Who is this Guy?
A Myth, A Contradiction, A Narcissistic, A Wannabe, A Bumbling Idiot or someone who really tripped on something interesting?
Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
My functional or screen name is Wikimonk and, my worldly name is Rohit Sharma. The first part of my screen name Wikimonk comes from the word Wiki, which is an application allowing for collaborative modification, extension, and deletion of content. It is an apt name given how our brain is designed to acquire, retain and prune information on a continuous basis. The second part, Monk comes from my early days pursuit catalysts which were solitary and reflective practices.
Many years ago, as a young naval officer in India, blissfully unaware of my drifting trajectory, I was gradually drawn towards solitary meditative practices. It so happened that I used to live in a beautiful naval training center in an Indian city named Lonavala near Mumbai. The city received high rainfall throughout the year and it sometimes became depressing as it used to remain cloudy for the most of the year. During this time, I routinely practiced soft and intense focused mindfulness while looking out the window of my room. Sad, ungrounded, feeling lost in this big world with strong feelings of low self-worth and inadequacy, my introspective personality was forcing me into intense self-reflection. My expanding discoveries were unpleasant/uncomfortable and after a lot of psychological pain, I found refuge in brainwave synchronization tapes, an emerging meditative technique those days. The rigors of the military training environment combined with periods of complete silence create conditions ripe for my awakening which aided my transformation. Soon, enough incremental walks led to momentous leaps. Before I knew it, I was rapid cycling back and forth across the mental range. As they say in Buddhist practices, I was Awakening on Bootstrapped Insights, slowly, painfully but gainfully. When I thought it was finally over and I had transcended, I would be given another challenge by my unconscious similar to what happens in the video games. My transformation seemed like a gamified personal development process. Over time, deeply profound spontaneous insights emerged into my consciousness about the true nature of many things. On the periphery, a dogged pursuit was getting ready to develop a more accurate yet contrarian understanding of the human mind/brain and the unconscious processes that shaped our personality. Soon enough, I was skateboarding across neuro-psychological basis of Buddhism, evolutionary psychology, neural nets, biological intuition, complex systems, meta-heuristic optimization and engineering design optimization. Most of my mindshare was allocated towards understanding the biological, psychological, epistemological and neural origins of what is known as the Unconscious Mind. Being a hardcore functional design and reverse engineer (read product innovator), I was rapidly super-imposing insights from my trade-craft to intuitive optimization methods used by our brain/mind (Adaptive Unconscious). Always been a low performer and spectacular failure in the early part of my life, it was deeply fulfilling to create a unique applied framework from nothing (Pats his Back).
During those days, arcane medical journals were reporting that advanced meditators and high performers were being studied using EEG (Electroencephalography) patterns. I used to read everything I could lay my hands on EEG-driven neurofeedback training. Soon after, for pennies on the dollar and leveraging some debt, I luckily laid my hands on an excellent condition 19-Channel EEG kit which was being discarded by a well-known hospital. Doctors and neurosurgeons in the hospital perceived no utility of retaining an expensive kit which was rarely used. Reading the untouched, brand new training manuals that came with the kit, I was soon conducting my own neurofeedback snapshots and follow up training until I could afford the supplies. During one particular training run, I routinely attempted to achieve singularity with the environment in Deep Delta brainwave state. The body sleeps in Deep Delta, while the mind is fully awake and gravitates to the lowest functioning Default Network State (DNS). My DNS was not completely dysfunctional but was not as optimized as I wanted. After a lot of hit and trial, I was optimizing my DNS to the best efficiency mode I could have achieved otherwise. During these runs, I started noticing from my window that the same pack of birds perched aboard routinely tweeting away to glory except “The One.” The contrarian birdie was different from the pack, perched away from the rest of the herd, looked sad and rarely tweeted. My unconscious was inferring the unconscious state of the bird and my empathy levels & intuitive spidey sense were skyrocketing.
