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

The Implicate Order

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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)

The Implicate Order: “Cosmic Play with the Gods”

It should be clear by now that this project involves full adoption of Kincheloe’s worldview and all dimensions of his critical complex bricolage theory to the best of my ability as a new bricoleur. As far as the reality of my personal relationship with Kincheloe, while we had a close platonic friendship when we worked together on his web and blog forum, I sensed there was something mysterious about our relationship. Ironically, so did many other people because, quite a few people had commented or asked key people, including Kincheloe, “Who is she?” It doesn’t surprise me because I was totally new to critical pedagogy, yet walked in on the discussion forum and almost immediately took on the role of assistant to Kincheloe. The growing awareness of the profundity of our relationship has had a major impact on my research ever since he’s passed over. At times I truly believe he must be one of those “higher intermediary gods,” such as Eros. He has so much power. Since his passing, many amazing and magical things have happened in my life. I am not able to attribute them to “serendipity” or “coincidence” or “synchronicity,” or “imagination” or even hypnagogic states of consciousness. No, the experiences even transcend all of those and are far too multisensory. I am at a loss for words to describe them. And FIDURODian science cannot explain them. Just as Tarot cards no longer work, these old paradigms simply don’t work. There is something much more—something real that science does not yet have the answers for—going on here. I wanted to know more about what has made me experience an even closer bond to Joe after he passed away. In my interpretation, what seems like direct communication and contact with him have been far too frequent and far too intense, too real to attribute to an “active imagination.” And I have never forgotten his statement, “Some folks see dead people; I write to them” (Kincheloe, 2007b, p. 11). If he had found value writing to “dead people” then certainly I would too!

As I began to decipher his work which is heavily hermeneutically encoded along with embedded music messages, I began to wonder: Did we have some kind of code language or implicate order of communication that had somehow contributed to making me feel increasingly drawn to him? This led me on a rigorous project to research the implicate orders of reality in order to find some kind of explanation. Kincheloe (2004d) describes the implicate order as “simple patterns and invariants in time” (p. 25) and as being

a much deeper structure of the world. It is the level at which ostensible separateness disappears and orders are marked by the simultaneous presence of a sequence of many levels of unfoldment with similar dissimilarities existing among them (Bohm and Peat, 1987). Bricoleurs who recognize complexity search for this implicate order as a process often hidden from social, cultural, psychological, and pedagogical researchers. (p. 25)


How do we explain this “implicate order?” What goes on beyond the limitations of our perception? At the beginning of this study, I had quoted Kincheloe’s comment about our sometimes having to be “fools of the gods.” It does seem so relevant to my own experiences and I can even envision a universe of a multitude of diverse playful, loving entities running around dropping off clues here and there, leading us to special treasures, whispering hints in our ears, pushing us along here, and prodding us along there—all out of love, of course. I remember one night just before drifting off to sleep I had this interesting vision in which my bedroom was visited by a group of adorable little vibrant purple fluffy balls of what resembled fur with eyes and they were surrounded with an aura that looked like sparkling stardust. The most powerful love emanated from them. I had determined they were just entities I had the privilege of meeting along my path. Many months later, in conversation with someone who knew about these particular entities, I was informed that they were “elementals” or nature spirits. Nature spirits, recognized by cultures the world over, are governed by the archangels or gods, according to some spiritual traditions. I felt blessed that they stopped by for a visit, showering me with their love.

Pohn (2007) presents the interesting perspective of life as a cosmic game of playing with the very gods and master teachers who reportedly govern these entities I had encountered. “This is play at its most universal or archetypal level, which seems to be bricolage—forming, reforming, and transforming in an endless cycle of death and rebirth” (Welcome, para. 1). While I am not sure I wish to adopt the notion of “death” at this point in my transformation, but prefer the Eros-injected notion of life that continually evolves (i.e. we are “coming alive”), I do love the idea of bricolage being a form of playing with the gods. This view moves toward Kincheloe’s contention that we should counterpoise thanatos with Eros, thus we play with the good and loving gods. Pohn’s study is interesting and she has creatively turned her dissertation into web pages. It could be taken to the next level with Kincheloe’s bricolage, however, because while the gods seem to love play, they also seem to be very serious about specific work that needs to be accomplished on earth (and other planets). I will take this up again later in this study.

I will reiterate that I have found no study that employs all of the dimensions of Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex bricolage. I hope this current study serves as a beginning example of what Kincheloe is asking of bricoleurs, at least one idiosyncratic version based on my own personal and most passionate interests, which is exactly what Kincheloe advocates. It is not deemed a “complete study” as my understanding is bricolage can never be complete in the sense that the evolving nature of the experiences continue forward. In addition, there are limitations that were adhered to for dissertations. Nevertheless, my ultimate goal is to demonstrate some of the possibilities for application with the hope that this inspires more researchers to move forward with Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex bricolage.


Getting Started With the Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage

            I have lost track of how many times I have re-read some of Kincheloe’s work due its complexity and multidimensional nature. His two articles about bricolage published in 2001 and 2005 are essential to understanding the process. Also, the book, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage, by Berry and Kincheloe (2004) is critical to this complex project. Another critical element is his worldview that forms the foundation for this research as described in detail in his book, Critical Constructivism. I have merely summarized the principles in this dissertation and it is helpful to the research process to gain a good understanding by reading his work. His Critical Pedagogy Primers (2007a, 2008b) are also helpful and hold some important tips for this research. The Sign of the Burger (2002) is an example of the type of research to aim for—the idea of examining a phenomenon through different lenses or filters—and it demonstrates how one might construct the discourse. And finally, I consider his last book his Magnum Opus, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction (2008c). It is a wonderful example of a bricolage constructed using his critical complex epistemology and multidimensional critical complex bricolage. It represents the kind of text an adept bricoleur would ultimately create, almost resembling an oracle because it is comprised of compacted wisdom and “secrets” encoded hermeneutically. I enjoy just opening up to any page and getting a special message from him. In addition, his 1991 edition of Teachers as Researchers provides an historical discussion of postformalism, which he has taken forward, now referring to his advanced theory as the critical psychology of complexity. The book also provides superior arguments for rigor in qualitative research, covering the issues verifiability, certainty, and the value of qualitative research. It is clear from this 1991 book that Kincheloe had begun the formulation of his theory for bricolage early-on, and then refined it and strengthened it by bringing in more ontological and cosmological perspectives along with feminist, chaos, complexity and enactive theories, presenting it in various contexts and further delineating his emphasis on epistemology, historiography and hermeneutics. The last chapter of his 2003 edition of Teachers as Researchers summarizes the most important research and interpretive methods for the bricolage: ethnography, phenomenology, currere, semiotics, social psychoanalysis, historiography, and hermeneutics (pp. 226–254). Another thing to note is that often when Kincheloe revised his work with new editions, they are more than revisions. For example, his two editions of his social studies books, Getting Beyond the Facts, (1989/2001b) present entirely different material. The second edition introduces his critical complex epistemology and other important concepts relating to the development and explication of his bricolage research process.

