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Be Aware: here, like everywhere, everything is of dual nature, everything is non-permanent, everything is not-yourself.

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 Thrills&Chills Management (Part 3 - Group Thrills) 13 comments
picture2 Jun 2016 @ 15:20
This part has been withdrawn from public view because it contains too many sensitive data.

I reposted it as an empty shell here because of many private inquiries as to why Part 3 is missing. Meanwhile, I am considering editing and re-publishing a less dramatic version of 'Group Thrills'.

Max  More >

 Thrills&Chills Management (Part 4 - Example: how to get into the 'Flow State' )7 comments
picture20 May 2016 @ 22:59
Initial notes:
Below follow sketchy notes on the Flow State achievement, compiled from notes on the Thrills&Chills Management and Peak State Training by its author Max Sandor. These were made for coaches of Power Coaching but they turned out to be very useful of coachees as well, and, beyond that, even for the general public.

Peakstate and Thrill training does not apply only for extreme sports or performances. Knowing its basics also intellectually, is not only for composers, writers, movie directors to supercharge their creations. Applying the Flow State in everyday's scenario them means QUALITY OF LIFE FOR EVERYBODY!

I refrained from taking out the memetic links to the classification of Ifá, here used as an empiric system of describing the Universe through polarities within a Matrix of 16x16 principles similar to the more broadly known Chinese I-Ching (8x8). For more details on this classification system, see Polar Dynamics I by Max Sandor and Ed Dawson. Simply skip these informations if they don't make sense to you.

On the history of the Flow State paradigm see Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who coined its name.

These notes have also been published on Max Sandor's Facebook page.

The thrills, once discovered and systematically 'liberated', can be 'invoked' which means they are then available on command. For this to happen they have to be freed from confusion with concepts, emotions and efforts. Once they are not anymore happening by mere chance alone and are not anymore depending on a complicated or time-consuming setup, they can be used for a variety of purposes for oneself and for groups. As an example, we will look at a typical performance pattern that, when fully activated, induces a peak-state that has been baptized 'the Flow State'.

These patterns are the same for sports competitions, for performances of all kinds - whether on stage or in an arena, in nature or in a board meeting, Some of these steps have been ritualized in the past, some even are fraught with superstition.

In the Thrills&Chills Management, we reduce the conventional 'risk & reward' model to apply only to a few classes of games, mostly of the kind of 'non-innocent' games, games that are played for other purposes than portrayed. In general, in order to play, a certain investment must be made for setting up the game. A reward at the completion of a game is being used to setup larger or more sophisticated games. Risk & Reward are in this sense OUTSIDE the game, or EMBEDDING them.

What is the motivation to play, if not a reward? It is the THRILL. a strange beast that sometimes comes but not always, not really an emotion but very close to it. And this THRILL then is the single most important element for total immersion into a game or a part thereof. It is this immersion that is called the Flow State. It produces performances that appear super-human, and, depending on your definition of what is human, they ARE super-human.

In the following a description of how I found the 'FLOW state' for the first time. I'll explain the steps as I understand them now, more than 50 years later. Afterwards, I share the story of how I had lost it again for many years. Both stories super-imposed yield a better view on the elements necessary for 'entering the Flow'.

Here's my story - I'll make it as short as possible.

When I turned 11, I got skis and boots as a present. They were combination skis and boots both for downhill and cross-country. That year, there was snow early and I got to practice during a few weekends. On New Years Day, there was a cross-country competition and I asked if I could compete on my own, outside a club or school team. The minimal age group was for 12-14 years old and although being under-aged and without a sponsor, I was admitted if I could pay the starter fee myself. That Christmas, I asked for money instead of Christmas presents, and miraculously I got the starter fee together (which is another story!).

