Friday, August 21, 2009

FROM THE CLASSIC ARCHIVES, DOSSEY'S SPACE, TIME AND MEDICINE: The relationship of scientific observation and world-view was the subject of an interchange between two of this century's eminent scientists, Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg. Heisenberg relates how he as a young scientist initially met Einstein. While discussing how the scientific endeavour proceeds and how scientists go about their work, Einstein discounted Heisenberg's view, which expressed the traditional belief that scientists observe, measure, and then form conclusions dispassionately from the data thus collected. Einstein contended that the reverse is true, that the scientist begins with a belief or a model, and that this preconceived view determines to a major extent what is observed.

- Werner Heisenberg, "Quantum Mechanics and a Talk with Einstein (1925-1926)," in Physics and Beyond (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 59-69.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the hangover of matriarchy-chique ...

... and its implications for integrative phenomenology and somatics

The life pulse is a wholeness-seeking force. It effects its experiential progress via nesting hierarchies that chow down in a constant flux of evolution and involution; a fundament wave pattern that vents chthonic complexity into a next-level simplicity and back again. The marches of time, changes of space, embroideries of logos and metamorphoses of all raw substance are in continuous crest, carrying forth new awarenesses into old paradigms in a constant recycling of view and content. Consciousness itself changes posture and platform in the guise of epochal characteristics and DNA conditionings. The ever-changing recipe of elemental components (chemical/alchemical) in our native environ has as much of a determining role to play in delimiting possibilities of mind and body know-how as the ritual dialogues and refracted scholarship of the ages. Similarly, the archetype of duality as represented by the mythopoesis of gender difference has been fuel and staging for necessary roleplay and evolution, but like a shark, it must ever move or die.

The pendulum swing that has brought us to a return of goddess worship and proto-feminimism is an evident endgame forestalling a new synthetic age that masters at last the harmonic convergence of yin and yang into neither. In this present day hangover of matriarchy-chique, with its stranglehold of mother-knows-best dogmatism, myopic vision, political correctness and an inherent dislike of the unowned person, a very real impasse has emerged in our orientation to healing and humanistic progress. Yet just as grit begets the pearl, dissatisfaction with these retro rule/role assignments and regressive world-views will give rise to new approaches to both the life-experiment of individuality and collective guiding concepts. Only through the negotiation of new roles and even further paradigmatic shifting can the sukha of integrative healing be achieved, both for self and planet.

Matriarchy-chique is a regressive identification and over-valuing of the feminine aspects of the human person at the expense of a whole-person-centered view and to the exclusion of a synthetic protocol that provides for healthful interplay between feminine and masculine in an honouring and celebration of both. Where we once heard exhortations to a father god in heaven, we now hear invocations of the multi-form goddess and the all powerful She of Mother Earth. Understandable that we should rediscover the generative and fabulous womb and its cunt of black soil from which all life emerges in this shift out from the androlatric ages, but those ages were themselves a pendulum response to the gynolatric eras of distant history. The point is not to return to either/or valuations, ping-ponging from woman-worship to man-worship to woman-worship again, but to take up the task of the era and integrate the two polar values.

One of the consequences of this for the new age clinic is the need to critically evaluate the orientation of a pseudo-anamnesis that belies a behavioural bias for all its spiritual pretense and hollow gestures of compassion and acceptance, not to mention a frankly noxious presentation of self-other dynamics that accords more with the mindframe of gossiping housewives and armchair psychologists than the immoveable spot. For when the feminine point of view is selected for and valued in _exclusion_, it bloats the technology of relational interpretation, for the yin attitude of mind ever compares to the self, asking the question, "what does this mean to me?" Under such a lens, clients are never seen for truth and the successful outcome of therapeutic intervention owes more to chance than skill. In fact, any empirical evaluation of success-rates in professions as diverse as analytical psychology to radionics belies this. Successful outcomes only happen when the client vibrates in accord with the therapist's basic resonance and can easily play a part in his/her inner dramatis personae. Such interventions become by definition clannish and clique-driven. If the imperative of our time is to alter the inevitable implosion of materialist medicine, commerce, and politics, such exclusionary and unconscious tactics we can but fail. Worse, the holistic, integrative paradigm will ever remain a recourse of (some would say) an elite, and limited in its circumference by a selection process that rivals the ruthless social behaviour of high-schoolers.