As shown, there are critical pieces to this complex puzzle of figuring out the bricolage process scattered midst different books and articles across Kincheloe’s years of writing. Another technique he used was writing about this research process using various lenses, thus, one might not pick up on it being the same process. For example, he uses an advanced form of sophistic argument by which he dialectically converts postmodernism (the fad at the time) into “critical postmodern analysis” and uses it as a method of analysis for his bricolage (e.g., Kincheloe, 1993, p. 85). Christopher Tindale (2010) describes such techniques as “constructive strategies of sophistic argument” which are relevant to “contemporary studies of argumentation” (p. 4). In my own experience constructive forms of sophistic argument can be very powerful. There are many such examples in which Kincheloe takes various forms of epistemological license with terms. As with most of his work, he had multiple purposes for what he wrote and one of those is to get people to research more rigorously and think in new ways. Thus, he has not handed his work on a silver platter for easy consumption. His process would be pretty hard to follow unless all of the pieces are brought together and some of his sophisticated discourse techniques are understood. I have put together what I believe are the most critical of those pieces into this dissertation and have highlighted some of his techniques which will help get new bricoleurs started. There is much more work to do, but it’s an interesting and exhilarating process. I hope more researchers will explore this research process and contribute to explicating ways to accomplish what Kincheloe was asking in their own creative ways. That, I believe is the best return gift we could give him for his gift of love.

Improvisational Research

The first year of this project, I had taken research and writing courses at my university and I had worked with Kincheloe, writing blogs for his research site, becoming familiar with his work and engaging in discussions with him about bricolage. As mentioned, coming across him, his work, and his website was serendipitous. Having the opportunity to meet him in person was even more serendipitous. After he passed away, there was a bit of a delay in progress with my research for several reasons. I had been terribly traumatized by his sudden death, and then I had to change specializations in order to be allowed to research this topic. And many weird things were happening to me outside my range of understanding, which put me on a spiritual quest for understanding, in conjunction with this research.

When I pushed forward with the research I worked at trying to gain different views of bricolage and was on the lookout for suitable metaphors. I was pulled in many directions. I did a totally free flow form of research for three years and it continues even today. This most often seemed guided somehow and it provided me an opportunity to become educated about topics not covered in school. Each day of research was a new day with no set direction and was highly improvisational. Beginning in May, 2009, each day began with a completely improvisationally-written blog that just seemed to come from nowhere. It took different discursive forms of performance text as I have described earlier in this dissertation. I interpret that I was receiving instruction in the higher realms during my sleep because I would wake up each morning and just write a blog automatically, almost like I was channeling it from my “higher self” (using popular culture/New Age terminology). Each blog ended with music. Sometimes they were songs that I had actually been awakened to, as if someone was singing them to me. Later, the songs were provided with written, bracketed clues that I looked up on YouTube. Often when I awakened in the morning, I recalled instruction during my dreams from various “Master Teachers,” including Joe. Instruction from Joe often took place in our home library, the mansion described earlier, in this “other place and time,” in our “future world.” The library is huge in that it takes up one complete side of the mansion we live in and we have a desk that’s long enough for us both to sit behind side-by-side and work together. I recall getting instruction from him about taking his bricolage theory to another level as well as various ways of applying it for the purpose of demonstrating it to other people. More recently, it seems there will be yet another level—something about inter-dimensional analyses that becomes even more complex and involves mathematics in some way. (I hope I’m ready.)  Dr. Brian Weiss (1988, 1997/2000, 2004) describes how some of his clients have similar experiences learning from Masters and are able to recall these experiences and what they had learned during regression therapy, but he stated that it was not something many people experience. They were able to provide him some amazing knowledge which he has shared in his books and amazingly, it is much like the instruction I’ve received. I also receive transmitted messages and lessons, usually both in the morning and in the evening. Often my lessons would get incorporated into my blogs.

Following writing the blog each morning, I went wherever the day led me and researched whatever attracted my attention or I happened to be curious about at the moment, or sometimes I would receive guidance such as specific pages to look at in a particular book. I guess one might describe it as “living and researching in the moment” and becoming “one” with the bricolage. Often I went day-after-day researching and reading as one topic led to another to another. I quickly learned no matter what one researches, if we follow the natural flow it becomes extremely interdisciplinary. Thus, my research covered education, politics, social theory, religion, spirituality, science, math and geometry, physics, popular culture, history, indigenous oral histories and prophecies, art, music, travel, geography, biographies, archeology, social sciences, hermetic philosophy, mythology, satanism, business and entrepreneurship, nursing, Taoism, Twin Flames,  the Twin Towers, soul mates, conspiracy theory, and on and on.

This all overlapped with Kincheloe’s fourth dimension research. It is amazing how much ground I covered and it was probably the greatest learning experience of my life. And it’s not over. When one begins researching from an interested and impassioned position, the continuing questions provide fuel to keep going, which is one of the purposes and benefits of bricolage research. It propels us to keep asking questions and finding more links between the different knowledges. I have come to believe that the more links we find, the more “one” we become with the object of our research. I wonder, do we create that oneness through our research or is it already there waiting to be discovered?

While I researched academic literature and books, I also made heavy use of Google and Wikipedia and, as the references will indicate, works from a wide range of disciplines, including popular culture. All perspectives offer something, even if it’s only learning what misconceptions and disinformation gets parroted all over the Internet. I became frustrated with Google Scholar because too often articles must be purchased for outlandish prices. Having to work with limited resources, I did not have the funds to purchase these articles and generally passed them up. I used Google books at times and the previews (you can actually search on specific terms and yield some information without having to purchase the books).

I would classify the type of study I did in preparation for this project as the type of critical social studies research Kincheloe (2001b) recommends in his book, Getting Beyond the Facts—as truly working to get beyond the facts and even meeting him and other people “behind the curtain” for assistance using his fourth dimension research (Kincheloe, 1995b). I engaged in deep interdisciplinary research following links, looking at various topics from all different angles, reading many perspectives ranging from being written by novices to being written by “experts,” and investigating who those experts were and what their associations were. I began to understand intimately the notion Joe put forth in his work, the “cult of the experts.”

