Events of 2020 forced me to take stock of myself in a new way. Between Covid-19 Pandemic and world response to it, most especially in America, sense of being alien to the dominant culture was underscored in a mix of feelings. Nothing new so much as comprehension “it’s finally here, in a dominant culture more unfit and unwilling to face it head on than in science fiction tales of sudden onset of catastrophic events.
Some of us have known a big disaster would come sooner or later, more likely a natural disaster. A plague? Twentieth century medicine’s triumph in largely eradicating infectious, transmissible disease gave little cause for entertaining the viral plague that hit us. Nevertheless, governmental response was hardly surprising. We’ve known for decades certain catastrophes would emerge, growing out of civilization’s dominant guiding paradigms — inevitable outgrowths from paradigms both inadequate and unable to resolve problems created by them. Our solutions would need to come from emergence on new paradigms, new guiding images emerging as creative evolutionary responses.
Thus far folks are hankering to get back to ‘normal’ – including governmental and business leaders. They don’t understand that they don’t understand: long taken for granted ‘normal’ got us in this mess. Normal is unfit, incapable – so bury to get on with life.
Secret Mind, Hidden Mind
Close to 60 years ago I was a young competitive weight lifter and Physical Culturist. Stories ranging from unusual to miraculous pointed to hidden, secret powers of the mind. One heard all the reported a young man having his Buick up on jacks under the two front wheels that he’d crawled under to work on his car only for them to fail, perilously trapping him pinned under the vehicle. His old mother, under 100 pounds body weight, scared for her boy’s life, grabbed the bumper exerting seemingly super human strength lifting it enough for him to quickly crawl out. Guys I’ve known who could lift the front end of an early 1950s Buick were the same ones who could dead lift a 500 pound barbell from the floor to standing upright with it. But all we had was a story – no lessons.
We also learned in the mid 1950s that an average one-third of persons diagnosed with terminal illnesses and not undergoing treatment of any sort were said to ‘spontaneously remit’, Instead of killing them, the disease just disappeared. For decades science shrugged its shoulders at spontaneous remission as an anomaly.
Anomaly is a technical word in science referring to observed phenomena for which scientific theory has no explanation or even flat out denies can happen. I was raised in the William James tradition of Radical Empiricism whose metaphor says when you discover white crows that break the rule all crows are black, then it’s time to evolve science beyond its shortcoming.
60 years ago I had a hell of a time pursuing understanding of our hidden mind, our secret mind. Better put, my passion became understanding our natural mind-body or mind-muscle connection. Pursuing under grad majors in philosophy and psychology, my questions were met with ridicule and laughter by the experts of our science. Some ‘chance’ encounters resulted a few years later in becoming full scholarship student in a Japanese-Buddhist university which took mind-body as primary, and associated orientations to medicine regarding remission as natural.
That adventure resolved that we ‘have’ a natural yet hidden mind, secret mind even though our dominant cultural paradigm ignores and denies it.
For the last 50 years and more, I’ve been a pioneering explorer, research, mentor in the frontiers of human consciousness – better put, at the leading edge of understanding both who and what we naturally are, what we can do. The implications and data are enormous. Simply put, the same ineptness that’s maintained guiding social, economic and political paradigms also inform and guide embodiment of an entire culture of underdeveloped humans.
While we cannot undo mistakes of the past, we sure as hell need to become motivated by hard core realism about our condition. The delusional sense of comforting normality that got us into the 202 catastrophe is just the tiny tip of an immense iceberg posing a creative challenge to intentional perpetuity not only of humanity but of the entire biosphere of our home, Space Ship Earth. Now as never before we must become living wise embodiment of our dormant Super Intelligence. Learned to access, develop and mature, stabilize and organize our core generative emotional and cognitive intelligence is our first task – but as play and art becoming the gifts of the lives we were given.
Kokoro (心) means both heart and mind and spirit in Japanese — except without the ‘and’ , instead as a single experiential unity. Kokoro is also pronounced shin, and too often it’s meaning lost by just translating it as ‘mind’ – for example, in Zen literature. That also makes for weird translations such as One Mind for isshin, better taken as ‘wholehearted’ (instead of half-assed).
Kokoro Institute begins with this blog. With regular articles. Articles, plural, because as we enter mind-body we enter a whole lot more, far too much to reduce to a single article. We enter the realm of exploring the fauna and flora of our largely undisclosed nature.
Our dominant social paradigm distinguishes between Eastern and Western approaches that we’re going to fully outgrow here. Western European culture has a rich ‘underground’ or counter culture of consciousness – underground due to first faith based dogmatic religion, then in recent centuries faith based dogmatic materialist scientism – both rendering understanding consciousness as taboo and forbidden. During the harsh reign of Western religion, so forbidden was understanding consciousness it became to most persecuted of heresies (persecution authorizing torture, even death) as the gnostic heresy.
Gnostic and gnosis are key words here, from the Greek verb ‘to know’ (found in dia-gnosis, pro-gnosis and other words about knowing. In turn, it’s related to the Indic Sanskrit words including jnana and prajna (-jna corresponding to gno). Bottom line is a liberating understanding that frees kokoro – heart, mind, spirit – to grow beyond normal into fuller ranges of understanding.
We have a wealth of human wisdom traditions supplying us with data contributing to a far bigger vision of our nature. In common, the establish a turning point kind of experience of understanding that begins freeing and transforming kokoro (heart/mind/spirit) from normal to more fully human. No special practices required, many happening in sports, fine and performing arts, hypnosis, contemplation. The significant matter (some call it The Great Matter) is experiencing that ‘flip’ in understanding, that change of attitude, that ‘rebirth’.
Kokoro has been catalyzed by 2020’s events. Not to dish out some helium filled words of philosophy. Quite the opposite. Consider humanities and science as aspects of Life. Your consciousness is a vital centerpiece of the Life Intelligence that’s living as you. So we’re starting a counter cultural educational movement with roots from all over the human experience. As I near age 80 my concern was preservation of my research archives and Bodhi Building laboratory/gym/dojo. Until a few young candidates for that preservation stressed all those things have coherent, congruent unification only within my understanding. So Kokoro is a literary genre, an oeuvre of my understanding. Linear composition is not my style – count on non-linearity, multiple even trans disciplinary, and weird stuff – forbidden topics guaranteed to stretch your mind from the pale ken of normality to frontiers of our natural yet dormant human potential.
Aside from this we also foster canines rescued from kill shelters.
Please correspond. Please help success with this work. I expect to merely be a shorter term catalyst from what becomes a voice and image for an emerging grassroots movement in cultural evolution in favor of Jonas Salk’s The Survival of the Wisest. I’d like to see the website grow into an online education resource including access to ideas, tools, life networks. So you’re forewarned: many folks need to become involved, not just a marginalized old man.
Contributions are solicited and will be put to good beneficial use.
Copyright November 2020, Ken O’Neill. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited.