Successful Lifehacking Requires a Strong Foundation

I was recently at a Chair Massage conference in NYC.  I talked about being effective and efficient as a life hacker.

I sat waiting to get one of those on-site corporate chair massages from I got into a conversation with someone who asked me,

“How does one create wealth as a lifehacker?

How does one find the best approaches to greater efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity? The best lifehacks also create greater self-awareness.”  I responded “before anything else you need a strong foundation.


Let me explain:

In the early 1990s, I spent a winter in the Southern Catskill Mountains of New York State.  My family owned a small cabin and I had planned on going into seclusion and engaging in some ruthless introspection through the very cold, very snowy winter

The Catskills are well known in American culture, both as the setting for many 19th-century Hudson River School paintings and as the favored destination for urban vacationers from New York City in the mid-20th century. The region’s many large resorts gave countless young stand-up comedians an opportunity to hone their craft. As a college student, I would often run the spot light for the late show at Kutsher’s Country Club.

In addition, to all of this,  the Catskills have long been a haven for artists, musicians, and writers, especially in and around the town of Woodstock.

In the early 1950s – the 1970s many world champion boxers set up training camps in these resort hotels and many of these places became celebrity hangouts. By the 1990s most of the hotels had gone belly-up however a few remained. One was the Pines Hotel in South Fallsburg. There wasn’t much going on there since the hotel was on its last legs but I liked to use the Health Club and so I got myself a part-time job as a “Sports Massage Therapist”.

This happened just about the time Riddick Bowe and Rock Newman showed up. Riddick Lamont Bowe (born August 10, 1967) had won a silver medal in the super heavyweight division in boxing at the1988 Olympic Games. After turning professional, Bowe became a two-time world heavyweight champion, having first won the WBAWBC and IBF titles in 1992 to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.


Bowe became the first fighter to knock down and defeat Evander Holyfield when he claimed the undisputed world heavyweight title in 1992.

Rock Newman is a sort of  “RENAISSANCE MAN” who had been Captain of his Howard University Baseball team for 3 years, where he was selected as an All-American. After his graduation, he was enshrined into the Inaugural Class of the Sports Hall of Fame as one of the most outstanding athletes in Howard University history. Newman had done it all. He had been a very successful salesman, had been an award winning counselor and later became a top rated radio talk shows in the Washington DC metropolitan area where he interviewed people from all walks of life.

Rock had been involved in the careers of several champions, including guiding Riddick Bowe to the undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the World. In November of 1992, Rock negotiated the largest compensation package for an athlete in sports history. Securing a deal with HBO/Time Warner and Caesars World that exceeded $100 million dollars in potential revenue for Bowe.

So here I was, living the monk’s life at an old dying Borsht Belt Hotel with the heavyweight champion of the world and his “handler.”

Each day I would go to training camp and watch Bowe spar with various partners, many of them highly ranked in the world of boxing. Newman was a very pleasant, very focused and extremely intense. I would watch how he directed and guided Bowe. He focused a lot on Bowe’s feet. This surprised me – I assumed that he would focus more on boxing techniques and defense.


Then I remembered something my friend Marty Kalminson once said to me when we were playing basketball in a 24-hour gym in Queens. “It’s all in the feet. As long as you are dribbling the ball the ball isn’t going anywhere that your feet aren’t going”. It made sense.


Years later, when I was deeply involved with the study of game based thinking and game theory I heard this again. I was reading about a television show “White Collar Brawlers.” On this show, a about the journey of life reflected through boxing,  two office adversaries push themselves to the limit, learning to the sweet sport from some of the sport’s most hardcore trainers, and then slugging it out in the ring in front of television cameras


On the show, one of the trainers James “Country” Thornwell talks about why he focuses on footwork when training boxers, “…when you build a house you build from the basement up. If a trainer doesn’t start you out by working your feet, get a different one. Everyone just wants to see the hands fly, but it’s more than that. Once you’re conditioned, then you’ll learn to jab.”


I thought about what he said here and applied it to my thoughts on why game based thinking is so essential to living an effective, efficient, productive and struggle free life.

““…when you build a house you build from the basement up. If your trainer doesn’t start you out by working your feet, get a different one. If you are not taught to think strategically even in the best of circumstances you are in big trouble. Strategic thinking is game based thinking. It integrates the logical, the rational and the intuitive. Everyone but a few smart thinkers want to get rich, have a beautiful mate,  get a nice car, get famous, and conquer the world but success is so much more than that. Even if one considers this “Stuff” a  sign of success it’s more than that.

Once you’ve learned about the game of life, the players, the game space, the rules, the penalties for cheating, who the cheaters are, how to influence them, how to define your skills and master them,  end game and such;  then you’ll master strategy  – then you’ll learn to jab.”







This was an extract from my notes on lifehacking. For a book on the subject I suggest:

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.



– Available as at:


The Softcover version is available at:

Learn more about all of Lewis Harrison’s educational materials at:


Lewis Harrison – The RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem-solving, troubleshooting and strategizing based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.


Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentations from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc….

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

This course and all the offerings on  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;


This blog is supported by a grant from Events Chair Massage ( This is a company offering Anti-Stress hacks.  This NYC Chair massage company offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC at trade shows, and at the Javits Convention Center,  Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through


Q & A on Synergy, Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language and Problem Solving

Foundational principle of this Conversation: To explore how the recognition of subtle patterns can help one to solve complex problems.

Pattern: A pattern is a type of theme of recurring events or objects, sometimes referred to as elements of a set of objects. The elements of a pattern repeat in a predictable manner. Patterns can be based on a template or model which generates pattern elements,

Pattern language: a term coined by architect Christopher Alexander, is a structured method of describing good design practices within a field of expertise. .

Q. Is all synergy positive?

LEWIS: Usually is but there might be times where two different groups come together and create a new factor that is detrimental to both.

Q. And where does pattern language fit in here?

LEWIS: When a person reverses a synergistic process they actually observe what might be called “a process of decomposition.”  Alexander generally speaks of designers but that term can be applied to anyone creating or “designing” a system with many components. What happens is that a creator of systems, often a designer observes a problem, selects a solution, then discovers new, smaller problems resulting from the larger solution. Occasionally, the smaller problems have no solution, and a different larger solution must be selected by recognizing a pattern that leads to the solution.. Eventually all of the remaining design problems are small enough or routine enough to be solved by improvisation by the builders as they clearly understand the pattern involved. Now the “design” is done – the system is created.

Q. Is there some formal way that these problems are solved?

LEWIS: The actual organizational structure is left to the discretion of the designer, depending on the problem. This explicitly allows a designer/problem solver to explore patterns, starting from some small part. When this happens, it’s common for a designer to realize that the problem is actually part of a larger solution. At this point, the design almost always becomes a better design.

Q. I imagine this can get complex?

LEWIS: It can but then again this is an approach specifically applicable to solving complex problems. When one recognizes a pattern they will likely notice ways in which that each pattern has relationships to other patterns and to the language as a whole. This gives the designer using the language a great deal of guidance about the related problems that must be solved.

Q. Are there experts in using pattern language to solve problems?

LEWIS: Yes. It is usually for a pattern language expert to come n as an outsider and solve a problem using this approach. This is because this outside expert must get a reliable, complete list of the problems to be solved and it is the people most familiar with the problems that need understand the pattern.

Q. How would this obstacle be addressed?

LEWIS:  Alexander recommended organizing a group of concerned, empowered users to improvise in creating workable large-scale initial solutions, maximizing the utility of a design, and minimizing the design and systems rework.


Q. Apply pattern language to how you use applied game theory in problem solving?

LEWIS: An important aspect of design patterns is to identify and document the key ideas that make any good system different from any poor system and to assist in the design of future systems. The ideas expressed in a pattern need not be specific to architecture, computer programs, or anything else. Any pattern language should be general enough to be applied in very different systems within its context, but still specific enough to give constructive guidance.


