Learning and Transformation Part 2 of 4

wooden dock on body of water

Struggle

Introduction

Most of us look at struggle as one or more odious tasks that must be completed on a regular basis. Our bias is a dislike of struggle. Psychological theory tells us that humans are pleasure seeking or at least avoidant of displeasure. The dislike of struggle builds a resistance to which our physical body is a receptacle for this tension.

The purpose of struggle is creating energy

Besides dislike, resistance to struggle is the second rationale to let odious tasks lay fallow and undone.

 

The Physical Body

Our physical or corporeal bodies represent a bank where all habits that we deem as good or bad are held in deposit ready for our use. When we are younger we tend to ride roughshod over the limits our body presents us with by employing our intellect and our will. A youthful body is quite flexible growing and changing. A plateau of growth is reached in middle age. Entropy accelerates with increasing age.

man wearing black shorts

Without seeking truth, a higher ideal or employing inner work we may, using our dominant processing facilities; our prefrontal cortex/ cognitive brain to ignore and/or objectify our body as a projection of our minds. If we follow this rational to the exclusion of somatic knowing then we may miss the memories our body holds and the wisdom therein. We may also miss the speed in which our body learns and remembers actions especially gross physical actions such as riding a bicycle, dance steps or hang-gliding for example. By allying body memory with a neutral cognitive observer learning motion-oriented activities can be accelerated. Our culture is overly focused on the actions produced in the prefrontal cortex so body knowing is often discounted or objectified. This constitutes a loss and produces illusions that the cognitive self or ego uses to obfuscate somatic knowing and memory.

The battle between “yes” and “no”

Many memories that are forgotten, suppressed or repressed are recorded in the body and may never enter consciousness or may return to consciousness as isolated or fragmented snapshots of memory. Almost all experiences are recorded by the body and may be recalled as memories through associative thinking. Associative recall includes memories of actions that have become habits stored in body memory. When we execute habits our conscious attention recalls the actions stored in body memories which flits across our cognitive realms. Body memory associated with olfaction and other sensory organs allow quick access to our to interpretative cognitive faculties.

The Core of Struggle

All struggle is felt on a physical level via stress, anxiety and ending with resistance because we dislike and sometimes loathe struggle. The backstop of struggle is the physical body. Struggle itself is the battle between “Yes” and No”.

The third force in a battle of opposites is invisible.

The purpose of struggle is creating energy, but most of us get caught in a battle between “Yes” and “no” or the back and forth of dislike versus like. The result of this dichotomous battle depletes us so that no energy is created or goes unnoticed and is wasted.

Cultivation of the neutral observer is key

The battle between “yes” and “no” like any fight between opposites must have an out or endless squabbling is the unresolved end result. This is the nature of compromise. However most struggles don’t create energy are analogous to obsessive thinking patterns or circular thought. The third force in a battle of opposites is invisible. Just as atoms contain many waves and/or particles there are positively charged particles, negatively charged particles and particles that have no charge. The no-charge position could be referred to as neutral.

woman wearing red hat and sunglasses

Cultivation of the neutral observer is key to recognizing the struggle between “yes” and “no” and the energy that is created. Energy that is is created once recognized is usually spent by the automatic process of habit. If the energy is saved then it may be used for further work in effective struggle.

Using the body as a starting point to cultivate the neutral is a way to dispassionately observe our self

Effective struggle begins with noticing its effects in how our bodies react to the battle between “yes” and “no”. If the neutral observation of struggle is not observed in the body then the mind / ego makes the struggle into illusion and fantasy. Detaching struggle from the body where ultimately all struggle is felt and remembered somatically allows the experience to float into the illusory “likes” of the mind/ego allowing whim and tangential / associative thought to run wild without a grounding to the body.

Autogenic Training is the place to begin cultivate the neutral within ( see End Notes below).

Using the body as a starting point to cultivate the neutral is a way to dispassionately observe our self and begin to gain information without opinion or judgment attached. As information is gathered and struggle observed then energy may be tracked and utilized more effectively in our quest for truth and evolution in consciousness into higher realms.

 

Guidelines for work with Struggle

  1. Remember that struggle is felt in the body. Staying in the present moment is important in working with Struggle because our physical bodies exist only in the present.
  2. Any beginning in the work with Struggle is best done with simple acts of the body. Without working from the body struggle becomes lost in an intellectual exercise or emotional fantasy of the past and future and is lost in terms of its ability to generate energy.
  3. Most of our awareness in the present moment is caught up in attachment. This awareness cannot aide in the work with Struggle.
  4. Choose a simple action-oriented task to in which to struggle. Organize struggle, in other words keep it simple don’t take on too much. Be persistent. Repeat the struggle often.
  5. Do your best. This is especially important when we experience doubt.
  6. Let go of regret when you experience failure. Regret and analysis of regrets removes us from the present moment and can become a trap.
  7. Emotions change, intellect is often wild jumping from one topic to the next. By employing Autogenic Training, we can allow a neutral territory for out body to grow in knowledge.*

 

Some Notes

Learning and struggle belong to the mundane realms of linear reality and work. Work effectively and advancement can be expected given a relationship with a Teacher, guide or instructor.

 

 

END NOTES:

  1. *Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 37-38, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.
  1. for further reading: A Primer – Autogenic Training

 

 

 

 

 

Learning and Transformation Part 1 of 4

planet earth

 

Introduction to Learning and Transformation

Learning is the foundation for peak cognitive processing, interpreting modes of perception and whets the appetite for knowledge. Knowledge is the foundation for understanding and lays the groundwork for transformation through the four sources. The four sources [1] are:

  • Learning
  • Effective Struggle
  • Surrender / sacrifice
  • Help

 

Understanding the function, process and structures of thought is a beginning to perceiving the place of cognition in a quest for knowledge. Understanding and developing cognition is a good first step in exploring consciousness on all levels. Thought and cognition lay the groundwork for all learning.

