Dynamic Presencing

These scenes were filmed by my friend Rolf Seiler during the Easter Seminar last year, and now I finally managed to get the editing done. It gives you an impression of one aspect of my work which I really love as it allows participants to often directly access spaces that are so often spoken and theorized about, but which are usually accessible only after long discipline…

And then on the fair recently some people asked me to explain what it all means… (have to upload this video again)

6 Replies to “Dynamic Presencing”

  1. And then Robert Searle added on my other blog at zaadz this post

    Further Light on the Above Communication…

    I am glad you, and others found the above of some value. I should also like to say that it is a process in which one is slowly waking up from the so-called “real world” outside. Everything becomes less solid, and even “transparent”. This one suspects is due to the evolving awareness of subtle forces at work around us which reveal that there is something far more real, and finer than the seeming “solidity” of the so-called physical world.

    I think one could describe the process as being akin to Grace. In other words, spiritual help from above which is largely “unearned”, and yet, it is meant to inspire us towards higher things, and higher ways of living (ie. spiritual development occuring spontaneously, and naturally). It is largely immaterial what kind of meditation may be involved. The key thing to comprehend is whether he, or she can trigger further Grace from above. Being with genuine spiritual teachers of whatever tradition be it Hindu, Buddhist, Judaic is very important. Ofcourse, this Grace can also be regarded as initiation, and just thinking about an advanced teacher can cause it to happen spontaneously, and naturally. Time, and space do not come into the equation, or even physical contact!!

    Again, it should be said that the lower self, and mind must cooperate with It. Yet, this should become an easy process because the old “self” is dying as it is slowly (or quickly depending on the individuals evolution) being transformed into a higher degree of subtleness, or higher conciousness. Sincerity rather than a high degree of purity is probably the most important factor to bring It about..

    One of the great things a real teacher can do for a disciple is to radiate so much positive subtle energy that the mind is easily stilled, and becomes peaceful. This means repetition of some mantra, or any other spiritual word of power of any tradition becomes a spontaneous (but controllable) process. Without the Grace natural (as opposed to “forced”) concentration is exceedingly difficult due to the monkey mind. Thus, meditation can be wonderful experience rather than a dry pointless exercise.

    With the growing descent, and submission to this Grace one realizes via experience that one is just a channel for it, and everything is done ultimately as an incredibly natural, and spontaneous process of love (ie higher conciousness of Oneness of varying degrees) for everyone, and everything. It is all a Play of Love of the most subtle, and transcendant kind.

    Genuine healers can transmit this power, and feeling It is easy to do. Many claim that It comes from God, or rather ones Higher Self which is part of the Infinite Cosmos…which ofcourse is who, and what we really are. The whole process of spiritual evolution is ultimately rediscovering our Higher Self , and moreover that we do not belong to this world which will always continue, and is just a school for souls. Our Real Life lies “elsewhere”, and is the highest source of happiness which we have failed to find through countless lifetimes.

    I hope this explains enough but I felt impelled to write the above in hope that it may make some sense. But, everything in the end depends on Grace, and our cooperation. Without it spiritual evolution is impossible. The lower mind, and ego cannot do it by themselves. They have to “die”, and be transformed slowly, or quickly into higher, and higher subtle energies of higher, and higher levels of higher conciousness……..
    .

    R.Searle.

  2. Bob originally posted this over here at alan’s great blog, but since it deals a lot with my video on Dynamic Presencing and what to make of that kind of work he kindly consented to me posting it here:

    Hi, Mushin…… Alan,et al,

    I must say I found your google video of great interest…..especially the music! What is the name of it. It was definitely “choral” in character, and then something else came after it. I was impressed. Please tell me the name of the former, and if possible the latter…

    It seems to me that your “system” of “self-development” if it could be called as such is essentially natural, and spontaneous…what is sometimes referred to in the East as Sahaj Yoga (not to be confused with Mataji Nirmala Devis approach!!). It reminds me too of Subud in which a “force” takes over the individual in an incredibly natural, and spontaneous manner though in this case it does not last long. Kriyas, or strange movements ofcourse can manifest which is said to be part of the cleansing process. Ofcourse, your “system” is like the Christian phenomenon of “speaking in tongues” in which people enter into a “waking trance” and feel “possessed” by highly positive subtle energies. Words can never do real justice to such things, and I notice on one video that trying to explain in “rational terms” what happens during the experience is often difficult in extremis……..