I also noticed another phenomenon with great scepticism. To my great surprise and with firm statistical correlation (46% run rate), as soon as the EEG kit signaled entry into Deep Delta state, all birds except “The One” flew off in panic. I decided to start feeding “The One” leaving some food on the window’s outer ledge. The lonely bird would fly across to the ledge, stay there for hours; and would fly off eventually. It became a frequent visitor and also started tweeting away to glory. As the bird transformed from a lonely, depressed living entity to a chirpy one, I experienced the same change in myself. During the many weeks this phenomenon occurred, my enlightenment levels catapulted to a new level. For no particular reason, many years later, the name Perchingtree popped into my head. Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, experienced his enlightenment under a tree; mine happened while fixated on the tree across the window where the birds perched. So, I thought of a name Perchingtree (How Cool? Right!), and domain squatted on it for many years before the domain was put to good use.
A milestone event occurred during my enlightenment or delusional state (as some would call it), when, I overdosed on the Deep Delta brainwave pattern with the kit on my head. Waking up after 4 hours on the bean bag, I felt emotionally unsettled. I decided to go for a long run to deal with a surge of unpleasant body feelings. As my body feelings peaked, a massive “Cloud Burst” occurred in the history of the city, that practically shut down the city. While I was carrying out stretching exercises across a dam bridge being fully drenched in the depressing rain, the rainstorm was subsiding and my body feelings were signalling calm. Suddenly, in a moment of epiphany, an automatic solution emerged to a big problem that had been bothering me for many months. Many months later, I realized that I had accidentally and unintentionally collapsed the waveform (as they call it in quantum mechanics). Every time I felt emotionally unsettled, a mirroring event happened in my environment without fail. I started journaling events in great detail so that I could carry out my own statistical bias testing. The pattern remained the same where peak negative somatic feelings led to environmental disturbances, malfunctioning of electronics in my vicinity and sometimes weird behaviour by some people in the surrounding. The calming phase always led to emergent insights. A ton of psychological discomfort accompanied the emerging insights. I quickly figured a way to down-regulate the insight channels, lest I became delusional. You must be wondering, who overdoses on weird meditation techniques when there are better things to overdose on? Well, I did, and I am privileged of never been accused of being normal. Ha!
“When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Appears”
Over time, my emotional state would rarely become disturbed and the disruptive mirroring events were replaced by more subtle mirroring events. I always had an intuitive feeling that our mind and environment were like two pieces of a scissor and are more intertwined than we knew. I also knew instantly that my mind was pattern matching the environment through an environmental coupling. A strong hunch (hypothesis) developed, that my delta overdose, my physical state of activity and my embodied mind’s Unconscious Coupling with the environment had something to do with the mirroring events. Something had triggered changes in my consciousness and I had become super aware that the environment was mirroring back. Needless to say, I was super scared but also curious. So, I was off to studying everything I could find on the neurological, psychological and quantum components of Consciousness as well as Pattern Recognition. Simultaneously, using a very unique emotional S-Curves process, I accidentally tripped on a counter-intuitive method of opening up Insight Channels in the Brain. Few months down the line, I had formulated a Breakthrough Inventing Method and used it to solve many of my problems. One of my biggest challenges was that I felt trapped by my own choices. I chose to join the Navy as I failed to get admission elsewhere due to poor grades. Few years into a highly regimented environment, I wanted to leave and work in designer and more intellectually stimulating environments. You see, joining the military in those days was similar to walking into Hotel California. You could check out any time, but could never leave except through a dishonourable discharge or through the psychiatric ward :). I eventually left honourably inventing my way out and the end result was that using the same process, I was able to intuitively navigate through any problem space while effortlessly piercing through any deception or ambiguity in any situation.