Q. Is there a general term applied to the wide range of situations in which the problems and solutions addressed in a pattern apply?

LEWIS: It is called a context.  An important part in each pattern is to describe this context. One can then offer examples to further illustrate how the pattern applies to very different situation.


Q. So every problem has a pattern?

LEWIS: Yes. If you can even recognize and define that there is a problem then you are recognizing some pattern. Many of these problems are highly complex and the problems and solutions described in a pattern can vary in their level of abstraction and yet even a very abstract pattern will usually contain examples that are, by nature, absolutely concrete and specific.

Q. In LHAGT we are concerned with real world problems as opposed to theoretical problems. There are many theoretical problems that architects, statisticians, and physicists deal with that may not have real world applications, Here patterns can vary in how far they are proven in the real world. Christopher Alexander addresses this by giving each pattern a rating by zero, one or two stars, indicating how well they are proven in real-world examples.


Q. Is this work all theoretical?

LEWIS: Many experts in problem solving and decision science believe that all patterns need at least some existing real-world example. However the logician-mathematician addressed this idea philosophically in his Incompleteness Theorum and from this perspective It is conceivable to document yet unimplemented ideas in a pattern-like format.


The patterns in Alexander’s books focus primarily on how to build a town or neighborhood as well as the design of individual buildings and the interior of rooms. Even so his ideas to general problem solving are invaluable because he sees the low-scale artifacts as constructive elements of the large-scale world, so they can be connected to a hierarchal network, These are models that help the problem solver to reproduce the unique properties of specific patterns.


Q. Please explain some of the factors than enable a creative intuitive thinker to see patterns that may not be obvious to a purely logical thinker?

LEWIS: A pattern must characterize the problems that it is meant to solve, the context or situation where these problems arise, and the conditions under which the proposed solutions can be recommended.


Q. This seems basic. Why wouldn’t a logical thinker, especially a mathematician recognize this?

LEWIS: Often unique problems arise from a conflict of different interests or “forces”. A non-linear pattern might emerge as a dialogue between thinkers that will then help to balance these conflicting  forces, and finally allow them to make  a decision.


Here is an example based on what Alexander has written.  Imagine a pattern suggesting what we now call a  “wireless smart telephone”  at a time when wireless phones had not yet been invented.. The different forces involved would be the need to communicate, while also needing to get other things done at the same time such as cooking, walking down the street, and the ability to find a good Tex-Mex restaurant in Alaska. A very specific pattern would be just “WIRELESS TELEPHONE”. More general patterns would be “WIRELESS DEVICE” or “SECONDARY ACTIVITY”, suggesting that a secondary activity (such as talking on the phone, or researching restaurants in Alaska) should not interfere with other activities.

Though unspecific to the point that a mathematician would have a hard time grouping all the variables involved in its context, the forces in the “SECONDARY ACTIVITY” pattern are very similar to those in “WIRELESS TELEPHONE”. Thus, the competing forces can be seen as part of the essence of a design concept expressed in a pattern.


Q. Why is it so difficult for a mathematician or an expert in logical thought to recognize a pattern?

LEWIS: Traditional mathematics is logically driven. Pattern language is not.  Pattern usually contains a rationale referring to some given values which are not absolute but which are actually defined by those individuals who are receiving the value. One might say that the content for the individual define the pattern in a particular form. It might be giving a person a great sense of love or freedom.  Christopher Alexander calls it the “quality without a name” (QWAN). This idea also reflects in certain trends of thought that might be associated with Taoism, Zen and mystic trends in other religious faiths. The best patterns and systems enrich daily life. It is the extraordinary person (see glossary) who is most likely to understand the subtleties in pattern language.

In traditional, ordinary ways of thinking the quality of a system is defined by how efficiently and effectively the system works. With pattern language the quality of any system: whether technical devices such as telephones or computers cars, to social networks, or physical teams interacting to complete a project social structures like a team working on a project, can be rated more easily. In some situations the defining factor will often be whether users spend their time enjoying or struggling with the system while in other situations the key will be to create design patterns help to create an object-oriented code that is easy to read, maintain, modify and reuse.

In this way pattern language creates a value defined in part on how it impacts on human life. From this perspective one can identify patterns that are distinct from the mapping of patterns associated with changing technology. Alexander says that having this distinction allows us to find a “timeless quality” (Alexander).



Q.Is there some connection between all patterns?

LEWIS: There are different theories on this. A pattern language, as described by Alexander, contains links from one pattern to another.


Q. How would this effect the ability of a group or individual to solve a problem?

LEWIS: When trying to apply one pattern in a project, a designer is directed organically to other patterns that might be helpful in its context.

According to Alexander, such links are collected in the “references” part, and echoed in the linked pattern’s “context” part – thus the overall structure is a directed graph. A pattern that is linked to in the “references” usually addresses a problem of lower scale that seems to be part of the higher-scale problem. For instance, a “Kitchen Design” might have a category for “countertop, “Utensils” “Oven” etc.

Even without the pattern description, these links, along with a “specialized  language”, what Alexander calls “meaningful names”, tell a story message: When building a place inside where food will be stored and prepared  (A Kitchen) consider to include places to store food, prepare food, utensils for the preparation and a place to cook it.


Alexander argues that the connections in the network, the lower scale problems, can be considered even more meaningful than the text of the patterns themselves. In other words with certain types of problems the elements in the parts are of greater importance than the sum of the parts. One might call this “reverse synergy”.


Q. Speak more about the patterns in pattern language and links in the solving of extreme problems?

LEWIS:  In many extreme problems the ideas of links and hierarchic networks are important, and generally accepted among experts on the subject. That being said there are some experts who are working with unique problems in design where hierarchic networks would not come into play. Situations where patterns exist but links have not been established are often known as a pattern language.


Q. Is there some master code of all know patterns?

LEWIS: No. Just as new dialects and new words enter an existing language so do we find that existing pattern language is constantly expanding as individuals recognize patterns in their own unique challenges.


Q. In LHAGT you have spoken about the importance of self assessment in creating solutions to problems and preventing future problems. Can Pattern language be used as a tool for self assessment?

LEWIS: Yes. It can also be used as a general assessment tool. Alexander’s methods have been used to define expertise in many specialized fields. Expertise can be defined in many ways but one way is by determining whether an individual has the ability to recognize patterns in, let’s say architecture, education and even computer-human interaction. This is especially valuable in LHAGT theory because so much of what we are exploring here involves multi-disciplinary thinking.


Q. How important is Pattern language in the application of LHAGT and solving complex and extreme problems?

LEWIS:  Very. In LHAGT we often deal with Pedagogical Patterns, high-level patterns of teaching and group interaction. The core of Applied Game Theory to recognize, maximize, and actualize the potential in any system at the lowest possible cost.  To do this requires a profound understanding of available information, the unique learning, communication and interactive styles of the individuals within a group and the most effective means of presenting this information in a coherent and accessible form.


