The Living Field & the Art of Living

childrendetail3-cory_enchWikipedia: Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music and literature.

In my most recent post I have been revisiting what I’ve called the Living Field, how I experience it and how I’ve worked with it and still do. Michel Bauwens of the P2P foundation extracted a “typology of fields” from that post and talked about it here.
I don’t know if it was the “Goldberg-Variations field” that Jascha Rohr tweeted about in response that got me thinking about art as a particular type of constellation of the living field or if it was the Wikipedia definition of art; it might also have been the dream I had this morning of creating a large scale systemic constellation in some unknown land and being struck by the beauty of what emerged…

One of the most amazing characteristics of a living field is that it creates epiphanies, realizations or comprehensions of the (larger) essence or meaning of something. In systemic constellations this might be some explicit pattern in the system one inquires into that is surfacing as an “Eureka!” experience, a surprising insight into why or how things are as they are; in a circle that has managed to surrender into a highly coherent we-fulness the epiphany can be the tacit experience of individually being embedded in a higher We or “Circle Being”; and in a Dynamic Presencing constellation it can be the undeniable sense of unity with ‘all-there-is’.
The living field is, it seems, childrendetail1-cory_enchcontinually creating or triggering epiphanic in-formation in living beings. And since my main gate to the spiritual realm is beauty – truth is beauty, love is beauty, the gods are beauty, the essence of life is beauty etc. – to talk about epiphanies is to talk about essential beauty. Beauty – something many of us look for in art – is an epiphany more or less strongly altering our conscious state, momentarily or sometimes even permanently changing us by changing the way we perceive the world and interact with it.

In previous posts I have suggested that a living field is a particular – often dynamic – constellation of elements and/or beings in space and time. It can be regarded as the network, the mesh of relations between all these elements and beings involved. We could also imagine a living field as a web of relationships that in and of themselves already are dynamic, comparable to a melody which can only be enjoyed or understood in their flow.
[This makes me think of the neuronal network in the brain and that this particular constellation gives rise to the ultimate form of beauty: consciousness.]

Take these lines of poetry:

Here are the miracle-signs you want: that
you cry through the night and get up at dawn, asking,
that in the absence of what you ask for your day gets dark,
your neck thin as a spindle, that what you give away
is all you won, that you sacrifice belongings,
sleep, health, your head, that you often
sit down in a fire like aloes wood, and often go out
to meet a blade like a battered helmet.

When acts of helplessness become habitual,
those are the signs.

But you run back and forth listening for unusual events,
peering into faces of travelers.
“Why are you looking at me like a madman?”
I have lost a friend. Please forgive me.

— from Acts of Helplesssness by Rumi

What makes the hair on my skin stand as I read the poem? Is it how I relate to it? Is it how words and meaning of the lines relate to each other as in, “to meet a blade like a battered helmet“? I don’t know. But following the trace of the experience in my imagination/memory it feels as if at a certain moment all the relationships between words, lines, meaning, feeling ‘gel’ into a highly coherent whole. The ecology of the living field has reached a tipping point and evokes an insight, feelings, childrendetail2-cory_enchconnectedness, inspiration – sheer beauty.
This leads me to the understanding that creating the ecology and atmosphere for a living field to resonate with high coherence is very much akin to art. This type of creation, though, goes way beyond the above mentioned definition of art as “deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions“. Creating living field art is also related to the question that shapes the boundary of that ecological niche of highly coherent resonance, asking, “Which dimension am I going to call on, explore and what are the ways, values and means I set out with?”

We know nothing of the living field in ‘ordinary circumstances’ – it is epiphanies that indicate the whereabouts of the high resonant spaces within it that can be used for artful constellation. And then, once the artist has gone through the epiphanic process provided by the living field, s/he can constellate circumstances and deliberately arrange elements so as to propagate an epiphany-prone ‘object of art’. A conversation, a poem, singing, growing a garden, sitting in a circle, writing, dynamic presencing, participatory design, intense we-fulness, the blossoming of the heart-chakra, cooking, painting, cuing up, communing with disembodied entities, a smile on the bus… it is epiphanies that turn these moments and movements into art, making space for beauty in form. There is, of course, always a magic at work, something forever out of control of the artist. Without it all these moments and ‘objects of art’ lose their color and feel; without this mysterious extra it all lacks authentic, beautiful presence in our real-life-stream.

