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The Trading Tribe Process

Educational Technology to Facilitate Personal Growth


(c) Ed Seykota, 2003 - 2005


send comments and suggestions to:

FAQ at TT_95@yahoo.com


See: Pollinator Comments

See: Rocks, per the link above


Note:  TTP seems to communicate best in person, and in groups

where at least one member is familiar with the process.

This is a written communication about TTP

and, as such, has inherent limitations.




FAQ does not recommend TTP for people with pre-existing medical conditions, particularly ones in which stress, strain and emotional intensity may aggravate the situation.

If you are currently in therapy, be sure to consult with your therapist to make sure TTP is compatible with your therapeutic path.




Going it Alone - or - Joining a Tribe


Traders are notoriously self-reliant and fiercely independent. Going it alone and Doing it Myself (DIM) is often part of the culture.


Traders also know that trading intimately reflects their moods, feelings and inner natures - and that they can improve their trading by working on themselves. The Trading Tribe holds that such inner work, involving the interplay of the ego and the subconscious, is, ironically, essentially impossible on your own, yet rather natural in a group or tribe.


The Trading Tribe realizes that deep down, we are not separate; we are interdependent and interconnected. This realization collapses the boundary between spirit and matter, between the inner and the outer, between the self in here and the world out there - and facilitates self-actualization.



Structure of The Mind (A Fred-ian Model)

Fred - Controls our Actions, Instinctively


Information enters the mind through the senses and flows to Fred. Fred is the part of the mind some call the subconscious - others call it the limbic system, the amygdala, the primal brain or the instinct. Fred reacts quickly, emotionally and automatically to danger and opportunity. If you touch something hot, Fred takes action and moves your hand out of danger, even before your Conscious Mind (CM) learns about it.


Fred controls lots of actions, like communicating. Fred manages the process of moving your mouth, vocal chords and facial expressions. Fred balances you on a bicycle. All these activities proceed independently of the CM. Fred stores information as experience. Experience may contain feelings, images, and references to other experiences.



Fred recognizes emotions -

and also knows how to communicate emotion -

all without Conscious thought.


Clip: www.dipaola.org/stanford/facial/class6notes.html



The Conscious Mind (CM) - Eventually Figures Out How to Respond


The Conscious Mind gets information from Fred and applies logic and judgment and figures things out. CM knows that if a rabbit goes behind a tree and does not come back out, then it must still be there. CM can even rotate the concept of space and "see" the hidden rabbit. CM also helps Fred figure out better ways to react to situations.  When Fred and CM communicate, CM helps to "reprogram" Fred.



Wisdom - the Result of Fred and CM Working Together


As new situations come up, Fred brings up the closest experience it knows, and reacts accordingly, with best efforts.


Say, for instance, a friend gives you flowers, and a bee comes out and stings you on the nose. Fred experiences pain. Fred keeps repeating this pain while CM goes to work to figure out how to respond if the situation arises again. This may occur as musings, daydreams, night-dreams, and in any situation in which you re-experience the event.  For example, CM might Guide Fred to run away from flowers and people with flowers.


The next time someone tries to give you some flowers, Fred makes your nose itch, and you back up. This is the protective warning (PW). As you accumulate more experience with flowers with no bees in them, eventually CM can Guide Fred to modify the reaction. Eventually, when you receive flowers, you look at them carefully to make sure there are no bees before smelling them.


Fred and CM naturally and continually carry on these cooperative dialogues.


In a healthy individual, Fred sends protective warnings (PW's) and CM responds wisely.



Interruptions in the Flow of Experience - Creation of Repeating Drama


Modern society teaches us to suppress our feelings. We learn to hide them, substitute them, disguise them and desensitize ourselves from them. We strive to disconnect our feelings from our logic. People tell us, "you shouldn't feel that way."  Men are supposed to hold back tears and women are supposed to hold back anger.  School children are supposed to sit in rows and not express how they feel about the school system.  All this suppression interrupts the vital link through which Fred communicates Experience to CM.