Let us start where we are.

loveflameEternity

 

The Function and Process of Thought in Learning

PREREQUISITES OF CURRENT HUMAN THOUGHT PATTERNS:

Without a verbal language thought may not exist or exist in a way vastly different than we can currently comprehend. Written language assists in associative memory and an imaginative re-construction of “past” memories. When memories fall outside immediate personal experiences it is referred to as history. Belief often springs from the recording of mutual so-called “past” experiences or histories. All of human thought in our current stage of development is linked associatively. Associative thought is a binary linking of one thought with another. The legacy of associative thought is predicated on memory, without which identity is severely disabled and may even be obliterated. As you might surmise memory and time are linked within the context of an unfolding present moment. Within the context of associative thought the Western Mind presents two different sets of logic: deductive and inductive. A sense that is not connected to a specific biological function that is necessary for comprehension and memory is attention. Vision for example is connected to the eye and interpreted in our neo-cortex. Attention and memory cannot exist without the other. Nevertheless attention is a key process that aids in thinking, but there is no “Attention” organ that acts as an intermediary (like the eye) to the neo-cortex. Attention utilizes many perceptual inputs – from eyes, ears etc. and are organized as a continuum of unfolding memories.

[Note – the “past” doesn’t exist in the “past” it only exists as memories in the present. The “past” is a construct of language and time, which are inventions to manage life efficiently.]

Within the context of associative thinking is deductive and inductive logic or reasoning. Deductive logic follows from a premise seeking truth. A statement can be logical but not true:

  • The police wear dark blue clothing.
  • That woman is wearing dark blue clothing.
  • Therefore that woman is a policewoman.

The logic is valid but the premise is not specific enough to illicit truth therefore the argument is unsound.

  • Doctors at ERs wear white lab coats, carry stethoscopes and talk to a patients about  medical diagnoses.
  • That woman in the ER wearing a white lab coat with a stethoscope is talking with a patient about a medical diagnosis.
  • Therefore that woman is a doctor.

The logic is valid the premise is specific enough to illicit truth therefore the argument is sound.

Traditionally inductive logic observes data within a field and draws conclusions based on that data. In a revised definition of inductive logic the results may be proved as false based on some premises. Results of inductive logic are probable and are thought of as “strong” or “weak”. If they are ‘strong” they are either cogent or uncogent. If they are weak they are uncogent.

LEARNING

“Learn for the sake of learning!”

A teacher of mind was fond of saying.

In other words:

Learning is its own reward.

When learning arises from an on-going thirst to know and renew, then the process of continuous learning becomes an aim belonging to infinity. Aims are goals that can be repeated endlessly without being completely fulfilled and are inherent rewards. A goal has a beginning, middle and end. Goals belong to a finite world and could be about learning a skill where instruction is primary for example. Goals under the rubric of learning are not about “knowing” or connecting with people of knowledge but are about learning with a small “l” often learning by rote. Learning with an aim in the process of eternity in the moment is a creative leap that is self-renewing. When goals are connected to aims they help support continuous learning. Infinity learning is “learning for the sake of learning”. Learning is fueled by play and curiosity, which aid in the work.

sky space telescope universe

Both finite and infinite learning are necessary for navigating our world. For the purposes of this exposition I am excluding most finite and infinite learning that does not pertain to transformation processes.

Infinite learning has many qualities that originate with childhood pre-language skills. Children when brought into a room without toys begin to play reflecting the facile and developing application of curiosity and invention. Below are some of the qualities of infinite learning:

  • Curiosity
  • Exploration
  • Wonder
  • Beginner’s Mind
  • Questioning
  • Answers that lead to more questions

When infinite learning is applied to truth seeking or a quest for truth a certain kind of knowledge is sought. In the past when a seeker read a book by a person of knowledge they would seek out the author to study with him or her, as in the time honored tradition of student-teacher. In our current time this is rarely true because of the volume of books published and the self-proclamation of the author as an expert. An expert may seem like a person of knowledge but if they are promoting it, it is usually not the case. A teacher can only teach a student when the student enters the relationship with “beginner’s mind”. If a student has too much information or has a bravado that purports to have more or as much knowledge as the teacher then the relationship won’t work. Students and teachers must have a “good fit”.

Here are some guidelines to learning when in search of truth:

  1. A good first step in reading a book that speaks to “knowing” is to test this knowing on one’s own experience. Do you trust the source of the knowing? If so then the knowing may be accepted or temporary accepted until more evidence is gathered. Can you verify it? If you cannot, use your intuition to choose whether to discard it or put it aside until more information or experience is gathered.
  1. There is no final or permanent knowing. All knowing is subject to change based on an array of variables including changes in your perspective.
  1. Cross-reference what you have learned in two ways: 1. Compare information within the same system or the same “teaching” with one another; and 2. Use your intuition along with your common sense to verify the information or bit of knowledge that you’re examining.
  1. Cultivate and practice a compassionate and neutral witness within without indulging in “likes’ or “dislikes”. Work to avoid theorizing. Theorizing takes you out of the present into worlds of imaginative speculation, illusion and fantasy.
  1. Begin to utilize your intuition with your rational mind. Besides cross-referencing, intuition can go straight to a truth without “rational steps”. Later as you exercise the intuitive muscle you may open to a deeper method of exploration or utilizing somatic or “body” knowing.
  1. Use the action questions of “how” and “what”.

5.1 – Banish “why” questions from your vocabulary. Why questions are about ultimate answers.  “Why” questions linger in a transcendental higher consciousness state which cannot be accessed at the beginning or middle of the journey towards truth. Why questions are intellectual traps that keep us cycling in a “cognitive only” understanding, which is ultimately limited due to its continuous circular focus. Avoid re-wording “why” questions into “how” questions.