childrendetail-cory_enchAn artist, a living field artist recognizes this ‘magic’, s/he follows its scent to where there is ‘light in the atmosphere’ that is on the brink of emerging as epiphany. S/he’ll arrange – often without knowing how – the words, gestures, colors, beings so that their relationships invoke and evoke, tease out what flows and resounds between them; these streaming sounds, the melody of the artist’s doing, entrain the relating participants into epiphany-prone circumstance. This is where everybody and everything involved is unfolding in a deeper, higher, utterly satisfying space, round and resting in itself, and expressing in religious people spiritually, in the aesthetic ones as beauty, in inquisitive beings as realizations and insights, in philosophic and scientific minds as truth, in life’s sailors as the winds of love, in kosmic space cowboys as bliss-bubbles, in earthlings as the joyful gravity of reality.

Becoming an artist of life entails more than sniffing out, co-creating, co-evolving the forms and ecologies for epiphany, it is developing spiraling processes that enlarge the circle of resonant living fields in the manifest and virtual realms by participating in their emergence wherever that may be, “making it up as we go” with all the other feelers of the collective world-being we truly are.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

childrenstorymural-cory_ench

Mural by Cory Ench

Enlightening the Passions – Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)

Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly. — G.K. Chesterton

I think I finally know what the basic vibration of jealousy is: It’s fear, the fear of separation of the one you love most. It’s an utterly irrational fear fed by the demon of distrust, a mind that can easily imagine bleak futures, and – if it’s not pure paranoia because there is no other lover – supporting circumstances. So maybe saying that it’s utterly irrational is not true, since there is a significant connection to reality. It is this fear, this jealousy, that has me confess that for an important part I must declare the experiment a failure. I do not want to allow this fear to “be my guest”. And maybe my resistance, my focus and awareness that went into “being with it” has made it as big as it is now. It’s now easy for me, almost autonomously, to imagine all kinds of disastrous futures in which everything failed and I’m all on my own again. It is somehow much harder, to find the trust to imagine a bright future.

You could say that imagining anything is the real disease, imagining a future even worse. But wouldn’t you then also say that hope is the real disease? Because hope imagines a future, or is the manifestation of the faith in a bright future. Is despair – hope reversed – that comes from images of a bleak, pain-filled future the consequence of a hope gone sour? Maybe so. What I do know is that I cannot stop my imagination from imagining, just as much as I cannot stop my heart from feeling hope or despair, fear or joy, love and beauty. So what can stop me from replacing the images of 2 hells – the fork of choices that I’m facing – with 2 possible bright futures, where both options let me become a more loving, beautiful, joyful, authentic, rich and deep human?

I now see, and it is late at night and I got up to write my blog for this day, I now see that on top of the practice of “unrestricted feeling” I have to practice also “imagining light and bright futures” with all the people that are also in my “despairing visions”.
I now also see how big a part my imagination played in co-creating the utterly challenging situation I find myself in. Never mind how real the base of my imaginations, more and more it served in an escalation of catastrophic feeling. So much so that opening up intimately became more and more difficult. The only possibility in such a situation being the forking of the way, the choice between 2 hells.

Should I respect my limits that have become apparent in a situation that I feel I have been forced into? Even if I have co-created it by imagining 2 hells where I could imagine 2 brighter futures, it feels right to do so. The basic question is, “What are the minimum needs, what are – right or wrong – the basic conditions that are needed so that a much deeper level of relationship is a realistic possibility? And what, if anything, can I do or not do to lift my bit of the weight that needs shifting?”

I’ve, feebly but truly, started to imagine a brighter future instead of 2 hells tonight. At first glance its clear that accompanying the fear of separation is the fear of imagining that as beautiful, for I might make it happen that way, and then (imagining that as bright) I might not have enough energy to not totally break down if it becomes real. And there is the fear of imagining a bright future for the relationship because it might hurt so much more if it doesn’t get a real chance.

Yesterday, for some time, quite some time, I was full of hope – today despair, which I’m responsible for myself by inviting it in around noon letting my fears move me to ask questions that reflected distrust and fear and fueled visions of a dark future. So it’s about time I invite trust, and beauty and brightness to come and visit this guesthouse more frequently!