“You can check out any time, but, you can never leave”
Once I got a better grip on my mental racing car in the exciting roller coaster ride, I became super interested in strategy, problem-solving and study of evolutionary algorithms based computer models. I also studied around 300 inventors using information from the public domain and then super-imposed that research on to my own framework. It became very clear to me why some inventors had faster-inventing cycles than others. After a lot of practice, I formulated a step by step process to achieve desired outcomes effortlessly, obliquely and frictionlessly. Preaching is easy, solving real problems with accountability and payback guarantee is very hard (shh…do not tell that to any consultant, but try asking for a clawback in the contract for failed outcomes ). Soon, I was challenging anyone to try the process. And many people tried these processes across multiple contexts with close to 60% success in the first run which was good for starters. As I reduced variability in the process and the results improved significantly, I knew that I had caught on to something fascinating. The process was so counter-intuitive that everyone told me that it was impossible they could ever figure it out on their own (Substitute and Read : I am genius 🙂. My methods worked effectively in simple domains, complex domains as well as wicked domains. In the next few years, I became an “Uncertainty Expert and a Problem Solver” in my professional and personal circles.
“Transformation is often more about unlearning then learning.”
You could give me any problem, some time to intuitively dwell over the problem and I could come up with the most optimal solution. My influence started increasing in my peer circles (I landed more romantic dates as well and screwed them up as I talked boring stuff), my career skyrocketed and for the first time, I had created something meaningful of my own. I also actively studied “Emergent Strategy Formulation” which is completely foreign to the “classical strategy” taught in our education system. Everything I had experienced including the EEG studies, the TRV research, my reverse engineering experiences, and functional design optimization was now binding itself into a coherent structure. I only realized in hindsight that the packets of information streaming into my consciousness were nuts and bolts of what I would eventually call a “Human Re-engineering” framework. The “Core Framework” and “Outcomes as a Service” consulting model was the end result.
Hereon, things became super exciting. I dived the second time into a subject I had studied earlier i.e. TRV (Technical Remote Viewing) based on Project Stargate (sponsored by Stanford University and a leading government agency). In the methodology, I practiced ultra-silence and tried to connect with events/people out of space and time to gather immediate foresight. The TRV process was ridden with too much theoretical noise, that during the first run, I only had marginal success even after diligently following the processes. There were parallels in Indian Mythology, so I studied parts of mythological narratives with considerable skepticism. From here, I veered off into studying Machine Learning, Complex Systems, Buddhist Psychology, Predictive Analytics, Evolutionary Neuroscience and went down the “road less traveled” every day. Chronic obsession captured my mind as I went through a wild goose chase into the unknown. Finally, after many dead ends, the coherence level of my unstructured research started showing results. As my feelings of self-worth improved, the world around me changed for the good.
Borrowing the concept of Simulated Reality (SR) from the movie “The Matrix (No, I did not go Crazy !),” I eventually modeled the human mind and brain onto a complex MS Excel framework and created an early version simulation framework of an agent in a multi-agent system. Losing my fascination with “Game Theory”, I tore it apart, looked at it using an inverted prism and came up with a more accurate model of “how single agents achieve an outcome in a complex multi-agent system”. Using hyperspace modeling in a simulated environment, I also modeled the journey of a single unconscious mind as it moved across the multi-dimensional hyperspace (real time environment) and invented an unconscious optimization algorithm.
The bizarre studies also led to an accurate practical framework of how foresight could emerge on demand by a subject outside time and space dimension. I went a step further and modeled other minds (agents) into this framework. The real fun started when I started interaction modeling between many minds. I soon realized that even the most advanced computer model could not handle the computational stress due to the curse of dimensionality, deception, ambiguity, emergence, cascading and nesting effects inherent in social interaction. It also dawned on me that our powerful “Intuitive Spectrum” handles these interactions much easier than any sophisticated computer algorithms, After hitting some walls, I was back to studying Biological Intuition bolted on to neurological predictive analytics mechanism inbuilt into the human brain. Over many more months, using design optimization techniques (Ant Colony, Particle Swarm, Genetic Algorithms etc.), I was able to create a theoretical framework of humans clustering unconsciously in a multi-dimensional hyperspace and that was the final piece of the puzzle which lead to breakthrough Aha’s.
