A simple model to understand
the complex nature of human mind
Foaum (pronounced same as 'foam') is a simple model to understand the complex nature of human mind.
Scroll down to read theory and applications of Foaum.
For complete details of Foaum please read the book titled,
Foaum: A simple model to understand the complex nature of human mind,
or attend the workshops conducted under various initiatives, listed at the bottom of this page.
Foaum is a simple model with a robust theoretical foundation to explain the complexity of the human mind, human relations, human collaboration and human organization. It establishes the building blocks of human mind in terms of which every unique human personality can be expressed. It offers simple and elegant explanations for a range of psychological and sociological phenomena. Here we provide an overview of the theory of Foaum, and the full details are available in the book or from the workshops.
Foaum is developed by Krishna Sharma, a citizen scientist, to use a term that recently came into vogue to describe people like him who are involved in scientific research and studies, but happened to work outside of the mainstream academia and research bodies. Like Einstein developed the theory of relativity while working at a patents office and like Wright brothers developed the first aircraft while working in their bicycle shop, Krishna Sharma, a mathematician by training, developed Foaum while working as an engineer and architect in the field of information systems.
He was curious, since childhood, about human nature, human relationships and human development and a range of related questions.
What contributes to the success and happiness of a person? Why do siblings born and raised in the same household cannot get along, while people from different parts of the world can collaborate in the name of science, technology, arts, etc? How does the diversity of humanity persist defying the homogenizing effects of education systems, religions, legal systems and even totalitarian systems? What is the exact relationship between the individual and the society?
Why USA prospered so fast and so much, while Mexico, its neighbor, remained underdeveloped? What makes one a politician and the other a scientist and another an entrepreneur? How is it that every society, so varied from each other in its course of development, is able to produce innovators and billionaires? How is it that politicians, from every part of the world and from every civilization, behave almost the same way? Why do people kill each other in the name of god?
At the age of five, on the first day of his school, he figured out that the way he was asked to write the the alphabet on the slate over and over is not the best way to learn alphabet, at least for him. All through his school days, he used to find that the teaching methods not effective not only for him but also for a majority of the students.
Entering the workforce, he saw that there are several inefficiencies in the processes, team structures and incentive and reward mechanisms, that actually drag down the overall productivity and satisfaction levels, and a majority of people retire from the workforce in disillusionment rather than finding fulfillment.
He also wondered why, in spite of the institution of marriage being age-old, humankind has not perfected the art of making marriages successful, and the failure rate of marriages worldwide is only on the rise but not on the decline.
He also noticed that while everyone speaks in flowery language about the uniqueness of each child and each individual, no system really caters to the uniqueness of individuals. Systems treat and render services to everyone the same way as if they are the same. Same education is given to millions of children as if they are the same. Same advice is given to all married couples as if there is a silver bullet that works for everyone. Same training and incentives are given to workforce as if people respond to the same. Same scripture is read to everyone, as if everyone can relate to god the same way.
While any mother with more than two children can tell how each one is unique and how different each one is from the other even when they were as young as one or two year old, we pretend as if children are blank slates and anything can be written on them. We are being hypocritical, praising uniqueness while actually seeking uniformity, and worse, enforcing it.
To find answers to these questions and solutions to these problems, he turned, naturally, to social sciences, i.e., psychology and sociology, but only to find that there is no strong theoretical foundation in these fields even to define such fundamental aspects as uniqueness and happiness. If there is no solid definition of uniqueness, how can anything be done to cater to it? If there is no definition of happiness, how can anything be done to improve it?
He realized that the fields of social sciences are not as developed as the physical sciences or biological sciences are. Physical sciences, over the past few centuries, figured out that the composition of every material can be uniquely expressed in terms of its building blocks, molecules and atoms. Biological Sciences figured out that every life form can be uniquely expressed in terms of the its building block, the genome. Social sciences, however, hasn't figured out what the building blocks of the human mind are, in terms of which the uniqueness of every individual can be expressed.
He understood that there are significant and fundamental gaps in the fields of psychology and sociology that need to be filled.
His work over multiple decades, which culminated in the development of Foaum, was a pursuit of finding answers to the questions and solutions to the problems that he was after, such as a) what are the building blocks of human nature? b) how to easily identify the uniqueness of a person and express it in terms of the building blocks? c) how to develop techniques and programs to cater to the uniqueness of individuals? d) how to define happiness objectively? e) how to identify and design collaboration patterns that would increase the happiness and fulfillment levels? f) how to explain various psychological and sociological phenomena?
