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

Joe's Love: "The Gift of Power"

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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)

Joe’s Love: “The Gift of Power”

            It was surprising, almost startling, and at the same time, a very divine, comforting, and profound experience when three days after Joe’s death his powerfully strong spiritual energy returned to me, filling my entire being. I felt electrical. Blissful love energy traveled throughout my entire body and completely surrounded me like a warm, loving embrace. It far exceeded the kundalini experience discussed previously; the sensation literally encompassed my entire being. At the moment it happened I had instantaneously interpreted it as Joe having come back to me. I knew the feel of his energy. I was ecstatic. He was with me and it made me feel joyful and loved. That was how I had instantly interpreted the phenomenological experience when it occurred, even though I had never experienced anything like it and had no construct in my mind on which to attach the experience, other than the previous sensations of always sensing his energy and presence before he had passed away. It was because of those previous experiences that I recognized the feel of his energy and felt I knew him, but this was far more powerful. That it was not simply my imagination was confirmed to me whenever I walked toward my mother’s cat, filled with this loving, “Holy Spirit” (as some people describe their own experience with this phenomenon), the cat would move away from me. He sensed the spiritual energy, which apparently, cats and other animals are able to do, and knew there was something different about me. While it was a strange incident, it confirmed for me that I was not simply imagining his spiritual presence. And, in fact, everyone around me knew something about me had changed. My extended family did not want me around anymore and have since rejected me. In the spiritual circles people discuss that this happens frequently with biological families; if one person changes and, in particular, “vibrates” at a very high frequency, they are rejected (I don’t know how else to explain this). And often nothing can be done except to let go in order to avoid causing each other suffering due to the incompatibility.

            While I am not a religious person in a fundamentalist sense, I do believe there has to be some sort of omniscient God or Intelligence, and I find value in seeking wisdom from religious sources, especially since engaging in this research during which I seem to be led to relevant religious information. During the days I had attended church, of course, I learned about the “Holy Spirit” which is described as being God or Jesus, but the teachings were always so obfuscated and I had never experienced a sense of Holy Spirit, not even after being baptized. I had never heard anyone talk about it or describe it in terms beyond theoretical, so it had always been an abstract idea until this experience. This was very confusing, because I did not feel it was God, but that it was Joe who had returned to me and with him he brought his amazing love–love so powerful—beyond the typical human capacity to love.

Just a few days before finishing up edits on the first draft of this dissertation I found the Catholic explanation that the Holy Spirit is God and the Holy Spirit is a person (Salza, 2007). It is both. This made sense to me due to what I was experiencing and after having found descriptions of the Twin Flame reunion as comprised also of a union with God/Goddess to form a Holy Trinity, the three connected through the Holy Spirit. I am beginning to understand some of the amazing paradoxes that occur. John Salza explains that many verses in the scripture describe the dual nature of the Holy Spirit being a person and God, yet another strange paradox.

I had no words to describe my experience with this Holy Spirit and it was almost too unreal to acknowledge consciously at the time it had first happened. Thus, the next day, on December 23, 2008, I had simply recorded in my journal: “I felt Joe’s presence, finally, after feeling devastated and crying ever since I learned of his death. I felt his spiritual support, and I know what he wants me to do. . . . He wants me to take his work, and through my research, move it forward, disseminate the results to the public in a way they can apply it, use it, expand their knowledge, and gain greater power for confronting the status quo to make changes in the world that are more socially just.” At the time, I really didn’t even have words to describe the profundity of the experience, but was just very relieved to know that, in my mind, he was not dead after all and that he had returned to me. I felt like he had “chosen” me.

The reality of this unusual experience was further confirmed for me when many months later, I contacted a friend of Joe’s who has a more open worldview than the Western worldview. I had contacted him about a writing project he and Joe had been considering because I was hoping I would be able to pick up where Joe had left off. It was a project I felt passionate about following through with. Without having described any of my experiences, he somehow sensed it and surprised me by commenting, “There is something very spiritual going on here.” He suggested that I read the book, Gift of Power by Lame Deer. Whenever people make suggestions such as this, I interpret it as meaning I have just received special instructions from yet another Master Teacher on my path. Coincidentally, Joe mentions the same book in his last book. It seemed very important so I bought the book right away. The order was placed on August 17, 2010 more than a year and a half after Joe’s passing, and I was still struggling at that time with understanding what was happening to me. I mean, I knew what was happening. And it all made sense to me, but at the same time it was so outside FIDUROD that literally no one else could relate to me and people shunned me if I shared even a little about my experiences. Thus, I was wide open to learning about additional perspectives. Lame Deer (1992) describes his experience in the very first paragraph of the book:


As my father lay dying, he gripped my hand. I felt his power flowing into me until it filled my whole being. At that moment, my life changed altogether from what it had been. My future became something I could only partly sense, like looking at a distant mountain range half hidden in a blue haze. At that moment, the man I had been died, and a new man took his place. (p. 3)


Lame Deer describes throughout the book how his father’s spirit changed him and how he had inherited his father’s special gifts as a medicine man. I was amazed that I had experienced something so similar to what Lame Deer described and even more amazed that he had actually written about it. The only difference is that I have never felt that my old self had “died,” although it does seem that some of my family members came to see it that way. The way I perceive it is that I feel more alive than ever before. I have remembered who I am, where I came from, and what I’m here on this planet to do. On occasion the thought of “possession” that religions and popular culture depict in a negative manner had crossed my mind as I came across those thanatos perspectives during my research, but I knew if possession meant remembering who I really am and being me rather than who society had constructed me to be, and if it meant acquiring a whole range of new abilities and understandings, and most notably, if it meant experiencing a powerful love that is beyond description and a connection to Joe—then I wanted to be possessed. It was a free will decision. It was only after much more research that I finally came to understand it more clearly in a different light—as a Twin Flame reunion—which involves a spiritual alchemical process and is considered to be the highest and most divine love relationship possible. It should go without saying that these relationships take all configurations, but it just so happens that for me, it took the form of a traditional man/woman relationship, so that is my focus in this dissertation. More research is desperately needed; I hope more researchers see the open door.

            Thus, through Joe, his work, and much research to corroborate my experiences, I learned that people do not die in the way I had been led to believe all of my life. We have been taught a lie because we live in a world, as Kincheloe (2008c) had described, that consists of a false reality based on a thanatos that is embedded in psychology, science, education, religion, and literally every dimension of our earthly lives. We are constantly bombarded with images, music, movies, symbols, and horrific events such as wars, murders, despicable crimes against humanity that all reek of the influence of a satanic cult-like mentality. Death and evil snuff out love and life and it’s hardly even questioned. We are all a part of it in some way; we all contribute which is perhaps the hardest thing for most people to accept and may be what keeps so many fighting against change. Overcoming denial can be traumatic in itself. Overcoming fear is another challenge and the powers-that-be keep fear at the top of the chart to maintain “law and order.” This is the world that Joe contended needs to be counter-balanced with an Eros Love, spirit, and soul (Kincheloe, 2008c). Kincheloe was referring to Eros Love in its complete embodiment “as the great unifying force that preserves all life” (Marcuse, 1955, p. 27).

Thus, because I had interpreted that Joe had come back to me and it was a very real experience of his presence which I still feel today, I have concluded that when people die, they do not necessarily just go away; at least some people don’t, because he didn’t. I am not able to explain or speculate as to why there is a difference. Various religions and philosophies have explanations, again, which are interpretations, some of which will be presented in this study. However it’s explained his coming back to me and the sharing of his immense love and spiritual power was without a question, the greatest gift I have ever received. Before that time, my life has been one of struggle, poverty, suffering, and sacrifice. If Joe’s love and presence, along with connection to God/Great Spirit/the All is the reward, I would go through it all again. I truly believed it was a great gift of love from him, and perhaps he chose me because he knew how much I loved him, his work, and his mission. But, on the other hand, perhaps we had been working together all along. There is a subchapter in his last book that stood out for me in a very personal sense from the very first time I had read it: “Playing with the Queen of Hearts: The Joker Ain’t the Only Fool in FIDUROD” (Kincheloe, 2008c, p. 21).