5.2 – “How” questions and “What” questions are inexorably linked. Knowing “how” could result in endlessly doing something without purpose unless you know “what” you are doing.

5.3 – “How” questions belong to the practical and are instructional. “What” questions initially belongs to the theoretical and meaning. If I know how to do something and what purpose I am doing it there is a completion process thus closing a loop.

  1. Growing in knowledge is never completed. Even if you cannot grasp where a fragment of specific or partial knowledge belongs in a bigger picture doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to expand yourself to meet its challenge. Beware of theorizing about partial knowledge – this can lead to imaginative fantasy and illusory beliefs.
  1. Sharing what you have learned with others is valuable because it grows with interpersonal interactions. Teaching what you have learned when done from “beginner’s mind” exponentially increases new learning in both teacher and student. [2]

ATTENTION

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines attention:

1.
a : the act or state of applying the mind to something Our attention was on the game. You should pay attention to what she says.

b : a condition of readiness for such attention involving especially a selective narrowing or focusing of consciousness and receptivity. Students, do I have your attention?        

2.
: observation, notice; especially : consideration with a view to action, a problem requiring prompt attention

 Attention is an action of the mind, the will, of short sets of time linked by memory and strung together along the lines of binary association. When our attention is said to wander does this not break the bonds of a focusing of consciousness on a topic or line of reasoning through tangential and/or straying thoughts? When attention becomes focused we can follow the rigors of a logical deductive discourse or gather evidence to make an on-going argument with inductive reasoning to make a strong cogent conclusion.

Modern culture and primary education does little to support the cultivation and the skill of focusing attention. Understanding attention is a building block towards free thinking, superior reasoning, mastery and higher consciousness. Elementary through secondary education the word “attention” connotes a harsh disciplinary action or punishment delivered by teachers to students. Modern culture through the tech of smart phones, tablets, laptops, chats, social media and internet searches contributes to shattering attention spans in order to condition students into consumers under Predatory Capitalistic models of behavior. A vicious cycle occurs for developing attention spans into smaller diffuse focused packets and thus destroying opportunities for critical thinking, free thought and creativity.

Building attention is not an easy task even under the best of circumstances. Consumer (or predatory) capitalism is about dividing and pulling attention with lures of immediate gratification whether that be the allure of sexuality, sensual imagery, solving puzzles and mysteries, or the greed / lust to know more. The Internet as playground is a good example of attention reducing stimuli to manipulate and shorten attention along the paths of tangential thinking. This kind of conditioning is designed to hook the user / viewer into buying stuff. Maybe the reason you started an Internet search is lost by the time you’ve allowed your attention to dissolve into whims pulled by desire down the rabbit hole.

When I was in college my housemate gave me a book to read that she thought would be exciting for me. It wasn’t. The writer made it nearly impossible to read the book – very loosely – a science fiction novel, but it was more an allegory than anything else. He wrote paragraphs in long run-on sentences. My fascination with the book was supposed to whet my appetite to go to group meetings of this “cultish” group. It became clear that she wasn’t going to leave me in peace until I went to her group where I could then tell her I wasn’t interested.

Of course as you might have guessed I became interested. I had to wade through prejudices I had about the “spiritual”. I was invited to listen as this book I had previously tried to read was read aloud. I was called to read some aloud too. It tended to confirm my suspicions that the people there seemed insane. When I thought the group was winding down there was one more part of the session that changed my mind about the meetings.

Later I discovered that reading these paragraphs long run-on sentences that strained my comprehension of the material at the very least stretched the capacity of my attention and increased my ability to concentrate. The book was written by G. I. Gurdjieff and was called “Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson”.

I learned how to focus and shift attention. I read many books on spiritualism, Sufis, and the Gurdjieff Work. I learned through experiences and through books that attention was the first building block to higher consciousness. Although there is no such thing as multitasking it is possible to shift attention rapidly from one focus to another. The rapid shifting of attention gives the illusion to the person that they are multitasking when they are not engaged in doing something that is impossible. This harks back to binary – associative thinking.

All of us are trained to reason and rely on mind or cognitive activities to the exclusion of emotive and somatic processes. We know (cognitively) that we have emotions and that we have a physical body but we objectively identify them intellectually rather than acknowledge and explore these emotive and somatic sensations. The ego / cognitive self believes that it exists in a certain way so that it obscures emotional and somatic elements that it doesn’t want to acknowledge so that illusions can be created to view so-called reality. The ego engages in deductive logic looking for what it believes itself to be both positive (to grandiosity for example) and negative (to fears and depressive emotions) states. Beliefs that are personal, generational, cultural, genetic, and species oriented float in an unconscious realm where ego seeks to find truth. The truth that is discovered is transitory and impermanent. Ego must continue a life-long search that becomes fruitless. Ego proves what it believes based on fears, prejudices, biases, and so on.

Attention is the key to finding a place in our self that may become a semi-permanent steward in a continuing quest for learning, effective struggle, help and surrender/sacrifice. The Steward is close to the core of our being and helps ego find an enduring peace and a compassionate neutrality instead of the temporary gratification that is never sufficient.

The use of attention is essential to learning, effective struggle, help, and surrender/sacrifice of which memory is the binding force. Memory is a content and process oriented sensation. The content of memories are obvious and basic to identity: “I remember my name.” “I remember who I am based on…” The process of memory is time, which has been conveniently defined and invented as linear: past, present and future.

Notes

  1. Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 27-60, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.
  2. Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 32-33, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.