In developing Foaum, he took an unconventional, out-of-the-box approach. As he found no strong foundation to explain the complexity of human mind in the Social Sciences, he turned to every source that shed light on human nature, Modern as well as Ancient, Western as well as Eastern, Humanities as well as Sciences. Yet, he found no answers, but he found pointers and insights sprinkled here and there.
He ended up finding inspiration and cues as much from Valmeeki, Vyasa, Bharatamuni, Vatsayana, Patanjali, Buddha, Confucius, Kabir, Khayyam, Shakespeare, Marx, Heisenberg, Hawking and the likes, as he did form Freud, Berne, Jung, Kant, Darwin, Dawkins and the likes, in studying the human nature.
At a high level, it can be said that he drew inspiration and cues from five different sources, three primary and two secondary. The primary sources are Information Systems Models, Ancient Indic Models and Biological Systems Models. The secondary sources are Social Systems Models and Physical Systems Models.
His near four decades of experience in information systems helped him tremendously in developing Foaum. Developing new languages and new frameworks is a staple activity in information systems. In developing a language, one is challenged to create vocabulary to represent abstract notions on the one hand and constructs that can serve as building blocks to express larger processes on the other hand. In developing a framework, one is challenged to bring together a diverse range of concerns, constructs together and make them fit and work seamlessly.
These skills he gained in developing and working with languages and frameworks in the information systems reflect themselves in the simple and intuitive vocabulary and in the intricate yet elegant structure of Foaum.
The very word Foaum has 'framework' embedded in it. Foaum stands for Framework of Aum, Aum being a Sanskrit word for everything.
Not having had to depend on his research work for his livelihood, not having had to publish papers or write books and blogs constantly and prematurely like many in academia are demanded to, and not having had to build or maintain professional reputation, position or stature, he took his own time, i.e, more than four decades, in developing Foaum, with no pressure whatsoever, enjoying all the freedom, and with the luxury of accepting failure as a possibility, till he could put a Framework together that addressed a diverse range of questions, concerns and questions.
He was guided only by his vision to develop a model that is a) robust enough to stand the rigor of scientific scrutiny b) modular enough to be extended and refined by future researchers b) easy enough for anyone to learn without needing a degree in psychology and c) useful enough to quickly develop solutions to the problems related to human development, human relations and human organization.
Since 2009, he has been testing the robustness, usefulness and applicability of Foaum by teaching it to people of various backgrounds and helping them find solutions to the issues they face in their personal as well as professional lives, which in turn, helped him tweak the model to enhance its robustness, modularity and elegance.
The fundamental principle of Foaum is that there are distinct instincts, which can be enumerated and classified, that form the building blocks of human nature, in terms of which the uniqueness of every person can be expressed.
Foaum identifies that there are four distinct classes of instincts, called Primal Four into which all human instincts can be classified. The four classes are named as Connect, Survive, Multiply and Evolve classes.
The Connect class of instincts are related to the inherent connection of humans with the universe. These instincts are the basis for the constant urge of humans to explore the mystery of the universe on the one hand, and to find a spiritual connection with it on the other hand.
The Survive class of instincts are related to the survival of individuals. They are the basis for our urge to consume food and to defend ourselves against threats and dangers. This class of instincts of Foaum are an elaboration of the Darwinian survival instinct.
The Multiply class of instincts are also an extension of the Darwinian survival instincts in the sense of survival of species and hence are related to mating, giving birth to offspring, raising them and passing on legacy and inheritance.
The Evolve class of instincts are the basis for the evolution of humanity as a unit, from the stone age to the Internet age. This class of instincts are also responsible for turning a generic human into a specialized professional, such as an artist, or a scientist or an entrepreneur or a politician, etc. Normally these instincts are also folded into the Darwinian survival instincts. But Foaum calls them out as a separate class of instincts and studies them in a great detail.
The first three, the Connect, Survive and Multiply instincts are well known and are studied under various disciplines like spirituality, psychology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy and science, both in the ancient times and in modern times.
But, the Evolve class of instincts have been neither identified nor studied by anyone in any part of the world, except by the Indic Civilization. As far as Foaum is considered this was the missing class of instincts in establishing the building blocks of human nature, and the discovery of this class of instincts, more than anything else, is what made Foaum unique and powerful.
The Multiply and Evolve classes of instincts divide further into subclasses. The Multiply class of instincts divide into the two subclasses Male and Female. The Evolve instincts divide into four subclasses. But there are no words in the vocabulary of English language and other languages of the world to describe these subclasses as they are not known outside of the Indic civilization. Hence Foaum, for the sake of convenience, uses color coding to represent the four subclasses as Green, Yellow, Red and Blue. Because of this color-coding, the Evolve class of instincts are also came to be known as Colors.