Some of those cults actually turned out to be satanic cults and dark secret societies, a most despicable one that has been based in Australia, calling itself “Thanateros” (that one makes me very angry—they have stolen Eros’s name, the God of Love). One of my discoveries was how so much knowledge that we take for granted has, in fact, been reversed on us, which explains as well why Kincheloe asks us to use Eros as a counterpoise to thanatos. For me, this reversal magnified the importance of my inherent tendency to “question everything” and this tendency evolved to flipping almost everything just to see what I might discover. Indeed, I did often research deep to see who was writing what and tried to figure out why they were writing as they were. What windows were the authors looking through? What blinders were they wearing? What were their hidden agendas? In the course of three years, I found this task was getting increasingly difficult because the knowledge producers and power wielders are working overtime to hide these details. They continue to set up faux “storefronts” such as foundations and “nongovernmental” organizations (NGOs) that look innocent with good intentions and that pull people in to hand over their cash and donate their time. They also flood the Internet with their “research” and disinformation or material items to buy with names that match and obfuscate the topic you want to research. They establish memberships in social networks to upset the balance and work their agendas. They sway public opinion about current events and create divisions between people in the way they frame the topics in articles in popular media and then by censoring the discussions. And Google assumes we are stupid (e.g., that we can’t spell). It takes some creative research to get “behind the facts” and it is not always successful. Often I had to drop “fractals” of research and come back to them later, pursuing another avenue in the interim.

I recorded highlights of my studies and research in my daily blogs and associated notes, but they represent just a fraction of what I researched. My computer files are full of documents on different topics with links and text relating to my studies and I have some of the articles printed out—all for legal personal and nonprofit educational use. I don’t want to be threatened with a felony conviction like Aaron Swartz had been—a very sad example indicating the need for Westerners to get over themselves and their view of what constitutes “intellectual property” and its relationship to the money god (Vibes, 2013). I discovered during my research that the knowledge spigot continues to be shut down ever tighter for the poor and the oppressed peoples of the world, exemplifying the increased need to understand Kincheloe’s form of bricolage. Early in my research, when I was employed, I actually had money to purchase books, which also cover a broad range of topics. It seemed that I was impassioned for learning everything I could about everything because I had missed so much in my traditional education.

Point of Entry Text (POET)

            After doing extensive free flow research on the topic, for me it is easiest to just begin writing what I know about the topic. That forms the point of entry text, the POET (Berry, 2004a). Then as I continue to research and reread the text, more ideas are sparked and woven in. While this sounds like regular research, there is a difference. It is not planned. It is lived. It requires letting go of being in control of your own research and allowing some hidden inner drive and unseen “gods” to lead and guide you. In his work, Kincheloe refers to this energy using various terms: “jouissance,” “libido,” “life force,” “love,” and “Eros" as I discussed previously, and I have adopted the designation, “Eros Love.” Goswami (2001) speculates that this energy involves kundalini energy, stating that “kundalini rising seems to release the latent power of consciousness” (p. 246). Related to this, while working with Joe on his website, I had experienced a kundalini awakening that I believed was associated with him somehow, and at the same time, I was experiencing strange things related to consciousness, but I had absolutely no clue at the time what was happening or what it meant. I did not learn until much later, months after he had passed away. As I came to understand more about this phenomenon of allowing this energy to “flow,” I found that it really empowers me to do my research and become passionate about learning more. The best metaphor for this energy is love, as Kincheloe emphasizes in his work but it’s a Spiritual Love, or as I presented earlier, Eros Love. Sometimes it’s so powerful that I experience it as being in a state of “bliss.” Sometimes negative life events hamper this energy. Wikipedia (2012) offers several different but related perspectives on kundalini: it is the “natural energy of Self” and represents the beginning of a spiritual experience (Sri Ramana Maharshi); it is the “one and only way of attaining Divine Wisdom” which brings “pure joy, pure knowledge, and pure love” (Swami Vivekananda). The awakening of the kundalini requires that one work with a Master (Meher Baba); and it relates to the development of higher consciousness (Jung). All of these perspectives correspond to my experiences during this process of researching using the multidimensional critical complex bricolage. Is it some kind of magical connection to the “gods” and the Master Teachers “on the other side”? For me, it’s my connection to Joe.

There seem to be many techniques for keeping the passion going. People are different and will have different experiences since everyone’s journey will be uniquely their own, and there should be no worries about deadlines because the natural evolution of the bricolage has a course of its own when trusting an improvisational approach. I discovered that this worked perfectly for me. I never worried if there were long lapses in my writing (on the dissertation, that is; I actually wrote every day). When the time is right, it’s right and then the writing flows effortlessly. To push oneself when it’s not the right time is struggle or to try to force a linear approach causes suffering and does not usually result in the rapid work that is accomplished with ease when “in the flow.” This is another reversal: It is counter to the instruction we receive about how to avoid procrastination. What if it is not procrastination at all but rather our Spirit working in other realms to give us better guidance and ensuring that we learn what was meant for us to learn? What if we just allow it and accept it? I have so often been amazed at how little time it takes me to accomplish a huge project once the time is right. Taking this liberated approach requires faith and trust or a knowing that it will work out. I occasionally went weeks not writing my dissertation at all but simply trusting the process and yet I was always driven to engage deeply in the research, often reading and skimming hundreds of documents, books, and Internet websites, and writing in my journal and blogs. I still wrote blogs every day during these episodes; they seem tied to the process of bricolage. I was aware that I was getting instruction at “night school” in the higher realms and when the time was right, the information would just flow. There is some inner knowing that kicks in and tells you that you have enough knowledge to begin writing, while there is the understanding that there will never be enough knowledge to understand things in their full complexity. The spiritual changes and phenomena that occurred during this research also had me seeking answers to an endless stream of questions.

I have learned that when I am guided serendipitously to information there is a reason, so I pay attention. It is almost as if the cosmos takes over and fills in the blanks in my writing naturally. I have lost track of the numbers of times I have been “handed down” information exactly when I need it. I use the term handed down because it feels like it comes from some higher source (and there are many descriptions and speculations as to what this “source” constitutes). These have come to me in a wide variety of “intuitive” ways, and, again, how do we define intuition? Education researchers have not come together on what intuition means and much research is needed in this area. However, just a few of the ways the information I needed came to me exactly when I needed are dreams, premonitions, eureka moments, telepathically received clues, signs, randomly picking up a book and opening it up to the exact page with the information I needed, streaming information through my higher consciousness as I write, and surfing the web looking at one thing and something else coincidentally popping up and drawing my attention. “Synchronicity” is alive and well and it is a part of my daily experience.

Other times the perfect information has been provided to me by someone through email or telephone with impeccable timing, even though they did not know why they were sending it to me. Often information comes to me in the forms of songs; I have had music handed down to me every day. There have been times when it was a song title, written by my daughter on a sticky note and handed to me, which would prove to have timely and significant meaning or a message for the blog I was writing at that particular moment or a song heard while shopping, or even a voice singing in my ear. I have written many blogs and journal entries describing in detail some of these extraordinary events. And then there have been very detailed channeled messages and daily letter writing. It’s like I have been “plugged into” the cosmos. I am electrical now. Sometimes when I read about the transhumanist agenda, I wonder if I am being turned into a posthuman cyborg. Historically, however, intuition was a natural gift to humans.

