Trispectivism as perceived by Roland Barthes, in Mythologies

“How is a myth received? We must here once more come back to the duplicity of its signifier, which is at once meaning and form. I can produce three different types of reading by focusing on the one, or the other, or both at the same time.

 

  1. If I focus on an empty signifier, I let the concept fill the form of the myth without ambiguity, and I find myself before a simple system, where the signification becomes literal again: the Negro who salutes is an example of French imperiality, he is a symbol for it. This type of focusing is, for instance, that of the producer of myths, of the journalist who starts with a concept and seeks a form for it.
  2. If I focus on a full signifier, in which I clearly distinguish the meaning and the form, and consequently the distortion which the one imposes on the other, I undo the signification of the myth, and I receive the latter as an imposture: the saluting Negro becomes the alibi of French imperiality. This type of focusing is that of the mythologist: he deciphers the myth, he understands a distortion.
  3. Finally, if I focus on the mythical signifier as on an inextricable whole made of meaning and form, I receive an ambiguous signification: I respond to the constituting mechanism of myth, to its own dynamics, I become a reader of myths. The saluting Negro is no longer an example or a symbol, still less an alibi: he is the very presence of French imperiality.

The first two types of focusing are static, analytical; they destroy the myth, either by making its intention obvious, or by unmasking it: the former is cynical, the latter demystifying. The third type of focusing is dynamic, it consumes the myth according to the very ends built into its structure: the reader lives the myth as a story at once true and unreal.”

[Taken from Roland Barthes, Mythologies, Selected and translated from French by Annette Lavers, The Noonday Press – NY, Farrar, Straus & Giroux  p. 127.]

A thought about the power of connectivity and technology. Connected by Tiffany Shlain

For centuries we were preoccupied about independence, let us now begin advocate for interdependence. This is me paraphrasing the conclusion from the documentary Connected, by Tiffany Shlain. This 80min film is a touch of personal quest for the memory of her recent deceased father, the brain surgeon and writer Leonard Shlain, and a call for global recognition of the power of interconnectivity. The legacy of her father is shown to be implanted in an aspiring director and human-being giving way for an aesthetic feature documentary.

connected-posterConnected_the_FilmI cannot say that the documentary reveals any large scale investigation or even revised common knowledge and preconceptions about the Internet / Smartphone era we are living in. However, it does offer a broader perspective about the interconnectivity between everything on this planet (or the universe, if you ask Neil deGrasse Tyson). The film skillfully intertwines between her autobiography with a eulogy to her father’s work and the impact of technology over our present and future existence. This is a very difficult task, moving back and forth from the individual and the universal with coherent logical continuance, and yet, with the aid of excellent animation director and film narration, Tiffany manages to create eighty minutes of interesting reflection on our life.

I connected to the documentary because of its basic conceptual vision of interconnectivity between the individual and the universal, which is what I investigate in my book Trisipectivism. Unlike many texts written about the good and the bad that people create with new technology (while some creating MOOCs to provide high level education for people around the globe, others succumb into self-indulged egocentric use), the film tries to focus on the big picture of simply making the better choice. The cycle of wrongful doing can always be broken by a simple decision of begin advocating and working for good.

We are on a crossroad, she concludes, and it is up to us to use this power for good. Although I find this conclusion somewhat arrogant for, in this world, it is the constant sensation that we, in this dot of time and space, are all so potent and important for the future. Perhaps it is not as romantic as the film’s narration but it is exactly that fact that might just help us regain consciousness of our place in this world. Maybe she is right, and we should take this role of masters of the universe and actively set the world back into order. Or, on the other hand, maybe if we stop thinking that we are so great, we will naturally be led to living peacefully with our fellow cohabitant of this amazing universe. As much as I would like to choose the second option, it is against nature to stop concentrating on the ‘I’ as the chosen one. Thus, in the end, her largest contradiction might just be the film’s most important message.

Which ever way, the movie speaks not only to your emotional individual being (the loss of a loving father, the birth of a baby, movie against the odds) but also to the universal one (global connectivity, Cosmos etc.). It is left for each and every one to decide which interaction she will choose.

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“Earthrise” image is the first color image of our planet taken by humans

Trispectivism, a word about Sex

Probably the most disturbing issue about sex is that sex is, in fact, an issue. So much has been said about this act that somehow we lost the act along the way, along with the mixture of modern, psychological, occidental, oriental, theological, natural, and many more interpretative ways. Sex has become a public discourse, a symbol that all eyes are immediately attracted to, a photo on a movie poster or a book cover that augments the sales and a hot topic to boost blog views (never).

