I am Stephen Calhoun aka hoon aka Dr. Puck, author of the squareONE Explorations blog, principal of squareONE:experiential toolmakers.
My interests are always resolving themselves amidst much poking around. but these have long orbited the cosmos of music and the human cosmos itself, the ins and outs of human awareness and behavior, and, the nature of adult learning. And this and that and on and on. My mentor Judith Buerkel remarked to me,
You are curious about curiosity, so you’re set, really, for life.
What am I curious about, besides being curious about curiosity? I’m curious about how knowledge is created and deployed in normal everyday life. I am extremely curious about how people come to know one another. I am fascinated by the problematics given by folk psychology, whether these are problems at the high orders of meta-psychology and philosophy of mind, or, at the low orders of everyday psychology and the applications and heuristics everybody deploys every day. (We are–every one of us–psychologists of a sort, and after a fashion.) Being a Taoist trickygoat, I’m curious and mystified by the ten thousand things.
Homebody with a lot of remarkable and lucky outside experience. Cat person. My wife is the greatest person I know; jackpot.
System of Experience embodied and embedded within multi-versed and multi-various systems. Dig it.
My recent research preoccupation, started in 2005, has to do with fortuity, serendipity, and (what’s called) pseudo-serendipity. These phenomena are ubiquitous and occupy an elemental place within the field of human development. (Only humans experience serendipities as distinct from biological/ecological conjunctions.) I come at this as a self-somewhat-trained, interdisciplinary-minded and phenomenologically-minded, independent researcher. This is framed via a modest, informally developed, always growing, body of knowledge about social/personality psychology, philosophy, adult learning, and, anthropology.
People who have made the effort to know me well have suggested that ‘I am always doing research.’ Everybody else would do well to be forewarned! Everything human is grist for my mill 24/7. That I am an inveterate student of whatever environment I land in is more than a hobby.
My enthusiasms sometimes come across as wind.
People ask about my background and I tell them “music, and, being a hippie.” When I give this response to people in my fifty-something cohort, very often they relax and recollect about when they too were a hippie. I guess this is a guilty memory for some, but not for me. As Paul Krassner says: “My only sacred cow is that I have no sacred cows.” I’ve spent a great deal of focused time with the works of Thelonious Monk, Gregory Bateson, Carl Jung, and Rumi.
It would be impossible for me to under-quantify the importance of music in life. Music is at once practice, principle enthusiasm, analogue and analogy, metaphor, and model. I could go further. The handful of persons who have put in the time to be in deep relationship to me surpass even music as source and inspiration.
As a matter of their application, my experience and insights inform my practice as an experiential toolmaker, facilitator and guide. My principal motivation is selfish enjoyment of experiencing and/or witnessing genuine insight come about in real time and spontaneously. As it has happened, I have spent the better part of two decades integrating discoveries from my prior wanderings with the several models of experiential learning that underpin my work as toolmaker.
Hat tip, then, to Gregory Bateson, Kurt Lewin, Jack Mezirow, David A. Kolb, and Paolo Freire.
I am very laid back. I am not in fifth gear on the outermost lane any of the time, and, fulfillment and happiness is available to me everyday under extremely modest circumstances. I guess I didn’t get the self-efficacy gene! I currently pay the bills contracting client support services in the field of organizational behavior. However, the rest of the time I am exploring, listening, drilling down, reflecting, fooling around, reconfiguring my prejudices, having fun, playing and creating.
My hobbies are music making, painting and visual-graphical experimentation, and, corresponding with my far flung and crazywild friends and colleagues. I lean heavily on contemplation and meditation and stumbling.
My personal mission is to be tender. However, my shadow is brusque, domineering, and, aloof. Certain ‘negative’ cognitive fixities get me going too and I argue for antidotes to: magical thinking, creationism, unwarranted absolutisms and unwarranted warrants(!). When closely held beliefs are offered, while their obvious ramifications are withheld I am kind. If somebody treats me as if the way they know the world works is also supposed to be–from their perspective–the way the world works for me, and everybody else, I am likely to provide a challenge to their quasi-normative presumption and ensuing effort. Damn logic master too yet a feeling type to the core!
I take none of this particularly seriously. I am not a doctor and barely made it out of prep school. Thank goodness on both accounts–for life is play and the last breath may be the next! You never know, so, in actuality, I study the nature of knowing and not knowing and never knowing.
As John Lilly put it: “My beliefs are unbelievable!” Because I am a dispositional (William) Jamesian and Gregory Batesonian, it is my guiding principal that: if something comes to be experienced it earns–for this alone–an account of some sort. Also, my prejudices are such, that I feel my own attempts to wring cause out of mystery are somehow bound to failure.
And, finally, I offer my two secrets of the good, happy life: don’t sweat stuff small or medium, and, if you can do but one thing, serve to lessen another’s suffering, no matter how small, medium, or big. Do what you can; almost invariably the request to help out is never a big deal.
“Follow the perfume, not the tracks.” – Shams
Me, in my Kamelmauz guise, no doubt having fun generating instantly composed sound designs on one of my pedal steel guitars.