‘’Destroy your own house, destroy it now!
Don’t wait one more minute! Pull the whole house down!” A treasure greater than Pharaoh’s is hidden under it,” but you can only own the treasure if you destroy your house yourself. How can you get the pay if you haven’t done the work?” –Rumi
The above poem from the Sufi mystic Rumi found me some several years ago and changed the entire direction of my life and my intention. I had been heading through life at that time for seven or eight years with a passion for coaching, (particularly, Meta-Coaching or Neuro-Semantic NLP coaching) which still burns today, and for helping or supporting people, through coaching, to ‘become a some one or a something; of becoming a success or a powerful Executive Leader for example.
In this poem, when Rumi speaks the word ‘house’ he is referring or pointing to our own sense of self, or persona, personality, who we take ourselves to be. So in essence he is saying destroy yourself, destroy your self-sense, right now! Do not wait! How terrifying and how much does that fly in the face of becoming a someone! This article is not about this poem, however, it is poignant and I will come back to it.
This article is about what emerged for me on a personal level and what arose post-coaching on a professional level that today, is supporting my-self and many other people to realizing greater access to their own Human Potential and Peak Performance through what I call:
The Occupant Inquiry process
The definition of an inquiry is a question or an investigation – Oxford Dict.
The Occupant Inquiry Process is the process of facilitation and my role in The Inquiry process is that of a Facilitator, it is not coaching, it is too directive and dependent on my own or the facilitators knowing and direct experience to be called coaching, it is also not therapy or remedial, nor is it generative, yet, the client is still in a one-on-one relationship that could look like executive coaching from the outside. So, not a remedial or generative process, instead, I like to call the Inquiry process; relative -
The process is near to both human evolution and involution (generally, any movement from the higher to the lower in a holarchy) although it is actually more like taking both processes and directions and integrating them together.
The Inquiry Process is not about something new for the future, it is not about resolving something old from the past; it is about rediscovering our Origin-al, in the here and now, plumbing the depths of this moment, right now as it actually is and as it actually is being experienced intra and inter-personally by the client or ourselves.
Paradoxically, the Inquiry Process does not have any particular outcome or KPI yet the outcome of the inquiry can be the direct route to our human potential, to the experience of greater freedom from our (s)elf and the environment, more capacity for authenticity and a significant reduction in the noise or the voice in our head of the inner judge or critic. Under these different conditions, much more significant access becomes available to you for unlocking your own potential, peak performance and possibility.
‘As an individual evolves from the Reactive stage to the Unity stage his ability to influence the environment increases in inverse proportion to the environment’s power to influence him’ – J.Wade; Changes of Mind 1996
So, what is the Inquiry Process about? It is about a facilitation process that supports us accessing our, your, greatest human potential; it is about reclaiming your highest quality of life. What does this Inquiry process offer you, what is it’s design?
Well, it is about facilitating you to tapping into the potential of your own self-actualisation (accessing your ‘best-self) & self-realization (accessing your ‘true-self or true-nature’) and engaging your capacity for peak performance as a human being.
It is about living in the potential and possibility of your original self and nature! It is about experiencing the universal aspects of joy, happiness or contentment, it is about; what I like to call rediscovering ‘The Wavelength of Life!
‘The Wavelength of Life’ is the direct experience of you accessing and experiencing your potential, in the moment, through the optimal states and non-states within Stillness and Awareness of Being integrated into the Flow state of your individual and unique doing or peak performance’
‘The Wavelength of Life’ -->+= Accessing Human Potential & Peak Performance’
My direct personal experience over these last couple of years, plus having worked, and still working with, over a dozen clients in The Inquiry Process, is that this ‘Wavelength of life’ is available to everyone, and is directly accessible, (if you are prepared to do the work - Rumi) through numerous routes, one of those being The Inquiry Process, and, in fact, the experience of the Wavelength of Life’ is already within you and available to you as a part and parcel of being Human.
So, a question arose for me, if that is generally true, about everyone, how is it that most people if not everyone is not surfing and experiencing ‘The Wavelength of Life’ and therefore living and performing from their highest potential and possibility?
In fact, many of us, through multiple causes, are living on an old track, the track of probability, seemingly safe, and secure, the repetitive pathway of the habit of the human doing! Losing vitality and overly preoccupied J I love the word pre-occupied, it is so significant to this article, I will come back to this word soon.
The following quote from Alan Watts’s sums up nicely the experience of life lived habitually and probably:
"There once was a man who said 'damn, it certainly seems that I am, a creature that moves, in determinate grooves, I'm not even a bus, I'm a tram!' ~Alan Watts
So, what stops or prevents so many of us getting on the Wavelength of Life’ of more fully accessing our Human Potential and experiencing Peak Performances?
If that question is of interest to you too, then, that is the nature of this paper, to identify, explore and share as much as I am able for you to discover, choose and ultimately start your own journey of origin to your own greatest potential, performance and possibility as a human being…
Before I get to the heart of the ‘what stops or prevents us’, I’d like to lightly touch on the why we are not all in an Inquiry process. Now, this often doesn’t land well for many, however, in the nature of The Wavelength, I am going to say it anyway.