Nature makes each individual human being unique by instantiating the instincts in three different modes, Active, Passive and Muted. A given instinct can be instantiated in one person in Active mode and in another person in Passive mode and in another person in Muted mode. The differences in instantiation modes cause the differences among individuals and are responsible for the diversity of human beings.
An individual's uniqueness, which Foaum refers to as 'Core', can be expressed in terms of the instantiation modes of the instincts. By using the letters A, P and M, for the three modes Active, Passive and Muted respectively, the Core of a person can be expressed as follows, where each position represents a specific instinct and the letter represents the instantiation mode:
The four segments in the above colon-separated expression represent instincts from the four Primal Four classes, i.e., Connect, Survive, Multiply, and Evolve in that order. We will also call this representation of the Core as PIM, an acronym for Personal Instinctual Map. The two terms Core and PIM are equivalent and interchangeable. Based on the instantiation mode, we can call certain instincts as Active instincts, some as Passive instincts and the others as Muted instincts, in the context of PIM.
The four colon-separated strings in this example show a little over dozen or so instincts in each class, but the actual number of instincts in each of the Primal Four classes run into hundreds. Therefore, you can imagine a PIM to actually consist of four very long strings.
The Core determines the invariable part of one's personality, that comes by birth and endures throughout one's life. It determines the interests, preferences, urges, strengths and weaknesses that are core to a person. It determines what a person sees in the environment and what he or she is blind to. It represents what a person lives and dies for. It represents what a person would do if he or she is given complete freedom and the necessary support to do what he or she wants to do. It represents the weight one gives to various factors in making choices.
However, the manifestation of Core varies throughout life, both with the age and under the influence of the environment. Manifestation of Core is what is normally called as behavior. Two individuals with near identical PIMs, growing up in different environments can be seen differing in their behavior. The power of Foaum comes from its ability to help separate the instincts from behavior and see the Core through the camouflage of environmental influences.
Environment and chance can help as well as hinder the manifestation of the Core. A person is happy and feels elated whenever the environment calls for and allows the expression of Active instincts. If a person is called or allowed only to express the Passive instincts, the person will be able to survive but not enjoy. If a person is called to express the Muted instincts, the person will simply fail even in what seemed to be a simple task for a person with the same instinct in Active mode.
Every individual person is naturally propelled by the urge to live in alignment with his or her Core, i.e., expressing his or her Active instincts, becasue that is where happiness lies. In doing so, one takes advantage of favorable environmental and chance factors and events as much as possible and fends off against the adverse ones.
Foaum consists of about one hundred major and minor concepts, abstractions and principles that delve deep into the Primal Four classes of instincts. Of these hundred or so concepts, four concepts can be considered as key concepts. They are: Organisms, Layers, Polarities and Cycles.
The concept of Organisms is the cornerstone of Foaum model. Foaum gives a generic definition of Organism as anything that exists for a finite time span, undergoing changes through its life cycle, influencing and influenced by its environment. By this definition, not only life forms including humans, but also social units like communities, businesses, associations, cities and countries are seen as Organisms.
This generic definition of Organism, which spans across life forms, humans and social units, allows Foaum to cross-pollinate concepts from different branches of not only psychology and sociology but also biology and spirituality, yielding rich insights into the Primal Four classes of instincts.
By its very existence, an Organism divides the universe into two, the 'inside' and the 'outside', like a bubble does. (hence the logo of Foaum). Every Organism emerges in the universe when the conditions are ripe and the necessary matter comes together. An Organism sustains itself as long as it can and then disappears like a bubble. Environment is a friend and a foe of an Organism at the same time.
An Organism holds three kinds of relationships with the universe, innately. They are::
The part-whole relationship throws light on the Connect class of instincts, the inside-outside relationship throws light on the Evolve class of instincts and the known-unknown relationship throws light on the Multiply class of instincts.
Both an Organism and its environment consists of layers similar to the layers of earth and the layers of the atmosphere. The layers of the Organism, i.e, the 'inside' are also called as internal layers, and they are four in number. These are developed by re-interpreting the concept of Pancha Kosa from Indic Philosophy (known as Pancha Skandha in Buddhist Philosophy.)
The layers of the environment, i.e, 'outside', which are also four in number, are called as external layers. While the concept of internal layers is based on Pancha Kosa, the concept of external layers is developed ground-up, and is not based on any other source.
