Eldering Dreams: A Nightmare in the Shattered Kingdom (Part 2)

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Walltorn Indralsmith was thinking, and also thinking about the significance of what he was thinking about and also the significance of the fact that he was thinking about the significance of what he was thinking about, but he was also consciously stopping himself from letting the web cast out any further than that.

“If the nodes radiate…why the nodes? Yes, temporality spirals unevenly…hah! Radiate, irradiate…mmm…mmm…hah! Who draws the lines? Who indeed? But…it’s known…oh yes…it’s known…who knew when? But…oh…so why can’t they see it, I’ve shown, but…mmm…but, the nodes…if blood spills, does it spill in a circle? Mmm…mmm…hah! But who knows? I know…yes…I know…but, Sottfor Trew? The seeds…oh yes…the seeds, sown? Hah! Sown! Sewn…mmm…mmm…hah!”

The Royal Geometrist was a title many were confused by – why still royal when the throne had remained unoccupied by way of destruction? – because they did not realize the importance of the shape of things, the planes and the folds, the plains and the edges, the plain and the exceptional – why would they? – but Walltorn understood.

Exceptionally long life – only exceptional because very few, yes, very few indeed – was a nothing short of a curse in most ways, but the ways in which it was a gift outweighed everything else – the Indralsmith blood was tied to tying for tides upon tides and tines and spines – for who would put the pieces together of the pieces put together? Who?

“Little did they know…they knew…when they chose me…faith isn’t knowledge until the next generation…that I’d do what they wanted, and more…oh yes, oh yes…but I see beyond their sight for my sight was theirs to begin with, and now I’m beyond the beginning…I didn’t know then what I know now, about the time, oh yes, the time of the time…as a bolt begins outside of the body at all, much less the heart, but when it pierces the chest …an imprecise term…and the heart, it continues through the cavity.”

The wagons were a funny detail.

“Mmm…mmm…hahahaha! The WAGONS! Mmm…I didn’t see the wagons…mmm…I’m not funny though, no no no…mmm…why? Too busy being…who was the first to know? Mmm…outside the…mmm…origins are tricky…origins…which…when…mmm…is when even…mmm…hah! Funny, clever…mmm…who’s the clever one?”

Walltorn Indralsmith turned his head when the tethers oscillated, Sottfor Trew had arrived, and the seeds had been planted, he would now see enough to see more, and the Royal Geometrist would be his eyes until his eyes were ready. He disabled the protective measures as Sottfor approached the chamber.

The blood had already been drawn, the blood to counter the blood, but the ties were strong and the tapestry wide, and tall, and only black and red, no white, no blue, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no…STOP!

“Too far, too far, lines from circles…mmm…eyes are not lines, they are circles, see? Hah! Oh yes, see…mmm…Ties and ties and ties and ties and STOP! Mmm…mmm…he’s close…he has been before…the wagons…the why? The Why. Who’s the teacher? Mmm…mmm…hah! Teachers teach what they’re taught to teach about what they’re taught…mmm…mmm…the rat has stopped? Yes, as I thought…mmm…think…thinking…hah! They’ll think they have what they have, but what they have…mmm…enough, he’s too close, and they all have to die…dye…mmm…dye the tapestry…mmm…hah! But, who the audience, yes? Oh yes, oh yes…mmm…who the audience…hahahahahaha!”

Sottfor Trew had heard much of some, and he would have questions in addition to his questions, and the time was timed out, so the questions would come before the questions now.

“The laughter disturbs me, Geometrist, as it ever has, but I know I heard what you meant me to hear, so I ask of you now, who taught the teachers?”

Sottfor Trew, Seeker Archon of the Shattered Kingom, sought answers.

Eldering Dreams: A Nightmare in the Shattered Kingdom (Part 1)

By Chance Lunceford

Nobody was entirely certain – or if they were, they were certain in their silence on the matter – when or where the first poisoned-wine wagon event took place.