The Profound Gift of Everyday Magic

Thus, much of my research during the past nearly four years has involved trying to understand these extraordinary phenomenological experiences, including the Divine gifts, the generous sharing of knowledge, and the delightful “Treasure Hunts” that seem to be handed down from Heaven. In my mind, it is Joe who continues to assist me with my spiritual growth, although I am aware of other teachers and soul family members as well. The two tasks, my transformation and this research, are so inextricably intertwined they cannot be separated. Likewise, I have been unable to disentangle myself (the researcher) from Joe (the subject of the research). There have been so many “signs” and “signals,” “coincidences” and “synchronicities,” lucid dreams, visions, and intuitive events that exceed anything I have experienced in my life and which are so far beyond a “rational” explanation that there is that profound sense of “undeniability” Miles and Huberman (1998) associate with qualitative research (p. 1). Even the most skeptical of people would be very hard pressed to say that it is all just my imagination or that I could have made this all up. On the other hand, people who have seen these synchronicities would view my experiences as “normal” and yet also profound and meaningful. For these people, the premise is that when we are ready to see these connections and the messages, we will. And the more we come to learn about the reality of these “miracles” and how they manifest, the more of them we see and/or create (Moss, 2009, 2010). According to Moss, we can create some of these synchronicities ourselves and I can understand how that’s possible, but that does not explain them all.

All we have to go on to explain these phenomena are interpretations and it can be enlightening to use Joe’s conceptualization of bricolage for pulling together more informed and more holistic interpretations. My view is that we cannot create reality in a bubble, even though that’s a common New Age metaphor. During the process of this research, I not only pulled together pieces to inform my understanding about spirituality and soul development, at the same time, it became an immensely transformative process of learning of Joe’s continuing existence— at least my perception of his continuing existence—his ability to aid me with my spiritual growth, serve as my Master Teacher in the higher realms, help me remember lifetimes we have shared in the past and the future, take me places in the higher realms, and then using bricolage to pull together all of the fragmented memories to make sense of it all. His bricolage process catalyzed fourth dimension research by which I am able access higher levels of knowledge in multiple ways (dreams, visions, intuition, telepathic, multiple layers of interpretation). For me, this was evidence that we all have the ability to expand consciousness and reach higher levels of cognition using this research process. In his writing, his contention is that even children can produce profound knowledge using bricolage.