A subsequent melodic epiphany and the packets of information led to extensive journaling over the next few years which were also propelling a third career shift. Rather than quitting my second career, I decided to stay on, applied the processes in the experimental labs of the real-life winning multi-million dollar contracts, implementing near impossible greenfields and also having a serious health scare due to the extreme high I was going through. Only once I was convinced that my processes led to outcomes with statistical validity, I wanted to convert this into a venture. You see, I did not want a theory that could not stand the scrutiny of the “scientific method”. I wanted an application, a process that could be tangibly tested and slowly moved towards this outcome.
“Quietly Endure, Silently Suffer and Patiently Wait”
Martin Luther King Jr.
If you have reached till here, I need to tell you about the most invisible part of my life. I lived it daily but others rarely even caught a fleeting glimpse of it. During what seems like a very exciting journey, there were more low points than high. I always had this feeling that I wanted to be someone else, pursue a different career path. This continuous search for the optimal created a lot of cognitive dissonance. I suffered quietly and it made me painfully stronger. I was amazed and amused that no one noticed it, but it was the most consistent component of my early life. I was successful by all external and worldly standards, did well in the Navy, then did even much better in the corporate world and held senior executive management roles. I was globe-trotting, working in what you can say was everyone’s dream career and was living the perfect life, but there was one problem. I did not want to be “Me”. I wanted to be someone else.
“The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph”
There were more blind alleys and the lighted ones always led to dead ends. I had no doubt that I could never get out of it, but I had no doubt that I would never quit trying. Occasionally, I would find my way out of the rat maze, then reverse those gains sharply and quickly. I would stop dead in my tracks, pick up the pieces again and make another attempt inch by inch, knowing well that good probability was not my best friend. The epiphanies and Aha’s were always short-lived. Brittle Failure was my best friend, always looking over my shoulder, ensuring I never parted ways with it. Eventually, I did make it out of the maze after I realized that I was trying to win in a simulated game of reality where the odds were against me. A really high impact “Aha” popped that humans are living in a computer like simulation, and till we fight the rules, we will remain locked in the game. Then, during those bizarre days, I suddenly found a way to break away from the simulation by entirely sidestepping the game. Within seconds, I was free, and my life became more authentic, more meaningful and more fulfilling. I was avidly studying the journey of Gautam Buddha, the inventor of Buddhist practices who seemed to have sidestepped his own simulations. As if, a part of me wanted to give more goodies, IBM Deep Blue and Gary Kasparov match got disproportional attention from my brain and mind. I realized that Kasparov lost against Deep Blue, as he was stuck in a simulation and was fighting it. One never wins by fighting a simulation. There was a paradigm shift in my understanding of biological intuition, pattern recognition and the operation of individual and collective human mind. I lost my sleep due to a significant increase in anxiety, but I realized that I had just woken up for the first time in my life. It was time to leave my corporate career and follow my intuitive hunches.
“Have you ever listened to the Hum of your Internal Engine ?”
Something else happened during this time, and I did not see it coming the second time. As soon I jumped into entrepreneurship and started living a frugal life while building the venture, a low hum in my unconscious increased its volume. I soon realized that my whole identity was based on my education, the money I made and the titles I held in my career. After giving up security, income, the respectability of a global career, I suddenly felt that I had no core identity of my own except what I superficially acquired during the life’s rut. I looked around myself and found everyone suffering from the same “superficial identity problem”.
“The real measure of your worth is how much you’d be worth
if you gave up all or lost it all”
I tried to remind myself every day that I was not my job, I was not the money I made and I was not the education and the work titles I acquired, I was much more than that. But, I found my core identity, unshaped, raw and buried deep in my unconscious. A million times a day, I wanted to run back to the comfort of the corporate world and wear the armoured straitjacket that hid my new found vulnerability, but, I decided to stick on. I cut off from all friends and extended family, hibernated for a year, became a recluse and it took me many months to go through another milestone of super painful personality transformation. It was similar to searching a pile of cow dung for gold and after a long search I found it. It so happened that while I built my venture, I also re-engineered my core identity. It was not fun, but it was very meaningful.