Internal layers and external layers mirror each other and these pairs of layers form the basis for the four subclasses of Evolve instincts which are color-coded as Green, Yellow, Red and Blue instincts. The dotted line in the picture demarcates the external layers from the internal layers.
In addition to the whole-part and inside-outside relationships, we noted that Organisms hold a third relationship with the universe called known-unknown relationship.
The inner recess of the inside and the outer recesses of the outside are a mystery and remain unknown to us. Though the mystery remains unknown, we know that it exists.
We have a dual relationship with the mystery. On the one hand, we want to pierce into the mystery and find the gems hidden in it, turning the unknown into the known, which we call functional relationship. On the other hand, we want the mystery to remain a mystery and feel the magic of it, which we call magical relationship. Catching the rainwater to quench thirst by building dams and canals is an example of functional relationship. Drenching oneself in the monsoon rains is an example of magical relationship. Scientists like the functional relationship and poets enjoy the magical relationship.
Foaum perceives these two relationships as polarities of human existence. Foaum identifies and delves into many other such polarities in nature. All of them, put together provide, interestingly, as Foaum sees it, a solid theoretical foundation to study the differences between the male-female subclasses of instincts and their complementary nature.
In exploring the polarities, Foaum draws upon many concepts of Indic Civilization such as the Purusha/Prakriti, Dwandwa, and concepts of Sufism and Taoism and the extensive work of Joseph Campbell on mythology and its significance. Further, Foaum complements the concepts from these sources with some of its own concepts and principles to make the theoretical foundation for the Multiply classes robust.
The fourth and final key concept of Foaum, known as Cycles, is related to the life trajectory and growth of Organisms. This concept draws heavily from the concept of Aum from Indian Philosophy. The concept of Aum conceives universe as made up of infinite nested cycles of finite time span.
Foaum introduces new concepts like 'containing Organisms' and 'fractal Organisms', taking cue from this stirring concept of Aum.
All of these concepts, together, give a solid foundation for the study of the growth and life trajectory of humans as well as the rise, spread and fall of human built Organisms, i.e., social units, like businesses, organizations and cities, and the intricate ways in which they affect each other.
The quick and short overview of the concepts of Foaum, given above, and the fact that there are close to a hundred of them, some with roots in not so well known ancient Indic models, may make one think that it will take a long time to learn Foaum. That is, fortunately, not true.
The five major concepts, Instincts, Organisms, Layers, Polarities and Cycles, with all the other hundred concepts and principles that fall under them, are all intuitive and can be learned in about two days each, which means the entire model of Foaum can be learned in a matter of ten days. Compare this with years of college education to get a degree in psychology!
Of the five concepts, the Layers concept stands out, because it explains the most important, useful but hitherto unknown Evolve class of instincts. And rightly so, it proved to be the most popular among the people who have learned Foaum since 2009 (see testimonials, and note that the Evolve class of instincts are referred in the testimonials as Colors becasue of the color-coding used to represent its subclasses). The Layers concept, along with a necessary and brief introduction to rest of the concepts, can be learned in just five days.
The Core manifests itself in every aspect of life and in every single activity, which means, anyone can 'reverse engineer' the Core of anyone by observing the behavior in just one or two situations. One's the Core is known, the behavior and choices of the person can be predicted.
For example, you could ask someone to recount his or her best memories of childhood, and based on that information you can map his or her PIM. You can walk into a house and based on how it is kept, you can decipher a good portion of the PIM of the owner of the house, without even meeting him or her in person. A child's PIM can be figured out from the way the child plays with the toys and with other children. A customer service representative, trained in Foaum, can figure out the PIM of a caller in a single conversation of less than five minutes.
Now the only question is, if such a powerful tool to map out the uniqueness of any person easily is made available to everyone, how would it change the world? We discuss this in the Applications section.
Foaum is a model to understand the complexity of human mind and human relations. It is useful for everyone from every background, regardless of ethnicity, gender, race, religion, economic background, professional background, cultural background. A king as well as a monk, a housewife as well as a prostitute, an entrepreneur as well as a spiritual leader, a teacher as well as a doctor, can make use of it, because everyone can benefit from learning about the complexity of human mind.
Foaum is useful to solve problems and address issues at micro-level, macro-level as well as intermediate-level. By micro-level issues, we mean the challenges in making personal choices and managing personal relationships. By macro-level issues, we mean the challenges in understanding the goal of humanity, validating or invalidating the sanctity and value of the institution of marriage or democracy, understanding the relationship between individual and the group, culture and economy, etc. By intermediate-level issues, we mean issues involved in educating children in school, managing workforce in workplaces, delivering social services, etc.
