Joe Kincheloe's Critical Complex Epistemology/Pedagogy & Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage

Crtical Discourse Analysis: Communicating "The View from Within"

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Paradis, V. J. (2013). Did Joe Lyons Kincheloe Discover the Golden Chalice for Knowledge Production? The Application of Critical Complex Epistemology and the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage. (Doctoral Dissertation)

Critical Discourse Analysis: Communicating “The View from Within”

            In their book, The View from Within, Francisco Varela and Jonathan Shear (2002) advocate for a science of consciousness that studies “lived experience associated with cognitive and mental events” in ways that transcend subjective and socially regulated scientific methods. As Kincheloe (2008c) has also provided, we cannot simply study “things-in-themselves” or “things out there,” without addressing interpretations of our “inner” experiences in relationship to our “outside” experiences. Varela and Shear assert that what is sought is “a science of consciousness which includes first-person, subjective experience as an explicit and active component” (p. 2) [authors’ italics]. At the same time, they acknowledge, “it would be futile to stay with first-person descriptions in isolation.” (p. 2). We return to the notion here of social construction of knowledge, a necessary component for making meaning of shared or similar phenomenological experiences. As I’ve reiterated throughout this dissertation, during this research I’ve experienced phenomena that were completely foreign to me. I had no previous schemas, thus, I continuously sought outside myself for some kind of explanation. That does not mean, however, that I accepted every interpretation for what I experience; in fact, I accept none of them in their entirety because there is too much we don’t know about these phenomena I’ve been describing. It is a continuous construction process.

            Kincheloe (2004a) is requiring bricoleurs recognize that in order to accomplish this task, critical discourse analyses are required. We cannot simply put our experiences out and say “this is what they mean to me” particularly when we have so little knowledge about the possibilities of meaning. There is often no grounding in that approach, a practice I’ve seen on discussion forums by people who don’t research for possible explanations of the phenomena they experience. Reading too many of these accounts can lead to making one feel crazy in the literal sense. This approach borders on the ludic postmodernism (and nihilism) for which Kincheloe’s theory provides an escape route. By grounding our critical complex interpretations and hermeneutical analyses with a variety of philosophical, epistemological, ontological, and cosmological perspectives, we can better understand and communicate our understanding of human experience. And as Varela and Shear (2002) posit, “whatever descriptions we can produce through first-person methods are not pure, solid ‘facts’ but potentially valid intersubjective items of knowledge, quasi-objects of a mental sort. No more, no less. Furthermore, human experience is not a fixed, predelineated domain. Instead, it is changing, changeable and fluid” (p. 14).

            This requires moving out of FIDUROD Land and recognizing other worlds are viable possibilities. Until we collectively have the ability to free ourselves from our mind prisons enough to see that we are multidimensional beings living in pluriverses amongst diverse entities, most people will continue to be limited by their five senses and will deem anyone who can see beyond, quite literally “out of their mind.” However, during the course of my research, I have come to believe that it is not me, but many in the world, who are out of touch with reality, and that most of this damage has been the result of the workings of FIDUROD just as Kincheloe (2008c) portrays. As we move away from the constraints of FIDUROD, we see beyond the veil and we discover there are actually many veils; the work is not over.

As an example, Harkins (2001) describes differences in perception in relation to eight different veils (and there are many more). Those who see beyond any given veil are deemed “crazy” by those who cannot see beyond that veil and vice versa. In his article, Harkins discusses the difficulty and sometimes futility of trying to convey one’s perception if perceiving beyond the higher veils to someone who is stuck behind, for example, the first veil where people perceive reality pretty much as defined for them by FIDUROD. Thus, the dilemma of a dissertation such as this one, presents as the difficulty of conveying perception beyond, say the sixth veil when only “ten percent of us will pierce the sixth veil where the dragons and lizards and aliens we thought were the fictional monsters of childhood literature are real and are the controlling forces behind the secret societies” (Harkins, 2001). The more veils one is able to pierce, the more alone one feels. Except that I know I am never alone, as I have also discovered from piercing those veils and as indicated by the previous discussion of rhizomatic connections. Writing about my experiences is a challenge because many people during this prophesied “age of ignorance” (another paradox) (Rain, 1988) will not relate unless they read with an open mind. As Harkins (2001) explains:

If my math is accurate there are only about 60,000 people on the planet who have pierced the sixth veil. The irony here is too incredible: Those who are stuck behind veils one through five have little choice but to view the people who have pierced the veils beyond them as insane. With each veil pierced, exponentially shrinking numbers of increasingly enlightened people are deemed insane by exponentially increasing masses of decreasingly enlightened people. Adding to the irony, the harder a “sixth or better veiler” tries to explain what he is able to see to those who can't, the more insane he appears to them. (para. 14)

 

            Kincheloe’s goal was to help people learn to perceive behind some of those veils, communicate what they perceive and interpret, and then learn to describe them better with new epistemologies and sciences. As indicated, Kincheloe made it clear that the multidimensional critical complex bricolage requires a critical discourse analysis and grounding in philosophy in order to communicate interpretations of what’s hidden in typically unseen dimensions. Anything outside of this, in my estimation, cannot meet the standards of rigor he is calling for. This presents as an obstacle in some cases because the trend in education has been blind adherence to “succinct” writing which simplifies, condenses, and even “stupidifies” the content. The form of writing and analysis Kincheloe is calling for helps develop and improve both one’s cognitive and writing abilities while narrating in a natural voice. What is our ultimate purpose for engaging in these complex forms of analysis? Kincheloe summed it up beautifully:

Bricoleurs take seriously our creative responsibility to break the lenses of present ways of viewing the world. Such lenses need to be broken, bricoleurs contend, not because of some Oedipal impulse to kill the father, but because such frames have caused such heartbreak and suffering on the part of those who fall outside the favoured race, class, gender, sexual, religious, and ability-related demographic. (2004b, p. 19)

 

Accomplishing this in ways that make a difference requires the rigor he calls for as well as the creative and imaginative power that is unleashed during the process. As I have previously alluded, breaking lenses or posing new realities tends to alienate us from those who are threatened by such propositions. It just goes with the territory. As Kincheloe states, “we just have to give up any aspirations of winning the Miss Congeniality contest. Such work will invariably anger the guardians of the status quo, Relax, it’s our existential burden—go with it” (2008c, p. 176). Perhaps, the new matrix will be built from below and once the old crumbles, it will be ready to rise up and take its place. If Hermes Trismegistus is correct, however, it will be built from above and below (Smith, 2008). At any rate, Kincheloe’s comment about the Miss Congeniality contest had to have been written special for me, given I have never, in my entire life, had aspirations of winning such contests. I find it immensely humorous, but at the same time reassuring, especially given how “alienated” I am.

Related to this, I recently had a dream during which I was told by a highly respected Master Teacher that I needed to change my approach because I was alienating everyone. I responded by telling him “Then it’s working the way it’s supposed to!” Dreaming Bear (2011), a performing poet, humorously says that our earth experience is an opportunity to “exhibit how exciting alienation can be.” No one said reloading the matrix would be easy. Thus, I use many different critical discourse and narrative approaches and a variety of methods and analyses from informal to scholarly. This fits within the scope of what Kincheloe was aiming for. As he states: “There is no reason, bricoleurs maintain, why scholars should be the only individuals with access to the power of the bricolage” (2004b, p. 14). There is no reason the elite should be allowed to guard the secret keys to Divine Love.