When this interruption of the transfer of experience occurs, Fred continues to replay the experience, at higher and higher levels, to try to inform CM.


CM may learn from a parent or authority figure that a particular feeling is "bad" and that one "shouldn't feel that way." CM may associate the feeling as dangerous in itself and want to block it out. CM may even program Fred to set up a "Judge" to block the feeling, thus creating a K-not, that ties up (knot) the feeling as something not good. 


Nevertheless, Fred keeps trying to communicate the experience to CM, and raises the intensity, of the effort. Fred turns up the pressure on the "Feelings Pump."  Images may appear in bothersome daydreams and nightmares. Eventually, Fred may resort to engaging the outside world, and arranging a Drama. Typically, the positive intention of the PW (protective warning) is to avoid a particular drama, so suppressing the warning is often enough to entrain the drama. As the drama unfolds, it provokes the very same set of feelings, so you find yourself, amazingly and exasperatingly, in exactly the situation you dislike, again and again.


If CM still does not get the message, then these repeating dramas may go on and on at higher and higher levels, for years or even for a lifetime. In the example above, Fred may notice a sign for a honey farm and have you take a couple wrong turns, and soon you are right in the middle of a swarming drama.


Fred wants CM to experience the PW feeling. CM may keep blocking. Ironically, CM, in the process of blocking the feelings, also blocks out its own best warning system for repeat occurrences.


In this way, Fred always has a positive intention, and everyone always gets what they want, or at least what Fred wants. Protestations and denials from CM only confirm the syndrome.



Under Fred - The Primary and Unconscious Way People Communicate



Everyone has a Fred, and all the Freds connect together. Under Fred is the primary communication network that connects all the Freds. Fred instinctively knows if another Fred appears to be a good ally, in creating a drama to help communicate a PW experience to CM. When Freds recognize each other as useful to each other in this way, we feel "chemistry."  People from abusive childhoods typically find an irresistibly strong visceral attraction for an abuser, and may even select one for a mate.


CM's also connect in their own way. They connect through the Collective Consciousness, that contains language, technology and know how. Dictionaries, libraries and the Internet store the Collective Consciousness. For example, much of the Collective Consciousness about trading now appears on Internet.


The Collective Unconscious is Under Fred.



The Trading Tribe Process - the Flow of Experience



The Trading Tribe Process (TTP) promotes the Flow of Experience from Fred to CM, and rejuvenates CM's ability to receive protective warnings (PWs) from Fred.


TTP intentionally leaves out a lot of the methods that people normally try to implement, like providing information, promoting action, offering guidance and enrolling in drama. Tribe meetings are often as much an exercise in not doing things as in learning new methods. The primary tools of the Trading Tribe are sharing feelings, mirroring, pacing and encouraging each other to be exactly the way we are.



The Phenomena


As the Trading Tribe Process occurs several other things occur:


Phase-One: Identification of the Issue - Getting Upset



Resistance and denial by CM


Story Telling and other ways to avoid the issue


General discomfort


Phase-Two: Fred Communicates with CM - Getting to the Zero Point



Physical release of tension


Sensation of a light trance state


Tingling and a sense of lightness


Outpouring of pent-up emotion


An aha experience as things suddenly make sense


Development of wisdom in the troubling area.


Phase-Three: As Life Goes On - Getting Better (automatic)



Long standing recurring and destructive dramas disappear.


Decrease in obsessive defensive anxiety.


Increase in healthy anticipatory anxiety.


Balance between emotion and logic


Being in the zone


Finding right livelihood


Successful trading


Increase in creativity


Seeing opportunities that are right under your nose


Increase in physical health


Improvement in people skills


Balance between investing and consuming


Getting to the Zero Point (see below)



Trading Tribe Member Philosophy


Trading Tribe members tend toward a common set of beliefs.



I like to promote the personal growth of all members.


I like to be intellectually and emotionally open.


I have mastery of basic trading concepts.


I like Freedom, Free Enterprise and Capitalism.


I like to show a profit.


I commit to consistent attendance.