Q. Speak further about pattern language in a teaching-learning-group environment.

LEWIS:  I have integrated the ideas of two approaches to pattern language in learning environments. One is the theories on Multiple Intelligence created by Henry Gardiner and the other Mitchell Weisburgh’s work on Pedagogical Patterns. Weisburgh proposes nine aspects to documenting a pattern for a certain skill. Not every pattern needs to include all nine. His listing is reproduced below:

  • Name – single word or short phrase that refers to the pattern. This allows for rapid association and retrieval.
  • Problem – definition of a problem, including its intent or a desired outcome, and symptoms that would indicate that this problem exists.
  • Context – preconditions which must exist in order for that problem to occur; this is often a situation. When forces conflict, the resolutions of those conflicts is often implied by the context.
  • Forces – description of forces or constraints and how they interact. Some of the forces may be contradictory. For example: being thorough often conflicts with time or money constraints.
  • Solution – instructions, possibly including variants. The solution may include pictures, diagrams, prose, or other media.
  • Examples – sample applications and solutions, analogies, visual examples, and known uses can be especially helpful, help user understand the context
  • Resulting Context – result after the pattern has been applied, including postconditions and side effects. It might also include new problems that might result from solving the original problem.
  • Rationale – the thought processes that would go into selecting this pattern, The rationale includes an explanation of why this pattern works, how forces and constraints are resolved to construct a desired outcome.
  • Related Patterns – differences and relationships with other patterns, possibly predecessor, antecedents, or alternatives that solve similar problems.[e


Q. How can I learn more about Christopher Alexander’s work?

LEWIS: He  has published prolifically and has expanded and updated his work through the years.


I recommend the following.

The book “Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution,” containing 136 patterns for using information and communication to promote sustainability, democracy and positive social change, was published in 2008.


A New Theory of Urban Design (1987) coincided with a renewal of interest in urbanism among architects, but stood apart from most other expressions of this by assuming a distinctly anti-masterplanning stance.


The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe (2003-4), which includes The Phenomenon of LifeThe Process of Creating LifeA Vision of a Living World and The Luminous Ground, is Alexander’s latest, and most comprehensive and elaborate work. In it, he puts forth a new theory about the nature of space and describes how this theory



Lewis Harrison is a poet, author, teacher, speaker and life coach and the creator of He specializes in helping individuals and organizations solve basic and seemingly unsolvable problems through the application of principles and ideas drawn from Decision Science, Positive Psychology, Game Theory, Zen and from his personal life experiences.


To learn more about Lewis’ work go to “”

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How To Solve Complex Problems?

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center for Personal Development. The site is focused on how to improve people’s live through the creation of problems solving skills and decision science. Please explore our website and our many blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker who has a passion for ideas.  There are some ideas presented here that might be new to you and which may inspire your creativity.

Today’s blog l addresses the problem of intellectual elitism and arrogance In my work in applied game theory and problem solving I am often accused by academics of presenting complex ideas in excessively superficial and simplistic ways and  by my blog readers as presenting idea that are too hard to understand.

I am often asked when I teach seminars on Problem Solving how the type of coaching I offer is any different from what any life coach might offer.

There is a difference and it has to do with patterns. Most of us see problems or obstacles as “something” that is in our way or challenging. There is more to it than just this. I have learned that each problem has a pattern, a recurring theme of events or objects inherent in it. My experience over the years has taught me that exploring and learning to recognize these often subtle patterns can help one to solve complex problems.  The elements of a pattern will repeat in a predictable manner. Much of my work is based on the theories of architect Christopher Alexander. He calls his theory Pattern language.

Here is a segment of the Q & A session in one of my recent seminars on Applied Game Theory. You can read the rest of the session on today’s blog at

Q & A. on Pattern Language:

Q. Does the application of pattern language require great skill or training?

A. Advocates of this design approach claim that ordinary people of ordinary intelligence can use it to successfully solve very large, complex design problems.

Q. Why is it called a “pattern language”?

A. Like all languages, a pattern language has vocabularysyntax, and grammar. Unlike most languages pattern language can be  applied to the solving complex problems that are not related with communication.

Q. How do can an understanding of patterns and pattern language help us to solve problems?

A. When a skilled individual is designing something (whether it is a house or a computer program or a lamp), he/she must make many decisions about how to solve problems that will arise organically in the designing process.   By understanding patterns they can document a single problem with its typical place (the syntax), and use (the grammar) with the most common and recognized good solution. One can create a type of dictionary of these patterns. Each such entry is a single design pattern. Each pattern has a name, a descriptive entry, and some cross-references, much like a regular dictionary of words would. entry. A documented pattern should explain why that solution is good in the pattern’s contexts.

Q. Is there one best type of pattern language?

A. No However any pattern language has something in common with any spoken language, it has grammatical and semantic relationships. In order to make a an effectively communicated spoken language the patterns in the language must be related to each other. Patterns in problem structures are the same.

Q. Can you explain Christopher Alexander’s work in this area?

LEWIS:  He focuses on design problems but his approach can be applied to many problems especially related to “synergy”.

Q. What is synergy?

LEWIS: The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. An example of a positive synergy would be when a large organization buys or absorbs a smaller company or organization and offers the smaller entity compensation in the form of future profits for benefits from the larger entity. This helps both groups achieve what they desire. Another example of synergy is seen when one two individuals have different strengths and weakness and each enables the other to achieve benefits they could not achieve alone.

It is the ability to understand how synergy works that gives one the key to solving complex problems.


Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Solving Any Problem”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

Specialized Language in Applied Game Theory

To apply Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory is essential that you change your way of thinking, and acting. This can easily be done by changing the words you think, and speak. In other words you must choose and use words carefully. I call this “Specialized Language.”  One might describe Specialized Language as a specifically defined and rigidly applied organization of words and non-verbal cues communicating detailed specific ideas in a highly defined specialized way.

In doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner at strategizing or a PhD who understands Chomsky and Wittgenstein by heart. In order to effectively and efficiently solve problems you must have an understanding of how the use of words creates problems and also solves them.

Here you can explore my glossary of Specialized Words and Terms.

It will be very helpful for you to understand the problem solving process if you read the following Q & A session I conducted with my students on Specialized Language.


A Conversation on Specialized Language

STUDENT: Specialized language seems such a limiting and oppressive way to use language?

LEWIS: It can be if you do not have a purpose in using specialized language.

STUDENT: What specialized groups require this type of specificity in language?

LEWIS: A short list would include cowboys, boxers, neuroscientists, chefs, advertising executives, investment advisors, soldiers, prostitutes, philanthropists, prison wardens and artists.

STUDENT: So virtually any group that has boundaries, rules, codes, systems etc. will have a specialized language?

LEWIS: Yes.   The more specialized the group, the greater the specialization in the meaning of the words.  Also, the culture is more sophisticated. This is especially so in technology, specialized professions and the arts.

STUDENT: Are language and culture directly dependent on one?

LEWIS: Probably not.  There are groups with widely different cultures that share a common language. Think of the English speakers of Australia, South Africa, Singapore, India, Guyana, England and Ireland.

STUDENT: Of course, there are speakers of completely unrelated languages that share similar cultural traits?

LEWIS: Yes. I remember a recent Christmas in New York City where I saw two families one Hindu and another Muslim family buying Santa Claus outfits, Christmas trees etc. Different religions, different cultural backgrounds sharing the “secular” Christmas spirit.

STUDENT:  Would it be accurate to say that the form of a language determines specific cultural traits including in the arts?

LEWIS: Yes but who can definitively state which traits are determined by language?

STUDENT: Speak more about specialized language and the arts?

LEWIS:  The arts are unique in that here you will often find a specialized language that transcends the limitations of words.   Art is an act of expressing our feelings, thoughts, and observations. (See A Conversation on Art). We may achieve a deep understanding of something or the message conveyed in something by seeing, hearing, touching it, or interacting with it in some unique way. This non-verbal communication can facilitate thought processes within us opening the door to new realms of experience including altered states of consciousness beyond what words can express.  (See A Conversation on Altered States of Consciousness).

STUDENT: So art is a language?

LEWIS: Yes.  It is also a mystical language. Art can connote a trained ability or mastery of a media or art’s medium. Art is the language allowing us to express our feelings, thoughts, and observations. There is an understanding with the material as a result of handling it which can facilitates one’s thought processes. In a sense, the experiencing and creation of art, often a non-verbal medium can empower us to listen better and communicate effectively with or without words.