Consciousness Evolution: Take Me Higher and Higher. Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex bricolage can be applied from a surface level interpretation of his work to an advanced, multidimensional level that incorporates fourth dimension research for people who have “psychic abilities.” As discussed earlier in relation to the Hermesian state of mind almost everyone has the ability to reach higher order thinking and states of consciousness quite easily and without meditation (Lachman, 2011). A recent study, “Taking the Spirits Seriously: Neo Shamanic and Contemporary Shamanic Healing in New Zealand” by Irene Dawne Sanson (2012) confirms this growing recognition. It seems more people are developing the abilities to communicate telepathically including with people residing in the astral realms as well as the higher realms. For example, Nancy Detweiler (2011a), who holds master’s degrees in Education and Divinity describes these rapid changes in consciousness taking place and says this trend will continue during 2012 and beyond. She describes how more people are gaining access to their intuitive abilities that put them in contact with higher dimensions. She defines the astral planes (or dimensions) as consisting of levels that “range from the very negative hellish regions to the very beautiful” (para 6). She explains that part of our “purification process” on the astral plane is to be of service to others. She cautions though, that the astral planes are also planes of illusion, and while there are helpful souls residing in the upper levels of the astral, it is the fifth dimension and beyond where no negativity exists and love is unconditional, however only focusing on the positive in our daily lives as some New Age ideologies demand creates imbalance (Detweiler, 2011b). She also describes encountering her Twin Flame in a vision of the fifth dimension. She contends that we all have Twin Flames and soul families with whom we will be rejoining as we move to the fifth dimension (level of consciousness). From my observations in spiritual communities and from reading the channeled messages posted, many people are connecting with the astrals rather than connecting to the higher realms. If the difference is between the illusion of the third and fourth dimensions versus remembering who we are so that we can reconnect with our soul families and one true love, as Detweiler contends, then Kincheloe’s work is important in that it can help us reach those higher states of consciousness to override illusion. We are multidimensional and, in a sense, we exist in multiple dimensions simultaneously. This may be a temporary condition related to cosmology, but my sense is that it’s important to know who we are, what we are here for and where we are going. While, theoretically the possibilities are infinite, from a practical standpoint, probabilities are not. What I have found is that it’s the personally relevant signs, symbols, and synchronicities—the “messages from the gods” and those typically “unseen” dimensions that have guided me on my individual path. There are always choices but those choices often wind back to the same place. While Kincheloe had multiple meanings for his use of the term multidimensional, learning outside the “normal” five senses is an important component.  He discusses the importance of not restricting our research to only that which we can sense with our five senses. Goswami (2001) contends that we will be able to take better note of the phenomena we can handle for research purposes once we found science on the primacy of consciousness. The phenomenological experiences I have had have been outside the “normal” experiences of most people, outside of the five senses. Quantitative, positivistic sciences or even phenomenology and other qualitative approaches, alone, can’t adequately address what these experiences might represent, thus hermeneutics and interpretation and presenting various perspectives using multiple methods and discourse analysis, the processes Kincheloe has incorporated into his bricolage are essential. As Einstein and Kincheloe both have observed, the more perspectives we have, the better our understanding and the stronger our theory. Kincheloe (2008c) states:


The more perspectives we make use of, the more we understand the connections between the knower and the known and the socio-cultural, political economic forces that shape the knower, the more relevant research methodologies we employ, the more of our human abilities we employ, the better off we are. Using these resources we come to understand the ways that diverse contexts have shaped the phenomena we’re studying. (pp. 67–68)


In this way we can come to better understand a phenomenon, even if we still may not have it completely “right.” For example, my interpretation of being connected to Joe across dimensions is right for me from my current understanding and it aligns with his theory as well as quantum physics, autopoieses, enactive, chaos and complexity theories, and Ageless Wisdom cross-culturally that provide for the reality of these connections. The magic in my life has led me to perceiving everyday “reality” that is limited to perception with our five senses as less real and I am left with the desire to stretch my consciousness further to perceive more. What more magic can I experience in my life as I evolve my consciousness to higher levels? We need Kincheloe’s proposed “science of complexity” to study perceptions and interpretations for greater understanding of this process of consciousness evolution. It is not simply imagination.

“Red Roses for a Blue Lady.” I cannot simply imagine, for example, that a red rosebush grew up midst my yellow rosebush. As many years as I have grown roses I have never seen a completely different rosebush grow up within an existing rosebush, intertwining with it as happened for me in 2011. How could that be? I like to interpret it as a very special gift from Joe due to the “synchronistic” circumstances that surrounded its occurrence. Other people can perceive easily enough with their eyes that yes, there is a red rosebush growing with the yellow one that had not been there previously. I did not plant it and it grew up from totally undisturbed soil. The facts in this case are the facts, which photographs depict because I had taken pictures of them each year after planting the yellow rosebushes in 2009.

I had planted four yellow rosebushes in Joe’s memory, and had even dedicated the first yellow rose to him on Father’s Day 2009 with a special poem I wrote for him. And then in 2011, the rosebushes had died due to the landscape maintenance crew putting too much poison around them to kill the weeds, and chopping the rose bushes off instead of properly pruning them.

I became very upset. They were such sacred roses that I cried and ended up canceling the lawn service. Miraculously, the rosebushes (all but one) managed to come back to life. When the yellow rose bush next to my porch grew back, a red rosebush magically grew up through the center of it, intertwining with the yellow one. They are not even the same kind of roses.