I like active listening, mirroring, pacing and encouraging Fred.


I use intentional language:



Grammar: SVO-p: Subject-Verb-Object, present tense.


No Direct Questions, especially "Why?"


Share feelings: wonder, confusion, curiosity.


No judgments or advice or name calling.


No direct advice; no use of the word, should.


Validate feelings of others.


I realize results indicate intentions.


I use problems as entry points for growth.


I Follow Trends - and don't try to figure out the markets.


I let winners ride and I cut losses and I manage risk,


I believe in holistic evolution, not linear causality.


I celebrate my feelings.


I care about the feelings of others.



Basic Structure of Trading Tribe Meetings



Begin and end with check-in


While one person speaks, all others listen.


One person at a time, the sender, occupies the Hot Seat.


Sender's mission is to communicate, teach the item of concern.


The others listen, replicate the concerns, make the unconscious conscious.




Methods include check-in and check-out, induction of safe space, qualifying new members, keeping a tribe on task, mirroring, pacing, and going with feelings wherever they go. Members seem to pick these methods up in process, typically by the third or fourth meeting.


Say your issue is one typical to many traders: longing for external validation, fear of commitment, self-sabotage, fierce independence - and you have a very logical and perceptive CM. Your knot (tied-up feelings - and not able to feel them) may associate with a history of under-validation, even abuse as a child. Perhaps you feel that expressing your feelings leads to punishment. Your heritage is to cut off the flow of information from Fred to CM.


The Trading Tribe Process works to rejuvenate your ability to experience messages from Fred.


To carry out the Trading Tribe Process, assemble an intentional community, even if it is just yourself and one other person.  Community is essential to the process. It is essentially impossible for you to practice feeling something you typically avoid. Your receiver can keep you on task and exemplify being OK about your feelings. Make sure the receiver (the other person) is willing to be there for you and care about your feelings during the process. Otherwise, your receiver may just institutionalize and validate your avoidance of the experience. Given your knot, you may experience surprise, when someone actually cares enough about you to agree to receive for you.


Typically a new sender and a new receiver tend to drift off track and default to the DIM process. The receiver starts to "agree" with the sender, or tries to make him feel "better."  Meanwhile, the sender tries to enroll the receiver as another player in the drama. They may make subtle agreements to proceed with "analysis" and "advice" and avoid TTP altogether.


The receiver's job is to be there and listen to Fred. The receiver must resist the temptation to judge, give advice, or suggest things to feel. The receiver's job is to follow whatever feeling comes up and help Fred communicate to CM. Receiving is an art, and The Trading Tribe members alternate between sending and receiving. As a sender you gain appreciation and insight into good receiving. As a receiver you develop appreciation and insight into good sending.


If your CM gets into your story, the receiver must get Fred back to reporting feelings, like sadness, joy, stitch in the side, tightness in the jaw, and so forth. If the receiver drifts off task, and starts making suggestions, you can say, "you promised to care about my feelings, and I want you to keep your promise," until he gets back on track.


It is essential to take whatever feeling comes up.  It might be a pain in the neck, or bricks in the stomach, or tightness in the jaw, or sweat on the arms, or tightness in the abdomen. As the sender and receiver keep tracking the feeling, and encouraging fully experiencing it, it transforms. Some experiences may accompany physical display of emotion such as anger, fear, sadness and grief.  Whatever presents, the sender and receiver continue to track it. As the Trading Tribe Process proceeds, feelings typically get smaller and / or another feeling replaces it.  Eventually, the entire complex of feelings quiets down and the sender experiences release and peacefulness. Once you begin the Trading Tribe Process, let it continue until you and your Receiver sense you are complete.  At that point, you thank your receiver and rest.


At the Zero Point, Fred feels satisfied and no longer wants to communicate the experience. Once Fred communicates to your CM, the rest is all automatic. There is nothing more to do. Note that advice, judgment, and other forms of fixing and controlling on the part of the receiver just derail the process. The Trading Tribe Process relies heavily on the Receiver, to facilitate the flow of experience from Fred, and also to actively care about your feelings.



