Meta Model

The Long & The Many

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“Unity can only be manifested by the binary. Unity itself and the idea of unity are already two.” – Albert Pike

Several years ago Present Group was engaged in commissioning a project for a modest oil and gas operator. Their CEO and Founder was typically charismatic and full of energy although we soon discovered that his personality was not as modest as his fledgling company.

So when he paid a visit to the project site, one of our team members asked him his opinion on Peak Oil; the point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline. The CEO, without skipping a beat, proudly boasted: “All I know is ….. I’m riding this baby ’til the wheels fall off!”

Early on when I started our journey at Present Group it was supposed role models like this who led me to question our current paradigm. For if these were the self-made achievers, so acclaimed by our business media, then where was I to find the inspiration and soul satisfying wisdom that I sought for myself and others.

Of course along the way there were other role models too. Including one co-founder who had built a great engineering consultancy over many decades and yet instead of taking it public they had decided to create a partnership model whose enduring legacy looked set to stand the test of time. Most memorably, he also once quipped: “The big get bigger! …. While the small stay specialised”

His observation has also stayed with me as I have contemplated how to collapse such a limiting duality by achieving scale with key value propositions so that Present Group might make both a positive and a meaningful difference in and to the world.

Both of the above examples are cause for reflection. Even more so when you consider that the first CEO was dead within a year of the project, struck down by a massive heart attack. While the other has lived on into late retirement only to see his company and it’s once great culture unravel under his successors before being sold out and off to the short and the few.

 “In the long run men hit only what they aim at” Henry David Thoreau

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I should explain, the ‘short and the few’ is my shorthand for the majority of large public enterprises that inhabit our current economic paradigm. Basically the strategies that drive our economy are dominated by an obsession with short term gains; quarterly in most cases.

I believe this is then further compounded because the economy is also mainly geared to serve relatively few within our society. For evidence, you need only look at the current remuneration scales for listed company CEO’s. To make matters worse, these packages are not only increasing in relation to the many but they are also increasingly becoming decoupled from both performance and reality.

The ‘Short Fews’ may also serve as metaphor for a short fuse on a recurring time bomb economy with its regular bouts of boom and bust cycling. Especially when we consider how the power and influence of the short and the few can at times totally command the financial future and fortunes of the many. Usually by the short few; getting in, getting theirs and getting out, seemingly without caring who gets hurt in the process.

From my experience the pursuit of short few strategies defines the majority of capitalists and venture capitalists and so there is less appetite and resources available to serve the long term and reward the many. This is a double blow to progress as it so often discourages great endeavours and public goods which can only ensue with patience and the maturity of delayed gratification.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Many great industrialists of the past have found their own way to Frankl’s present space and paused to consider the inevitable diminishing returns of personal meaning by continuing this type of pursuit. In the past, Carnegie and Rockefeller were prime examples of recovering capitalists who are now more often remembered for the grand philanthropic gestures they bestowed in their second half of life. More recently Bill Gates has become resurrected from anti-trust silicon sinner to public trust social saint, but perhaps the greatest example of pausing to reflect and choose a path of redemption is the life story of Alfred Noble.

Today the Nobel Prize lives on over a century after Alfred’s physical death and are presented for outstanding achievement in literature, peace, economics, medicine and the sciences. What is less known is the fact that during his lifetime he also amassed a fortune by inventing explosive products such as dynamite and gelignite. Alfred’s epiphany which later led him to dedicate his fortune to recognising and rewarding those who most benefited humanity came about by pure chance when his brother passed away. For a clumsy journalist mistakenly ran a long obituary for Alfred himself.

The awful effect of reading his own obituary was devastating as the newspaper had gone on to describe him as the man who had made it possible to kill more people more effectively than anyone else who had ever lived. Shortly after this revelation Alfred was compelled to establish the humanitarian awards that still bear his name and in so doing totally transformed his legacy, if not his destiny. Alfred is by no means a unique case for there are many more examples of great individuals who required a defining trauma at the peak of their material powers before they could surrender their ego.