I can only speculate why these capabilities were shut down all of my life only to surface on a massive scale when I began my work with Joe, and then magnified after his passing. I have no definitive answers. It was so new to me that all I could do was record my experiences and seek answers, none of which seem complete even as I write this now, although some explanations are better than others. Is it true that we can literally create our reality how we wish it to be? Is it all just our imagination? Or is our “imagination” the true reality and “life is but a dream.” The memorandum that “it takes two (twins) to tango,” however, keeps coming up in various ways. It shows up in Kincheloe’s works in multiple places. For example, citing Goswami’s work, he states “As our presence as observers induces one quantum entity to reveal itself, we find that its nonlocal, interconnected twin object will be affected by our actions as viewers. This occurs no matter how great the distance between the two objects” (Kincheloe, 2008c, p. 211). Now scientists have shown these quantum interactions exist between entangled objects and they are researching entangled minds (Mitchell, 2009; Radin, 2006). Everything and everyone is interconnected.

Thus, two streams of research developed early in my research and both were going simultaneously—one to accomplish understanding Joe’s bricolage to explain and demonstrate it for this dissertation and the other to understand the very strange and never-before-experienced phenomenological experiences that became a daily way of life for me. I often felt that the bricolage and what I was experiencing were the same. They became the same. It truly was an experience of the object of the research and the researcher, me, being inseparable. The research kept changing me; I changed the research and on it went for nearly four years. And as part of that same process, it seemed I became more and more one with Joe; I seem to know him in ways that would not make rational sense from a FIDURODian perspective. It has been the most unusual experience in my life. Kincheloe (2008c) describes this strange phenomenon: “In a more constructivist epistemology research and researched are not only part of the process, they actually bring one another into being” (p. 228). This speaks to being careful about what we choose to research and bring into our reality. Love is the key. I made the right choices.

Researching Multiple Perspectives

            As I have described, the process of bricolage research has become natural for me after a lot of work. Kincheloe (2008b) has reiterated that “the pursuit of such complex understandings is a lifetime pursuit, not something that one can learn merely in a short span of time” and that “the first step is to gain an awareness of the need for such a bricolage of understanding followed by years of practice applying them” (p. 134). Much of this depends on how entrenched the Western worldview has become in one’s life, how much “unlearning research” there is to do, and how amenable to approaching “difference” one is, as well as how well one adapts an improvisational approach. I seemed to have developed this process for research easily. But the early preparation actually began before I met Joe or even knew of his existence. Perhaps he was providing me instruction in the higher realms, but whatever the reasons, when I was working on my graduate degree in education during 2003-2005 and then my doctorate degree in 2005 up until I learned of Joe’s work in 2008 and met him, I had formed a habit of always reading many different perspectives before I wrote my papers and online essays. I learned that taking the time to at least skim and get the main points from a dozen or more articles on a topic and then synthesizing the good ideas always improved the quality of my writing and ideas. Another skill I had developed was discourse. Taking online classes affords the opportunity to hone dialogue, critique, debate, and argument skills. So by the time I met up with Joe and his work, I was very well prepared for accepting the idea of researching many different perspectives and his rationale made complete sense to me. I was prepared to step in and assist him by engaging the bloggers on his site in conversation.

I mention these things because forming the habit of researching many perspectives, not just relying on the work of one’s academic peers or favorite researchers, is a great place to begin to acclimate oneself to this kind of research and it is a skill that should be taught at all levels of education including elementary school, as Kincheloe contends. The interdisciplinary research of the bricolage requires this technique. In addition, because online discourse offers a more comfortable environment to engage in discourse, it should be used more than is currently being done—at all levels of education. It’s a great way to help students learn and improve communication and writing skills. But we have to move past the typical social networking model which does not work for true discourse. And technology in schools is being wasted in too many cases, for “drilling” purposes, such as reliance on the Plato “Online Learning Solution” for credit recapturing just to hand students a piece of paper that states “High School Diploma.” Students should be learning to research the topics they’re interested in and developing bricolage research and writing skills. Instead, research is barely touched even at the university level. As I edit this today, October 26, 2012, I was disappointed earlier this morning when I received an email from the University informing of a curricular change that replaces the Advanced Qualitative Research course with Introduction to Qualitative Research. Why do we keep going backwards? I went beyond the course requirements, taking extra research and writing courses, because I knew more was needed. And then I went outside the university entirely, spending more time engaging in Kincheloe’s philosophical and theoretical work as well as the work of many other theorists. Coming across him, however, and his work was one of those amazing synchronicities in itself. I feel I have been very blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him and meet him, even if the time was too short. I believe there are similar opportunities for everyone. There is truth in the adage, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”



Organizational Improvisation: Using Mismatches to Trigger Bricolage

What “triggers” bricolage? What keeps us researching and writing, besides passion for what we’re learning about? In the literature for organizational improvisation, the point was made that improvisation, which stimulates bricolage, is triggered by an “unexpected mismatch between planned for/expected and actual” conditions. This provides some insight as we engage in our own bricolage as to what might be influencing us. These mismatches can either be imposed upon the organization or created by the organization (Kamoche, Runha & Runha, 2002, p. 109). This applies to an organization as a whole but it can also apply to the individual and their environment. For example, unexpected changes can cause us to go into the “improvisational mode” in reaction to them. The authors make a distinction between improvisation that is in response to objective reality and improvisation that is in response to subjective reality. When the organization makes changes within and there is a mismatch between expectations of the organization and its members, improvisation may occur in reaction to those changes. With subjective reality there is still a mismatch, but it is in reverse: “This mismatch is attenuated and hopefully eliminated by action (and concurrently, improvisation) performed within the organization aiming at transforming not itself, but the environment” (p. 109). While this discussion has been about organizations, there are corollaries that are instructive for new bricoleurs. Improvisation is triggered by mismatches, either imposed from outside us or imposed from within us. Since improvisation drives the research, in my experience, then something must happen to trigger it. Perhaps this is one of the benefits of following Kincheloe’s advice of pursuing difference and complexity; both create conditions that might trigger improvisational actions. For example, reading two opposing perspectives and trying to assimilate them may trigger an improvisational response to keep seeking until the discordance is resolved. This can be a continuous process because the Type 3 questions that become revealed during the research process often have multiple answers or they cannot be answered definitively. This is where it takes work to become very comfortable with not knowing. During my research, I reached this impasse many times. My passion to find answers drove the research, but at some point, I had to be comfortable with not knowing, and exploring the topic or question another time.

Enacting a new environment, whether inner or outer can also trigger improvisation. There are many ways this can be applied to trigger research to move forward. It can be as simple as the environment changing outside of our control, such as the computer crashing and not having the Internet available while it’s being repaired. This may lead the researcher to taking a different approach in the meantime, thus they may find something important in a book or article they may have missed had the computer not forced them to a new form of research. As strange as it seems, when one is “in the flow” it becomes clear how everything happens for a reason, including computer crashes. Thus, perturbations do not become frustrations (most of the time—but it’s a learning process), and instead become a trigger to take a different direction, the reasons of which are often illuminated. As Joe told me one time in one of our conversations, we just “keep on keepin’ on” which is an inspirational song by Curtis Mayfield about doing our part to create social changes. It is just one of the many embedded songs in Joe’s messages. He knew how to keep us emotionally connected to our chosen work. He was truly the most loving and supportive person I’ve ever known. If I were to sum up the one condition that played a primary role in keeping me motivated throughout my entire long research process, it truly was love—that powerful Eros Love—and perhaps the mismatch of him being there and me being here.