 

  1. for further reading: Fields of Perception – belief and attention

 

  1. for further reading: We are the Matrix and The Wider Consciousness

 

  1. for further reading: A Primer – Autogenic Training

 

Next in the Series is:

Learning and Transformation: Struggle Part 2 of 4

 

 

 

 

The Light, the Dark and Earth “Below”

Happy Solstice

time lapse photo of stars on night

A possible way of looking at Solstices and Equinoxes as the function of a patriarchal separation of people from planet earth to a reorientation based on the sun and light.

life was under stewardship

taurus

In the matriarchal times the beginning of the Zodiac was Taurus, the sign denoting the womb with the Fallopian tubes on top and not the bull. At the equatorial zones and in the northern latitudes the seasons of planting began after the frost towards the end of April -the beginning of spring for earth. Worship of earth as womb and creator of life was honored and built into an agrarian based culture / civilization. Though women nurtured life and men were thought to be vessels of the Goddess of an earth based deity the culture was communally oriented, nothing was owned. All was shared with the group and life was under stewardship.

honoring the Goddess

It could also have been that the Southern Hemispheres were grounded in a culture where the beginning of the zodiac was Virgo, based on spring there. Jeffrey Wolf Green, astrologer suggests that when men began realizing they contributed sperm and were not just vessels used by the Goddess they rebelled and the patriarchy was born – in reaction. Men owned property, women and children. Male children passed on the ownership and legacy of men etc.

a hierarchy took root

The focus moved away from nurturing earth, honoring the Goddess into worship of a God in the heavens thus the solstices and equinoxes, seasons divided into four quarters by amounts of light. Agriculture continued under the increasingly greater control of men and eventually science (an extension of men) but the focus was shifted from Earth to Sky and a hierarchy took root.

a sky God that meshed with the patriarchal structure of leadership

Goddess as Earth was a bountiful civilization with a nurturing structure of stewardship that maintained a mostly horizontal structure with the exception of the dimishment of the importance of the male. In the European and Tigris-Euphrates Rivers of Turkey, Syria and Iraq the overthrow of the matriarchy though violence was easy, as Attila the Hun swept across Asia – conquering. The matriarchy wasn’t prepared for the sudden change. In the Americas the changes in the indigenous population was more gradual from matriarchy to patriarchy. The patriarchal tribes retained many of the matriarchal transitions before they were albeit destroyed by the Europeans.

pure Goddess / Matriarchy roots

 The patriarchal God was a reactionary and vengeful God that came from above – a sky God that meshed with the patriarchal structure of leadership. This seemed to be a rageful reaction to the oppression by the matriarchy and the systemic misogyny based in the newer system. It wasn’t until the patriarchal God sent male saviors that retribution was supplanted by other forms of leadership though that appears to have been largely unsuccessful.

Wicca and Pagan celebrations though influenced by the patriarchy were still rooted in the matriarchy and may have tried to combine Solstice and Equinox traditions with pure Goddess / Matriarchy roots. The patriarchy sought to demonize them on many occasions, early Christians hid their celebrations by blending them with Pagan and Wicca celebrations and later demonized them via the Roman Catholic Church, for example.

Nevertheless, below in figures 1 through 4 are 3 representations of the upcoming Winter Solstice and one of the Summer Solstice:

WinterSolstice1n2

The gap between the patriarchy and the next epoch of which we are on the cusp is about a balancing and/or healing of the patriarchy with the matriarchy to help co-create an age of cooperative partnership.

Solstice3-4

Interpretations of each solstice chart will be coming very soon.

 

For more about my work visit:  Ontario’s The Kai

The Perils of Greater Visibility

seamless invisibility

In the 1990s I became locally well known in Marin County California due to offering intuitive readings at the New Leaf Bookstore in Larkspur. I had always considered myself a private person until that point so I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.

Groupies:

The original term came from rock stars that had followers of young woman worshipers who wanted sex. However due to more people entering a greater degree of visibility and/or becoming leaders their“followers” project what they want to see on their leader and then fall for the projections. This is a more accurate definition of groupie psychology. The newly visible person whether a blogger with thousands of followers, a tech entrepreneur, a socially responsible business executive, sustainable green company CEO, or an author with a small following these people attract golden and dark shadow projections from their admirers and / or followers.

At first golden projections put one on a pedestal like a goddess or god. The Divine don’t make mistakes, but humans do. I was treated like a god / holy person by a household of adoring women. A woman asked for a private phone session and I let her know about my 24-hour cancellation policy. She did not keep the appointment, said something else came up and that I had never told her about cancellation policy. I displayed restrained irritability and was barred from this household and was treated as less than human. I went from a holy person to untouchable when they experienced a negative emotion from me.

I quickly recognized the golden projections of others and reminded people I was just as imperfect as they were and did not deserve the degree of praise given. Of course some praise was humble and genuine and I accepted that gracefully. I made some errors in judgments and was stalked three times, all of which were corrected by me and made right.

Projections and Darker Attacks

In my healing practice now I deal with the groupie worship that my clients experience. The greatest challenges are interdimensional attacks that come in a wide array of forms from projections to darker elements. If you are experiencing projections and / or attacks there are ways to recognize the kind of attack and work on healing, defending against future attacks or getting help.

Empathic Protection

For more about my work visit:  Ontario’s The Kai

Movies in the 1960s…

abstract analog art camera
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Steven Soderbergh just completed a second feature film using an iPhone exclusively. Very cool. This could be a big break for budding filmmakers and continue to flood the world of film / movies with even more.

The Hollywood blockbuster ruled.

Before streaming, film experts reported that there were more films made than there were screens to display them on – that was the late 1980s. Enter streaming and millions of films. The amount and size of flat screens increases and even though 4-walling movies (on theaters) does not begin to cover the volume of film home theater is attempting to meet the challenge.

As a Boomer I remember when cinema was a big deal. The Hollywood blockbuster ruled. There was a theater in a city south of my little town named the CineMart. They had ushers in red uniforms and hats that seated folks. Movies like “The Sound of Music”, Lawrence of Arabia” and Dr. Zhivago” played for a whole month or more.

