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Secret Identities – Tenbones


I ask Fwooshmembers questions.

 

They answer them.

 

Tenbones " Get the hell out of the corporate world."

Where do you live?  – Dallas Texas – YEEEEE HAAAAWWWWWW!!!!
 

Who is in your family? – I have a wife, a son, and a daughter. I am close to my brother and sister and my mother, my father – not so much. They all live in Laguna Niguel (ooo swanky!) my sis lives in St. Petersburg.

Any pets? – I used to have a colony of hermit crabs. I swear they’re immortal. I’ve had them for almost 7 years! I’m planning on starting up a freshwater aquarium this year. I’m gonna get like a 300 gal. tank! It’s gonna be SWEET!

Your avatar? – My current avatar is actually me. One of my ex-girlfriends is a designer for City of Heroes and City of Villains. She put my face in the character generator. She also put some of our pictures up around Atlas Park – some of the movie-theatre pictures are composites of some of our pics when we were together. Irony was I had no idea until I played the game. I was standing out in front of one of the theaters and saw her face… talk about WEIRD. Then I saw my face in the game generator… heh. She says she had to take some of the movie poster stuff down (they got new art to put in the windows) but my face is her little way of saying “Yeah, you’re still there.” Which is sweet, don’t you think? We’re both a lot happier.

Your writing career? Is it always in motion? – Always. I used to write for Image Comics – for a small studio. Got into some real nasty legal issues (they screwed me) and left the business with a cloud over my head. Right now it’s pretty slow. Because my job is so insanely high-pressure, my writing has definitely suffered. I was writing for Dragon Magazine (you know, the D&D magazine… laugh now, but they pay FANTASTIC! Or used to…) and some other RPG companies within the last couple of years, just to stay in practice. Otherwise I would write for journals on philosophy and religion and stuff like that (no real $$$ there, just out of personal interest.)

In the last couple of years I’ve been maneuvering to go full-time back into writing and get out of the corporate world. I set my eyes on the comic-industry or the mainstream novel-market (horror and dark fantasy). My kids are almost old enough to where I can manage writing at home without wanting to sell them on E-bay.

Writing is my true passion.
 

 
Do you customize? – Yep! I have a Batman, Captain America, Deathstroke, Captain Marvel, a custom hero or three, and a bunch of WIPS including Star God, Superman, Punisher, and several WIPS of some MSH player’s characters from my campaign! And a box of figures I’ve ruined learning to emulate the masters on FWOOSH. I would have a lot more – but i just moved within the last year and I still haven’t set up a work-area. /sigh that’s a WIP too.

What is in your collection? – FWOOSH actually got me started collecting. WAY back when Spiderman Classics 1 hit – I bought them for my son, I discovered that this series Marvel Legends was out and had all of my favorite characters. I did a search on Google and found the FWOOSH at ML Series 2. I lurked for a long while and was stunned at the activity of these freaks n’ geeks there and I said YES! I like this joint. So my collection is Most Marvel Legends – from SC1 all the way through HML 1. I have most variants. I’m a minor “completist” I have most of the big-ticket figures – Kang, Dragonman, Dark Phoenix blah blah. But ML is where I fell in love with 6” figures. I have every Streetfighter in P1 colors (with lots of duplicates in P2) except Birdie – who I destroyed trying to use as fodder for my Walt Simonson Thor. And now of course LCBH- which I love! I’ve sadly dropped ML recently because of my dislike for Hasbro’s final product, which does not stand up to my very low tastes. I’m currently looking at S.I.C. and other imports now… Buddha help me…

Where do you vacation? I normally vacation on the west-coast as I have lots of family out there. I’ve been spending my last few vacations up in Taos, New Mexico, and Eagles Nest (outside of Angelfire) where we have some land. The last time I was out of the country it was to Mexico (Ensenada) where I got into a fist-fight in my hotel with some college punk that I choked out (Guillotine FTW. Was a fun trip,
I would like to vacation by going to Japan, and touring off the beaten path. I would like to go to Mt. Uedono for personal reasons. My family and I are going back to Europe in 2009, mostly in France.

