Archive for June, 2013

The Primal Serene — A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Four: How Passion Promotes Serenity and the Detached Observer in Catharsis — The Eye of the Storm

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Catharsis Makes Us Aware, by Contrast, of a Strong, Unaffected Self Within … Catharsis and Calmness: We Gain Insight Into the Illusion of Maya and Rootedness in a Deeper Self

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Real Meditative Experience May Not Be So Relaxing

Thus, it appears that the techniques of relaxation have to do with attempting to still the vagaries of pain-derived tension, the internal dialogue, so as to gain access to areas of consciousness that are “outside” and more fundamental than these vagaries. And contact with those areas may not be so relaxing!

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The Primal Serene

0011-scream6gThis technique is in some ways exactly opposite to primal ones. Primal involves the “tossing out” of all the vagaries—the manifesting in a verbal or physical way of the tensions existing in the body at the moment. But the results of each appear the same. Characteristically, following a primal one finds oneself sinking into a serene and markedly relaxed state. It appears that spiritual techniques differ from primal in attempting to reach that state directly by conscious control over the body/mind. Once that state is reached, it allows further abatement of physiological processes and, hence, access to even subtler realms of consciousness.

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A primaler also can be viewed as open to subtler energies after having reached a “cleared out” relaxed state via primaling, and could conceivably use a technique like meditation to increase that access.

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I was surprised to discover, after originally proposing this relation between catharsis and meditation in 1979 and approaching from the stance of psychotherapy, that Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had already made the same kind of formulation coming at it from the spiritual perspective. It is described in his book, Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy (1976). See especially the chapter on “Chaotic Meditation.”

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At any rate, Primal or a similar deep experiential psychotherapy then becomes a method of dealing with the grosser manifestations of psychobiological energy that keep the body in a tense and overdetermined state. Once these energies are dealt with and released, it becomes possible to employ a “mindfulness” type of meditation to deal with subtler energies, to connect with and dissipate those subtler energies, and thereby to gain access to subtler energies still.

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The Detached Observer in Catharsis—The Eye of the Storm

calm-before-storm-1Another way to look at the relation between catharsis and calmness, and the benefits that one can have for the other, is suggested by Heider (1974). He points out in his article, “Catharsis in Human Potential Encounter,” that “as a rule the person actually going through catharsis reports no feelings of fear even at times when he appeared most fearful; it is as if there is a detached observer who knows that the process is natural and even necessary” (p. 37). Indeed, one can let go into extreme emotional states time and time again and remain always aware of the “detached observer” part of oneself.

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A major benefit of catharsis is that as this continually happens one becomes increasingly conscious of a part that is unaffected by the turmoil—the part that is there, observing at the onset of agitation, that “sits quietly by” watching in the midst of catharsis, and that is there to silently aid one, through “reentry” and into the calm state afterward.

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Thus, catharsis makes us distinctly aware, through contrast, of a strong, silent, unaffected self within; it makes us aware of an “unchanging” that contrasts with all the violent changingness. In so doing it helps us to be more in contact with that self and its subtler pushes, pulls, and impulses—its subtler pattern. We become increasingly aware of a more fundamental self that is unmoved by all the chaos of consciousness.

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To that extent, it corresponds to those phases of meditation that entail the encounter with disruptive material with the admonition not to get caught up in them, to refuse them energy by believing in them.

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Indeed this attitude can be the result of catharsis. We can release the explosive energy born of “attachment,” in the Buddhist sense, and hence gain insight into the illusion of “maya,” the fleeting changingness, and gain rootedness in a more inviolable self.

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Continue with Approaching the “Source”: Right-Left Brain Integration, Theta Waves … Hypnogogic Experiences, and Delta Waves … A Nightly Return to Our Roots in the Infinite

Return to “At Times I Hopped Like a Frog … Between Smiles and Tears, I Continued my Inward Journey.” — Guru Muktananda: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Three — Cathartic Meditation

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The World of “Matter” Is But the Appearance of Mind to Itself: The Footprints on the Shores of the Unknown Are Our Own

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In This Age of Quantum Physics, LSD, Holographic Paradigms, and Consciousness Research, Scientific Arrogance Must Cease: Transpersonal Perspective, Part Two

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Rationalism As Egoistic Self-Abuse

Similarly, we have an argument against Idealism—more specifically the version of it called panpsychism, which is, by the way, the position being asserted here—by Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations. His conclusion is that the position of panpsychism is unintelligible. Stating “Could one imagine a stone’s having consciousness?” he concludes that if one could it would only amount to “image-mongery” (Sec. 390, p. 119e). The implication is that since we cannot do something adequately—that we cannot understand something completely—there is something wrong with it!

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This kind of reasoning qualifies for the “All-Time Boners in Philosophy Award.” For the argument—while claiming not to be saying anything about the truth or falsity of a position, nor about its provenness or unprovenness—would want us to evaluate positions, and even possibly dismiss them as viable (i.e., as possibly true), based upon whether we (as a species) are capable of understanding them with our intelligence.

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Whereas, not only does this limit our knowledge endeavor—removing it from any possibility of speaking of truth unless it somehow (miraculously, I suppose, or through some sort of chosen-by-God kind of privilege) happens to coincide with what is intelligible to us; not only does it eliminate the scientific and philosophical enterprises in their attempts at venturing, ever on, after what may actually be true (or at least “truer” than we had previously held); but it presupposes that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, will be unimaginable, or unintelligible, to all others in all other times.

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This is one particular instance where Rationalism displays its egoistic self-abuse . . . hence its inherent fallacy. For we know by looking at the record that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, ends up being imaginable to another. For example, do we suppose that an early “animistic” hunter-gatherer could imagine a physical universe as we picture it today—with black holes, a heliocentric solar system, a Big Bang, quarks, and quasars?

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Do we say that because this primal person could not imagine these that we must dismiss them as possible truths (i.e., as possible good models of our reality). Or must we say that our conceptualizations of these things amount to “image-mongery” and thereby dismiss them on those grounds.

This last point leads beyond it in compelling us to realize that all forms of what we call “intelligible” venturing after truth are already a matter of “image-mongery.” That is to say that all our attempts equate with imagining models of what is; none of which can be said to actually constitute the thing described inasmuch as the map cannot constitute the territory.

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Hence we are led, again, to a realization of the inevitably anthropocentric nature of such arguments as Wittgenstein’s attack on panpsychism—and the equivalent degree of arrogance that corresponds with them. For the argument reduces itself to “if we can’t imagine something, it doesn’t exist!”

Leaving behind such a fatuous and uninspired rationale, let us return to the position of Idealism anew.

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Scientific Arrogance Must Cease

For—even admitting these claims of the unimaginability or incredibility of an Idealistic or panpsychic position—that was then, and this is now. It may have been unimaginable in Wittgenstein’s time or incredible from Joad’s perspective to consider a non-materialistic view of Reality. However, in an age that has witnessed LSD; a revival of shamanism; the emergence of virtual reality; the concepts of quantum physics, holographic paradigms, morphic resonances, cellular consciousness, and holotropic minds; and consciousness research in almost every branch of the natural and social sciences at this point . . . in such a day it might be ripe to reconsider some of what has been prematurely, and I might say arrogantly, set aside.

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I say “arrogantly” based upon what I’ve said elsewhere about the anthropocentric bias of scientists. For with an understanding of biologically constituted realities of species we gain an appreciation of the fundamentally limited and species-relative nature of our views of Reality.

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Hopefully, we can set aside, to at least a little degree, some of the anthropocentric egotism which obscures any truly reasonable attempt at constructing fruitful reality models. That being so, we need to admit of the possibility … not of the “intelligible-to-Wittgenstein possibility,” but of the real possibility … of the prior fundamental reality of psyche over matter, of the observer over the observed.

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The Footprints on the Shores of the Unknown Are Our Own

From the preceding it should be clear that I believe that consciousness is the only thing of the Universe or that it is at least the only thing knowable of the Universe. It should be just as evident why we would have such difficulty in acknowledging this obvious fact. Still, despite our modern difficulties with this worldview, it is not an uncommon position in philosophy. As Patrick (1952) describes Idealism,

dafagaghhhshjjIdealism, too, asserts that reality is one, that one being mind or spirit. For the Idealist matter is at best a representation or construct of mind. The world of “matter” is but the appearance of mind to itself. The world which the physical scientist talks about is, as Eddington says, in The Nature of the Physical World (p. xv), a “world of shadows.” What really is, in the final analysis, is of the nature of mind. (p. 185)

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Patrick (1952) elaborates further, quoting Eddington:

matter-mind-reflectA. S. Eddington, at the end of his chapter “On the Nature of Things” closing his striking book on Space, Time and Gravitation, comes to the conclusion that something of the nature of consciousness forms the essential content of the world.

The theory of relativity has passed in review the whole subject-matter of physics. It has unified the great laws, which by the precision of their formulation and the exactness of their application have won the proud place in human knowledge which physical science holds today. And yet, in regard to the nature of things, this knowledge is only an empty shell—a form of symbols. It is knowledge of structural form, and not knowledge of content. All through the physical world runs that unknown content, which must surely be the stuff of our consciousness.

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Here is a hint of aspects deep within the world of physics, and yet unattainable by the methods of physics. And, moreover, we have found that where science has progressed the farthest, the mind has but regained from nature that which the mind has put into nature.

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We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the footprint. And lo! it is our own. (Eddington, Space, Time, and Gravitation, pp. 200-201, from Patrick, 1952, p. 116)

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Continue with I Am You, and You Are Me, and We Are We, and We Are All Together: The Radical Rational View of Us and It and the Basis of the Belief of Non-Separation

Return to The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

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Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence: What Say We Leave a Planet For Our Offspring? And Can You Handle Happiness?

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Cycles of War, Cycles of Birth … What Can Be Done: Changing the Patterns of Millennia Requires Learning That Feeling Good Is Not Bad

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Apocalypse No! Chapter Eight:
Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence

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Men Would Rather Be Manly Than Alive and What Say We Leave a Planet for Our Offspring?

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Why We Invite War, Allow Fascism, and Pollute: Our Coming Into the World Makes Us Want to Leave It

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The question posed at the end of the last chapter was whether we had opened the door to an unimaginable armageddon or were experiencing the birth pangs of a massive consciousness transformation and subsequent Earth rebirth. Are we going to self-destruct, bringing death to the entire planet along with us, or will we become good citizens of this planet and our species continue on?

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What Say We Leave a Planet For Our Offspring?

Most folks would think there would be only one answer to that question desired by virtually all humans. But in previous chapters, especially Apocalypse Emergency, Chapter Five: Death Wish – Thanatos Walking, I showed how, and why, that common-sense notion would, amazingly, be wrong: We saw how there is a huge percentage of our human Earth citizens, and a part of all of us, that wants to “throw in the towel.” This has always been true of humans, but it is of critical importance only now.

But I will assume anyone reading this will at least consciously be wanting our vital question to be answered in the affirmative. You know as well as I that the folks on the other side of this question are doing vastly different things right now than us and are nowhere to be found around here.

How Do We “Like” Life?

So the next thing to be addressed is how we might change our fortunes and live. Since continuing on is not just of matter of deciding it—voting “like” on it or checking its box—as we saw in Chapter Five: Death Wish, how can we get around this part of ourselves and our population that wants to do us all in? We need to know how to derail our perpetual cycles of war and violence. We need know how to quit bringing pollution and suffering on us. We have to know how we can stop our secret desire to take comfort in failure, how to “unlike” self-sabotage on our inner “profile.”

How Do We “Unlike” Fascism?

I have written a great deal on this question, including an entire book in 2011 on the way we act out this masochistic tendency politically and culturally by taking comfort in totalitarianism and embracing fascism. [Footnote 1]

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For our purposes presently I will focus on the element of it all that is critical to answering our question. So we first need to look into the place from which emanates our dilemma. I showed that this bugaboo is our Will to Death.

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Our Coming Into This World Makes Us Want to Leave It

Now we need to get more specific on this negative inclination of ours. As we have seen this Will to Death arises from human’s unique-among-all-species primal pain rooted in our singular way of coming into the world, our unique human birth.

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We Need Look Deeper

We need to look deeper into the elements of that part of ourselves that would have us take us all down. We need inquire into that tendency of ours to choose pollution over health, tyranny over freedom, war over peace, enslavement over autonomy, violence over pacifism, oppression over liberty, misery over happiness. We must derail the cycles of war, violence, and fascism. We must know how to “like” happiness.

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We Need Know Where Exactly to Focus Our Efforts to Be Successful

To do so, we must separate the skeins of this inner entanglement and shed light into this darkness within. We need to know specifically, precisely where to place the lever of effort we will apply to truly move the world, to derail it from its current acceleration into oblivion.

So we look now into the elements of that perinatal unconscious manifesting currently as a will to die on the grandest scale imaginable.

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Cycles of War, Cycles of Birth

We find there are two researchers who are particularly relevant to our understanding of the elements of the perinatal unconscious in a way as to avert collective, worldwide disaster. These are Stanislav Grof and Lloyd DeMause. [Footnote 2]

Men Would Rather Be “Manly” Than…Alive…

DeMause writes,

[T]he group-fantasy shared prior to wars expresses the nation’s deep feeling that the increase in pleasure brought about by the prosperity and progress that usually precede wars “pollutes” the national blood-stream with sinful excess, making men “soft” and feminine”—a frightful condition that can only be cleansed by a blood-shedding purification. [Footnote 2]

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Men are more terrified of appearing “feminine” than of losing their lives. Why we invite war.

