidence is significant improvement in terms of behavioral performance leading to an ability to create and produce significantly improved outcomes and results in a system previously limited in some specific way.
Ontological Ground and Mythic Form
At the heart of the MythoSelf Process model is your Life Story ...
In the model the story you tell yourself ... your "Life Story" ... your autobiographical narrative ... is the basis of what directs how you experience yourself in the world, and sets the limits of what you will or won't do. Your "Life Story" is organized mythically, as a metaphor that contains how you know what is true of you. This metaphor has at least three parts ... what you tell yourself, what you tell others about yourself, what others say about you.
All of the elements of your "Life Story" are also organized sequentially in time, "this happened and then that happened ..." and for most people that sequence is based in cause and effect, "this happened, and because of that, this happened ..." connecting all the events of your life in an unbroken pattern. This pattern if held as a absolute, concrete structure of cause and effect is also what limits you ... especially the way you know you create success.
In the MythoSelf Process model we reset the story from cause and effect to a teleological story where the end is know, your outcome or the result you intend, and that organizes what things mean as well as the actions you take in response to what's present and what happens. Using this teleological process we continually update what we are experiencing in relation to the the outcomes and results we intend. Building the story this way, we build mythic form, and take control of meaning and the future.
Wholeform Communication and Learning
The MythoSelf Model today is built around the dual, spiral matrix of Wholeform™ Communication and Learning. Wholeform is an approach that keeps the entirety of the connections and complexity of interaction intact when dealing with experience, information and the experiential processing of information.
A wholeform approach keeps the integrity of whole intact, instead of presenting something as composed of separate parts of pieces. When teaching a subject the wholeform approach doesn't break the event or process down into separate and distinct steps, but instead presents the entirety of the event as a whole process or action, and in relation to the system within which the event takes place.
For example, in teaching someone to swing a bat and hit a ball a wholeform approach would present the entire movement as a single event. There wouldn't be a separation of positioning the feet and body, lifting the bat, bringing it up and over the shoulder, looking towards the direction the ball will come from, swinging level and through, etc. There would be a simple presentation of the event, possibly by example or even letting the learning discover how to hit the ball for themselves, while making suggestions about adjusting aspects of the action taking, as well as the process of thinking about how to take the action and reflection on the results afterwards.
In wholeform communication the same approach is applied. Instead of treating the individuals in the communication event as separate, wholeform communication treats the interaction between communicators as the event to be attended to and not the experience of individual communicators. Unlike mechanical systems where you have transmitters and receivers that are distinct, in dynamical systems the communicators make up a single system that is a whole unto itself, that is self organizing and self referential.
Because the wholeform approach doesn't break things into parts, or fragment systems into separately occurring events, things like body language (expression, gesture, posture ...) and verbal exchange are treated as a singularity. Also the idea of a separation between expression and response is also removed as the reality of the immediacy of expression and response as singularity is realized, as in the way someone responds non-verbally to what they hear and how that non-verbal response immediately shapes what and how the person speaking is saying what they do.