    In India notably a guru transmits his, or her shakti into the disciple. It can be “described” as thus.

    i) An awareness of highly subtle forces around oneself, and in the world. In most cases, this is probable a super-tactile experience, and can “willingly” lead one into a higher states of conciousness or ASCs. Ofcourse, some people may experience visions notably in the form of “lights” “sounds,” and “imagery”.

    ii) An extremely natural, and spontaneous process. No fear is experienced at all.Indeed, it is the most natural, and spontaneous process in the world. It is also like rediscovering something that has existed before but we have “forgotten”, or “lost” it so to speak..

    iii) A growing awareness that a higher part of ones “self” is starting to function, and is trying naturally, and spontaneously to control the mind.

    iv) Bad thoughts may enter the mind, and can be DISSOLVED when attention is directed to them.

    iv) Also, in order for one to be continually be concious of It and increase its flow one must continue the spiritual practice concerned ideally most of the day.

    Essentially, spiritual practice is literally “going with the flow”, and it can be stopped, or lessened if we decide to follow some other experiential esoteric path.It can the be “reawakened” if there is a “new” transmission of energy.

    What I find so overwhelming about It is how incredibly NATURAL, AND SPONTANEOUS IT ALL IS. These two words are very important to appreciate about It .

    Regards,

    Robert Searle.

  3. dear ted,

    thank you very much for your answer, it is very helpful and enlightening to me – developing ways to ‘educate’ people about the living field we’re all embedded in is very important to me; thus also finding languages that are able to bridge different understandings and styles of thinking, which is another reason why I truly enjoy this dialogue.

    I have just a few experiences in sweat-lodges, the most beautiful and deep one with Richard Moss in France two summers ago. And yes, I agree there is a similar process of inverting back- and foreground going on there. Nevertheless I think it is much more with a clearly defined intention than in the kind of inversion I co-create, which in my eyes is more general-purpose.

    People, as you can see in the video, sometimes fall over – or allow themselves to fall, knowing they will be caught by an assistant. It’s a strange thing, this falling. You do see it in Pentecostal Christianity also; at least I remember having seen some film, although – if I remember well – these preachers were sometimes pretty pushy…
    Anyway, I really don’t know why people fall. As it is happening, though, I often – not always – have the feeling of some ‘deep’ movement happening between the person and me… Anyway, it is hard to describe what goes on in my psyche, especially since I, as I’m moving into these regions or dimensions or spaces, leave my ‘recorder’ behind; my usual ‘self’ – or it gets dislocated / is dislocating it to the very edge of being present (hence “Presencing”) in a very psycho-bodily way.
    It is as if I were underwater, and being a semi-permeable form there are all kinds of currents that move me. Sometimes it is as if there are magnetic fields that somehow draw me along the lines of force; but always it is dynamic, in movement until sometimes in the very end a deep, deep silence descends; then I have the feeling that the whole process was geared at allowing for this ‘peace that passeth all understanding’.
    Now this is how it somewhat feels now, there have been different periods in which the feelings were not so deep or slightly different; sometimes I “saw” the next move and then, moving in the way I had “seen” I saw the next movement, and so on: almost as if the choreography was dictated one step at a time…

    So all these kinds of things go on when I care to reconstruct the process in my imagination (a process called memory ;-), and surely the kind of reconstruction of what happened is always connected with the kind of story I tell. And, I hope I’m not treading on any toe here, that goes for all kinds of stories including the inclusionary one. So that is how I understand you, when you talk about what your path of understanding does for you, incorporating the instruments that bring forth or co-shape the understanding in the understanding itself. It is, if I may infer, like becoming conscious of being conscious and how that very knowing-with changes the whole surround/feeling of what one knows of.