What other sites do you visit? – I’m a FWOOSHer tried and true. I hit the usual toy-sites. But FWOOSH is my online home to kick back. I’m also big vocal member of various religion and philosophical forums. I’m active in the gaming community, where my wife works for a Wondrous Online War-related game as a columnist – and I run an online gaming guild which is going on ten-years now. I’m a farker too.

What do you spend your money?
– I keep my own personal account away from my wife. It’s mine and she never knows how much I have in it. IT’S MINE!!!!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!! And from this lovely pool of loot, I buy my action figures, 360 games, PC games, go out to eat at swanky places (Fogo de Chao – I LOVE YOU), Trade-paperbacks, books (*lots* of books), CD’s, DVDs…  I also buy art, right now I’m into Michael Parkes. I’m thinking of getting some of his original art or sculpture. He’s an amazing artist. I’m eyeballing Dante and Beatrice to hang over my bed…

Link for Mr. Parkes?http://www.theworldofmichaelparkes.com/

(All art, sculpture and lithos done by Michael Parkes)


What are your future plans? – Get the hell out of the corporate world. Hook up with Marvel or DC, or just write novels. I’m considering getting a Masters degree as an certified instructor in Integral Theory from the Naropa Institute as well. Integral Theory is a big part of my life and it’s been endorsed by MIT, Harvard and several big universities and think-tanks as a social framework to bring real profound change to the entire world. It remains a big decision that I haven’t made yet because it would take me into an entirely different (but no less fulfilling) direction. My wife is pushing me for this bigtime.

What is wrong with you? – I’m whittling it down as I go. I’ve grown to realize early on that a lot of what is “wrong” with me is really what is “wrong” with everyone. Some might say that if everyone is “wrong” then it might be right, and in wanting to not be like everyone else – THAT is “wrong”. It’s very “I Am Legend” but not as grandiose. I’ve spent the better part of the last 25-years de-conditioning myself and developing more awareness in order to not repeat past mistakes.

So what is wrong with me currently – I think my patience has taken a big hit. I have less of it than ever. I’m an extremely unforgiving person. It takes a *lot* to get on my bad side, and once that line is crossed, I have a *lot* of problems allowing people back over. A lot of people have taken this from a casual standpoint that I’m a big prick. And I can see that. But no one to date has ever been able to tell that to my face without me pointing out my reasoning and not understand why I do what I do. And therein lays the problem.

I’m also overly sentimental, but you’d never know it. I have a big nostalgia streak that comes out rarely, and only in private company. I have keepsakes from my past I use to keep myself grounded. I have teeth that I knocked out of this guy’s head, I have a cuff-link from a guy who died with me when I tried to save him (paramedic-era), a pebble from by grandfather when I asked him “Why do you sit there like that?” (he was meditating – when he opened his eyes, he picked up a pebble and handed to me then closed his eyes again. Took me years to figure out what it meant). Stuff like that. It looks like a big box of junk. But I can tell you what each item is in the box and what it means.

Nothing scary or anything – just moments of ‘personal gravity’ that I make sure I don’t forget. No – I don’t cry. I didn’t cry during “Old Yeller’ either. I did get the sniffles during “Where the Red Fern Grows” tho… SHHH!!! Don’t tell anyone.

Thanks Tenbones!

 

How did you get into  Integral Theory?

I grew up in a Catholic household. I love high-ritual, I actually enjoy the profound sense of communion in Mass. However, I never believed any of it. None of it made sense to me. My grandfather was a Zen Buddhist – and I never understood that as a child either… LOL. What’s all the sitting around mean?

But then I went to a Baptist and Pentecostal church… uhh… scary? But doing that a kid stirred a deep interest in religion from the time I was about nine or so. So I grew up being a voracious reader, when I wasn’t committing crimes or dealing drugs – I would read. The Bible, the Qu’ran, I had knocked out before I was fourteen or so. I never took either seriously in the sense that I could just as easily believe in the Thor comics I read as easily as I could into these holy scriptures.