“You can’t make movies, they only do it in Hollywood.”

Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” played for a whole summer in 1968.

Music from the film played before the movie started. There were no short subjects, no previews and no ads – for anything. When the logo of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Lion appeared on the screen the curtain parted as the film played.

There was an Intermission announced across the wide 70 mm screen and for 15 or 20 minutes music from the film played. People stayed until the credits ceased and the house lights came up. Even in my small town we saw Oscar winning shorts before the feature and slews of cartoons – mostly “Looney Tunes”.

That didn’t stop us

Movies were special. And of course there was a catch. My friend Paul and I made movies, mostly very bad movies. When we tried to get classmates to be in our very bad movies they invariably said: “You can’t make movies, they only do it in Hollywood.”

That didn’t stop us. Our High School Art teacher Mrs. Bernarzyk told us about the Fordham’s Young Filmmaker Festival in NYC in February 1968. Our bad movie – The Chase was our ticket in. It was very cool – movies day and night for 3 days. I met these geeky guys from Long Island that made 3-D animation Godzilla films with models in their basements. The first YFF was during the first garbage strike in the cold and snow of February.

We saw a pre-screening of The Planet of The Apes, cool.

I went home and made films with 3-D (pixilation) animation with chairs, sneakers, laundry baskets, rocks and sometimes with people too.

The last film I made in those days – King Chair that was 3 minutes long and took 3 eight hour days to make was distributed with 2 other shorts and the only project where I made a $45 profit.

…. Later I adapted a James Thurber story – Unicorn in the Garden to a 20-minute plot-boiler of “Alien in the Refrigerator”

Making It Simple

EssenceFlameEternal

 

multiEarthReality

Why making it simple is dangerous:

When I look back to my childhood things seemed idyllic and I often long for those simpler times. The operative word regarding the simplicity of childhood is seemed. Childhood seems simpler for two reasons – our minds have not developed enough to grasp complex ideas, notions and systems; and two as the population increases with technological advances, climate change not-withstanding the world has become mindbogglingly complex.

a desire for “the good old days”

In my family I have noticed in my sibling that the loss of our father marked a shift in her to embrace the conservative values of my father and the nostalgia of my mother’s romanticisms. She may have thought she had fully processed her grief, but her reversion to a desire for “the good old days” became evident in her insular attitudes and an increased right-wing conservative political stance as well as a refusal to see that the world has changed around her.

These models of individualism while admirable create winners and losers

I suspect that those that embrace the desire for simpler times (of the past) are intellectually and/or emotionally stuck at a variety of childhood ages. They often long for parent-figures that will lead them to the Promised Land [1]. This longing is often expressed in ideologies that emphasize past philosophies of mythological successes such as rugged individualism, rags to riches stories and the like – mirrored in “The American Dream”.

President is a father figure that can solve all our problems

These models of individualism while admirable create winners and losers that in our current world fall apart. Winners either want to assist “losers” or they wish to punish losers for the most part. This is a longer discussion based on the failings of the patriarchy and its new god of consumer capitalism.

Simple answers are not enough for a prosperous people

The childhood longing for simplicity in a complex world leads individuals with antiquated beliefs to vote for Presidents that offer simple solutions to complex problems. Extreme examples of leaders with a simple answers philosophies lead may lead to fascist states. Part of the idea of a President is a father figure that can solve all our problems and make the world safe whether it be simple or complex especially in a failing patriarchal system [2]. (Even a woman president plays by patriarchal rules so that it’s impossible for any of us to escape patriarchal thinking.)

ensure the survival of the human species in the face of climate change

I used to think after President Clinton and President Obama were elected that I could “relax” and that things were taken care of. In hindsight neither of these Presidents did not institute enough nor the right kind of reforms to represent the majority of people economically, to adequately address the role of the military, or aggressively pursue the problems of climate change – though Obama did make some initial strides here.

Simple answers are not enough for a prosperous people. A president alone is not enough. Our representatives are not enough. As a citizen (and not a consumer) it is my responsibility to take an active role beyond merely voting for representatives and a president.

 

Major issues that need to be addressed and worked towards solutions:

  • To ensure the survival of the human species in the face of climate change
  • Superlative secondary education
  • Income equality
  • Housing
  • Corporate / Big Money out of politics
  • Fair agriculture
  • Addressing the future of work especially with regard to automation and robotics
  • Healthcare

 

These are complex and inter-related issues that can be solved when communities work together.

 

NOTES:

 

  1. The Greeks looked to the Elysium Fields of the west as the promised land of paradise. The west as myth woven with The American Dream was never equally accessible by former slaves. Even for those that felt they have achieved or are on their way of the American Dream they must belong to an educated upper class and have extraordinary luck. Also the Dream is based on the acquisition of “more” money of which there will never be enough.
  2. The patriarch system is a hierarchical structure with the Alpha male on top. It is based on power-over dynamics. There will always be someone over you and someone under you whether you are the most powerful person in the world or someone without any seeming power. The dangers in this kind of system is a focus on its internal criteria to the exclusion of those “objects: that ensure survival – the “object” that is a sacred being and the context of our home – Earth. Even though the patriarchy could be shaped to include earth and her bounty in a capitalistic economy the internal dynamic of winners and losers belies community systems

Cycles of Time, Chiron and The Body

 

time lapse photo of stars on night
Photo by Jakub Novacek on Pexels.com

The Chiron Return in astrology is a part of the cycle of time when we turn 50 years old give or take a year. Chiron is a larger asteroid in the belt and is known as the wounded healer from mythos. Its return signifies an impulse to remember and/or resolve childhood wounds. In addition it brings a sense of belonging to Earth and entry into mastery.

astrology is an analogous companion that correlates with changes in how we age and grow

I look at astrology as a guide to small and larger life cycles – a guide to the mythos of life’s mysteries and not as a ruler. An astrology teacher of mine told me not to go backpacking to Desolation Wilderness (a National Wilderness area west of Lake Tahoe on the High Sierras) one weekend. She said I was under a Saturn Transit and that I could break my ankle or some bones. I thanked her and said I would be careful. I didn’t break any bones.

