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Igniting Inspiration: A Talk with John Marshall Roberts

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In his new book, Igniting Inspiration: A Persuasion Manual for Visionaries, founder of "Transformational Design," John Marshall Roberts, offers a new paradigm for communicating — not from force or from manipulation — but from a place of mutual inspiration. In this dialogue John explains shared human perfection, the ground of successful communications in nothing less than love, how cynicism blocks evolution, the connection between inspiration and sustainability, the centrality of deep listening and clear intention,s and how all these things connect to genuine social and human transformation.


AG:  John, in your book called, "Igniting Inspiration," my favorite line was: "seeking to improve the world is a futile game built on a lie."  Yeah, I was really inspired when I read that.

JMR:  To some extent it's like the Zen masters when they would send a student off to solve a koan — they'd solve a riddle.  The book itself is kind of a riddle using communication as a vehicle.  It leads the readers to understand that their own quest to change the world is based on repressed feelings.  And really, if they want to be transformative communicators or leaders they need to work through their own self.   There is that line in it that says, "If you want to make the world a better place, fix yourself — then there will be one less scoundrel among us."


So we don't need scoundrels changing the world in their image?

In order to communicate in a really transformative way, what you have to do is come from the deepest part of who you are.  In order to do that, you've got to get over your need to change and fix people.  If your intention is to really accept the world, and the people around you as they are, then you become naturally inspiring and transformative — it's the paradox of transformative leadership and transformative communication.  Calling seeking to improve the world a "futile lie" was a provocative way of eliciting a strong reaction, which apparently it did!


You write, "We do not inspire people by trying to make them better . . ."  I would add that it usually just annoys them,  ". . . we inspire them by witnessing their inherent perfection."  What do you mean by "perfection"?

Basically, if we assume that a human being exists as a body, bodies which, let's face it, are always heading toward the grave one way or another.  There has not been a human born yet who has not died.  We have not witnessed that yet.


Well, there are those rumours about Dick Cheney…

The mind is always changing, and our minds are always moving and changing.  And then there's a deeper dimension which we can call the spirit.  It doesn't have to be "woo-woo," but there exists this idea of this larger intelligence.  So where would perfection be?  It is certainly not going to be at the body, and it is not going to be at mind either.  Perfection is at that deeper source that we all share.  By witnessing someone's inherent perfection, what we are really seeing is that part of them which is exactly like us — and that is stemming from the same source.  When we do that, we actually liberate them to connect more with the source that animates them.  That gives them tremendous power as well.  It is really a matter of training our mind to look for that deeper source on that sort of perfect level rather than the body level or the mental level, where things are always going to be a little screwy.


You give me a funny image.  I'm thinking, "Who are the only people that witness the perfection of others?"  My first thoughts are someone like Mahatma Gandhi, and someone like the awe-struck, doting parent of a one year old.



What is the commonality?

Love.  I think the poets had it right.  It is cliché for a reason. Love is that experience of unity in which the divisions between myself and other, me and you, between a parent and a child, between Gandhi and India and humanity, dissolves. 

Within the realm of our senses, things are always decaying and dying.  Our senses can show us a pretty scary and dire situation.  How are we going to counteract that, and be a positive force?  We have to sort of dig deeper to that plane which really defies reason and logic.


You are not saying that we should give up being connected to our bodies and minds? 

No, no I am just saying that we cannot put the cart before the horse, the mind before the spirit.


Descartes before the Source?

Right.  We are on the forefront of something big, and really fascinating  — we are starting to realize that we have to look inward in order to solve our outward problems.  We are starting to get that most of our outward problems — be it pollution on a global scale, or bad marriages and relationships on a personal scale — they actually start within us. We are trying to learn how to turn inward, find the source that animates us, and recognize that actually we created all this.  We created our life, our relationships; all the problems that we have.  To some extent our problems are a twisted tribute to our own creative power.