    Also in the method I call ”language of change” I go as deep as possible in some founding understandings or “belief-systems” (a lingo often being used) which seem to form the vortexes of the ‘individual’ psyche around which we construct the guiding images of our ‘self’. These vortexes are than examined or inquired into on a more or less emotional/rational level; sometimes personified if that makes sense to the people so that we’re able to dialogue with them and relate and find out what their intention is – as it seems that all these vortexes or sub-personalities do have intentions. Inquiring into the truth of these convictions is sometimes helpful, if they cooperate! Otherwise it’s easily perceived as aggression (“You are untrue, a lie, a hallucination” – and who would like to be called such? Even if from a certain point of view these statements make sense…) and that is simply no-good as I’ve found. But putting the intention into the context of what people are actually experiencing or getting, seems very helpful.
    If I use the language of change after having done Dynamic Presencing than often very deep understandings or convictions come up and can be inquired into, are open to inquiry.

    I like your stance of “flipping awareness to the dynamics of space”. It seems like a yoga to me, a shifting of focus. And it describes pretty good what I find myself doing whenever I am really engaging in the reality I find myself in, especially when truly dialoguing with someone. And yes, I agree that this is a kind of “halfway awareness” which is, of course, as far as one can usually go with people (except in very rare occasions with a loved one, or in artificially created ones as in seminars and workshops). This kind of participatory opening to space then informs one much better, I feel, about what goes on and allows for a deep sense of intimacy with whoever or whatever is present to one. It’s a kind of yoga I tended towards spontaneously once I let go of ”vertical spirituality”; not that this ‘spacious awareness’ hadn’t been there before; it was there, all right. Only I interpreted it differently; and now by actually focusing on it and investigation it as “the between-us”, as a living field informing all participants as well as being informed by them, it looks different and obtains ‘teachability’ of sorts.
    I think this is what I like about this path of understanding that you have taken in much greater detail and expertise than I could probably ever hope for. It creates a more rational teachability – especially in a world that is so keen on that aspect of being. It creates bridges where my kind of work usually leaves heads shaking in disbelief…

    And thank you very much for the metaphors you used describing how dynamical relationships in space are transformed; these are great instruments to think about the dynamics in my work a bit clearer. I have a lot of spiritual/religious metaphors for it, as that is basically the tradition I come from, but your metaphors somehow free my imagination towards a more inclusive and up-to-date description. So I very much enjoy trying to find languages that somehow bring the background a bit more to the fore, languages that also take in the logic of the rational foreground prominent in this day and age.

    Nevertheless, you’d be amazed how easy it is to create such a Dynamic Presencing session with people ‘culturally hesitating’ in these matters. I’ve had the opportunity to work with 20 – 80 people who’d never done something like this a few times, but who had a basic openness to experimenting… one has to have the kind of pleasure that I have in ‘subversive spirituality’ (as I’d like to call that) to slowly lure people into that ‘space’.

    Thank you for sharing – and I hope that in some future time we also might have an opportunity to share in person…

    Warmest regards,
    mushin

  4. to which ted responded:

    dear mushin,

    this is such a sensitive area, for me, and for many of us, i suspect, and therefore i am amazed at how softly your words fall on my awareness, … i am reminded of a still and misty west coast rainforest day, where the rain kind of ‘continually forms in place’ rather than ‘falling’, … that’s how your comments come across to me.

    exploration into how we bring the background back into the foreground, … safely, … seems very needed and in order to do it, one has to cultivate an environment of trust and mutual support as you have been doing. the natives over here do it by way of their respected traditions in the healing circles and the sweats and i think it reaches out for the same ‘background-foreground inversion’.

    my own explorations have been more into the understanding rather than the cultivating of practice, … if that is possible; i.e. if it is possible to understand without at the same time ‘experiencing’. my sense is that it possible to ‘open the door to understanding’ by becoming more aware of the assumptions we make in our ‘default’ of rational mental modeling that we have forgotten we have been making; i.e. in most cases we learned how to use rational inquiry (based on absolute objects and absolute space) without an awareness of what simplifying conventions we make in so doing.

    for example, i can no longer wield and manipulate the rational tools of inquiry without stopping to reflect on the manner in which they are simplified though i simply learned them without being alerted to the simplifying conventions hidden within them. my experience is that most people, (like me prior to having spent years delving into the foundations of our default manner of inquiry) do not see ‘what i see’ when i bring up examples to illustrate how we have locked in on the foreground (sovereign entities, including ourselves, and ‘what they do’) to the point that we have great difficulty in flipping into an awareness of the dynamics of space we are included in (‘dynamical presencing’). my impression is that there is this ‘halfway awareness’ where we can sense ‘where the door is’ without actually going there, as you are doing.