On New Years Day, I slept for only 3 hours, got up at 5 in the morning to be on my way to the competition. I had only money for the tram to the city's border but not for the bus to the final destination. But I got my skis, alright, and with the help of a compass, I made a shortcut through the forest and after 5 km through the snow, I arrived right in time for the registration. Someone graciously let me have a hot tea from his sponsor, and soon I had my racing number on my chest and was in line for the start. I noticed I was by far the smallest guy of all and the only one who didn't have proper cross-country skis, My heavy boots raised quite a few astonished eyebrows. There I was. I thought: no chance, but I'll enjoy it anyway. I've come that long, now I shall compete, no matter what! Soon after, in line for the release of my start number 31, one runner every 20 seconds, I closed my eyes and tried to relax a bit. The sky was clear and the sun was high up and bright and hot. Around me was a chaotic disorder of people, skis and ski sticks, coaches shouting last advices, the runners warming up, waiting to get in the final line for the release for the race. I got in line, closed my eyes, waiting for the countdown, and nearly went blind when I opened them again at the moment of the release. And off I went, into the snow-covered mountains for a 1 km loop to be passed three times. In a short while, it became silent around me, just nature, my skis, myself, and my breath. I calmed down. I had nothing to lose. I had no chance but I'll race anyway. The landscape was so beautiful, for a moment I paused in awe to admire it. But then I went on and still looked at its beauty from the side of my eyes, seeing the trees pass by swiftly, as if THEY were gliding in the snow and not me. And then it happened, something had changed. My heavy ski boots seemed to lift me up instead of dragging me down. My sense of time was somehow different. The silence had a beautiful sound to it. I was floating in time and space and I never had enjoyed myself before so much as in this moment. I started to wonder why nobody of the stronger runners who certainly had started after me, were passing me by. I looked back, and couldn't see anybody. Ahead of me, I saw a group of three, and, to my own surprise, I closed the gap soon, and, at the next opportunity I had passed them. It gave me a strange feeling every time I overtook another runner. And so I made three more rounds, chasing and overtaking quite a few others that had started before me, and finally I floated through the finishing line. I had made it!

Yes, I had arrived! I was happy, I cried, I felt like I had been reborn, or something like that. I sat down, I felt alone in the crowd, I was silent inside. I felt like a baby in Mom's womb. Then, not that long thereafter, the results were announced: does anyone know this guy who just won? He isn't on anyone's team. Where does this guy come from? That's what I heard people saying, and then someone shouting: Number 31, please come to the jury's desk immediately! 31! That was me. I had won. Against all odds. I had won!

As you read these lines, you already know what had happened. Unbeknownst to me, I had entered what nowadays is called a Flow State. I had no idea. It simply happened.


In the hindsight of MANY years, Here are the steps of what I went through in detail.  More >

 Thrills&Chills Management (Part 2 - Behind the curtain)5 comments
picture19 May 2016 @ 17:21
Thrills&Chills Management is an essential tool of Game Management to motivate the players initiating and maintaining a game.

It supersedes conventional 'Rewards & Risk' models which are true only in games which have been compromised (see below).

It introduces the concept of 'Essences' as a 'third E' in addition to Efforts and Emotions.

A THRILL is the indication of a MOVE towards a desired game position. Take notice here, it is the MOVE, not the fulfillment of the action itself.

A CHILL is the opposite of a thrill - a desired position has been thwarted.

Both Thrills and Chills, in the definitions here used, are NOT emotions even though they typically prompt players & spectators to have some of the latter.

It is common to confuse thrills'n'chills with the emotions of celebration and disappointment after a victory or a defeat. This happens to spectators which are NOT players. A perfect player does not feel any emotion during the duration of a game - it would hinder peak performance as a player.

Again, Thrills&Chills are mirrored down from the upper-consciousness of a PLAYER. There are a glimpse from a different 'Universe' in which 'flows of essences' is the core of the game. Essences are comparable to Efforts and Emotions: however, they are from entirely different 'worlds': efforts are embedded in the physical Universe, emotions are human sentiments.

The perceptions of a flow within a game as a spectator and as a player are DIFFERENT. In consequence, the thrill experienced by a player is often NOT even imaginable by the spectator.



A Thriller, like in movies and books, consists of a SEQUENCE of thrills and chills with a final CLIMAX which ends the game (an the movie).