Evolutionary biologists describe how the human mind has developed to be a great short- term problem solver.  Catch the food, build the fire.  We did not evolve to be long-term thinkers yet here we are at a place in history where we need to access and live out long-term priorities.  It seems that sadly, even tragically, we are just not that species yet. 

Yes, the only way we can even survive in the short term is to start thinking about sustainability, and long-term perspectives.    We have elected a president now where almost every other word is sustainability.  We can bicker over this policy or that, but we have somebody who will start to look at that world through that lens of sustainability.  It is exciting for me.  It is a huge leap.  It is a momentous leap forward for our humble species.


Inspiration is the only way of communicating that is "sustainable"

I know you work a lot with companies that put sustainable economy first.  What is the connection between your notion of inspiration and sustainability? 

When we talk about spirituality we really talk about nature's intelligence.   When I get a cut, it heals.  I do not have to think about it.  In fact if I look at the science of how a cut heals we do not begin to understand one percent of anything that the body does.  The truth is that with all of our textbooks, and all of our science, it is just this amazing mystery.

Now when it comes to the realm of communication and sustainability, if we just take the simple common sense assumption that people consist of a mind, a body, and a spirit; we can see that there are really only three ways a human being can communicate with another human being. 

One would be from the level of the body to the body.  That would be force.  Say I wanted to get you to move a rock, I could force you to move a rock with my body.  Another level would be that I could convince you to move the rock by using my mind to convince your mind to make your own body do it.  That would be persuasion.  Then at the top we would have inspiration, which is when I somehow access that shared creative intelligence; that nature within me to ignite the creative intelligence in you to make your own body move the rock. 

We say there are three types of communication:  force, persuasion, and inspiration. We find that if we force things we tend to get a backlash.  I could use a gun, and get you to do some work, but the minute I leave you are probably going to get a gun, and come after me if you can.  Or at least you are not going to do the work any more.  There is a backlash.  Same with persuasion;  we can kind of cajole people to buy stuff, whatever we are selling, but at the end of the day there is a sense of being had that underlies those sort of transactions.  Often it comes back to haunt us; that sort of manipulation.  It always does.

Inspiration would be the only way of communicating that does not have that backlash; that is sustainable.  When people feel inspired to move a rock, they will keep doing it; and not only that, they are going to get their friends to do it, too!  There is a contagion that happens with that sort of visionary type of feeling and communication between people.

We talk about sustainability.  Well, we have some very specific tasks we've got to do in terms of the environment.  We have to get off this energy train of fossil fuels.  We've got to do all kinds of stuff.  But the truth is, no matter what our material problems are, if we solve them with that spirit of forcing or that spirit of persuasion; we are going to end up getting a backlash, and it is not going to work over time.

I believe inspiration is the only sustainable form of communication.  It is the only way we are going to really unleash our human potential to solve these problems in a way that does not create more problems.


If you want to inspire others to enter this viral circle of sustainability, growth and continuity (long-term thinking), clearly you have to be able to access your own sense of inspiration.  I guess the primary question is, "what blocks people's sense of being inspired, and what can an individual do to find out what really inspires them?" 

What you are talking about there is what I have called, "the law of resonance."  This is where a message is going to be heard at the same message level from which it is sent.  If I send a message from the body, it is going be heard that way, or from the mind.  I could say inspirational stuff, but if I am trying to manipulate it, if that is my intention, then it is not going to be inspiring.  By contrast, there is this no-b.s. law of resonance where people get where we are really coming from, regardless of the words. 

Now, what is the most common barrier to accessing the genuine inner place of inspiration? I think it's that we are all too often locked into a way of thinking in terms of the world's scarcity. 



Yes, fear is the word.  Until we are willing to re-experience whatever fear we have not properly digested from our past, it will continue to clog up our experience of the world.  And we will project it onto the world around us as judgment and cynicism.   Cynicism is just undigested pain.  Until we encounter, embrace, and overcome our own cynicism, we are going to be locked in the persuasion of force no matter what we say or do.