Addendum: I find that if I set myself out to use my imagination in this way, I can. And the brightest future I can imagine is the one where I say, “I’m so thankful, happy and once more: thankful for you to have gone into the depth of intimate living with me and that we mastered all the challenges on our path together to have this rich, true and peacefully satisfying life.”
I will carry this image into my sleep now…


Starting up the experiment
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 (Powerlessness)
Day 5
Day 6 (Jealousy)
Day 7 (Guilt & Jealousy)
Day 8
Day 9 (Shame)
Day 10 (Interlude)
Day 11 (Under Pressure)
Day 12
Day 13 (Clear Delight)

Day 14
Day 15 & 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19 (Dark Waves)
Day 20 (Time Out)
Day 21 (Splash)
Day 22 (Understanding)
Day 23 (Fear & Imagination)
Day 24 (Vulnerable)
Day 25
Day 26 (The Presence of The Past)
Ending the Experiment – Day 27 (Intentional Vulnerability)

Me to the Power of Us

A beautiful video illustration a visionary statement by Michel Bauwens which expresses most beautifully the Path I find myself to be on.

“Anyway, this is what the changes are about, augmenting the individual through relationality, with the object of creating common value ‘collectively’, through self-aggregation. The whole push of the p2p revolution is to create the infrastructure for this, designing for inclusion, and for convergence of the indiviual and collective interest, through value-conscious design.”
From Our new digital selves and their relational augmentation by Michel Bauwens

The Chaordic Path and Stepping Stones

Toke Møller and Monica Nissén weave stories around the chaordic path and stepping stones.
Video & video cutting by Helen Titchen-Beeth

We are the next Buddha

Helen wrote in her blog “Why the next Buddha will be a collective.” I hope to show with this article where I am coming from in this regard so that in the time to come we can have beautiful dialogues, trialogues or any other -logues to help this meme propagate.

I guess, for me it all started in earnest when in the summer of 2005 one of my trainees asked, “What about we?” I guess, he asked that because I was using my own path and experience as a template for the spiritual journey, as most spiritual teachers do. Because that’s what I felt myself to be at that time, a spiritual teacher. And, being steeped in a guru culture, my role was centered around having a ‘working relationship’ with the divine, by whatever name you want to call it, and my teaching and methods were congruent with that. (I won’t go into the aspect of the “teaching beyond words and scripture” that also is very much a part of this; some of how I looked at these matters you find here.)
The question really struck me, and so I started to read a lot of Martin Buber, and what he had to say about the possible quality of true relationship moved me deeply.

Wer in der Beziehung steht, nimmt an einer Wirklichkeit teil, das heißt: an einem Sein, das nicht bloß an ihm und nicht bloß außer ihm ist. Alle Wirklichkeit ist ein Wirken, an dem ich teilnehme, ohne es mir eignen zu können. Wo keine Teilnahme ist, ist keine Wirklichkeit. Wo Selbstzueignung ist, ist keine Wirklichkeit. Die Teilnahme ist umso vollkommener, je unmittelbarer die Berührung des Du ist.
Das Ich ist wirklich durch seine Teilnahme an der Wirklichkeit. Es wird umso wirklicher, je vollkommener die Teilnahme ist.

Being in relationship one participates in reality, that means, one participates in a being that is not only one’s inner being nor is it the being outside of one. All reality is a becoming-real in which I participate without my being able to take possession of it. Without participation there is no reality. Where there is a taking into possession to oneself there is no reality. The more perfect the participation the more immediate is the touching of the thou.

The I is real through its participation with and in reality. And it becomes more real the more perfect the participation is.

(My translation of Martin Buber: Das Dialogische Prinzip – Ich und Du – Seite 65-66)

Over time starting to understand what Martin Buber is indicating I left behind my formal conviction that was very much founded on experiences interpreted through Eastern philosophy and spirituality. “Thou art That” (Vedanta)… “I and the world are one” (Upanishads)… “I am is all there is” (Advaita). And I was moved to explore in all manners possible to me, what is between us.