All I had done was water them. And so, since I had already been referring to Joe as “Eros, the God of Love” because of his great love while he had been here, as well as for having written so often of Eros in his work, and his great love that I could still sense, I had interpreted that he was the magic behind not only the return of the yellow roses, but the extra gift of the red roses—a love gift for “Psyche” to alleviate my emotional distress over having lost the roses.

Humorously, as I have mentioned, my name, Vanessa, meaning “butterfly” translates to the name “Psyche.” I had already written many “mystories” about “Eros and Psyche” and this one about the roses was especially magical. In the original story of Eros and Psyche, Eros was known to love roses and provide Psyche with rose gardens and still today, the saga of the roses continues, too long a story to include here. Symbolically, yellow roses represent wisdom, spiritual power and joy, while red roses symbolize love; the more red roses, the more powerful is the love and I was gifted with an infinite supply of red roses. As I reviewed my data during this study, I have discovered there has been much magic centering on the roses I had planted in Joe’s memory.

And I was not the only person who saw the Eros in Joe. As Philip Anderson (2011) writes, “We need to push back the night of thanatos with our brilliant talk, our familial songs, and the music of life that is the joy of Eros. . . .that was the experience of Joe L. Kincheloe” (p. 30). That joy seems to still live on. 



Roses for Psyche from EROS

Figure 1. The Gift of Roses from Eros (June, 2011)


The “Grander Purpose” of Bricoleurs: Is it Magic? How do we come to understand better what’s happening behind this type of phenomena? Are we truly all connected and is love, Eros, the source? God? Einstein (1931/2009) had recognized that geniuses are distinguished by a sort of cosmic religion “which recognizes neither dogma nor God made in man’s image” (p. 49). I in no way claim to be a genius, but Joe was, and this interpretation by Einstein, one of Joe’s favorite geniuses, is how I have come to view God/Great Spirit during the process of this research, and it is my perceived connection to Joe that has brought me to that perspective. If Joe is working from some higher dimension and I am his messenger—and I am well aware that he has many more messengers—then in my interpretation, he is still doing profound work from where he is in order to get his point across about Eros as a counterpoise to thanatos. What a beautiful metaphor he has provided with all of the gifts he’s handed down to me. I have not yet begun to describe the magic and can only touch on some of the more significant experiences in relation to the bricolage for this dissertation. The rest have some grander purpose, I’m sure. This reminds me of his overarching definition of bricolage. It is the second part of his definition which many people seem to miss. He writes:

Yvonna Lincoln (2001) delineates two types of bricoleurs: those who are committed to research eclectism, allowing circumstances to shape the methods employed and those who want to engage in the genealogy/archeology of the disciplines with some grander purpose in mind. My purpose entails both of Lincoln’s articulations of the role of bricoleur. (Kincheloe, 2004a, p. 3)


Kincheloe speaks of magic throughout his work. As a young child he had wanted to create magic and his passionate desire transferred to his love of words, writing, and the magic he learned to create hermeneutically combining them in creative and powerful ways. He, indeed, had a grander purpose in mind, The Great Work, perhaps, that leads to the elusive Golden Chalice for knowledge production. Does his bricolage lead the way?

Is This Our Dharma Project? These profound and continuing experiences are so numerous I am not able to provide any sort of meaningful quantification (and would not want to quantify the highly spiritual and divine gifts of love I receive each and every day, anyway). The gifts correspond to a promise Joe had sent me in messages back when I was so very fearful that he was not going to be in the world much longer (a fear he had picked up on because nothing could be hidden from him): He had signed off with “Strawberry fields forever, J[oe].” And in another message he wrote “Evolvingly Yours, Joe” I was still very much asleep, and I needed to be, it seems due to the circumstances. Still, subconsciously, I received his messages.