What are we afraid of?

We are afraid of discomfort.  I think at the core we really just want to feel good.  It is really that simple. 


There's that short-term pleasure…

Yes, we want to feel good, and we do not want to feel bad.  And we are trying to manage our discomfort by going after pleasurable things, and avoiding uncomfortable things.  The problem is that we then lose touch with that creative source from which we have originated.

The good news is if we can train our minds,  if we can start to see the game, start to see this is how it works,  we can make a practice of saying, "okay, I may not like it, but I've got to go through this storm here.  There is something here, and I can not avoid it."  We go through it, and then it is done. 

We clean up the past, and if we do that enough, we get to a point where we start enjoying life.  Life is working with us rather than against us, and we are not struggling as much.  When we do start to struggle we know, "okay, I better go inward instead of trying to attack the outward world."  You can get to a really positive way of living if you start to view the game this way.  But if we do not set up the game just right, pardon my French, we are screwed. 


This sounds like very ancient wisdom. It sounds Greek; it sounds Buddhist; it sounds like the Hebrew prophets.   The hard way that gets easy rather than the easy way that gets hard.

Yes, it is ancient.  I think that throughout human history we have had people who are able to see past what their senses reported to them.  What is different about today is that now we have tools that allow us to communicate globally, instantly.  It was always a few weirdoes.  They usually ended up getting killed for this kind of long-term thinking, and had religions about them, right?   But now, imagine if a critical mass of the public started to get this; what could we create?  This is revolutionary.


Joy is Life in Process

I want to go back to cynicism, because it's a potent enemy right here.  I think people feel it is hip to be cynical, resigned, and somehow un-hip to be an inspired person. 

I definitely have gone through periods where I was afraid to be positive, because it was not cool within my associates; my group.


Why does this happen?

I think it is because we cannot distinguish false positive from true joy.  I think that what happens is when we start to see that the mainstream has a lot of in-authenticity in it, we see a lot of what is actually desperation, masking as positive thinking.  We start to mistrust positive statements.  We see how even really great wisdom can be abused.  Phrases can be abused to serve cheesy or inauthentic ends. 

So we become mistrustful of anything positive, and we almost start to realize that the only cool people are the ones who have the courage to see the truth of life — which is not being stated in the mainstream.  There is kind of this "hipster" revolt against positivity that I have definitely had to work through within myself.  I think at the other end of that; once we work through that, we realize that joy is life in process.  Our nature is joy, and we do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water, but I think we have to forgive the mainstream as it were. 

We have to forgive the mainstream for not being authentic at times, and not use that as a way of poisoning our own selves or keeping our own selves from being happy.  Forgiveness is really I think where it is at.  To heal that sense that it is cool to be mean, shrewd or cynical — although the truth is I think dark humor will never leave my repertoire.


It strikes me that we have made inspiration "safe" by cordoning it off; everyone gives lip service to Ghandi or Martin Luther King.  Everyone likes to see an inspiring movie — we get our ten c.c.'s of inspiration from seeing a hero triumph over evil — so it is safe in a dark movie house, in the form of cultural production, but it is not safe outside as actual behavior.  How do we make the transition from hearing an inspiring speech or seeing an inspiring movie into sustainable behavior?          

I think it just takes courage; it always takes courage.  People lead by example, and it does not have to be Ghandi or Martin Luther King.   People in the act of raising a family; of raising a child, of doing anything at work, and getting their boss to start thinking more sustainably at work.  There are all kinds of courage — the smallest thing, quitting smoking, losing weight, admitting something you have been withholding from a partner for years.  The smallest act of courage can ripple through, and create inspiration in ways we have never dreamed.  It is just that we need to be willing to tolerate discomfort. 

