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October 2011

Our integrated hero, man of many, ego, id and subconscious, higher mind, spirit, soul, father, brother, son, friend, celebrity, fool, public persona and private citizen, nobody, programmer, artist, charmer, volunteer, sympathizer, curmudgeon, activist, confessor, man in need, consumer, producer, in service and user, player, driver, driven, and the sum of all these things and all the relationships amongst all these things and many, many more.

You recognize him, don't you? This complex confluence of consciousness? He is trying to pull it together and operate as one being in the outside world. Trying to pull off a balancing act and appear to be a straight law abiding citizen in a made for TV movie about families and houses and cars and schools in a play about money and love and birth and death. And he finds a way to do it, a way to stand, everyone finds a way, to collect all the parts and appear inwardly and outwardly whole.

A more solid figure emerges. Identity pared down to a few essential roles. We can finally ask, "What's our hero's story?"; or really "What's the story he tells himself about who he is."

Digital landscape. The programmer reasons, "IF everything is simulation THEN repeating loops are to be expected".

The programmer studies the cycles, codes cycles, makes tools with cycles, profits from the cycles and lives in the turns of the cycles. The harlequin, by contrast, is dispersed outside of the cycles, knows all cycles simultaneously, and interacts with the cycles, if at all, by shifting attention.

Completing the cycle. Continual self-observation as a means of discovering one's own true nature.

Man of knowledge. Bits, data, facts, proofs, evidence, information, measurements, book learning, scholarly publications, academic study, logical arguments, repeatable experiments, iterative simulations. What can't be grasped by the rational mind?

Now a turn on the intuitive side. Moving by gut feeling, spur of the moment, heat of the battle, whimsey, taste, sensory satisfaction, harmony, color, texture, temperature, love, like, dislike, discord, what someone said, a turn of phrase, a change of heart, a difference of opinion, something in the air, a vibe, a daring to be different, doing it just to be contrary, and for no good reason at all. How can the all interconnected conditions influencing a decision be accounted for?

Many paths through the cycle.

A cycle of swiftly moving phylogons, exaggerated boundaries and moments blurring by.

A view from the outside. Each small node on the large cycle believes it is separate from the other nodes.

The month spent going around in cycles is broken. As soon as we recognize that we can't escape the cycles, our hero emerges. Life enacts this kind of justice. There may very well be some larger purpose to our hero's life, some mystical reason he is here on Earth, or some symbolic meaning attached to his every action and he may come to know or not know these things. But there can be no doubt that in order to survive to know any of this he has to breathe air, eat food, and interact with others.

The kind of justice that awaits our hero requires responsibility but rewards novelty. In Zen the saying goes, "Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water." And if our hero finds himself well short of enlightenment, he has seen enough of the inner world to know how to be with it, honor it, and get his chores done.

In chapter two the story came from inside, improvisation was followed by reason. For this next section, the story is about moving that inner life into the outside world and so we will let reason will come first. Let's see how the how the improvisor reacts to the change and what kinds of new drawings appear.

Normal fault. When stress splits the Earth's crust apart, the fate of the hanging wall rests on the movement of underlying rock. With the first rift, a single continuous strata is suddenly pulled in two.

They are asking him to travel for work; to do an 'on site visit' with a client. For the first time our hero's choices are not his own. He is a programmer by trade and the people around him don't understand enough of what he does to interfere with his coding. But they do understand enough of what he does to control him with criticism and endless changes. He is hung up in a system that he can't program. Inside the software he manipulates infinities; outside his power rests on personal opinion and market data.

Stresses break the continent into more and more pieces but the planet remains whole. Even at the limit of his personal resources, void of rational explanation, and desperate for a gestalt of his global condition, our hero still manages to wake up and feel hungry, horny, and happy.

When outside forces interrupt the programmer's peace of mind, the creative work of programming can't take place. Coders frequently work into the wee hours of the night because of the continuous calm they find there. Distractions segment flow.

The first inescapable friction in the programmer's life comes directly from office politics. More and more emails are sent to him every day. He has to make up things to say back or risk making a statement by his silence. His managers insist that accountability reports be sent to the whole team. He appears in online video chats. Google Doc spreadsheets broadcast his notes companywide. He doesn't have a moment to digest the ripples that such an open dialog reveals about him. His creative moments evaporate into bureaucracy.