In ball games, we often see an embedding larger game structure with the possibility of several climaxes for either party (goals or points) and this larger game is than viewed as the 'game itself'.

In acquisition games ('Monopoly') the only difference is that there are no time limits like in sports games.


About Analyzing Games:

- A first action typically consists of a survey of actual (currently) existing thrills and chills.

- Next, isolate and model/simulate the game scenarios. Substitute links to other games by tokens (placeholders) and model those separately to reduce complexity of the model.

- Mark the 3 types of 'E' where they occur in the flow of game events: Effort, Emotion, and Essence. The latter can be only INFERRED because they happen in a super-conscious event space.

- Evaluate the type of a game (see below)

- Here and now, analyze the conventional wisdom of resource analysis (risk & reward) and determine what the expected outcome would be (win/win. win/lose. lose/win, or lose/lose).

- You can now redesign the games compound as needed.


Notes on types of Games:

- an INNOCENT game is a game that is played for the sake of playing a game, like children's game, and, in a sense, the game of life in our Universe.

- a FALSE game is that produces another effect than what has been proposed by the game makers

- a MALICIOUS or BAD GAME is a trick game to cause the participants to be hurt

- a FAKE GAME is one that is offered to occlude a 'real game' which remains hidden

- a SPOILED GAME, a pseudo-game where the 'reward' of the game makers is the only objective

Note, that a game may have a 'mixed-type' and that it may CHANGE its type over time (which, if intentionally done so, is typical of a malicious or a spoiled game).

Last not least:
“Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet you can't win.”
-- Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love  More >

 Thrills&Chills Management (Part 1 - Definitions of Games Design)4 comments
picture19 May 2016 @ 15:40
Towards a revised definition of Games and its parameters. Note, that "reward and risk" have been omitted in this layout. Conventionally, they are regarded as part of games, which is true only for some games, especially all that are fake, malicious, or false (definitions in Part 2). "Rewards and risks" are either rationalizations of thrills or they serve in strategies and Game Resource Management for organizing particles ('resources') and are NOT necessary to play a game.

A game consists of a coordination of vectors of game forces in support or opposition of another such game (a cyclic definition!). There are three basic game force types: efforts, emotions, and powers.

Efforts are physical movements to conquer or maintain a location in a game terrain. Power is the ability to control a location in a game terrain. Emotions are human reactions to the state of a game and are used as an additional, intermediary game terrain.

A strategy is a plan of the coordination of game force.

A Thrill is a flash of awareness of intending, initiating, modifying, or terminating a game. A Chill is a flash of awareness of a danger to a strategy within a game.

A goal is a declared state of a game, such as the location of vectors at a given time.

Players are points of origin of game vectors. Particles are physical or non-physical placeholders (tokens) moved or positioned to mark a location in a game terrain.

Game management is the organization of players, particles, and resources.

For an effective Game Analysis (or Synthesis), it is vital to draw a map of the flows of ALL of the above parts of a game. In especially, note Thrills&Chills and Rewards&Risks for any sub-game.  More >