It is about ignorance, our innate, social and institutional ignorance!
Yes, it’s a broad-brushstroke, yet, put simply, we just do not know about, know how or what, our birthright of experiencing The Wavelength of life, our Human Potential, actually is! Nor how to experience it with our own volition, not surprising then that we are not ‘getting on it’ that often.
Let’s lay out the landscape here then, let’s start to get more clarity around this ‘not knowing’.
The simple news is there is only one major obstacle; the complex news is that it is multi-faceted, with several players and phenomenon at work, preventing us getting more fully on The Wavelength of Life…
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” ― Gospel of Thomas
Great, Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter:
We are born into this world, without a self-sense, undifferentiated. We are unable to conceptualise, use language, re-present symbols of meaning or even hold images in mind, (called constancy of representation.) at least until we reach about 9-12 months of age. We are innately ignorant of such realities. It could be a bliss experience, other than the fact that we have a body, are in the environment and subject to deficient survival drives and instinctoids (Maslow) for which currently there is no cream or ointment available J There is no self sense or Occupant (yet), however, we cannot know this just yet.
By the time we are able to start to conceptualise, hold Mum in mind, when she is not there, we are getting to learn our next level of ignorance (social), we are being socialized;:
You are a boy/girl- your name is X- you are good /bad- you are clever/stupid – you belong / do not belong- you can/ you cant- you should/ you shouldn’t. Not me, ‘I’ a caregiver informs you. You are like Dad/ Mum- you are not your brother; you are just like your brother- if only you were more like your brother! Play with this /don't play with that – that is only for boys/girls
You get the idea? And that's just at home! Now you are 2yrs old… yes, you are ‘2’ also J
If you have lived and survived that, you are growing up, you are moving in years, by 6yrs old you have had at least 4 years of being informed who and what you are, in a way that you can make sense of… you are ready for the world! You are now in school, and the next level of ignorance is being learnt; (institutional)
Here, you are typed; the type of person, the type of friend, the type of group you belong too, your capacity and competence are boxed and a shiny bow or old piece of string placed around it –
Up till now the world; parents, relatives, media and schooling have been raising you to ‘know’ who and what you are! However, a very interesting phenomena start to occur- you start to raise your-self! Struggle with yourself, compare yourself, measure yourself against other ‘selves’; now you want to show off your self, improve your self, prove yourself to yourself, to others and particularly to significant others that you a are worthy and valuable self!
You have become preoccupied with your self, as you move into teen-age years, you are so preoccupied with this self, that it seems like the only thing in existence is YOU! At which point everyone and everything that informed you of how to be this self that you take yourself to be, is telling you: get over yourself- think of someone else for a change! Get out of that mirror! You are so selfish!
At this point, what you do not realize, cannot realize it that you are preoccupied with yourself because you were pre-occupied with this self before you had the opportunity or capacity to experience your unique true self, your true nature.
I call that pre-occupied phenomena; The Occupant – a someone, a self-sense, that is already within you, that is truly not you, not who or what you actually are!
YOU ARE UNDER THE OCCUPATION OF NOT YOU!
Have you ever noticed that to experience your not-‘self’ (The Occupant) you have to do one or all of at least 4 different things inside?
To find yourself, to identify your self with who you are and to locate your investment (The Occupant) you have to intend to find out who you are, you have to attend to your thoughts and other people and their input to find this ‘self’, you also need to use your memory to re-member yourself and your imagination to think about who you are and who you are becoming. So there are at least 4 primary referent points to being able to experience your sense of self:
What would happen if you did not do this to find your ‘self’? You would be only left with your true self and nature.
As you go through your teens into becoming a young adult, institutional and social ignorance has got you fully in its grip. Now you need to think about what you are going to be and do- where do you fit- you realize that you are not worthy of being and doing certain things- certain professions or relationships. Now your sense of identity is your largest inhibitor to your very own potential as a human being!
In the poem, Rumi says; Destroy your own house (self-sense) do not wait another minute. What he realized and I realize is that we (you) are now going to spend, probably, the rest of your lives trying to build up your ‘house’ or self-sense, we are going to give everything we have to making our Occupant valuable and lovable! We will get a great career, partner, house, reputation, and social network of friends (other Occupants J ) –we a going to become a somebody! –a good citizen- Often we will find a significant other that sees and validates our Occupant; if this sense of being seen and valued fades, we can often go looking for additional ‘others’ to validate and love our Occupant within or without of our significant relationship.
Today, your occupant in forms, unsurprisingly your every living moment… it informs your values, your ideals, and of course your professional Occupation! J
All in service of having a significant ‘house’ (self) with a great façade that people can like love and be proud or envious of.