The poisoned branches in the blighted old-growth bureaucracy of Governance City had dropped neither fruit nor nut of substance – nothing new in any of that, of course – but the normally fruitful fungal undergrowth, that thrived digesting the steady supply of corpses and secrets that were the natural byproducts of the benighted forest, had little more to consume.

What was certain, however, was that the phenomenon was no longer something which was whispered of in the studies of polite and powerful gentlemen while shouted about in the commons by unkempt men with piercing blue eyes and little more than a bottle of wine and the rags on their backs to their names.

No, the poisoned-wine wagons had continued to appear with an alarming increase in frequency throughout the Shattered Kingdom. Even I, sanctioned by the chief of each and every splinter to conduct investigations on any subject using any and all of the substantial skills at my disposal, in my position as the Seeker Archon had found little in the way of threads to pull in my quest to unravel the mystery.

Little, but not nothing.

The broken image I summoned from the mind of the dying scholar had revealed pieces of a geometric pattern overlaid upon a map of the Shattered Kingdom. Before he died, and the image faded, I was able to burn most of the image into the surface of a sheet-crystal.

When I compared the pattern to the map of the kingdom on my desk – with each known occurrence of the poisoned-wine events marked out with small goblet shaped figurines moulded from the unreasonably heavy metal mined from the mountains of the Wildersplinter – the convergence points on the patterned map corresponded exactly with several of the known events which had already occurred.

In the time since first making this discovery, 3 of the 7 following events had corresponded with a location on the pattern. Watchers had been assigned to each of the remaining convergence points, and my hope was that there would be opportunity to put the wagon drivers to the question, and perhaps then I would be able to trace these events to their source.

In addition to the steps taken to place eyes and ears throughout the Shattered Kingdom and especially in and around the convergence points, I had enlisted the help of a very peculiar – quite likely mad, certainly often unintelligible, but utterly singular in his genius – man in the shape of the Royal Geometrist, Walltorn Indralsmith.

A mechanical rodent had, only moments before, delivered a small box at my feet before scurrying away in a flurry of jingling metallic absurdity. I stooped to retrieve the box, mildly amused yet again at the unfathomable tasks the Geometrist put his alien intelligence to work upon, and after returning to an upright posture, I inspected it.

His army of mechanical servants never delivered a simple box, it was always some sort of mechanism that revealed the contents of the containers which delivered his strange correspondences. After a puzzled moment, I noticed a slight depression in the surface of what was either the top or the bottom of the box.

In the depression, when I looked at it from a steep angle, could be seen an iridescent image in the shape of an oilseed. I reached into my meal pack, and removed the stoppered vial of oil within. I placed a small amount of oil on my finger and touched it to the depression.

The box began to grow very hot, very quickly, and I dropped it to the ground, cursing as I did. The box grew red hot as it suddenly and universally glowed into life as one box shaped ember.

The embers then died, fading into white ashes which blew away in the light breeze present in the evening air along the thoroughfare which I then – as I often did – took my nightly stroll.

I stooped yet again, cursing once more at the imposition of it all, to inspect what remained. Two exquisitely formed miniatures, perhaps half the size of my thumb, were laying upon the cobbles.

The one on the left was an eerily realistic rendition of a disembodied eye, with the stringy flesh attached behind the orb present as well. The one on the right was a very disturbing – unflattering in the way accurate imitations so often are – full-body miniature of me, accurate and detailed down to the level of wrinkled skin and wearing the very same habit which I then wore.

The Royal Geometrist wanted to see me.

(End Part 1, To Be Continued)

Instinct and Intuition: Relationship Synergy

I recently wrote a tweet, seen below, that has garnered a fair bit of attention.

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I was, frankly, a bit surprised to see that this tweet drew so much interest, but upon a moment’s thought, my surprise was mitigated. There is much ado about whether differences in gender ought best to be focused upon, whether or not they’re relevant and even if they exist at all. Thus, this tweet which draws such a distinction has a timely relevance that explains a portion of the engagement.