Feelings as Friends


People typically have some of their feelings set up as the enemy, and think their feelings sabotage their trading. The feelings do not sabotage trading; unwillingness to feel them forces Fred to set up dramas. Consider feelings as friends, and look for their positive intentions. Promote the flow.



Getting to the Zero Point


CM likes counting, geometry and logic.  It also likes to label things as good and bad. 


When CM concludes a feeling is bad, it resists receiving it from Fred, even programs Fred to repress itself.  Fred, on a mission to communicate a Protective Warning (PW), keeps raising the volume, sometimes entraining dramas to catch CM's attention. In this way, people wind up, ironically, spending their lives dramatizing the very feelings they decide they don't like.


The Zero Point, or Zero Information Point, is the condition of nothing in CM upon which to base a judgment - including, say, even the very judgment that judgment itself is good or bad.


It is dancing joyously, with abandon. It is splashing your hand in a mud puddle and just being there with the experience. It is putting on a trade and succumbing to the enchantment of the whole process including the market, yourself, the prices, the plusses and minuses and the pretty colors on the monitor screen.


It is knowing nothing and nothing you can know.


It is being able to read the markets directly and having no attachment to the ability to do so.  It is the sourcing condition for creativity. It is the feeling of feelings passing through, leaving no trace. It is beyond description in words and yet it somehow rides along from one person to another when Freds communicate without words.


When you have zero information, and do not even know that, then there is nothing you do not know.



Example of The Trading Tribe Process


Art is on the hot seat and Bill and Carl are facilitating.


Art: My item is that I hate whipsaws and so I have trouble buying breakouts. I see the breakout and instead of acting, I just hem and haw and stand around and miss it. (Some story telling may be useful to help get into the entry feeling.  Thereafter, storytelling seems to derail the process.)


Bill: OK, great, what physical feeling do you have. (validating Art and encouraging feelings)


Art: Fear, I guess. I am afraid of whipsaws so I don't want to buy breakouts. (explaining more, still naming, analyzing)


Bill: OK, fear is just a label ... so what are you feeling. (getting Art back on task.  Alternatively, Bill can encourage Art to get into more storytelling and to purposefully avoid the process.)


Art: Ohhh ... there is something here in my side ...


Carl: OK, go with that, make the feeling in your side bigger, and keep squinting your eyes shut, even more (encouraging the emergence of an emotional display)


Art: OK, I feel the pain in my side, like a burning.


Carl: OK, great, make it burn more, turn up the heat ... (encouraging emotional display)


Art: Oooowww ... it's burning me ... I'm getting burned.


Carl: Great ... keep turning up the heat ... experience the burning.


Art: Wow !  My father gets really angry and hits me with a belt in that very spot.


Carl: Great !  Keep experiencing that ... go for it !


Art: Yes, that's it!  It's that old belt, hitting me. Whew! (feeling a release of tension,

a sense of lightness, as in feeling light, happy, joyous; being in the "zone.")


Art: (later) Wow, I just see something else. I carry that old drama into my trading. I keep setting up situations in which I "get burned" and "get belted."


Bill: So I wonder how you feel about buying breakouts. (testing so see if Art has a new attitude)


Art: Well, buying breakouts is just part of trading. No problem.  Sometimes you get stopped out.  It's all part of the way it works. You just have to make sure you can take the "hit." (Making a joke about it, and sounding like a different person.)


Note: The Trading Tribe progresses by trading roles as sender and receiver. Senders come to appreciate good receivers and receivers come to appreciate good senders. So, as you work the process, recursively, you get better at both.



Intentional Provocations


After a Tribe becomes fluent with the TTP, the members develop a taste for working on feelings and rejuvenating their ability to experience life in general. Relationships with friends, family and associates improve. As the members' inventory of pent-up unexpressed items falls, they have to dig deeper to find things to work on.


In this condition, a Tribe member can appeal to the tribe for intentional provocation. The Tribe then purposefully teases and irritates the member in order for him to audit his own clarity and ability to deal with irritating situations that might arise in real life.  As soon as the Tribe succeeds in teasing out an item, it stops the intentional provocation, and returns to the business of rejuvenating the flow of experience.