Discourse analysis is important for multiple reasons. Writing helps us solidify and clarify our thoughts, helps us peer through different conceptual windows for new understandings, and allows us to communicate these to other people. Since the purpose of the multidimensional critical complex bricolage is social change, it is important that we are able to share our analyses, various perspectives, and changes within ourselves with other people. For me, writing, much like other creative endeavors, provides me a way of connecting to higher consciousness, thus tapping into higher order knowledge. As we improve these abilities, the better we are able to construct and communicate new knowledges and viewpoints that act as catalysts for creative solutions not just for ourselves to enact, although that’s important, but also other people who read our work may become impassioned with some aspect of our research and then follow through with additional research, facilitating the “Mormon butterfly effect” Kincheloe (2008c, p. 197) mentioned. That was an amazing quality I noticed about Kincheloe’s work: he has provided a goldmine of ideas for researchers, particularly in his last book, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction. There is something in that book for everyone to feel passionate about enough to research further. Thus, the bricolage itself begins to form those rhizomatic connections between people due to the way it’s structured and presented, whereas, in contrast, positivistic research tends not to facilitate connection. It’s difficult to find connections to something that is devised to isolate.

What is Discourse Analysis?

            How is discourse analysis defined? Simply stated, it involves using any number of analytic methods and discourses for interpretive purposes in order to communicate understanding (Peräkylä, 2008). Added to bricolage, it involves analyzing as many interrelationships as practical for the purpose of the study. The variety of forms of discourse techniques provides a huge menu of options as well as implications for it being a lifetime learning endeavor. Some techniques include semiotic narrative analysis, linguistics, critical discourse analysis, historical discourse analysis, hermeneutics, and membership categorization analysis. Membership categorization analysis focuses on the more formal aspects of the text and how it corresponds with or diverges from “normative and cognitive forms concerning social relations that are involved in the production and understanding of texts . . . the descriptive apparatus . . . how we categorize people” (p. 356).

An example of how membership categorization analysis might be used is to observe that Kincheloe (2008c), in his book, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, clearly defines terms so that people unfamiliar with critical pedagogy are not excluded from the conversation and he has included helpful glossaries at the end of each chapter. He has also stayed away from jargon that clouds understanding. He has found a middle ground between appearing as the expert in a closed group who speaks what might seem like a foreign language and yet keeping the work sophisticated so that readers do not feel they are being spoken down to. Another aspect of this book is that it represents an almost complete break from formal, stuffy academic dissertations. He has included himself in the discussion throughout so that the reader always knows his positioning, and he has unleashed a high level of creativity, including humor, thus making the book entertaining while it teaches. He has included prompts so that the reader is always thinking and reflecting on their own experiences, and he uses a multitude of other creative techniques. Created by applying the multidimensional critical complex bricolage at a high scholarly level, the book consists in many multiple layers of interpretations and perspectives that speak to a wide range of reading audiences, interests, and applications. So it doesn’t matter what “level” a person is at, everyone gets something out of the book. Read it again, and a new dimension magically pops out. Kincheloe was no amateur bricoleur.

Expanding and Strengthening the Narrative with POETS

While this study focuses on providing a narrative of the process of bricolage I have engaged in during this study, it also incorporates many types of elements or “objects” from videos, music, documents, dreams, visions, transmissions, art, poetry, observations, personal experiences, and more. As Berry (2004a) provides, point of entry texts or POETS can be any of these objects. Bricolage can begin with one POET and bricoleurs can insert any object at any point within the text, which expands the rhizomatic nature and interconnectedness of bricolage. An important ingredient with these objects of research however is the emotional aspect, the love and passion that connect us to them. It is “as feeling, empathy, the body, are injected into the research process, as the distinction between knower and known is blurred, as truth is viewed as a process of construction in which knowers play an active role, [that] passion is injected into inquiry” (Kincheloe 2001b, p. 231). Thus, emotional connection to what we want to know ultimately can result in a deeper analysis and taking actions that relate to what we have learned during the process. Extending beyond the text in this fashion takes the reader on epistemological journeys to learn more. Kincheloe’s work often has this effect on me. One word or one song title makes me curious enough to investigate and thus build more connections to his dialogue that opens up windows to a much bigger and more amazing world. This is an application of “phenomenological bracketing” in which we set aside what we think we know, even if it’s just the definition of a single word, in order to explore the breadth and depth of potential meaning. One of the passions that I have particularly acquired since beginning this research is music and I quickly became cognizant of how extensively he has used it in his work. It has become a more important part of my life and my research than ever before. The emotional connections build my passion for what I am learning as I analyze Kincheloe’s work. Kincheloe (2001b) explains that it is passion that leads to a synergistic relationship between the researcher and their research and helps researchers develop greater empathy toward other human beings, one of the important goals of developing an epistemic consciousness. (p. 232).

