Lightmind Extract 019
jim, nicely put together post. merci! i am about to guide a group in their first holotropic breathwork session (haven’t done a group session in a while myself) and this had some nice quotes and points for the presentation i am preparing for the start of the day.
here are some comments/thoughts….
1) some reference is being made to what ken calls the pre/trans fallacy, and what welwood refers to (in more sepcific form) as “spiritual bypassing”.
2) also interesting to note that for grof, “ego-death” is really just the beginning of being a real person and coming to terms with the conflict and avoidance of life that might otherwise be chasing enlightenment as an antidote to the suffering of being human. i think that for janov this might be becoming authentic by bringing to the surface, expressing and making conscious the “primal pains”.
i would call this “surrendering the ego-defense” and developing a “healthier ego”…….but that is my technicality – one that i feel starts to clarify a lot of things.
3) grof is pointing out that without taking the journey through the depths of the unconscious and facing what we have repressed, all attempts to transcendent consciousness will be variations on denial, avoidance, rationalization, dissociation etc….
i would add to this by saying paths that claim finality but leave out this initiation into the primal repressed emotion and a deep interaction with the archetypal psyche are too somewhat destined to produce similar fragmentation.
4) the “spiritually empowered narcissist” is the exact archetype embodied by so many of the failed abusive charismatic teachers who have generally done more harm than good; because they really needed a very very good therapist to help them come to terms with their narcissistic wounding….
if anything, these are some of the central reasons why i find transpersonal theory so compelling: – because it attempts to address the key crucial problems that people who have been in the field for the last 20 or 30 years (ie spiritual communities, years of meditation, trying to do therapy with “spiritual” people, trying to make sense of their own process with regard to pschye and spirit), have isolated as being where we go wrong in our attempt to put the eastern hat on the western head!
personally, i have taken the exact journey many of these theorists describe: from inflated narcissistic bypassing spirituality as a result of a lot of meditating and sage theorizing about non-duality, enlightenment etc…. through the dark night of the soul, , energetic catharsis, facing primal pains and traumas, into the initiation into embodied, emotionally vulnerable relating and living, and the journey continues (very chaotically at times…) as i attempt to integrate.
what fascinates me (and adds to my sense of their veracity) is that i took most of that journey without having read any of these guys and then discovered them along the way and found a map that described not only the process but also my eventual feelings of frustration and inauthenticity with the disconnection i saw in much of the spiritual community (and myself).
Filed under: John Welwood, Lightmind Extracts, Psychospiritual Growth, Stanislav Grof | Leave a Comment