Happy Independence Weekend- 2008. 

Many thanks are due to our ancestors who made independence possible. 

My father fought in WW II and my maternal grandfather in WW I.

I would like to pause and give special thanks to those willing to serve our country. 

The cost of service is often great, and too few of our men are remembered well, as often they do not recover.

In the end all families pay a price for independence and that price has been the willingness to go to war. I hope there will be a better way.









After my June adventure in California I am returning to the importance of stories.  I have interviewed 22 people in Mexico, so there are many stories still to tell.  I hope you will enjoy them all as I have.


Each of us has a story. Some are told boldly while others are only whispered. Each creates a meaning space, allowing the curious to learn from others and from their own experiences. 


One example comes to us from Newsweek on the lives of Lincoln and Darwin.  http://www.newsweek.com/id/143742?tid=relatedcl



The writer asks us to consider who had the greatest impact. Men of science seem to discover parts of nature which someone else is about to see, in this case Wallace. Insightful leaders who act on principle have a rare kind of political knowledge and courage. They are rare indeed. 


One similarity is that both of these men were mostly self taught.


One difference is that one had an intact family where the father used pressure to force his son into an acceptable career. Darwin had to use political intrigue and intuitive knowledge of triangles to go asked his uncle to intervene so that he might go on the voyage of the Beagle. While on the other hand, Lincoln comes from a disrupted family situation. He faced poverty and the early death of his mother.


As you can see each life creates a space where we can note how people adapt to the circumstances of their lives and then just how their life space changes over time.


For the fortunate person listening to life stories, from those who we admire as leaders, clarifies deeper values and ways of overcoming obstacles.


In the big picture perhaps Shakespeare was on to something, when he noted: “All the words a stage and all the men and woman merely players.” (As You Like It, Act Two, Scene Four) 


We may be only bit players on a large stage but consider the possibility that as each of us tells our story we get to know the feel and touch of these seen and unseen forces. 


Listening to stories is to understand the magic of process.  Yes, every day something new will be right in front of our eyes and we might get a glimpse of a different way of reacting or acting, if only we have the courage to see what is there.  Listening to stories is one way to prepare us to see and live in complexity.


We live in complex systems that refuse to be squeezed into a cause and effect space.  Small parts add up to more that the sum of the parts. Little actions can make big differences.  Yet, decisions are fraught with emotional difficulty. Often we do not know who to trust or if we have the courage to stand alone.  We need stories to learn from others experience. Stories can influences us in many subtle ways. 


We are making progress in many areas of decision making as evidence accumulates in how humans are influenced by our automatic tendencies. 


There is a new book worth reading in this area, Nudge, by Richard H. Thaler and  Cass R. Sunstein. “They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environment that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families and their societies.” (Found on the book jacket.)


Perhaps one day we will also be able to have a clearer view of choice pathways in our family and organizational lives. But until them we can use stories to inform us of how people understand and mange self in relationships.


I am grateful to the individuals like Fernando Manzanilla. He is courageous and willing to both tell his story and then to reflect on his journey. He deeply understands the importance of creating open networks of knowledge, which will be passed onto future generations.





FM and AMS
FM and AMS

FM- I have been training with Robert Moore the last few years. [1]

AMS- Yes, I have one of his books, Facing the Dragon. He knows about the shadow side and what it takes to get out from under the spell of illusion.


FM – He put me in contact with Jim Walsh. 


AMS- I enjoyed interviewing Jim for my book.  I met him for lunch with a friend In 2004, and before lunch was over he agreed to the interview. Plus he committed to bringing his wife and daughter to the first meeting on developing leadership[2]. Jim makes up his mind and does what he says he will do. This is a marker for a leader.


FM – Robert Moore also had given me some literature on Bowen theory. It seemed synchronistic when I heard you were trained at the Bowen Center.


At my age it is important to have role models who have qualities that you admire and that these people represent.  I recall one of the first things Jim said to me was: First you decide to do something good, and then you will do well.