The masculine consciousness was rightfully vetted for its superficial diagnostics and compartmentalization of the human. Yet feminine consciousness is in many ways far more judgemental, for it evaluates at the level of personal worth and goodness. A synthetic mindframe would understand that all encounters are actually staged and enabled by the inside of one's own head. There is no objective reality of the other that we experience, save the contours of our own perceptions and biases. The feminine ever wishes to cast the other as an external and not-me, otherwise the narcotic of relationship is impossible. But the tertiary option is the soberness of vetting the drama of relationship and all its fleeting pleasures and pain for the soberness of true perception. You cannot gaze into the eyes of another without encountering alone the bits of self that are reflected back. Separateness is an illusion most vile, the currency of the unintegrated psyche. In this series, I'll examine the deficits of the current dark age and sketch the features of a new integrative posture of mind.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"There will always be an inner obstruction to knowledge that will make your task of helping others incomplete." [Dalai Lama]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the art of war and other therapeutic encounters

Life is a tactical engagement, a game violently played and for keeps. It serves to recall this, for even as the modern age tries to take the edge off this pathos of human nature, we remain _the_ avaricious manipulator. And while history peals glory-refrains of awesome achievement, its been alongside the loathsome durge of our persistently odious treatment of one another. Still, as esotericum instructs, it's not the task of the human to renounce its particular stain, but to work syncretically with even the most unpopular of facts. So woe be the clinician or naif sportif who enters the fray, the arena of our discontent, without some wry understandings or the aptitude for constructive action. Such is the on-going art of neutralizing....

The concept of the "adversary" or "opponent" is therefore a valuable one, for if the body teaches anything, it teaches we better bite that without contraries there is no progression [Blake]. For purchase, we need a fixed spot to anchor against. For spatial functioning, we need vectors that oppose and play in mutually exclusive direction in order to deliver opportunity to stasis or loss. To express any kind of power, we need a sweet-spot balance between adding/subtracting, digesting/voiding, tensing/compressing. For system responsiveness, the ability to not only steadystate but integrate and adapt, we need both sanctuary and utter destruction, parasympathetic restoration and total sympathetic annihilation (as in of a particle and its antiparticle : to vanish or cease to exist by coming together and changing into other forms of energy).... [Websters]

Each of us at various times has to play the part of adversary to someone else's wish-fulfilment. The therapist does it while holding space for transference resolution. The parent does it when refraining the freedom of a still unformed child. The friend does it when remaining optimistic in the face of misunderstanding. A colleague does it when they listen to the rhetoric of protestation but drag you kicking and screaming out of your sand box anyway. Adversarial dynamics are a fact of nature. They only drag us beneath the threshold of their constructive applications into mere conflict when we take them at face value and with the ego leading.

When the adversarial miasma _does_ take the lead between people its often hard to resist being drawn into the plotline of subjective experience. But its the very thing we gotta develop the smarts to resist if peace on any scale is to be achieved. For the clinician, conflict patterns shouldn't be a disappointment or an invitation to judge but an incitement to travel more deeply into the mystery of the client 'not-me' seeking its own truth and beauty.............. and therefore an invitation to inquiry the very source of healing itself, both the clinician's and the client's. For its the clinician who's there to relieve their own shame and effect transformational growth, it's the client who comes to enable it and work on _them_, never the other way around. [for more on this, check out Hawaiian Ho’oponopono]

The weapons and tactical assaults the adversary reaches for _first_ mark the only fire power the complex actually has, and further, the adversary unwittingly teases itself out onto a limb because it secretly wants the inconvenient exposure and loss of face, it wants to be found out. This is where heart is good to have and is best deftly used.

A case cannot start to unravel until we meet and make peace with the adversary to healing. Its the clinician's responsibility to bear the burden of such polarizations while cultivating the inner space needed to draw the other or the self toward the laying down of arms. Even when it means taking a few darts. Even when it means bleeding a little.

Reminds me how much I love it when people complain about the weather, rail against cloud, the cold or the rain like its all an odium and somehow _personal_. "There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes." [Billy Connolly]