During the winter seminar of the same year I went for a walk in a wooded valley nearby. The afternoon sun was coloring the snow golden white, the gurgling streamlet hid underneath a thin layer of ice and a deep blue sky spanned over the wonderful silence, when all of a sudden I saw a flock of finches, sparrows, stock doves and a rusty brown bird with a many-colored tail that is very common here. Different birds in one flock settling in a couple of trees and starting a game, it seemed, flying from branch to branch and tree to tree: a fink jumped-flew onto a branch on which a dove was sitting who then flew to a branch on which one of the brown birds was sitting and so on. And it seemed to have a rhythm: the birds in a game I used to play as a child called “Bäumchen wechsle dich” – a delightful jumping and a flying all over.
I had never seen anything like it or heard of it before, yet this experience befitted my development of the period very well. It isn’t important what species of bird I am with – what matters is engaging with what is between us, “Can we find a common game?” I wrote in my diary. Because then we can play with all species of birds in the trees of life. You show yourself as the sparrow or the dove you are, as the crane or the eagle or any other bird you find yourself to be, and you are taking the other birds just the way they are… and then something new, unknown, a never before seen or experienced game begins. Whatever song you sing let’s hear it, and listen to our melody, because without both the game, our joyous, delightful, mutual game cannot happen.

That spring and summer I was in trouble because I started to see that I couldn’t go on with my old way of teaching in which I was the one that “has it”, and the people coming to me didn’t – or where not conscious of it. Not, that I didn’t feel connected anymore to the deep sources of life and being, not that there were no more Satori’s or deep mystical states – quite the contrary many of my days were spent in a very juicy sense of lightness, as if bubbles of champagne were coursing through my veins. But it was what I and others made out of this that was the trouble. It was the ‘vertical spirituality’ in the patriarchal mode that I became wary of. It reminded me very much of feudalism, a social structure that I didn’t want to be part of anymore.
And as my opposition was growing (the article linked above was written in that period; you can see how very critical it is) so was my insight into what I came to call the emerging archetype of the “between us”. There is the huge P2P movement, Wikipedia, open source programming, sharing economy, distributed research, Web 2.0 & 3.0, etc.; the Internet has opened a huge gate towards the culture of collaboration in the production of knowledge and understanding but also of products and services.
I also came in touch with spiritual teachings and philosophies that are deep and and encompassing, thorough and practical and sophisticated as well, which apparently are not in need of the ‘vertical stance’ (John Heron‘s participatory spirituality, Jorge Ferrer‘s revisioning of transpersonal psychology, Alan Rayner’s inclusionality, Samuel Bonder‘s wakening down in mutuality… to name but a few).

I also saw that many of the methods I was using already for quite some time – dynamic presencing for instance – could be regarded very much as an expression of the spirit between us, the “We” (whenever I am alluding to the emerging archetype of the “between us”, which is also “the spirit between us” I will from now on be using We with capital W). And as I realized this the methods changed to incorporate this understanding. I started to realize that my real art is creating an atmosphere and situations in which the We can appear and start to move and even incorporate each and every one of us. The beauty of course is that this understanding meshes with another insight that came out of facilitating “Enlightenement guaranteed ;-)” events, a method that has become famous through Genpo Roshi who calls it “Big Mind”. Suffice it to say here that this method uses voices or sub-personalities as the main gate to understand how the human mind works. So there is not only the We between the many persons outside of us but inside of us as well. These ideas evolved into an understanding that I will sketch in more detail below.

Then in autumn and winter 2006 I went through a deep existential crisis which touched all aspects of my life, heart and mind – to put it in the metaphor I met the senex, Saturn, and it took quite some time before I could discover the We and allow it to unfold between us. But as spring dawned and with it my old friend Jupiter it was as if I started to hear a symphony – many different melodies coming together. And if I put it in language, this is how it sounds…
At this moment of our history we are on a critical path starting to leave an old view behind. If I am to sketch the perspectives of this view in a few broad strokes I would say it is basically one of centralism. It reminds me of what I think went on at the time when Kepler revolutionized the astronomical place of earth and sun. Before him most people, even the most intelligent ones, believed the earth was the center of the cosmos. But now he showed that the sun was at the center. It took a few hundred years for us then to realize that this is really not so, this cosmos does not have a center (more about this metaphor it in this article). So instead of our sun being at center we are now faced with innumerable stars and their relationships – constellations and configurations. So as beautiful as the sun might be around which I turn, and as enlightening the sun might be around which you turn, we are discovering that if we do not find the We (the movement and nourishment in our relationships and what happens or doesn’t happen in it) between us this universe starts falling apart into discrete stars and galaxies which are separated by huge stretches of empty space.