DeMause is saying we go forever into war because after a while peace makes men feel guilty, “sinful.” Men have uncomfortable, even shameful…homophobic…feelings of being “soft” or “feminine” when their lives are good. So men choose the “purifying,” masculinizing ritual of war to fight off these feelings. Nothing distracts one from looking inward better than a “good, old-fashioned” life-or-death struggle, and war is the most all-encompassing of them.

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Men are more terrified of appearing “soft” than having the boot of totalitarianism on their neck. Why we allow fascism.

What DeMause says about bringing war upon us can be said also about allowing fascism, inviting totalitarianism. For whether we are fighting enemies of another nation or struggling to survive against oppression at home, we are involved in a daily struggle. Secret to us, we feel better being engaged in a dramatic battle, though it brings us suffering and misery.

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We simply can’t hack peace for very long. We feel guilty, for some reason, lolling on the beach. You ever notice how at the end of your vacation time, you are anxious for it to be over and to get back to work? That feeling—that one where we feel…guilty?…uncomfortable…tense?…unfulfilled?…(you tell me)—that’s it. That’s the one I’m talking about.

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It happens the same way collectively after we have experienced a “vacation” of national peace—for example, in the Nineties when we were prosperous and mostly peaceful under Clinton. At the end of it, with Bush, we ended up getting the misery and struggle many in America were driven to want, though no one would ever admit that.

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A quick aside. The fact that the majority of Americans actually didn’t vote for Bush and so tried to choose happiness over struggle is a source of hope for us in all this. That’s a hint of what’s coming.

Cycles of Birth, Cycles of War … The Four “Colors” of the Perinatal Veils and Why Women Fear Fatness and Men Fear Femininity

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Four Kinds of Early Experience Color Our Adult Experience in Four Distinct Ways … Cycles of Birth and War

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Four Kinds of Experiences in Our First Nine Months Imprint Us for Four Feeling “Flavors” as Adults

Images_Gallery_05_14But for now, let us get back to this opening provided us. We can make better use of deMause’s insight on the birth feelings that take us into war using Stanislav Grof’s delineation of this birth unconscious of ours. Let us review as described earlier and further stipulate on them: Grof explains we are moved as adults by four specific kinds of drives emanating from our earliest experiences. These specific tendencies in us relate to four different times in the birth process which involve four radically different kinds of experiences.

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Grof uses the term, basic perinatal matrices (BPMs), to refer to these four aspects of our inner urges. I will describe them here and refer to them along with DeMause’s cycles of social-historical violence and war to pull apart the roots of our current apocalyptic dilemma. [Footnote 3]

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Our Tendency to Always Screw Up a Good Thing, BPM I

The first of Grof’s aspects of our unconscious he terms Basic Perinatal Matrix I, BPM I for short.

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Prosperity and Progress Equal Feeling “Soft” and “Feminine”

clip_image002reunionGrof’s BPM I is sometimes described as “oceanic bliss” and involves the experiences and feelings related to the relatively undisturbed prenatal period. On the social, macrocosmic level, it is the period described in the quote by deMause above in which there is a period of “prosperity and progress” and feelings of being “soft” and “feminine.”

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522936_184846674968481_100003294484517_288967_526358242_nkumbayaThe strong connection between individual experience (personal psychology) and collective realities (social-historical events and elements) is patent here since in BPM I experience the individual is still in the mother’s womb and to some extent shares her identity, which is of course feminine. Being unborn and not having gone through the “toughening” experiences of birth and later trauma, which predominantly create one’s defenses, the individual is also “soft,” in other words, undefended.

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“No Pain, No Gain,” Hell, Satan, and Poisonous Placenta; BPM II

“No-Exit” Claustrophobia

placenta-22005-RachelStone-PrometheusTo further review Grof’s schema and its relation to deMause’s cycles of war, I want to remind you that BPM II is related on the individual level to the time near the end of pregnancy when the fetus is no longer rocking blissfully on the waves of oceanic bliss but is trapped in an ever more confining womb. As the fetus grows in size, the suffering becomes greater; no doubt this is the source of the common-sense belief that growing has to involve suffering, for example, “No pain, no gain.” At any rate, the feelings are those of claustrophobia and “no exit.”

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more-suffering-less-dyingdesertheartThere is heavy non-agitated depression here, since there appears to be no hope, no change in the situation that would indicate a way out of the suffering. Indeed, this period continues practically right up to the time of birth, ending only when the cervix becomes dilated and, experientially speaking, there appears suddenly to be a “light at the end of the tunnel” and therefore hope.

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Where the Hell We Get the Idea of Hell

bpm2411862143_smallHowever, up until that time there are feelings of being totally unempowered, completely in the hands of an entity—the womb—that imposes a horrifying reality that appears to be unending and eternal. Herein we have the psychological roots of notions of hell and Satan. Feelings associated with this state include despair, victimization, blame, and guilt.

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“You’ll Wallow in Your Shit, and You’ll Think You’re Happy.” – Kurt Cobain, from the Song, “Sad”

peoplearealreadydyingclip_image005As birth comes nearer, “fetal malnutrition” increases, since the neonate’s increasing size and weight press down on and constrict the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the placenta, when the mother is standing. The decreased blood supply means a reduction of life-giving oxygen as well as the buildup of toxins that would otherwise be taken away by a normal blood flow. So feelings of suffocation as well as skin irritation and other feelings of wallowing in waste matter—deemed poisonous placenta by deMause—increase. [Footnote 4]

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“You’re Really in a Laundry Room.” – Kurt Cobain, from the Song, “Sad”

As I have said previously, deMause has found that these feelings exist to an extraordinary degree in a society and its leaders prior to its engaging in a war. Similarly, they precede, and obviously can be held to be accountable for, individual acts of violence—including everything from murder and rape to unfortunately all-too-common and ordinary spousal and child abuse in the household, and of course everything in between.

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Bloody War, Bloody Birth — BPM III

Crusades181264_233235313453542_936852846_nBPM III is birth. Its social analogue is war or violent assault. Feelings that accompany this state on both the individual and societal level include rage and intense aggressiveness, all-encompassing struggle, and sexual excess.

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Nothing’s Ever Good Enough, BPM IV

BPM IV relates to the time of actually coming out of the womb and the post-natal period. On the societal level it is the ending of a war.

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“Busting Out All Over”

clip_image006imagjuyhgioloiues (2)Feelings of expansiveness, release, exultation, coming finally out into the light and/or being “on top” of things, and victory are feelings associated with this matrix, whether in the individual birth or the collective war cycle.

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Peace Sign V-Fingers dreamstime_3940931s0073As I said the societal analogue to BPM IV, or actually being born, is a war’s end. It is no coincidence that in triumph or peace, the two-finger peace symbol is used. What better way to signal we have come from constriction into openness, specifically through the vise of a mother’s cervix, out from between two legs. As John Lennon so aptly put it, using the peace sign frequently, “War is over (if we want it).”

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Mission Accomplished … Not!

clip_image008533225_1976819996975_1737376259_944265_47690847_nInterestingly, just as in recent times harsh modern obstetrical practices and the removal of the baby from the mother can leave lifetime feelings of success not bringing with it the expected rewards and thus a post-accomplishment sort of depression, so also the ending of successful wars sometimes also leaves a society with a sort of letdown. For example, the euphoria following George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War—which catapulted his approval ratings into the ninety percent range in 1991—was followed, only a year later, by the increasing agony of a recession and Bush’s defeat at the polls.

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Cycles of Birth, Cycles of War

6207242_f260snowwhitelamentof7wpAll of this is to say that in society, as in the womb, a period of uninterrupted and relatively undisturbed feelings of growth leads to feelings of depression—being too “soft” and “feminine,” but also “too fat” in the womb and, therefore, extremely constricted and compressed.

Why Women Fear Becoming Fat and Men Fear Appearing “Feminine”

bizarre-beauty-placentaclip_image009Another way of saying this: feelings of expansion are followed by a fear of entrapment. And I agree wholeheartedly with deMause in saying that it happens this way in a nation’s cycle of feelings because it happened that way to us prior to and during our births. We have these patterns of feelings as collective groups of individuals because our first experience of expansion was followed by extreme depression, guilt, despair, and then struggle and something bloodily akin to war—our actual births.

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What to Do to Stop War and Violence: Changing the Patterns of Millennia Requires Learning That Feeling Good Is Not Bad

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To Derail War and Violence, Replace Self-Sabotaging With Self-Actualizing … We Can No Longer Afford Our Delusional Ways

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What Can Be Done?

Accession480px6a00d8341bf7f753ef010536d1eee6970c-800wiSo knowing this, how can we use it? In previous chapters, I explained how and why we see the dynamics of this perinatal unconscious, not coincidentally right now, on the ascendance, just at the time when it is crucial we deal with it to survive. I called this an emerging perinatal unconscious, and I went into detail about why it is happening now, what it means, and how we should take advantage of the opportunity it brings that could aid us in our current dilemma.

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For now, I need only remind that is imperative we face these unconscious forces instead of turning away from and thereby insuring our continued ignorance of them and helpless acting out of them.

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So, how do we consciously participate in these drives, not merely be driven by them?

IG_MotherBabyPack1-bigLloyd DeMause, in his article, “Restaging of Early Traumas in War and Social Violence,” printed in the spring 1996 issue of The Journal of Psychohistory, called for kinder and gentler birthing and child-caring practices to mitigate the ferocity of these forces within humans and help us avoid an otherwise inevitable planetary disaster. He was restating what other pre- and perinatal psychologists…I am clip_image003one, by the way…including Thomas Verny and Stanislav Grof assert. [Footnote 5]

However, I believe we need to go further than that. I, along with Grof, call for a larger awareness of and efforts in the direction of healing these perinatal elements in the consciousness and unconscious of those already alive right now. For unless we act to heal the people currently inhabiting this planet, we might not leave a planet that babies can be born into!…let alone people to conceive and give birth to them. Healing the perinatal traumas can be accomplished through, at this point, thoroughly tested and effective techniques of experiential regression and emotional release.

But it is impossible for everyone to take advantage of these techniques, especially in the short time we have to make the changes. But something short of that ideal may be sufficient to stave off otherwise inevitable doom.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

Finding the Weakest Spot

Of course only time will tell what will be the result of this emerging perinatal unconscious for our species.

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Real, not blindly delusional, action is required.

But to get an idea of what we might hope for, given a readiness to actually do something about this, I offer a perspective. This understanding requires we remember some critical aspects of the cartography of the psyche described above. Looking into them we might begin to see where are the openings allowing for realistic action to be taken to bring about true, not just blindly delusional, change for our species.

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We can no longer afford otherwise.

Obama Health Caredc05bFor our purposes here, the most important part of the cycle is BPM I. Societies, according to deMause, go through these cycles of war and peace and have been doing so for as long as we know. But we can no longer afford these wars, as World War I and World War II have shown—with each one being an increase in our ability to destroy and to commit atrocities. We cannot afford to have a World War III as that most likely would end life on our planet.

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Indeed, as I’ve been pointing out, we cannot even afford the less extreme forms of acting out of perinatal trauma that we have been doing in our poisoning of the earth and air, global overpopulation, and the ongoing regional wars to give just a few of many examples I could have used. These things, along with many other current quite insane tendencies of ours, have the capacity to end our species and possibly all life on this planet.

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Feeling Good Is Not Bad

reunionkumbayaSo the cycle of societal perinatal acting out must be stopped. And the most obvious place to derail the insidious cycle is at the point of societal prosperity and progress. Feeling soft, undefended, and feminine are, rationally speaking, not things to be alarmed about.

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Kid Centaurs Playing dreamstime_12338563kittenboot.compassion.stray-kitten (2)Quite to the contrary, it is rational that prosperity should make people feel good. It is rational that feeling soft should be a source of contentment, sensitivity, and intimacy with others. It makes sense that men should have no shame about feeling feminine because that only means that they have access to sensitive and nurturing feelings that are a source of joy, “color,” and fulfillment in life.

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Changing the Patterns of Millennia

Male-doctor-spanking-a-newborn-baby-12383229-0imagkyghljlbesBut how do we do this? How do we convince people that feeling good is not bad? For these unconscious forces, these cycles of violence, have been pulling our strings for at least tens of thousands of years. How can we change such an engrained pattern?

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Chasing the Mirages of the Future

Well, again, we get our leads from the experiences of individuals undergoing experiential psychotherapy.

“It’s never enough.”

For individuals also, if they are to heal themselves, have to learn how to appreciate success and to stop sabotaging themselves in the myriad of ways they do. Individuals act out their mini-cycles of “war” in their struggles to achieve. And people are driven to struggle to achieve because they cannot be pleased with what they have.

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first_peopleclip_image007Relating back to deMause’s societal schema, people cannot simply enjoy their “prosperity.” People cannot stop to smell the roses occasionally. We cannot count our blessings and feel contented with what we have. Nor can we enjoy the natural pleasure of being alive in the moment.

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“Wrong…It IS enough.”

No, instead what characterizes we humans—for the most part because of our having birth trauma—is a persistent drive to always have more than we do. We find that every accomplishment or success is short lived, with inexplicable depression following it. For each new attainment does not bring the expected (unconscious) rewards and leads us almost immediately to a new struggle, a new accomplishment to be sought.

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Humans are driven to chasing mirages of better times somewhere off in the future, and we fail to live in the present. We feel unsatisfied with what we have and are continually deluded that some new possession, accomplishment, or love “conquest” will bring with it the missing happiness.

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Becoming Self-Actualizing Instead of Self-Sabotaging

clip_image008When people are aware of the way they unconsciously sabotage their happiness, they sometimes seek help. And if they seek help in the experiential psychotherapies, they are enabled to work through their birth trauma so that they are no longer driven out of the moment, with its pleasure and pain, into an imagined but never attainable pleasureful and happy future.

