The Muad-Dib Concentrate Box Aphorism

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“Intimacy Implies Loyalty”

” I just received my new Muad-Dib box, and was wondering what does the quote on the back “Intimacy Implies Loyalty” mean? Is it about sex and monogamy? I thought Magic Flight was all about enabling choice! “

 

We believe above all in enabling choice and that there are a huge range of relationship arrangements that would constitute making good choices.  The aphorism “Intimacy Implies Loyalty” is actually, like the aphorisms that accompany our Launch Box and Power Adapter, an observation about what is necessary to have a healthy community.  In this aphorism, the notion of “implies” can go both ways: just as intimacy naturally goes with loyalty, loyalty goes with Intimacy.  Another way to think of it is that if you are interested in receiving loyalty from someone, then it is a good idea to nurture an intimate relationship with them, and if you desire closeness with others, you will want to offer them your loyalty.

Intimacy is an often misunderstood, yet essential part of experiencing meaning in life.  The word intimate is often used as shorthand to mean a sexual relationship, when in fact this is just a small part of Intimacy.  Eastern thought promotes a more accurate use of the word when it describes enlightenment as an intimacy with all things.  In order to understand why this aphorism is so important, and why we believe it to be essential to sustaining a healthy community, it helps to more fully understand what intimacy is.  Intimacy is a familiar and close connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other.  Genuine intimacy in a relationship requires candid dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity.  By embracing these values, we move beyond simple rapport building to create the conditions for trust to evolve (trust being a necessary ingredient of loyalty).  Loyalty is very important to the integrity of any group.  A desire for loyalty is the desire to see a group persist over time.  It is the hope that amidst the myriad choices a person is faced with each day (for example, the choice between 40 different brands of toothpaste) we will choose to return to a particular person, group, or product again and again.  The successful long-term strategy for those hoping to receive loyalty from a customer, employee, or friend, is to be trustworthy, and nurture that close, personal connection, showing up for the spontaneous, unscripted interactions that characterize an authentic relationship.

Especially when considering intimacy as necessary for loyalty to a business, It is important to understand the difference between intimate relationships and strategic relationships, or relationships of exchange.  Although intimacy may exist in a strategic relationship, it is governed by an agenda of which the other person may not be aware.  This happens when a person seeks to become close to someone in order to get something from him or her that might not be offered so freely if it did not appear to be an intimate exchange, and if the ultimate strategy had been visible from the beginning.  A 1982 study by Mills and Clark found that emotionally intimate relationships are much more robust and can survive considerable and even ongoing disagreements.  Think for example, of the great variety of small and large disagreements that make up the life of a large family.  Despite this, members often continue coming together in times of joy and hardship to experience life’s happenings within the context of the familial group across an individual’s entire lifetime.  Exchange relationships on the other hand have been found to be fragile, easily breaking down when there is any amount of disagreement.  An example of this would be a once local customer to a health food store who decides never to shop there again after learning that they mistreat their employees.  We see this fragility evidenced in the way that business owners invest a great deal of time in training new employees, making it important to try to keep those people around long enough for their newly developed skills to be used in service of the company.  This agreement that the employer will provide help in meeting our basic needs for food and shelter in exchange for our time, skills, and labor, is proven to not be enough to motivate people to give a company their loyalty or give their job their all.  Businesses with a high degree of turnover are likely relying too heavily on the strategic aspect of the relationship, with not enough (or any!) attention paid to developing real bonds of connection between team members.  Marriages tend to disintegrate when there is insufficient energy invested in maintaining intimacy in the relationship and members of the union fall back on the strategic aspects of the partnership to ensure that it continue.