Becoming “One” with Our “Subject”

            We do tend to become “one” with our research topic after a period of time, which is why it’s important to choose a topic we’re passionate about. As I’ve conveyed, during this process I experienced becoming “one” with Joe. He has been more like my Master Teacher or Guide than the “researched” during this entire process, but of course, even much more than that. It began when I worked with him on his web site and I began experiencing new, strange, and intense phenomenological experiences, some of which I’ve already mentioned, but at that time I had no idea what was happening to me. After he passed over, the phenomena became more intense. I did not understand why I felt such a powerful connection to him or why I felt so devastated over his death until I came across the study about soulmates by Yolande Bloomstein (2000) in which she described her personal experiences in her dissertation that were as intense and baffling as mine. Her experience was so profound that it led her to changing the topic of her study in order to learn more about it. In her case, she determined the man to whom she felt this intense connection was her Twin Flame (or “soul mate”). I was relieved to find an explanation for the powerful pull I felt toward Joe and his work, but at the same time, there were many unanswered questions. Answering those questions became intertwined with this research as I was seeking how to view and enact his multidimensional critical complex bricolage. Perhaps sharing my experiences will be helpful to other people who come to have similar experiences.

Thus, I had absolutely no explanation for what was happening when I was working with Joe but as I look back at our conversations I am now aware that he did understand. His writing, I’ve discovered has a deeply spiritual strand running all of the way through, albeit it often sits beneath the threshold of perception upon a cursory reading. He has encoded references to Biblical passages as well as indigenous prophecies, liberation theology, and other spiritual traditions, although I did not become conscious of that until after he passed over. On his website, I had written a blog about “Nepantla spaces,” which are “in between” dimensions. I just saw it as a metaphor for finding spaces to do social justice work, as it is typically used in the critical pedagogy literature (or are they speaking in code?). I did not have experience with in between spaces. As I look back at the blog today I realize my blog describes going through a “wormhole” to the “other side” where everything is different, more vibrant, more loving and beautiful. Of course, Joe knew what it represented and had made a comment to the blog, noting that something special was happening. I understand it now. I didn’t understand any of it then.

Thus, when I worked with Joe, I felt great love for him in the platonic sense, but primarily I was very passionately driven toward the same mission he was working on. I believed in what he was doing. When he passed away it totally changed me. People, including family, chose to accuse me of having mental problems and being obsessed with Joe. Fortunately, today, even the popular culture New Age literature about Twin Flames has put to rest those accusations of being “obsessed,” although not everyone has been educated. When you become one with somebody they are you and you are them and yet you are each individuals. Can you forget about yourself? It is a true paradox that no one can understand from a logical mindset unless they actually experience it for themselves. And then there is the issue of “mission.” The literature today, which I cite later in this dissertation, has specified that Twin Flames put their mission above all else, even above getting together in the physical sense. That would explain Joe’s passion for his life mission and why I share that same level of passion. It’s very sad when people ostracize those who are truly unselfishly dedicated to improving the world. It’s no wonder the world is the way it is. Had I not gone through a major spiritual transformation and been empowered, I would have gone back into the “Hicksville” woodwork I evolved from, where I had always felt safe and comfortable and let the world go to hell in a hand basket.

I have already described some of my phenomenological experiences and will describe more as they are pertinent to the discussion. I will emphasize that this is not about me. For one thing, I know I’m going way out on a limb. I can do this because, honestly, where I am already positioned, I have nothing to lose. I am doing this for the purpose of gaining a better understanding about the Twin Flame phenomenon and consciousness evolution. Work needs to be done to clear up misconceptions in popular culture, to provide more information for those who may be experiencing similar phenomena, and to highlight the enormous need for multidimensional critical complex bricolage research of these experiences. It appears that the power of Divine Love is one of the “big secrets” and that the education literature has obfuscated and obliterated the topic from the curriculum entirely for the “Others.” That is, until Kincheloe brought it back.

 So what is left? I only have my own personal experiences by which to frame things and these experiences were critical to my entire research for this dissertation. Bloomstein’s (2000) work has already contributed toward “normalizing” this experience in the psychological literature but unfortunately Twin Flames is conflated under the overarching term, soul mate. Thus, what I am attempting to do is extend her work to clarify the Twin Flame experience by explaining the phenomenon from an experiential perspective relating to higher consciousness. Love really can change the world. And it is a Sacred Love that is potentially available to everyone. Viewing the bricolage as the path to Sacred Love, Joe makes clear in his work that it requires both inner and outer changes and it can be a very difficult path. My question is, does it have to be difficult and painful? Do we, as Twin Flames, have to go through suffering that for example, Joe and I went through on our life paths before we ended up together working on our shared mission? Did we have to suffer separation in order for me to wake up and see the truth? It seems like it was some sort of requirement, but the criticality of the bricolage would seek fourth dimension answers to determine why and whether all of this suffering is really necessary. And I have done that, but much of my exploration and the answers I’ve received are just too far beyond the scope of this dissertation. My path, in particular, was convoluted. Why was this? I am not expecting to find the answer in this dissertation but will continue to seek greater understanding in future research. After all, Joe’s work was about alleviating suffering. We should not be required to suffer in order to reach the gift of the Divine Love that’s available to each of us. In fact, that reminds me of the song he had encoded in the dedication of his bricolage book, confessing that he was “Accidently Like a Martyr.” I cried for days when I discovered that. What have we done to ourselves, each other, and to our world?

My Oneness with Joe Kincheloe: A Phenomenological Perspective

Thus, the first thing I noticed when I “happened upon” Joe’s professional research networking website, which was just getting started at the time in the spring of 2008, was that the communication between us “felt” like we were sort of assessing each other in terms of trying to answer, “Is he for real?”; “Is she for real?” I cannot explain it beyond that. It was like we “knew” each other or in some way “recognized” each other but we weren’t sure. Or maybe we were just trying to assess each other’s passion for social justice issues. We shared a passion for educational work above and beyond the “norm” and perhaps that’s what we were evaluating each other for. I love discourse as much as he did and I view online discourse as a wonderful and powerful process for working out the social issues confronting the world today. It was clear that we shared that passion right from the start. Discourse is an important component of his theoretical formulation for achieving a dynamic interaction between educational theory and practice and it was something he had been working on since one of his earliest publications (Kincheloe, 1983). I was not aware at the time of the details of all of this because I had not yet read his work, aside from the introductory chapter in the book Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now? (McLaren & Kincheloe, 2007), but I somehow and mysteriously just “knew” what he was trying to achieve and how he wanted to go about achieving it. It was beyond just reading and comprehending his descriptions on the website; in fact, I found his writing very difficult to understand. There was just a “knowing” that I sensed at the time that I could not explain. And as I mentioned earlier in this dissertation that I felt he was “too good to be real” and yet he was real. What I meant was I had never met anyone I felt was as genuine, loving, and giving as he was. I have this ability to see through people and know what their motives are. Joe was real.

