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    The Thoughtmap Of Possibility

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  • Thoughtmap Of Possibility

    Until you recognize that you do in fact have an Underworld, it makes no sense to map it in detail. After perceiving the magnitude and frequency of your internal urges that are decidedly less than honorable, it suddenly becomes imperative to understand where they are coming from and what they are for.

    Everybody has an Underworld. The processes through which you personally own your Underworld take time. Allow yourself to have that time. Some Underworld recognition processes are simple and quick. Some processes are longer and more complex. The Underworld is never wrong, never healed and never goes away. You may as well include the Underworld as part of the whole picture of things. What helps build a foundation of clarity for navigating your Underworld is the Map of Possibility.

    The Map of Possibility brings together many of the elements we have been distinguishing throughout this book. The map is complex and sophisticated, and although it looks like it represents a dichotomy, it has nothing to do with the dualities of right and wrong, or good and bad. The Map of Possibility describes what is possible for you to create right now.

    As with every map, the Map of Possibility is neither true nor false – instead it is accurate or inaccurate, useful or not useful. Every map in this book is under continuous development and improvement. Nothing is final. It is you who verify the accuracy or usefulness of each map, and you who will continue to develop these maps. Possibility Management is open code. If you understand it, you are qualified to use it. You are also responsible for the outcome of its use, and for its further development.

    The Map of Possibility starts with a vertical line drawn in the center of the page. This line represents the only thing that is true on this map – that everything is neutral; that everything happens without meaning. There is no good or bad, no better or worse, no right or wrong, and no positive or negative. Not even the fact that everything is meaningless has any meaning. What is, is, as it is, and occurs with no story attached.
    The implications of this declaration of neutrality are vast, although they all derive from one source: Radical Responsibility. There is no such thing as a problem. It is impossible to be a victim of circumstances. You cannot be at the effect of a situation because you are busily creating the situation. All of psychology is a virtual reality. Conflicts are theatrical pieces enacted among Boxes; you as a being cannot have a conflict. Reasons have no power. Irresponsibility is a complete illusion.

    Nevertheless . . . even so . . . on the other hand . . . well yeah, but . . . we are human beings. And, as we’ve mentioned many times before, human beings are meaning-making machines, with a little element called “the mind.” Its job is to churn out an endless stream of meaningless thoughts and stories, and it does its job with a vengeance. Without training you are probably unwilling to remain uncomfortably present to the simple “what is” of existence. You are also probably unwilling to leave things in their stark neutrality. Instead, to ease your discomfort and/or establish some foothold in the camp of right or wrong, you believe your own stories about what happens.

    Right now you are creating stories in your mind, heart, soul and body about how things are for you and what you perceive to be happening around you. The nature of your stories, as we’ve discussed in previous chapters (see especially Section 12-B), determines the nature of the world for you. Recall that you do not interact with the world as it is. You interact with your stories about the world, and no story can be true because stories are stories!

    But, remember also that stories have power, because the Box has an incredible susceptibility to snap into the reality of a story (just walk by a television and you can feel the magnetic pull into the world of stories). Since stories have power, you act as if your stories are true, even though you just now made the stories up out of nothing.

    The world is rich in evidence to support any story that you want to make up. It only takes a tiny shred of evidence to support the believability of an entire story, and you are very skilled at finding those shreds and creating a complete universe of opinions, attitudes, judgments, expectations, and beliefs that all fit together into a very convincing story.

    Interestingly, you do not make up stories about everything. Many things exist or happen and you make up no story about them. The stories that you do make up have a specific purpose; you make them up for a reason. Either you are aware of the purpose of your story or not. Being aware or not aware of the purpose of your story divides your creating into two categories:
    • creations that serve conscious purposes, and
    • creations that serve unconscious purposes.


    It will cost you blood, sweat and tears to truly understand what I am saying here. Awareness is expensive in the sense that it does not come free of pain. The arising of consciousness hurts. But your pain of consciousness can be put to very practical use on the Map of Possibility. You can sense if you are conscious of the purpose of your story or not.
    If you are conscious of the purpose of your story then your actions feel painful (laced with frustration, grief, delight or worry). Your actions feel a little forced, pushing against internal resistance. Consciousness is irritating because it provides you with multiple layers of perspectives: you see what you are doing and you see that you see what you are doing. Your moves cannot be fully automatic anymore.