STUDENT: Can the specific use of language and words become a transformational process unto itself?

LEWIS: Absolutely. Think of the power of great literature to evoke thought and feelings. Think of the impact that the sacred texts of the major religions have on the world such as the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, The Dhamapada, and The Guru Granth Sahib.

The intention of applying language in this way opens us to unique ideas and processes that might never have occurred to us.

STUDENT:  Please give examples of ideas and processes.

LEWIS: We often use one word in place of another. We call such words synonyms, There are even specialized dictionaries of synonyms. Consider this; there is no such thing as a true synonym, a word with an identical or exact meaning to another word. You see, though many words might seem to mean the same thing, the fact is that every word has three specific characteristics:

1. Frequency of use in common usage

2. Who uses it and how (distribution)

3. Connotation (what is being insinuated or implied by the word usage).

STUDENT:  So though technically the word manure, pooh, feces and shit all mean the same, they are actually quite different?

LEWIS: That is correct.  In common usage this might not mean all that much but when you are exploring the nature of reality and illusion (See a Conversation on Reality Games), the subtle distinction between what one word means and what another means can be great. This is in part how Zen Koans function.

STUDENT: The study of words, language and communication has so many layers. It could easily become overwhelming.

LEWIS: I can discuss these ideas about words and language for days. I am not going to do this.  The key is that some forms of language and communication naturally create a psychological environment of possibility while other forms, including the ones, I have just described tend to limit possibility and even reinforce existing obstacles.

STUDENT: Why is specialized language important?

LEWIS: Specialized language is a natural solution to a basic problem – that the meanings of words are, for the most part arbitrary. The meaning of any word is a matter of convention.

STUDENT: So any object may be referred to using a variety of words and any word can have many meanings?

LEWIS: Yes. The meaning of a word describes a particular object depends on the intention of the speaker, the ability of the listener to evaluate effectively and the context in which the word is used.

STUDENT: How does a person develop specialized language skills?

LEWIS: There are three key elements:

1. The ability to recognize and understand the meaning of a particular symbol.

2. Effective communication skills (conveying information as well as listening and hearing effectively).

3. The ability to learn through imitation (modeling and matching)

STUDENT:  So the extraordinary person will almost always used specialized language?

LEWIS: In a specialized group? Yes! It is specialized language that enables a person to use more advanced and specialized tools to do what needs to be done.

STUDENT: So almost any system which describes a language process can also be used to describe tool-making.

LEWIS: Yes. This is because language really is a type of tool.  Virtually all tools have rigid rules about the serialization of unit activities (in language this would mean the grammar and syntax).  Both are hierarchical systems (in language this means motor activity).  Each produces arbitrary structure which eventually becomes a short term or permanent element of an environment.

STUDENT:  Is there a way I can use specialized language to heal emotional trauma or damage?

LEWIS: There are a number of approaches. One of the most interesting is known as “Clean Language”. This is a questioning technique developed by David Grove in the 1980s.  It  involves the optimization of language so the client discovers and develops specialized personal symbols and metaphors for the emotional healing process. This technique has become popular with some psychotherapists and Life Coaches.  Grove found that his clients used metaphorical language to describe trauma.  When he enquired about the ways that his clients used language to express these metaphors, their perception of the trauma changed.  Clean Language integrates four general elements of communication in a specialized way:

1.      syntax

2.      wording

3.      vocal qualities

4.      nonverbal communications

Clean Language has since been expanded upon by others including James Lawley and Penny Tompkins who created a system called “symbolic modeling”.

STUDENT: What is the connection between culture and language?

LEWIS: As far back as the Ancient Greeks, there was a distinction between civilized peoples and barbarous peoples based on differences in language. Different schools of thought give language a greater or lesser role in the creation of culture. Many of the German romanticists of the 19th century considered language more than just one cultural trait among many.  Language was considered the direct expression of a civilization’s national identity. Franz Boas, considered by many to be the father of American Anthropology, believed vehemently that that the shared language of a community is the most essential carrier of its common culture. (See the Conversation on Culture).

STUDENT:  The very structure of Linguistic and Cultural systems seems to be quite similar?

LEWIS: They are.  Both language and culture are essential to health communities and to relationships based upon reciprocal altruism (See the Conversation on Reciprocal Altruism).  This is because they consist of ways to do things that are constructed and perpetuated through social interactions. A child for example acquires language and basic cultural norms of society by interacting with knowledgeable peers and members of his or her cultural group.

STUDENT: Where can I explore specialized language as a means to analyze a culture?

LEWIS: A good place to begin is by familiarizing yourself with the “structural theories” of Ferdinand de Saussure.

STUDENT: What is unique about de Saussure’s idea?

LEWIS: He describes symbolic systems such as a language as consisting of signs.  This is the pairing of a particular form such as letters, words or symbols with a particular meaning..  This idea has become very influential in the academic study of culture.

STUDENT: How can I learn more about the different ways that languages can be used and how speech can vary in different communities, cultures and groups?

LEWIS: Sociolinguists, Ethno Linguists and Linguistic Anthropologists  specialize in studying ways of speaking vary between communities.

STUDENT: It seems that the field of specialized language can get very complex?

LEWIS: Specialized language is a term specific to the Harrison Mentoring Process. Certainly you may hear the term used in specific fields like tennis, neurology or oil well-drilling. Each specific area has its own language where common words take on new meanings. In the study of language or linguistics, there are many categories and unique subfields.

STUDENT: What would be an example of a subfield of linguistics?

LEWIS: Pragmatics. This is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.

STUDENT: What is included in the study of Pragmatics?

LEWIS: Pragmatics encompasses conversational implicature, speech act theory,  talk in interaction and other approaches to language behavior in linguistics, sociology, and philosophy.

STUDENT:  These areas of study cover a lot of territory. Can you be more specific?

LEWIS: Pragmatics studies how the transmission of meaning depends on knowledge about the status of those involved and the linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar, lexicon etc.) of the speaker and listener as well as the inferred intent of the speaker, the context of the utterance, and many other factors.

STUDENT: If I choose to explore specialized ideas about language where do you suggest I begin?

LEWIS: Speech act theory is very interesting. This is a good place to start a deeper exploration.

STUDENT: Do you have any final thoughts on specialized language?

LEWIS: The extraordinary person, the genius, the polymath and the visionary require specialized language.

The ability to use specialized language in the appropriate place and time is essential for creating effective and efficient game based strategies that will assist you in  living your best possible life.


The Glossary of Specialized Words and Terms for Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory


Activism: The use of direct, and at times confrontational, action in opposition to or support of a cause

Actualized Intention: At the moment I am ready, willing and able to act on a vision, it takes place spontaneously without discipline or willpower.

Algorhythm: A highly effective, sequential approach to problem solving. In an algorhythm there is usually a list of well-defined instructions for completing a specific task or solving a specific problem. The process will usually begin with an initial statement (state) or variable, and proceed through a well: defined series of successive states (steps), eventually ending with a solution to the problem (terminating in an end: state). Algorhythms are often used for calculation and data processing.

Altered State of Consciousness (ASC): A temporary state of mind where an individual has a heightened sense of awareness of both internal and external information not ordinarily available.

Altruism: A behavior in which one organism provides a benefit to another without expecting any payment or compensation

Ant colony optimization: A mathematical technique (algorithm) for solving various general or specific, complex or extreme problems based on the behavior that ants display when searching for food.

Art: Various expressions of human creative skill and activity or a work expressing this.  The most common expression of art are concerned with the production of imaginative designs, sounds, movements, rhythmic language as might be found in painting, sculpture, dance, singing, photography, filmmaking, theater etc.