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Learning that it is enough

Enjoying the sunSo people derail their cycles of drivenness and their tendencies to sabotage their successes by learning to enjoy their “prosperity,” even if it is the simple pleasure of being alive. And when they act to add to that pleasantness, they do so, not out of drivenness, but out of feelings of flow and the simple joys of acting and actualizing one’s tendencies, talents, and desires. They become self-actualizing instead of self-sabotaging.

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Can You Handle Happiness? What to Do – We Get By With a Little Help, from Our Nature … Stand in the Place Where You Are

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A Hierarchy of Healing … Becoming Human Beings (Not Doings): Removing the Hood from Homophobes, A Hard Rain, and Stand

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OK, knowing this, one might ask if I am suggesting that to save our species everyone needs to get into experiential therapy. While that would be nice, it is not practical.

But I believe it is not necessary either. There is an element of that societal period of prosperity that can be used and focused on in order to make the societal change of pattern, the societal derailing of the tendency to self-sabotage through war-making.

Getting By, With a Little Help From Our Nature

clip_image002Fairy_Tree_by_NiroloAnd that element is this: During times of prosperity, when one is less engaged in a struggle to survive, we find that one’s body will naturally try to heal itself of unresolved and somatically imprinted trauma by bringing into consciousness the repressed traumatic memories needing resolution.

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Hierarchy of Healing

This occurs in a manner similar to that of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Basically, one’s needs to “grow emotionally”…i.e., clear away the unresolved trauma…can only come to the fore when one’s physical survival needs are relatively taken care of. And arise they unerringly do, given any opportunity to do so.

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“Don’t just do something, STAND there!”

541041_4115243720203_1028962858_n167117_145303942191698_100001362782419_222213_3793925_nHowever, when these traumatic memories come up seeking resolution, they, also unerringly, bring with them the associated feelings of depression, unease, and pain. But because these feelings are anything but pleasant, to their detriment most people seek to avoid these feelings through addictions and other forms of “acting-out” behavior. So addictions and acting-out behavior emerge after periods of relative stability precisely because that stability allows unresolved feelings an opening for emergence and a possibility of resolution and healing.

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Allowing Our Society to Be Honestly, Blatantly “Sick”

absinthedrinkericarus-dota-dotaSo there you have it; that is the crux. The period of societal prosperity can be maintained and added to if that society refuses to run away from the negative feelings that come up with success. As I have said, one needs to get “sicker” in order to get really well.

“Stand in the Place Where You Are … Just Stand.”

clip_image003 422701_410548268971538_166854740007560_88147643_830390629_nSocietally, we need to allow the social, formerly repressed, “sicknesses,” negativities, and the pain that comes with them to arise and be socially worked out, to be hashed out, rather than to escape them by resorting to scapegoating enemies and waging war against them. [Footnote 6]

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Are We Doing This?

But can societies do this? Are they doing this?

Apparently Not

It does not seem so at the moment. For we have extreme acting out going on from Tea Party type elements. The homophobia that characterizes them is an indicator of the degree to which they are fearful of that feeling of being “soft” and “feminine,” I mentioned.

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But Then Again…

Tea-Party-coming-look-out-kid-feel-the-HATEMoveOn_candlelightHowever there is a pattern in change that things can not really change until the negative slide has “hit bottom.” These negative forces cannot be gone beyond until they have wasted themselves in desperate acts. At this time also, positive forces are strengthening in the wings, burnishing their skills, tempering their character and nobility, fully capable when the time comes to take over. There are so many examples of this in social and individual histories, but not to get bogged down, I will mention one powerful one—Nelson Mandela. You can take it from there.

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The more common thing to mention about change is that prior to a major paradigm shift, the forces on the decline always wage a fierce, desperate battle…a bloody retreat, a burning of the fields, near suicidal and totally reckless forays.

The 99% of the 1%

We see people do this, too, just before they are about to change. We see people who self-destruct being the ones whose last desperate battle before awareness can dawn being something that takes their life and perhaps others with them.

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gaddafi02We currently can point to Gaddafi, Assad, and other tyrants. We can observe reckless tea-baggers willing, as in the debt ceiling clash, to bring down the country for ideals that, however rationalized and spun, are at their roots as simple and crude as jealousy—of those smarter and more capable; hatred—of minorities, the poor, the “dirty,” the “slobs,” the “lazy”…basically all the scapegoats society allows them to vent the rage of their inner fears and hurt on; and homophobia—that fear of being “soft,” feminine, unmasculine, and being willing to kill or be killed rather than to let oneself be seen that way.

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Homophobes Don’t Fear Homosexuals … They Fear What’s Inside Themselves

clip_image004Before continuing, one big misconception around that last point needs clearing up: homophobia is at base not fear/hatred of homosexuals, it is terror/hatred of the “feminine” and “softness” inside of the man himself who is homophobic. And this is the result of tens of thousands of years of “civilization,” still continuing, in which men are threatened with disapproval, ostracism, ridicule, attack, or worse for not repressing their softer sides down to the level of the norm of their group.

Boys Learn They Must Be Less Alive to Survive

Boys learn they must constrict their potentials and diminish themselves to that which coincides with—and does not threaten—the older males in their group or face severe punishment. Boys learn the consequences for not becoming less than they could be are severe, often from their own fathers.

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Girls Learn They Must Feel Less Pleasure to Be Liked

And by the way, something similar goes on with young girls and the reduction of their potentials. We see a blatant example of this in the practice of cliterectomy—also called female genital mutilation—in some cultures. In this practice the older women—mother and aunts usually—are responsible for this brutal and extremely painful and bloody attack. It tells little girls they will have no pleasure more than that which was allowed the older women, themselves, in that patriarchal world. So girls must diminish themselves in order to not be hated and ostracized by the women of the group, who, already having been diminished, would be jealous of someone being allowed to have what they have not. This is an exact mirror image of the process that goes on in the diminution of the personalities—the potentials—of young boys.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

Now to continue: So seeing so much of this pathos, hate, and bitter fear and anger is hopeful for us to be near the end of the cycle. Certainly it could get worse. But I personally don’t see how we could go much further on this path to oblivion without going past the point of no return. Perhaps we are not meant to succeed. Perhaps we are doomed. But I know in my own life, and that is the only true basis anyone can have for knowing how things really work, that, without fail, every seeming “loss of ground” was a prelude to an even bigger “advance.”

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As Jung said, we need to take two steps backward to make a big leap forward. That is the way individuals are. And societies and populations are just collections of individuals. As the Tao symbol depicts, the seed of light is in the depths of darkness. So we can hold on to that, for one thing.

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So Let Us See. A Scenery of Healing?

With these considerations in mind, the next chapter will evaluate our current social-cultural scenery for our prospects. In Rebirthing Rituals – The Sometimes Messy Scenery of Healingwe will look for any indications that this standing firm in the face of the rising up of the repressed social Shadow—allowing the pain of it and facing it foursquare, hashing it out—is to be found in the current social arena.

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If we can find this being done, we may allow ourselves at least the hope for a change in consciousness radical enough to save us from extinction. On the contrary, if we find little or no evidence for this kind of auspicious, fruitful healing activity, we might as well consider ourselves doomed.

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Continue with Apocalypse No! Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing

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Return to Apocalypse No, Chapter Seven: Through Gaia’s Eyes – Nature Balances HerSelf

Wall Street Protest Denver

Footnotes

1. The book mentioned was posted online in two places in August, 2011: Culture War and Culture War, Class War.

2. Lloyd deMause, “Restaging of Early Traumas in War and Social Violence.” The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1995): 2. Reprinted with permission on the Primal Spirit site.

Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House, 1980; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988; The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

3. I explain this in more detail in Chapter Seven: We Ain’t Born Typical under the heading “Elements of Birth Experience.”

4. “You’ll wallow in the shit and you’ll think you’re happy” and “You’re really in a laundry room” from, and with appreciation to, Kurt Cobain. These are lyrics in his song, “Sad.” The video and lyrics are reproduced again here for your convenience:

Nirvana – “Sad” (also “Sappy” and “Verse Chorus Verse”) – Lyrics

And if you save yourself You will make him happy He’ll keep you in a jar And you’ll think you’re happy He’ll give you breathing holes Then you’ll think you’re happy He’ll cover you with grass And you’ll think you’re happy Now You’re really in a laundry room, You’re really in a laundry room Conclusion came to you, oh And if you cut yourself You will think you’re happy He’ll keep you in a jar Then you’ll make him happy He’ll give you breathing holes Then you’ll think you’re happy He’ll cover you with grass Then you’ll think you’re happy Now You’re really in a laundry room, You’re really in a laundry room Conclusion came to you, oh (x2) And if you fool yourself You will make him happy He’ll keep you in a jar And you’ll think you’re happy He’ll give you breathing holes Then you will seem happy You’ll wallow in your shit Then you’ll think you’re happy Now You’re really in a laundry room (x3) Conclusion came to you, oh Alternate lyrics: And if you kill yourself You will make him happy

5. Lloyd deMause, “Restaging of Early Traumas in War and Social Violence.” The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1995): 2. Reprinted with permission on the Primal Spirit site.

Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House, 1980; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988; The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

6. “Stand in the place where you are…just stand” from and with appreciation to R.E.M. While it seems no one understood the group’s huge initial release, “Stand,” it is quite meaningful in the current context. A video and lyrics are included here for your consideration:

R.E.M. – “Stand” … lyrics

Stand in the place where you live
Now face North
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face West
Think about the place where you live
Wonder why you haven’t before
If you are confused check with the sun
Carry a compass to help you along
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
[repeat 1st verse]
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
If wishes were trees the trees would be falling
Listen to reason
Season is calling
[repeat 1st verse]
If wishes were trees the trees would be falling
Listen to reason
Reason is calling
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
So Stand (stand)
Now face North
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand (stand)
Now face West
Think about the place where you live
Wonder why you haven’t
[repeat 1st verse]
Stand in the place where you are (Now face North)
Stand in the place where you are (Now face West)
Your feet are going to be on the ground (Stand in the place where you are)
Your head is there to move you around, so stand.

Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence – Audiocasts

“Part 1; What Say We Leave a Planet for Our Offspring?” – the audio by SillyMickel Adzema

For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this part, click on the link to the audio site above or click the audio player here:

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=pffbztrfkv

“Part 2; Can You Handle Happiness (And the Pain That Comes With It)?” – the audio by SillyMickel Adzema

For the author’s reading, with elaboration, of this part, click on the link to the audio site above or click the audio player here:

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=syglfhsvld

Continue with Apocalypse No! Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing

Return to Apocalypse No, Chapter Seven: Through Gaia’s Eyes – Nature Balances HerSelf

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We Are All Turks Today and The Tao of Funny God: Why Turkey? … What Andy Kaufman and the Turkish and Occupy Protesters Teach Us

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Humanity Thrived at Gezi Park Prior to the Brutal Police Assault the night of Saturday, June 15th.

My only weapon is my Chapulcu heart.

Living Authentically in the Illusion of Life … Playing Cards with Your Dragons

“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you: pull your beard, flick your face to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.” – John Lennon

If you want to gain a greater understanding of the funny god/ silly god concept I’ve been presenting, a great way is to see the movie of Andy Kaufman’s life, “Man on the Moon.” Andy Kaufman lived the idea; he embodied it. He was an enlightened spiritual master in this regard, along with being a comic genius. He left a grand legacy of how to live authentically in this illusion of life and transcend it.

This is the clip of the song played at the end of the movie, which starred Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman. Apparently, in real life Andy did leave a video like this to be played at his funeral after his death. The clip gives a taste of what I’m talking about; the movie is one of the best ever made, imo.

The Most Important “Funny God” Chapters:

Breaking News — Hell Doesn’t Exist: Good—God! Hell—No! … the Comedy

Funny God, Part One: SillyMickel Melts for God’s Crops and Revelations

Facebook Funny Revelations and the Mind’s True Liberation: Funny God, Part Two — Human Fear and the Absolute Earliest Preschool

The Purpose of the Human Form and the Poignancy of It All: Funny God, Part Three — Pain and Peek-a-Boo

Funny God, Part Four: God Is Experience. Life is a Disneyland

Related:

Loving Warriors and Silly Heroes: The Necessary Hero Dances Above Dissonance, Lightens Up in the Face of Stress, and Sees Divinity Not Demons Behind It All

Humanity Thrived at Gezi Park Prior to the Brutal Police Assault the night of Saturday, June 15th.

Humanity Thrived at Gezi Park Prior to the Brutal Police Assault the night of Saturday, June 15th.

Welcome home, loving warrior, silly hero

Under “Humor as Weapon in Protests,” out of the BBC today, June 14th….

Will Istanbul’s protesters have the last laugh?
By Jody Sabral and Zeynep Erdim BBC News, Istanbul
Turkish art group performs in support of protesters at Taksim Square in Istanbul (5 June 2013)

Revolutions take commitment and determination. Revolutions are often messy and confusing. But in today’s digital age of iPhones, citizen journalism and self-made producers, revolutions can also be funny. ….

Istanbul’s anti-government protesters have inhaled tear gas and faced water cannon, but they are still laughing all the way to Gezi Park, the symbolic centre of the demonstrations, which have now spread to at least 60 cities across the country.

“We have witnessed incredible things that have left us psychologically traumatised, and although we are determined to win, we may actually lose this revolution because of laughter,” said Fatih, a graphic designer ….

Riffraff’ phenomenon

A slogan that has become synonymous with the protesters who describe themselves as “a civil resistance”, is the word “chapulling’, which literally translated means “bumming around”.

The word was coined in reaction to Mr Erdogan’s comments describing the protesters as “calpucu”, or “riffraff”, before he left on a trip to North Africa earlier this week.