What is Knowledge? Whose Knowledge?

In addition to how the finished object of research might look in terms of discourse or text is a consideration of the types of knowledge that are generated. What kinds of “knowing” can researchers present? In his book, Getting Beyond the Facts, Kincheloe (2001b) described multiple forms of knowledge: evidence-based knowing (logic/mental); intuitive knowing; emotional knowing; spiritual knowing; divine knowing; cultural knowing; passionate (active) knowing (inquiry); and indigenous ways of knowing. The multidimensional critical complex bricolage may very well touch on all of these ways of knowing, and importantly, will seek perspectives of these ways of knowing from all around the world. Reading Kincheloe’s work provides a good overview of the far-reaching nature of this research and how to synthesize it all. These multiple ways of  “knowing,” according to Kincheloe (2001b), are important for understanding how we are shaped as individuals and he maintains, “The ability to create a new form of thinking that brings together the logic and emotion and the human capacity for empathy is dependent on our understanding the forces that shape the self” (p. 233). He also stresses the importance of indigenous knowledges: “New emancipatory forms of cognition and consciousness are formed by the critical juxtapositioning of indigenous ways of seeing with Western logic. The relationship between these different traditions holds profound cognitive and educational insights” (2001b, p. 160). These ideas must be explored in any multidimensional critical complex bricolage study. Just as there is great value in researching many different perspectives, the more forms of knowing we construct, the better we understand how we are shaped by outside forces. This empowers us to discover ways to take control of our own consciousness construction, and subsequently, take control of our lives. And, in combination, they provide for a more holistic view of our research topic.

What Is Knowledge Production? Kincheloe has, of course, contended that his form of bricolage affords everyone, including children, the opportunity to produce knowledge. What did he mean by this? How did he define knowledge production? He provides his definition, which, along with the understanding that it also entails discourse analysis as previously presented helps clarify what he is intending:

Critical democratic social studies educators [also interpreted as “researchers”], guided by their epistemology of complexity, seek to produce a dialogical form of knowledge. Such knowledge is many times expressed as a series of questions and tentative answers rather than an arrogant factual knowledge. (Kincheloe, 2001b, p. 280)

 

He clarifies:

Researchers produce a practical knowledge characterized by three features: an integrative dimension, an applicative dimension and a hermeneutic (interpretive) dimension. . . . The integrative dimension constructs meaning for isolated facts, in the process, placing data into a larger perspective, connecting it to understandings emerging from a variety of disciplines, and questioning its moral and political inscriptions. The applicative dimension questions how knowledge can be applied to important problems. The hermeneutic dimension searches for the variety of ways knowledge can be interpreted and the various horizons (contexts) within which it can be viewed. In all of these dimensions, emphasis is placed on the process of knowing rather than the production of a final positive knowledge. (2001b, pp. 280–281)

 

What is he saying here? How can we come to better understand his message for producing, applying, and interpreting knowledge? In the first part of the excerpt, we are to be guided by a critical complex epistemology. He wrote extensively about this in the social studies book, Getting Beyond the Facts, as well as critical complex epistemology had formed the foundation of his last book, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction. In fact, he has overtly replaced the traditional concept of critical pedagogy with his critical complex epistemology, as mentioned earlier. How does this manifest within the research process? Epistemology is a philosophy of knowledge, thus, by incorporating it right up front in the research, it becomes a way of philosophically grounding our analyses which Kincheloe contends is necessary in order to ensure rigor and coherence of the research process. We can never capture the complete truth of the research process. It is just too complex, as Kincheloe readily admits, and as I discovered very early-on when I had as a goal to capture my own research process. He points out, “An epistemology of complexity adopts the view that even as social information is being gathered by researchers, it is being analyzed and interpreted” (2001b, p. 286). It is impossible to capture all of the nuanced actions and decisions that take place during such a complex act and the research process itself is continuously changing and evolving even as one engages in it. And maybe this is good: it keeps the research open and idiosyncratic, giving bricoleurs great freedom. At the same time, it can be speculated that by exposing oneself to many different and conflicting interpretations and continuously confronted with making decisions about them, the mind works overtime, thus improving cognition.