    On the other hand, if you are not conscious of the purpose of your story, your actions may feel smooth and ordinary. That is because you are identified with your actions, convinced that they are right, that they are the only possible actions to be taken in the given circumstances.
    Being unconscious of the purpose of your story does not mean that you will know that you are unconscious. This is the nature of unconsciousness. Until your denial is busted, until you are disambiguated, until your focus refined, your fog burnt away by the heat of realization, you unconsciously assume that you are fully conscious. Only after consciousness expands can you look back and see that, just previously, you were less conscious.
    You interact with the world according to the perspectives supplied to you by the stories that you yourself create. When you take actions that support stories that serve unconscious purposes (for example, the all-too-common story that your parents did wrong to you, so to get back at them you dedicate your life to proving to the world that you had horrible parents by being a miserable failure yourself), what you are not conscious of is the full costs of your actions (for example, that you sacrifice an immensely joyous adult life to try to get the attention of someone who already proved to you that they don’t care about you). Not being aware of the costs of your actions is irresponsible. Not being aware of the costs of your actions sets up irresponsible “games” (interactions with Low Drama payoffs) with other people.

    The most basic irresponsible game that human beings play is called “personal survival”. The game of personal survival is irresponsible because it blatantly ignores recognizing that you are alive right now. Since you have already survived, there is no need to continue trying to survive. That would be like trying to drink while you are already drinking, trying to breathe while you are already breathing.

    If you play the personal survival game then you might automatically assume that there is a scarcity of resources, meaning not enough for everybody. That assumption appears obvious. People are starving to death in Africa. Countries are at war over the remaining oil reserves in the Middle East. Logically, there is only a limited quantity of money, a limited quantity of love, a limited quantity of jobs, a limited quantity of positions in the hierarchy, a limited quantity of territory to own or control, a limited quantity of recognition, time, space, energy, fame, intelligence, and a limited quantity of really good chocolate cake.

    From the irresponsible perspective of the survival game, whatever “it” is scarce, then, if they get it, you do not get it. They live, and you die. Personal survival based on the belief in limited resources manifests as competition. The game is, “I win, you lose.” If you win then you have power over the other. “Ha! Ha! I got you!” You feel glad when another person hurts. You experience joy when the other team is defeated. Such joy is irresponsible joy because it avoids the bigger picture responsibility.

    The bigger picture is that the “I win, you lose” game results in far more losers than winners. The losers are full of resentment and jealousy. They want nothing more than to get revenge, to beat you back, and gloat over your pain of being the loser. Or, they want nothing more than to help all of the poor losers and feel superior about what a great person they are to, as Randy Newman would say, “help the needy and show them the way.” The exciting “I win, you lose” game involves victims, persecutors and rescuers thrashing about in the irresponsible unconscious theater called Low Drama, which we’ve detailed in Chapter XX, Section X). Low Drama creates only more Low Drama, so nothing ever really changes.
    The master of ceremonies at your Low Drama spectacles, the King or Queen of your irresponsible creating, is your Gremlin. Your Gremlin sits on the throne, smokes a cigar, and has dominion over all the creatures in your Underworld ecology. Your victim, persecutor and rescuer characters, knights of the triangular table, unconsciously role-play their theater pieces to serve your Gremlin’s Hidden Purposes. In the Underworld domain nothing is sacred.
    The Principle that nothing is sacred is a Shadow Principle. The Principle that everything is sacred is a Bright Principle. The terminology of “Shadow” and “Bright” for describing Principles is used because the Map of Possibility aligns with traditional Archetypal maps given to us through legend and fable. We could have equally used the terms “Red Principles” and “Blue Principles.” Retaining the ancient terminology makes the Archetypal alignment clear.
    The danger of using the term “Shadow Principle” is that it is so easy for you to equate “Shadow” with “bad.” “Shadow” simply implies something that is more or less obscured, indistinct, murky, fogged, confused, blocked and absorbing. The danger of using the term “Bright Principle” is that it is so easy for you to equate “bright” with “good.” “Bright” simply implies something that is more or less revealed, transparent, obvious, distinct, clear and radiant. The view that you can categorize something as either good or bad is itself a Shadow Principle.
    The Map of Possibility primarily distinguishes between using Bright Principles for responsible creating or using Shadow Principles for irresponsible creating.
    Principles are forces of nature, facets of the consciousness out of which the universe is made. Consciousness spans a full spectrum from the total lack of consciousness at one extreme to the total completeness of consciousness at the other extreme. Both consciousness and unconsciousness are complementary aspects of the same phenomena – a phenomenon that does not really have a name. It is previous to yet the substance of material manifestation. We could call it God. We could call it love. We could call it reality. We could call it The Nameless.
    In general, consciousness can be divided into two categories according to its editorial spin, its purpose. Consciousness either has the purpose of increasing responsibility or consciousness has the purpose of decreasing responsibility.
    Applied consciousness is responsibility. Responsibility is consciousness in action. Responsibility is the overriding Bright Principle of the Upperworld.
    Bright Principles are all facets of the jewel of responsibility, such as: Respect, Friendship, Integrity, Kindness, Reliability, Communication, Clarity, Possibility, Acceptance, Lightness, Intimacy, Community, Inclusion, Openness, Vulnerability, Faithfulness, Creation, Joy, Generosity, Transformation, Understanding, Being-With, Discovery, Exploration, Learning, Growth, Sharing, Winning Happening, Abundance, and Love.