    that is, i can think of a nation in the foreground mode (or a person or cell) and feel immediately aware of the limitedness of this kind of conceptualizing; i.e. i can think of the continuously ongoing world dynamic and feel absolutely certain that this dynamical space is ‘more real’ than the foreground dynamics of the individual person, nation or cell that my visual sense (my ability to think in terms of images of things) ‘picks up on’. for example, it seems only reasonable (natural) to me that a nation, any nation, is included in the world dynamic where many things are going on at the same time so that whatever is going on within an individual nation within the collective of nations is subject to the simultaneous mutual influence of the inclusive collective of nations. this means that every nation (or individual or cell) has a ‘background identity’ that is more profound than its foreground identity. when a person dies, they leave a ‘hole’ that must be filled in somehow. taking mcluhan’s ‘medium is the message’ principle, it is not what the person does (he dies) that is of primary impact, it is how his departure induces transformations in our relationships with one another and the collective. in quantum wave dynamics when solute is added to a solution there is a pulse of increasing concentration but as well, if the solution is diluted, there is a mirror pulse of dilution which is called a ‘trou blanc’. the friends and relatives of the person who dies are similarly ‘sucked in towards the void’ (metaphorically) to heal the void in some new way. so it is not ‘what a thing does’ (the foreground dynamic/identity) that is most profound but how the dynamical relationships in the common space are transformed (the background dynamic/entity).

    we can certainly feel this invisible background dynamic but it does not physically manifest through the individual (person, cell, nation), yet it must be there since even if the person dies and is cremated and their ashes scattered, the ‘trou blanc’ effect is real enough and everyone who knew the person feels pulled around by it. the medium is the message; i.e. how the dynamic of the shared space is transformed is the message, not the foreground action.

    for me, then, ‘dynamic presencing’ equates to the temporary death of the ‘foreground’, or perhaps ‘suspended animation’ would be a better term than ‘death’. in fact, it is not that the foreground ‘goes away’, it is just that it is subsumed by the greater reality of the ‘background’ (the spatial-relational reality instead of the absolute logical reality that the foreground identity constitutes). instead of thinking of a particular nation, what it is and what it does, we think of the world dynamic and how it is transformed by the dynamical presence of that nation. it is like the ripple from the pebble dropped in the pond, its action is a disturbance of dynamical equilibrium, a ‘spatial-relational transformation’, rather than a one-sided assertive action in the terms of ‘what the nation does’.

    all this, of course, is simply ‘talk’, but what it does for me it is to bring to my awareness the fact that ‘there is a door to a different type of understanding’ where the background assumes its natural precedence over the foreground in our experience. i have no doubt that it is there for us to enter into, … but ‘dynamical presencing’ is not easy to ‘arrange’ because of our cultural hesitation in such things. i have never been to a session such as in your videoclip, but i have felt the power of native healing circles and sweats, which, it seem to me, opens the way to the same background/foreground inversion.

    like the natives, it feels to me as if this background identity is about ‘place’ or ‘space’ rather than ‘the spiritual state of the individual’ out of the context of space so i think the site where the dynamical presencing takes place should have importance in what transpires.

    mushin, thanks for sharing. it seems that your work and ‘inclusionality’ are very much related.

    mitakuye oyasin,
    ted

  5. And here is my answer:

    Dear ted and alan,

    quite some interesting thoughts coming up.
    Let me give my ramblings as well.

    Whatever purpose I might or might not have in creating what I call a ‘living field’ in which the ‘dynamic presencing’ happens that you saw in the video – it has changed several times over the last two decades in which I have been facilitating this sort of happening. So now I would say that it allows for a very deep experience to happen to people; could call it mystic or ‘moving into the deep ecology of psyche and spirit’…
    I used to think I knew what I was doing, and was quite certain of what I was creating in and with people, now I’m not so sure anymore.
    I ike the metaphor you’re using, ted, about drawing the background into the foreground; it has the merit to avoid mystic and new age lingo…