This creates a dilemma in addition to the one pointed out already in which this dissertation must address people in various locations of the web of understanding multidimensionality. The additional dilemma here is that obviously with the enormous amounts of research I have done, I have already been formulating in my mind various interpretations, making various assessments, evaluating what to include, what not to include, and a plethora of other actions. It is not possible to adequately represent all of these actions and decisions. It seems the more we chase a representation of reality, the further it eludes us. Fortunately, I do have documentation of many these decisions and will attempt to summarize those pertinent to the discussion as well as justify my choices, but as much as the bricolage can bring us a little closer to reality, presenting that picture to someone else is a great challenge.

Kincheloe’s (2001b) observation that distinguishing between different social realities and interpretations is more difficult that we might first assume was found to be true during my research. I often encountered perspectives I was unable to decipher in relation to the positioning, honesty, integrity, ontology of the writer in order to gain a better understanding of the reality they were presenting. There have been times when I totally abandoned the quest for understanding these complexities, to pick up again later after having completed other research and coming across clues that answer some of these questions. Here, I am speaking in terms of traditional forms of research, and also the kind of research that takes one on treks into dark alleys to confront complex diabolical deceptions. It is amazing how twisted “knowledge” can be. Some people refer to the type of knowledge that uncovers these dark “fiction formulas” as “conspiracy theory” but I have learned that those who have convinced us that this is the label we need to assign it are protecting power through their own versions of conspiracy. Much that is passed off as knowledge is nothing more than disinformation, misinformation, misconceptions, and the regurgitation over and over again of the same pseudo-knowledge. It does not take conspiracy theory to identify knowledge that has been purposely interpreted for purposes that are not good. Drilling down to truth can be very difficult, however. It takes much practice. I would have liked to have seen more of this analytic practice along with critical discussion happening at all levels of my college education—in fact, all levels of my education beginning in elementary school. To complicate matters, all of this knowledge we must learn to analyze is in a continuous state of flux. For example, the conspirators often use a form of “controlled release” of information that they know has already or soon will become common knowledge. Of course I am referring here to nontraditional forms of research, but it does not seem much different in the realm of education, especially as education, corporations, the military, the government, and popular culture continue to merge. Kincheloe’s bricolage aids deciphering and uncovering the many hidden links, the rhizomatic connections that have constructed the complex power matrix controlling knowledge production and dissemination.

The Value of Tentative Knowledge. Perhaps not having complete or definitive knowledge or a precise understanding of the process of research is not the issue I perceive it to be. Knowledge is always in process and a part of larger processes, thus it is always changing (Kincheloe, 2001b). Because the connections between these processes are vast, bricoleurs must make determinations as to which processes and which knowledges to include in the discourse and how these processes interrelate. They must justify what they have left out as much as they are able (they can’t possibly find all of the connections), as well as justify what they have included. These justifications should be philosophically grounded in the sense that researchers fully uncover their thinking in relation to their positioning as well as consider other players in the web and how interactions with them influence the knowledge being produced. As Kincheloe (2001b) observed, “Although we appear to one another as single, bounded identities, we humans are socially superabsorbent—like humanoid Husky paper towels. This simply means that our consciousness is shaped by that with which we come into contact” (p. 205). This illuminates the importance of the element of criticality. Knowledge is socially constructed and political and that fact is continuously being used to shape our thinking by various entities.

