Lightmind Extract 008
i hear you saying i have a limited perception of you. sure. this is a limited medium. sorry if i have characterized you unfairly. i see that you are tasting and trying, exploring and experimenting, as are we all!
yeah! we did have a good heated discussion about cohen a while back, but more particularly about what i saw as cowboy attitudes toward ego destruction, vs. more integral/compassionate attitudes toward what it really means to dimantle defenses and confront the deep pain that they are covering. i was saying that cohen (and sometimes wilber) are irresponible in their dualistic presentation of “ego-death in the heat of the guru-disciple relationship vs. ego-coddling in the therapist-client relationship. this is particularly disppointing from wilber as he is the champion of integrating the two broad schools of eastern and western consciousnes studies.
as i remember our discussin ended with the theme we are currenlty discussing though, & i was inquiring as to wether or not you had seriously taken up any of the injunctions we were discussing (psychotherapy, meditation, silent retreats, emotional release work etc…).
i think that the movement toward wholeness and more a more free level of being requires healing and opening. while the vigorous confrontation which a practice and/or teacher might offer can help to challenge the heretofore unconscious defenses, without psycholgically grounded compassion this is just re-traumatizing and will create still stronger defenses and a new belief system that is often still frgmenting and dualistic…….
iow: it is not so much purifying oneself to discover the nugget of spirit at the center, but cleaning and preparing all the rooms in the mansion of being to be filled up with the presence of spirit. then developing instruments and tools that can weave that spirit into the fabric of our lives.
what is the problem? well, derailments of certain lines of development due to an overload of trauma, or an absence of resources…..plain and simple. our identities are limited by these difficulties andd this shapes how we exerience life, relationships, work, our bodies, emotions etc….
different psychological and meditative disciplines help to address this by either: safely bringing up and resolving the traumatic material (difficult and tricky work), creating a container within which a re-parenting type healing relationship can occur where the previously absent resources (love, acceptance, support, mirroring etc..) can be experienced and integrated such that the arrested developmental lines can be re-engaged, and/or providing a context or practice within which one enters states of consciousness that allows awareness of defense structures to be amplified, allows self-reflection and insight to arise and reveals an identity that is more flexible and responsive than the previous level of defensive structure…
all of this cannot be grasped conceptually in any meaningful way. it is all about a set of eureka’s that happen through the experiential engagement. a qualified experienced guide (therapist, healer, or teacher) makes that process way more effective and fruitful. then there’s integrating those “peeks” into daily life……
the process of untangling, unwinding, re-visioning, etc does arrive periodically at spacious plateaus where there is calm, peace, and a sense of completeness – “nothing to do”, but this is just one phase on the mandala of growth. it will keep moving and there will be more work to do.
of course there is greater freedom, pleasure, calm and compassion available the more we work through the defenses and restrictions, the more we surrneder to honestly feeling the suffering and fear and learn how to tolerate, contain and/or express it. but we will always be human. there is no final word that will change this fact.
of course practice “fails” if you think the goal is to change the fundamentals of the human condition. if the goal is to come to acceptance and skillful navigation of the human condition, to come into compassionate and wise relationship to self and other through what david whyte calls the “unwanted passion of your sure defeat..”, well then the failure of the unrealistic goal reveals a more bittersweet achievement that is no achievement….but again words get tricky here.
is formal meditation practice and some kind of therapy necessary for all. no. are these two things necessary to have even the smallest grasp what ken and other scholar/practitioners like kornfield, welwood et al are discussing viz the cutting edge of integral transpersonal work. i think so. definitely: it’s the territory that all of their maps are attemtping to decsribe.
in fact, it is probably best to undergo a good 5 to 10 years of meditation and therapy before even beginning to read these guys! failing that i would hope they would at least inspire a few people to take up these injunctions and find out for themselves
Filed under: Jack Kornfield, John Welwood, Lightmind Extracts, Meditation, Psychospiritual Growth, Psychotherapy | Leave a Comment