(creative) Spark

“The poets become disappointed because they cannot be Adam early in the morning. There have been too many Adams, and they have named everything.”
— Harold Bloom

Bloom, it turns out, missed the fun: our poets have only just begun.

The early poets — the beautiful souls who invented us, invented our metaphors, invented the language in which we live and move and have our being — swam in a small sea of awareness. They did not even realize that they were in a sea … and that one day their children leap out.

“The Creative Spark formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. The Spark brought them to Adam to see what he would name them. So Adam gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals.” Genesis 2:19

The Creative Spark is inviting us once again, at the birth of our new metaverse, to name our new (inner)Spaces … and to birth a new (inner)Garden.

It is morning again for our species. We are Generation Genesis … Adams and Eves of the early dawn.

Just a short while ago, no one dared to dream that we would fly … walk on the moon … or probe beyond our solar system. 

Now, with virtual and augmented realities, we’re entering a new age of travel — (inner)Travel. We’re exploring the (inner)Frontier … that vast unnamed wilderness of thoughts, emotions, feelings, dreams, and desires.

But we can’t transform with the old language. We can’t catapult ourselves into the future … bearing the word-chains of the past. 

Language is like jet fuel for your insides. If you want to “presence your best future self,” as Otto Scharmer says, then you will want to presence your best future language. 

“Best possible self” and “best future self” are well-established in the developmental literatures. But now, with the metaverse, we can use our best future language to teleport ourselves into our best future selves. 

Scientists are discovering in the laboratory what artists and poets have long intuited — “thousands of strange sensations,” as the painter Giorgio di Chirico called them … nuances of emotion, each waiting for a name.

Inventio, in Latin, originally meant  “to find the right word.” We’re in the midst of an explosion of new (inner)Words … and new ways of experiencing these words in virtual and augmented realities.

By 2030, you will inhabit not just a brave world of holograms and sentient machines, but an equally brave new world of words … each of which uniquely crystallizes one of the sensations of which de Chirico dreamed.

To invent a new language is to invent a new form of life,” said Wittgenstein. We’ve long speculated that the metaverse will come with new forms of life … but we’re just now birthing the language of this new life.

Nearly every professional discipline has “best practices.” But when we googled best inner practices” back in 2009, we could not find a single instance of the phrase. This was our “aha moment” — that words become powerful when we put them into action, in the form of guided, metaversal practices.

Jamal has become really good at (rebounding) from setbacks. Charlotte has learned to (smile) in the face of adversity. Manny has mastered the art of (relaxation) no matter the chaos around him. 

Each of us has our own best inner practices. But until the metaverse, we didn’t have a shared multi-dimensional space in which to share them, in a deliberate and developmental way.

Right about now is where people often experience a misunderstanding. 

They think that (inner)Community is a “Facebook for nice people.” Or an “Oculus for higher consciousness.” They think that we share the same type of inspirational and insightful content — quotes, essays, videos, live streams — except now in the metaverse.

Einstein said we can’t solve our problems with the same level of thinking. The metaverse gives us an unprecedented opportunity to invent new mediums of thought … mediums that integrate the strengths of algorithms with poetry, spirituality and developmental psychology.

Wellness … algorithms … Wellgorithms.

The secret of becoming your best possible self — in athletics, music, the arts, and business — is mindful practice, or what scientists call deliberate practice. 

“Every world-class athlete, every prima ballerina, every concert violinist, every chess grandmaster … has figured out how to get past the New Year’s resolution effect and make deliberate practice an ongoing part of their lives,” explains K Anders Ericsson, one of the foremost experts in peak performance. 

The metaverse is giving birth to new genres of deliberate practice, among them, a genre we call Wellgorithms. 

Wellgorithms give you a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional gym in which you can practice deliberately with your emotions. You can reach out and touch your traumas … squeeze your joys … increase or decrease the luminosity, radiance, volume, and scale of each of your emotions. 

Your brain might fry at first because the metaverse is so new. But the basic idea is simple. Within a few years, children will be creating their own Wellgorithms … and by high school they will be creating their own (inner)Code.

Just as there are different types of computer code, there are different types of (inner)Code. Just as we have Python, JavaScript and PHP, a new family of emotional and spiritual codes are emerging in the metaverse, which we are just now naming.  