Another contributing factor, as several of me pals were wise enough to point out, is the desire within most of us to achieve a state of harmony in our lives. Harmony is sometimes confused for equilibrium, so let me draw a distinction:

Harmony is the complimentary amplification of energetic output achieved through integration of the aspected benefits and capacities available from one half of a spectrum with the other by dividing actions based upon the inherent efficiencies embedded within them.

Equilibrium is the negation of energetic output achieved through neutralizing the impact of these aspected features which occurs when the opposing ends of the spectrum are not oriented towards a creative or constructive task.

In simpler terms, harmony is growth and equilibrium is death.

Now that we’ve fleshed it out a bit, let’s go a little deeper into the basis for the observation and why I placed it within a gendered frame.

The simple reason is BIOLOGY.

Men are biologically wired to understand and operate in the world through a combination of visceral instinct and logical cognitive absolutes. It makes sense if viewed through an evolutionary lens, because human males from antiquity to the present day have been the primary participants in physical confrontations including combat and hunting.

Anyone who’s ever been involved in a violent confrontation understands that uncertainty and nuance lead to severe consequences up to and including death. Thus, men in antiquity who lacked the ability to trust their visceral reactions and to act definitively upon them, or who’s visceral reactions were often incorrect, were removed from the gene pool.

Also relevant is the fact that before animal husbandry, protein requirements were met by hunting for meat, usually accomplished by male hunting parties. The necessities of silence and physical communication combined with the limited opportunities to harvest an animal meant that males developed a tendency to communicate with other males through a common instinctual and laconic physical language.

Little nuance or emotional sensitivity is required to bash a skull or spear an animal.

In addition, the competitive realm of mate-selection has mostly been the prerogative of females throughout human history, and this selection process is hypergamous by nature. Thus, the traditionally male roles of physical capacity, decision making and the ability to engage in violence which were necessary to the continuation of the species have been bolstered by the effects of selective breeding.

Women have been shaped by a very different set of conditions.

For example, when the male hunting parties departed from the villages or base-camps, the women stayed behind. This was no slothful or pampered tendency, but rather a fulfillment of another set of responsibilities necessary for the survival and thriving of the community.

Meat spoils quickly in unrefrigerated conditions, and must be preserved by various methods including dehydration and fermentation among others. In addition, byproducts of meat harvesting which are now viewed mostly as waste were utilized in a great many ways. Hides were cured to create invaluable leather, sinew was used as thread and rope, viscera were either consumed or used to create useful implements, and so forth.

Women created most of these useful tools and byproducts during the day as the healthy males were ranging for game. In addition, foraging for vegetation to be used for supplemental food and also for medicine was another traditionally female dominated activity.

Perhaps most importantly, women were the primary caregivers for the children, the elderly and the sick or wounded of their communities.

These set of conditions and activities requires significantly different set of skills and social capacities than the traditionally male roles discussed earlier. With the threat of physical violence heavily diminished, and the need for silence all but erased, there existed the opportunity for discussion and nuance.

Also not to be forgotten, the development of children, support of the elderly and care for the injured or ill requires an emotional sensitivity and nurturing capacity not necessary in hunting or warring roles. The ability to understand emotional signaling and the shades of meaning in conversation requires a nuanced approach and a capacity to intuit the needs of those in one’s care.

This is very different than the kinetic instincts required for violence and hunting, thus the emotional and cognitive development required to be an effective nurturer travels in different directions.

On top of the nurturing responsibilities, the social aspects of traditionally female roles bear examination. Most of these female dominated activities were accomplished as group activities. When picking berries or harvesting herbs, it’s very easy and usually enjoyable to carry on a conversation.

Ask yourself what a community of women might discuss in a world without the written word, access to endless troves of entertainment, and limited contact outside your small community.

They would very likely spend a great deal of time discussing the community itself. In other words, gossip. While often viewed as a malicious practice today, the practice of gossip was essential for survival in the past. If a man was violent towards the women or children, it would need to be discussed and measures taken to ensure the safety of those most vulnerable.

If there were misunderstandings between members of the community, conversation and discussion over the matter would help to bring about a greater sense of understanding and provide opportunities for conflict resolution before violence became necessary.