So it is very beautiful and makes deep sense that obviously this space is not empty at all; it is flowing over with the We that embraces all. And as I said, the We is making itself felt, understood, intuited all over this globe and is manifesting in many different ways – as people wanting to cooperate, to collaborate, to be in community and communion, seeing that the time of heroes (central suns) is definitely over, the time for the saviors and lone leaders that could set things right again. The world and its problems have become so complex that we can only hope to find adequate answers in “circles”of very different people where we can meet eye to eye and heart to heart – in a sort of collective leadership maybe. And this is underfoot already on a worldwide scale. The place here would not suffice to mention all the initiatives that are going on all over the world. Yet, this is one aspect of We manifesting.

Another aspect is the sense of spiritual or soul families or clans finding each other again across countries and continents. It is as if we have chosen ages ago to come together in this critical time on the planet to be midwives to what is wanting to emerge. What ever may be the case we do recognize each other and there is an immediate connection beyond words, even beyond understanding; all we do is accept it.

A third aspect manifests through what has been called the Circle Being, manifesting as a higher order of being together with an incredible coherence that draws in the individuals participating. This certainly is We, being highly coherent. (Helen has written about it here, and I have also reported a very strong experience here). The “between us” can also come into being in what has been called “a silver moment” or in German Sternstunde, “stellar hour”. In the Bible it has been alluded to – and much misinterpreted as only applying to the divine person of Jesus – as, “Where two or three are gathered in My Name there am I am in their midst.” (Matth. 18:20)

A fourth aspect is the insight that our very consciousness itself can best be regarded as plural and not singular as a traditional mysticism has it. In the individual this shows itself as sub-personalities or the many voices that speak in us – for instance the ego, the inner child, the judge, the saboteur, the seeker, the achiever, the non-seeking mind, the inner master, the higher self etc.. So looking at our individual consciousness or psyche as a “we” rather than as an “I” would pave the way for a “circle being” to manifest inside the mind of the individual. This to me at this moment is one of the most interesting aspect of the emerging archetype.
It seems obvious that the “inner We” does not dissolve individuality, I or ego; it rather enhances its possibilities and functionality, because as the so far dominant ego realizes its embeddedness it can let go much easier of its compulsory need to control, and become part of the conductorless orchestra of the “inner We” tuning in to the “larger We” dawning on all of mankind and even, so I think, all beings and what we now still call derogatively ‘dead matter’.

This allows us to regard the emerging We as a scalable, fractal phenomenon on many and maybe even all levels. Contemplating all of this I come to the understanding that I am called – as are many others – to support and nourish these dynamic constellations of individuals and voices to configure themselves so that the transformation that is necessary for the health of the planet and its inhabitants is facilitated optimally.

The myth of Cause and Effect – Or, is it really the slap that hurts?

Most of us think linear when it comes to what happens in life: “My cheek hurts, because someone slapped me”; “And now I am angry, because I did not deserve it.”

Scientists, at least the overwhelming majority, are certain that consciousness is caused by the grey matter residing in our head. So in this view having a revelation, for instance, is just a matter of some neurons firing and sending chemicals to other neurons – they even have a word for the discipline studying divine, mystical or other spiritual states of consciousness; neurotheology.

I have just read a scientific article which again states this theory in connection to free will – in this view the free will is an illusion as conscious states which lead to ‘free decisions’ are all caused by the brain. In this view “free will” cannot exist because everything is determined; in this case by firing neurons interchanging chemical substances as well. (Not once in all this scientific literature there is a deeper consideration of what most of us actually mean by free will, but I’ll let that go this time).

So cause (neuronal activity) –> effect (conscious state).

It cannot be denied, without uttering nonsense, that to actually be angry and feel this anger one needs adrenalin, for instance. As it is quite impossible to make love to your beloved without the appropriate hormones moving in your blood. So there certainly is a deep connection between our state of mind and our neuronal-chemical state. And whoever had a friend or acquaintance who suffered a brain-stroke will know the shock that comes when the person has a very different character from before or doesn’t even remember one’s name or face.

So we do think: cause (stroke) –> effect (change of character).

But if we do actually believe this I do not see how we can truly believe that our conscious states – let’s say a satori or divine vision – are actually what they themselves ‘say’ they are: revealing our true nature or the divinity of being, for instance. We cannot have it both ways. The scientists saying that consciousness is an epiphenomenon are then just more honest than the rest of us still wanting to believe in free will, angels, spirits etc., and/or a consciousness that is uncaused.