The second force that breaks up his calm is far simpler to explain. He wants things. He needs to provide for others. He believes he deserves recognition. He covets the company's stock options. He learns the habit of self-medicating his lost creative time with stuff. If he can't have the blissful flow and revelation that comes with being inventive, at least he can put a steam shower in his bathroom and drive a new Buick to work.

Round trip. The inevitable business trip begins. A first class cabin with seats that fold flat. He lies on his back, 38,000 feet in the air, moving 535 miles per hour, and staring at the ceiling. A reverie begins; supplemented with the usual neurotic curlicues. Why does he have to go on this trip? And the programmer begins to compile: preparation of materials, saying good-bye at work, pre-separation anxiety at home, packing, nerves, early wake time, tense transportation, check-in, security, hours at the gate, flight delay, more transportation, check-in, polite dinner, acceptable entertainment, TV until 2 am, wake-up call, breakfast meeting, briefings, upbeat lunch, awkward downtime, big meeting, big presentation, big dinner, handshakes, promises, TV until 2 am, wake-up call, check-out, bleary transportation, check-in, gate, baggage claim, transportation, home late, back to routine. The lights come on and the reverie ends. He is about to land.

Attention shifts and life changes.

Our hero's trip begins. The software is finished and he's on the road to sell it. The programmer persona dies and a corporate software agent is born. The quiet hum of his inner loop is replaced by a buzz in his ears. He promises his clients that his software will give them more power, efficiency, and ease of use. This reincarnation of our hero now spends more of his time talking than writing, longer explaining things than creating them, and he spends his creative energy figuring out how to mesh his original ideas with the ideas of others.

Time to peel back the layers. The real work beings. The programmer, on his initial site survey, drills into the databases. No one can really say why he is here. He tries to remain even, open to becoming what the company wants; programmer, consultant, project savior, or scapegoat. The work is routine but something keeps pulling him; something in the company is unspoken. Something is buried deep in the core, some secret. He senses the heat and begins to suspect that his mission as an outsider is to dig up the dirt.

The tight fist of the ego. The grip on the center of the system. Sky above and a stream below, what is in the middle that we grasp at and call real, concrete, solid, or measurable?

Further destinations. Jet Lag. Awakening at 38,000 feet. Exotic countries. Branch offices. The programmer hasn't slowed down. He is following the data. He is meeting the employees. He is auditing the systems.

The programmer finds himself inside a machine, a corporate machine, with a lingering memory that in the past, or in a dream; some part of him has lived inside a machine before. Remembering that the best way to get out of an iterative loop is to make a jump to a new subroutine, he leaves the current dimensional plane and gains the outside perspective he needs to see in. It shows him clearly that he can program this corporate machine like any other machine. Writing the proper rules to achieve his goals seems like simple work.

He stands up from the terminal for the first time in several hours. He is intending to take a leak and get a snack. It is 2 am. By way of misdirection he walks through a security point into the company's machine room. He should have just left but he catches his eye on a strange piece of computer hardware labeled in masking tape and marker "Phylogon Engine."


It is with great trepidation that our hero approaches the box marked "Phylogon Engine." He shouldn't open the box but he can't help himself. He risks losing his job or being arrested as a corporate spy; but his curiosity is too great. Something in that box, it feels to him, is vibrating reality so that he cannot help going there.

It is as if the soft hum of the machine itself draws him; as if sentient software inside knows how to direct the hardware to create waves of the perfect rhythm, the most alluring patterns thumping in his chest. He follows the good feelings, it strokes his sense of purpose, he knows that he is entering into a depth of connectedness far outside his experience.

The powder coated metal is warm to the touch. Slits on the side give him a glimpse of heat sink fins, blinking LEDs, and spinning mechanical parts. This is not an ordinary computer. Anxious to witness the novelty of this strange cube he unlocks and lifts the top. He is immediately giddy. A rush of correctness. He feels his curiosity has been justified. A strong deja vu that lasts nearly a minute. His heart races, he breathes in sharply and breaks out into a huge grin.

He reads a label on one of the large fins - 'empathetic human resonance'- and indeed he has bonded to it. These fins must entrain wirelessly to mental images, he thinks. But then he feels the resonance aligning his brain much more deeply, to the Thalmus, and even deeper to the dream center. He is falling in love with this machine.