Uncertainty and Elasticity: Introducing the 11-11 Phenomenon. I have briefly mentioned the 11-11 Phenomenon and how it’s connected to the Twin Flame Phenomenon in the discussion about Tarot cards and the Twin Tower disaster. Here, a demonstration of elasticity is provided. The concept of uncertainty along with elasticity applies to the knowledge we construct or realities we create, as well as to the processes we use to construct them. Again, returning to the idea that a metaphor for the bricolage is the process of life itself clarifies Kincheloe’s (2008c) explanation that we can continuously remake ourselves. “To me, one of the most exciting dimensions of being a critical theorist and engaging in a critical pedagogy entails opening ourselves up to a passionate imagination, where we constantly remake ourselves in light of new insights and understandings” he asserts (p. 250). The multidimensional critical complex bricolage expands the possibilities. Kincheloe’s advice for elasticity reminds me of the advice to not change your answer on a test if you were not sure of your answer; most often you are right. Our intuition, our inner knowing or immediate perception about something makes a particular impression and it is often noteworthy although we tend to pay less regard to it than “rational” thought. In bricolage it’s important to sometimes circumvent “rational thought” if the interpretation benefits by an intuitive approach. Related to this idea, Gloria Anzaldúa (1999) describes “la facultad,” which is “the capacity to see in surface phenomena the meaning of deeper realities, to see the deep structure below the surface. It is an instant ‘sensing,’ a quick perception arrived at without conscious reasoning” (p. 60). Thus, again, this confirms that first interpretations are often the most noteworthy for perceiving deeper meanings of phenomena. Too many times in my life, I’ve made the mistake of not paying attention to them.

A quick example of applying elasticity with intuition is provided by the process of analyzing the 11-11 phenomenon. The 11-11 phenomenon is the appearance of the numbers 11-11 frequently, such as noticing the time 11:11 on a digital clock, although there are infinite ways these numbers appear. There are various interpretations for seeing 11:11 frequently and they relate to the context within which they occur, for example, they are often interpreted as relating to one’s mission path. For my purposes, I will use the common occurrence of the phenomenon being associated with twin flame relationships because that is the context in which they appear for me. Thus, the date and time I was photographed with Joe the one and only day I met him (and the one and only photograph of us together), registered in my mind as 11:11 which signifies the Twin Flame reunion. I did not know about this phenomenon until many months after he had passed over, thus this analysis was made in retrospect during the process of this research. The actual date and time was 7/31/2008 2:42 PM PDT. How did this register in my mind as 11:11?  7/31 adds up to 11; 2+8 adds up to 10 which becomes 1 because the 0 is dropped; and then apparently my mind multiplied 2x4 to get 8 and then added the last 2 for 10 which is again 1; thus, 11:11. The principle of elasticity in the bricolage allows one to multiply in certain cases, such as in response to the colon which acts as a prompt, rather than follow some strict rule that requires only adding the numbers one particular way. In reality, this is how our minds work. Our subjectivities direct our interpretations, not rules, if we pay attention to our intuition. “Normally,” we have been taught not to pay attention to our intuition, but for these research purposes it takes on a new and significant role. Had I not taken that approach, the interpretation was still significant in that the result, if sticking with adding would have yielded 1118 which still represents the eternal twin flame reunion that requires more work; it is not yet complete (which is accurate). The number 8 represents infinity representing that the reunion never reaches some finite point because consciousness evolution continues for eternity. The final 1 and 8 could also be added, thus creating 119/911, which is the second most significant configuration of numbers that appear in my relationship with Joe, as will be discussed later.