The BBC’s James Reynolds looks at how the crisis has escalated

The remarks have spawned an entire chapulling phenomenon, one that even has a Wikipedia definition and a video explaining how to use the word.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22823730

Related Book: Culture War, Class War: The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths”

Related Book: Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call

Related Book: Apocalypse No: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious

Related Book: Wounded Deer and Centaurs

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Turkish Protesters Dance in Gas Masks. “Day and night we are ‘chapulling’!”

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Tao of Funny God: Why Not Bring Your Piano to the Protest?

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Grandma at the Protests: “NOW, will you be good!”

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another one from Brazil

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Continue with Culture War, Class War: The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths”

or Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call

or Apocalypse No: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious

or Wounded Deer and Centaurs

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About this latest pic, Bernardo Antonacci Enlightened Love II says:

Meanwhile, the Divine Feminine in Action in Turkey- Goddess Rising!!

No one can tell me now that ascension is a myth. It is happening everywhere right in front of us. If this is not the divine feminine I don’t know what is.

There is imminent danger and final ‘illegal’ warning has been issued to the protesters by the PM (Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan). Police with live ammo have been observed around the protesters for the first time since the protests began and they are in thousands! Please add us to your prayers and send any healing, calming energy you can to us. Thank you!

All the mothers of all ages whose children are protesting in Gezi Park surrounded the park with a human chain.

Tonight there won’t be an attack. Mothers are there to protect their cubs. There is a wonderful piano concert within the park tonight. The police are also just hanging around and sitting on the floor, waiting and poor guys, what else can they do, except feel the love.

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The above was written yesterday, June14th. The police in Istanbul brutally attacked the beautiful people in Gezi Park tonight, Saturday, June 15th. Many were injured, people were brutally clubbed.

In honor of the brave people of Turkey. What you do, you do for all of us. We are truly one humanity.

“someday we’ll make this world a little brighter…”

Latest report … from Istanbul, June 16th –

LIVE FROM ISTANBUL: Today, following Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s extremely sectarian, separatist, and fictious speech in Ankara, around 9 PM, the Turkish police began to attack thousands of people who were at the Gezi Park and Taksim square, having dinner. There are kids under 4-5 years old, mothers, and old people among those who were under gas and pressurised water attack. According to reports, police doesn’t allow journalists to report or to take pictures from Gezi Park. They are also attacking with pressurised water business such as famous Divan Hotel that opened its doors to protestors running away from brutality. People are saying there are thousands of wounded inside of the hotel. People formed a human chain in front of the hotel to prevent police to attack. Another report says that people cannot leave the hotel because police is arresting whoever leaves. There are also unconfirmed reports that police shut down the metro and boats between Asia and Europe to stop people coming and joining the rest. Another report says that there is a jammer in the area to prevent TV stations’ broadcast. There are hundreds of wounded. There are a lot of missing kids, or kids who are separated from their families. Protestors are fighting with police in Sıraselviler, Cihangir, Harbiye, and most likely around Dolmabahçe and Maçka. People call it a total brutality, a real savagery that is going on tonight. What we are seeing an ugly war where only one side have weapons.

in this photo you can see the chemical gas in water cannons

later update: now also the army is with the police against its own people

all around Turkey … people are resisting

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Why Turkey?

If you want freedom, you better *flaunt* your rights to be … nothing extraordinary … just *free* … That is one reason I love the Turkish protesters.

If you want freedom, you have to act free. If you can only say and do certain ordinary and innocuous human things in certain places, at certain times, and even then have to be careful of straying over some arbitrary lines, you are not free … though you may avoid bloodshed. But history has shown that the more you hide from tyranny the bigger it grows. You allow it to grow unhindered. Then, you are the cause, because of cowardice in the present, for bigger atrocities in the future.

We have the same struggle for peace and freedom here in the states. and we have had it the entire time I’ve been adult, going back to the 60s. my generation got us out of a ghastly war. but we had to pay with some lives, and with being hounded, ridiculed, slighted, and short-changed forever after. But I for one would not have done anything differently. And i still refuse to submit to tyranny.

My struggle, your struggle, their struggle is no different from the struggle of all people to be free of their oppressors. We are all heirs to benefits wrought of the sweat and blood of our forebears. And if we shirk that duty on our watch, we will be guilty of shortchanging our progeny.

At Gezi Park, it was a festival in the park for weeks until the police attacked them. even afterward there was a rightful attempt by citizens to act like free people. their resistance to being stomped on for just being human strengthens all of us who are trod on … regardless of any outcomes. …. in the end, there is simply no alternative except, if you want to be free, you better act free…..

Politicians can nitpick about the details and the complexities of the situation and all the geopoltical intrigue and whodunits. ordinary folks, however, will never be privy to all that. so our course is simple and straight. We have an obligation to be free…. not just for ourselves and our children and in the foreseeable future or moment … but for all people everywhere and for generations unborn. there has never been a clearer line in the sand than has been drawn in these last few decades between the moneyed oppressors and the increasingly downtrodden everyone else. and with environmental collapse looming in the background, we are called to be heroes like never before. Literally everything depends on whether we succeed or not.

Many folks have been heroes in recent years, in Egypt, Palestine, Libya, Syria, Wisconsin, Zucotti Park, Oakland, and in freedom struggles and Occupy events all over the world, to name just a few. I love and salute all of you and am ever inspired by your actions in our worldwide struggle. I’m just saying now, let’s extend that same courtesy to the brave and heroic ordinary folks of Turkey right now, who are suffering. They deserve the same credit and support now that we all would like to get when we are on the frontlines in our struggles as well.

Solidarity, brothers and sisters. … simply that….

We are all Turks today. one humanity. one struggle.

#WeAreAllTurksToday #Gezi #Istanbul #Turkey #Occupy #occupygezi #breakingnews #Turkey #occupy #TurkishSpring #Taksim – #ErdoganOut – #301TurkishPenalCode – #Gezi – #ArmenianGenocide – #TurkishSpring – #PrimaveraTurca – #OqvcnaovenaTV – #OrhanPamuk – #HrantDink – #Turquia – #SalveJorge – #ForaErdogan – #erDOGan

From Istanbul, 16 of June, report –

Today they drive them out of Gezi Park and Taksim. But Resistance cries “Everywhere Taksim, Everywhere Resistance!”

Police attacked a parlamentarian.

He is a deputy, he wanted only to help injured people but police kicked him

Police detain doctors too…

Please call Red Cross to go Turkey

because they use dangerous chemical gas, injure people and arrest doctors who help injured peoples

chemical toxins in water cannons.

please report them to UN

We have to complain to the UN about their putting chemical weapons in water cannons, they put gas bombs directed at the hospitals,and they arrest doctors who aid in a humanitarian way to the injured and chemical burned people.

Please contact Red Cross and United Nations

#occupygezi #WeAreAllTurksToday

We are all Turks today. one humanity. one struggle.

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[Istanbul] IMC Television made a declaration concerning the arrest of their editor Gökhan Biçici today. As following:

“This Sunday, the 16th of June around 6 p.m, while our editor Gökhan Biçici was intending to capture the demonstrations and give report about, had been pounded and beaten up for several minutes by police forces who had dragged him on the road. His eyebrow lift got injured, his gas mask was broken, his i-pad was seized and though he was injured, he had to wait bounded in handcuffs for 4 hours, without being told anything about where he will be taken and without getting any accurate treatment by the police. Our friend was kept to wait as of 23.30 in front of the AKM building in a police car from where he would have been brought to Istanbul Police Department. We abhore strongly the treatment that was exposed to Gökhan Biçici. We want our friend to be set free immediately and demand immediate identification and punishment for the responsible individuals. Their images are known from videos shared on social media. IMC TELEVİSİON”

Please contact Red Cross and United Nations

We are all Turks today. one humanity. one struggle.

From Wisconsin to the People of Gezi Park

Love from the Solidarity Sing Along! (Bella Ciao)

Bella Ciao – the Italian song of class struggle was sung at Gezi Park and Taksim Square

One morning I woke up
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
One morning I woke up
And I found the invader

Oh partisan, carry me away,
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
Oh partisan, carry me away,
For I feel I’m dying

And if I die as a partisan
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
And if I die as a partisan
You have to bury me

But bury me up in the mountain
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao,
But bury me up in the mountain
Under the shadow of a beautiful flower

And the people who will pass by
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao,
And the people who will pass by
Will say to me: “what a beautiful flower”

This is the flower of the partisan
O bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao
This is the flower of the partisan
Who died for freedom

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Some background on recent events –

May 30

At 5 a.m. this morning police moved in and tear gassed #OccupyGezi in Istanbul, where hundreds have gathered to try to stop the demolition of beloved Taksim Gezi Park. The police surrounded the demolition area. The participants returned to face the police. Some have been reading out loud to them: education as an act of creative resistance.

“Hear this out please! Help us! Spread the word to the media! We shout #occupygezi because we believe in trees. We believe in people.” ~ @Buzkadin

Photo by Deniz Atam @denizatam

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June 2nd

Istanbul after the march across the bridge arrived, Taksim square was full, and the police retreated, letting everyone in. Reports are saying that 100,000’s of people there now. Here is a recent status update from our dear friend in Istanbul, Ezgi Kozmik: “Friends, we are safe, happy, blessed, proud, sad, tired, scared, angry, and traumatized .. Thank you for all those who supported us.. We heard there were around 25 people killed, thousands of people got hurt, hundreds of them seriously injured.. We will know more clearly soon… Government is still lying. This is ridiculous.. I will share more details soon.. But now, it has been 50 hours since I haven’t slept… I feel so much love that I can cry…. This is a civil revolution…. In solidarity… #occupylove “

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June 2nd

A single tree, in a small park, in the crossroads of the world. It began.

ISTANBUL, June 2 – This is a story that spans the continents, and is spreading. The recent occupation of Gezi park in Istanbul and the ripples it has had throughout 48 cities in Turkey is filling a political space that exists between Occupy and the Arab Spring; linking them like the bridges of Istanbul that span the continents. This week we have seen the violent repression of expression that marks the fine line between democracy and dictatorship, the domination of private financial interests over the common good. We are learning each year that all of our grievances are connected.

A single tree, in a small park, in the crossroads of the world. It began.

Power is a rebel force, and here in Turkey the Prime Minister Erdogan is armed with the conviction of a religious man who has been elected. He has recently passed a series of deeply unpopular but tolerated laws. He pushed his people into a corner, and has kept pushing. Like many leaders, he is acting as if the national power is his, because the millions of people in this representational democracy had given their power to him. He has played their power like a violin – so loud he couldn’t hear there wasn’t any applause, and so long he didn’t notice the rest of the orchestra had dropped out. Maybe he is afraid of what could happen in that silence.
Saturday night the silence was filled. From any open window you heard the people playing their pots and pans as if these utensils were finally freed to be the joyful instruments they had always wanted to be – singing their metal hymns for a good life. This is that sound that comes to fill the silence. People who had nothing in their hands used their hands, and sat leaning clapping from car windows and in crowds. The people had retaken the park, and it was Saturday night, so there would be too many people tonight to do what they had been doing the past nights. Saturday night felt like a celebration; in some places.

In other places the violence was still building like friction in any unoiled machine. Violence was encouraged by Erdogan himself, who broken the media blackout and had gone on TV and asked his supporters to personally stop “the terrorists,” which he claimed was a marginal group of radicals. A friend had seen teenagers attack a group of students because they were carrying gas-masks. Erdogan is mixing strong forces, concocting dangerous politics in an earthquake zone.

These stories I share were told to me by a friend who noticed he was still trembling to speak of them. He arrived late, because he had been teargassed again, and so had to shower the chemicals from him. He told me these stories, recounting like legends in days of this same week. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. Today.

Wednesday. It started with machines. The supreme court had ruled that Gezi, the last green space in the center of this sprawling megalopolis, would not be razed to make way for a new shopping center. The rogue prime minister sent the excavators anyway, but by the time they had ripped out the first of the trees, some 20 or 50 people had gathered. Some hugged the trees (perhaps the most pacifist of all possible acts), others tied themselves to the trees. They set up tents, read to the police and shared food. They called it Occupy Gezi

Thursday. At 4am the police came and filled the air with teargas. They didn’t fire the metal canisters at the ground, they fired it at the people, at their faces, smashing holes in skulls. They burned down their tents. They kicked people from the trees they held on to. The police expected to have the park cleared by morning, but by morning 5,000 people were there.

A line had been crossed – if people are not allowed to peacefully demonstrate what they believe in, and if their expression is met with such brutality – than this is not a democracy. And if one is obedient, silent or waits in hopes it will pass, than power is the only one who has freedom.

Friday. These days were battles of bravery and violence. The police surrounded the park, attacked, and refused to let anyone leave; later they wouldn’t let anyone enter. Water cannons threw people off their feet and onto their thin necks, batons cracked skulls of anyone within range, the teargas canisters littered the ground like confetti. Police fired gas into residential buildings that were helping the wounded and housing those hiding from the acid smoke. Police fired gas into a Starbucks full of people and into the Hilton Hotel. Every photograph from these days is wrapped in that tyrannical gas.
But opposites attract, and the people who lived in the area began to leave out baskets of lemons to help soothe teargas. Old ladies lowered baskets of food from their windows by rope to support the people below – doing what they could to support those doing what they could not. Restaurants left bags of food outside their windows. The state’s violence was countered by the people’s kindness. Lovers led their gas-blinded lover through the smoke-filled streets to safety; strangers did the same.

Turkish flags with their floating moon and star sprang up everywhere, and the bridge that you cannot walk across, was filled with 40.000 people walking in the space between two continents. What was 50 people in tents became 5,000, became the more than a hundred thousand that surrounded the park yesterday until they so outnumbered the police that they were let back into park, and the shade of the trees that were still standing.