 “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” – Albert Pike

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Richard Rohr recently wrote a book called ‘Falling Upward’, reconciling this aspect of the ‘two halves of life’. In it he describes a scene from Zorba the Greek where Zorba came across a stooped old man sowing almond seeds in the baking Mediterranean Sun. Zorba scoffed at the old man and shouted: “Old man! Why are you wasting your time, you will not live to see those seeds bear shade, never mind fruit!” The old man rose up slowly and responded: “That doesn’t bother me, as I live everyday as if I am going to live forever.” Zorba laughed nervously: “That’s funny because I live every day as if it’s my last!”

My opening description of the late oil and gas company CEO was reminiscent of Zorba’s instinct to solely serve his own mission. My own life experience has taught me that this inevitably leads to angst and suffering while choosing instead to serve something bigger than oneself first manifests by not wanting more of the same, like Zorba but in needing less, like the wise old man.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in” — Greek Proverb

Usually this reflex between the first and second half of life, occurs not surprisingly at midlife, when we reach a point of diminishing returns. After a life spent fixated on satisfying personal pleasures and acquiring personal possessions (Involution) we tend to discover a hollow hall of mirrors and we each find that there is no other option other than to confront oneself and apply some inner work.

There are many ways to describe the essential death process of one’s old paradigm and rebirth into a whole new way of thinking. The symbolic themes of crucifixion and resurrection, the long dark night of the soul or the Hero’s descent to destroy his covert nemesis be it Minotaur or Medusa are but a few. As are engulfment within the belly of the whale or hopeless in escape from the lion’s den.

The biggest clue that you may be reaching this point in your own journey of consciousness is the advent of seemingly insurmountable challenges. One thing is for sure, your old paradigm will begin to die. Hence the diminishing returns of your previous objectives with their worn out methods that worked to get you there just don’t work anymore now that you are here.

In ‘Falling Upwards’ Rohr beautifully captures the dramatic shift in consciousness that is required of us all. Very simply we have lived our lives with the premise of either–or thinking. It must be this way or that way, people are either good or they are bad.

Up until now, it may never have occurred to us to collapse these dualities and so we have come to accept them as the one and only reality. Then, following each of our unique journeys of transformation an all new duality is called forth that allows understanding on the basis of and–both. Once this manifests we will immediately recognise our new self when old paradoxes no longer confound and instead they become consistent with a continuum that has always existed; only waiting for us to discover beyond our previous horizon.

 “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon” – Konrad Adenauer

Beyond our tired old horizon the old dualities converge and collapse. The struggle to choose between the short and few versus the long and many also collapses in the new paradigm of and–both. For the higher calling of and–both to work its miracle we need only understand that to serve the long and the many also incorporates and serves the short and few; while the opposite condition is not true.

At Present Group we have attempted to understand this life cycle process and not surprisingly mapped it with the Meta Model for Process. The final crisis–challenge stage is revealed as one of personal meaning which Nobel, Gates, Carnegie and Rockefeller eventually traversed. Until now this has required an individual ‘I’ or a collective ‘We’ to undergo a subjective transformation before the true nature of self can put the resources amassed by the short few in the first half of life to work on behalf of the many in the second half.

This raises the important question; why wait? What if this enlightened consciousness to serve the long and the many were codified such that an enterprise’s concentrated wealth and resources could create public goods and begin serving society’s greater good from the very beginning.

“Usually the first problems you solve with the new paradigm are the ones that were unsolvable with the old paradigm.” – Joel A. Barker

For several years now and in our own way, we at Present Group have been attempting to honour the long term and serve the many by laying the foundations for an intergenerational venture. We first had to consider ourselves as enterprise custodians for generations as yet unknown to us. Unlike a conventional ‘For Profit’ pursuit from cause to effect; a ‘For Purpose’ understanding instead acts to propel and progress us from effect to cause allowing evolution to ensue via eight holons of creation. In essence we are managing the present as a past state of our futures.

“If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm.” – Stephen Covey

  This ethos is enshrined within a Meta Model inspired developmental holarchy of ‘8 Creations’ to serve Society as the eighth holon. This new enterprise paradigm as ‘Social Venture’ replaces the old money thinking of capitalists and venture capitalists with new momentum thinking as custodians for our own creations and as venture custodians for the creations of like-minded and like-hearted collaborators.

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Present Group Developmental Holarchy of 8 Creations Showing the Reflex Between Stewardship (Left) and Governance (Right) Assigned with Integral Labels I/WE/IT/ITS.

  A ‘For Purpose’ journey as an intergenerational social venture will mean that we are not here:

  • Simply for an exit strategy following one life cycle.
  • To become risk averse having achieved success
  • As a job creation or individual security scheme.
  • To position ourselves separate to Society.

It will also mean that we are here to:

  • Create an environment that fosters individuation.
  • Extend processes that change the whole nature of work.
  • Maintain a quadruple bottom line: Purpose, Planet, People, and Profit.
  • Serve society, changing the world for the better through Completions.

“Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.”  Ernest Becker

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Recently, Present Groups search for its own holy grail to become a self-renewing enterprise received a huge boost. I for one had become one eyed about pursuing our developmental holarchy of 8 Creations at all costs. This had only served to risk burn out within our leadership team and leave many strung out across incomplete structures of enterprise architecture.

Thankfully we were introduced to Bill Withers and his team at Adapt by Design. http://www.adaptbydesign.com.au/. Our own Meta Model predicts the essential combination of two mature elements in ‘Co-creation’ at stage 7 of a process to reach the prowess of ‘Co-operation’ at stage 8 thereby completing an octave cycle. Adapt by Design is without question our missing other half but as they say; none are so blind, as those who cannot see. Bill also introduced us to the Conscious Capitalism movement. Which is totally consistent with our own ethos as a Social Venture. http://www.consciouscapitalism.org.au/

Bill’s journey and the culture that has arisen at Adapt are like a parallel universe to our own. Adapt by Design is founded on 8 universal successions which completely complement our 8 creations. Before Adapt, Present Group’s developmental holarchy was akin to RNA. Like DNA, RNA is assembled as a chain of nucleotides, but unlike DNA it is more often found in nature as a single-strand folded unto itself, rather than the paired double-strand of DNA. For the first time this union bestows a double helix to our cultural DNA allowing us to evolve to the next level.

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Present Groups ‘Revolve by Nature’ Developmental Holarchy of 8 Creations Integrated with ‘Adapt by Design’s’ Ecological Holarchy of 8 Successions.

This is the same pattern found in nature and life itself. Our biological proliferation and continuation as a long and many species has required the twin properties of evolutions renewal and adaptations resilience. Whatever is born must die leading to renewal and whatever is alive must adapt leading to resilience. As individuals and as enterprises we often deny this dual fact, or favour only one or the other when both are absolutely essential. A distinct case of not either–or but of and–both.

Within one life cycle I/WE can adapt but we cannot evolve. Across life cycles IT/ITs can evolve but they cannot adapt. As individuals we can choose to adapt; learn and relearn, as we navigate life but the die is cast in terms of evolution because our source code has been dealt at birth. This is also true for a business and its culture.

Within Present Group the developmental holarchy had created a breadth of creation but with no new ecological succession we lacked resilience and as a result the many emergent life cycles we had created as businesses and centres may not survive a crisis. Equally by only embracing an ecological holarchy a depth of succession is guaranteed but with no developmental re-creation there is a danger of not renewing. If this is the case then the one life cycle of any one business is destined to pass through the innovation diffusion curve toward its natural death.

Therefore if we only have 8 Creations as containers to lead with then the content of succession will lag. Likewise if we only have 8 Successions as contents to lead with then the containers of creation will lag. Only by combining both paradigms as lead–lead will we achieve the ultimate win–win. Both are essential too, if we are to reach the fourth level of ‘Suptainability’ within a holarchy of durability:

  • Suptainable (and–both of resilience and renewal to transcend any crisis)
  • Surtainable (either–or of resilience or renewal to survive a crisis)
  • Sustainable (operationally mature but may not survive a crisis)
  • Substainable (emergent but may not survive to operational maturity)

As a result of embracing the developmental holarchy, Present Group has become generative. Much like a 3D printer that prints other 3D printers we can reproduce businesses as Value streams and centres as Function streams. Only now we are also embracing the ecological holarchy of Adapt to reach full unification of purpose between our Enterprise streams of 8 Creations and Adapts Foundation streams of 8 Successions. image

Present Group – Four Streams of Progression

Finally the above chart shows all four streams of progression as two base pairs within a suptainable Present Group enterprise with its combined immutable properties of evolution and adaptation. The mutable streams of value and function can then perpetually cycle and self renew without selling out the whole and becoming the Past Group in the process.