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So what is Sex? Well, on a more pragmatic perspective, one can say it is a manner of reproduction, of procreation, of the continuation of the species and the passage of evolutional universal consciousness and knowledge. On an emotional level, it is the strongest connection possible between two members of the same species, usually, but not necessarily, a male and a female. When a man penetrates a woman, the immediate and most sublime sensation is the unison of the two. Two who become one, united in this cosmic energy, stronger, with neither care nor sorrow, as the most intimate company to each other. This is perhaps why sex has become an immediate relief of people’s feeling of detachment and sadness, an instant cure for loneliness.

However, there is a moment in sex when the situation is altered, when each person is no longer in this wonderful unison, an inexplicable instance when something occurs that makes us disappear, dissipate into almost nonexistence. This moment, as you well know, is the culminating point, the explosion of the entire sexual act: it is the orgasm.

Once you reach unison with your partner you are physically fused to one, your mental self becomes one. This togetherness is as strong as the connection between the partners, or in other words, the bigger the love, respect, and communication between you and your lover, the greater the fusion will be. A passionate lovemaking means to be absorbed in your partner and expressing your passion through the coordinated movement of your body. Now, during the orgasm you mentally detach yourself from your partner, from yourself, and from your surroundings, a moment where you find another existence, a more ancient animalistic one. It is when the individual All fuses with the universal All. From an immediate few seconds up to several minutes, the orgasm is the peak of the act of lovemaking; it is the culminating point that is the reason for our desire.

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The position of the day

There is no reason why anyone should have any kind of sexual difficulty, discomfort, or any kind of obstacle to enjoying intercourse with a partner. Thus, when you get into bed with someone, hopefully you  have chosen this person not because you are obliged to do so for there is no circumstance that can be used as an excuse to be in bed with someone you do not choose to be with, no matter what you have been told or, even worse, what you have been telling yourself. Even if it is a one-night stand, a momentary need for a passionate encounter, we always make sure we are aware of our choice and accept it as such. It is probably as important that after we choose the person, the moment, and the circumstances, we should be conscious to another occurrence, where we are getting into bed not with this person but with an alter ego, or the person we would have liked ourselves to be. What I mean is to be whole with our physical self. Sexual intercourse requires nudity, which is something that many have problems with. If my partner is a female, it is simple: if she chooses me, she wants me not because of the things I do not have but for the advantages I might possess (at least in her eyes). We are all aware to the fact that women are much more conscious about the person they choose to have intercourse with, so do not bother yourself with superficial maybes. She will accept me just the way I am as long as I try my best to be kind, considerate, and natural with her. If your partner is a guy…well, make sure you choose him. However, both men and women admit that sex out of love is much better sex. It is where the pre- and the post-intercourse actually matters and affects the emotion in that heavenly moment of climax. Aspects such as caring, trust, security, confidence, intimacy, and patience are only some of the emotions and feelings that by far will incite a far more sensational intercourse. This interaction of the climax as an individual All and the entire sexual act as a universal All is, in the end, what we can call great sex.

Trispectivism going free! ebook handout

After some thoughts about goals and my approach and ideals in life I have decided to give the book for free. In this new and exciting world of unlimited possibilities on the web and beyond, the non commercial, sharing and interchanging should be the motto for many of the things we do. A few years ago, during my travels, I came across a book in Savannah, GA. I adore books so I was curious. I looked around to see who it might belong to and saw no one. Gently, I lifted it and open the hard cover. To my complete surprise and awe in the first page was described, in nice handwriting, that the book is a free traveling book, meaning, you can take it, read it and be kind enough to put it somewhere for the next person to enjoy. I was so excited to be a part of that trust and share that this experience marked me for life. The book turn out to be excellent and a week later I left it on a park bench in Marin county, CA.

Even though the self publication did cost me some money and I am really far from being rich (academic in Humanities and material reward are far from being best friends), I realized that giving the book is much more rewarding. That being said, if you like the book and you and your friends can afford it, please feel free to contribute by making a purchase (paperback or kindle). The ebook presented here can be downloaded in the kindle version (you can download free kindle reader for pc) or in pdf.