Soon you will be creating Wellgorithms to activate your (thriller)Cells … elevate your (mood)Plasma … stay motivated with (pep)Guides … build resilience with (Grow)teins … enrich your relationships with (amenable)Acids … and repair your broken parts with the double(Heal)ix.

It’s like you have an (inner)Editor … helping you evolve and refine the grammar of your mind.  

The science of names is exploding, giving us new startling new insights into how our minds work — and how we might name the new spaces of the metaverse.

Naming the hurt is how we begin to repair our broken parts,” says Desmond Tutu. “Giving the emotion a name is the way we come to understand how what happened affected us.”

Name it to tame it,” says Dan Siegel. We “squirt soothing neurotransmitters” and calm our brains when we name our emotions.

To name the Wellgorithms, we first had to invent a new iconography, a way of visualizing the dance between our inner and outer worlds. We put the inner word in parenthesis, and the material word outside:

(inner) Outer

The (parenthesis) symbolize the inner world … the sacred space that we are evolving in community in unprecedented new ways. The parenthesis are silent and symbolic; they are not “spoken.” They give us a new way to experience “the underlying, primary psychic reality,” as Carl Jung put it.

Create a new language, create a new reality,” said Rumi.

We built much of our (inner)Community in coffee shops, so we started in the the (awakening)Café. We imagined ourselves sipping on a (motivation)Mocha … then washing it down with a (gratitude)Grappa … served by a (breakthrough)Barista.

When we left the café, sure enough, we found ourselves in (setback)City. We argued with the (anger)Gangster … searched for °(peace)Pearls in the (fun)likeliest of places … meditated in the (conscious)Nest fled from the (Crap)ture … and traded (smile)Miles for two bottles of (perfect)icide and a case of (insane)Champagne.

We realized that we were playing a new kind of (inner)Game … a multi-step, multi-player, multi-developmental game of (inner)Reality. It was as real, and in some ways more real, than the “reality” we found ourselves in.

The Sami people, who live in the northern tips of Scandinavia, have as many as 1,000 names for “reindeer.” We are likewise expanding our (inner)Horizons … with 1,000 new names for (peace), 1,000 new names for (joy), 1,000 new names for (love).  

Each of the names captures and crystalizes what until now has been an invisible nuance … a hidden movement of energy … that we are just now starting to visualize in the metaverse.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world,” said Wittgenstein. We are in the midst of an event so rare that we can barely grasp it:

We are lifting the limits of language.

Generation Genesis is doing what no culture has ever done — surfacing thousands of invisible sensations, and giving each of them a name. 

When you feel (whole) inside, you are free from the need for validation by others. Your (self.esteem) is independent of the whims of the marketplace … and you don’t measure your worth by likes or followers.

Your real worth is your (inner)Worth. You have an (inner)Compass to guide you … and an (inner)Anchor to ground you.

But social media has given birth to a new power — a (Control)igarchy — that is hijacking our brain stems, exploiting our vulnerabilities, and weaponizing the world inside. We are burning in a volcano of (inner)Violence … scarring our mental health in the lava of hatred, division, and dehumanization.  

In the spirit of Gandhi and King, the times are crying for a new movement of 

(inner) Non.Violence

A movement that protects and nourishes your (inner)Rights — your right to connect with others in environments free from people who spy on your insides, who manipulate your emotions without your knowledge or consent.

Our struggle for (inner)Justice has only just begun. And how we define the struggle — how we debate the impact of technology on our (inner)Selves — starts with a deep understanding of language.

In a cosmos of 13,770,000,000 years, we humans have had an “inner self” … conscious interiority … for less than 5,000. 

In the East, atma first meant “breath”, and then “self.” Yoga and meditation emerged to help us increase atma jnana — “inner awareness.” 

In the West, the idea that “the kingdom of heaven is inside of you” was revolutionary just 2,000 years ago. It is only with Augustine that the phrase “interiore homine“ emerged. And it is only just now, with the metaverse, that we are discovering how vast and unexplored our interiors are.

Google Ngram shows that “inner self“, in English books, is only about 150 years old … “inner self” started to permeate popular culture only in the 1960s … and a new language and iconography of the (inner)Self emerges only recently:

We’re in the midst of a rising wave of (inner)Awareness … and it’s more than a counterculture, 1960s-style movement. It’s neuroscience. It’s medicine. It’s big business. And now it’s the metaverse.