Today. In this small park, a great many conflicts are colliding. There is the tree that started this, and the fight for the rights of nature against the cold machinery of progress. There is the fight to protect the commons: to save one of the few public spaces that still exist from its transformation into a private space dedicated to the production of personal capital. There is the issue of democracy: that the people have the right to speak out, and the necessity to be heard by those they have empowered. This is history, after all, and people know that if they cannot speak their mind then it is not their story.

This is no longer a story about a tree, a park, a politics or a cause. It is a story of a people, all over, knowing that they are standing on the global frontline of history. It is not a struggle to change the story, its the struggle to be allowed to write it.

Tomorrow. No one knows what will happen in the coming days, but some of that will be determined by us. We need to make sure the world is watching the trees and people of Gezi square, and that Erdogan knows we are watching. Where do you draw the line?”

from Kevin Buckland of 350.org: “A Tree Grows in Gezi
Posted on June 2, 2013

 
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background, June 5th

“The occupied Gezi Park is transforming into an amazing community space! There is already a library at the park. People have been planting trees, herbs and flowers. They created a vegetable garden too. There are conversations and performances being organized. Apparently a space for children will be created as well. People faithfully go and socialize at the park. This is ‘owning’ a public space. Designing it, loving it, using it, protecting it. This park now means so much more than a park. I am utterly inspired!” ~ from Filiz Telek, our dear friend and Occupy Love community screening host, in Istanbul.

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background, June 6th

The uprising in Istanbul has spread around the country. Here is a message from Ankara: “Dear friends, currently the mainstream global media is keeping an eye on Taksim, Istanbul. Thus, the police forces have backed off and they have remarkably scaled down the number of attacks against the protesters. However, in the meantime the police terror in Ankara as it is now is on a much larger scale compared to the very beginning of Istanbul attacks. Tear gas is relentlessly being thrown inside apartments, people are suppressed by plastic bullets, illegal custody and physical assault. Things have escalated quickly and the scale of these attacks are rapidly increasing. We need to make benefit of social media once again to show the world what’s going on in Ankara right now. This resistance is clearly not limited to Istanbul, it has taken over all of the country. “

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from Brazil, Saturday –

“Tension is definitely in the air all over. I believe many have just had enough – as with the trees at Gezi Parki in Istanbul, the 20 cents raise in the bus fare is but just the last drop onto of a series of abuses and disrespected population’s rights….

… we are waking up now. It’s not only the additional 20 cents, which add up to a significant amount of money specially for those who earn less – it’s about our rights.
I guess Brazilians share also this similarity with Turks: we have had enough! We are tired of being disrespected. Tired of living in fear. Tired of the daily violence and impunity. Tired of the mess Brazil has always been.”

We are all Brazilians today. one humanity. one struggle.

#occupylove #Brazil #WeAreAllTurksToday #WeAreAllBraziliansToday #Gezi #Istanbul #Turkey #Occupy #occupygezi

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POLICE STATE 3

What? You couldn’t just say, “wrong answer”? *dark sarcasm*

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Saturday at Gezi Park

#OccupyGezi has been raided with brutal force. Please let the world know. #occupylove

Urgent update from the Istanbul:

Help!
”DEAR FOREIGN FRIENDS: Please pass this along. The Turkish government has attacked Gezi Park directly with water cannons and pepper gas aiming the said elements at men, women, children… They are now attacking the nearby hotels that have opened their doors to the wounded. it has been reported that they are entering the park with work machines. THEY HAVE ATTACKED CHILDREN! PLEASE PLEASE Pass this along as much as you can. it has been reported by local news channels that the government will be bringing in jammers to stop the broadcasts! pLEASE SPREAD THE NEWS. I am shaking as I write these words. What the prime minister is doing is inhuman and amoral!”

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From a friend in Turkey, yesterday :

This is not about Taksim anymore…This is not even about Turkey…My friends all over the world;this is the power of politics trying to come over the power of love …We, the mothers, the students, the teachers, the workers,the doctors, the housewives of the land…cannot sleep for days…and that is ok…even our hospitals filled with patients are being attacked now… teargas is being thrown in the houses … thousands of people are in the streets, helping and holding each other and the attack only comes form the police… we, all the people living in Turkey, are together now regardless of our age, political view,and everything, and walking hand in hand.. and now it is time for us all, all the people from all around the world, come together, and stand still in peace… as one… cause that is what it is… lets remember who we are, where we come from, where our hearts are still beating as one, lets remember that we were the ones who created the system, the government, the borders, lets remember that we are all brothers and sisters, coming from the same roots, lets remember, re- member …. and lets recreate what is needed now… we can do it, together as one…

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A moving status update from yesterday in Istanbul…. from Avital Livny:

“i cried quietly on the boat over to taksim tonight. having spent a few hours earlier today in gezi park, strolling around and chatting with the folks gathered there, i was struggling to understand the inhumanity of the police attack on such a peaceful demonstration.

by the time we had docked in kabataş, my sadness and confusion had turned to anger, and i was eager to climb the hill and stand shoulder to shoulder with friends and strangers against this brutality. an avowed pacifist, i knew i would throw no stones, i would go on no offensive. my only intention was to demonstrate my human right to stand in solidarity, to chant slogans, to clap my hands in the air, to peacefully protest.

we gathered on sıraselviler blvd in cihangir. quite a few yards ahead was one of the police’s water cannons, but we reasoned that we were in a safe place, along the route the ambulances take in and out of taksim square. (indeed, we stopped our chanting every few minutes to cheer on the brave EMTs as they shuttled the injured out of harm’s way and to the hospitals. sadly, there were so many ambulances – going back and forth, empty and then full – that i easily lost count.) there were rumors of clashes in harbiye and that the police were coming up from both sides of istiklal. but things felt relatively calm where we stood, like we had found the one safe public space in the entire area in which we could peacefully protest.

but we were wrong. before long, and without provocation, the tear gas came, raining down on us. the crowd responded as usual: calling out ‘slowly’ and ‘don’t run’ and walking calmly but relatively quickly to try to get clear of the police attack without causing a stampede ahead. but the police didn’t want us to react calmly. before we knew it, the water cannons were on our backs and noise bombs flashing to our sides. but remarkably – incomprehensibly – no matter how fast we ran, we couldn’t seem to get clear of them. they were literally chasing us – a group of peaceful protesters trying our very best to show (by running away) that we meant no harm. but they meant harm. they intended not only to scare us but also to injure us, whether by hitting us with pressurized water or tear gas canisters, or by causing the exact stampede we were trying so hard to avoid.

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i cried quietly on the boat home from taksim tonight. something in me felt broken. call me naive if you’d like, but i’m not sure i believed something like this existed before tonight, before i saw it for myself. violence in the face of non-violence. the absence of a public space to express our collective yet peaceful discontent. the disrespect one human can show another when they refuse to recognize that they are, in essence, equals.

i am struggling tonight to hold onto the beauty and signs of collective strength i have witnessed during these past weeks – the solidarities formed in gezi park, on the streets of istanbul, and all across social media platforms. i still want to believe in the basic goodness of humanity. but something in me broke tonight. and so i know this night will be a dark one in my personal history; and i worry that it will be a dark night in turkey’s history as well.

non-turkish and non-turkish-speaking friends: if you haven’t already done so, please take the time to educate yourselves about the situation here. take the time to contact your local consulates and elected representatives to demand that somebody be held accountable for this unwarranted violence. demand that there be public spaces in which people can come together to peacefully protest. demand that human rights – nay, human decency – be respected. we need your help.”

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Update from Turkey, today, June 17

14.23: [Izmir] In Izmir thousands of labours came together at the Konak Square. Labours are shouting: “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance!”. Labours in Izmir are walking from Basmane to Konak Square….

Continual updates and More at – http://turkishspring.nadir.org/index_eng.html

izmir17hazirangrev

Tuesday, 18th of June

Update: Turkey

07.29: [Eskişehir] Again the police started an early-morning removal In Eskişehir. 1 TOMA, 2 digger, 4 trucks, 2 police vans and 100 policeman gathered in front of the park. They attacked the park without a warning. The People, who tried to remove to a safe place in apartments or the clinging sidestreets, were haunted even in to the aparments. The arrested were lined up, thrashed with sticks and there faces were filmed one by one. At the begining there were 7 people arrested. The current number is not clear now. It’s said that the police tried to arrest all demonstrants.

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Tuesday, 18th of June

Four protesters and one police officer have been killed during the protests … More than 7,800 people have been injured; six remain in critical condition and 11 people have lost their eyesight after being hit by flying objects.

Addressing legislators of his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party, Erdogan said riot police deployed to disperse protesters had acted with restraint and said their powers would be increased, allowing them more leeway in dealing with future protests….

Police on Tuesday carried out raids at homes and offices, detaining at least 87 people suspected of involvement in violence. Overnight, police broke up a silent protest at Taksim Square by hundreds mimicking a lone man who stood silently for hours in a passive anti-government protest.

The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday asked Turkish authorities to investigate reports that tear gas canisters and pepper spray were fired directly at demonstrators and into closed spaces.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch late Monday said police use of tear gas in confined spaces “showed dangerous disregard for the well-being – and indeed the lives – of protesters and bystanders.”

“The repeated police violence against people who are dissatisfied with the government policies has deeply polarized Turkey,” Human Rights Watch said. “The government urgently needs to change police tactics and issue a clear signal for restraint.”

Riot police on Tuesday were again deployed in Turkey’s two main cities, keeping an unyielding stance against the street demonstrations. Thousands have flooded the streets nightly, many honking car horns and waving Turkish flags.

Erdogan’s opponents have grown increasingly suspicious about what they call a gradual erosion of freedoms and secular values under his Islamic-rooted ruling party…..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/18/turkey-protests-police-powers_n_3459047.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=1015737,b=facebook

We Are All Turks Today. one humanity. one struggle.

Turkey Protests

Tuesday, 18th of June

”Standing man ” protests are increasing in Turkey….

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This interview was conducted by Zeynep Bilgehan on 18th June for the Turkish paper Hürriyet.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/18/flames-of-resistance-and-hope-in-turkey/

Excerpts:

The mixture of a sharp intelligence, fearlessness and the rebirth of hope that I witnessed was very inspiring. It reminded me to a certain extent of Europe (Paris and Prague) in 1968, much more than the Arab spring. What is happening in Turkey is very clear. An elected authoritarian government, committed to neo-liberalisam and war, imagined that it could do anything it wanted because of its democratic status. This was a foolish mistake….

When I was in Istanbul a few months ago, it was difficult not to detect a pall of depression that had enveloped activists and oppositionists. The closure of one of the city’s oldest cinema on Istiklal had led to mild protestsd. So mild that the government imagined it could accelerate its select and destroy mission. They miscalculated badly. The Prime Minister, in particular, a veritable Sultan of the building industry refused to retreat and embarked on repression. This was the breaking point. People unconcerned with the proposed destruction of Gezi now came out to protest and in huge numbers. The more the repression, the more the protests grew, spreading to virtually the entire country apart from four Kurdish-dominated towns. A campaign to save a park had become a national uprising against an obstinate and thuggish regime….

The courageous Turkish citizens opened up a new front at an important time. And their example might well spread ro France and, who knows, perhaps even Britain and Germany in the months ahead….

What is crucial as I said in my solidarity message is that the government has discredited itself with the help of a tame and servile Turkish media which ignored, underplayed and slandered the occupiers in Taksim during the first weeks….

if a new democratically structured political movement is formed (like, for instance, Syriza in Greece) it could give a permanent voice to the people from below. A monthly public assembly in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bodrum, Antakiyya and other cities to discuss the situation at home and abroad and report on te building of a new movement would create something permanent and make the clearing and re-clearing of the squares a bit meaningless. This is my hope….

Neo-liberal capitalism is hollowing out democracy. Those who fight the capitalist onslaught are also strengthening democracy….

19th of June

This is a better idea of what the “standing man” protest really looked like in Turkey.

And a “standing ovation” for all the Standing People of Turkey.#standingman #Duranadam #occupygezi

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19th of June

Update-today! Incredible eyewitness account from one of the protesters in Turkey and plea for help. Please read and help… We are all Turks Today!

“After negotiations with the Prime Minister, the protest groups relaxed a little seeing some small hope of peace and they were actually preparing to scale down the protest in Gezi Park. So everyone in a celebratory mood and this being the weekend, the Gezi Park and Taksim square was packed with all kinds of people including elderly, children and tourists. At around 8PM while there was a concert in the park, people were warned to empty it and within minutes the attack started. Now I can tell you about the following 36-40 hours of torture this nation went through in detail and I contemplated long about posting one of the hundreds of footages of unarmed, peaceful people being beaten by groups of policemen, gassed grandparents, children losing their parents in mayhem, residents being gassed in their own homes, hotels, restaurants, chemists, hospitals and first aid centres being attacked and all sorts of violence you wouldn’t dream of. And I decided not to ruin your day just like it has been ruining our lives for the last 4 days. Please just know that we became a battered, bruised nation over the weekend both physically and psychologically….

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Since then the people are standing silent in many towns and cities, especially at places that have significant meaning for them, for example where one of the protesters was shot dead in Ankara, or in front of the TV stations who don’t report what is going on in the country. And yes, some of them get arrested for just standing, they found a cover for it – standing in silence is ‘being psychologically violent’ towards the police!…

“So while everyone in the country ‘stands-up’ one way or another, I will again ask your support….