It is so funny to me how addicted we are to comfort.  It seems that until we recognize that comfort makes us very uncomfortable; we continue that addiction.   But I think at the end of the road we realize everything great that we have got, all of these breakthroughs happened usually after a very uncomfortable period.  I think we start to wise up, and see this is how life works.  Maybe I could stop judging it, and just walk through it, because courage makes us uncomfortable.  Acting out of the norm always makes us uncomfortable, there is uncertainty there.  But we can not create anything new if we don't have some uncertainty.  I think the great challenge of our times is to embrace uncertainty. 


There is no way to inspire another human being if you are coming from a place of scarcity yourself

Courage — again this is one of the classic virtues and there is also a connection to economics here.  You were our lead-off speaker for out first Evolver Intensive Teleseminar Series.  (  There was another speaker,  Douglas Rushkoff, who talked about an abundance economy based in grain and food, where people were attached to the value of what they created — and then the transition to our current scarcity economy which is the money system, a centralised monetary system, where we have lost our sense of abundance. 

I noticed a similarity with your work where you talk about being a truly inspirational, transformational leader.  Because you say that in order to inspire transformation in society, you have to inspire the sense of abundance in the person you are communicating with.  As a communicator, how do you build the strength or abundance or courage in your listeners so that they feel inspired to forge through discomfort toward higher or long-term goals like sustainability?

Gandhi did have it right:  "Be the change you want in the world."  You have to always look at your own intentions, and where you are acting from.  What is directing your actions?  Is it a sense of vision?  A possibility that has gripped you that serves the whole of life?  Or is it your own ego, and the fear that you will not have enough?  There is no way to inspire another human being if you are coming from a place of scarcity yourself.  Flipping that around, if you are coming from a position of truly having faith in the universe operating through you, and of you having more than you need, if you are coming from that place, it is hard not to inspire other people at all!  It is like giving water to someone who is crawling in the desert.

We have been hypnotized into this scarcity-based thinking.   At every corner of our society, there is a conversation revolving around how much there is not enough to go around.  If you can, not in a cheesy and unauthentic way, but in a truly heartfelt way embrace the world, and engage the world with that faith, and that conviction of the ultimate abundance of life, you will change the world.  You will, and you will not be trying to change it, and you'll be having fun. 

You will look at everyone that you encounter with gratitude that they are there.  You will be thinking, "What an amazing person this person must be for being in my space, because I know that I am being a part of this amazing life, and they must have been sent to me for some sort of reason.  Wow, what are we here to learn together?"

There is so much unsaid power in something as simple as the look in your eye.  You just sort of look at people through that lens, and they feel automatically uplifted by you. 


I get that from little children — who are so ready to be delighted, because, for them, the world is already enchanted.  And you also get it from older folks, if they are not taken down by cynicism, because somehow all our struggles seem a stage drama from their perspective, I think, something that evokes something like compassionate bemusement.  At both these poles of life, there is, in a way, no scarcity at all, and an almost infinite gratitude.

So I want to break down this idea of scarcity here, because I think there is this sense of impending material scarcity surrounding us — which is real! —  alongside the infinite abundance that comes from just being alive to being alive.  I spent six months ashram hopping in India a while back and returned to the U.S. and walked into a supermarket and stood there, awe-struck. It was like the final scene in "2001: A Space Odyssey" — as if I had toddled into the next evolutionary epoch of humankind.  It was astonishing to see all of that food in one place!  So, hell, there is material abundance around us on such an enormous scale but we don't see it with our daily eyes.  Our sense of material abundance may just be so tweaked into extremis that we don't know abundance when we see it.  But you raise this wonderful second truth — and again — I hear Buddha and the Greek philosophers and the Taoists and the Prophets echoed in you again — the truth is that you do not need to have material abundance to live abundantly; when you have air to breathe, water to drink, and people to love, you are actually swimming in abundance.

Right, and I really think it is just so obvious.  I am not claiming to say anything that has not already been said before, but it is just exciting it is being re-said now, and we do not need religious jargon to feel or know it.