“The next phase of human development will be gaining mastery of the world inside,” says Yuval Noah Harari. We’re building instruments bigger and more powerful than the Hubble … this time to probe the (inner)Cosmos.

The African traditions teach ubuntu — “the self is a we” — and we become our “selves” with others. 

The glories of technology have made us inter-connected … but we are not yet (inner)-connected. MLK’s words are as prophetic today as they were 50 years ago — “Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood … but not yet a brotherhood.”

We have a once-in-a-species chance to unite our inner worlds … and to birth a new kind of community — an (inner)Community

We will not experience (inner)Community in its full flowering right away. What you’ll find on this web portal is akin to an early screenplay, drafts of a script not yet made into a movie or play. 

The age of (inner)nomics — of sharing our abundance of (inner)Riches — has only just begun. 

Most of us live ordinary “outer” lives … but inside we are becoming extraordinary. Inside we are splitting the (inner)Atom … zooming through a Cosmos unreachable, even unthinkable, to previous generations … and presencing our (best.future)Selves in mind-boggling new ways.  

Every day, every hour, a new (inner)Billionaire is born — someone who, with Einstein, awakens to the miracle … counts a billion reasons to be (grateful) and (amazed) … and who is helping us birth a new metaverse of (love)

Heather O'Neill
"Every writer has to invent their own magical language, in order to describe the indescribable."
Ingeborg Bachmann
"Reality will always be met with a new language where a moral and cognitive jolt occurs."
Werner Erhard
“Futures are constituted in language.”
J.R.R. Tolkien
“Language is the lifeblood of a culture, a people.”
Julian Jaynes
“Language is an organ of perception, not simply a means of communication.”
Tiffany Watt Smith
“When language changes, our emotions do too.”
Lisa Feldman Barrett
“When we learn a new word for an emotion, new feelings are sure to follow.”
Lev Vygotsky
"A word is a microcosm of human consciousness."
Ellen J. Langer
“Using a different word can improve our health and wellbeing.”
Krista Tippett
"The words we use shape how we understand ourselves, how we interpret the world, how we treat others."
Emily Dickinson
"Immortal is an ample word"
“In the beginning was the word."
Václav Havel
“Words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government … words can prove mightier than ten military divisions.”
Madeleine L'Engle
“We think because we have words, not the other way around. The more words we have, the better able we are to think conceptually.”
Tony Robbins
“The words that I attach to my experience become my experience.”
Isabel Wilkerson
“We need a new language, a new framework for understanding our divisions and how we got to where we are.”
Tomas Björkman
“We use language to bestow names on things, and thereby increase our awareness of the world, or in a sense actually create the world.”
Alfred Korzybski
“We read unconsciously into the world the structure of the language we use.”
Richard Dawkins
“If you push novelty of language and metaphor far enough, you can end up with a new way of seeing.”
E.O. Wilson
“The more advanced the civilization, the more elaborate its metaphors.”
Andrew Newberg
"The right words spoken in the right way can bring us love, money and respect, while the wrong words—or even the right words spoken in the wrong way—can lead to a country to war."
Jane Hirshfield
“Metaphors are the oxygen possibility breathes.”
Gina Campbell
"Change the metaphor, change the self."
Peter Block
“If we have any desire to create an alternative future, it is only going to happen through a shift in our language.”
Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey
“Language is a practice, and it creates new tools for a new paradigm.”
Alex Biener
“A whole different language is needed. And that’s a really key point which doesn’t get spoken about all that much."
Claire Kramsch
“The symbolic universe that language learners are entering today requires them to have a much greater awareness of the power games that are being played with language."
Terrence McKenna
“What we call culture is a nothing more than a kind of shockwave, trailing behind the forward edge of our language-making capacity.”
Michael Robbins
"Our sense of self, 'who you think you are,' is largely based on language."
Walter Brueggemann
"The prophet is engaged in a battle for language, in an effort to create a different epistemology out of which another community might emerge."
Nicholas Mazza
"Poetic language has proved the most adequate medium for responding to modernity."
Toni Morrison
"Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence."
Martin Heidegger
"Language is the House of Being."
Edward Sapir
"Language is a guide to social reality ... and conditions all our thinking about social problems and processes."
Benjamin Whorf
"The world that is coming toward us is going to be very much richer in a mental sense because we are going to get a modicum of freedom from linguistic frameworks, from familiar mental habits."