“there are some 3D things you can do to help us. Such as contacting your members of the parliament, congress people, NGOs such as Amnesty International, European Union Representatives, Media, alternative media and anyone you can think of to inform them of the atrocities, ask them to act accordingly and put the pressure on Turkish government.
Nothing the protesters do or say is against the constitution so there is no basis of the police violence towards them. Again, it is completely against all the international treaties Turkey signed to use chemical weapons against anyone let alone your own people, but this is what happened over the weekend, we have many people with 2nd and 3rd degree acid burns. The social media arrests are continuing and they are putting together an urgent law to regulate the internet and social media the way they want. Please share these truths with anyone you see fit….”

More at – http://soundofheart.org/galacticfreepress/content/update-istanbul-june-19-2013-one-lightworkers

19th of June. support from the states

I’m feeling sick about what happened in Turkey. An entire world away, and my heart aches with theirs. The brutal crushing of such beauty and innocence as their people have shown is like the mashing of a butterfly, the drowning of a kitten. I think the whole world cries a little each time the forces of hate snuff another candle.

But each time a flower blooms as did in Gezi Park, it fortifies the spirit of the world and rekindles its yearning to be free. And for those of us whose hearts are able to bleed with another’s suffering, it also binds us together in love and our common humanity … as hardships and tragedy will.

19th of June: Report from Istanbul – Good news!

RESISTANCE CONTINUES WITH FORUMS
Every Park Become Gezi Park in Turkey

Gezi Parkers are now discussing the transformation of their movement, saying that “PM did not kick us out of the park, he made everywhere a Gezi Park”.

3 weeks into the protests, brutally forced out of Gezi Park, Istanbulites made a better plan: Occupy every park!

Right now at least 35 parks are home to people assemblies, some are livestreamed, some are still small. And many cities followed… We are reclaiming public spaces one by one

3 weeks into the protests, even us Turks are amazed at our own power and sense of humor
Now we have people assemblies in parks all over Istanbul and many other cities. We are re-designing the society and the way we communicate. It is all happening, here, now. And also happening in Brazil, and hopefully soon, everywhere

The piano was transferred to the Abbasaga Park in the Beşiktaş district, the Beşiktaş sport club fans picked it because it was a place they can protect easily. But then the assembly idea spread, and now its everywhere!

Gezi park is still not open to the public, and Taksim square is open but , after all the violence this weekend no one really prefers to do anything there, except the “standing man”. Instead people are looking for creative ways…

http://bianet.org/english/youth/147740-every-park-become-gezi-park-in-turkey

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After an assembly, the piano is back!

We are all Turks today. one humanity. one struggle.

#occupylove #WeAreAllTurksToday #Gezi #Istanbul #Turkey #Occupy #occupygezi #WeAreTheMedia #breakingnews #TurkishSpring #Taksin #occupywallstreet #ows #WeAreAllBraziliansToday #changebrazil #WeAreAll

1002084_4439387643215_1694319803_nThe Tao of Funny God .. Brazil. Such transcendence of mind was hardly lacking in Brazil recently

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Occupy Gezi

Continue with Culture War, Class War: The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths”

or Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call

or Apocalypse No: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious

or Wounded Deer and Centaurs

or Breaking News — Hell Doesn’t Exist: Good—God! Hell—No! … the Comedy

Return to Wounded Deer and Centaurs — Book 5

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Turkish Police Attack Gezi Park – 6/15/13

Miki Takes Photos

On the night of June 15th, police entered Gezi Park, using tear gas and water cannons to clear protestors out of Gezi Park. Cops then pushed protestors down the streets, further from the park all night until the morning hours. Click here to fine more info on the protests in Turkey.

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“At Times I Hopped Like a Frog … Between Smiles and Tears, I Continued my Inward Journey.” — Guru Muktananda: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Three — Cathartic Meditation

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The Path Is Different from the Goal: The Truth About Meditation Can Only Now Be Told — Real Meditation Is About Letting Go and Experiencing Not About Controlling Oneself

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What Really Happens in Authentic, Deep Meditation

Janov’s position that meditation is simply an attempt at inducing relaxation, which is then called bliss and couched in terms like “oneness with God” (1970, pp. 221-222), is an uninformed opinion that leaves out of consideration the variety of spiritual experiences that occur during meditation.

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Only Now Can It Be Told

Why Janov might think this is understandable, however. Explicit information on meditation experiences, especially during the earliest stages, has not always been easy to come by. For centuries there existed the belief that spiritual experiences were to be kept secret and not freely discussed. But the belief that emerges in our age is that the times are such as to make possible certain allowances that formerly were denied. In this vein several masters have in this century written personal accounts of their spiritual experiences; some even have allowed themselves to be tested by scientific methods. Adding to this are the findings of the ever increasing body of meditation research that, for the first time in history, has been taking place in the last half century.

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“Between Smiles and Tears, I Continued my Inward Journey.” — Guru Muktananda

From the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda (1946) and Swami Baba Muktananda (1974), we are able to derive a conception of meditational experiences that is totally at variance with the notion that it is merely an attempt at relaxation or that it is, as Wilber claimed, distinct from “pre-” states. Muktananda writes, for example, “Various feelings emerged during meditation,” and “Sometimes I was happy, sometimes sad. Alternating between smiles and tears, I continued my inward journey” (p. 75).

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He talks about innumerable movements that occur in the process of meditation (p. 77). Most interestingly, he notes that these movements are automatic and “continued for a prolonged period” (pp. 82-83). “At times I hopped like a frog. Occasionally my body moved violently as if possessed by a spirit” (p. 78).

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The Yogic Experiences No One Tells You About

Muktananda explains that “the practitioners of Siddha Yoga have a vast variety of experiences about which one neither hears nor reads” (p. 76); that because of this an aspirant might abandon the path out of sheer fright (p. 77). Unaware of the variety of emotions and experiences entailed in the spiritual process, expecting perhaps only “bliss” (or relaxation?), the aspirant may think he or she is going insane (p. 77). He himself, however, sees all these experiences as part of a natural process that is cleansing in nature and makes possible access to higher levels of consciousness.

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“Meditators Commonly Experienced Intense Feeling States….”

Additional examples of these kinds of meditational experiences are given by Kapleau (l980) and Kornfield (1979). In fact, Kornfield reports that incidences of “spontaneous movement” were the most common experiences reported by beginning meditators (p. 45). He notes also that “Meditators commonly experienced intense feeling states and frequent dramatic changes of mood,” with examples of such including “screaming mind trips,” “violent crying,” “huge release of anger,” and “heavy sadness” (pp. 47-48).

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The Goal Is Different from the Path

In these descriptions of emotional discharge/release we can see similarities to what is described as occurring in primal therapy.

Spontaneous, Automatic Movement in Meditation ~ First-Line Feelings in Primal Therapy

But the descriptions of spontaneous and automatic movement are especially interesting. In many respects they recall the experiences that primalers with access to their “first-line” pain (preverbal, usually surrounding birth) frequently encounter. In fact, it is exactly this kind of relation (between the physical and emotional experiences reported by Kapleau, Kornfield, and others and perinatal experiences occurring outside of the spiritual disciplines) that is noted by Bache (1981).

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The bliss and equanimity described in the spiritual literature are thus associated most strongly with the advanced stages of meditation and should not be confused with the experiences entailed in the process of getting there.

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Most of What Passes for Meditation Is Anything But Mystical

The point is that there is more to meditation than mere relaxation or undiluted “trans-” states. Although evidently, as Rowan (1983) put it, “Most of what passes for meditation has nothing much to do with mystical experiences at all—it is just the achievement of a very calm state” (p. 21). From what I have seen, most of meditation as understood today is about learning to become more repressed and neurotic … less alive. It is all about trying to push out of consciousness all the upsetting things of life–all the things which when faced, embraced, and integrated can be gone beyond and can enrich one.

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Still, Rowan continues, “it is possible to get small or large peak experiences through meditation” (p. 21).

Real Meditative Experience May Not Be So Relaxing

Thus, it appears that the techniques of relaxation have to do with attempting to still the vagaries of pain-derived tension, the internal dialogue, so as to gain access to areas of consciousness that are “outside” and more fundamental than these vagaries. And contact with those areas may not be so relaxing!

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Continue with The Primal Serene — A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Four: How Passion Promotes Serenity and the Detached Observer in Catharsis — The Eye of the Storm

Return to Is God a Defense? Is Passion not Spiritual? A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Two — To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

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The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

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The Map Is Not the Territory, Reality Is What Is Directly Experienced: In Support of Panpsychism and the Primacy-of-Consciousness Postulate

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Some Assumptions

The perspective contained in this final argument on Experience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor and in the upcoming work, Falls from Grace, arises out of a set of assumptions that should be made clear at the outset. In addition, certain words are used with particular meanings that might not be clear to the reader initially. These terms are devolution, regression, the Divine, Experience , and metaphor; and I will deal with each of them in due course. In this part, “The Transpersonal Perspective,” I will discuss the definitional, epistemological, ontological, and methodological issues that pertain to the body of this work.

This book’s working set of assumptions is congruent with those of transpersonal psychology and the perennial philosophy as put forth by Ken Wilber (1977), and it is compatible with the metaphysical view constructed by Carl Jung. The basic assumption within that set is that Reality is

(1) something that is directly experienced and

(2) is not the interpretation of that experience.

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That is, that as soon as one begins to interpret, one is already abstracting from What Really Is, one is removing oneself from that Reality and is beginning the process of increasing abstraction, degression, and devolution (meaning the reverse of evolution, the opposite of growth forward) from What Is.

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(1) Reality Is Something Directly Experienced

Let us take each premise in turn. That Reality is something that is directly experienced is related to the position of Idealism, in philosophy, which is contrasted with the position of Common-Sense Realism or Materialism. Not only does Idealism have a strong historical legacy in philosophy, it has vital contemporary and empirical support from both the mainstream and cutting edges of our sciences.

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Debunking Materialism

To establish Idealism more strongly we might want, first of all, to undercut the prevailing notion of Common-Sense Realism or Materialism.

On the contemporary side, biologist, natural scientist, and philosopher Rupert Sheldrake (1991a) lists nine “essential features of the mechanistic world view”:

1. Nature is inanimate

2. Inert atoms of matter

3. Determinate, predictable

4. Knowable

5. Universe a machine

6. Earth dead

7. No internal purposes

8. No creativity

9. Eternal laws (p. 17)

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You will notice how many of these aspects of the mechanistic worldview overlap with what I have been calling Materialism. At any rate, Sheldrake (1991a) then states, and goes on to demonstrate, that “every one of those essential claims has been refuted by advances of science. In effect, science itself has now superseded the mechanistic world view” (p. 17).

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Why this is not common knowledge is answered by Sheldrake (1991a) in pointing out: “Although science is now superseding the mechanistic world view, the mechanistic theory of nature has shaped the modern world, underlies the ideology of technological progress, and is still the official orthodoxy of science” (p. 17). And furthermore about this reluctance to change: “It has had many consequences, not the least of which is the environmental crisis” (p. 17).

Nevertheless, it is our duty to shed popular or convenient positions when they are contradicted by the evidence … or else we should give up our endeavor’s claim to be a truthful one. In so doing, Sheldrake’s (1991a) conclusion is that

[T]he modern changes in science have effectively transcended each of these features. These changes in science have not happened as part of a coordinated research programme designed to overthrow the mechanistic paradigm. They have happened in specialized areas, seemingly unconnected with each other, and often without any consciousness that this was leading to a change in the overall world view of science. What I am going to suggest is that we can now see that this has effectively refuted the mechanistic world view within the very heart of science itself. (p. 18)

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And similarly, as concerns Materialism specifically:

Inert atoms have given way to the idea of atoms as structures of activity. Matter is not fundamental in modern physics. Energy and fields are fundamental. Energy is what gives things actuality or activity; it’s like the flow of change. Fields are what organize the flow of energy. As David Bohm says, “Matter is frozen light,” It’s the energy of light, or light-like energy trapped within a small space going round and round upon itself within fields. So matter is energy bound within fields. And as Sir Karl Popper has pointed out, “through modern physics, materialism has transcended itself,” because matter is no longer the fundamental explanatory entity, no longer the fundamental feature of things. Fields and energy are the most fundamental things. (p. 19)

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Affirming Idealism

With Materialism in disrepute, it is logical to consider the alternative of Idealism. Idealism is the position, in philosophy, that states that matter’s existence is dependent upon our perception of it, that we cannot know that matter exists outside of our perception of it, and hence that what is most fundamental about Reality is the observer, not the observed . . . that the observed always presupposes an observer, prior to that.

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This position fits in exactly with the idea of “biologically constituted realities” as I have described it elsewhere. This idea is that “worlds,” including “physical worlds,” are dependent upon the particular biological paradigm that constitutes the observer. Another way of saying that is that the “structure” of the observer … most notably, what is commonly called the “species” … determines the “world” that will be apprehended.

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By “structure” I naturally mean a “psychic” structure (which we mistakenly label a physical structure such as the anatomy of a species, of course, because of our culturally constituted materialist bias) as opposed to a physical structure—for after all we are herein arguing for the more fundamental reality of psyche1 over matter.

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At any rate, it follows that an infinite number of worlds are possible, corresponding to an infinite number of perceivers. That is to say that perceivers consist in an infinite number of conceivable “biological paradigms”; we call them species.

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Furthermore, subjective worlds vary as well within the individual biological structures that comprise each species. For the worlds of species vary with the individual perceivers or members which are by definition of similar, but not identical, construction to each other.

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At any rate, in our materialistic age, such an “Idealist” position that posits the essence of World as psychical or subjective is looked down upon. Indeed, it has been roundly dismissed as “logically impeccable but incredible.”2

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Rationalism As Egoistic Self-Abuse

Similarly, we have an argument against Idealism—more specifically the version of it called panpsychism, which is, by the way, the position being asserted here—by Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations. His conclusion is that the position of panpsychism is unintelligible. Stating “Could one imagine a stone’s having consciousness?” he concludes that if one could it would only amount to “image-mongery” (Sec. 390, p. 119e). The implication is that since we cannot do something adequately—that we cannot understand something completely—there is something wrong with it!