We do not even need spiritual jargon.  We just need present moment insight into what is going on right here, right now.  This life we have is amazing, and it is beyond our understanding.  The science — if it is properly understood — will take you beyond the limits of science, and show you that profound mystery.  Every road leads to that mystery when we are willing to behold it, but we are not willing to behold the mystery of any human being until we trust it.  And we don't trust it until we get over the past. 

Because let's face it, life is a bitch.  You're growing up, your parents get divorced, fights happen.  It seeps into the way we shape the world.  We have to have a willingness to dig back into that.  Because the fact is if we are not living a life of gratitude and joy, then we have work to do to rediscover that.  Because we deserve it; that is our nature, our true nature. 


Listening is the key, when it is an exploration of this moment

I see a possibility in your communications work of helping to make the spiritual hip and cool again, because your notion of the spiritual is something as simple as gratitude, something as poetic or a-dogmatic as the sublime.  You connect the spiritual with the impactful, the political — and suggest that we can  overcome evolutionary conditioning with sustainable long-term thinking — and it all starts with this beautiful moment of just standing in the mystery, with the wonder of being alive!  As you say in your book, this is really the key to connecting with other people.  Because no matter what your belief system is or what your body is doing or feeling at the moment — at root, any body, or any mind, can be brought there. 

Some people are brought to this mystery through poetry, some are brought through music or wilderness or the flow of love — and some are brought through communication techniques.  How does Transformational Design help people get out of their heads, out of their belief systems, out of their political stances, and reach that moment of shared awe and mystery?  How can building these connections start to genuinely transform society?

Great question.  The most powerful one that underlies all great communication in my opinion is listening.  We have oversimplified this word "listen."  In fact, it is deep, and we do not listen well.  We are not paying attention to what is going on around us.  We are not listening to the people who are talking to us to get to the deeper core of why they are saying what they are saying.  What they are after?  As a result we are cut off from each other.

Where do we start?  True listening is a mysterious process and for me, it begins with creativity.

I am a musician and it has taught me more about communication, and life, more than any book that I have read.  I know that when I am performing as a musician I am listening to the audience, to the other musicians, I am letting them play through me, and it is a dance. 

I try to teach people how to do that kind of listening, because it does not always mean that we are silent, we could be talking.  But we are coming from an intention that is exploring in this moment.  Instead of looking at the moment through a lens of how can it help me achieve pre-set goals, by listening deeply, we ask instead, what is the highest possibility that could unfold through this moment in time?


Both open and engaged… 

When it comes to inspirational, sublime experiences, intentions are the most important thing

Yes, absolutely.  As a day-to-day tactic, I think the first step is to always look at what your intentions are in any given communication situation.  What am I after, here?   Where am I coming from?  Again, there are really only two thought systems:  One is scarcity.  You can call it the ego if you want.  The other one is abundance.  You can call that nature's genius or spirit or spirituality.  You can call it what you want.  But there are basically two thought systems, and we have to make sure before we go into any situation that we come from the right one. 

By the way, most of my work is done as a consultant.  I work with companies, and I help create marketing campaigns for socially and environmentally-conscious companies.  I am kind of a conduit, hopefully, between the world that gets it, and the world that does not quite get it yet.  These same principles apply to communications.  Whether I am consulting internally to help a company fix their morale problems, their turnover problem, or externally when they are trying to engage with different customer bases who may or may not be cynical with their agenda.


How does this work in a corporate setting with the clients you work with?  When we talk about a shared sense of the sublime or the mystery, how does that even come into play?

To start out, I definitely would not use the words "mystery" and "sublime" when talking to an average client. The words are never as important as the principles that underlie them, but language choice IS very important!  Words can trigger feelings and defenses that make people tune us out right off the bat if we're not careful. That being said, my first goal  before engaging any client is always to get crystal clear on their intentions for the project, not just materially, but on every other level as well. When it comes to inspirational, sublime experiences, intentions are the most important thing.