Artificial Intelligence: The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Assessment: A data gathering tool, often but not always in the form of a questionnaire, which helps us or helps a trained professional to isolate key information about how we think, feel, behave or function.


Barter: The voluntary trading of one thing for another.

Barter able goods and services: Anything, other than cash, that is widely used for making payments and accounting for debts and credits.

Belief Based Obstacle (BBOs): An idea or concept which is accepted as truth, fact or reality by an individual or group which may not be supportable by any logical evidence.

Best Practice: A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.

Biological system (or Organ system): Is a group of organs that work together to perform a certain task.  Common systems, such as those present in mammals and other animals, seen in human anatomyare those such as the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc.

Biophilia Hypothesis: “Biophilia” literally means “love of life or living systems.”  The term is commonly used to mean that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems

Black Swan: What happens when something seemingly irrational, improbable, and unexpected and takes place that has substantial consequences.

Black swan events: A metaphor developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight

Butterfly Affect: A theory that describes how changes in a cause will result in a larger affect than might have been expected?

Boredom: A mental state of operation in which a person is uncomfortable with his or her lack of interest in what he or she is doing. There is usually a lack of focus concerning the subject presently at hand alternating with an intense yet unpleasant focus on the same subject. There is also an extreme desire to disengage, focus elsewhere, even anywhere else other than with the subject or experience at hand. The only involvement is that which is minimally required to remain involved in the process or activity.

Bottleneck: A phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system including a Game Based strategy is limited by a single or limited number of components or resources.

Brain: The part of the central nervous system enclosed in the cranium of vertebrates serving to control physical and mental actions.

Butterfly Affect: A theory that describes how changes in a cause will result in a larger affect than might have been expected?


Cash: Coin or paper currency of a recognized measurable value used to conduct business.

Capacity to Love: The ability to share (give and receive) an intense feeling of affection, caring, emotion, and intimate connection with oneself or another.

Cause and Effect: That which induces something to happen and the response to that cause.

Cellular Memory: Patterns reflective of emotional and physical events (instead of the emotions themselves) that subconsciously influence our lives and which are stored in muscle, tissue, various connective tissue and other tissue systems in the body.

Chess: A game of strategy for two with 16 pieces each played on a specialized designed checkered board.

Chop Wood Carry Water: One of the most commonly stated and most important of Zen Koans about being in the “moment”.

Chi: A universal force, generally invisible to the five senses that lies at the foundation of all existence. In different cultures it has been mapped into pathways known as meridians. Certain skilled individuals can experience in its various gradations and guide it and influence its flow.  Chi  is also known as Qi, Ki, Prana, Silver Thread, Logos, Nam, the Wireless Anatomy, spirit, divine force, God.

Choices: Things that may be carefully selected.

Chopping wood and carrying water: A Zen Buddhist concept of what it means to understand, and do what needs to be done as a guiding philosophy for struggle free living.

Chronemics: The study of the use of time in nonverbal communication.

Clarity of Thought: Understanding what “IS.”

Common incentive structure: The description used by system experts to describe when a system has a specific motivation for existing and offers similar benefits to all of the elements in that system.

Compassion: Pity inclining one to be merciful.

Competition: An act that is motivated by the desire to win. In its least productive forms, it sees all competition in adversarial terms.

Complex Hierarchies: Multiple, multiple layered hierarchies combined with other multiple, multilayered hierarchies which are directly linked at least at one  point.

Complex Hierarchy: A hierarchal system with a combination of multiple hierarchies which may or may not be directly linked.

Complex Problem: A decisions in which the decision maker will require additional information on which to base an evaluation of alternatives. Most often occurs where the expended resources is great or the risk of failure is high

Conservation and Balance: The storage and effective use of the Seventeen “Wealth and Freedom” Resources (See Level: Nineteen).

Counterfactual thinking is a term of psychology that describes the tendency people have to imagine alternatives to reality. Humans are predisposed to think about how things could have turned out differently if only…, and also to imagine what if?.

Cranial Sacral Therapy: A variety of techniques, originally developed by Osteopathic Doctors, where light touch, physical manipulation, and energetic balancing techniques are applied on the bones in the head and the bones at the base of the spine.

Critical Mass: A mathematically specific definition of a sociodynamic event which describes the existence of sufficient momentum in a social system such that the momentum becomes self-sustaining and fuels further growth.

Culture: A particular society at a particular time and place and the symbols, heroes, rituals and other tangible or visual aspects and practices of that society


Decision Science: A discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. It is often considered to be a sub-field of Mathematics which Makes it of great importance both in classical game theory and in Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory. The terms management science and Operations research are sometimes used as more modern-sounding synonyms.

Dependability: Trustworthy and consistent behavior

Diligence: the necessity of giving sufficient attention to detail to avoid error and prevail against obstacles.

Doctrine of the fortunate fall: Where sin is understood as beneficial because it makes redemption possible.

Domino effect: A chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then causes another similar change, and so on in linear sequence. The term is best known as a mechanical effect, and is used as an analogy to a falling row of dominoes. It typically refers to a linked sequence of events where the time between successive events is relatively small. It can be used literally (an observed series of actual collisions) or metaphorically (causal linkages within systems such as global finance or politics).

Dowsing: A “chi” based assessment system that allows an individual to search for underground water using a Y shaped rod that that dips when over the right spot.


Eighteen Game Based Resources: Eighteen qualities or skills common to all human beings. The full potentiating of each in balance with the other sixteen is the foundation from which love, wealth and freedom emerge. They are a core element to the application of Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory.

Ego: The part of the mind that has self awareness.

Emotion: A mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Emotional Balance: Equilibrium in feelings, thoughts, behaviors and other factors related to the emotions in the face of problems and obstacles.

Emotional Healing: The intentional activities designed to creating emotional balance in a person’s life.

Emotional Response Evaluations: Various systems for reading facial and body movement as an  indicator of emotional feeling.

Enlightenment:  A deep insight into the purpose and meaning of all things, including communication with or understanding of the mind of God.

Ethics: Conscious and intentional action that is both right and good.

Extreme Problem: Known by mathematicians as a combinatorial optimization problem an extreme problem is a problem that has so many variables within its structure that a variety of experts are required to solve it. Usually, though not always, if an extreme problem is not solved it may lead loss of life and limb or chaos of one form or another for all who are affected by the problem.


Ethics: The conscious and intentional action that is both right and good.

Externally Driven Obstacles (EDOs): An external force and/or event that presents an obstacle to the fulfillment of an individual or group vision.

Extraordinary person: A person that consciously behaves in a simple and basic manner. Such a person acts out general social norms when appropriate in their daily life, but seldom or never does so habitually. The extraordinary person will change their behavior to match changes in these social norms if it serves their own actualization process and society as a whole. They are generally concerned with moral or ethical dilemmas and often examine the meaning of their lives, questioning much, and often and with great concern.


Faith: A conviction that something is true or fact.

First Cause: That which causes everything else; the ultimate creative force or being behind the universe.

Formal sciences: A system of gathering knowledge (research) using mathematics, logic, and statistics in a way that is so specific that one can correctly predict a reliable outcome consistently.

Flow: A mental state of operation – often referred to as being in ”the zone” – in which a person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, experiences a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.

Futurism: Using systematic thinking to recognize patterns in life and how to respond to the unexpected.


Game: An activity often for fun or entertainment where an individual or groups of individuals must strategize, i.e. make decisions that will lead to a desirable outcome. Most games involve other living players though there are some games such as the card game solitaire where only one living player is involved.

Game Theory: Among scientists it is the name used to describe mathematical concepts (systems) that were designed to explain why and how individuals and organizations strategize, i.e. make decisions when one person (or more than one other person) might also affect the outcome of the decision.