    I have often used the process of dynamic presencing – formerly calling it energy-work, because I believed I was dealing with energies; now I think I’m cooperating with a field, alive and intelligent – to illustrate our embeddednes in a much greater ‘living field’. And I believed, which now I don’t, that this field – the ‘background’ – was much more important than the foreground.
    But having become a fan of what can be called a phenomenological point of view I’d rather wait a while before using rational or analytical or any other instrument on what is going on there. I’ve never studied, and flunked school when I was 15, so forgive me if I use terms in a non-academic sense; so by a phenomenological stance I mean that I like to honor what I see, feel, taste, intuit, think as such, without drawing conclusions for as long as the phenomenon unfolds, if I can manage…
    When asking participants of this process really being curious, especially people not having done this dynamic presencing before, and not having talked about what they are supposed to experience, so just asking them what they experience you get a multitude of very different answers, from simple enjoyment, to boredom, to feeling that life reveals its essence, to being blown apart etc. From New Agers you get the ‘aura-explanation’ or maybe some stuff about meeting angels, some Buddhists mentioned Prajna (“choiceless engagement”), Hindus talk about Prana to explain what goes on there, and one Christian said that this kind of thing also happens in Pentacostal churches and is ‘the Holy Spirit’ moving…

    But I won’t duck from telling what I think might be going on here: I feel that all of us in such a process co-create this phenomenon together with ‘the living field’ – with an intelligent, rich ‘background’ or ‘inclusion’. I imagine this living field to be akin to an archetype; the living field has a character, a pattern that is active during dynamic presencing, co-creating the ‘extraordinary’ experiences in the participating humans (and maybe other disembodied beings present; don’t want to rule that out as sometimes I do have the strong feeling there are indeed some of these around, participating on whatever level they are on – although I never focus on these, I simply notice. And yes, sometimes I do ‘hear voices’ but I rarely act upon them as it is my conviction that being incarnated is a whole different ball-game than being a discarnate being, so their ‘advice’ is always to be taken cum grano salis.)

    I like the alan watts quote you give, ted, as when I’m really deep in the process there is indeed a very similar sense of not being an agent anymore but simply flowing with the process in its entirity. But this isn’t too amazing as in my hippie-years I’ve had quite some LSD experiences that are akin to alan watts experiences, so these might also somewhat influence my take on the process.

    Now here is an interesting phenomenon I have seen time and again in this dynamic presencing process – romantic personalities that are not so keen on rationalizing get into the ‘deeper dimensions’ much more easily, but later they tend to take my every word about it as gospel; whereas the more rational type takes much longer to flow into the deep, but later is a very good partner for dialogue as to what to make of these experiences.
    Since my seminars are mostly with people seeking for spiritual depth, sense in life and therapeutic happenings, these processes are imagined as a part of this – and they can very well be interpreted like that. So I don’t tell anybody, “What we should learn from this,” or, “What this informs us of.” Over time I’ve become more and more curious to what people themselves make of the experiences. And basically I just listen; it is my experience that when one, who is seen as authoring these experiences by ‘creating the space’ (and whatever I say about co-creation doesn’t make much sense often or is taken as a statement of humility), truly listens to what people say, maybe asking questions to further explore what is being offered, that this listening brings out peoples own wisdom – a wisdom I presume to be there all the time but not often ‘called upon’.

    So in my explorations of the living field, and in dialogue with the people who are having these experiences my video points to I often make it a point that even though for the duration of the process it is good to suspend judgement and ‘see with the heart’ that otherwise it makes no sense to throw away one’s skepticism (I’ve made the Doubting Thomas my patron saint), this is not about discarding logic or the minds abilities to rationalize, analyze and differentiate. We live in a much too complex world to be wanting to do away with any faculty we might have, or need to develop.

    But we also need to feed our soul, see with the eyes of the heart, enjoy a deep dip in spirit, which is what the process of dynamic presencing can provide – and bear with the paradoxes that a multiple view (rational, non-rational etc.) might bring up.
    So I do make it into an important point in all of my seminars in which I use this ‘method’ of dynamic presencing to not do away with any of our faculties; yet for the time of the experiment we will be moving with another form of awareness than the one we habitually use. Not because it is better; actually not because of anything except for our curiosity to explore other dimensions of being human, and maybe even trans-human and transcendent reaches of being. Who knows? And we don’t need to decide what this is to enjoy it and make up our own mind later.