Once we get clear on our intentions, the rest of the creative process happens effortlessly.  That's the secret.  Most communications fail to inspire or transform because they derive from the uninspiring intention to manipulate or persuade.  Inspiring intentions always involve the desire to be of service somehow, to contribute to our audience in some authentic way, shape or form.

Do you think Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" was so popular because of its words?  No, it was because of his otherworldly commitment to equality.  That's an inspiring intention!  The result?  He created one of the most sublime and inspirational messages in our country's history.  The same is true for any client I engage — I challenge them to get clear on these hidden dimensions.  After that, the rest is a piece of cake.

In fact, I've put together a five step process in my book Igniting Inspiration: A Persuasion Manual for Visionaries.  It walks people through the exact same process I use with clients. And it works like magic.  And, to some extent it is magic isn't it?  The great power we — any of us –can wield when we communicate like this. 


Are these five steps the heart of what you call Transformational Design?

Yes, exactly.  Transformational Design is my name for the paradigm that great leaders like Gandhi, MLK and Obama think from when they communicate.  I've just spelled it out so that the rest of us can start to tap into the same power in the service of our own vision.


What are those five steps?

For applying transformational design for creating media and messaging:  Define your intentions. Define your audience.  Develop a creative prototype.  Clean it up.  Test it out.  This process gets very specific — which is why in my book I put worksheets together.  People can use them work through each step.  I am getting a lot of great feedback from PR and marketing agencies using these work sheets now with their clients.  That is very rewarding. 


Communication is just a five syllable word for the mysterious way in which life moves through us

One of the things I liked about your book was you had identified different types of values for different types of audiences.  Then you have very specific communication techniques to open their minds to new possibilities.



This seems to be the heart of your teaching. 

Yes, absolutely.  This is where the whole socially and environmentally conscious business world seems to love what I am doing, because it gives them real-world tactics.  I might be accused sometimes of being overly abstract.  Up front I think it is important that we set the right context, because I do not want to be another person who is here to help you manipulate one another.  Humans manipulate one another.

There are some really great tactics to counter this.  One of the best ones, I would call resonant metaphors.  Anyone who has perhaps studied the work of Joseph Campbell, the late mythologist, can see how important metaphors are.  We look at the world through the lens of metaphors that are at the very base of our minds, and the way we make sense of things without thinking about them. 

What I have done is taken the work of this developmental psychologist Claire W. Graves who showed that there are seven or eight levels of thinking in the world.  I have discerned the core metaphors underneath those world views.

One of the great shortcuts for getting through to people is to understand what metaphors they are using, and to use those when you talk to them.  For example, a lot of hard-core business people who do not want to hear about do-gooder initiatives like global warming, tend to feel that you are trying to make them feel guilty whenever you mention a socially-conscious or environmentally- conscious business endeavour and so their cynicism comes up. 

What is interesting is that they are usually looking at the world through the metaphor of a game.  They are seeing the world as a game in which you either win or lose, and your goal is to maximize your points, whether that be through money or acquisitions or social status, but that's just basically how they are looking at it.  By contrast, the people who often care about the world in an altruistic way are usually looking at the world more as a family in which we are all connected.  What a difference!  A lot of times I get these people to start using that game metaphor, and I get results immediately. 


How do you get someone who sees life as a game to be won, founded in the idea that there is always a loser if there is a winner, to rethink in terms of family?

Honestly, we have to look at the specific situation. It's hard to be overly general. For example,  let's say that I want to pitch an environmentally conscious initiative at work, and my boss says, "it will never work," because the money is not there.  I have to look at why they are resisting.  Is it because they're afraid there is not enough money to go around or is it because they are afraid they will look stupid because of rejection?  We have to look at why they are resisting — their hidden fears — to really know how best to communicate in order to engage and overcome their cynicism. 