A mature emotional center is able to balance contradictory emotions and/or live with them

It could also be true that astrology is an analogous companion that correlates with changes in how we age and grow. Whether you view astrology as a loose analogous pal or a mythos guide the way of healing for me has been more arduous than the emotional roller coaster I rode over most of my life. It has been more difficult because the unresolved aspects of childhood wounding have been caught in a emotional – somatic combine where I have and continue to feel chewed up.

body memory becomes noticeable

After fifty, especially for those that have worked on themselves the emotional center matures and the intellect is then available to work more closely with parsing emotions and helping to make sense of them. A mature emotional center is able to balance contradictory emotions and/or live with them – as in tolerate the inconsistencies and contradictions without “acting-out” reactions. For those that have done deeper inner work a core or essential (being) self develops and is able to remain compassionately neutral in the comings and goings of emotional states.

The seeds of auto-immune diseases may begin when we are young

After fifty the emotional body bonds with the somatic (physical) body where body memory becomes noticeable to the intellect and enters awareness. For instance the body’s habits of the sleep cycle begin if we go to bed at approximately the same time every night. So if I go to sleep at 11 pm or midnight my body will prompt me to want to sleep at that time. I certainly can use my will or caffeine imbibed at 3 pm or after to push beyond the ordinary limit for sleep. All our habits, good and bad are held in our bodies.

Below the age of fifty it is easier to use our will and the plastic flexibility of the body to override body memory much more easily. The seeds of auto-immune diseases may begin when we are young and we don’t pay attention to the signs because of the plasticity of the functions of our bodies and our wills that push past physical limitations.

Awareness is the first step is solving a problem

As an incest survivor complex emotions of closeness due to love and abhorrence due to the infliction of physical pain by my caretaker and relative have come to rest in an autoimmune disorder of psoriatic arthritis. When I was a child I confused the bogeyman with the bugger man. I imagined that no one would want to touch me because my body was covered with abhorrent scabs and buggers from the nose. A relative tied me up at night in such a way as to affect my fingers where the pain of arthritis is rooted. The arthritis is analogous to the conflict of unresolved love and hate etc. stuck in the body.

Awareness is the first step is solving a problem. Most people intellectually know that they have a body but they are often not present there in the body unless pain draws our attention to an imbalance. Disease itself is not just emotionally based. The etiology of diseases are in part environmentally oriented due to an increasing toxic world, genetic and by hazard.

To be continued…

 

 

 

Triggers – a personal story

corona

I’m no expert. I have lived with triggers all my life but didn’t know they were triggers until I was in my late 30s.

It was a body memory evoking trigger [that lasted] ten years

What is a trigger in terms of a psychological phenomena? Wikipedia describes:

trauma trigger is the subjective attribution that a psychologic stimulus caused someone to recall the memory of a previous psychological trauma, although the stimulus itself need not be frightening or traumatic and can be indirectly or superficially reminiscent of an earlier traumatic incident. Trauma triggers are related to posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD), a condition in which people often cannot control the recurrence of emotional or physical symptoms,[1] or of repressed memory.[2][3][4] Triggers can be subtle and difficult to anticipate,[1][5] and can sometimes exacerbate PTSD. A trauma trigger may also be referred to as a trauma stimulus or a trauma stressor.[6]

Remembering times in my past where I had been mildly dissociated. I surmised that I may have been triggered and didn’t know it. Then there were the blackouts with substances and then without substances where triggers were most definitely involved, but impossible to identify.

I told myself that my body felt safe

One of the first pervasive triggers that I experienced lasted during all my waking hours for ten years. It was was a body memory that evoked triggers but in the beginning had no emotion attached to it and then there were fleeting feelings of sadness, grief and moments of profound depression. After those feelings passed the one that remained was rage. It was always there in the background.

The body memory was related to sexual trauma and PTSD symptoms. The specific body memory was a sensation in my jaw that someone was trying to open my mouth and I was resisting with all my might.

One of the difficulties with triggers are identifying that I have been triggered.

I told myself that my body felt safe enough to remember the trigger. Each time I noticed the body memory trigger its physical sensations and accompanying emotions I told myself that my body was releasing the memories.

One day after ten years I woke up and thought: “Something is different.” When I first acknowledged that the body memory had ceased it came back immediately. Within a few days it disappeared. It returns occasionally but is no longer a fixture in my life.

One of the difficulties with triggers are identifying that I have been triggered. Sometimes it has taken me days to realize I have been triggered especially if I feel angry or rageful with a seemingly rational reason.

The nature of being triggered flips me into being isolated because perpetrators isolated me to abuse me.

There have only been three times where I have been able to identify the source of the trigger. One was the body memory of sexual abuse, already mentioned above. I was with a client in his home. He pursed his lips a certain way and I had a visceral response of wanting to punch him and beat him up. I had to bite my tongue to calm down and restraint myself from beating him up. Why the trigger occurred was not in doubt, what it was – was uncertain.

In October of 1995 when I was driving back from having had therapy in Pt. Reyes Station I was driving under a plume of smoke from the Mt Vision fires that destroyed over 40,000 acres. The smoke made the sun red as it set. When I returned home I was inconsolably in tears. I called my therapist – why was I so upset? I had asked. “The fire is big and out-of-control just as your perpetrators were when you were young.” She suggested I use a coping tool to calm down and manage the trigger. I did.