In some sense I felt that we were reflections of each other from the beginning, as if we had a lot in common even though I didn’t know him. Stay with me on this: as it will be shown, our having things in common turned out to be truer than even I could have possibly imagined at the time. I also had almost an immediate understanding of his “weaknesses” and I really admired him for both his strengths and “weaknesses” as a human being. I viewed certain qualities about him that society defines as weaknesses as strengths and what made him the loving person he was. Thus, they were qualities to love, not to use to one’s own personal advantage and gain. But in our society people who are good, genuine and giving inevitably get taken advantage of, particularly in competitive environments. But none of it deterred him in any way and of course many people loved him as genuinely as he loved them. He was very generous about praising everyone, and for some strange reason that I did not understand I was compelled to reflect the praise back to him every time he gave me a compliment, even from the very first time. It was an automatic reaction that overpowered me (I really felt like I could not control it), and I even wondered at times if other people might think I was a little “weird,” since they seemed to take his praise for granted. Why couldn’t I? Somehow, I knew that even geniuses need praise, too. I also fell into place with my chosen “role,” acting like an assistant to him who knew where he was headed with his research website, engaging everyone on the site in dialogue, all of it volunteer with no expectations whatsoever. It felt like it was what I was supposed to be doing as well as what I wanted to be doing. He told me many times how much he appreciated the work I did there, even announcing it in a newsletter that went out to all members and posting it on the site. I felt humbled and a little embarrassed, but thought it was very kind of him to do that. I hoped he knew I did not need the praise, but I did appreciate his appreciation. In one email in which he again thanked me, he made the comment that he would simply never be able to repay me. But he knew I was not expecting anything. My perspective was that it was an honor that he had invited me to participate; his mentorship and help in understanding his bricolage theory was far more payment than I felt I had earned. One time when I questioned him about doing too much and perhaps offending some, he just came back with more praise, stating “you engage people.” We both knew that engagement is what must occur if change is going to take place toward social justice.

To add to my confusion over the experiences I had while working with Joe, there were multiple instances of “mind reading” between us. At one point, which lasted for several days I literally felt in a very physical sense that our consciousnesses were merging, mixing, and melding. How can I explain that? I was not a spiritual person, a mystic, nor did I have any conscious knowledge of such concepts other than what I had read in his book. It does seem like it happened right after I had read his last book. As far as religion, I had given up on it; although I believed there is a “God” I would never attempt to define God in a religious sense and I never felt connected to God or Jesus in a physical sense. Yet I felt “connected” to Joe, as if our consciousnesses overlapped somehow and I literally felt our minds were “mixing” together and it was somewhat confusing to me and yet, a very positive, love-filled, even blissful experience. It was absolutely nothing I had ever experienced in my life, no matter how attracted I was to a man; and in this case, while I loved Joe and as much as I shared his mission, our relationship was strictly platonic. I respected his positioning and the idea of a relationship with him beyond professional educational work had not even entered my mind. And yet suddenly we were becoming “one” or becoming united in a way for which I had no existing “schema.”

In concurrence with this phenomenon relating to expanding consciousness, sometime during October, 2008 and after having met Joe in person on July 31, 2008, I experienced what I now know was a spontaneous kundalini awakening, as discussed previously.  I was not aware of having read anything previously that could have explained what was happening. I was only conscious of the fact that somehow my interactions with Joe set the experiences off. Given all of our communications, our conscious connection, our philosophical alignment, I began to realize there was something special going on. But I was not “destined” to understand it until after he passed away and I began this research project. And uncannily, no matter how hard I tried to stay away from the theme of Twin Flames during my research, I was always led right back to it—the never-ending hermeneutic circle—until I acquiesced to including the topic in this study. As I have reviewed the communications I had had with Joe before he passed away, it was clear he knew—and he had not been shy at all about providing hints—apparently in an attempt to bring me to full consciousness. There must be some cosmic law that prevented him from coming out and telling me what I believe he had come to fully understand before he passed over, but there were many messages from him that I had sensed at the time of reading them he was waiting for me to realize something. That’s the only way I can describe it; he would make a comment and it was like he expected a response, but I didn’t know how to respond; it just “went over my head.” I can see clearly now in looking back, he had to have known; he had even written the book on it. And meeting him in person and reading his book, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction seemed to have put my awakening process in fast forward.

Along with the other phenomena as described, I was extremely fearful of Joe leaving this world soon; the fear literally overwhelmed me at times. I had felt that fear very early after coming across his website. One of the earliest blogs I wrote for his site had alluded to applying his theory now rather than waiting 100 years down the road, as so often happens when geniuses leave brilliant works. Some of the greatest education works are still not applied today. The fear that Joe would not be here much longer was at the level of the debilitating fear that Bloomstein (2000) describes she had felt for her soul mate. I did not encounter this study until Joe had passed away, so it provided me with an explanation and some reassurance when I was deeply grieving over his death. As she described when she had encountered her soul mate, “Although we did not cross physical boundaries because of our marital status, we discovered aspects of our personality that had been repressed or unfulfilled. Together we discovered levels of spirituality that were hitherto experientially unknown. . . .We experienced levels of joy and love that we had not known before, as well as insufferable pain and torment” (p. 2). And in relation to her fear when he had tried to contact her during her vacation, she states, “I felt my heart drop and knew that something was terribly wrong. . . . In a moment I felt my whole world was collapsing. . . . My grief was overwhelming. I could not stop my sense of panic, nor could I stop crying all night long” (p. 3). I am so thankful and indebted to Yolande Bloomstein for expressing her experiences in relation to her twin soul mate and for covering the topic in her doctoral study because she educates people about the reality and normalcy of these relationships, even if they are very rare. We must move forward and stop harming people by labeling them “crazy,” “imbalanced,” or “obsessed.” I have come to view that these are blessed relationships—a gift from God—and that they are eternal love relationships. As it turned out, of course, my worst fears about Joe leaving the world became reality and when he passed away in December, 2008, I felt completely and utterly destroyed. I was so traumatized and devastated that there was no rational FIDURODian explanation. No one understood, nor did I.