Moreover, if you enjoyed reading the whole or parts of it and you think it might be helpful and interesting to others, please feel free to write something about it. You can also use any part of the book and the posts in this blog for what ever purpose you like. This book is a conversation, if you like, one that I cannot have with all who wants to read it, thus, it is up to you to continue it. Thus, if you wish to add whatever creation of your own, please feel free to do so, in a book of you own, in your blog and if you contact me, right here. Beyond doubt, it is interaction that connects the unreachable universal and the open and friendly individuals we are. Enjoy!!!

Trispectivism in kindle

Trispectivism in pdf 

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Take it away, it´s yours…

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Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle as a paradigm to Trispectivism

Yesterday I shared a link of a TED talk I especially liked and found useful. The talk is about vision, perspective, marketing strategy, social psychology and ideology. It is about how to address your public whether you are a large enterprise, a small innovator or a politician with strong ideals. Now, I decided to go ahead and to write something a little more elaborated about it because I began to think it is yet another good example to a method created by what the essence of Trispectivism really is. Thus, if you have read Trispectivism, you will probably recognize how it takes place in his method, if not, click here and then pay close attention to the elements that consist his strategy, for they a perfect derivative of what Trispectivism is.

Sinek talks about why all the innovators, the achievers and the outstanding manage to be on top of their competitors in spite of the fact they are practically doing the same work. With examples such as the Apple, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers he demonstrates what he calls the Golden Circle:

He says: “Why? How? What? This little idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren’t. Let me define the terms really quickly. Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP. But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by “why” I don’t mean “to make a profit.” That’s a result. It’s always a result. By “why,” I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care? Well, as a result, the way we think, the way we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in. It’s obvious. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations — regardless of their size, regardless of their industry — all think, act and communicate from the inside out.”

The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle

This wonderful idea which can be transformed in a successful marketing message and is a powerful way to demonstrate Trispectivism in this area:

The “Why” is, according to Sinek, the feeling, the essence, the ideology. It is the global vision, meaning, the universal All. The “What” is the details, the specific, or the individual All. Thus we are left with the third part or his Golden Circle, the “How”, which of course is the action, the movement, the connection, meaning, the interaction between the two.

Sinek’s inspiring idea is that instead of explaining what you offer to people, then how you make it and finish by why, you should reverse the reasoning and begin with the emotions, with the universal belief (i.e. create a better world, a cause, a purpose), then how you do it, the interaction and finish with the details, with the final product: the what (i.e. computers, iphones, equality, freedom, airplanes etc.).

Listening to Sinek’s method with the understanding of Trispectivism acquire a clearer, more comprehensive approach to his idea. I strongly believe that with Trispectivism we are not only left with an open door to similar innovative views but a more profound, lucid vision of day to day aspects, in this case, a meaningful marketing strategy.

Watch the conference:
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Hermeticism, the Origin of Trispectivism

Tehuti_hermesWhen I lived in Guatemala and attended to a retreat center called “Las Pirámides del Ka” I was recommended a book about an interesting perspective of life. The book concerned an ancient philosophy known as Hermeticism, which was formed from writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. One of the many websites devoted to Hermeticism states that “The Hermetists believe and teach that The All, “in itself,” is and must ever be Unknowable. They regard all the theories, guesses and speculations of the theologians and metaphysicians regarding the inner nature of The All as but the childish efforts of mortal minds to grasp the secret of the Infinite.” This passage refers to the Kybalion philosophy on Gnostic. The Kybalion is one interpretation of the Hermetist All (you can find a link here, chapter IV). I do not agree, however, to the idea that the writing is too complicated to comprehend and that a mortal mind cannot grasp the divine reflection (a quite repetitive notion in all religions). The difficulty it projects is that if the passage itself is said by mortal mind, who can actually know what is really is to grasp which makes is no different than many French philosopher that like to poster and sound too complicated in order to be appreciated (a future post about the subject is under construction).

This citation certainly does not explain what this philosophy is, yet it relates to the driven passion of the unknown behind it. In Trispectivism, I do not refer to Hermeticism but more to my perception of what it can present to us in a more pragmatic point of view.

Today, after more than two millenniums, human interpretation regarding Hermeticism varies from a belief to an order or cult, and almost to a religion. You can read about it on the Internet and have your own interpretation, but what I wish to achieve by discussing it is to provide a background to what I refer to as Trispectivism. Actually, you do not have to understand Hermeticism and the theory of The All to comprehend the idea and application of Trispectivism; it is more than enough to know that it was an important milestone. Thus, by no means do I want to be considered a Kybalian, a Hermetist, or a member any kind of group, religion, or belief. As many new theories in life, trispectivism is a derivation, an interpretation in order to facilitate self-awareness by the means of an ancient, yet to be fully understood, philosophy.