Sometimes when you are in business in developing companies you can become less conscious of your surroundings and of your environment.  The US has advanced much more than many other countries in becoming aware of the impact they have on others. Some of his may be due to the events following September 11th.


I liked how Jim thought and began to see again how your business life can be an adventure in doing good. We started communicating a lot and he told me a little about his company and HESA, and how he was trying to do research on how the mind might influence matter. I said that is great because at this same time because of a personal matter I became interested in Jungian psychology.  My Interest In Jungian psychology started to merge with my business vision for the future.


I started to understand deeply how our personal lives are connected through the spiritual side in this universe we all inhabit. 


Jim and I talked about a scientific project, to demonstrate how the mind can influence material things. [1] His organization, HESS, was interesting to me and I became an investor and a board member. I think we will discover more about the human energy system. I can see how this is an area of knowledge which could transform the consciousness of the world. 


AMS – How do all these ideas fit into your business model?


FM- InovaMexico (www.inovamexico.com) is the best vehicle for my creative expression. It’s in the early stage but it is a creative enterprise.


AMS – Your symbol is bit like the sign of infinity.


FM- It’s a pyramid with flow.  It is very powerful symbol.


Pyramids are an important symbol for Mexico and for others cultures. Jungian psychology has divided personality symbols into categories: the lover, the warrior, the magician and the king.  All these aspects of our personalities are integrated with the symbol of the pyramid.  I think it is very Mexican and also represents the idea of spiritual growth for all people.


AMS – I also have read many of the original books of Jung.[3] I read him in order to understand his take on how emotions arise. I did not get into the spirituality side in depth because I choose another area to study. I was, as Jung might say, more on the science side and wanted to understand how the family functioned as a functional system over the generations. 


I wasn’t looking at the internal process of spirituality but more at behavior. (If x does this then y reacts and does something else. This can be very predictable despite the personality differences in x and y.  The system can then add on complexity as a child is born and the child prefers x or y.)


I connected with Jim on the function of intention in organizing behavior. People are often not aware that their intentions have an impact on others within the system.


If people worry, that creates negative energy. People read one another’s energy states more then they go by their words.


I also thought that if people were a bit more aware of their intentions, it could have an impact psychologically or spiritually. If people are more mindful then we would all be a bit wiser and more responsible.  This could be wishful thinking on my part, but this is where Jim and I connected about his product International Chocolate[4].


FM – Another important part is trying to understand how mental energy affects material things and or people.  How does this happen? There is a difference in how people experience the taste of the chocolate with intention.  We can test and see that the molecules are different. They are more cohesive with intention. Water particles also show differences with intention.  But we do not understand how this happens scientifically.


AMS – I understand HESA has set up a scientific foundation to study this.


FM – Yes, Dean Raden is the chief scientific scientist for HESA and has worked with the Omega Institute for many years. His book is called Quantum Entanglements. We don’t understand how people are entangled with one another.


AMS – You can see it when people pray for their parents.  It can influence your mood just to say: I am thinking of them and thanking them. How you think about people can influence your intentions and your life.  



FM – There is a woman at Harvard, a physicist who is looking at how we coexist with other dimensions that our senses do not experience.


AMS – I was thinking and wondering about how all of this fits or does not fit with your family? How did you get to this place and what has your journey been?


FM – My mother is Spanish and my father is Mexican.

I went to school for many years in Connecticut, first at Eaglebrook, then Middlesex and finally Choate where I graduated from high school.  I went college in Madrid for two years and then wanted to return to Mexico.  I had become interested in economics and politics and that summer I took undergraduate and graduate courses together. I did very well and as a result I had the opportunity to get my masters without finishing my college degree.  I finished my master’s degree in international management without my undergraduate degree. 


Then I started working for the government. I really enjoyed public policy. This was the time of the Selina’s administration. I really liked public policy.  There were a lot of reforms going on so thought this could be a way to transform the environment.  I could impact society by working in the government.  For one year I was there setting up educational programs. Then I was accepted at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. This was a school I wanted to go to. And after completing the program at Harvard, I came back to work in the national banking industry. I saw it was hard to have an impact there. You are too far away from seeing the impact of policy.  A person I knew, Melquiades Morales Flores,  became a candidate for the governor of one of the provinces, PUEBLA[5].  It was an interesting time.  We would present to him a lot of the programs I worked on one night and then he would go out the next day and announce that we were going to do this or that.