Today, (2010) game theory has become an umbrella term or ‘unified field’ theory for thousands of games, most being rational approaches to many different defined interactions including relationships in business, spirituality, competition, sports, romance and even interactions with nonhuman players such as computers, animals, and plants.

Genetics: A discipline of biology; specifically, genetics is the science of genesheredity, and variationin living organisms.

Geomancy: A form of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soilrocks, or sand. The most prevalent form of divinatory geomancy involves interpreting a series of 16 figures formed by a randomized process that involves recursion followed by analyzing them, often augmented with astrological interpretations. Sacred geometry is a form of geomancy that interprets the strength of chi in a certain geographical area.

Genetics: A discipline of biology; specifically, genetics is the science of genesheredity, and variationin living organisms.

Gödel’s incompleteness theorems: A series of ideas formulated by the mathematician/logican Kurt Gödel’s that was concerned with formal logical / mathematical language systems. One of these ideas states that the search for one formula that will answer all mathematic questions was misdirected since within any given branch of mathematics, there would always be some propositions that couldn’t be proven either true or false using the rules and axioms within the mathematical branch that was being used to ask the question of whether something was true or false.


Hacker:  Originally a hacker was an adherent of the computer programmer subculture that originally emerged in academia in the 1960s, in particular around theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) and MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Hackers from this subculture tend to emphatically differentiate themselves from what they pejoratively call “crackers“, that is, those who are generally meant when media and the general public people use the term “hacker”, and whose primary focus, be it for malicious or beneficial reasons, are weaknesses in computer security.

Hardwired: Something in human nature that is driven by internal forces, and that is distinct from intellect or conscious thought. These internal forces are driven by and are a reflection for the most part of genetic and biological factors and what is generally described in the Harrison Mentoring Process as natural law.

Hierarchy: A class of things; elements, grades, orders, values objects, entities and people organized into an order where one thing superior is above, inferior below (either vertically or horizontally), further in or out or at the same level as something else.

Hierarchal behavior: Actions of both an individual and a group designed to find a place for the individual in the group so that that the individual and the group get their needs met while having a similar mission, intention or vision.

Holism: The theory that living matter or reality is made up of organic or unified wholes that are greater than the simple sum of their parts.

Human Being: A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from all other animals purportedly by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance

Hierarchal thinking: The contemplation upon the most effective way to find your place in a group so that you get your needs met while having a similar mission, intention or vision as the group.

Human Capital: The stock of personality attributes, knowledge and competences, and knowledge contained in the ability to perform labor so as to create economic value.  In the Harrison Mentoring Process this concept is essential to understanding the Seventeen Wealth and Freedom Resources (SWFR).

Human potential: The capacity to experience full development or the capacity for the complete development of usable resources.



Influence: Any event or process where one entity (be it a person, corporation, government, religion, media organization, etc) can change either directly or indirectly another entity’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Infection through RTPs (Regenerating Thought Programs): The process that takes place (as a direct result of our genetic and biological inclinations towards the creation of community) when we involuntarily absorb ideas and behaviors and then pass-on these ideas and behaviors to others.

Information: A unit or units of knowledge, events, experiences, details, truths or beliefs.

Initiation: a formal rite of passage, often a ceremony, marking entrance or acceptance into adulthood or into a certain level or formal component within a group or society.

Insanity: The tendency to act out in antisocial ways that are illogical, irrational and emotionally unbalanced; Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Intuition: The ability to immediately access and apprehend knowledge without the use of reason.


Kabbalah: Also known as Qabala, this is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal and mysterious Creator and the mortal and finite universe (His/her creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a denomination in and of itself; it is a set of scriptures that exist outside the traditional Jewish Scriptures.

Knowledge: The combination of systematically stored information, untapped objective awareness, and untapped subjective awareness.


Law of Attraction: A theory that states that if a person’s though processes are clear and intention focused is that those things they desire or need will come to them without spontaneously and without struggle.

Law of Diminishing Returns: A term common in economics but applicable to any aspect of life that describes a point at which you have achieved the maximum that :you can from some fixed factor or variable and no matter how much more of this factor you use in the future, the benefit will decrease.

Language: The human capacity for complex symbolic communication through the   organization of words and nonverbal cues.

Left Brain Thinking: A broad characterization of thought patterns attributed to the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Left-brain thinking is described broadly as being linear, sequential, systematic and concerned with the details and steps that are involved in a particular process or event.

Game Theory: Among scientists it is the name used to describe mathematical concepts (systems) that were designed to explain why and how individuals and organizations strategize, i.e. make decisions when one person (or more than one other person) might also affect the outcome of the decision.

Globalization (or globalisation): The process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.[1][2] Put in simple terms, globalization refers to processes that increase world-wide exchanges of national and cultural resources.

Lewis Harrison’sApplied Game Theory (LHAGT):  An umbrella term for thousands of life strategies  including those related to business, politics, spirituality, competition, sports, romance and even interactions with nonhuman players such as computers, animals, and plants.  Most of the games within the model of Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory combine rational and intuitive strategies the goal which is to maximize love, joy, freedom, clarity of thought, emotional balance, personal contentment, inner wisdom and happiness.  A comprehensive list of over 500 games discussed by Lewis and his students can be found at:

Linear Code: A systematic ordering of information important in error correction and detection schemes.  Linear codes can be valuable in transcending obstacles.

Love: There are many definitions of love. Like God, art, and truth, love is one of those concepts that is essential to our lives and yet cannot be easily defined. Generally speaking it can be described as an intense feeling of affection, an emotion, or an emotional state. In ordinary use, it usually refers to any one of many interpersonal states.

Lucid Dream: Pictures, images, people, events or symbols in the mind of a sleeping person who is aware that that he/she is dreaming.


Making a Difference: The intention to serve another or group in ways that shift or change the life patterns of that individual or group.

Mathematics: is an academic discipline, actually a collection of disciplines – both an art and science, depending upon whom you talk to – that is concerned with exploration, and measurement, and through these the drawing of necessary conclusions. Among the things in the Harrison Process that mathematical tools are specifically relevant too are the measurement of change, patterns, quantity, space, and structure.

Matrix: A 1999 American science fiction action film the future is depicted as  a simulated reality created bysentient machines  which is perceived by most humans as an authentic reality. The film addresses and integrates many ideas related to human and technology interactions especially the idea that logically speaking computers will, in time, control and dominate humanity without most of humanity even knowing that this has happened.

Meaning: Intention and significance.

Meditation: A generic term that describes a mental discipline involving self regulation and the focusing of attention on one specific point of reference or on the discarding of any point of reference.

Mentalist: The belief that some mental phenomena, particularly parapsychological activities such as telepathy and mind reading exist though they cannot be explained by physical laws.

Mind: A non-physical part within a conscious being that functions and acts in a myriad and combination of ways including aspects of intellect and consciousness that may include thinking, reasoning, imagining, memory, emotion, feeling, perceiving, caring, desiring, willing, distinguishing, assessing and judging. Mind is the stream of consciousness and includes all of the brain’s conscious and unconscious processes.  “Mind” is often used to refer to the thought processes of reason, thus a person acting without reason might be accused of “being out of their mind.”

Monkey Mind: The endless, obsessive process of thinking about one thing for a short time, and then another thing for a short time, without any specific intention to do so.

Morality: The study of what makes actions right and wrong. Based on the Latin moralitas “manner, character, proper behavior” It attempts to define, explain and examine social behavior. Also specific system of what is defined as right and good as is often imposed upon the individual by group belief or from the top of a hierarchy.

Movement Reeducation: The reorganization and recreation of an individual’s postural patterns.

Multiple Intelligences: A theory that states that within the human race there are many different categories of “intelligences”. Some and not others can be measured scientifically.

My Chemical Romance: An ecstatic form of love, known as romantic love which is caused in part by the interaction of certain brain chemicals.