Thus, it’s not that logic is left out of the equation. In studying how Kincheloe used hermeneutical elements in his work, I discovered he has used the colon as a signal to “do something different” or to think in a different way, similar to phenomenological bracketing. Thus, it becomes perfectly justifiable to use elastic methods and it becomes clear why intractable (the “I” in FIDUROD) methods are not appropriate. They limit understanding and restrict meaning. Interestingly, as further analysis shows, the “angel photo” I had taken of Kincheloe that day in which the light directly above his head resembles a halo (I call it his “angel” picture—or maybe it’s his “Eros” photo), the date and time add up to 11:11 without using an elastic clause. The time he had first walked in and we hugged that day was approximately 1 PM PST, thus 7-31-2008 1PM forms yet another configuration of 11:11, confirming the sacredness of our meeting. Three configurations of 11:11 on the one day of meeting him provide divine confirmation that it was a major life event along my path. Three, representing trinity has also appeared many times for various synchronistic signs and symbols as will be seen, and when three of the same “signs” appear then the “sign” has proven to be especially noteworthy. This is simply a trend I’ve noticed during this research. Often the same sign appears three times in a particular context.

Idiosyncratic Sacred Divination. The 11-11 phenomenon, as I mentioned became prominent in my research. It showed up in so many contexts and with such frequency it was far beyond coincidence. As a result, I began to establish the significance and meanings of the signs for myself as divine messages indicating that I was on the right path, my “Great Path,” or fulfilling my “Dharma.” I developed a process that allowed me even greater analytic insight and I discovered the primary purpose of the codes in my case was to facilitate communication at the implicate order of reality when it was not possible to communicate consciously. We can pick up on these messages and even communicate in code and not be consciously aware we are doing so and it may be that Twin Flame couples, for example, develop their own codes, but with certain common features. While some researchers may object to not having standardized procedures for reading these messages, this is incorrect from a critical epistemological perspective. Exact rules and procedures puts the power of divination into the hands of those who claim there is only one way to do it and that they are the experts. It gives them the “power.” This was observed in the analysis of Tarot card reading, but the same thing happens with numerology and other forms of divination. Unfortunately, some religions ban people from using divination, except for the “priestly class.” This does not work from my perspective because I believe as Kincheloe has theorized; we are all capable of reaching higher levels of consciousness and developing these skills. In addition, what I’ve come to learn is that people who do experience these signs and signals are all on their own learning paths with their own teachers, soul mates, and soul families. Thus, while there may be similarities in meanings with common divination systems among different people, there are differences—idiosyncrasies because of the differences between individuals who are communicating through these codes and the different contexts in which they receive the codes—again highlighting a need for elasticity for interpretation purposes.

Receiving sacred messages through codes is not new. According to Wikipedia (2012) there are many forms of divination that have been used for thousands of years. Diviners, similar to psychics or Tarot card readers give advice for actions based on interpretations of signs, symbols, events, omens, or through contact with a supernatural agent. Divination spans all cultures, but most forms tend to be standardized with set procedures and interpretations whereas I found flexibility and multiple interpretations yield more information. It is worthwhile to study forms of divination that are relevant to your own personal experiences and research, particularly as they make their appearance in your research. For example, I studied several different forms of numerology, including Gematria to help me translate the repeating codes I was encountering. I drew from all of them, keeping my interpretations flexible. This allowed me to construct several interpretations that were not conflicting, and the combination provided greater depth of meaning.

Some of the various divinations are oracles, scrying (e.g., crystal gazing), Ifá (West Africa), I Ching (Chinese), Geomancy (Greek method that interprets ground markings), Gematria and other forms of numerology, Astrology, and Tarot card readings. Depending upon how broadly one defines divination, the methods can expand to include many things, including psychic readings, dream analysis, fortune telling, prophecies, visions, and more. It is easy to conceive how we might, during our research process, develop unique systems of analysis, particularly for fourth dimension research. It would be a mistake, for example, to rely on instruction manuals for our dream interpretations. While the meanings of symbols in dreams may be helpful to a degree, we are our own best interpreters. Bricolage provides the means.

 

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Big Deal-Catch Up 
“As a child I wanted so desperately for magic to be real. I would work for hours collecting what I hoped were just the right combination of ingredients to make some type of magic potion that would provide me with special powers….I found such magic in words viewed in a postformal matrix and I observe and practice that magic everyday.” (Kincheloe, 2006, Reading, Writing, Thinking, p. 13)
 
 
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