Another way to look at the micro, intermediate and macro level issues is in terms of the demographic that addresses them, i.e., from the perspective of three broad categories of people, Ordinary people, Change Agents and Social Scientists. We will discuss each one of them in turn.
The need to understand the complexity of human mind cannot be overemphasized. Day in and day out, we are called to make choices from new year resolutions to career choices, in both of which, only a handful of us do well. This is because we are complex beings. A lot is going on inside of us, but we have handle and control on only a few of those gyrations of mind. Knowing the complexity of human mind is to know about ourselves. We need to know the motives behind each one of your actions. We need to know why we feel pulled in multiple directions about many things.
Day in and day out, we also have to deal with many people in life, children, spouses, parents, siblings, colleagues, subordinates, bosses, customers, call center representatives, and so on. It is amazing to see how poor we are in understanding our own children whom we raise, and our own spouses, with whom we spend years. We get by dealing with other relatively easily, only because we interact with them only for a small amount of time and only for a few needs of life.
We are able to deal with others not because of our ability to understand them, but because we limit our interactions with them and everyone is guided into a grove by the norms of the society. Is that how it should be? Shouldn't we be able to understand people as they are and enjoy interacting with them? The more we know the people and their personality styles, the better we will be able to play with them and enjoy the game of life. Knowing the complexity of human mind makes us better spouses, better parents, better professionals, better teachers, better managers and better leaders.
People get training to raise animals and to nurture plants, but everyone thinks they can raise children and manage others without basic understanding of human complexity. Both in raising children and managing people, we essentially turn to the goddess of luck; when things go right, we take credit and when they go wrong, we blame others or fate.
Getting a handle on human complexity should be considered as a basic and necessary skill similar to reading, writing or using a phone. Everyone needs it, without exception. Yet, you can graduate not knowing anything about the human complexity. Knowing are not knowing calculus or cell biology doesn't make a difference in the many of our lives, but not knowing human mind does, in everyone's life.
But not everyone can afford to spend four years or more to get a degree in psychology. The basics everyone needs to know in life, should not be a specialization. We need an alternative. We need a way to learn the basic essentials of human complexity in a short period of time. Foaum is developed to cater to this vital need of the society. It helps everyone learn the basics of human complexity in a matter of days.
Foaum helps the common man to understand oneself and the people around. It provides an easy way to understand the big picture of life and universe and our role in it. It helps understand the relationship between the internal urges, emotions and conflicts and external opportunities and constraints. It helps people develop better relationships with themselves, with others, with the society and with the universe.
But, where do Ordinary People go to learn Foaum? This is where Change Agents come into picture. Let us see below how.
Change agents is a generic term we use here to represent people who are passionate about making this world a better place, especially in the areas of human development and human relationships. These are the people who, by virtue of their profession or passion, are responsible for more than themselves, making decisions that affect the lives of many people with far reaching consequences, by designing systems, influencing social trends and making policies.
Change agents include educators, policy makers, social reformers, social workers, community developers, human resource developers, family counselors and such. Though they are responsible for the lives of others, they often lack a deep understanding of human complexity. Not every educator or policy maker or social worker has the luxury of obtaining a degree in psychology. Even if they do, they learn a lot of theory and only a little of what is practically applicable.
One of the goals of Foaum is to give the social agents a basic understanding of human complexity in a matter of weeks. Once upon a time, there used to be a king, whose children turn out to be waywards, difficult to teach anything. The king was worried. These children are not only a problem for him, but would be a problem for the entire population, if they were to become kings in future. He shared his worry in his court full of noblemen and scholars. One of the scholars, by name Vishnu Sharma, alleviates the king of the worry saying that he would turn the children into fine and capable youngmen in a matter of six months and bets his head on it. He then turns the essence of all that young men of roayalty need to know into stories and attracts and teaches them those stories. Those stories are what came to be known as Panchatantra. This story is one of the inspirations for developing Foaum. We need a simple model to explain the complexity of human mind to the Change Agents, those who affect the lives of others.
Foaum, not only gives a deep understanding of the complexity of human mind to a Change Agent, but also enables them to develop programs to bring change in an area of human activity that they are in-charge of or passionate about. We will see what this means in practice, by considering a real-life example program based on Foaum.
We will now discuss an application of Foaum in detail, to gain an appreciation for how Foaum can be used to solve real-life problems. This application is about a program called 'Rich Alignment' which was implemented in a Children' Home. It is developed to solve certain issues in caring for the children in Children's Homes.