There were lots of very young people who were enthusiastic. After Flores was elected he asked me to start a development program for the state and to become a part of the government.  I said: “I am not from this state and I would rather study public policy focused on state and local governments.”   ”No”, he said, “I trust you.”


I realized there was a possibility at the local level to see the impact of policy. This was not so easy to do, so I became in charge of the expenditures for the state. It was incredible. A friend of mine was the CFO, Rafael Moreno Valley.  I had a lot of independence in my area and a lot of trust so I could advise and watch as my ideas were put into action.


When we arrived there were a lot of slow moving policies.  Many young people wanted to work in the area of finance.  It was an area where I could be extremely creative and think about new initiatives and get them done. I started to see that I enjoyed this process.


I also saw that my opportunity for getting things started and moving was very circumstantial.   People get voted in and out.  And I knew I had the good fortune to have been trusted by this governor.  But I knew in the long run the government was not the place to be. I saw that the private sector might offer more long term opportunity. So I took this time to go into the family business. At that time, my family was in the process of finishing a series of real estate ventures in Spain.


This period also led me into the study of psychology and spirituality.  I was not completely at ease with my self. As I started to work on these ideas, I began to see that the main issue had to do with my not being the king of my life.  In ordinary language I was not the agent who is completely responsible for building whatever it was that I wanted to build.


In the government I was dependent on organizational and political factors. It was limiting in that way. I wanted to build sustainable projects that would have an impact and not have all kinds of people get in my way. This was also true with my family.  I was a part of it but not in charge of it.


About three years ago I started redefining my vision and getting my ideas grounded.  First, I had to decide where I wanted to live. Living in Mexico would give me more opportunity. The social impact here in Mexico would be greater than if I were to stay in Spain.


I had also been part of businesses ventures in Spain with an angle investing club. At that time I also went to several courses at MIT, Harvard and Stanford.  I also enjoyed art very much.


AMS – I can see how important art is here in your office.


FM – Yes, it is an expression of values and an expression of the people’s spirit here in Mexico. I saw that art and other activities are part of what I desire to construct.  Then I thought, what will this entity be called? Will it be a holding company?  Finally I came up with the name.


AMS – You decided this by thinking? 


FM – The organization is evolving to increase people’s consciousness. As in other cultures we are tied to our families and we can lose our self in the larger system.  We do not have a lot of institutions and education to allow people to be involved in becoming creative.  We can lose our sense of self hood in being a part of the family.  Women are the kings in this culture.  They have a lot of invisible power.


AMS –  Perhaps, but it’s clear that women have the children.  Men can go do as they please, but if men want to partake in the next generation then they are forced to get along with the women. Otherwise there will be splits and polarization. 


FM – That’s part of it, but often the potential of individuals are not realized as we become too dependent on the family. 


AMS –  I hear that but also know that it is just not the family that does this to you.  Any social group can do this to you. Not just your family.


Solomon Ashe proved that people are very vulnerable to being influenced by others.[6] A high percentage of people will give up their view points in order to get along with the group that they just met an hour ago. His work has been updated by Gregory S. Berns, MD.


FM – Culturally we are inclined to follow those very strong figures that can create a lot of dependency. This happens in politics too. We have three major parties and they captured all of the loyalties of the people of Mexico. 


AMS- Yes, we face many issues in trying to break up monopolies whether in business or politics. 


FM – First, there are the psychological issues.  We must feel that we have the power to make the change. Certain things can happen and must happen for conditions to change. 


AMS- Yes, we saw how difficult it is for people to see problems and solve them. Hurricane Katrina was an eye opener for Americans. There were the problems they could see on TV but no one could do anything abut simple things like opening the roads that were empty.