The problems with most triggers are:

  • An environmental cue activates trauma from our past.
  • Once triggered we often enter a regressed or frozen state when we had been traumatized – and may not realize we have been triggered (a call for help to a support person or persons may be useful).
  • We may act out as a result of having been triggered. (This can be mild to major and perhaps life-threatening).
  • We may appear non-rational to others where they may shun us or they may also get triggered.
  • The desire to identify and control future triggers may consume us. Realizing this is an impossible venture is a good first step to work on defusing and working with future triggers.

The nature of being triggered flips me into being isolated because perpetrators isolated me to abuse me. So when I get triggered, especially when I don’t realize I am triggered I isolate. It was a strategy I used as a child to survive. It may or may not have worked very well but when I am triggered and don’t know I am triggered it remains my “go-to” strategy.

Thinking about what “just happened” and analyzing it with the thought that “If I can figure it out I can – know what happened to me; – I can prevent it from happening again.

Thinking was what I used as a child from inside the trauma to survive is a habit. But it doesn’t necessarily work very well to solve the emotional trigger of the trauma. Its one of the ways I perpetuate remaining isolated and lost in a regressive or frozen state of trauma from the past.

Its good to have a preemptive plan to deal with triggers in advance so we can get the help we need until we reach a place where we can deal with triggers more effectively.

This is where a therapist can assist or a self-help guide.

I have found that when I know that I’m triggered that I tell myself I am ready to handle it because I’m aware that I’ve been triggered. However if I’m triggered but am not yet aware of it, I know that I feel stuck, agitated, and/or distressed emotionally I try one of the following options:

  • I reach out for support
  • I ask for feedback
  • I ask for help
  • I sit with my feelings and try to identify what they are before taking any action.

This is just a sample and in no way is what I recommend.

What I do recommend is for you to come up with your own safety plan for dealing with emotional upsets, stuck places and triggers.

[NOTE: I was triggered by my partner when we were hiking Mount Tamalpais (in Marin County California). I told her. She wanted to take responsibility by wanting to know what she had done to trigger me. I told her I didn’t know and that it wasn’t her fault. I told her that I just wanted her to know in case she felt me pulling away from her during my process of the trigger and using my safety measures. I’m not sure she understood and decided not to tell her again if I had been triggered due to her response.

Often in dysfunctional relationships we put responsibility on others for our emotions. This is a reaction that does not make another responsible for our response. We have feelings. In relationships – couple therapy is a good idea to help resolve interpersonal communications and dysfunctional dynamics. Individual therapy can be useful too.

When a trigger brings up a feeling in one person and that one person blames another for their trigger – this is an incorrect understanding of a trigger. Conversely of a non-triggered person enters into an interaction with a triggered partner for example especially if the triggered person is unaware they have been triggered then a mess ensues. If the triggered person becomes aware they have been triggered and the non-triggered partner attempts to intervene – to fix the situation then what occurs still could result in a mess.

One possible way to prevent a trigger from creating a mess would to speak with your partner about your triggers. Explain to them they are in no way responsible for the emotional reactions they – the triggered person, may have and that they may need:

  • space
  • try to be patient – wait
  • for the non-triggered person not to make assumptions
  • know they are in no way responsible for having been triggered.

Some Flaws of Capitalism or…

wethepeople

Or Some Flaws of Capitalism in its Current Incarnation

 

These ideas are not a new idea or proposition set forward below:

Sixty years ago my family bought a GE toaster that I have and I use regularly. It makes good toast. I have had other toasters and a few toaster ovens that have broken and were eventually too expensive to repair.

a rubric of infinite resources, income and growth in a finite world

Capitalism after WWII was steeped in growth, craftsmanship and materialism. It was a time a massive rebuilding, re-population and expansion. Though mass production reigned, craftsmanship and materialism were the building blocks of capitalism. Labor unions, industry and government were partners in reconstruction after the war and there was a resplendent growth of the middle class and income.

Capitalism in its continual reinvention of itself relies on some major flaws. One of the most obvious flaws are the finite limits of growth. It operates under a rubric of infinite resources, income and growth in a finite world.

The vestiges of citizenship were degraded into “the consumer”

In the 1980s capitalism threw off the last vestiges of materialism in favor of mass consumerism through planned obsolescence. The shift from materialism to accelerated consumer based capitalism accentuated the flaws of the system and produced lemmings running to the sea. Capitalism became the religion of the land and democracy grew more entrenched as a slave to consumer-capitalism.

Corporations have become the new citizens who have delegated individuals as the consumers of goods and services.

The vestiges of citizenship were degraded into “the consumer” as political action committees (PACs) usurped individual citizens’ participation in government and re-election of so-called “representatives”. Congresspersons and Senators have become the servants of corporations in order to streamline government for accelerated capitalism. As citizens have become superfluous they have in-turn been plugged into being consumers of products and services of demagogue type of capitalism.

Corporations have become the new citizens who have delegated individuals as the consumers of goods and services. Products have been redefined into smaller parts designed to wear out swiftly and /or be replaced by newer “improved” models. Services are also degraded by dividing services into smaller portions, employing less qualified people and by outsourcing – language barrier problems (outsourcing is double-speak for layoffs).

The finite world is ignored for immediate quarterly profits

Another PAC strategy for corporate agendas is making “representatives” into divisive enemies so that either nothing is accomplished for individuals. One PAC strategy are “a no-holds barred” attacks against the enemy such as Republicans versus Democrats; Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, etc. Democracy has been lost in the process and applies more to corporations than individuals. Giant powerful PACs are increasingly controlled by the top tenth of the one percent wealthiest individuals who ascribe to making more money and a consolidation of power.

The finite world is ignored for immediate quarterly profits. The focus of corporate/business and financial leadership is profitability in the next three months that can be extrapolated into a yearly goal. Looking into a future of the limits of growth based on finite resources is not built into consumer-capitalism. As a result the current reiteration of capitalism is systemically handicapped to deny finite resources through faulty cognitive re-framing. Some of this is the momentum of the capitalistic system fueled by greed and a lust for power and some must have a conscious design. At the base of this consolidation of power is an addiction of greed fueled by fear.