    I absolutely don’t like New Agey ideas and their explanations of such experiments; I actually sometimes feel nausea when I encounter another ‘ego-killer’ or anti-rational person, especially if he or she uses all kinds of methods – ancient and modern – to prove some religious or spiritual point or teaching to be right or is sanctioned by some ‘perennial philosophy’ or whatever. The mystery we call reality is just to wonderous to get stuck with any particular way of seeing things, even though the rational one does have a lot of mertis and is to prefer above anti-rational ones (having a German background I truly learnt what a people once highly regarded as ‘thinkers and poets’ – many of the most famous philosophers came from this nation – can do to the rest of the world once they start to rationalize superiority and other madnesses).
    As I said, St. Thomas is my patron-saint, and if someone thinks they have the truth, than I’de like to poke my fingers in there and feel it, see it, touch it, taste it…. This is, if you like, the basic teaching that goes with fostering happenings of dynamic presencing.

    So I agree that this is “some trip”, it is indeed. Therfore I’m continually working at embedding this process in an understanding – walking the talk – about our response-ability. Having been graced with this art and process I am responseable for finding other processes to help people ‘deal’ with such a potentially dislodging process (and I have with “the language of change” – using some of R. Kegan’s research – with working with “voices” or sub-personalities etc.).

    The character truest to itself becomes eccentric rather than immovably centered, as Emerson defined the noble character of the hero. At the edge, the certainty of borders gives way. We are more subject to invasions, less able to mobilize defenses, less sure of who we really are, even as we may be perceived by others as a person of character. The dislocation of self from center to indefinite edge merges us more with the world, so that we can feel “blest by everything.” (“The Force of Character and the Lasting Life” by James Hillman; page 37)

    The dynamic presencing can and does dislocate the self from the center to an indefinite edge, and thus we merge with the world and are “blest by everything.” This quote puts it in the best way possible, I feel.
    Then learning to (re)locate the ‘self’ wherever the present moment needs it, that is the much higher art that I’m still in the process of learning.

    warmest,

    mushin

  6. In an email I got this interesting comment on this video by ted:

    dear alan and mushin,

    alan, your ‘suggestion’ on restoring harmony in our shared living space parallels my own understanding; i.e;

    “Here I suggest, non-literally, how harmony may be restored, through foregrounding what ‘it’ reduces to background.”

    this recalls to me, mcluhan’s similar observation; that it is not what ‘things do’ but how they induce transformation in our relationships. e.g. it is not that a light brightens up the space we are in, it is that it enables us to do things we could not otherwise do; i.e. it inductively actualizes and shapes our behavioural potentials. meanwhile, by using it to point at things to illuminate what’s out there visually, we are so focused on ‘what’s out there’ that was previously hidden, that we cannot look back in ourselves and see everyone running around with flashlights and shining them on everything to get a better look at things. that is, we are made into voyeurs of our living space dynamic and in the process we occlude the real view of ourselves (our tools of inquiry must be included in our inquiry, and not merely extensions of ourselves that facilitate our inquiry; i.e. we are shaped by our tools as mcluhan says). he also points out that by amplifying one of our senses (e.g. visual as was done by the phonetic alphabet), we effectively amputate the others; e.g. literacy (which was the product of phonetic alphabet and the printing press). hence the ‘talking heads’ where one person is delivering phonetic words that stand for printed words and these phonetic symbols have no significance in themselves until they are given meaning through ‘look-up tables’ in the head of the receiver, so that there is no need for the oral tradition, as it used to, to convey meaning by the sounds, facial expressions, movements of the speaker which emulate the thing being spoken of by non-discursive signalling. if we all agreed on it, the phonetic ‘bleek’ we could define to mean a ‘charging herd of elephants’. when in the jungle and feeling vibrations underfoot, mr. literacy could open his jaw slightly like the animated puppets on tv and utter ‘bleek’ which would suffice to inform his puppet mates who would blink once and then disperse to a safe place. so, the inversion that puts background where foreground was and vice versa must not lead to a division by zero (amputation of the foreground senses)

    mushin, i see the same sort of inversion in your video clip where the background ‘field’ in which we are included is brought into the foreground and the actions become the precipitate of the inductive influence of the field, rather than ‘being deliberate and rationally driven from out of the interior of some ‘ghost-in-the-machine-of-‘sovereign-being’’. (mcluhan used to call ‘utterance’ ‘outerance’ to capture the directional aspect).