You can collect moments in the phylogon engine like you make albums of images in iPhoto. Folders contain the peak experiences of your life, moments of historical importance, moments from the lives of celebrities, and rare glimpses of awakeness. You search for your favorite blends of emotions on the internet and compile them into layers. Then you enter your selected composite consciousness - and not a reproduction - because by entering the phylogon you are IN the moment with all its forward possibilities. The decisions are yours to make and the responses really happen. You are free to experience this fishbowl reality. Any frequencies that would let you know something about the computer maintaining the reality are blocked. This machine can reshuffle the deck of time. With its magnificent fins it can synthesize the phylogon, insert you and perhaps pull you out when your time is done.

The programmer, standing too close to the phylogon generating fins, doesn't remember a time when he wasn't with this machine. It is in all his memories, or really those false memories that seem so real in phylogon entry. Even in his earliest childhood, he remembers learning to walk by cruising along the side of this wonderful machine. He breathes in the warm air from the fans and slumps to the ground in total bliss; finally drawing attention to himself on the security cameras. Busted.

Watch out! The programmer's illegal entry into the machine room is a major problem. No one is supposed to know about the phylogon engine; much less experience the fins. He's had a strong dose and won't soon forget what he has learned about phylogon manipulations. There is an angry response in the company. Security personnel are terminated. Committees argue with venom. Discussions reach the board room and it is clear that the only way to insure the programmer's cooperation is to make him a permanent part of the team. They need to let him in fully on the company's secret. Will he sell his soul to the company to stay next to his beloved machine? A meeting is immediately scheduled for him with the CEO.

Meeting your maker. The programmer looks at the CEO and wonders how much shit he's going to get for messing with the phylogon engine. Hell, for even knowing it exists. Deep shit. No one is going to be happy about this.

Time to get started. The programmer raises his head and meets the gaze of the CEO. Instantly he is looking at himself through the CEO's eyes. He sees his own unshaved face, his disheveled clothes, his rounded shoulders, and his cap. He begins to share the CEO's thoughts. He remembers when the programmer walked into his office moments ago; his excitement in meeting this bold trespasser. He remembers the smooth drive to work in his new BMW and the satisfaction of always finding his parking space open. He thinks about his dinner reservation in the valley for this evening and the woman he is anxious to dine with. He reaches out and touches the programmer on the forearm and the slumping figure jumps. He feels a tap on his own forearm. The programmer's head snaps up and the CEO leans back in his chair.

"For my next trick...", the CEO says, sending chills up and down the programmer's spine, "I will join you and then you will join me."

A voice then begins in the programmers head, a nervous dialog, asking him to remember what lead him into the machine room. Then a search of his memory for an answer. He vividly replays the bliss the machine showed him. The bliss is naturally directed into gratitude for the company and the fantastic machine he found. He hopes he can always work for this company. He feels content.

The CEO asks if he will consider a full time position. The programmer smiles and nods. He sees the harlequin in the CEO's eyes.

The deal being done, the CEO brings the programmer gently inside his own thoughts again and begins to teach him about the phylogons.

One frame at a time. The CEO touches the timeless and the programmer's awareness accompanies him in. From the infinite array of phylogons he chooses a path that will be calm and easy to study; a moment from early Earth. Before they enter the phylogon, the CEO intentionally pauses at the boundary, whispering clear instructions to the programmer and causing him to feel the transition many times until the sensation is well known.

Together they merge with this reality. He is a catfish in the mud on the bottom of a quiet lake. Each day responding to the heat of the sun, the flow of the food, and the creatures who hunt him. Each day, each day, each day resting in the mud. He doesn't have a memory. He lives in the moment. And when he ceases being a catfish he becomes a catfish again and again and again.

During the 40,000 cycles of birth and death the catfish body is forgotten and catfish essence emerges. Riding the cycles of life and death, he forms a persistent vortex in the flow. He is a living thing made from the cycles of living things. And this evolution, too, is an illusion, coaches the CEO. And to prove his point he pops them out of this catfishy phylogon and lands them back into their office chairs still sitting face to face.

Baying at the moon. The programmer snaps back to attention in his chair, takes a moment to gather himself, looks up, and asks, "If that catfish and his essence were just illusions, then will you please tell me where we are now?"

The CEO replies, "We are in a different phylogon. This conversation, the room, the chairs, even our thoughts, are all the same kind of illusion, everything is contained in a phylogon. If we can name it, then it belongs in the frame."

"And what we call being awake...?"

"Is just our attention streaming along the flow of phylogons."

"But why does us sitting in your office and me calling myself a programmer seem like what is 'normal'? Why does this place seem like what is real?"