 Brazil 2016: Collapse of the Triad of Science, Technology, and Religion9 comments
picture4 May 2016 @ 08:19
"Positivism CANNOT work without maintaining its triadic structure intact - which is impossible without a framework of uncorrupted and transparent intentions."
This was the upshot of my interview with Alex Antunes some years ago at the Café Filosófico at Campinas, Brazil.
With sadness, I witness the collapse of Science, Technology, and Religion into an unholy Oneness with the nomination of an Evangelical Bishop as a minister for Science and Technology in Brazil. I'm not proud of my predictions, I'm surprised how fast it happened.
Let me explain: Positivism is a grand idea, it should work as envisioned, it could work as predicted, if it were only implemented as postulated.
In Brazil, and not just in 2016, we see an astonishing parade of corruption. To blame just one political party for that is ridiculous if not outright insane. Corruption extends from multi-billion-dollar projects down to roadstops on highways by Military Police members earning a little extra to their meager pay by extorting monies; funds for the food for the needy ('merenda') are funneled to whoever is in the chain of distribution, the business of trash collection is rigged, and, in general, there seems no instance of money actually arriving where it officially was intended to get the work done that a government is expected to manage. All those brave citizens who try to make things work as promised, are either bypassed, blackmailed, pushed-over, or excluded, and, if they'd dare to insist, simply assassinated, no matter what political party is in control in the region.
Positivism is elitism, and this would be wonderful - if it would be the elite of the most able, as postulated. If the elite is that of the most corrupt, ruthless, and criminal, we are where we at, not just in Brazil, but globally.
In Brazil, the prior collapse of Science and Technology into one by creating a common ministry was already a warning sign: science must be free to unfold - technology is always bound by financial interests. Merging both into one rings the death bell of independent research, the death of the freedom of expression, and the end of science as science.
This collpase has a prior corollary: the merging of Culture and Education. Culture may or may not arise as the end result of applied education, Education is for learning the rules which Culture will break to unfold. Both are at extreme ends of the spectrum. They cannot be possibly merged.
Is all of this a result of the confusion of Executive, Legislative, and Judicial powers of the state? Or is the collapse of the latter in Brazil just another outflow of the same problem of Positivism?
It doesn't matter who takes control: judges, military, or politicians - if the Triad is broken, there is no going back. And the triad of Positivism was broken since its inception in Brazil, as I made efforts to explain in the interview mentioned above: by omitting the most basic premise of Positivism, it itself has already been destroyed from the beginning. "L'amour", love, is its principle, its starting point, without that love nothing that follows would make sense. Positivism as its best, following the ideas of Joachim of Fiori, who followed the concept of 'love' (agape) of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. As innocent and irrelevant it may seem, throught the omission of the word 'love' on the flag of Brazil - that shows only 'order and progress', the cycle has already been broking - intentionally so, or through careless thought, does it matter?
The result is an inversion of values, as predicted by Joachim di Fiori already: love becomes hate. And this is what we witness these months in Brazil. In the end, the idea of Positivism has proven itself right, in an irony of failure, and not quite as intended.  More >

 News from the Grove: Debunking a non-urban legend today9 comments
picture2 May 2016 @ 20:05
It is quiet in the Sandorian Grove, at least here on this Blog. But when one becomes even more quiet than just quiet, one can here hear the Mariri whisper within the divine vine Banisteriopsis caapi which some simply call Ayahuasca. This magick plant murmurs loudly as she stretches herself out to the light far beyond the imagination of even Pilates himself.
One is suddenly reminded of a legend from the jungles of the Amazon, far from urban dwellings, truly a non-urban legend that is, namely that the lianas of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine are secretly but openly the TALLEST plants of the jungle as they grow from the roots of trees until on top of their tops, thus surpassing even the tallest tree.

But wait, did you hear this subtle crackle? What is this? Holy Jolly! As you follow the sound of leaves and flowers growing, what do you find? A spectacle, not only for the ears but for the eyes: there is a purple bougainvillea spectabilis, so purple that it could have grown right out of the Purple Notebook On How to Escape From this Universe (short: Pnohteftu)!
And, lo and behold, it seems to top out even the divine Ayahuasca vine. Wow, yes, yes, by a small margin, OK, but yes, it is HIGHER in the sky.
So now we have LIVING PROOF of the utter falsehood of the not-so-urban legend of the Mariri topping all other beasts of the jungle!

Make no mistake, though, thorns will prick you and lianas can strangle so strong that even an anaconda could get envious. Stay far therefore and listen them growing carefully. Or join with me and drink their wine!  More >

 Multiviewpoint Answers to Structural Problems48 comments
picture14 Oct 2015 @ 15:43
Multiviewpoint Answers to Structural Problems
Reflections on my recent ULab Case Clinic experience as a 'case giver'
by Max Sandor, 14.Oct.2015

Firstly, I have to admit that I went into the experience as a 'case giver' in a Case Clinic setting with somewhat mixed feelings. After working with various forms of multi-viewpoint and mirroring processes, individually and with groups, for more than 15 years, I did not expect any new insights or results from the Case Clinic approach. To my surprise, I found a solution to the problem I presented as a 'case giver' within 30 hours after the coaching process.