In a specific Children's Home, like in most, the staff members were managing the children taking turns day in and day out, 365 days a year. However, as any one can tell, managing children is not easy. The staff members were finding it very difficult to manage some children and were feeling guilty for not able to pay enough attention to the others who were relatively easy to manage. So, the challenge was, how to make the situation better in this resource-constrained Home?
The answer is the Rich Alignment program. It is designed based on a cue from a commonly known phenomena seen in any normal household. Children usually get attracted to one specific uncle or aunt over the others. The reason is that children automatically get connected to and feel comfortable with adults who are 'like' them. Rich Alignment program is born out of the idea, "What if, if the children in the Home are connected to the adult staff members who are 'like' them?" That should certainly make the children happy and staff effective!
To implement this idea, we needed a mechanism to quickly and with good degree of certainty identify the children and the staff who are 'alike'. This is where Foaum came handy. The staff were trained over a course of three days on the concept of 'Layers' of Foaum. Using this concept, the staff members were able to identify their own personalities and also the personalities of all the children of the Home. Following the training, the staff members made a simple change in the way they managed the children: in stead of taking care of the children by taking turns, each staff member took the primary responsibility for the children who are 'like' her.
Within a matter of a few weeks, the results became evident. Managing and supporting the children became much more easy than it was before. With this, the environment and efficacy of the Home became orders of magnitude better, without adding additional resources, without needing additional budget and without disrupting existing processes or adding new processes. Anything is better than nothing, if the only cost is three days of training, right?
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To discuss a few other practical applications of Foaum in solving intermediate-level issues, let us focus on three places where most of the human activity occurs, Home, School and Workplace, one by one.
First, let us discuss a couple of common challenges related to Home, i.e., family life. One is about finding a compatible life partner and the other is about raising children. Young people generally end up making the big commitment and tie the knot, knowing only a slice of the other person's personality and making convenient and whimsical assumptions about the rest. If their assumptions happens to be wrong, the marriage hits a rough patch.
Foaum helps people to avoid this costly mistake. It gives the skills to identify anyone's personality based on a few snippets of their behavior, more accurately and with more confidence. This skill alone, can help save many young people not get into bad marriages.
Now let us discuss about raising children. Each child is different. The same parenting style does not work for every child. But all parents are gifted neither with the skills to discern the uniqueness of the child, nor with the ability to develop a parenting style that is right for the child. Parents make number of decisions for the child, especially in the growing years, based on their own interests and fancies, rather than based on what is best for the child. In fact, parents realize all the mistakes they did in raising the first child when they raise he second child, which really means they are taking a trial and error approach to raise the children. What a kind of risk are they taking in helping their own dear ones?
Training in Foaum, many parents are able to identify the unique personality of their child and were able to get a sense of the areas in which their children will shine when they grow up. With that knowledge, they are able to focus on giving right kind of support to the children by making the necessary adjustment to their parenting style, which they would have never made otherwise, being confident and rightous about themselves. See testimonials to understand the impact that Foaum could bring on the parents in a matter of couple of days.
The initiative of Grihastha.org is started specifically to focus on applying Foaum to help people enjoy better family life, by conducting workshops and developing programs.
Next, let us consider education system. Everyone speaks, using the best possible flowery language, how each child is unique and special. But the education system is far from either identifying the uniqueness or catering to it. Education systems, all over the world, deliver a uniform curriculum at the same pace to millions of children, as if they are all same, interested in the same thing, able to absorb with the same intensity, in about the same amount of time, at about the same age.
While there are revolutionary and dramatic changes in the last couple of centuries, in every other system, such as Transportation, Communication, Energy, Agriculture, Food processing and Medicine, because of the progress made by Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences, the education system continues to be the same as it has been, because Social Sciences has not made similar advances, enough to easily, accurately and confidently identify the uniqueness of the children, much less develop education methods that can be easily customized to cater to the unique learning styles and needs of the children.
This is where the Foaum can help in a big way. For example, the easy and near-zero-cost 'Rich Alignment' program described above can be used to cater to the uniqueness of each child, in the context of education system also. Just as there are different learning styles among students, there are also different teaching styles among teachers. By aligning the children and teachers who are 'alike', the learning experience of the children as well as the teaching experience of the teachers can be improved dramatically. With less than a week's worth of training and without the need for additional budgets or staff or changes in the process, Rich Alignment between students and teachers can solve the problem of customizing education, albeit, at the micro-level.
