Water bugs at a roadside market
Absorb, Integrate, Transmit
Story and Photos by Gary Singh
nside the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, the air conditioning
does little to offset the interconnected heat from a hundred journalists
dressed in business attire. Were receiving a multimedia transmission
about the new trend of experiential tourisma buzz
phrase the presenters define as our emotional response to our
journey through time and space. From the stage, Christin Grothaus
and Michael Biedassek explain that recent trends no longer favor traditional
destination-based tourism, but, instead, -ing types of tourism,
i.e, cycling, elephant riding, caving, snorkeling,
etc. They predict future tourists will want to experience, reflect
Lampang Elephant Conservation Center
Conceptually, I deem this a meaningful coincidence because
Im already experiencing Thailand with a copy of The Eight-Circuit
Brain: Navigational Strategies for the Energetic Body by Berkeley
mystic, Antero Alli. According to Alli, to key to increasing ones
intelligence is by absorbing, integrating, and transmitting
information. Merely absorbing information will not help one evolve;
rather, one must integrate what one learns and transmit
As soon as Grothaus and Biedassek describe their model
of experience, reflect and share, I immediately synchronize
it with Allis model of absorbing, integrating and transmitting.
The book wasnt intended as a travel guide in the geographical
sense, but on this journey its my equivalent sidekick.
In Allis model, the brain contains eight circuits.
The first four are the basic survival circuits: (1) Physio-Biological
Intelligence; (2) Emotional-Territorial Intelligence; (3) Symbolic-Conceptual
Intelligence; and (4) Social-Moral Intelligence. These four function
as anchors for the other four, the "upper consciousness" circuits:
(5) Somatic Intelligence; (6) Intuitive-Psychic Intelligence; (7) Mytho-Genetic
Intelligence; and (8) Quantum-Nonlocal Intelligence.
All eight of these symbolic modalities are interconnected and each one
exists at various degrees of expression and latency in everyone. While
traveling, one experiences the model as a dynamic constantly-changing
Since Im in Thailand, where Buddhism penetrates
everything, my natural sense of interconnectedness is already kicking
into overdrive. Allis book shapes the emotional responses to my
journey through this particular space and time - (May the farce
be with you and the Buddha, too, he advises, adding that the point,
above all else, is to have fun with this.)
The multimedia transmission on experiential tourism
here in the Conference Centre brings it all into perspective. Absorb.
Integrate. Transmit. Are you receiving me? Good. Some quick examples:
Circuit 1, Physio-Biological Intelligence, (security
and the basic will to survive), centers around imprinted attitudes of
trust and comfort. For example, in Chiang Mai, the boutique hotel, U
Chiang Mai, sits rights across the street from a watering hole called
the Chiang Mai Writers Club & Wine Barthe citys
unofficial foreign correspondents club. Both of those fine establishmentsthe
hotel with its upstairs reading room, free WiFi and 24-hour breakfast;
the bar with its celebratory ambience supplied by owner and expat journo
Bob Tilleyabsolutely satisfied my fixations for security and self-preservation.
Upon leaving, I vowed to return.
Cessation of suffering is possible
Circuit 2, Emotional-Territorial Intelligence, deals
with personal status, power tactics and stabilizing your ego in the
midst of it all. For example, when several writers travel together and
share a bus for two weeks, all with varying degrees of professional
jealousy and inferiority complexes, (myself included), Circuit 2 can
disintegrate in no time. Following the books advice, my opinion
is: I am free; you are free; we can have our separate trips or
we can have the same trip. Im just glad Buddhist monks travel
the streets in Thailand, reminding me of that Third Noble Truth: Cessation
of suffering is indeed possible.
Orchid Jade factory, Chiang Mai
Even more challenging scenarios characterize Circuit 3, Symbolic-Conceptual
Intelligence. This is about analyzing situations, making metaphorical
maps of whats going on around you and finding ways to organize
the sensory overload of information coming in. It requires focusing
and paying attention, talents I often lack, especially when experiencing
many things in one trip: The Soneva Kiri Resort, The White Temple,
the Jade Factory, the Lampang Elephant Conservation Center, the
Buddhist monks, the water bugs, the Thai fortune tellers, and the
sex tourists at Pattaya Beach. The book provides Circuit 3 exercises
that help me focus and sort it all out, like making reality maps
to adjust how I think, talk and write about experiences.
Soneva Kiri Resort
Sign for a Thai fortune teller
Rounding out the first tetrachord of Allis model
would be Circuit 4, Social-Moral Intelligencethe urge to belong,
the impulse to fit in. This poses no problem in Thailand, as the natives
are convivial and welcoming. Whether Im in a Thai cooking class
by the river all afternoon or haggling over a $3 tie-and-cuff-links
package with wholesale vendors in blistering 110-degree Bangkok, everyone
makes me feel at home.
The upper consciousness circuits, 5-8, impact their
corresponding anchor circuits in respective order, stimulating growth
and evolution in those lower circuits. Circuit 5 impacts 1, Circuit
6 impacts 2, etc. For more, the reader can peruse Antero Allis
The Eight-Circuit Brain and its predecessor, Angel Tech.
Both books expand on previous ideas by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton
The White Temple near Chiang Rai
In the end, the Eight Circuit model opens my consciousness
to a new way of experiencing a destination. The presentation on experiential
tourism provides a perfect all-encompassing recap, bringing me back
to the end of this journey and perhaps even the beginning.
As I sit in the UN Conference Center in Bangkok, Grothaus
and Biedassek are unleashing their snazzy PowerPoint presentation, defining
the integral components of experiential tourism: Experience, reflect
and share. Little do they know, their Holy Trinity almost precisely
harmonizes with Antero Allis model. I feel tuned in just thinking
Consider that a wrap. I have absorbed and integrated.
You have now received the transmission.