If psychological issues arose in a member of the community, the wealth of experience in dealing with them would mostly be held in the congregation of women.

And, let us not forget the mate-selection aspect. Those women with the greatest ability to understand the needs and tendencies of the men who had the greatest capacity to provide and protect would be the likeliest to partner with them. Thus a woman who could intuit the emotional needs and provide them effectively would be the most likely to pass her genetics on to the next generation.

When we combine these two rivers of evolutionary biology and cultural reinforcement, what we get is a very compelling underpinning to the gendered framing of instinct versus intuition.

It follows then that, if these abilities were useful in their respective realms, and that those who held these abilities were the most likely to find a mate that the ability to harmonize with that mate would create the conditions under which the most offspring would arise.

If a man’s violence was extended to a partner or members of his community, for example, then a trait very useful in battle would be counter to breeding success. A partner may die, or seek partnership elsewhere, the community might also sever ties with the offending party through shunning or banishment, and they might also exact punitive measures as severe as execution.

If a woman used her intuitive abilities to manipulate members of the community into acting against their own best interests or the interests of the group, she would be found out and subjected to any number of emotional consequences including shunning, passive-aggressive tactics, social sabotage etc…

Thus, if a strong man capable of violence in battle and skilled in hunting was also able to be caring and complimentary with his parter and within the community, and a woman had great capacity to understand the needs and desires of her partner and the broader community, then their partnership would stand the best chance at long-term survival and thus the highest opportunity for multiple offspring.

In addition, because of the usefulness to, and agreeableness within, the tribe, their offspring would have a broader and deeper level of support within the community than the progeny of those less useful or agreeable.

It should be noted, even after this lengthy explanation of some of the contributing factors to the framework within which the original observation was placed, that these masculine and feminine traits are not solely to be found in men and women respectively, nor are they mutually exclusive.

These traits, like all behavioral traits, exist on a spectrum in each person and are the result of genetics and environmental factors. But, though the truth of nuance cannot be denied, the extremes of these traits are always embodied by the members of the gender to which they are aspected. The most violent and aggressive people are always males, and the most neurotic and social people are always females.

This is what frames the spectrum of these traits and, indeed, what gives them relevancy and meaning. Extremes provide the two points between which the nuance can exist. If there were no counterpoints, there would be no spectrum.

To wrap this up, and return to the original idea, the ability to understand the differences in innate tools of subconscious processing between men and women, and the balance of each of them within yourself and your partner, provides a foundation from which can be build a powerful synergy and a basis for trust.

If you can understand the needs of your family and community present in the aspects of intuition and instinct for which you are wired, and can appreciate and rely upon your partner’s complimentary abilities to bolster the areas in which your capacity is limited, then you can create harmony in your home which will extend into every aspect of your life.

It is my desire that you should begin to seek a deeper understanding of this complex puzzle, and that through this understanding you will gain the ability to live a more fulfilling, loving and productive life.

Thanks for reading.

Finding Meaning In Chaos

No, this is not going to be a long treatise on a barely comprehensible philosophical framework requiring you to have read 500,000 words of context-specific musings.

I leave that to my friend Garrett Dailey over at MasterSelf.

This is in reference to a podcast I recorded last night with Mohammed Afikur Rahman. It was a very strange experience, but it was also something that I’m glad to have done.

You see, Mohammed is a unique dude, and is quite literally not sane. I don’t mean that in the folk sense, but in the sense that his grasp on moment-to-moment reality is tenuous at best.

This is not to say that he is unintelligent, nor that he has little to offer, far from it in fact. He’s a very bright man, and in his lucid moments delivers a rapid-fire stream of insightful thoughts to contend with.

Even in his less than present moments, he still attempts to convey a message of unity and divine harmony, it’s just difficult for him to translate whatever he is experiencing into the common realm of experience.

However, as he was my guest on the podcast I created to give a platform to people with a message, I did my best to help him do just that.