Surely this is not my view. The setting or finding of causes and effects happens in accord with a great myth, the myth of cause & effect. Even though the cause&effect-myth is really helpful and practical in many ways, especially when it comes to actions and their consequences or our technically advanced society (click ‘publish’ and this post appears on my blog, for instance). But what we usually do not see is that we create the story, we often divine the causes working backwards from the effect that we have differentiated from the whole situation/context.

What I do not like about this myth of cause & effect is that it fosters determinism – and in the case of the brain and consciousness a very impoverished story that robs its believers of a depth and richness another story might provide. So I’m reinterpreting the ‘facts of life’ that my culture is continually shoving onto me, reinterpreting the stale story of determinism.

In the case of brain and consciousness it seems to me that the states of consciousness and the physical states of the brain are synchronically coincident. Actually only in the materialistic myth it makes sense to say that brain and consciousness are separate phenomena and one is caused by the other. Everything is unfolding in concert, it is ‘resounding’ with everything else. The kinds of differentiations that we have used so far fosters the kind of culture we have in this day and age: an ecological, economic and political disaster-prone time. When we look with the eyes of the deterministic myth at the mystery called reality, for instance, trees are ‘things’ and not living beings with – yes! – a consciousness.

So beings move in concert – sometimes cacaphonically, sometimes polyphonically and sometimes symphonically, to differentiate a few of the many ways of relating between entities, beings and the whole. And when one looks in the cause&effect-way one takes a slice out of this resounding story to, maybe, know what to do. But looking at it as if the kosmos (signifying ‘harmonious whole’) were a concert one rather asks, how to be, how to sound right now.

In the cause & effect world there are laws. In the world of kosmic concert there are repeating melodies, rhythms and rhymes… which is why I’ve come to prefer that myth over the deterministic one.

The Art of Relating

Some days ago I gave a talk to the people participating in my open event in Prague. And these are some of the things I covered:

  • We are relating all the time
  • There is no self outside of relationship
  • Whatever you are doing, feeling, thinking, this is how you relate to reality right now
  • Why is there nothing to get & nowhere to go?
  • Relationship makes us one with whatever is the case right now
  • Why we cannot divorce from Oneness
  • What happens if we try to keep relationship under control
  • Honesty as one of the best ways to change realtionship
  • Relating to reality right now produces truth
  • Why we can relax even when mad, sad or stupid
  • You’re always just the way you are because you’re always relating

[audio:http://www.mushin.eu/audio/RelatingtoReality.mp3|option1=0xffe4c4]
(English with Czech translation; 56:00 Min. & 20 MB)
You can also download it with a right click.

The Self is an Archetype

The archetype of the self is the ‘product’ of an evolutionary development – we do not have a self, it has us once in a while 🙂 …
By archetype I mean a kind of constellation that psyche and cosmos have in common; they express themselves both in what we call reality and what we call our psyche – but more than that archetypes develop in this relatedness and at the same time (in)form it.

Around 7000 years ago (an estimate that I cannot explain right now) the archetype of the self appeared for the first time; it differentiated itself out of the archetype of the clan – the birth of individuality, the individual that could stand up to the gods… maybe this archetype is the one the ancient Greeks called Prometheus.

It appears to me as if presently a ‘new’ archetype is coming into being; it seems that what I call “between-us” and “we-consciousness” is very much part of this new constellation in cosmos & psyche… I really don’t know, but at times it is very clear to me.
Self-realisation would be the historic and personal prerequisite for this new archetype to appear on the evolutionary stage we’re on.
In self-realisation the song of praise of body, mind and spirit as one is sounded, and a true identity is forming when the personalities (inner child, controller, seeker and also the wise one etc.) are ready to become part of the choir; yes, once in a while the can sing a solo, but only once in a while and always as part of the choir as a whole. Individuation then would be the ’rounding’ of the archetype of the self in our psyche which expresses itself also in all kinds of synchronicities as all archetypes are inside and outside…

Archetypes last – they are not to be separated or isolated from existence and being (like disincarnated souls), and they are deathless yet evolving. As in our individuation or self-realisation the archetypes of, for instance, the ‘puer’ (what we call ‘inner child’ nowadays), the controller (in astrology that might be Saturn) and so on surrender to and become part of the rounded self – they don’t dissolve or ‘die’ -  so in due time this archetype will become an organ of the now burgeoning archetype that I call “Between-Us”.

Why I left my spiritual teacher – vlog

Here I’m telling why I left my spiritual teacher, and a little bit about vertical and cooperative spirituality – and why we need much more of the second variety (ca 9:30 min)

A man’s world?

