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Stan Grof/day one.. continued..

By moda00, Mar 26, 2008 | |
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  1. moda00
    The rest of Grof's first lecture- wouldn't all fit in one blog post..

    Nature of the transformation? How to pursue?

    *Cannot reach INNER peace or happiness through EXTERNAL pursuits.
    Also abolish the thinking "we're ok, but some bad apples spoil it" etc. (ex. as Bush's "people of God" vs. "axis of evil" and "solution" is to eradicate.) This only divides.
    Difficult to understand war, Holocaust, genocide, etc. without understanding that there is some of this in all humanity (-but can be addressed productively-)

    Depth Psychology and Culture:
    The pioneers of depth psych motivated by clinical concerns- treating disorders, psychotherapy, etc.
    But is becoming seen as means to obtain insights to illuminate the larger cultural issues and context- religion, art, etc.

    Freud's "Mass Psychology" -suspend superego and crowd actsthinks as one, or take on superego of leader (war, etc.)
    Jung's Collective Unconscious.. Archetypal dynamics factor prominently..
    History of archetypes- first thought to be hardwired on a biological/individual level, now thought to be superordinated in reality and can influence large groups

    Consciousness Evolution and Human Survival:
    Otto Rank- building/developing weapons and houses/architecture as way to force back into womb- PROTECTION and deep drive to return to this state
    Reaction to passage thru birth canal- pain, stress- fury is deeply embedded and must be dealt with

    Discusses violence and crises through the centuries as they've developed..

    Photo- Mahayana Buddhist God of Death- wheel of death and rebirth
    -Pretas- hungry ghosts with pinhole mouths- archetype of greed
    -Center- 3 animals are 3 poisons: pig=ignorance, snake=anger, rooster=lust/desire/attachment

    Holotropic States and Ignorance:
    Discovery of repressed traumas is important- problems with authority, sexual probs, etc. stem from this- healing potential or reliving and processing, completion of the birth process and resolution of those memories (sub/unconscious until acknowledged)
    Counter ignorance by gaining new information about the world around us- plants, animals, people, etc.

    AVIDYA (Fundamental Ignorance) is countered by PRAJNAPARAMITA (Transcendental Wisdom)
    Wisdom of the nature of reality and own nature- Annata as discovery of normally hidden numinous dimensions of reality- experiences that cannot be detected or measured scientifically but are essential
    Learn that the material world is a play of consciousness (mental/physical) and that "self" is not separate or distinct when it comes down to it, but simply part of the whole.
    *Holotropic states as tools to dispel Avidya/Ignorance*

    Roots of Violence:
    Sourced in animal instinct? Darwin- evolution, survival of the fittest; Morris- the naked ape; Dawkins/Wilson-sociobio. explanations- a selfish gene; and McLean- a triune brain with reptilian, mammalian, and neocortical segments- these are all of the view of humans retaining "animal instinct" as the roots of the destructive expressions like violence.

    Erich Fromm-> "Anatomy of Human Destructiveness"
    Bio. theories completely inadequate. Human aggression is malignant and has no parallels in the animal kingdom (where such acts are not spontaneous or emotion-based, and occur only in predictable ways when necessary for survival, protection of resources, etc. that are directly linked to survival, etc.) Human violence is very different in nature and not a good parallel.

    New Insights:
    Causes acknowledged as complex- historical, economic, social, cultural, political, military, biological, etc. all are discussed or given credit in some way except for the psychospiritual- this is not often acknowledged. (and should be)

    Psychohistorical Research:
    -Realms of Human Unconscious (1975) found that violent imagery related to wars (2nd matrix) and revolutions (3rd matrix) accompany reliving perinatal experiences
    -Lloyd de Mause- a founder of psycho-history and NY psychoanalyst- examined 17 situations preceding wars/revolutions and found links between childhood experiences as the type of conflict (war/revolution), traits of leader, etc.
    -Sam Keene's "Faces of the Enemy" finds stereotypes to portray enemy, imagery similar to paintings done during holotropic rebirth experiences
    -Analysis of traditional and unusual historical sources- caricatures, jokes, dreams, side comments, slips of the tongue, doodles/scribbles on political documents/drafts, etc.
    -Commonly turns from peaceful to violent overnight, also found much imagery from birth- "enemy closing in," fear of not having enough space/air, idea of dark cave/abyss/treacherous pools, etc. Also common language to describe proposed solution and results- end of the tunnel, lead to the light, we can all breathe freely, etc.