 Given how unstable we know a strictly strategic relationship to be, it is clear to see why if we wish to have lasting friendships, love relationships, employment, or customers, or desire any bond to persist in time, we should open ourselves to developing genuine closeness with those around us.  People want to be seen and acknowledged for who they are as individuals, not just what value they can add to others existing agendas.  Valuing the personal bond provides a framework for the resolution of misunderstandings that enables conflicts to become opportunities for dialogue and increased understanding that may even strengthen the relationship. So although Intimacy is worthwhile in and of itself for the layers of meaning and fulfillment that close personal connection brings to life, it is also important because it is a requirement in building trust. Without trust, loyalty is not possible, and no group can persist in time for long enough to make a positive difference to each other or the world at large.  We here at Magic-Flight believe in the value and benefit of defining our relationships in terms of intimacy and loyalty whenever possible.  This is why we have chosen to print this particular aphorism on the back of all of our new concentrate boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power Adapter 2.0 Aphorism

PA back for blog

“Possibilities connect people;
Fear separates them.
Always ask questions.”

 

An Aphorism is a short and precise statement of an essential principle or truth. The aphorism on the Power Adapter 2.0 consists of two statements.  The first statement, in two parts, is an observation (possibilities connect people; fear separates them).  The second statement is an injunction (call to action): always ask questions. This is similar to the existing aphorism on the back of the Launch Box.  For comparison, consider that the MFLB aphorism is in three parts.  The first sentence of the MFLB aphorism is essentially a definition (love is that which enables choice), the second one is a theorem (love is always stronger than fear), and the last one in an injunction (always choose on the basis of love).  Together, the aphorism on the PA and the one on the MFLB represent entry points to a comprehensive system of life enhancing philosophy.

The first part of the PA aphorism makes an observation about what brings people together.  People are brought together by a perception of possibility. This works particularly well when that possibility is something that people can actually partake of, see, and connect to, something that they can really benefit by.  Even without personal benefit, (for example, for possibilities which go beyond the personal) people will often want to be involved for altruistic reasons.  It is natural for people to want to connect with something that is genuinely larger than themselves, something meaningful, beautiful, and ideal. If you want to bring people together, then you will want to create possibility.  To do this, you need to create a vision of the future which is inclusive, which has the capacity to move forward and further common aims and dreams. You will want to create a sense of expansiveness. To even have hope for the future is to acknowledge possibility.  To the degree that the future is seen as open, we are all free to create something beneficial.

As such, the first part of the aphorism is about these observations.  It partially answers the question of ‘what is the “glue” that holds communities together?’.  Also, just to reinforce the basic idea, there is also considered the question of ‘what is corrosive to that glue?’.  For example, if you have fostered an environment where there’s a lot of judgement, fear, and reaction, where people do not see possibility because of what they think might happen, there is going to be created a feeling of isolation, of loneliness, of groups divided, of possibilities, hopes, and dreams lost.  If you see someone fostering an environment of fear, you know that they will, either intentionally or accidentally, split the community, to everyone’s detriment. The PA aphorism is therefore actually a rather deep observation about the essence of community and the fundamental things necessary to create any sort of community at all.

Having identified that possibility is a fundamental ingredient necessary to create community, the next natural question is: “what is it that creates possibility?”.  Asking questions creates possibilities.  It creates an opening for an answer.  It creates an opening for other questions that lead to genuin understanding.  It allows us to undo assumptions, and to essentially have the assumptions be cleared so that there is room for the truth to come out.  In any case, it is best to lead with a question. It is best to lead by first seeking to understand the here and now, to be truly and authentically present, before charging off into the future. There’s a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the habits described in the book is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood”.  That particular idea, “seek first to understand”, is actually a reflection of a much deeper principle.  Its connected to the essence of creating possibility, of creating openness, and creating conversation.  By creating conversation and producing the opportunity for there to be new possibilities discovered, and new answers found, then that becomes the methodology by which a higher quality of conscious community can be created.

When we say “always ask questions”, we are promoting a process that encourages people to engage in those actions that create possibility, and thereby, to create community. By asking good questions, you can truly shift and improve the course of civilization.  This practice is the fundamental glue that holds society together.  It is up to us whether or not we choose to increase or decrease this connective glue in our communities and in our daily lives.  This opportunity has been given to all of us.