How do we come to understand magical gifts of roses on a more scientific basis, albeit a radically new conceptualization of science from what we now understand? This is ultimately where Kincheloe was headed with his work, and from the day he left this planet, I somehow “knew” that keeping extensive and accurate data was important for what he was after. As asleep as I still was at that time, I felt that my role was somewhat like being a “guinea pig,” and that I would come out of the closet to show that Joe and I truly are connected, always have been connected, and that death is an illusion—or at the very least—eternal life is within reach of us all and we have more power than we realize to form the quality of that life. We do not need to keep spinning wheels. It really did seem that Joe and I were working together on some grand scheme, a Dharma Project. Thus, I could use all of my data to show that we really can communicate with those on the other side of the curtain; of course many people have already shown that and there is something more to this project that I do not yet fully understand. I also sensed that this was related to knowledge that was kept from the populous, that “dangerous knowledge” he repeatedly mentioned in his books, which I have yet to fully understand. Nevertheless, I willingly accepted the role to take Joe’s work to a new level of application—to be the one to put these experiences on the table no matter the risk to my future career in education and no matter the risk of being called “crazy.” I had felt totally alienated from the beginning, in fact I have felt that way most of my life and in almost every social setting I’ve been in. Thus, I came to feel that I had nothing to lose. Nothing in this material world mattered much to me anymore, aside from the divine gifts that kept coming my way from the cosmos and the need to keep a roof over my family’s head. I also felt immense anger over education and how a small elite group must control everything, how they have rules for us that I never seem to be able to even see much less follow, how I’ve been taught so many lies, and how much knowledge has been hidden. I felt anger over how some people have no qualms about destroying someone else’s hard labor of love if it doesn’t happen to fit their agenda for fame and fortune. And I’m speaking in all realms of my life in every career I’ve worked in and from what I observe overall. It has always been this way. I felt extreme grief over Joe having to leave the world before being able to take his work to the next level as he had really wanted. And I felt an intense, deep soul love for Joe that has only continued to grow. I would do anything for him but I also know he is the purest of unconditional love and he never requires anything of me at all.

I Love Strawberries! How do we get there? How can we make those “rhizomatic” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” types of connections with people? How can we make those connections with people and entities in other dimensions or with loved ones who have crossed over to the other side? The concept, rhizome, based on the philosophical thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (1980) provides a useful model for these mysterious and often hidden phenomena I’ve been discussing. In his last book, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, Kincheloe (2008c) expressed this concept with his metaphoric use of “Strawberry Fields,” referencing the Beatles song, thus providing additional depth, insight, and an emotional connection. I loved his metaphor and after reading the book, I sent him an email to praise him for the book, writing “I love strawberries!” in the subject line.

 There are multidimensional meanings, obviously, and in his return email he expresses his recognition of my fear of being separated from him, reassuring me that we would never be separated by referring to the song’s lyrics. By one interpretation, he could have been expressing his frustration over not being understood by people around him: “No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be too high or low. . .” as the lyrics of the song goes; however, “that is, I think it’s not too bad,” he had told me, signing off with “Strawberry fields forever, J.” (personal communication, September 30, 2008, 8:09 AM). By another interpretation he was also letting me know that our future telepathic communications would sometimes be “off the mark,” our vibrations will fluctuate, sometimes being too high or too low. Phenomenologically, this is what I experience. Sometimes I feel more distant from him as if we are not connecting as well as other times. I have come to learn it’s me, not him. The only time it happens is when I feel stressed, which is only when I get worried about money. Being sad and crying, does not weaken the connection.  Mostly we are “right on target,” another phrase he had often posted to me during our online conversations, even making a joke about it because he had said it so many times.

This rhizomatic metaphor is also used both in relation to knowledge production and as a model for society.  Recognized and incorporated are “trans-species” (alien?) connections as “multiplicities” defined as a unity which is multiple in itself, similar to the Twin Flame phenomenon in which the couple form a unity, but are two entities (maybe even trans-species as represented in stories of Eros, a “god with wings” and Psyche, an “earthling”). In terms of social systems, “the rhizome presents history and culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a ‘rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.’ The planar movement of the rhizome resists chronology and organization, instead favoring a nomadic system of growth and propagation” (Wikipedia, 2012, “Rhizome”). Thus, rhizomatic connections form a descriptive metaphor for a bricolage which recognizes multiple levels or dimensions, multiple entry and exit points, and multiple interpretations. There are many nonlinear, nonhierarchical pathways for the research and knowledge production process and the connections between entities that occur during that process. Again, it represents a natural, improvisational, and autopoietic approach to research that stretches in all directions and all levels and beyond our perceived dimensions.