The chaos of which I referred to in the title of this post is the scattered and rather disjointed musings of me pal Mohammed. There was much to consider in the words that he spoke, but they were not delivered chronologically, and were often quite non-sequitur in nature.

He also chanted and made sound effects, the latter of which were followed by a look which said, “You get the deep and profound meaning there, right?”

And I allowed myself to take it all in and let my synthesizing mechanisms go to work. I did extract meaning and connections from our conversation, as strange and uncommon as it was. And at the end of the conversation, I was glad to have spoken with Mohammed and to have given him a platform to communicate his message.

It will not be my most popular episode by any means, and few who listen will follow through to the end, but it taught me something valuable:

If you allow yourself to create a space free of judgement and receptive to discovering meaning, then regardless of the intent or content of the message, you will find the meaning which you were meant to find.

Thus, regardless of the messenger or their message, there is a deeper level of communication occurring at all times. It is a dialogue between God and all of existence, both of which you are a part of and, because of that, have access to if you know how to tune in.

If you wish to find meaning in existence, then you must understand that it is a unified whole, and there are messages encoded in even the most seemingly inane or random bits of it. It is for you to seek the message intended for you by opening yourself to the divine language.

In order to do this, you must free your mind of obstacles to the reception of the message.

Clear your mind and share your heart, my friends, and you will find that which you were meant to find.

Thanks for reading.

A Fresh Start To A New Paradigm

I’ve been leveraging Twitter very heavily as a tool to express my thoughts, funnel traffic to my other projects and to make connections with people who are willing and able to help me build a better world.

I’ll still be doing that, but I am drastically cutting back on the time and volume spent on that platform for the next couple of months at least.

I have gained a great deal of momentum on Twitter, made connections with many incredibly talented and successful people, and created or joined several networks dedicated to helping each other improve along a number of different metrics.

Now is the time to begin to make those connections and the momentum of a highly engaged following work for me in different ways. As of today, I’m shifting the majority of my focus to projects that offer a greater degree of depth than 280 characters.

So, here’s the plan for my content output moving forward into the next few months at least:

1- One blog post per day

2- One email to my list per day

3- About one hour of engagement on Twitter per day, including on thread and thoughts I consider worth sharing

4- One live Periscope with a message of growth per day

5- Between 3-5 podcasts per week, 3 or occasionally 4 days per week

6- Working on my book projects at least 15 minutes daily

7- Daily time spent wholly focused on my family

The seventh item on that list is the most important one, and one which I’ve not been dedicating enough time to over the past several months.

I was able to write two books, start a podcast and a blog, create and join the networks mentioned above and more in this time, and I’m glad I did it, but I must now make sure to give my family the time and focus they deserve.

I’m so very grateful to have so many gratifying projects to fill me with passion and allow me to express my message, and I’m redoubling my efforts to provide those of you who consume my content with the tools, perspectives and people who will help you to become closer to the vision of your best self.

Logocentrifugal is spinning up for another level up, and you’re welcome to come with me.

Thanks for reading.

Uncomfortable Comfort

I had a video meeting with one of my mental coaching clients this morning, and we were working though some of the obstacles he’s been dealing with in the past few weeks.

He told me that one of his big fears was that he would secure only enough work to maintain a standard of barely enough.

For a bit of context, this young man recently made a very daring jump from a stable career into working for himself. He set aside some money and went for it.

He’s been struggling with discipline and urgency, so he’s looking for tools to help him stay on track with the requirements that self-employment brings.

It’s understandable too, don’t you think. If there’s nobody expecting anything from you, with the exception of your customers, then it can be very easy to get distracted.

So, we’ve been working on some tools, habits and a mental framework to help him progress into a more disciplined and consistent paradigm.

As we were talking this morning, and during the segment of our conversation which revolved around the fear of complacency and doing just enough to get by, I wrote down something I’d like to share with you:

There’s nothing more uncomfortable than permanent comfort.

Let me reiterate:

There’s nothing more uncomfortable than permanent comfort.

I don’t want to cloud your own analysis of the phrase, so I’ll leave it there, but I strongly encourage you to think about that and how it might play out in your own life.

