Comparative Sensemaking

Compare, contrast, and upgrade the ways you understand the world

There is a revolution of consciousness underway.

The ongoing convergence, cross-pollination, and discoveries across different communities of meditators, scientists studying psychedelic altered states, yogis, healers, psychonauts, mystics, indigenous shamans, and consciousness hackers are well on their way to change how we view & live in the world forever and vindicate what some philosophers have been saying all along.

Typically successful people had suspected something was missing.

Career victories bring material wealth but often no spiritual fulfillment. Even a home, marriage, and children, don’t address a gnawing feeling that there is something more to life. Could this revolution of consciousness help you make sense out of this? The people in it say yes. The alternative, of staying a bystander and forgetting oneself in a life of comfortable complacency devoid of deeper meaning, only leads to a thirst for myriad ways to numb or distract oneself that you may afford but are never satisfied with.

The only way out is in.

This consciousness revolution is yet another opportunity to practice an ancient command with new tools: Knowing ourselves. It is that which ultimately leads to life-changing spiritual transformations, an acceptance of our destiny, a deeper understanding of our history and the different dimensions of reality, a new-found appreciation of the sacred, an unshakable serenity in the face of adversity, a feeling of love, unity, and connection to others & the universe, and even experiences of occult powers & phenomena.

But you don't have time to walk all paths.

There are countless books, modalities, traditions, philosophies, and worldviews out there. Lots of people who claim to possess wisdom are actually selling snake oil and wasting our time. There have been countless others that have left us a legacy and record of innumerable musings made in the face of experiencing the world, whether in the form we find it today or in another that is long gone. Everyone gives us, by gift, record, artifact, ceremony, tradition, payment or example, their own opinions as to who we are, what world we have found ourselves in and what we’re supposed to do in it.

How do we make sense of all this?

There are better ways than others.

We all engage in sensemaking whether we want it or not. However, how well we do it, directly affects the quality of our lives. When the great philosophical questions in life take a back seat in our pursuit of career success and only receive unsophisticated answers leaving us in bubbles of convenience inadequate to explain the mysteries of life, we may find that our “Sensemaking Operating System” (SOS) needs upgrades if it is to navigate us to a profound understanding of ourselves, reality, and our purpose in it.

In Comparative Sensemaking I facilitate such upgrades.

“Sensemaking is not decision-making or policy-making—it is the necessary precursor to effective action.”

— Richard J. Cordes, Founder, Cognitive Security and Education Forum.

What are the benefits of Comparative Sensemaking?

Reveal blind spots

Research and common sense agree: we are notoriously blind to ourselves but more perceptive of others. This presents a challenge and an opportunity: alone our vision of ourselves is impaired but with the right ally it is heightened. Comparatively, our sensemaking vision is enhanced.

Rewrite stories

We are often oblivious to how our stories about ourselves and the world, limit our sense of both, narrowing the horizon of exploration to conventional pathways. By comparing stories with people who have taken roads less traveled we can be inspired to rewrite ours.

Uncover potential

Our potential is often forgotten or suppressed if it goes against the identity that drove us to career success. Comparative Sensemaking can help us reveal what’s really under the hood and motivate us to take it for a spin.

See the Matrix

We can’t act effectively if we don’t understand the Matrix we’re operating in. Upgrading our SOS enables us to see more of the ways we are enslaved by illusion and how to become free.

Find biases

If we only make sense out of what we want to see and fail to make sense out of what we don’t want to see, we end up cleaving parts of reality. But what we leave out, could be what’s missing for effective action. Comparing our sensemaking helps us find what we’re leaving out.

Grasp the occult

The occult is what’s hidden. Not always because someone is hiding it from our sight but often due to undeveloped insight. Reality is more than the movement of matter or the flexing of power. Were the mystics right to insist there is a world behind the veil of the senses? Learn to grasp what others don’t see.

What facilitates those benefits in Comparative Sensemaking sessions?

Worldview Analysis

Our worldviews are generated by the way we make sense of the world, what I’ve been referring to as our Sensemaking Operating System (SOS). In order to perform SOS upgrades, it’s helpful to get an understanding of the kind of SOS that is operative by deducing it through a critical analysis of the worldview it generates.

Syncing

Syncing is the process in which our worldviews and their Sensemaking Operating Systems attempt to sync with one another which makes it easier & faster to detect where there is:

  1. Missing information.
  2. Any lack of structures that make information intelligible or possible to obtain it.
  3. Unawareness in being averse to seeking, acknowledging, and receiving information that comes into conflict with our underlying biases and psychological defenses1.

Conceptual Optimization

Every SOS employs various concepts. Since some are more fundamental, because they are presupposed in most operations we use to make sense of the world, optimizing those are crucial. For example, the concepts of truth and value (e.g. what’s meaningful & matters; the good, right, and the beautiful) are unfailingly used throughout our daily lives. Thus, a big portion of the process of upgrading your SOS is dedicated to fundamental conceptual optimizations & elucidations.

SOS Evaluation

We’ll evaluate different Sensemaking Operating Systems by alternatively considering their:

  1. Explanatory power & know-how in the Art of Enquiry.
  2. Range of domains they can make sense of.
  3. Operational efficacy, including how good they’re at sensegiving: diffusing their sensemaking to others.
  4. Amounts of information they leave out to remain consistent, what we refer to as cleaving.
  5. Number of contradictions generated by an SOS leading to cognitive dissonance or action paralysis (the inability to act because your SOS provides contradictory courses of action or none at all), instances of which we’ll call crashes.
  6. Conceptual infrastructure sophistication.
  7. Deployment of Weick’s seven properties of sensemaking2.

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