“Natures strategy is evolution, natures tactic is adaptation.”

In summary, I believe Ernest Becker best described our existential choice in the final paragraph of his posthumously awarded Pulitzer Prize winning book; The Denial of Death;

 “We can conclude that a project as grand as the scientific-mythical construction of victory over human limitation is not something that can be programmed by science.

Even more, it comes from the vital energies of masses of men sweating within the nightmare of creation–and it is not even in man’s hands to program. Who knows what form the forward momentum of life will take in the time ahead or what use it will make of our anguished searching. The most that any one of us can seem to do is to fashion something–an object or ourselves–and drop it into the confusion, make an offering of it, so to speak, to the life force.” – Ernest Becker

Ernest’s ‘Denial of Death’ is by no means a light read so I will try to synthesise as best I can in my own fashion; Once all of the existential angst has played out and you transcend the Hamlet phase of ‘to be, or not to be’ by becoming whole, then and only then can you surrender to your true life’s purpose which Ernest described as the ‘Causa Sui’.

In Latin, Causa Sui means “cause of itself” and denotes something which is generated within itself. Therefore it relates to the purpose that individuals or objects can assign to themselves. If that purpose is bigger than oneself or itself then the concept can become an immortality project. A vessel beyond the one life cycle, where someone or something can create meaning or continue to create meaning beyond its own life cycle.

However, once glimpsed, if you are to give up and abandon your own causa sui, your personal vision–mission and opportunity to change this world for a better world, then there awaits another kind of surrender…. it is to surrender the future to someone and–or something else….

 “If you do not answer the noise and urgency of your gifts they will turn on you. Or drag you down with their immense sadness at being abandoned.” — Joy Harjo

  This article was written by Brian Grimmer Chairman of Present Group incorporating insights, methodologies and understandings derived from extensive cooperation with Peter Midgley CXO of Present Group on the Meta Model for Process. The terms ‘Suptainable’, ‘Surtainable’ and ‘Subtainable’ are new terms developed by Peter Midgley to model a holarchy of durability.

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Hidden In The Myths Of Time

Prometheus Abounds

Famously the Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” was inscribed at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, but it may be the myth of Prometheus which can best reveal the manifestation of our four universal functions; body, mind, soul and heart.

As with most of the major myths there are several variations on the Prometheus archetype. Most tell of his daring theft of fire to give to mankind, thereby risking the wrath of Zeus and yet the most insightful version reveals his central part in the creation of humankind itself and in shaping the very nature of our being.

Prometheus was an immortal; his name literally meaning forethought or foresight and along with his brother Epimetheus, meaning hindsight, they were given the task of populating Earth. However Epimetheus being true to his name gave all of the best attributes; such as strength and speed to the animals and so it fell to Prometheus, the prototype inventor to fashion man with his singular ingenuity. His first instinct was to take the earth itself representing the element of body and mix it with the equally ubiquitous water representing the element of mind to create a man of clay.

While physical, his creation lacked animation and so he beseeched the goddess of wisdom to bestow her most special gift upon his creation. Athena answered his pleas and sent down her butterfly which was symbolic of the very air that bore it’s wings and anointed his creation with an eternal soul to go with its impermanent body and mind. Alas, this was still not enough and so Prometheus approached Zeus. the ruler of the gods in the hope of receiving the eternal fire representing the element of heart that burned exclusively at Mount Olympus. Zeus was adamant that such a gift would be too powerful for mere mortals and so Prometheus was denied.  Undeterred Prometheus decided to steal the vital spark of life itself from the sacred fire that burned at the heart of Zeus’s temple.

Finally satisfied, Prometheus surveyed his now complete human being comprised of the physical and the metaphysical; human of body and mind and being of heart and soul. When Zeus discovered this unprecedented act of betrayal he decided to punish the immortal Prometheus for his impertinence in a very mortal fashion. The unsuspecting Prometheus never saw it coming for while he was the god of foresight, he somehow lacked the ability to foresee his own destiny and so Zeus had him captured and chained for all eternity to a Mountain in the Caucasus.