Thanks for reading,

Chance

P.S. Here’s a classic song by Sublime to listen to while you ponder:

The Chance Lunceford Method

I’m an uncommon dude.

This has worked both to my advantage and to my detriment, depending on the circumstances and how willing I’ve been to play certain games.

But, because I only play by rules that I’ve agreed to, I’ve found that there are straight lines where most believed only circuitous routes existed.

One of these straight lines I’ve discovered is in making connections with influential people.

When I first started playing that game, which I did to secure interesting guests on the Logocentrifugal Podcast, there were a lot of strange theories about how one might garner the attention of the major players in different fields.

I tried them, and they work to a certain extent, but they are time consuming and inefficient. I don’t like shit that’s time consuming and inefficient, especially if it’s doing something that isn’t something I’m passionate about.

So, I just decided to start being more direct about it.

“Hey, influential person, want to come on my podcast?”

That’s what I started asking my guests, often on the timeline of Twitter for the whole world to see.

It has worked more times than not, but then I began to refine the process further.

My friend, and something of a mentor to me, Jack Murphy told me once, “Lead with giving.” What he meant was very layered, but in this context it means something like:

Buy their book or product, say nice things about them, leave a review of their movie, drop a line in their DMs (if open) and tell them about a point they made that you appreciated, etc…

Do something nice for them before asking them to do something nice for you.

So, then the invitation became something like, “Hey, influential person, I just bought your book, want to come on the podcast and talk about your ideas?”

That works even better than the original tactic.

But, I’m an often unlikeable man, and my reach is not yet massive enough for my cult of personality to draw in the big names, so I’ve implemented another step to increase the likelihood that people will agree to come on my podcast.

I call it the dogpile technique. It’s a modified version of something I learned from me pal GRITCULT.

I have several networks that I’m either the leader or member of, and in those groups I will occasionally ask for a dogpile. This means that I’ll tweet out an invitation, having lead with giving, and then summon my crew to jump on the invitation and dogpile the momentum attached to the invitation.

So I might say, “Bought your book, it’s good, want to talk?”

Then my Logocentrifugoons will weigh in with things like:

“This would be an epic conversation.”

“Do it, I’d pay $15 to listen to this conversation.”

“Chance is a great guy to talk to, and your conversation with him would be like no other you’ve had.”

etc, etc, etc…

Plus, copious liking and retweets of the post itself.

The final piece of the Chance Lunceford Method I’ll reveal today is the handshake routine:

On all the dogpile comments, I use either fist-bump or handshake emojis, or something like a Clint Eastwood Nodding GIF to acknowledge the participation. Then my crew return the handshake. Then we all like each other’s handshakes.

Why do we do this?

Well, it’s quite amusing for one, and another reason is that the public display of camaraderie and respect looks and feels good, and the final reason is that the additional and prolonged engagement provided by the handshakes keeps the invitation, and the conversation around it, at the top of the notifications for the person I’m trying to recruit, and elevates the exposure to many more people on Twitter, which encourages organic engagement too.

Some of my friends who’ve noticed that I’ve had great success with this process have begun to emulate, including my friends Nick, Jeff and Daniel who just used this technique to begin discussions to have the one and only Jocko Willink come on their podcast The Unemployables.

That’s pretty badass.

So, if I can lure in national political pundits, the top influencers on twitter, and all manner of other influential and successful people, who are notoriously short of time, for a conversation with a weird stranger for over an hour, then imagine what you, a nice and likable person, will be able to accomplish once you step over that line.

Let the concerns over propriety and status drop entirely. If you want something, announce it and seek the support of the people who care about you.

Okay, I lied earlier, I’ll offer you one more piece of the Chance Lunceford Method before I let you go:

Be absolutely determined.

Keep pestering the people you want to talk to, keep hammering at the task you want to achieve, keep pushing at the resistance you wish to break through, and don’t stop until you either get what you’re after, or get a resounding, “Fuck off, we’ll never talk to each other.”

Even then, Sam I Am didn’t let that stop him…