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Can a lie really be white?‎

Truth and Lie

Surely, one of the worst difficulties in relationships is trust. In a world where lying is more than an epidemic but a lifestyle, can you really expect more from the relationship? Thus, when it comes to that, it seems that the importance of lying is underestimated (no matter if they are lovers, friends, coworkers, or two strangers in a supermarket).

Did you ever wonder why we lie? Have you ever lied? Of course you have (be careful of the ones who say they never lie, they always turn out to be the biggest and not so sophisticated liars). So why do we lie? You can say things such as, “I lie to my boss because he exaggerates with his expectations and demands, so I have to lie, it is the only way to reach my goals and/or be promoted.” Or, “I lied to my girlfriend because she will never understand that last night meant nothing to me and I truly love her.”

Richard Dawkins tells in his book The Selfish Gene how a bird mimics hawks signals, the howler monkey can howl like a tiger in the dense jungles of Costa Rica, how a butterfly can look like a terrifying face of an owl. Butterflies, he says, derive protection by mimicking the external appearance of other distasteful or stinging insects. We ourselves are often fooled into thinking that yellow and black striped hover-flies are wasps. Some bee-mimicking flies are even more perfect in their deception. Predators too tell lies. Angler fish wait patiently on the bottom of the sea, blending in with the background.

The only conspicuous part is a wriggling worm-like piece of flesh on the end of a long ‘fishing rod’, projecting from the top of the head. When a small prey fish comes near, the angler will dance its worm-like bait in front of the little fish, and lure it down to the region of the angler’s own concealed mouth. Suddenly it opens its jaws, and the little fish is sucked in and eaten. The angler is telling a lie, exploiting the little fish’s tendency to approach wriggling worm-like objects. He is saying ‘Here is a worm’, and any little fish who ‘believes’ the lie is quickly eaten.

Lie, hence, can be considered as a biological evolutionary strategy (natural, social, military, economic, political of course etc.). Thus, one can keep saying, subconsciously or not, that we are doing it for the greater good. Unfortunately, others might not be so accepting of your motives. It is true that most lies are made for the benefit of the person who tells them, even if he believes it is for a universal greatness. It is also true that in spite of everything we might think, we know lying is not positive, so we invent a variety of milder expressions such as “little white lie” in English, or even worst, “pieux mensonge” in French and “mentira piadosa” in Spanish (literal meaning: “pious lie”). And so you excuse yourself from the wrongful act of lying. Now, can you say with 100 percent certainty that the recipient of the lie will think the same thing? That when you explain to your interlocutor about the reasons for the lie they will agree? If someone tells you a “pious lie,” will you not feel hurt because he or she believes that you will not understand? Or would you rather know the truth and decide for yourself the path and actions that will follow? That is the first problem with any kind of lie, that when we only think from and to ourselves, we can find only right reasons to do so (or anything else for that matter).

However, when we connect emotionally or logically to others, when we enlarge our perspective further away from our point of view, we then reveal a broader view, a bigger meaning, and we then understand the importance of issues we did not even notice before. Thus, trispectivism reminds you that considering what is best for the other is not the same when you do it thinking from your point of view or trying to put yourself as the other.

So what can we do? Is telling only the truth possible? Of course not! If everyone starts telling what is on their minds, all hell will certainly break loose. Most of us do not want to be lied to, but at the same time we do not want to know everything. So what is the other possibility? Well, there is a compromise, a much-debated one, but still a compromise: lies are not the same as not telling. Many people say that not revealing information is the same as lying. It is not! People like to tell stories; it is in our nature. Yet stories are sometimes too personal to tell, and that is something one needs to consider. If someone asks you about details you do not desire to share, simply tell the truth, that you do not wish to share this specific information.

This is where many people choose to lie, in order not to insult, not to bother, not to create a commotion, not to provoke a fight, or simply because they want to be seen in a positive light, they would rather tell a (“pious”) lie than simply not share. This is lying, and in the end it always leads to a worse result than telling the honest truth or simply saying nothing.

Lying gets you to negative and unfavorable places, unless you are a master schemer, for whom lying is a part of your illegal profession. Lying is what starts a snowball that sooner or later becomes the avalanche that will cover you, head to toe.