“It was similar to searching a pile of Cow dung for Gold”
I distinctively remember that pivotal week in my life, when I decided to gave it all up the second time. I had taken a week off to unwind after a backbreaking few months amplified by an extremely stressful high profile project, intensive jet lag and a sudden unconscious uncoupling with a long-time girlfriend who lived far away in Northern Europe. I didn’t see it coming. I was catching up fast, but, my emergent insights always came in a “blinding flash of the obvious“. After a nice refreshing run in the morning, I was meditating on the EEG program while feeling restless in the apartment where I lived alone. Deciding to get the house in order, started cleaning up and removed a set of books and journals from a dusty rack. There it was. “Looking right at me”, my journal and scrapbook which I had jokingly named and handwritten “Wikimonk Unravels the Matrix” in which I had written disjointed but important insights about the operation of the individual mind in a multi-dimensional hyperspace using optimization techniques in heuristics and swarm intelligence. Amused at the chance re-discovery, I watched a couple of movies around the same theme that day.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you
are born and the day you find out why.”
Later in the day, I was eating a nicely baked dish on the kitchen island of my apartment somewhere in a vibrant, cosmopolitan city in the Middle East. Suddenly, I felt a strong intuitive urge to draw up a framework for my venture. My research had unequivocally proven that the most important skill in life is a great sense of unconscious timing. Many years after my first brush with the seed of an Idea, I immediately knew it was time. With the half ate dish left cold on the island, I worked non-stop through the next 9 hours to structure my intuitive hunches. The rest of my holiday went by in carrying out developing a full-scale concept formulation. The following week was interesting with mixed feelings. I undocked from my second career, packed my bags, went home to India for a few weeks, then relocated to a new country. After landing and settling in, I realized that some pieces of the puzzle were missing in my framework, so, I decided to hibernate for one full year, place myself in a “Startup Decelerator” dived into a hundred-hour week research for the rest of the year. It started shaping up as envisioned. Everything came together, right from the name of the products and services to the structure of the training, consulting and advisory materials. Suddenly, it was song and dance, lights and music. Finally, I had arrived.
Perchingtree Solutions Inc was conceived 18 years ago, went into first labor pains on 16 April 2013 and took birth on “14 Jan 2014 in Calgary, Canada. The concept is futuristic, unsettling for some, but very timely for the rapidly increasing uncertainty in our marketplace and daily life. It is built for a time when all the swans are black, and it is much harder to know which black swan to track in the flight path. Our core concepts are built around a very unique problem solving and strategy formulation method which has attracted big interest from big clients of Top Consulting Firms as well as the under-served segments in business.
The methodology is structured around an OaaS model “Outcomes as a Service”. No pedigree, No subjective Judgement, No second-hand insights or processes, free of any crutches that replace measurable outcome-oriented methods. Based on extensive empirical, academic and contrarian research into the actual workings of the individual mind and viable groups/organizations. The framework and its sub-processes are practical, impactful and possibly ground-breaking for introducing change in an individual, group or society. It won’t break your bank, and we won’t shepherd your spirit towards repackaged, brand or pedigree hyped solutions”. In the worst case it will help you find solutions to any problem, and in the best case, it will update your default version many times over in a short span. I am making these claims after capturing clients of Top 3 Consulting companies and proving my hypothesis right over and over again. My clients go through three phases of extreme doubt and skepticism, extreme shock and then extreme curiosity. The amusing part is when they believe that I am some kind of reincarnated “Guru” and I have to use humor and consulting cliches/buzzwords to break their spell and we go out own way (we try to, but it never happens). I make friends for life and find earlier versions of my kindred spirits through this practice.
These processes are not for everyone and do cause psychological discomforts (significant in some cases). Specifically, due to the potency of these processes, we do not work with politicians or lobbyists due to the potential of a misuse. If one has had enough problems which are in the Wicked Problems domain, immune to irreducibility, rigorous analysis, and deductive approaches, then this toolkit is for you. If you feel called, do not hesitate to drop a note using the “Contact Us” page. If inclined, feel free to scout around the rest of the hyperspace here and our main website www.perchingtree.com.