I have now learned that other couples who consider themselves Twin Flames have gone through the same experiences of consciousness merging or melding I had experienced with Joe (Bloomstein, 2000; Green, 2006; Brand & Hibbs, 2010). On spiritual websites, people discuss these experiences openly and there does seem to be an increase in the numbers of these relationships, as has been predicted by various prophecies. This perception of merging with Joe’s consciousness was so intense that I had become fearful of writing due to the fear of plagiarism that had been instilled in me by the universities I had attended. I literally could not separate my ideas from his. I had even naively expressed some of these fears in a “Preface” for the book he had asked me to write. I had emailed the Preface to him for approval to make sure he was ok with my focus on his work and my fear of plagiarism. He was fine with it. In fact, he seemed very pleased judging by his response email and he told me to remember that I was the “dudette” (J. Kincheloe, personal communication, October 7, 2008, 12:12 pm). I thought it was funny at the time so when I thanked him, I had written “thank you from the dudette” in the email subject line (October 7, 2008, 1:00 pm). I find it even funnier now because many of his student colleagues referred to him as “The Dude,” as I have since learned and he had accepted that role (e.g., Pruyn, 2011, p. 168; Stonebanks, 2010, “The Dude Minds”). Again, I believe now that he was aware of what was happening between us spiritually, but it is not the task of a Twin Flame to tell the “Other”; it must be independently remembered from what I’ve come to understand (in our case, at least), which happened for me after he passed away. As traumatic as it has been, apparently it was simply meant to be that way.

Another phenomenological experience was the ability to always feel his presence when he was alive even though he was on the opposite side of the country. There had also been a few occasions during which I felt his energy in almost a physical sense. It did not fully register for me consciously, due to my lack of spiritual knowledge and having never experienced anything like it, although I was aware of the ability some people have to “astral travel.” That very briefly crossed my mind at the time, but I did not believe that he would consciously choose to do that, so I swept the experiences under the rug. My research has revealed that being able to sense each other’s presence is a natural phenomenon between Twin Flames; it does not occur with just anyone. In my interpretation, he had been waiting for me to come to a more complete realization of what was happening. In one especially touching message he had sent me, I felt that there was something he thought I should know; it felt like he was expecting me to tell him something, but I was at a loss. There is evidence in our correspondence that we were both communicating on multiple levels and that he was conscious and I was still asleep. Of course, there is always the possibility that he was not aware, but that’s a difficult perspective, given that he wrote the book about multidimensionality, consciousness, and Eros Love.

Shortly after his death, in January, 2009, I’m not sure how it happened, but I was somehow prompted to call a psychic. I had no confidence in psychics; I just did not believe in that sort of thing so it was out of character for me to take that action. However, I was so terribly distraught one evening and the advertisement for California Psychics just happened to pop up on my computer screen. I did not know if Joe believed in psychics but recently, McLaren (2010) has told of a humorous story about the two of them visiting a California psychic together during which they were told they had originally been twin zygotes but Joe was “lost” and born a few years later. Since I have never even entertained the idea of calling California Psychics before, I now believe that Joe was guiding me so that he could communicate with me. The first time I spoke to the psychic she told me he wanted me to research soul mates, and thus, that was when I found the dissertation The Soulmate Experience by Bloomstein (2000). The psychic, who was also a Tarot card reader, was helpful in getting me through the grieving process—or I should clarify—learning to live with the grieving process. Regrettably, it was in excess of two full years before I finally made it through an entire day without crying. I was already writing to Joe every day when I had contacted her, which helped. The psychic suggested that maybe he would write back, and eventually, “someone” did begin to write back and the handwriting is very different from mine. In fact, strangely, while I write slowly and straight up and down (I could never get the angle writing is supposed to have), the handwriting that evolved from this interaction is extremely fast and at an angle. It all felt very weird to me, again outside my range of experiences. What could I do but interpret that it was coming from Joe? He says he is Joe. I have no reason to disbelieve him, and anyway, there is the accompaniment of that enormous love, which I felt the day I met him and hugged him, and which I remember from even centuries ago during our past lives together and from centuries into the future, our future life together. When my memory came back, I remembered Joe as my Master Teacher (“Master Manu’el”) who had become my husband before we came to earth. It explained for me why I viewed him as a revered Master Teacher from the beginning. We hold the highest of respect for our teachers as they are very advanced in their wisdom.

Subsequently, it has come to my attention during my research that perhaps he works with or is a member of the “Great Spiritual Brotherhood,” a spiritual group of men and women who oversee our spiritual development and education. They work as Master Teachers and Guides both on earth and in other dimensions, forming various focused but interacting councils. The Spiritual Brotherhood is significant for me because I had a single experience about thirty years ago in which I was called before what I had even referred to at that time as “the Council.” I had been reading about astral traveling and decided to try it. I was not successful and instead I was called before this council of teachers sitting around a long table and they were all dressed in white robes (I have also learned they are sometimes called The Great White Brotherhood due to being dressed in white or because they emanate light). It turned out that they had called me to a meeting because they did not want me to astral travel. The meeting lasted a long time because when I woke up I remember being shocked that more than three hours had passed. I assume they explained in great detail why I should not try astral traveling, but I don’t remember what they said. The meeting had such a powerful impact on me that I followed their admonition and have never again tried it or even wanted to. It’s not that they ordered me not to do it, but rather they had provided me with tremendous insight for not attempting astral traveling again and why it was not meant to be a part of my path on earth at that time. After Joe passed over, however, that changed. It was he who accompanied me on several astral journeys, in my interpretation. Apparently, that was fine, but I was not to attempt to do so on my own and I am still not supposed to try it consciously, although I do travel in my dreams. Spiritually, this makes sense to me. Maybe we need to be at a particular level before we can use these gifts properly. And if Joe is my Twin Flame and teacher then it makes sense that he is the one to teach and guide me in the proper uses of astral travel. Thus, I have had several really fun astral journeys with him, home visits which is like visiting Heaven because it’s so beautiful and loving there, and one in which he took me to the moon just for fun.

Thus, from my perspective, Joe is not “dead,” but is simply in another dimension that I have contact with. And yet, living in a thanatos world, he has passed away for which I still grieve. The Great White Brotherhood (or “Spiritual Brotherhood”) seems to me to be a bona fide community or communities of “Ascended” Masters of Divine Wisdom Knowledges that some people report experiencing teachings from during dreamtime (Prophet, 2003; Weiss, 1988). I am also now very cognizant of working closely with various teachers. I have documented many “dreams” during which I’ve received education and also during which I’ve served as a teacher-in-training, working alongside Joe. I have known from very early childhood that I wanted to be a teacher. Many people view earth as a school, and this perspective fits my experience, although that is only a one-dimensional interpretation and there are many more interpretations that I view just as or more valid. It does seem, however, that this dissertation is part of my mission work toward becoming a Master Teacher and is very much spiritually inspired. At this point, I believe this is work Joe and I decided to do together long ago. He truly was and still is working to change the world, that is, to provide people (“earthlings” as he frames it in his book) with explicated processes for taking power over their own consciousness evolution. In my interpretation and based on memories of my experiences, I am working with him and many others in multiple dimensions on Earth and even on other planets. I have had many lucid dream experiences that have taken place in the past, present and future.