FM – I think the only way change happens is that people have to experience real problems that they want solved and they can see a way to do it. Micro credit gives people the possibility that their lives can change. With financing they can start to create something on their own. I think the government should work to train them mentally with these ideas.


We need to increase people’s ability to see that their individual effort can make a difference. Micro credit is one useful way.   It can help people see and experience a difference.


AMS:  You think individual entrepreneurs, more than the government, will introduce change to the population? 


FM:  I do not think the government will do it. But one example is a joint venture with a Spanish a human recourse company. It specializes in headhunting and in-house training.  One program we will launch is a program that mimics a successful one in Barcelona.  They try to train people from idea conception to the business plan, in order for people to become ready to launch a product. It has a lot of acceptance from younger people.  


I believe the way to create value is through creating new companies and new ventures. Silicon Valley has proven this is possible. Other countries where new projects are succeeding are Ireland and pockets in India.  It’s very clear you can create new wealth.


AMS- China did that too. They let people develop business without taxing them. 


FM- Yes, I think it is possible that the government can accept and support certain programs, like the training of entrepreneurs.  A woman who is mayor-elect in Mexico said she agreed with me.  The traditional ideas are how to use the recourses we have in the best possible ways. The next is how to create more resources so we do not just divide the pie but create a bigger pie. In this case I think the government can massively but in an orderly way create programs to train people. My intention is to create a success story in one of the larger cities that can be duplicated. 


AMS- I was thinking that the Mindful Compass could also be used by many people to see what is it that one needs to draw attention to.  It would help people see the process of change and to depersonalize the resistance. In listening to you I was thinking that resistance happens in society and in the family.  Did your family resist some of your ideas?


FM- My family has another opinion on what my ideas are about. There has been a lot of tension during these last three years. The family attacks and then slow downs and may try to make you feel guilty. But eventually things settle down.


AMS- What is your sibling position? 


FM- I am an oldest.  My younger brother was pressured into trying to pressure me. I am 39 and he is 26.  He took the side of my parents. He works for Prudential Real Estate.


AMS- Are your parents doing all right in the middle of this dilemma?


FM- There is lot of stress but they are doing well. My Dad is an only child.


 AMS- So for 13 years you were like your Dad?


 FM- And my mom is the second daughter of five siblings. She has an older sister and an older brother.  The other sister was said to be the favorite.  They still have their issues. 


AMS – The more issues they have with each other the freer your life might be.   


FM- No, she does not even talk to her sister any more.


AMS – Even with cut off people think about each other and it can consume them although they never talk.


FM- My family hates politics.


AMS – How come?


FM- They have not seen the outcome they think they deserve.


AMS- They blame the bad king?  Are you thinking that you are developing a revolution inside the system?


FM- There are so many old interests. It’s very hard to move in new directions. The change might have to occur from the outside. 


AMS- Are you thinking it might be a crisis?


FM- I have not given this a great deal of thought, but we have seen the parties change and yet the corruption in Mexico seems about the same. I saw that President Calderon may not have won as much as the other guy lost. He was overpowered by his king energy.  I think the electorate was about to give him, an opportunity but then he lost.  Further, I think the recession in the US is going to cause slow growth for us in Mexico for the next three years.


In order for change to happen people need to see that the three parties here are not resolving these issues.


If something happens that triggers people to understand that nothing is changing, then perhaps a social government or a new independent party could arise. It has to start because people believe they have the power to make something happen.


AMS – Is this similar to what you think happens with entrepreneurs?


FM- Yes, the younger generations is very connected. Things can change because connectivity is increasing so fast. Knowledge can be distributed in very quickly.   It is not my focus right now but I can see this will be of great interest in the coming years. 


A year ago we started working on a restaurant for middle and lower income people. It is a grill where families can come and have food, entertainment and learn something.  We thought, people like tacos so why not develop a concept to organize a chain of restaurants? 


First, we thought about a street level chain but then we thought about shopping centers. A lot of chains have developed over the last 5 years. But we do not have many restaurant chains that we can bring into shopping centers.