Foaum, given to educators is similarly capable of unleashing the power of innovation, to invent techniques to break through the intermediate and macro level constraints, to move the education systems beyond same curriculum, same pace and same age, pattern, to provide each child an opportunity to learn according to their own learning style.
This, the ability to cater to the uniqueness of each child, what seems to be impossible today, can truly be accomplished. The initiative of Ed>4ward is started to build a platform for unleashing the educational innovation, to make learning an enjoyable, fruitful, nurturing and strengthening experience for every child. See the website Ed4ward.org for details.
Next let us discuss workplaces, focusing on the most frequently asked question by the employers: 'how to increase the productivity?'. The traditional as well as the most popular approach is 'carrot and stick', which in the modern sophisticated lingo became 'incentives' and 'leading'. Everyone knows that this approach can only go so far, both in theory and practice. You cannot flog someone to be more collaborative or creative or committed. You cannot incentivise enough a low performing teacher to become a high performing teacher. You can only make a a pilot or surgeon or an artist or a nurse only so much better with this approach.
To gain an insight into the modern workplaces, we have to realize that there two fundamental shifts that have happened in the workforce. One, with workplaces delivering complex services, there is a rise in the diversity of job-functions. Two, with workplaces delivering more and more services, more and more percentage of population is getting into organized sectors. In other words, job-function diversity as well as personality diversity is on the rise. These two are actually complementary.
Modern workplaces should not any more to look for molding diverse personalities into a single culture and give specialized training to make them fit into a job-function. Rather, modern workplaces should develop the skill of matching the person with the right attitude and aptitude with the right job-function. We call this the principle of AA is better than EE, which means right Aptitude and right Attitude make one more successful than right Education and right Experience. People with right AA excel and see a sharp rise in their career, while people with the right EE wait for it.
But modern workplaces haven't yet warmed up to this new reality of the two powerful diversities at their disposal. I/O psychology, which focuses on the research related to workforce, still serves largely the 'carrot and stick' approach, comparing, perfecting and innovating incentive/reward structures. Hardly i/o psychology is cognizant of this new reality.
Foaum, with its rich abstractions of Organisms, Containing Organisms, Fractal Organisms, Inner Layers, and Outer Layers, provides a solid grounding and great insights into understanding the two complementary diversities. The 'Rich Alignment' program, takes a different meaning in the context of workplaces, of 'aligning people and roles that are alike'. It can help any workplace move away from the 'carrot and stick' approach.
Many workplaces speak proudly of supporting work/life balance to the extent of even forcing people to take a vacation. But there is something not quite right about this. If taking a vacation is considered to be 'recharging', the implication is that work is 'draining'. Oh Uh! In the first place, work should not be draining. With the 'Rich Alignment', work would no more be about doing tasks. It will be about self-expression and finding fulfillment. Anyone who finds fulfillment in their work will give their 100%, without regard to carrot and stick. Many psychological studies prove that people excel in job-functions they like, and not necessarily in jobs that pay more. Foaum makes the 'Rich Alignment' easy. Management and Human resources in every corporation should steer their existing 'carrot and stick' programs and processes with the 'Rich Alignment' and all it takes is a few days of training and the help of a consultant. And by the way, vacation would still have a role, not to get 'recharged', but to enjoy other aspects of life and expand horizons. Coming to work in the morning should be as exciting as going home in the evening, one 'Rich Alignment' is in place.
The initiative of Human4ce (read as 'human force') is started to promote the 'Rich Alignment' in workplace. Please see the website human4ce.com for details.
There are many branches in social sciences today, such as cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology and evolutionary psychology that try to crack the complexity of human mind. However, these many branches of social sciences are trying to crack it from a specific angle and none of them is touch the core aspects of the human nature. None of them offer a strong theoretical foundation even to define such simple aspects of human core as uniqueness, happiness, friendships, patriotism, entrepreneurship, innovation, spirituality, sensuality and superstition.
Branches of social sciences like Neuropsychology, Evolutionary Psychology and Cognitive Psychology try to analyze the human core from the bottom, i.e., from the primitive constructs of human mind. It is difficult to analyze human core with this approach. It is like attempting at analyzing the software of a computer or smartphone by dissecting its hardware.
The field of Pathology and Disorders has developed certain abstractions about human mind, but they are related to the problems of human mind, than to the nature of human mind. This approach explores how many ways things can go wrong and what to do about them, but doesn't establish what the core human nature is.
Another discipline of social sciences, Personality type/trait theories, try to understand the human core by using the observable traits without offering a theoretical foundation to explain them. Educational Psychology and Developmental Psychology has a 'sideways' view of the human core, i.e., a specific aspect of human nature, in isolation from everything else and without a strong theoretical foundation.