The inputs for this new insight were traceable to the various inputs I received from the Case Clinic coaches; but not as a whole and at the time of the session but as parts of a puzzle of isolated pieces of informations from different persons. Reflecting on the 'how did it work?', I remembered a simple but intriguing model: "Imagine a person who is used to think only in two dimensions (2D) and is now looking at a three-dimensional object (3D) without quite understanding it yet. The person asks some other people to mirror back their impressions after talking about the vision of this strange image in its mind. The first person says: "it's a regular triangle", the second "it's a circle', and the third "it's an irregular triangle'. Under usual circumstances we would see an argument unfolding. "Who is right?" Any search for a usual, linear solution would lead only to more discordance. However, the 'case giver', if he accepts the answers of the different coaches as valid, and without further interpretations, may arrive at the insight "Aah. It's a three-dimensional object that I see in my mind, let's call it a cone'.

In the hindsight, the conclusion is obvious. The answer was always present but it was not seen or acknowledged as such before. The key lies in allowing the person to synthesize an answer from the pieces of a puzzle without any prior interpretation by anyone, let alone suggesting a solution to a problem that until now was only partially seen. The urge to find an immediate solution is often so strong that the holistic process of the natural synthesis of an answer to a structural problem is capped, or, in other words, that the premature 'solution finding' is killing the natural, sound process of solution finding. Like in the Brazilian saying: "When you arrive with the corn flour, I'm already returning with the cake!", we want a solution before even putting its ingredients together and let it bake until it is ready.

The Case Clinic for me was a great experience and put various things into a much clearer perspective. Thank you!

Max @  More >

 Sierpinksi in the jungle43 comments
picture8 Oct 2015 @ 14:44
OK, I used the template I posted in the last post to help myself getting finally going with the fix of the deck railings.

As I got out hammer and saw, I had a better idea..

With a lot of Korzybski I got Anthony off Minecraft to do a Sierpinski - one line without crossing to construct a fractal triangle, that is. Or what should have been it. It seems we need some more prototyping ;)

Anyway, now we have a dynamic railing puzzle on the jungle deck. Drop by, be my guest, and solve some eternal problems (such as the quadrature of the circle and the like)!  More >

 Self-assessment: Archetypal Stakeholder Analysis41 comments
picture8 Oct 2015 @ 13:46
In the previous post I outlined the archetypal problem of any kind of transformation. It is valid for any kind of project whether starting a company or remodeling the deck.
It even serves to help you to find out why you feel down today (if you ever do).

Or just to explore yourself in respect at any given issue you can think of.

Here is a little template you can use for self-assessment:

 Dreamer Vs Doer - the archetypal conflict within transformation31 comments
picture7 Oct 2015 @ 21:53
Dreamer Vs Doer - the archetypal conflict within transformation
by Max Sandor 5.10.15
(Reflections inspired by the first sessions of ULab's Case Clinic of Coaching Circle 1262.)

Transformation in nature evolves without anyone thinking about it. Nobody seems to have a doubt about it, nobody seems afflicted by fears of failures, worried by uncertainties of the outcome, or by concerns about what someone else may think about it. Nobody is complaining, nobody criticizes anything, the absence of judgment is obvious. The transformation simply happens, subtle, from a first beginning, sometimes accelerating, even erupting, developing into new shapes and qualities, until the process settles and a new form, a new Gestalt, has been born and remains true to its archetype in the chain of its metamorphosis, only to initiate yet another transformation.

Not so for human endeavors. We, me included, are commonly wondering before we even begin to engage in a transformation, whether in us, in others, in organizations, or in whole societies. Sometimes the biggest hurdle seems to be just that: not being able to start the process of transformation even when the path lies clear before us. We try hard to know the unknowable, predicting the final results of the metamorphosis of complex systems like our life, our, surroundings, our culture. It seems wrong to initiate a transformation before its results are completely 'known'. But can there ever be truly a final result? Are we not just entering another stage of a larger process of which we cannot know its future shape?  More >

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