People like Chinese, Argentinean and Mexican grill food.  There is a big increase in shopping centers.  The lower income people have an increasing ability to consume but not that many options for eating out. 


We decided to go with the grill because it was a simpler concept. I have learned about fast food places and they are the best operators. The best people have been trained in McDonalds. 


We wanted to bring to this segment of the population more than food.  We wanted them to be able to share a lot of experiences with the family.  We got a large space in the shopping center and part of the parking lot. The concept was to create a large area where the children can play.  We would like to teach them things as they play.


AMS – Like Madame Montessori[7]? She taught poor people how to increase the ability of the brain to function better.  She was a real innovator.


FM- It sounds very interesting.  I will look into her work.  Yes,  lower income people have no place to just go out, even if is only every 3 or 5 months to have dinner with music.  There is no place like that for them. We would like to know the real needs of the people. So far I gather they would like entertainment and a place where the children might be able to learn something useful. 


Then I thought it would also be interesting to see if we could imbed intention into the space.  Jim Wash is going to bring some of the machines he has which we will imbue the area with positive intentional energy.  Then we will look to see if people feel better when they come there. We are planning to build three of these restaurants this year. 


AMS – I can see how this might be useful. If it happens to influence only a small percentage of people it would be easier than trying to change the educational system.


FM- There are many way we can try to influence the brains of people. One is by learning, another by surrounding the person with good food, good energy, fun and a bit of learning. 


AMS – I have used neurofeedback to enable people to learn or to get into a peak performance state.  I have been doing biofeedback since 1977 and neurofeedback since 1993. The Zengar equipment seems to be the most powerful of all the modalities I have used. It allows the brain to see it own electrical state and to renormalize. This is another hope for the future. 


FM- But can you make it massive or scale it?


AMS – Yes, as the software is developed it will become a more user friendly where you do not need such a knowledgeable person to run you on it. The program creates greater awareness, by bringing people into the now. They are able to slow down and get deeply relaxed and therefore are less anxious and function better for some amount of time.


Obviously there are a great many ways to enable people to have more of a self and to do more of what they deeply believe in. 


I thank you very much for this interview.  

[1] (Jungian psychoanalyst Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Spirituality in the Graduate Center of the Chicago Theological Seminary; a Training Analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago; and, Director of Research for the Institute for the Science of Psychoanalysis FACING THE DRAGON: CONFRONTING PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GRANDIOSITY. Co authored with Douglas Gillette, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine and the author of The Archetype of Initiation: Sacred Space, Ritual Process, and Personal Transformation.)

[2] A not for profit organization founded by Andrea Schara to develop educational materials about leaders based on family experiences.

[3] Carl Gustav Jung (IPA: [ˈkarl ˈgʊstaf ˈjʊŋ]) (July 26, 1875, KesswilJune 6, 1961, Küsnacht) was a Swiss psychiatrist, influential thinker, and founder of analytical psychology. His most notable ideas include the mystical concept of the Jungian archetype, the collective unconscious, and his theory of synchronicity.

Jung emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung


[4] http://www.intentionalchocolate.com/home.php


[5] http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melquiades_Morales_Flores&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3DMelquiades%2BMorales%2BFlores%26hl%3Den%26rls%3DDDUS,DDUS:2006-11,DDUS:en


[6] Solomon E. Asch (September 14, 1907February 20, 1996) was a world-renowned American Gestalt psychologist and pioneer in social psychology. He became famous in the 1950s, following experiments which showed that social pressure can make a person say something that is obviously incorrect. Solomon Asch thought that the majority of people would not conform to something obviously wrong, but the results showed that participants conformed to the majority on 32% of the critical trials. However, 25% of the participants did not conform on any trial. He inspired the work of the controversial psychologist Stanley Milgram and supervised his Ph.D at Harvard University. For recnt studies see: SATISFACTION: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment by Gregory S. Berns. Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emery University


[7] http://www.montessori-ami.org/





Effects of Intentionally Enhanced Chocolate on Mood by Dean Radin,(Institute of Noetic Science PhD, Gail Hayssen, James Walsh



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