The idiotplayers podcast is a caravanserai of conversations with important thinkers, be-ers and doers. The idiotplayers podcast aims to explore art, creativity and expression. If there is an elephant standing in the dark, as the Sufi story goes, we want to do more than grope and theorize. We invite conversations with people who aim from the heart to make practical, the far-reaching.
Welcome to idiotplayers podcast episode 10. In this episode we welcome professional stage magician and wonder maker, Steffan Soule. Steffan has written an important book, Accomplish the Impossible, in which he reveals some of the wisdom hidden within the enneagram symbol. The book is a result of his own long study of this symbol using the traditional sources, but it more obviously expresses his own practical engagement with the symbol through his magic shows and in life. The book is important because it takes the material of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Bennett and presents it in a modern context, inviting the reader into further individual study. At the same time the book preserves and conveys the wonder and mystery of the symbol itself. Soule presents the enneagram as a powerful magical instrument because it guides one through the reality of completing whole processes. Thus, it teaches one to look for and anticipate important passages and junctures in the process. This is magical because with an understanding of whole processes, we gain deeper insight into our own nature and into nature at large. It is with this understanding, as Steffan says, that we can accomplish the impossible.
We begin by talking at some length about background topics relevant to the book and then about midway dive into some of the important details of the book itself. In addition to the rich illustrations in the book, there is a companion website where you can get further information about what he calls the Nine Term Symbol (NTS). There is a login interface where you can create and share NTSs of your own using a unique software tool that Steffan has coded himself. In the show notes you’ll also find video segments that are a good background to the conversation. You may want to stop and check those out first. At any rate, idiotplayers listeners we welcome you to the caravanserai. Prepare yourself for a wonderful conversation with Steffan Soule.
The conversation was originally recorded on Monday, May 21, 2012.
“Accomplish the Impossible” gives readers a practical way to use the sacred geometry of the enneagram (the Nine Term Symbol) for process improvement. Combining critical thinking with intuitive understanding, Steffan’s approach levels the playing field by simplifying the laws of continuous improvement. Based on the author’s thirty years as a professional magician and student of hidden knowledge, he reveals – without smoke and mirrors – a clear pathway into the nature of sustainability and transformation.
Steffan and his wife, Barbara are based in Seattle where their performances are well known in the arts scene. They have worked with the Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Reparatory Theatre, The Fifth Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. Currently, Steffan Soule performs for theatres, corporate events and private parties while creating new works with artist Cooper Edens and their magic ensemble.
As designer and co-producer of custom-built theatres for his shows Steffan Soule performed the longest running magic show on the West Coast, “Mysterian”. The show’s five year run featured some of the greatest magic in the world according to magicians, critics and magic historians.
being in the present moment; techniques for being present; watching the attention; the three brains; Aikido; The Gurdjieff Movements; the attention; what is magic?; three kinds of reactions to a magical show; the higher emotion of wonder; keeping free of ego during magic; magic co-opted by the power possessing; learning and being and freedom; the enneagram, the nine term symbol, shows how all processes work; three forces involved in every processes or occurrence; the third force and third force thinking; accident and restoration; reminding factor; the inner compass of the enneagram (the inner lines of the NTS); the enneagram is the most important symbol of our time; the NTS as a means of exact communication; making the enneagram accessible for thinking about real processes; Bennett’s teaching on the enneagram; Gurdjieff’s imbedding of the enneagram in his work; the Turing machine model of information and the cybernetic model, how the enneagram, perhaps, blends these two models; getting from the enneagram 4 to the enneagram 5; programming the third force?; systematics; the six fundamental triads of Bennett and the six inner lines of the enneagram; the meaning of the triangle in the enneagram; world 6; mentation by form and mentation by thought.