It is, however, challenging work requiring conscious reconstruction of knowledge and accessing portions of our minds we have been denied since having been educated “out of our minds.” I love how Einstein brought this issue back to our collective conscious awareness, when he stated, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant but has forgotten the gift.” With Kincheloe’s bricolage process he has literally returned “The Gift” but he has done so in a way that still honors the servant. We all have available higher orders of cognition, a higher consciousness that for most of us has been shut off due to our education, programming, and social conditioning. But there is no denying there is work involved, thus highlighting the importance of rigor in the bricolage. And there is always the risk of people using their knowledge in ways that are not good for the world. With the ingredients of love and passion that Kincheloe has injected into bricolage, and which ultimately lead us on a pathway to compassion, we can keep on the “right” path, the Dharma Path, as some of the wisdom knowledges describe it. We are never alone, however, and always have the most loving assistance from the “gods” and “masters,” according to my interpretation and experiences applying Kincheloe’s rhizomatic philosophy. In fact it has been very interesting to see teachers join me during this process exactly when they are needed with just the right knowledge to push me along the journey. And Kincheloe, himself, has been holding my hand the entire distance.

Thus, the complex task before me is how to describe my personal experiences of connections that transcend Western constructions of “normal” in a way that represents them adequately, without losing the core phenomenology, and in a way that people who may not have had the experiences can understand them. This requires drawing from a multitude of perspectives that look upon these experiences through different windows and using various narrative techniques as described previously—and more. The multidimensional critical complex bricolage opens up possibilities rather than collapses them, which is in contrast to most forms of research that tend to collapse data into categories. The elastic clause Kincheloe has specified is always in effect and the “final analysis” is never the final analysis. As a dedicated lifetime bricoleur, my research continues as I seek more data, more knowledge, and more understanding. Perhaps it will be shown as Kincheloe has contended all along—that this research is an idiosyncratic, complex, and subjective process, but knowledge is, indeed, constructed during the process through the iterative processes that occur between research and writing. During this process, we gain our freedom as we gain greater understanding of ourselves as human beings.

Joe Kincheloe’s Bricolage: Passionate Multidimensional Living. During this research I have experienced much the same lack of clarity that Lame Deer (1992) had described in the excerpt I provided earlier in which he conveys that he could see the mountain in front of him, but it was hazy and partially covered. Options always stay open; I just go with the flow as I engage in the bricolage process and as I engage in my life. Perhaps a good metaphor for the multidimensional critical complex bricolage is life, maybe even eternal life that has no past, present or future. Eros would have to be added to the equation: bricoleurs allow the life energy of Eros Love (Spirit) to flow through us as we take an improvisational approach to life and live in each moment as our moments expand into multiple realities. Eros is like a sort of steering mechanism for those who like to think in mechanistic terms. Wait, that doesn’t work for me. I like to believe I have united in oneness with the one true Eros. This person I communicate with actually tells me he is Eros so either he is or he is just playing me for a “fool of the gods.” I don’t believe he would play me for a fool but on the other hand, I thrive with uncertainty. Could it be possible? Could we be a new twenty-first century version of Eros and Psyche? Will Eros transform me, Psyche, a mere earthling, into a goddess? According to Kincheloe (2008c) if we can think something up we can create it. Something tells me I should have been having this much fun in my life a lot sooner.

Kincheloe also promotes the power and magic of words for manifesting our creations. He explains, “As a critical discourse, the bricolage always considers the normative dimension of what should be as well as what is. When immanence (what should be) is added to the complex dynamics surrounding decision-making and interpretation in the realm of research, bricoleurs move to yet a higher domain of complexity” (Kincheloe, 2004c, p. 34). Critical analytic discourse helps move bricoleurs to that higher domain.

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“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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