In my late-teen years, I went through a lot of philosophical issues. Lots of it revolving around death. Family, friends, then when I got my paramedic’s license I got to experience full-force the nature of my beliefs in ways few people get to. In college I studied philosophy – classical, pre-Socratic, Ethics, Religious, Existentialist, name it – I studied it. I went a bit overboard – I wanted to *experience* these things. Hanging out with Greek Orthodoxy guys and Muslims, and going to a Jesuit College to learn about Christianity in detail.

But during all of this – I discovered Zen. And I found myself… or rather I found out that ‘myself’ was the real issue. I needed to lose it. Somewhere in all of these discordant meanderings through mass-death, tribulation, girl-struggles, family-issues, philosophical nihilism – I started seeing this thread in-between them all. A connection. It didn’t have a name (it did, but I just didn’t know about it).

Fast-forward a decade or so – and I read this book called "A Spectrum of Consciousness" by Ken Wilber… it… completely… blows… me… away. It is the synthesis of what will become the cornerstone of Integral Theory. It gives a name to that nagging thread in my mind that has been *screaming* at me for years – Here it is. Integral Theory – a Theory of EVERYTHING. I’ve never looked back.

Sounds pompous? What else can you call it? It’s a theory that literally joins every human endeavor – Business, Economics, Politics, Philosophy, Religion, Art, Science, Pornography, Play-Doh, among other things into a unified psychological, sociological, spiritual model. It shows where we came from and where we are, and more importantly – where we’re going.

For years people have criticized points of Integral Theory, here and there. There are competing emphases aside from Ken Wilbers – but everyone agrees, that despite the criticism – the theory is holding true. It’s gone through four-shifts in Ken’s model – but like any scientific theory it is under constant scrutiny, and Wilber want’s it kept that way. He *wants* it to break – so if it can be broken to see if it can be fixed. It’s never been broken.

So now it’s getting a lot of legitimacy – MIT and Harvard are now calling it revolutionary. And it is. I do say this – it’s not for the timid. It gets very deep very fast… and anyone who is happy with their little world may want to stay clear… because one thing Integral Theory is good at – it’s good at bursting people’s bubbles. I happen to really like searching for Truth and like finding it even more. Integral Theory is proving to be one hell of a ride.

Can you try and explain Intergral Theory?
Is there some form of solidarity after death belief?

Integral Theory *is* a unifying theory for *everything*. What you have to do is step back from your pre-conceptions and look at the underlying structure of Integral Theory in order to take it in. It’s daunting.

If you come from a Western-oriented tradition, it’s difficult at first, because the assumption (the conditioned response to the world-view) is that God (or something) created us, and when we die, we’re floating in this wonderland of Heaven etc. etc.

If you step back from it – we’re really talking about our *hopes* of what will happen when *we* (in the gross physical sense) die. In essence, we’re banking on a myth. Because there is no rational explanation for the concept of Heaven/Hell/Valhalla/Happy Hunting Grounds/etc.

The reason for that is because ‘Mythic’ beliefs belong with ‘Mythic’ worldviews.

Integral Theory posits that our rise to consciousness has developed categorically as our species has evolved – the consciousness of the individual, the group, the tribe, the nation, the worldcentric (in that order) has informed every aspect of our life. It gives framework to *why* we do what we do. *Where* we got our ideas. *Where* we’re going/evolving consciously. It’s a HUGE HUGE HUGE concept. Each of those four groupings has various lines of development contained within them – specific to that group.

For example – rationalism, spirituality, physical development, etc. It means something different to – Individuals, Groups, Tribes, Nations, The World. And as each line of development progresses, it informs the rest of the endeavors in each group. Rationalism (Logic) brought us Science, Fire, the Wheel, etc. etc. Think about how the individuals that came up with the thought-processes for these things affected the other groups. Conversely every human-endeavor falls into these categories. At a certain point – a flash point – if you will – the collective and individual consciousness changes to a new form that *includes* what was known before – and progresses to a new level of thought. For lack of a fluffy-sounding term – a higher level of consciousness.