Mystic meditation: A type of meditative practice that not only brings the meditator into an altered state of consciousness, but gives them a sense of connectedness with an authentic reality, that transcend the senses and all mental concepts and or brings them to God Realization, and the transcendence of death.

Myth: A sacred story.


Natural Law: The rules that consistently define how the universe functions.

Natural science: is one of three divisions of science, the other two being the social sciences and the formal sciences prior to the 17th century Natural Science was called natural philosophy and was less broad in interpretation of what was or what wasn’t scientific. The natural sciences as of 2010 are astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science and physics.

Nature’s Systems: The systems that define the workings of the universe. These systems are generally defined either as LINEAR or NONLINEAR. Linear systems tend to relate to mathematical and scientific systems. Nonlinear systems may refer to a diverse range of perceptions including physics, theology and the belief that a creative intelligence is expressed in all living things.

Need: A desire for something that is essential for emotional, physical and/or mental survival.

Neuroeconomics: A relatively new science/art within behavioral economics that combines neuroscience, economics, and psychology. The focus of this system is to explore how people make decisions. It does this by studying the role of the brain in evaluating choices, categorizing risks and rewards, and isolating factors in how humans interact with each other.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): A system for creating personal and organizational change by applying influence in certain specific ways.

Nineteen Game Based Resources: Eighteen qualities or skills common to all human beings. The full potentiating of each in balance with the other sixteen is the foundation from which love, wealth and freedom emerge. They are a core element to the application of Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

Non-linear:  Of or relating to a system of equations whose effects are not proportional to their causes. Essentially an equation that seems illogical but functions in ordinary reality/ Such a set of equations can be chaotic.

Non-Verbal Communication: The process of communication through sending and receivingwordless messages.

Number: Formally speaking a number is mathematical object or symbol used in counting andmeasuring. Numbers may also have a symbolic meaning in religious or spiritual practice. These are usually known as “sacred numbers.”


Obstacle: Anything that stands in the way of our achieving a desired result.

Oneirology: The scientific study of dreams

Ordinary person: A person who unconsciously behaves in a simple and basic manner. Such a person acts out general social norms in their daily life, and does so habitually only changing their behavior to match changes in these social norms. They are not generally concerned with moral or ethical dilemmas and seldom examine the meaning of their lives. They question little and have concern for less.


Paradigm: A paradigm is a theoretical and philosophical model, pattern or framework; specifically of a linguistic discipline or a mathematically based or scientific school of thought.

Pattern Language: A term coined by architect Christopher Alexander, is a structured method of describing good design practices within a field of expertise. Ordinary people can use it to successfully solve very large, complex design problems. Pattern language has much in common with many verbal and non-verbal languages however it is unique in that pattern language applies to some complex activity other than traditional communication.

Peak Experience: An ecstatic transpersonal experience that can be duplicated through intention and actions influenced by that intention.

Peter Principle: A business concept, originally presented as a humorous exploration of corporate culture and the slow rise of incompetence in middle and upper management.  It was first presented in1968 by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their popular book: The Peter Principle.

Physical Energy: Energy associated with the flesh or corporal body.

Physics: A scientific study related to the detection and comprehending the basic rules that control matter and energy.

Plant Spirit Medicine: A specialized form of herbal healing that recognizes that each plant has a unique spiritual essence and that this essence can be called upon by a skilled individual to heal a person, plant or animal.

Play: A range of intrinsically motivated, yet voluntary activities normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment.

Pleasure: A pleasant sensation.

Polyamory: The desire for, acceptance of or practice of having more than one intimate, loving, relationship at a time with the full awareness, knowledge and free consent of everyone involved.

Power: When applied to human activities it is the conscious ability to harness internal or external activities so that the entity in possession of this power (be it a person, corporation, government, religion, media organization, etc) can change, either directly or indirectly, another entity’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Practical Math: Mathematical tools that are specifically relevant to the measurement of change, patterns, quantity, space, and structure.

Prayer: A form of spiritual or religious practice that seeks to activate an intentional connection to spirit, inner Qi, god, or some deity, through deliberate practice.

Prions: are small protein molecules. They are found throughout the spectrum of living creatures from baker’s yeast to Homo sapiens. It is not yet clear what purpose they serve when functioning normally.

Proxemics: The exploration of how we use and perceive the physical space around them.

Pseudo: Peak Experience: A hedonistically driven ecstatic experience that has no purpose other than pleasure.


Question: An inquiry that is concerned with the who, what, where, when, why, how or which of anything.


Radical Thoughts: Ideas whether true or false are so out of the mainstream so as to break with, even threaten the status quo.

Rappport: An important feature or characteristics of subconscious communication which involves commonality of perspective such as being “in sync” with, or being “on the same wavelength” as the person with whom you are interacting with.

Reciprocal Altruism: A unique behavior in which one organism provides a benefit to another with some boundaries and conditions.

Reframing: A communication technique popular among many psychotherapists and teachers of practical human potential skills.

Regenerating Thought Programming (RTPs): An abstract scientific theory concerning evolving patterns of contagious cultural information, that survives long enough to be recognized as such, and which can parasitically pass from mind to mind altering the behavior of those who receive it.

Relationship: An association with or the dealing and/or connections a person, place, or thing has with another person, place, or thing.

RTPs (Regenerative Thought Programs): An abstract scientific theory concerning evolving patterns of contagious cultural information, that survives long enough to be recognized as such, and which can parasitically pass from mind to mind altering the behavior of those who receive it.

Right Brain Thinking: A broad characterization of thought patterns attributed to the right cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Right/brain thinking is described broadly as nonlinear, creative, and imaginative.

Romantic love: Any form of love that is combined with sex, as well as emotional feelings associated with the two.


Scientific Management (Taylorism): An influential and pioneering theory of management developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor an American mechanical engineer.  Taylorism  seeks to analyzes and synthesize workflow processes, improving labor efficiency and effectiveness.

Sanity: The tendency to accept a worldview that expresses intellectual clarity and emotional balance.

Science: From the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”  in the strictest sense (specialized language) science refers to a system of gathering knowledge (research) so specific (based on the scientific method) that one can correctly predict a reliable outcome consistently.

Self Actualization: A motive, intention and process related to the realization of one’s full potential.

Self-Assessment: An inquiry into who we truly are?

Sex: Any thought, word or deed or manifestations including sexual acts involving physical intimacy. Sex includes desires arising from instincts, genetics, biology, consciousness and, or the subconscious.

Shamanism: An anthropological term of Siberian origin referencing a wide and diverse range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman (pronounced) “SHAH-men” or “SHAY-men”). The term is used more loosely in the human potential movement to include any person who enters into an altered state of consciousness or supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the spiritual, emotional or physical ailment.

Shaman’s Dance: A term specific to the Harrison Mentoring Process that describes ways of thinking and being in daily life that both reflect and enhance the shamanic process.

Six Degrees of Separation: Also referred to as the “Human Web” this refers to a popular culture concept that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. In reality a person with low social intelligence would be much more than six degree of separation from everyone else. A person with high social intelligence might be as low as four.

Social Intelligence: A theory that explores and defines ones ability to respond optimally, effectively, and appropriately in social situations.

Social networking: A social network is a structured system made of individuals or organizations (nodes) that are, for one reason or another, interdependent.

Social paradigm: A theoretical and philosophical model, pattern or framework that does not meet the strict requirement of a traditionally-defined paradigm and which requires that the belief be based specifically on linguistics or scientific school of thought.

Social Science: An umbrella term for various fields of academic scholarship that explore aspects ofhuman society and which lie outside of the natural sciences. Social science” is commonly used as anumbrella term to refer to a plurality of Among the most familiar natural science are: anthropology,archaeologyeconomicsgeographyhistory, international studies, linguistics,  political science, and  in some contexts, psychology.