(Conservative/GOP) group views consumers below a certain income level and all liberals as potential servants, serfs and those needing manipulation

While consumer-capitalism within a broken patriarchal system has its own momentum that may carry many leaders of this movement along in a short-term gain (that looks long-term in the context in which they flourish) there is another conscious force at work. Some of the top tenth of the one percent of wealth in the world fights for increasing consolidation of power and wealth (call them A) while others fight for a more equitable distribution of wealth (call them Z).

A’s use their money, power and influence to create obstacles in government to further or block the agenda of the other side. When Newt Gingrich came into power he begun to characterize the opposition – the Democrats as “enemies” of the people. Before that time Democrats and Republicans may have vehemently disagreed with one another and their goal was to govern so they compromised to move their agenda forward. The current climate between Liberals and Conservatives is combat. There seems to be less compromise. Conservatives work at blocking Liberals at every turn. The result is no new legislation is adopted. Even in the current Republican block to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has only left the ACA in shambles and disrepair. Its as if the GOP’s secret wish was (is) to replace the ACA with nothing. The A group is moving towards satisfaction with the ACA being replaced by nothing because they wish to see a world that existed before the implementation of the Income Tax – 1912. When US Congress is deadlocked and new legislation is passed the A Group is generally satisfied. The only times that the A group may be dissatisfied is when legislation that favors their position is not voted into law.

Since 1776 to 2015 the US has been involved in wars 93% of the time

The A Group views consumers below a certain income level and all liberals as potential servants, serfs and those needing manipulation to motivate them towards they’re agenda.

The A Group does not want:

  • Income equality
  • Advancements in public education – (or consumers to think for themselves for then they may become citizens)
  • Racial equality
  • LGBT equality
  • Women to have equal rights, equal pay, the right to have control over their bodies (pro-choice), equal protection under the law
  • Consumers to live in a world without fear
  • To acknowledge that Climate Change caused by and /or contributed to by humans is real.
  • Considers the ACA a hand-out and doesn’t want government to support public health for all
  • All government programs devoted to public welfare as entitlements to be (Social Security, Medicare etc.)
  • To have peace in the world unless monitored by a strong US military presence in order to have a foothold on remaining limited resources

The Koch brothers (see end note) could be considered the most identifiable humans belonging to the A Group while Libertarians, Conservatives and some Republicans are also A Group members. A notable Z-Group member is George Soros and his organization (see end notes).

FDR President Roosevelt created social nets to assist the US to move out of the Great Depression, but the final impetus that extricated the US from the depression and accelerated growth was the entrée into and winning WWII. Prior to the mid to late 1980s the premise of wars were to stop the spread of Communism as represented by the now former Soviet Union and China while expand US interests. Now wars seem to be oriented towards oil resources.

Earth’s nutrients are the raw materials for corporate products. Some of Earth’s nutrients are renewable – as in agricultural fruits and vegetables, farm animals etc. Some farming techniques although provide greater crop yield may deplete the soil in such a way to make it non-sustainable over the longer term. Other of earth’s resources such as elements – metals and oil are non-renewable and finite.

Capitalism especially in its latest consumeristic reshaping does not consider the resources from the Earth in its cost effect analysis in part to the patriarchal mind-set and in-part to shortsightedness – quarterly profits.

The consumeristic-capitalism has been marked by US Political struggles of almost a constant state of war. Since 1776 to 2015 the US has been involved in wars 93% of the time (see end note). The only period the US was not involved in a war was 1935 to 1940 during an isolationist period during the Great Depression.

The current Trump administration is a characterization of all that elitists members of the GOP and conservatives represent as well as a longing for the good old days before the income tax and in support of isolationist ideals. It represents patriarchal self-interest that contributes to increasing isolationism, mergers, and maximizing profits for the wealthy elite, disregarding any community-based profits based on sustainability, protecting natural resources – environmental protections while marginalizing, discounting and enslaving those that have less by:

  • keeping their wages fixed and/or lowered
  • keeping them out of labor unions and making “labor unions” a dirty word
  • dividing them into factions that war against each other
  • gutting public education and dumbing down citizen’s ability to reason
  • providing entertainment that discourages reasoning
  • providing entertainment that displays the hopeless world that they live and will live in the future (only much worse) and that one common person can be the hero or savior
  • promotes the “myth of the American Dream”
  • encourages disempowered citizens to fear so that a limited number of avenues are open to them:
  • The American Dream
  • Fundamentalist Religion
  • Blaming or scapegoating a group of people based on race or ideology
  • Providing simple solutions to complex problems often based on “the American Dream mythology”

 

NOTES:

  1. Koch Family https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_family#Family_members
  2. George Soros https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
  3. US Wars https://www.globalresearch.ca/america-has-been-at-war-93-of-the-time-222-out-of-239-years-since-1776/5565946

 

Conscious Miscarriage and Blocks to Conception

In my work as a shaman I have come across many couples trying to conceive and some women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy.

The solutions to both these problems are sometimes the same but for different reasons.

Difficulty with conception: Many women who are currently trying to conceive with partners or by other means have often had one or more abortions in the past. What was neglected in those abortions was the release of the spirit of the life that was trying to come through. If this was the case then a ritual to release the spirit of the unborn child must be released. Great care and love must be included in this ritual. This is often enough to allow a pregnancy to be fulfilled with the birth of a child.

Conscious Miscarriage: The spirit of the child during the first or second trimester is more easily released than in the third trimester. By doing a sacred ritual of releasing the spirit of the baby, honoring its life and sending that spirit back to the light, a spontaneous miscarriage often occurs.