    meanwhile, my intuition reacts against the venue for your experiment since the field is informing us of our unique situation within the evolving space of the continuing present. if it is not so informing us, what or who is it and what should we learn from it? the superficial lesson is that ‘the field is there’ (the background is ‘not empty’) and it is more powerful than the foreground material kinetics that we have been acculturated to ‘put first’ in our approach to understanding. but is our material self to then be left flapping in the breeze of this newly sensed ‘field’ with its transcendent influence over us? (does bringing the field up from the background to the foreground have to imply ‘amputation’ of our foreground senses?) if we allow our former foreground senses to be amputated, could there be ‘division by zero’; i.e. could the noise in our minds give (spurious) shape to this powerful field-force, … could we begin to ‘hear voices’ informing our behaviour, that we take to be the voice of the field but which is from thoughts that we have tried to erase but which won’t go away or thoughts from someone else that are unintentionally (or intentionally) becoming the voice of the field? (as is often the case in cults).

    i speak of this because of my experience through the experience of persons close to me who have been temporarily reshaped in a very discordant way by errant shaping influences coming into play during these periods where we discard our shells of rational authorship of behaviour and dance naked in the field.

    my thought, which is not meant to intrude into your work but is simply in the spirit of idea-sharing, is that there might be benefit from a venue for ‘dancing naked in the field’ that is natural (as contrasted with ‘normal’ as is the box-space of a room in a building) and with natural hazards in it (e.g. streams, trees, minor precipices, brambles or other hazards) so that some natural grounding context is available (i.e. the natural evolving universe is included in the context and the field force that now transcends the material individual is not free to take on just any ‘voice’ that may lurk in the subconscious/imagination).

    i am reminded here of alan watts LSD trips where one also becomes one with the evolutionary-field dynamic; i.e. the one thing that is retained when one discards one’s self-center idea and behaviour authoring drive is one’s relationship with the natural universe that one is included in. the eyes remain open and the person remains ‘in the natural universe’ but the meaning of self and universe transforms, the disconnect between the two being ‘healed’; i.e.

    “The sensation that events are happening of themselves, and that nothing is making them happen and that they are not happening to anything, has always been a major feature of my experiences with LSD. It is possible that the chemical is simply giving me a vivid realization of my own philosophy, though there have been times when the experience has suggested modifications of my previousthinking. (1) But just as the sensation of subject-object polarity is confirmed by the transactional psychology of Dewey and Bentley, so the sensation of events happening “of themselves” is just how one would expect to perceive a world consisting entirely of process. Now the language of science is increasingly a language of process—a description of events, relations, operations, and forms rather than of things and substances. The world so described is a world of actions rather than agents, verbs rather than nouns, going against the common-sense idea that an action is the behavior of some thing, some solid entity of “stuff.” But the commonsense idea that action is always the function of an agent is so deeply rooted, so bound up with our sense of order and security, that seeing the world to be otherwise can be seriously disturbing. Without agents, actions do not seem to come from anywhere, to have any dependable origin, and at first sight this spontaneity can be alarming. In one experiment it seemed that whenever I tried to put my (metaphorical) foot upon some solid ground, the ground collapsed into empty space. I could find no substantial basis from which to act: my will was a whim, and my past, as a causal conditioning force, had simply vanished. There was only the present conformation of events, happening. For a while I felt lost in a void, frightened, baseless, insecure through and through Yet soon I became accustomed to the feeling, strange as it was. There was simply a pattern of action, of process, and this was at one and the same time the universe and myself with nothing outside it either to trust or mistrust. And there seemed to be no meaning in the idea of its trusting or mistrusting itself, just as there is no possibility of a finger’s touching its own tip.” — Alan Watts, The New Alchemy

    mushin, these are just thoughts off the top of my head elicited by watching your very interesting video clip.

    but i do believe that putting the background where the foreground now is (in our acculturated way of understanding) is ‘going to be a trip’ that is not without some risks, and that we need to develop some skills of ‘safe passage’ for our trips that reduces these risks wherever possible.

    regards,

    ted

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