But, to answer your question in a more broad sense — the way to get someone to let go of the negative aspects of the game metaphor, is to get them to see their life as a "win-win" game in which the only way they can win is if those around them succeed also.  The problem with the game metaphor is that most people believe that they can only win if another person loses.  We need to get them to recontextualize the concept of winning to include others.  There are many ways of doing this — but that is the basic communication goal we must set for ourselves. 


So, Transformative Design is not only about identifying your own true intentions, but getting beneath the surface of what other people are talking about — to find a shared metaphor.

Yes, a shared metaphor — or in this case — a metaphor in which everyone can share!  But understanding the key metaphors that underlie our audiences' thinking is the first step. Most communicators never thought to even consider such a thing!  Imagine the power they can wield once they start to see the world through this lens.

We have got to get beneath the surface to what I call the context, the mental context that is happening underneath the communication.  I'll admit it, this is a frontier we are on, but once you get it, it clicks.  I have so much gratitude for all the emails I am getting.  More and more it is  catching on.  I've got people who have come to my seminar, spent three hours with me, and they left going, "What is this?  Is this some sort of self-help?  What is this thing?"

After highly respectable businesses conferences I get emails saying, "At first I thought you were some sort of maybe a self help guru, but then I got it.  You were just talking about context, and now I've used it to help with this water problem in Africa."

We are talking about what's behind the mind; something that is happening beneath the thoughts, and it requires somebody to let go a little bit of their sense of concreteness at times.  We are almost using "the force."  If you think of "Star Wars," we are using "the force."  We are tapping into that 90 percent of our brain that we have not been using, because traditional education taught us not too. 


Is this related to intuition?  You have told me that women are particularly receptive to what you are saying. That you have been getting some feedback that they get your work more quickly, intuitively.

Yes.  It's easy; women are particularly receptive to this, because they are more spiritually advanced and smarter than men. 


You're not just saying that because you know your wife will be reading this?

She is in the other room, listening!  No, this is something I have come to see gradually.  Obviously I am a man, and I like to think I am doing pretty well, but as a whole I am starting to really recognize that women understand the value of communication more than men do,  that they understand how powerful communication can be to really change things here on Earth.  It has been rewarding for me to see that women gravitate toward this book in a very powerful way.

There are a lot of groups sprouting up around the country where they will all buy copies, and practice with this stuff.  It is great.  I think we are entering a time where women are going to have their chance to help run this world, and maybe improve on some of the problems men have created. 

Now that said, I do think gender is more psychological than physical.  I have a lot of feminine aspects to the way I think.  In fact I think most creative people are relatively androgynous, psychologically speaking.  They have strong masculine and strong feminine polarity.  Natural creativity is born out of the "yin yang" in eastern philosophy.  But I think women are naturally open to the emotional level.  They are open to the relativistic nature of reality.  They seem to like this book because it helps them to understand why a lot of the men in their lives are not open to this kind of stuff.


And how I see your work, you are dissolving those gaps — between men and women, game-thinkers and family-thinkers, cynical and inspirational.

Yes, I would just urge people, for a minute, to just imagine what it would be like if they could tap into the same power that animates nature; nature that grows trees, creates storm clouds, and moves mountains.  If they, like Martin Luther King or Ghandi, could become a force of nature in their own right.

I think it's an exciting possibility, because I have yet to meet a person who didn't at some core have a dream; a vision of something that they would like to create here on earth.  I think we are in a time here where we have a lot of power to do that, and access that collectively.  I believe that communication is just a five syllable word for the mysterious way in which life moves through us, and creates us as human beings together.  I would urge people to consider that as they go into their daily lives, and to be grateful for it.


And blast through the illusion of limitation that our minds have developed, which cuts us off from our true selves.

Well put.


Adam Gilad is co-founder of Evolver Intensives. 


John Marshall Roberts's book,  Igniting Inspiration: A Persuasion Manual for Visionaries can be found at


Image by Markus Merz, courtesy of Creative commons license.


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