Here’s a really basic view – when we were living in the paleolithic era over 20,000 years ago – There was no religion. There was no art. There was no warfare. There was only one thing: Survival. The whole of reality as understood by those early humans revolved around – where am I going to get my next meal, and where am I going to live, and who am I going to bang in order to procreate (or rather – ‘gee, I’d sure like to get laid’).

The individual consciousness of the time was pure survival – simple toolmaking was a baby-step in the line of development we call ‘rationalism’. It get’s taught to fellow savages, soon all these tool-making monkeys are capable of hunting for more food, more efficiently, this gets taught to the tribe – which re-organizes itself to more efficiently operate in unison. Other early humans may witness some of this – and teach it to their respective tribes. This stage is called simply enough ‘Intinctive’ or ‘Survival’ Consciousness. It’s the most basic and primitive form of mental acuity we possess. You have it. I have it. We all have it. And understand it. We must sustain ourselves to survive. Period.

Well no matter how hard it is to use a stone-handaxe, it’s not conducive to easy-living. Some monkey-man figured out that by planting seeds in the ground (likely by foraging in the same areas, after crapping there) that seeds from edible plants grow – and can be cultivated without having to risk life-and-limb hunting T-Rexes. And what’s more – it can produce more food than ever. More food means more energy to do other things – like screw and produce more children! And with the security of learning agricutlure – that brain in our head was able to start taking real stock of the world around him.

In all seriousness – the advent of the Agricultural Revolution, some 10,000 years ago is probably *the* most pivotal moment in human history. Without it – we’d be dead several times over. It allowed for small tiny groups of humans to become burgeoning tribes – which forced the social growth necessary and leisure time for people to start using their brains abstractly and start asking the BIG questions. What is Fire? What is Weather? Who made me? Who made US? blah blah blah.

Early religion takes root, in various cultures. People come up with their own ideas on how things get created etc. The tribal Shaman makes his first appearance – as he seems to have put together the best explanations (and maybe he’s the most observant in the bunch) for seasonal changes, herbal remedies, nose for weather, etc. This is the era of Animism and Magical Worldview. Each stage encompases the one before it. Animism/Magic encompasses Survival, and Individuals, Groups, Tribes etc. utilize this conscious understanding and grow from there.

Animism over time gives way to laws, instinctive rationalism gives way to rudimentary logic. Etc. etc. Each new stage encompasses the ones before it. It doesn’t negate them! It is informed by them – but operates at a higher level of understanding. They’re not MORE right. They’re just operationally higher.

so the stages (in very general terms) are – from lowest to highest –

Survival – I eat, I survive
Magic/Animistic – The world is mysterious, Fire is from the spirits!!
Mythic/Egocentric/Power-Oriented/Absolutist – Believe my God or DIE
Mental/Multiplistic – We can produce electricity without God. Which is kooky
Pluralistic/Realtivism – Can’t we all just get along? All religions have value.
Paradigmatic/Systemic – We as a totality can achieve the best results this way.

and so forth. There are more – but it’s moot for the purposes of this allegedly short letter.

Each stage encompasses the others. You can say the higher stages are better. Yes this is true. It’s better for more people, but not necessarily the individual who like living in a cave killing whatever he wants and believing in Thor.

So when we get into religion – which is Mythic, predominantly today in the West. We can see a pattern from a world-view of what has happened in the East and West. Each branch of religion when taken without the literal (Mythic/Authoritarian my-way-or-the-highway (hell)) slant – have practices that are very much linked in unison. This commonality is contemplative practices like meditation, centering prayer, chanting AS a practice. When you read the book of John, or works of Eckhart, Augustine, Aquinas – you’ll see they all have ‘visions’ of God. And relate that experience in the verbage of their culture. Christians take this literally and go ^$@* saying Look! Here’s a guy that met God! And look at all this cool stuff!

What people in ‘Mythic’ mode don’t do – is understand their own culture because ‘Mythic’ minded people *want* or *need* to have an authoritarian figure dominant in their culture to explain what happens. Taken literally – it makes little rational sense – but taken metaphorically it makes perfect sense.