Social psychology tries to analyze the human mind from the social manifestation of human mind, again, without a strong theoretical foundation to interpret the observable phenomena. Industrial/Organizational Psychology, (also known as I/O psychology and occupational psychology), is primarily focused on employer/employee relationships, carrot/stick model incentives, motivation/stress etc. factors, but doesn't have its own theoretical foundation or one to lean on, that describes such key aspects of human nature as satisfaction or fulfillment.
In summary, the reality is that there is a huge gap in the area of social sciences, begging for a theoretical foundation to explain the human core. Ideally such theoretical foundation should dovetail with all the existing branches of social sciences. This is exactly what Foaum is designed to address.
Foaum likens conquering the complexity of human mind to the conquering of the complexity of information systems. It sees a parallel between information systems and human mind. There are two things that are noteworthy in information systems. One, a clean separation between hardware and the software. And within software, there is a separation between operating systems and applications, with frameworks and languages mediating between them.
A complex application in the information systems relies on frameworks, which rely in turn on operating systems, which work upon micro-code, which is executed by the hardware. Each one of them has technological foundations of its own and evolves independently of the others. Similarly, the many branches of social sciences also have their own theoretical foundation and is evolving on its own, but there is no theoretical foundation that ties them all together. Moreover, each branch, confined to its area of concern, left a large void in the middle as we discussed above.
Foaum adds two things to this picture, to fill the gaps. First, it defines a clean layer, made up of instincts that separates the higher level aspects of mind from the lower level, close-to-biology aspects of human mind. Secondly, it provides theoretical foundation to define the core, which it calls Core Psychology, which also connects all the branches together.
By providing a robust theoretical foundation for identifying and expressing human uniqueness, Foaum boosts the research in the fields of Educational Psychology and I/O Psychology. With the concept of Layers, which shows a mirror relationship between the inside and outside, Foaum fills gaps and forties many concepts in social psychology and systems theory. Through the layer of 'instincts', it connects to the research in the fields of Neuropsychology, Cognitive Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology. Through the concept of PIM, it gives a theoretical foundation to explore personality types and traits.
Further, through the concept of Layers, it gives theoretical support to the studies of such fields as the emerging behavioral psychology. Through its concept of Organisms, Cycles and Polarities, it connects to fields that hitherto lied outside the gamut of social sciences, such as religious and spiritual studies.
Foaum's theoretical foundation is independently developed from the ground up. It does not expand, rely, refute or corroborate any of the existing theories and models in social sciences.
Although, as described in the 'Theory' section, Foaum draws inspiration and cues from the Biological Systems Models and Ancient Indic Models, it is not derived from any of them and thus does not rely on them for its validity. Even if the sources from which it drew inspiration and cues are refuted, it will not affect the validity of Foaum. Foaum is self-contained and defines its own vocabulary and concepts. In fact, the book on Foaum has no bibliography.
Like it is the case with any scientific model, any of the parts and pieces of Foaum can be validated or invalidated through further research and scrutiny. The conclusions of Foaum can be verified readily and directly, as easily as the boiling point of water and the spherical shape of the earth.
Like any good model, Foaum makes a few assumptions and explains a whole range of phenomena and its applications are also many. Foaum also hints at the explanation of many more phenomena and applications in many other areas, which would be the scope of further research in the field of Core Psychology.
Foaum is modular in its design and any of its pieces and parts can be improved or changed without affecting the others, to a good extent. If it warrants, even the Framework itself can be restructured to absorb new findings from further research. In fact, many concepts and abstractions of Foaum have been reworked and rearranged since it has been first shared with the public in 2009.
A social scientist could learn Foaum for one or both of the two purposes: one, to switch one's own field of research to Core Psychology and two, to continue with one's own field of research and enrich it from the theoretical foundation provided by Foaum.
Foaum's vocabulary is simple for even the common man to understand. This means the scientist of Core Psychology shares a common language with the common man. Shared vocabulary makes back and forth experience between theory and practice faster. It makes it easy for a scientist to push a theory into the field and receive feedback and refine the theory. Simple vocabulary also makes it easy for Citizen Scientists and Change Agents and Innovators to contribute to the growth and robustness of Foaum, i.e., Core Psychology.
Foaum is easy to get started with for any social scientist. Since it is self-contained, there are no prerequisites to learn Foaum. As explained in the 'Theory' section, all the concepts of Foaum can be learned in a matter of ten days. Please see the research section for more information.
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