    Applied unconsciousness is irresponsibility. Irresponsibility is unconsciousness in action. Irresponsibility is the overriding Shadow Principle of the Underworld.
    Shadow Principles are all aspects of irresponsibility, such as: Superiority, Separation, Exclusion, Waste, Revenge, Greed, Envy, Deception, Betrayal, Being Betrayed, Resentment, Mockery, Manipulation, Trickery, Competition, Disrespect, Exploitation, Denial, Destruction, Chaos, Having Enemies, Control, Cruelty, Cynicism, Invulnerability, “I win, you lose,” Scarcity, Survival, and Hate.

    We have many names for manifestations of the Gremlin in our culture, for example, thief, murderer, terrorist, religious fanatic, con artist, irresponsible businessman, sect leader, sociopath, rapist, tyrant, embezzler, corrupt politician, pornographer, egomaniac, burglar, crook, criminal, drama queen, swindler, assassin, gossip, child abuser, mobster, thug, extortionist, drug dealer, rumor-monger, mercenary, bandit, pickpocket, hijacker, hoodlum, racketeer, gangster, etc. And very colorful names they are indeed. The enthusiastic creativity with which we name our Shadow Worlders indicates something about the present state of our culture. Compare that to the names our culture has for the King or Queen of the Upperworld: leader, priest, business manager, politician… wait a minute! In modern Western cultures a position of leadership does not automatically imply responsibility. The position of leader has been so profoundly abused that in many cases its irresponsible connotations are unshakeable (such as the inherent repulsiveness of the German word Führer). Modern terms for leaders remain completely ambiguous until we put the qualifier “responsible” in front of them, such as responsible leader, responsible priest, responsible business manager, responsible politician, responsible doctor, responsible spiritual leader, responsible professor, responsible artist, responsible inventor, and so on. To provide clarity in speaking about a responsible conscious King or Queen of the Upperworld we refer to them as Archetypal Man and Archetypal Woman, or Man and Woman with a capital “M” and “W.”

    Since our present culture is so thoroughly contexted in unconscious irresponsibility we have had to begin our exploration of the Map of Possibility beginning on the irresponsible side. Only after we have some moments of objective remorse about the depths to which we have been trained to produce Low Drama can we even begin to talk about the other side of the map and what it is to create High Drama.

    Whereas Gremlin takes actions to avoid responsibility and instead creates irresponsible games, Man or Woman takes responsible actions that create responsible games. Gremlin’s game is played as “I win, you lose,” and Gremlin feels glad when the other person suffers. Archetypal Man or Woman’s game is played as “Winning Happening” which is itself a Bright Principle. Man or Woman feels glad when the other person learns, heals, grows, discovers, or expands their Box.


    Whereas Gremlin knows only the experience of surviving because resources are so obviously scarce and must be coveted, Man or Woman explores the possibilities of really living – a completely different context from merely surviving - and therefore already has an abundance of everything that is needed. Man or Woman can be generous and kind because they take responsibility for sourcing the resources. If there is ever not enough of a particular resource they create more. Solutions to creating resources are often nonlinear, and arrive from Man or Woman unreasonably committing to sourcing the resources even before they know how. The satisfaction of having already committed to producing a result establishes a flow of necessity between the result that is committed to and the Bright Principles that can provide the result. The flow is through the space that Man of Woman holds. Man’s and Woman’s feelings have been 100-percent stellated to activate the intelligence and energy of the Archetypal Masculine and Feminine structures.


    Rage stellates into the doer or maker, the Archetypal Warrior (or Warrioress).

    Sadness stellates into the communicator, the Archetypal Lover.

    Fear stellates into the creator, the Archetypal Magician (or Sorceress).

    And after these three energies have been activated it is discovered that, previous to them and continuously present, is a reasonless, radiant, background joy of responsibility. It is the joy of the King or Queen blessing their people.


    The doer, the communicator and the creator characters are role-played as necessary to serve the Archetypal Man or Woman’s three, four or five Bright Principles of his or her true destiny through creating conscious acts of responsible theater called High Drama.

    We get to be a slave of our Shadow Principles or a servant of our Bright Principles. Slave or servant, that is the choice we gain through the Map of Possibility. It is a choice worth struggling for.

  • How To Use The Map Of Possibility

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