How? Because if you look at other contemplative tradtions – they describe the very same experiences in the language of their culture as well – but because they’re not Mythic oriented (as most traditions from the East) the experience is used in language that describes the experience itself instead of trying to shoe-horn the experience into the Mythology that dominates their culture.

What does this say about God? It says that our consciousness exists in states we’re not even aware of. The "I" that we use to identify ourselves to one another is no more real than the name "Tenbones" is to your screen. When you ask yourself "Who am I?" – who is the "I" in that statement? It is an artificial ego-construct of your conscious state you inhabit. When you sleep – where does "I" go? You can say that you’re asleep – so it’s dormant – but then the fact remains, that you dream, you’re aware of "you-ness" that is the "I" in the previous question. But the question becomes more relevant because by traditional thought – if you’re unconscious, or asleep, how is it that people who are sufficiently trained to do so – can be completely lucid?

The answer is that these states are always present but we’re not aware of them unless we expand the spectrum of our mental acuity into these ranges. Neuroscience from MIT, and Harvard is now corroberating this and showing the spectrum of consciousness is just that – a spectrum. The ego which we identify with "I"-ness is an illusionary fragment we condition ourselves to cling to thinking this "I-ness" is ALL there is to ‘YOU’. When in reality – it is appearing that consciousness itself is something far greater, and we’re just now waking up/realizing this.

These God-experiences are identical across religions, or non-religions, and Integral Theory used a model for such research – between those that practice meditative disciplines (one being spear-headed by the Father Thomas Keating, one of the foremost trailblazers in the *Catholic Church*) and MIT, Harvard neuroscience schools. It’s showing categorically that metaphor – the abstract ability of the human mind that seperates us from other animals – is showing us what humans two-thousand years ago did not have the ability to convey or understand. Integral Theory is modeling all of this.

If you were a Jew, and lived two-thousand years ago. You go into the desert to contemplate your existance. After days, or weeks of contemplation – you have this experience. The experience is akin to finding no difference between yourself and the ultimate reality around you. Where reality is manifest as something so profoundly vast – from the smallest grain of sand to the endless sky above you and it is as vital and real and seemingly infinite. What would you call it, but God? Yahweh. You could only attempt, futilely as I’m trying now, to explain it in words which don’t come even close to fitting the bill – of an experience that is hinted at in words like ‘eternal’, ‘infinite’, ‘God’ – all loaded terms at best.

In eastern traditions, the language is very well suited for description – because they never literally interpret the experience to be anything other than enlightenment. The removal of conditions upon reality in which we can directly perceive things without our egos getting in the way. In Zen, it’s called ‘kensho’ – or One-Taste. It takes months to have it – sometimes years, but once you can achieve it, it’s a milestone. Then you go on to deeper levels and you’ll find you have kensho more frequently. In the west, there is no traditional practice for it. But it does not stop people from having it – but they call them religious experiences because people aren’t prepared to deal with the magnitude of the experience.

So when you ask – "Do we all go to Heaven when we die?" From the Integral Theory perspective it is a moot point. Your consciousness transcends what you are perceiving right now. If anything – it will be that "you-ness" merges with a great collective consciousness that is manifest right now. And that it’s happening now. You don’t even realize it. No myth you possess in you mind can compare to the amount of things you edit from your perceptions.

Integral Theory is *not* responsible for this fact. Integral Theory is proving to be a roadmap that points into the direction of where we’re going. No one has to become enlightened, but its the ignorance of the realities that Integral Theory clearly shows as real which can give people, anyone, a direction to head if they so choose. And as Integral Theory postulates – so goes the Individual, so goes the Group, then so goes the Tribe, then so goes the Nation, and then the World.

World-changing indeed.

Ever go to a Gabber party? They hand out long handled hammers and
play fast noise type music and the participants destroy the building, like a building scheduled for demolition.

 – Never been to one! Sounds fun! Deconstruction, physically, emotionally, spiritually, literally are always good!


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