As a part of trispectivism, any negativity you emanate directly from yourself becomes a part of your interior All, a part of you. Some call it karma, others natural justice, but whatever name one chooses, it is part of our existence. Furthermore, unlike many people who think that karma will catch up with you, some disagree. The negative you discharge into trispectivism will accompany you into whatever venture you pursue. People like to claim that karma is the cause of negative events that happen to negative people, but the reality is that it is simply a materialization of what was inside those people all along.

Telling the truth is much easier than any lie that builds itself inside of us. If I lie, I have to be fully conscious of it and its consequences. Then, thinking and creating a list of excuses for the lies I procured, justifying and living by its entanglements and measures. Oh, just too complicated…

A simple example taken from day to day life is to promise someone you will do something or be somewhere, knowing it will never happen. You might say to yourself that it´s just a little white lie not to disappoint him, but what really happening is postponing the inevitable. Is it that bad to say that I can´t? Even if it means that I would have loved to in any other circumstance, and that I risk to be excluded next time something comes up. I guess it is at times.

Fill this short questionnaire of the behavioral economist professor Dan Ariely about our white lies.

Trispectivism, what it is all about?

What is trispectivism, well, etymologically speaking, the word is constructed from three parts: tri, which means “three”; spectiv, which derives from the Latin word specere, meaning “to look”; and the suffix ism, which, when added to a word, usually indicates an act, state, theory, belief, or principle.

It basically means that a person, any person, always have the trispectivism in mind, the division into three perspectives. According to this division, there are three different unitemporal and omnipresent aspects that create the basics of trispectivism:

  • The individual
  • The universal
  • The interaction, the unity of the two

The concept, as such, is not new, and those who have never heard of it will not feel lost or confused for the simple reason that it is as natural as living. Every living creature has it, feels it, and realizes and reacts to it, subconsciously or not.

Trispectivism is what we should think of whenever we want to have a more profound understanding about any aspect—think about the individual, the I or the individual All; secondly, think about the universal, the collective aspect, the universal All; and lastly, think about the Intercommunication, Interconnection or Interdependence between the two.

Hand_with_Reflecting_Sphere, M. C. Escher

The degree of each of the three aspects that you should consider differs with the concept you are analyzing. Using trispectivism means that first you should consider the issue (any issue) as a complete All in which you find the universal All as every aspect that has an effect on it, no matter direct or indirect, lasting or brief. From that universal All, you can now extract aspects and see as an individual All.

Every time you examine one aspect, your perspective changes and an important introspective process is unavoidable. This introspection, or analysis, is actually the third concept of trispectivism, meaning the Interconnection of the individual All with the universal All.

Difficult or seems too imaginative to grasp? Like any perspective we are not accustomed to, it is hard to comprehend without examples. This is why I wrote this book, to present the reader with some insight about the life we share and as many examples, ideas and aspects to ponder about as it is possible to fit in 287 pages. In this blog, I will continue with this task and write about trispectivism in life (as well as other useful references).

Trispectivism is born!

Trispectivismcover

For the past 10 months I was entangled in its arduous preparation but as with all good thing (and even more if you work hard for it), in the end, what we are left with is the joyful result.

Trispectivism is a book that belongs to the self-awareness genre. Self awareness is, contrary to what many people think, quite different from the self-help genre. While the later pretends to provide the reader with a system or a method for finding happiness, self awareness’s one and only goal is for the reader to have the tools to better understand her life. This, in turn, is a large part of the way to happiness.

Moreover, the idea (not to say philosophy for fear misunderstanding of the term) behind trispectivism is not new, it is a based on an old philosophy of about the 4th century BC called Hermeticism and where its main idea is the theory of the philosophy called, “The All”. According to the theory each individual (an object or a subject, animated or not) is an entity, an All. At the same time, the universe, meaning, the ensemble of all things (animated or not, existent or not), is also an All, and the third and probably most important (and ignored) aspect, is the combination of the two, meaning, the interaction and intercommunication with the complete All. The book explains these aspects and follows the use and recognition of this modified theory applying it in various aspects of life (Physics, Biology, Music, Sexuality, Religion, Nutrition, day to day chores etc.)

The target public (the example reader) is the curious person that is interested in perspectives and understanding. I would rather think that they are the large majority in the market, that the curiosity takes us to read and be interested in different aspects of life, especially in the area of self-awareness and consciousness.