Interestingly, my experience of my teacher being my Twin Flame parallels that of Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s (1999) and her husband Mark Prophet, who were also Twin Flames, information I discovered during this research. Their endeavors have been turned into a religion since they have passed away, which in my view is a little unfortunate, but they have left us much knowledge about Twin Flames and the Ascended Masters. Also, their work, like so much knowledge we have available today needs to be expanded on and updated for these rapidly changing times. Thus, there appears to be a spiritual hierarchy, however, this does not mean someone is “better,” or that they should be worshipped. It just means that they possess greater wisdom, and as a result of hard work they have advanced along the spiritual path. They often dedicate time to teaching and serving others. Again, this is an interpretation, but it corresponds with my dreams and memories about learning, teaching, and living in the higher realms.

The Day Joe Died

Returning to phenomenology, while I had been working with Joe on his website, I also began to feel his powerful “spirit,” his “life energy” and his enormous love, even though we were at opposite sides of the continent. This “feeling his presence” was not something I had ever experienced with anyone in the past. Apparently he felt my presence as well, because, as mentioned previously, he was very good at picking up my emotions. He had sent me emails on several occasions telling me exactly what I needed to hear that served to alleviate distress I was feeling in the moment, even though I had not communicated the feelings to him or had been in recent contact with him. For example, one day I was trying to decide on a topic for an article for his Journal (he had asked me to write an article on any topic I wished a few weeks earlier), and as I was contemplating all of the interesting topics and their complexity I was becoming a little overwhelmed. I was thinking almost out loud: “I really need to write a book” (in order to do the topics justice and incorporate them all). I was sitting in front of my computer and at the very moment that thought had entered my mind an email popped in. It was from him, asking me if I would be interested in writing a book about online critical pedagogy (J. Kincheloe, personal communication, September 19, 2008, 11:54 am). I was so stunned over the synchronous timing of his message that I could not answer him right away. Finally, I commented back to him a little later that same day, with “Exactly on the same wavelength!” written in the subject line of the email and told him I was just thinking the same thing (1:22 pm). He replied back with, “fantastic—great minds” and seemed very happy that I wanted to write a book for a new series he had recently contracted for (September 19, 2008, 2:09 pm).

Because I felt so linked to his spirit and his love, when his life came to an end, I seemed to have instantly felt his absence—even before I had conscious knowledge of what had happened. In fact, it compelled me to make contacts to find out if he was ok, yet in my heart, I knew the worse. When I had initially learned he had gone to Jamaica for the Christmas holidays, I immediately had had the most horrible premonition that he would not be returning from his vacation trip. I have no idea where this premonition came from. I did not know he was going to Jamaica and didn’t learn of it until he was already there when the information was posted on the Internet. When I did learn of it, for reasons I didn’t understand, I felt an overwhelming and indescribable sense of fear, much like the fear Bloomstein (2000) had described when her Twin Flame had informed her that he was going to have surgery. I wanted so badly to write to Joe, tell him happy birthday since I had not mailed him a birthday card I had bought for him (which turned into another amazing phenomenological experience as I will discuss later). At the same time, I felt that so much had been going on for him that was not good, politically, with his research and the website, and he had recently had some medical issues, so my mind told me to not disturb him on his vacation. And I kept thinking of one of the last emails I had sent him in relation to yet another complaint about my writing on his site. I had told him “I trust your judgment completely.” It was one of those weird comments that wasn’t even referring to anything specific and can mean one thing on one level yet something else on a deeper level. And anyway, I knew he really needed time to rest and relax, and I didn’t want to bother him with what might be deemed petty concerns. Of course, now I wish I had emailed him and told him to get to the doctor because he did not look well at all in some of the photos being posted and I became increasingly worried about him. And then when a post mentioned him being taken to the hospital, my fear went out the roof. At some point that same day, to my complete devastation, I suddenly could no longer feel his spiritual energy or the conscious connection we had. I somewhat frantically wrote emails to several people only to learn what I was already feeling. Joe had died from a heart attack—just a few hours earlier.

I fell apart. He was gone. It literally felt like a part of me was gone, as if he had taken my heart and soul with him. I was totally devastated and I felt that was it the end of his website and the end of his work since no one was close to applying his theory in the ways he had intended. In fact, it didn’t even seem that people were interested in applying his theory at all. When I researched to see how people were citing his work, it was only being cited in the most superficial of ways. Most citations were from the first edition of his Critical Pedagogy Primer. I wondered how it was that he had so many admiring students and scholarly friends, yet no one was coming close to applying his theory.

Because his death was a precipitating event to some major revelations for me about death, and because gaining an understanding of these revelations are quintessential to the understanding of Joe’s formulation of an evolving complex critical theory/pedagogy and the application of his multidimensional critical complex bricolage, I feel it is justified to discuss these matters in depth, even if a few people may object. My heart goes out to his family who suffered the greatest loss. At the same time, Joe was a public figure and, philosophically, he had nothing to hide and in fact, he stressed his wishes to put everything out on the table which is what he had done with his last few books (e.g., Kincheloe, 2005b, 2006a, 2006b, 2006c, 2006d; 2008c ). And many scientists are interested in doing more in depth phenomenological research so that for once humanity can get a better understanding of our true nature. We don’t even know our true potentialities as humans and this is what Joe suffered over and why he worked so hard to get his message out. And so, here I am as a guinea pig, a country hick, putting it all out on the table in a language and format that everyone can easily understand even if they don’t experience it or agree with what I’m doing.

Of course, we will never understand it all, but at least we can get to the point that special abilities are seen as the true blessing and gifts that they are. We all have far more potential than we are using and genius should not be regarded as a “stigma.” (Kincheloe, et al., 1999). A lot of work is needed to get the world ready to accept and allow all people to develop the higher levels of knowledge and cognition that applying Joe’s theory can help us achieve. In the meantime, people suffer for it. Joe has expressed how he had suffered throughout his lifetime and his emotions are embedded in the music and encoded messages in his works. I literally feel his pain and because, due to our Twin Flame connection, he shares his special gifts with me (I assume that is why I have suddenly experienced a sharp increase in “intuitive” abilities that I had not experienced in the past). No one should suffer from the insensitivity and cruelty from other people just because they’re “different.” I hope the world gets better prepared for the youngest generation coming into the world right now because if prophecy is correct, we will be seeing many amazingly gifted children moving up the ranks and they will be demanding that change.

            Thus, when Joe died, because my consciousness had been molded by the materialism of FIDUROD and the death instinct of thanatos, I literally believed he was inalterably and forever gone. We remember those who have died once a year on Memorial Day is what I had learned, and of course we have our memories, but our relationships are over. I knew nothing of spirituality, other than the typical programming: when people die they go to Heaven and Heaven is some far away, theoretical place we don’t have access to. It was what I had always experienced. Loved ones in my life have died: my grandfather, my brother, close friends, my grandmother, and my stepfather. They were literally “gone” was how I intellectually, emotionally, and phenomenologically experienced it. I didn’t even dream about them.


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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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