In answer to a great post by Helen and her question about what men are about, I wrote an answer and I think it’s worthwhile to also post it in my blog. So here it is:

Dear Helen,

“I’ve just been informed by one of the beloved people I live with that she thinks it will be very difficult for me to ever find a suitable partner because I am independent and I don’t need anything. So a man can’t feel important and powerful, and men won’t enter into a relationship unless they feel important. Is that so? Are there any men out there who can shed some light on this for me?”

I know this is almost a month later, and maybe you’ll have found suitable answers to these questions already, but being a man, or so I somethimes think 🙂 there are some answers here that might be of use.

“So a man can’t feel important and powerful, and men won’t enter into a relationship unless they feel important. Is that so? ” I don’t know if men generally have this need to feel powerful and important. I am often rather motivated by the feeling of doing something meaningfull and supportive of people around me.

I rather find another general ‘need’ among men – it is the need to be free, which seems to mean, free to go our own way unchecked.
Our first experience as man is of a strong and all-powerful woman – our mother. She sets the limit to our relentless curiosity. She is also the one who had to cope with our sensual joys as they develop: all boys from the age of 1 or 2 years old onwards like to play with their pecker a lot if you let them, sometimes proudly presenting it in it’s hardened shape to their mother and others around. This is not encouraged, to say the least. From this we must conclude that there is something wrong with our feelings – especially pleasurable ones.
So women have power over our sensual and sexual feelings, a conclusion that a boy correctly draws; at least I found that in me. Such powerful beings are best kept at a little distance in the hope that if they hurt us (and that they inevitably will at some time) it will not be too overwhelming. We want to be free from that prohibiting influence.

I guess that men, wanting to feel important and powerful, are going for a compensation for the little power they have over women – and the huge power they have over ‘us’. This is a conclusion I draw from the first ‘men’s group’ I did as part of the Dionysian Festival I organise here in Postupice (Czech Rep.) once a year. Asking the men to share their most traumatic experience it’s all about this huge power of women in their life and how they were hurt. And how now, trying to protect themselves against it, they don’t want to get too intimate (and I would add especially with a strong, independent woman – especially if she isn’t obviously restraintful. The need to be with a young woman might very well stem from the centuries of experience that these women have not enough power to overwhelm us. The sad part being, of course, that they don’t allow for a peer2peer partnership where we can truly meet eye to eye).

I’m not such a fan of what I call “vertical spirituality”; much rather I take a stand for what so far I’ve called ‘cooperative spirituality’ (more about that here). The vertical spirituality looks for ‘higher development’ etc. to gain power over the ‘lower’ levels of development – basically. (You can see some of it’s results in the frequent mean-green-meme bashing that is going on in Wilberian circles – which is another topic showing, in my view, some of the possible pathologies of yellow and beyond – if indeed that color coding makes any sense). This is the spiritual male’s way out of the necessary acceptence of powerlessness, unknowing and embeddedness that we have to face.

There is no culture of suffering – rather every man seems to be looking for a way out: either through spirituality, or technology or or economy/politics/military. The Buddha’s promise that there is an end of suffering hasn’t done much good either, as I see it. (As not many people – usually men – have been able to go that way to it’s very end of enlightenment; so what about all of us who ‘fail’?)
Opening up to and opening up as the suffering here with me (in me) gives me depth and connects, showing me the blessing of being alive in the mystery called reality. If this ‘way’ is wrapped up in some kind of friendly heroic words men actually get interested in taking it I’ve found.

So, back to your question. When I look at your face on the picture with Geert (and I must say it looks familiar to me; have you been in seminars with Michael Barnett?) I don’t think that men will not be attracted to you. But what I do think that it is good to come from, “I really don’t know what you are, know, feel, etc.” This is what I practise with my girlfriend (I practise; she does whatever she does to go through the difficulties I manifest for her). Allowing myself to find out day by day what this paradoxical creature I’m with is being.
(She is definetly not a mirror – even though at times I see my ideosyncracies clearer though our interaction.)
I really have less and less idea of what it might be like to be a woman (or my girlfriend), and I’m happily and sadly surprised at times how unsurmountably different we are. So best to come from radical respect (and stop the telepathy-syndrom of thinking you know what the other means) and open heart, and see what life brings…

Hmm, I guess I got into rambling a bit. But maybe this might be of some help for you.

Much Love,
mushin