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This kind of reasoning qualifies for the “All-Time Boners in Philosophy Award.” For the argument—while claiming not to be saying anything about the truth or falsity of a position, nor about its provenness or unprovenness—would want us to evaluate positions, and even possibly dismiss them as viable (i.e., as possibly true), based upon whether we (as a species) are capable of understanding them with our intelligence.

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Whereas, not only does this limit our knowledge endeavor—removing it from any possibility of speaking of truth unless it somehow (miraculously, I suppose, or through some sort of chosen-by-God kind of privilege) happens to coincide with what is intelligible to us; not only does it eliminate the scientific and philosophical enterprises in their attempts at venturing, ever on, after what may actually be true (or at least “truer” than we had previously held); but it presupposes that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, will be unimaginable, or unintelligible, to all others in all other times.

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This is one particular instance where Rationalism displays its egoistic self-abuse . . . hence its inherent fallacy. For we know by looking at the record that what is unimaginable at one time, or to one person, ends up being imaginable to another. For example, do we suppose that an early “animistic” hunter-gatherer could imagine a physical universe as we picture it today—with black holes, a heliocentric solar system, a Big Bang, quarks, and quasars?

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Do we say that because this primal person could not imagine these that we must dismiss them as possible truths (i.e., as possible good models of our reality). Or must we say that our conceptualizations of these things amount to “image-mongery” and thereby dismiss them on those grounds.

This last point leads beyond it in compelling us to realize that all forms of what we call “intelligible” venturing after truth are already a matter of “image-mongery.” That is to say that all our attempts equate with imagining models of what is; none of which can be said to actually constitute the thing described inasmuch as the map cannot constitute the territory.

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Hence we are led, again, to a realization of the inevitably anthropocentric nature of such arguments as Wittgenstein’s attack on panpsychism—and the equivalent degree of arrogance that corresponds with them. For the argument reduces itself to “if we can’t imagine something, it doesn’t exist!”

Leaving behind such a fatuous and uninspired rationale, let us return to the position of Idealism anew.

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Continue with The World of “Matter” Is But the Appearance of Mind to Itself: The Footprints on the Shores of the Unknown Are Our Own

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Return to How End Times Can Be Seen as Beginning Times: Science As Myth, Part Six — Emanationism and the Cyclical Nature of Time and Change

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Is God a Defense? Is Passion not Spiritual? A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Two — To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

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Stopping the “Internal Dialogue”: Meditation and Primal Are Attempts to Experience Aspects of Consciousness That Are Nonverbal, Noncortical, and Non-Neurotic

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Is God a Defense?

This chapter is part of the development in primal in correcting one inaccuracy of the early “primal scream,” which is Janov’s attitude regarding the relation between feeling one’s feelings and the spiritual process. Janov would claim that religion and the belief in a God are defenses, and that spiritual experiences employ the energy of repressed material, as in sublimation, or are reaction formations to such pain. Specifically, Janov has stated that meditation is “anti-Primal.”

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Is Catharsis Anti-Spiritual?

Attacking from the other side we have Wilber (1982) claiming that preverbal experiences are to be distinguished from transpersonal experiences. He claims that “[b]ecause both pre-X and trans-X are, in their own ways, non-X, they may appear similar, even identical, to the untutured eye,” whereas in reality they are profoundly different (p. 5). He posits a structure of linear development in which one conceivably could “regress” to pre-X, to prepersonal experience, and mistake it for transpersonal experience.

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Therefore he would claim that such experiences as we undergo in the phenomenon of re-experience are actual “regressions” on the spiritual path and are antithetical to a true spiritual quest. He would also claim a spiritual meditative practice is antithetical to one of re-experience or “regression therapy.”

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Meditation Is Often Emotionally “Messy”

chiron_by_summitstudios_thumbWilber’s theory strikes me as a curiously dualistic way of interpreting a nondichotomous reality. And although his reasoning is tight and internally consistent, it excludes the evidence of transpersonal experience as exhibited in the spiritual, psychedelic, and ethnographic literature, or the evidence of meditation research. For, as Epstein and Leiff, (1981, p. 140) wrote in commenting on Wilber’s distinctions between supposed pre- and transpersonal experience: “In fact, meditation experiences embody all of the above. Confusion arises when meditation is analyzed as one discrete state, rather than as a developmental process.”

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Spiritual Growth Is Not a Linear Path, It is an Expanding Outward

Thus, I differ with Wilber in that I do not see preegoic influences as counter to a transcendental path; rather, I see them as distortions to be worked through.

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This stems from the basic difference between our developmental frameworks in that Wilber sees a linearity, and I see a dialectic in which a transcendental jump “forward” may require an incorporative “backward” step. I do not see growth at all as a linear progression, but more like an expanding outward.

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To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

602672_10151206947496725_1953993973_nWhat we find, in primal anyway, is that one actually is more adult when one can let one’s self be childlike at times. Wilber’s theory seems to exclude the possibility that the “healthiest” state may be, as many have described it, one in which we have access all the way “up” and “down” the “spectrum,” in which we can travel unafraid through all the rooms of our house. In this context regression can seem a meaningless term and discussion of it appear spurious.

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An Alternative Explanation

Thus, unlike Janov who casts a dark light on spiritual pursuits in affirming the importance of primal experience (re-experience), Wilber impugns the validity of “pre-” experiences (re-experience) in affirming the importance of spiritual and meditative experiences.

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Regression Is the Left Hand of Progression

My purpose here will be to counter both theorists in affirming that “pre-” is not distinct from “trans-,” as Wilber stated, nor primal distinct from meditation, as Janov stated.

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Basically, the evolved primal therapy I participated in differs with Janov in discovering that primal and meditation are congruent techniques beneath their surface differences. This is evident in the similarity of the phenomena experienced in each and in the similarity of effects each has on the personality.

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Their congruence is further indicated by the fact that transpersonal phenomena do seem to occur to advanced primalers, contrary to Janov’s claims. 1000168-2-the-cottage-in-the-woods_thumbThough experiences of both primalers and LSD subjects seem to indicate that much of what is generally considered transpersonal phenomena is derivative of traumatic life experiences, particularly those occurring at birth or in the womb, there is much of transpersonal experience that cannot be explained away in that manner.

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Stopping the “Internal Dialogue”

The alternative explanation I am presenting rests on the idea that the purpose of the spiritual disciplines is, as Castaneda has termed it, to stop the “internal dialogue.” This corresponds in primal therapy to the attempts to get “below” the rationalizations, intellectualizations, and defenses that are laid down in the cortex, to the real body feelings underneath. It would seem that both methods are engaged in an attempt to delve into and experience aspects of consciousness that are nonverbal, nonsymbolic, noncortical, and nonneurotic.

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0009-487505594_68909d3e97_mhealingcrisisNeurosis has often been defined as a narrowing of consciousness. One way of viewing this is that it entails being cut off from large areas of awareness and experience that are tied up with painful memories and feelings. In this light it is interesting to consider a statement by Paramahansa Yogananda, who was discussing his experience of returning to a physical body in his reincarnation on earth. He writes, “Like a prodigal child, I had run away from my macrocosmic home and imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm” (1946, p. 168).

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“Imprisoned in a Narrow Microcosm” = Human

One way of viewing the human condition, then, is as a “neurotic” state in that it entails a narrowing of consciousness. 0007-monster-under-the-bed-crpd_We see neurosis in the pathological sense as simply a more extreme narrowing of consciousness than what is accepted as normal.

In this way we can see the function of the spiritual disciplines, which is to increase the capacity of the individual to accept the “larger reality,” as parallel to the purpose of primal therapy, which is to increase the capacity of the person to accept walled-off portions of her or his personal reality. As they apparently deal with different “levels” of reality, one might suspect that there would be differences in technique.

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Catharsis and Calmness Alternate on Liberation’s Highway

But, conversely, I propose that primal and spiritual techniques are complementary, despite their surface differences, with either being helpful depending on the material to be worked through. Further and more specifically, I propose that primal can aid the spiritual process by clearing out negative material from the personal unconscious that would otherwise distort and impede that process, whereas spiritual techniques sometimes can be helpful in extending the arena of growth beyond the borders of strictly primal (or personal) reality.

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Continue with “At Times I Hopped Like a Frog … Between Smiles and Tears, I Continued my Inward Journey.” — Guru Muktananda: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Three — Cathartic Meditation

Return to How Valid Are Spiritual Experiences? Psychedelic Research and Deep Experiential Psychotherapy Have Intensified the Exploration of Spiritual Aspects of the Unconscious

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How End Times Can Be Seen as Beginning Times: Science As Myth, Part Six — Emanationism and the Cyclical Nature of Time and Change

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Further Implications of the New Paradigm: On Yugas and the Shift, Emanationism, Panentheism, and Child “Development” as Spiritual Devolution

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Emanationism and the Cyclical Nature of Time and Change

Emanationism is another important non-Western perspective that comes out of the new consciousness research, the new physics, and quantum theory. Like the Lamarckian view of evolution and the subjectivity-as-primary postulate of Reality, it, also, is ridiculed and pooh-poohed by the many self-ordained “rational” men of science. But like the others, it, too, is given new credibility and life through some of those same “inconvenient” findings of science which overturn common-sense materialism and neo-Darwinism.

27996_10151253638310758_240918830_nEmanationism is a view of our changes over time that suggests that we devolve from an original pure state to increasingly diffracted, diffused, and more impure states of being. It asserts that, rather than evolving to higher forms, we descend from a highest form to lower and lower forms as we get farther from an original source. On Emanationism, Wikipedia says,

Emanationism is an idea in the cosmology or cosmogony of certain religious or philosophical systems. Emanation, from the Latin emanare meaning “to flow from” or “to pour forth or out of”, is the mode by which all things are derived from the First Reality, or Principle. All things are derived from the first reality or perfect God by steps of degradation to lesser degrees of the first reality or God, and at every step the emanating beings are less pure, less perfect, less divine. Emanationism is a transcendent principle from which everything is derived, and is opposed to both Creationism (wherein the universe is created by a sentient God who is separate from creation) and materialism (which posits no underlying subjective and/or ontological nature behind phenomena being immanent).

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150374_272876926165259_93694049_nThe importance of such a distinction in the views of the nature and direction of Reality might not be obvious. But it is supremely relevant to just about everything we think of as advance or development: In spirituality or spiritual growth,417002_520498194627937_1765380096_n it determines whether or not one can pile up spiritual “accomplishments,” ladder-style, step-by-step and analogous to the way one acquires credits toward a scholastic degree, or whether one needs to let go and stop trying to control one’s development and instead place the source of one’s plan for eternity outside of the ego. It has much to say about the so-called “advances” of civilization and points to an idea that these accomplishments take a much higher toll than they provide benefits; the net result being that we continually retreat, not advance, with technological and cultural elaboration.

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185135_234481183344891_1818458744_nIt has something to say about our development in life and whether we lose more than we gain as we get older, alongside the measure of perhaps the most important things of life. It might say something to a physicist pondering the Big Bang and its aftermath as well about where one might look for the more optimal state of the Universe — something we approach, an Omega Point, or something we left behind, an Origin or Source. For the traditional Western view in each case sees all growth and development as linear; whereas the Emanationist view in each case sees Reality more like the ways indigenous folks and our progenitors saw it: Reality as a cycle, with times of decline followed eventually, and fortuitously, by eternal returns to states of renewed vitality.

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If this sounds strange, keep in mind that this is the central idea in the concepts of being “born again,” of rebirthing, and of renewal of any sort that is sought in any endeavor, spiritual/psychological or secular. Keep in mind that Emanationism is in line with right-brain or “organic” thinking, which sees progress as growing outward in all directions at the same time from a Source which is also then the End Point.

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Fall and Return to Grace

Whereas a traditional view of progress has it being linear and in line with left brain thinking which posits everything in cause and effect relation from a dim, unforeseeable beginning to an incomprehensible Omega Point at the opposite end of Infinity … which is a mathematical impossibility, by the way, so even it, though linear, is not logical.

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yggdrasilSo while such an idea as Emanationism might sound strange these days … thus reinforcing my argument for the overweening success of the theory of evolution … yet it was one that was common among ancient philosophers.TreeofLifeGoddess It was and is a common “primitive” — a better word is primal — depiction of the way things work. It is a cornerstone of ancient Gnostic teachings. A good deal of ancient Greek philosophy is presented this way — for example, the writings or Plotinus and Proclus. It is the perception of Hindu cosmology, even up to this day, with the belief in a system of yugas or ages — each one being a decline from the previous one. Strangest of all, it appears in a physical form (almost as if it had to come out somewhere, even if only “reflected”) in the theory of cosmic origins put forth by the scientific community called the “big bang” theory. People this very day have this conception in mind in thinking there might be some renewal on the horizon at the end of the Mayan calendar or coinciding with some other celestial or macrocosmic shift.

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yugatime298-04-yugasHowever, generally speaking, in this philosophical conception, the Universe is seen as “running down” over time — that is, in a spiritual or moral sense, not a physical one like the scientists’ refracted formulation. Consequently, the current age, which we think of as the height of evolution is, in Hindu cosmology, the Kali yuga, the lowest level of decline, of degenerate morals, habit, and custom that is possible before the starting up of the cycle all over again from the “top” … which, keep in mind, is also the beginning or “bottom.”

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Karl Christian Friedrich Krause and Panentheism

And this viewpoint is expressed magnificently as recently as the early nineteenth century by philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause with such import and power that it led to an entire movement outside of Krause’s Germany in the country of Spain during the mid-nineteenth century and after his death.