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Prometheus could not be killed but this did not stop Zeus from ensuring that in the image of his beloved mortal creation he would be bound to the earth but in his case, for all time. Zeus then added a very specific daily torture when he instructed his great Eagle, symbol of his voracious mind to descend upon the Earth as body to rip out and devour the liver representing the soul of Prometheus. Zeus had concocted a living hell for Prometheus that was symbolic of mortal mans daily existence with the competing functions of body, mind and soul. Only every night the immortal’s liver would regenerate and the whole ghastly ritual would continue without end. As an aside it is a remarkable testament to the ancient Greeks knowledge that they intuited that the liver was capable of regeneration and self-repair.

30,000 years passed and Zeus fell in love with Io, a nymph and priestess to his wife Hera and so he seduced her. To keep Hera from discovering his infidelity he took the precaution of covering the world with a thick blanket of clouds. This tactic only served to arouse Hera’s suspicions and so she came down from Mount Olympus and began dispersing the clouds. Zeus was panicked and quickly changed Io’s form from that of a beautiful maiden into a white heifer and so when Hera arrived to find Zeus standing beside the bovine beast he swore that he had never seen the cow before, it had just sprang right out of the earth. Immediately perceiving his deceit, Hera complemented the cow and asked to have it as a present. Zeus was dumbfounded and could not turn down such a reasonable request without giving his game away. Reluctantly Zeus presented Hera with the metamorphosed Io.

Hera hid the enchanted cow away and arranged for Argus to watch over it. Argus made the best of watchman for he had a hundred eyes and could have some of them sleep while others lay awake. A desperate, Zeus soon sent Hermes to rescue his beloved Io. Disguised as a Shepard, Hermes had to employ all his skill as a musician and story teller to gain Argus confidence and lull him to sleep. Once asleep, Hermes killed Argus. Hera would mourn this treacherous act and as a memorial, she took his eyes and set them into the tail of her favourite bird, the peacock.

Although Io was now free, Hera instructed the mother of all gad-flys to pursue and sting her poor bovine form while the ghost of Argus plagued her every step. Io was pushed close to madness as she wandered the world in a pointless bid to escape this purgatory. On her seemingly pointless wanderings she came upon Prometheus still bound to his chains. Prometheus had his own daily hell to deal with and yet he found it in his own heart to muster enough compassion to give the desperate Io a glimmer of hope. For while his uncanny foresight still predicted that she would have to wander for many years to come. She would eventually be changed back into human form and would bear a child. A child whose own descendent would one day perhaps become the greatest of heroes.

Miraculously his predictions came true and on her wanderings many geographical features were named after Io including the Ionian Sea, and the Bosphorus meaning ford of the cow. Eventually she would reach the Nile where Zeus once more could restore her to human form. As destined she bore Epaphus and eleven generations passed before his descendant, the great Hercules was born. Hercules would endure many trials on one of which he would break the supposed eternal bonds that had held Prometheus and set him free.

Prometheus had suffered for his own original sin as if for the whole of humanity. The human condition is to suffer, for we are all bodily chained to the surface of this planet and carry our mortal sins for the term of our mortal lives. The eagle of our own minds which can so often deal in the daily lies and untruths of existence devours the eternal truth of our souls. Our minds grown weary and satisfied must sleep at night or while in meditation enabling our eternal soul to regenerate once more.

As this myth has shown, all journeys both begin and end in the heart.  In this case the journey toward redemption began for Prometheus when he knelt at the hearth in Mount Olympus and stole from the eternal fire of pure heart. It also ended with the consequences of his heart felt gesture of compassion toward the deeply troubled Io. Such is karma.

It is also important to understand that Zeus’s own infidelity ultimately set in motion the conditions for Prometheus’s resurrection. Prometheus has sometimes been called the prototype Christ for his long suffering on behalf of humanity. Many forget that there are at least two references in the scriptures to Christ’s own descent into hell following the Crucifixion, a matter of no small consequence in bringing about redemption, as the reflexive Octave within the Meta Model infers.

Therefore we must first descend from freedom to a fully bound determinism before we can ascend to a new found freedom and know the place for the first time. The most confounding problems in life cannot be solved with our old psyches. Yet following a full inversion we shall find that we have outgrown the impenetrable problems of life that previously bound us and they shall no longer own us….