Modes of Participation


Tribe members can participate as a sender (hot seat), a receiver and an observer. To the extent the members participate, they also notice a sympathetic release of tension in themselves when the sender reaches the Zero Point. A good receiver is invaluable in facilitating the process.  Conducting TTP on your own is difficult in that you are attempting to focus on a feeling you hold to be unpleasant.



Other Methods and Disciplines


Some other disciplines focus on understanding problems and fixing things.


They use:



Understanding the reasons for the problem


Trying to correct the problem by logic


Offering advice


TTP finds these methods tend to invalidate feelings, and drive Fred underground. TTP goes with the flow, validating feelings at every step, encouraging people to act and feel exactly as they do, even more so.


Once the sender achieves an Aha, he is typically much more open to logical suggestions, and may come up with many on his own.



Hardball Process


The Hardball Process is a way to apply TTP (process orientation) toward attaining a specific objective (goal orientation).


1. Choose a Snapshot.  Snapshot is an image of a condition you envision.  It is not a movie; it has no moving parts or time duration. It is not something to do with the non-existing future. Load your Snapshot with lots of sensory detail, like color, taste, and feeling.


2. Communicate your Snapshot, in the now, to another Tribe member, or a good receiver.  Until the receiver awards you a "pass," continue focusing your Snapshot towards clarity, the now, and right livelihood.


3. Assist your receiver to develop his / her own Snapshot.


4. Face each other, and take turns sending and receiving the feelings that appear, in response to the prompt, "What is standing between you and your Snapshot."


5. Continue until both of you reach clarity.



Law of Inevitable Transfer


If someone has a feeling they don't like (pain in the neck), and if they don't communicate it directly (by saying how they feel) they communicate it indirectly (by giving someone else a pain in the neck).



The DIM Process


The DIM (Do It Myself) Process is the alternative to TTP. In the DIM process, you suppress your feelings, apply logic and analysis, and act out your drama. You enroll others in your drama, rather than in your Tribe.


Enabling & Supporting


Enrolling yourself in someone else's drama, trying to make them feel better, not allowing them to go through their process are forms of Enabling.  Saying your truth, taking responsibility for your own situation, and allowing others to take responsibility for their situations is Supporting.




Proselytizing is converting someone to your faith or doctrine.  Proselytizing is a form of telling people what they "should" believe.  TTP is not a belief system; it is a process to assist people to develop their own beliefs. To the extent TTP, itself, becomes a belief system, and people try to convert people to it, it is no longer TTP. 


TTP spreads by receiving others, supporting them to be themselves, as they see it.   If you wish to spread TTP, you can work on yourself, become a better receiver and strive toward right livelihood. 



SVO-p is a syntax: S-ubject, V-erb, O-bject, -present tense.  Putting your thoughts in SVO-p may help straighten out your thinking. The form requires definition of who is acting, what they are doing and to whom. It requires placing the thought in the now. SVO-p is particularly consistent with trend-following.


Grammar: The system of rules implicit in a language.

Syntax: The pattern of formation of sentences or phrases in a language.


More on SVO-p



Other Topics



Judges, Happy and Grumpy

Fundamental Models


TTP In a Nutshell

Behavioral - how to act in the group


Show up on time (7:00 PM)
One person talking at a time.
Encourage each other to stay in feelings mode / not story mode
Grammar follows SVO-p (Subject, Verb, Object - present tense).

Give no advice.

One person on the hot-seat  - everyone else receives.

Theoretical - the belief system in common to the group


There is no past or future, just an evolving moment of now.
Intentions = Results
The Mind = Conscious Mind (Logic) + Fred (the rest of it)
CM and Fred normally collaborate
Judgment blocks CM-Fred communication.
When CM does not listen to Fred, Fred arranges drama
Dissolve judgment, repatriate disenfranchised feelings,
Dissolve drama and trend toward right livelihood.