Of Krause, Encyclopedia Brittanica reports,

kcf_krauseKarl Christian Friedrich Krause, (born May 6, 1781, Eisenberg, Rhenish Palatinate [Germany]—died Sept. 27, 1832, Munich, Bavaria), German philosopher who attracted a considerable following, especially in Spain, where his disciples, known as krausistas, greatly influenced the direction of Spanish education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Krause’s system of philosophy, which he called “panentheism” (essentially an attempt to reconcile pantheism and theism), asserts that God is an essence that contains the entire universe within itself but is not exhausted by it. He put particular emphasis on the development of the individual as an integral part of the life of the whole.

Among his major works are Entwurf des Systems der Philosophie (1804; “Sketch of the System of Philosophy”), Vorlesungen über das System der Philosophie (1828; “Lectures on the System of Philosophy”), and Vorlesungen über die Grundwahrheiten der Wissenschaft (1829; “Lectures on the Fundamentals of Knowledge”).

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Ostracizing Emanationism In Our Intellectually “Open” Society

Yet this viewpoint is decried and suppressed these days. Sure of our beliefs in evolution which, conveniently enough, puts us at the top of the ladder of creation, we relegate the idea of Emanationism and the philosophy of Krause, for example, to the trash heap of history. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy has this to say about Emanationism as regards its contrast with the theory of evolution: “In modern times, evolutionism has obliterated the emanationist philosophy” (Merlan, 1966, p. 473).

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Pinnacle of Evolution?

And sure enough, in my computer search of the seven million titles in the entire University of California library system I found not one title at all related to the topic of Emanationism. Similarly, of the forty-six titles listed on Krause, only two were in English and both of those were concerned, not at all with Krause’s philosophy, but rather with his other major interest — his political views on world peace, and the other title an analysis of the sociological movement that followed from his ideas in Spain. Therefore there wasn’t one title in English on this philosophy, this viewpoint!

We may congratulate ourselves on having an open intellectual society, a freedom of expression and viewpoint. However, inquiry like the one above forces us to acknowledge the existence of certain forces in our world — be they psychological, political, economic, sociological, or all of these — that severely circumscribe the range of ideas available for consideration by our supposedly “open” minds in this supposedly “open” society.

But I do not wish to make the case for Emanationism just yet. That will be the task of the book which follows this one, Falls from Grace. In it I present exactly that proposition: that in the process of coming into the world, in an individual’s life, the individual’s consciousness proceeds from a state of high awareness and spiritual expansion to lower and more constricted levels of such awareness.

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Fallen and We Can’t Get Up

This would be ontogenetic emanationism or what I refer to as devolution. In the work previous to this one, The Great Reveal, I lay out the manner of this emanationism as it has occurred for our species. This phylogenetic or cultural emanationism or devolution is the idea that in the process of eons of time we have existed on Earth our species has gone from a state of grand awareness and spiritual fullness to increasingly lesser states of such.

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Crown of Creation?

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Further New-Paradigm Implications: Child “Development” as Spiritual Devolution

Whatever the weight of the assault I am making on the scientific bias, it must at least be acknowledged concerning scientific theories that theoretical positions that ignore the very foundations upon which they are based — that is, the subjectivity of the observer — are going to be the weaker for that.

Yet, acknowledging even that, one could argue that there is no clear idea of how to go about applying these new perspectives. How could they be used? How could they be relevant? What implications might they have?

It is in answer to these questions that I have offered the analysis in the work following this. In Falls from Grace, I detail how these new-paradigm perspectives, specifically emanationism, can be used in the understanding of child “development” and personal growth or spirituality. I propose just such an emanationist or devolutional model — one that is rooted in Wilber’s (1977) “spectrum of consciousness” theory.

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Fallen from Grace … Returning to Grace

It is more than just speculative, however, for it is based also on the findings of the new-paradigm experiential psychotherapies — that is, the ones that place primacy upon experience over concept, “territory” over “map,” and percept over object.

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The implications of this approach, I show, are for no less than the validity of the current direction of child-caring, the effectiveness of mainstream psychiatric approaches, and the direction of psychological and spiritual growth. It is my belief that such implications are far from irrelevant or unimportant.

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Emanationist Devolution

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Endpoint of Emanationist Devolution … Endpoint of Falls from Grace

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Return to Grace … Return to Source

The Transpersonal Perspective Explained

But first, in this work Experience Is Divinity, I wish to provide a more comprehensive philosophical viewpoint that arises from the modern consciousness research. In the Transpersonal Perspective, I will lay out what I believe can be known about Reality. For it is the basis upon which any true knowledge can exist.

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Continue with The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

Return to Science Has Demonstrated That Psychological, Subjective Changes Affect the Rest of Reality: Everything We Think and Do Affects All of Consciousness


Science as Myth Footnote

1. Experiments testing the theory of morphogenetic fields have been reported in a number of places, including New Sense Bulletin, Noetic Sciences Bulletin, and of course Sheldrake’s own works and presentations.

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Science As Myth References

Jones, Roger S. (1982). Physics as Metaphor. Minneapolis, MN: The University of Minnesota.

Lawlor, Robert. (1991). Voices of the First Day: Awakening in the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International.

Merlan, Philip. (1967). Emanationism. In Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 473-474.

New Sense Bulletin. (1991). Contest-winning studies support Sheldrake theory. New Sense Bulletin, 17(1) [October 1991], 8.

Institute for Noetic Sciences. (1991). Noetic Sciences Bulletin.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1981). A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1991). The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God. New York: Bantam.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1991). Is nature alive? Human Potential, 16-21, 33-39.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1995). Nature as alive: Morphic resonance and collective memory. Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, 1(1), 65-78.

Wilber, Ken. (1980). The Atman Project. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House.

Wilber, Ken. (1981). Up from Eden. New York: Anchor Books.

Wilber, Ken. (1982). The pre/trans fallacy. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 22(2), 5-43.

Wilber, Ken. (1983). A Sociable God. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publishing.

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Continue with The Consciousness of Stones: Transpersonal Perspective, Part One — Affirming Idealism, Debunking Materialism, and Rationalism as Egoistic Self-Abuse

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How Valid Are Spiritual Experiences? Psychedelic Research and Deep Experiential Psychotherapy Have Intensified the Exploration of Spiritual Aspects of the Unconscious

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Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part One — Primal Therapy: In Resolving Buried Tensions, One Sees Clearly, Feels Freer, and Turns Cycles of Pain Into Cycles of Joy

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The debate about the status we should ascribe to spiritual experience has been going on for a long time in psychology. Disagreement on this was crucial to Jung’s break from Freud, with Jung postulating an unconscious containing transpersonal as well as purely personal elements.

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More recently, LSD research and cathartic approaches to psychotherapy have extended the experiential exploration of spiritual aspects of the unconscious. Consequently, the legitimacy of spiritual experience has become an issue among some of us who primal.

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Some of us who have been through primal therapy have begun to have experiences that we find difficult to trace to biological roots.pandora__s_jar_by_xxdigipxx-d3100pj-png_thumb1_thumb But Janov, in his writings about primal, is consistent with the Freudian tradition in which he was tutored. He maintains a mechanistic interpretation of the primal process. He sees spiritual experiences as derivative of underlying primal pain and views meditation as “anti-Primal” (1970, p. 222).

For some who have continued primaling beyond Janov’s prescribed limits, it is becoming apparent that he is unaware of some of the potentials of the process he presented. As one who began “feeling his feelings” [Footnote 1] over four decades ago, I will present an explanation of the relationship between the primal and spiritual processes as an alternative to Janov’s mechanistic one. I rely on my own experiences, those I have observed in others in my role as facilitator and therapist, and the experiences of a number of other primalers as they have been related to me. I also rely on the important work with LSD and holotropic breathwork that Stanislav Grof (1970, 1976, 1980, 1985, 1988; Grof & Halifax, 1977; many more) has presented.

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Primal Therapy

It may be important to bring us up to date on primal therapy. Arthur Janov introduced it in 1970 with his controversial book, The Primal Scream, subtitled, Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. It had its time of ascendancy, with well-known personalities such as John Lennon espousing it. It also had a long period of malignment in print and the media, with much of the criticism apparently directed at Arthur Janov’s style in presenting it or the excessive quality of his claims concerning it. Relevant articles, which were published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, are those by Kelley (1972), Kaufmann (1974), and Lonsbury (1978). Despite the controversy, however, primal therapy seems to have struck a chord in many people with its statement that the vast majority of us carry around a reservoir of unfelt pain from past experiences that was repressed because it was too overwhelming to be dealt with at the time. Primal therapy survived many of its contemporaries in the human potential movement.

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Primal theory, simply stated, is that the memories of unfelt pain from traumatic experiences in childhood, at birth, and in the womb, and the emotions that would have naturally occurred with them, are locked in the body as unresolved tension. This tension motivates all neurotic and psychotic symptoms in its grosser manifestations, and in its subtler manifestations influences and shapes one’s perceptions of and attitudes toward one’s self and world, and thus determines one’s behavior toward them. It does so in a manner that is symbolic of the unresolved need or trauma.

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This pain/tension keeps us uncomfortable, keeps us from being able to see reality clearly and act positively, keeps us from being fully functioning, and keeps us forever viciously trapped in negative life situations that serve only to recreate the patterns of our past scars. In primal one opens up to these repressed memories and relives the traumatic events with all the emotion that should have been there, accompanying them, originally. In resolving the tensions, one sees more clearly and is able to act more positively and joyfully and to create more positive scenarios for one’s life.

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Space limits a complete description of primal theory or therapy, and for that I refer the reader to Janov and to the articles mentioned. That is, with a few modifications. Outside of Janov’s own works, much of what has appeared in print has, as nearly as I can determine, been written by people who have neither been in nor been very close to primal therapy, the exception being Lonsbury (1978). In addition, little popular attention has been directed to it in recent years, and none to its development. I have been involved in a developing primal therapy and would like to amend the record accordingly.

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I agree with much of what Kelley had to say in 1972. In Denver, where I did the majority of my therapy, the medical model was abandoned and an educational one was adopted, as per his suggestion. More importantly, Kelley noted the fallacy of a “postprimal” state, “cured” and devoid of defenses. That this state is an extrapolation of tendencies, as Kelley says, and the mythical qualities of a “primal man” as well as a “genital character,” has become obvious to most of us who have been primaling for any extended period of time. To that extent, Kelley was well ahead of the rest of us in primal in seeing this. My major disagreement with his article is that it does not seem to take into account the deeper potentials of the primal process. He posits a need for an “education in purpose,” which is separate from or “antithetical” to (an education in) feeling, and does not acknowledge the possible emergence of a “felt purpose,” in the course of one’s “feeling,” that synthesizes the two.

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But most of all, I feel it is important to respond to Kaufmann (1974). Much of his attitude and many of his assertions have been mirrored elsewhere in the media and have contributed to the prevailing distorted impression of primal that is at variance with what I will be describing. As other critics of primal have done, Kaufmann seems to have zeroed in on the excesses and inaccuracies of the early primal therapy as described in Janov’s earliest works. A good example is his criticism of the “postprimal” person. This indolent, sexless character has been the source of much confusion and disdain for primal therapy. And Kaufmann’s remarks clearly are admissible considering the date. But let me say emphatically that this particular notion of a “real person” was later abandoned both in the publications coming out of Janov’s Primal Institute (“A connected person achieves.” [Footnote 2]) and among us primalers. We just didn’t turn out that way.

Janov’s early characterization began to be seen as someone just on the verge of making a more precipitous descent into earlier, “first-line,” preverbal feelings.

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Other of the early inaccuracies eventually were cleared up in practice. 1345645The primal therapy I experienced in Denver in 1975 with Jules and Helen Roth and their staff was an evolved version of primal as originally described by Janov (1970), or as initially presented to me in Toronto by Thomas Verny in 1972. It was less directive, more supportive. We didn’t maintain the illusion (as much) that anyone could really know where someone else was “at” and so we didn’t pretend that we could “bust” each other. Similarly, we didn’t use “props” or attempt to interpret one another’s experiences. We let one another “be” more fully where we already were and helped one another to go “deeper.” I specify the discrepancies because they relate to what I say further on.

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I might also add that while in Denver I was witness and participant in primal’s continued development. Initially, it did contain many elements of a “primal religion” as often criticized. Subsequently, we let go of illusions of that nature and were able to integrate this invaluable tool into a fuller life and into a broader framework of understanding. My impression from other primalers is that similar evolutions occurred elsewhere.

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The point I make is that the primal therapy to which I refer is quite unlike the popular notions of “primal scream therapy” and different in many ways from its earliest descriptions. My response to detractors of early primal therapy is just that many of their criticisms are no longer relevant.

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Continue with Is God a Defense? Is Passion not Spiritual? A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Two — To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

Return to Everything You “Know” About Life You Learned as a Fetus: Foundations of Myth and Mind and my Personal Involvement with This Research into Our Actual “Human Nature”

Footnotes

1. fantasypic8-snake_thumbI will be using the terms primaling and feeling one’s feelings interchangeably. We began to use the term feeling feelings instead of primaling partly to counteract the impression fostered by Janov that all feeling outside of primaling is unreal, that there is a basic difference between primals and normal feelings. Although there is a great difference in quality and intensity, and to that extent a new term is justified, normal feelings are not separate from primal feelings. They are the tip of the iceberg, and are used to get to their roots in primal feelings.

2. The quote is from Spike (1974). See also the interviews in the Journal of Primal Therapy (1974) for other changes in the conceptions of early primal.

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Continue with Is God a Defense? Is Passion not Spiritual? A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Two — To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

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