Theseus Unbounds

The Prometheus myth may show us the accumulation of material complexity in our four functions which we call involution. While the myth of the great Theseus equally shows the accumulation of functional complexity which we call envolution when these four functions engage on an epic quest.

Theseus was the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon. He was born of a special Mandorla, one mortal father, and one immortal, signifying both the physical and the metaphysical or whole-brain thinking. He was the archetype of pure presence. The courageous heart driven hero defined by his nemesis the Minotaur. The covert archetype of bodily fear representing pure absence.  It is not a coincidence that the man bull bodily monster alludes to the earth sign of Taurus while the lion heart of Theseus alludes to the fire sign of Leo.

Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, had several children before the Minotaur. The eldest of these, Androgeus, set sail for Athens to take part in the Pan-Athenian games which were held there every five years. Being strong and skilful, he did very well, winning some events outright. He soon became a crowd favourite, much to the resentment of the Pallantides and they assassinated him, incurring the undying retribution of Minos.

When King Minos heard what befell his son, he ordered the Cretan fleet to set sail for Athens. Minos asked Aegeus for his son’s assassins, and if they were handed to him, the town would be spared. However, not knowing who the assassins were, King Aegeus surrendered the whole town to Minos’ mercy. However, Minos’s recompense for the life of his son was to cost the Athenians dearly. He demanded that at the end of every Great Year of seven solar years, the seven most courageous youths and the seven most beautiful maidens were to board a boat and be sent as tribute to Crete, never to be seen again.

On the third occasion, Theseus came of age and with his great and courageous heart he volunteered to slay the monster. He took the place of one of the youths and set off with a black sail, promising to his father, Aegeus, that if successful he would return with a white sail. Like the others, Theseus was stripped of his weapons when they sailed. On his arrival in Crete, he recognised the soulful Ariadne as his anima. She was King Minos’ daughter, but this could not stop her from falling in love with the bold Theseus. Her great soul would be his guide and so she secretly passed Theseus the fateful ball of thread that would safeguard his descent into her Father King Minos, mind maze of lies and safely back again.

That night, Ariadne escorted Theseus to the Labyrinth, and Theseus promised that if he returned from the Labyrinth he would take Ariadne with him. As soon as Theseus entered the Labyrinth, he tied one end of the ball of thread to the door post. The Oracle had prophesised that the Minotaur’s embodiment of pure fear could never be slain by shield, sword or spear; symbolic of body, mind and soul and so Theseus carried nothing but his great heart within his great chest.

Theseus also had instructions from the intuitive Ariadne as his soul guide to go forwards, always down and never left or right so that he would not reveal any absence through his doubting. Theseus soon came to the heart of the Labyrinth and also upon the sleeping Minotaur who could only smell fear. The beast awoke and a tremendous fight then occurred. Theseus overpowered the Minotaur with his naked strength and killed the beast with his bare hands, the ultimate in courageous acts. For only pure presence could reveal the illusion of pure absence. Had Theseus doubted his own presence and sought to arm and protect himself with shield, sword or spear then it would have proved fatal for he would only have revealed the fear born of absence that would have fed the monsters might.

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After defeating the beast, Theseus used the intuitive thread of truth to escape the mind maze of lies that had hidden the bodily fear that his heart had vanquished. His heroics did not stop there as he also managed to escape with all of the young Athenians and Ariadne. Then he and the rest of the crew fell asleep on the beach. Athena goddess of wisdom wakes Theseus and tells him to leave early that morning. Athena tells Theseus to leave Ariadne on the beach. Stricken with distress, Theseus forgot to put up the white sails instead of the black ones, so the king committed suicide. His father’s suicide may be seen as karmic retribution for not having the courage to defy King Minos in the first place. At any rate, having delivered them into freedom, Theseus proved himself to be the true King of the Athenians.

The Promethean journey is the story of the first half of life to descend and fully accumulate and integrate the four functions of our being as an involution. The heroic journey of Theseus is the story of our second half of life when we as integrated psyches achieve our purpose and secure our own freedom and that of others to ascend.

Unlike involution’s accumulation of ego functions the ascent to personal freedom and self actualisation of the self requires instead the dissipation of functions. In this process Theseus had to lose his own Father’s life and Ariadne’s love. One was symbolic of his past while the other was of his future so that he could remain in the present and be fit to rule the kingdom on his return….

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