Then we die, or at least as far as the Occupant is concerned, it is called retiring! As we leave institutional ignorance and ‘care;’ the Occupant asks; who am I now! What the hell am I supposed to do now! What is really being asked and simultaneously realized is ‘How will I demonstrate my value and worthiness now, with the realization that it no longer matters, no-one was seeing YOU anyway…
There are many aspects of our lives where the Occupant is seemingly more prevalent; with certain people, in certain places, or mainly when we are alone. I call these aspects of life ‘The Rooms’ of ‘The House’ that your Occupant lives in. Like most houses, they tend to be made up of many rooms, however, there are usually a few main rooms that are in-habit-ed mostly. The follow four rooms can give an insight into where we mainly discover our Occupant living through us.
Room of (MIND) Interior Self-Sense:
Intention (to be a somebody; that is a loved & loveable ‘self')
Attention (constant confirming and or disconfirming of my ’self')
Memory (Who I take my ‘self’ to be)
Imagination (Who I intend to be - becoming) ‘hero scenario’s’
Room of (BODY) Exterior Physical & Somatic Self-Sense:
Intention (to be Seen to be a somebody that is a loved / loveable ‘self')
Attention (Presenting my ‘self’ physically/ visually as my ’self' & felt ‘self’ sense)
Memory (previous somatic awareness of energetic existence of ‘self’)
Imagination (presenting my ‘self’ in speech, behaviors and dress -image- as the
‘self’ that’s becoming a more loved/ loveable ’self')
Room of (RELATIONSHIP MIRROR) Cultural & Relational Self-Sense:
Intention (to be seen/ known/ acknowledged as a ’self' that is a loved/ lovable)
Attention (Who is confirming/ disconfirming of my ’self')
Memory (recalling who has, does and does not confirm my ’self')
Imagination (Who else could confirm/disconfirm my ’self’; why would they?)
Room of (CHECKING IN) Social and Environmental Self-Sense:
Intention (to be the most loved / loveable ‘self’ in this group or environment)
Attention (Who here is more loved or loveable than my ’self')
Memory (Where else has my ‘self’ been acknowledged)
Imagination (where else or who else could I be - acting) Scenario’s
Pull the whole house down! A treasure greater than Pharaoh’s is hidden under it,”
So, what is the ‘Treasure’? Well, there is great Joy in this seemingly difficult and limiting condition, the joy is the fact the we and you now know there is an Occupant in there running the show; running your life! No longer ignorant of this truth, we have the possibility of being free – free to find and express our innate, essential identity, our true and unique self.
This alone is a treasure greater than that of Pharaoh’s. To be able to experience and even express yourself as you, deeply genuine and authentically in your own life, personally and professionally! To regain all the energy, time and vitality being lost, worrying and building up something in us that is not real.
To lose our self-awareness, is to gain access to our greatest potential as a human being, it enables a much more aligned and depth of being with the present moment, so close in fact as to be able to experience the present moment as yourself. Free of the voice of the critical ‘self’ seeing through the self-talk and the judger- knowing deeply and profoundly that; that which is being critical and judgmental of you in your head and of the world at large is not you, is not real and is not true… The world will no longer have you and you will have the world.
The possibilities and the probabilities of being ‘unoccupied’ (free of The Occupant) are immense, profound and ultimately, critical to your future and to all of ours!
Are you ready to be free of your Occupant and come join us surfing on The Wavelength of life?
Here are the voices of a few others finding they are…
Before I came into Inquiry there existed a judge and a grand jury who deliberated, prosecuted, defended, and determined right from wrong, smart from stupid, punishment from reward; like a cacophony of voices in the courtroom of my mind. The noise was constant and immense, and I never realised or noticed anything out of place because I mistook those voices to be me. Of course I would think about myself, my life, of course I would deliberate and judge and be conscious of myself – who wouldn’t? That’s “normal” I thought, or in hindsight I realised, that’s “conventional”. And so are the side effects – cycles of doubt, confidence, pride, insecurity, defensiveness, excitement, conditional love – all culminating in a conditional experience of life. So long as the environment met my conditions and everything was going swell the judge was happy… for a little while. But of course, the judge is never happy for too long I realised, because that would be lazy and look at all of the other people in the world who are achieving so much, why aren’t you doing more, why aren’t you being more? And so the cycle would begin anew. My eyes would set on some new goal, some new achievement, some new thing to obtain or work towards or accomplish that would satisfy the jury and earn me the conditional right to relax again… for a little while.
During the inquiry process I started to realise that I was playing my life to an occupant –And so long as I carried around a judge, I was being judged. So long as there was noise in my mind, there was a reason to not be fully present to my life; there was a reason to be distracted.
With the Inquiry program I started the process of evicting the judge and the result has been significant. The noise has quietened. There is less going on in my mind, which means there has been more of me to give – to give to my relationships, my work, my life. What I am capable of outputting has grown exponentially and yet ironically more and more I don’t experience the “need” to output anything. Happiness has taken on a new definition for me. It used to be elation at having acquired something. Now happiness is the experience of not having any reason to leave the present moment, there’s nowhere to go, no one to be, nothing to do, and from here I am in touch with my absolute potential in this moment.
James F. Hayes