    Political Exploitation of Birth Symbolism:
    Freud's demagogue as a great Oedipal figure
    VS. de Mause's "garbage collector" -We all carry this conflict/trauma unconsciously- these leaders carry more, and closer to surface so can connect with this force- this surfaces on a collective scale when the strong influence of a leader who is under the strong influence of these past experiences- gives people permission to express this and direct it towards something tangible.

    How to respond? Learn to decode "war as birth" symbolism and become immune, realize what is happening- de Mause says this is imperative in this movement (connection to Richard Tarnas' (sp?) material re: collective astrological transits)

    Examples of this are as follows:
    Samuel Adams- "the child of independence is now struggling for birth (American Revolution)
    Nikita Krushtiev to Kennedy- "let's not...like blind moles fight in an underground tunnel"
    Kurusu- "The birth of the child was imminent" (re: Pearl Harbor)
    Condoleeza Rice- [The things happening in Lebanon] "...are birth pangs of a new Middle East"

    Perinatal Symbolism in Nuclear Warfare:
    Hydrogen bomb= "Teller's baby," "conceived," "carried," Lawrence Livermore Labs as mom/dad
    Carol Cohn- Sex and Death in the Rational World of the Defense Intellectuals -motif of male birth, male creation/sexuality as imperative psych. forces underlying nuclear war
    Ernest Lawrence- "Congrats to the new parents" "Can't wait to see the new arrival" (to physicists working on atom bomb)
    Los Alamos- atom bomb as "Oppeheimer's baby"
    R. Feyman, telegram- "Baby expected on (date)"
    "Labor pains continue round the clock until the job is done." re: atomic bomb testing in Nevada, U.S.
    Henry Stimson- "Baby satisfactorily born" (successful atomic test)
    Names/genders assigned
    Maintenance discussed as "nurturance"

    Sexual Symbolism:
    "hardness," "release/orgasm," "enter hole/canal," missiles as phallic symbols, etc.

    Transpersonal Roots of Aggression:
    Islam- spread by "fire and sword," Jihad, etc.
    Christianity- crusades, sacrifice life to/for Jesus, "warriors" of God
    Jung- found in decade before start of WWII dream content of German patients- Ragnarok- Doom of Gods
    Hitler- symbols of nordic supremacy, adapted old symbols- swastika, solar eagle (superficial power of archetypes/mythology)
    1st atomic test- "trinity"
    Oppenheimer "I am become Death, shatterer of worlds"

    Biological Roots...
    Freud- greed as sublimated oral needs gone unsatisfied, money relates to anal fixation, sex addiction- Oedipus/Electra

    Perinatal Roots...
    Incomplete gestalt of birth results in linear orientation towards life (Born anatomically but NOT emotionally)
    "Auto-projecting" of unfinished birth- drive towards future- "rat race" lifestyle and strategy of existence
    Collective level- pursuit of unlimited growth but never satisfied- some good analogies/quotes: Either one sets a goal and cannot or does not reach it, thinking they are unhappy because they haven't reached the goal, or one reaches their goal and finds they are still unhappy, so thinks that the goal was wrong and tries again. Also: like "getting to the top of he ladder and finding it standing against the wrong roof." Lifestyle like a train- linear, vs. like surfing- non-linear, going with the waves, no set destination. (Also, relates to earlier point that external accumulation=internal peace/wholeness)

    Ken Wilber's Atman Project- True nature is divine. We have lost connection with it, but not completely. It is impossible to regain our divinity within the limits of the body, ego, and material world. Only the experience of our divine nature in a non-ordinary state of consciousness can s'atisfy our craving.

    Conclusions: With the help of these states we can:
    Achieve more with less effort
    Achieve things in the context of both self-good and the greater-good without contradiction and not at the expense of anyone (-> ecological sensitivity, planetary/global/universal citizenship, etc. result)

    *Realization that cannot harm others without also haring self- interconnectedness.

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