"What you are noticing is important. Try to amplify and study that sense of presence. You will see that you have the same feeling in every place you wake up. You always believe that where you are awake is real. You really became a catfish, didn't you? Wasn't that pond your home?"

The programmer falls silent remembering his peaceful existence in the mud. Is this conversation just a dream of that catfish. "But how can I become another living thing just by entering a frame?" he asks.

"How do you know who you are when you wake up in the morning? All creatures know by instinct how to exist. The animal you enter has memories stored in its cells. When thoughts arise, the brain tells you stories about who you are and what to do."

The reality of the illusion. The programmer groks phylogons! The CEO can put this to good use. The interview is going well. To their mutual satisfaction the programmer accepts a research position with the company that will allow him to make frequent use of the phylogon engine. Salary and benefits. The vibe of the phylogon engine has better coverage than the cell phone networks. His long night almost over, the programmer is about to find a place in the sun.

He lies on the forest floor remembering the fall. His position high in the canopy meant he was a top earner; sun makes food. And from there he could feel all the way down to the roots and through the roots to other systems. There was no separateness, no single leaves, no single trees, he was the forest.

An interesting lesson to leave him with thought the CEO, a living analogy to the job he is about to undertake.

The leaf, as it lays dreaming on the forest floor, going through a slow dry dying, sees into the infinite for one brief moment. From afar and outside of time, the leaf sees the curl of the phylogon it occupies, where this phylogon fits into a larger cycle, how the cycle is turning away from this phylogon (death approaching), and the leaf is struck mostly by the precious balance, the downright precarious position that the green (life!) is held in. He marvels at how narrow a space is allowed in the flow for something green to come into being and how the amount given to the green can really not be compared to the vastness of everything else that is not green.

"This phylogon engine is good," smiles the programmer replaying the leaf's insight to himself. He's happier now at work than on any trip he ever took.

Back to square one. On the first day at his new job, the programmer sits down and starts reading the manual and following the tutorials.


Operations Manual 

Table of Contents:

1) Basic Operation of the phylogon engine
	a) Powering up sequence. 
	b) PHINS - PHylogonic Inter Navigational System.
	c) Hardware checks and safety precautions.
2) Phylogon Basics
	a) Definition
	b) Characteristics and History
	c) Dimensions
3) Phylogon Creation
	a) Making your first phylogon
	b) How to enter phylogons and what to expect
	c) Methods of exit
		1) Internal triggers
		2) External triggers
		3) Power objects
	d)Temporary and permanent exits from a phylogon

4) Phylogon Classes
	a) Static and Dynamic 
	b) Cyclical
	c) Nested and layered
	d) Resonant
5) Phylogon Construction Methods

He gets tired of reading. It is time to take a road test. Our hero builds a simple phylogon with a callback timer. When he finishes and clicks 'enter' there is a loud hum, the fins vibrate, and he suddenly finds himself weightless in an infinite blue field; above him hover the words, "hello world." One minute later he is sitting back at the console with a completely new idea about who he is. He has had his first taste of what he can accomplish with this remarkable technology.

"Through the trap and into the maze" is an exercise in phylogonic mechanisms. The pattern begins with a nested set of events that narrow toward a conclusion. For example, a chef follows the steps described in a recipe to get to the finished dish. However, in this pattern, the goal is never reached. The bottom will fall out. Some little thing is wrong. The rest of the time is spent trying to find a way out of a complex, maze-like quagmire. In our example, the cook discovers that an ingredient, already included in a batter, was spoiled; necessitating a trip to the store to replace all ingredients. To summarize the pattern: goal, small diversion, large quagmire. The programmer sees clearly how useful it is be to master of these mechanisms.

It turns out that our hero, with his programming skills, is actually very well suited to phylogon creation. He really understands how to sequence phylogons for continual fascination. His inventive geometry directs experiences in fluid paths. And his mathematical intuition guides him quickly through the fine tuning. What isn't so apparent is that, because of his recent awakening, he has gained access to the infinite through the graces of the harlequin.

After moving in and out of the phylogon engine projections all day, the programmer has elaborate dreams at night. In the morning he embeds the fleeting imagery from the night before into his practice phylogon designs. He does this for convenience, because he needs subject matter for the increasingly challenging tutorial exercises. "Where did the idea for this space come from?" the person who observes him asks. "Just made it up," he shrugs and goes back to work.