Sociobiology: A field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution.

Sociology: The study of individual behavior in society.

Sociometry: A branch of sociology that uses quantitative assessment methods for measuring social relationships.  At its most sophisticated level it is a way of inquiring into the structure of groups.

Soul: The core of our being that transcends and underlies our emotional and physical existence and may even cease to be at all.

Space: Where we are, what is around us and where we can ce goods and/or services for use at a later time?

Specialized Language: Specifically defined and rigidly applied organization of words and non-verbal cues communicating detailed specific ideas in a highly defined specialized group.

Spiritual: Related to the divine, or to sacred matters.

Spiritual Focus: A desire and intention to apply thoughts, word, and deeds towards a connection with the divine.

Spiritual Seeker: Person who desires to know who they are, their reason for being and the source from which they came.

Spirituality: A sacred, devotional state of being often, but not always related to the concept of a creator or divine, intelligent force.

Stanislavsky’s Method: A theory developed by the Russian theater artist Konstantin Stanislavski and used in acting where an actor has a strong personal identification with a character, possibly including a reproduction of the character’s emotional state.

Status: Reputation, relative importance in a community, rank or social position

Storytelling: The sharing of an account of a real or imagined event.

Suffering: the disruptive, necessary mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. When suffering is physical, we know it as pain. Words that are roughly synonymic with suffering include these: unhappiness, misery, pain, woe, unpleasantness, distress, sorrow, misery, affliction, illness, discomfort, displeasure and disagreeableness.

Support Triangle: Any group of three people who come together in the agreement to consistently support each other in being extraordinary.

Sweat Equity: Physical energy or intellectual .talent or time offered as a currency or payment for some good or service in lieu of cash

Synergy: The cooperative interaction of two or more agents or forces among groups, so that their combined effect creates an enhanced combined effect that is greater than the sum of their individual effects. In LHAGT and in the creation of effective Life Strategies  synergy is essential for it expands the role of proactive and community based relationships

System: An established group of interdependent details or parts, items, ideas, or principles – that form a complex whole, and maintain their existence by interacting regularly, harmoniously, orderly, and methodically over time to perform a task.


Tacit knowing: A type of untapped subjective awareness, a process that is the essential personal component of knowing and knowledge and which cannot be systematized in the way that objective information might.

Tarot: A pack of cards (most commonly numbering 78), used as a tool to map mental and spiritual pathways.

Technology: Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of toolsmachines, techniques, craftssystems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function.

Tetris effect: What may take place when people devote sufficient time and attention to an activity that it begins to overshadow their thoughts, mental images, and dreams.  It is named after the video game Tetris.

Theory of constraints (TOC): A systematic approach to transending or compensating for the weakest element in any process?

Time: A continuous, measurable, progression of perceived existence. Among most groups time is defined as the past, present and future presented as a whole.

Time-shifting: What happens when an individual or organization takes information, usually in the form of a visual media (TV programming is the most common form) and intentionally pays it at a time other than when it could have been shown “live”. This is done to increase or increase influence. An example might be Time-shifting the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games so that they get to be viewed during the evening hours in the United States.

Tipping Points: A common cliché that expands the technical application of the term critical mass to address many different situations relating to group or individuals.

Tools: Any device or devices used to perform or facilitate manual, mechanical, or technological tasks.

Touch: To come into or be in physical contact with another thing.

Traveling Salesman Problem: One of the most intensively studied problems in computational mathematics. The Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) requires that we find the shortest path visiting each of a given set of cities and returning to the starting point.  This problem has not to this point (2010) been completely solved though genetic algorithms created by computer scientists Michael C. LaLena can, according to LaLena “be used to find a solution”. In the Harrison Mentoring Process the TSP can be used to solve extreme problems.


Vision: An idea, concept or content of experience that one wishes to have. A vision is different than a goal in that a vision is formless where a goal is already fully formed.  A vision is a type of content. When a vision is clear in the mind of a visionary the form that will best serve the fruition of that vision will arrive spontaneously. In this sense one might say that the content of a vision defines the form that we call a “goal”.

Visionary: An individual with clarity of thought, a passion for a clearly defined experience, and foresight on how that passion may manifest.


Walkabout: A rite of passage during which male Australian Aborigines would undergo a journey during adolescence and live in the wilderness for a period as long as six months. In modern life it refers to any spiritual journey where a person is unrestrained by any specific plan, structure, time frame or boundaries other than those related to functional behavior.

Want: A desire for something that, though not essential for survival and well-being, will bring emotional, physical and/or mental satisfaction.

Wisdom Sage: An extraordinary person who has a mastery of living well in the world while in possession of spiritual wisdom.

Wu Wei: a Chinese perspective on the Law of Attraction. The literal translation being, “the action that requires no action.”


Your Best Life: The fulfillment of the Seventeen Wealth and Freedom Resources in the Harrison Mentoring Process


Zen Koan: A storydialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking but may be accessible through intuition or lateral thinking, i.e. a type of thought  that solves  problems or  accesses wisdom through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

Zen Mind: A way of being or thought associated with in a Japanese School of Buddhist. In Zen Mind offered a person is completely clear in thought, present in intention, child-like in innocence, and free of regrets for the past or expectation for the future.

Zero Sum Game: A situation in which one participant’s gains result only from another participant’s equivalent losses. The net change in total wealth among participants is zero; the wealth is just shifted from one to another. In basic terms it means that if one person wins than everyone else has to lose.


What Does “Scientific” Mean?

I’m always hearing people use the word “Science” in ways that are not accurate. The social sciences, the esoteric sciences, science fiction etc. Clearly science education is not doing it’s job when so many people do not know what science.


I wanted to use this blog to clarify what the word “science” actually means as in “biotech and science”. For instance when you are exploring or searching for science technology news you don’t want information that is not based on solid science.


The word, “Science”, refers to a system of gathering knowledge (research) so specific, that one can correctly predict a reliable outcome consistently. It is through this definition that the outcomes of research form a scientific body of knowledge.


On the Wisdom path it is important to recognize the value of logical scientific thought while appreciating its limitations. Many respected thinkers and spiritual materialists use the term “science” loosely, especially in attempts to merge mysticism with quantum physics but these ideas are not in alignment with the classical definition of science. Let’s explore how the term “science” is often used.


  1. Natural Sciences.  These are organized categories of information that involve the study of the laws of the physical world.  Examples include physics, and chemistry.
  2. Formal Sciences.  Formal science uses words and terms with very specific definitions and combines them with deductive reasoning for creating a system by which some well-formed specific formulas, rules, and codes can be derived from others that are more general.  Within the category are mathematics, logic, statistics, and theoretical computer science.  The importance of this approach is that it sets a pattern for definition and frees us from the need to examine every computer to see how it works.
  3. Social Sciences.  The term “social science,” is an umbrella term for many different systems of organized knowledge and information.  The value here is that one can explore aspects of human society in ways that cannot be easily explained mathematically.  Among familiar social sciences are; anthropology, psychology, economics, and history.
  4. Pseudo-Science – Anything defined as scientific that does not match the specific definition of what science is.


Interestingly many of the formal sciences lack any real-world experimentation to support their conclusions. On the Wisdom Path, science becomes a tool for understanding and applying information. Science is not “truth.”  It is just a reliance on apparent physical evidence, rather than a reliance on faith, hearsay, or superstition.


Lewis Harrison – Professional Problem Solver

Mentor, Success Coach, Futurist

Lewis Harrison

Author “Healing Depression Naturally”

A comprehensive manual on massage, stress management and on the proper diagnosis and Non drug treatment of depression

Available as an ebook Through Amazon Kindle

He is the owner of