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Psychoanalysis: breath & balance

This is important stuff.

Maybe, as important as anything can be moving us toward self guided health care, and ever evolving toward emotional maturity. The mental gymnastics that the ego or conscious mind puts us through is counter-stabilized  with breath and balance.

The instincts do not remain in the shadow of the object when the body is consulted for sensations. But that really only works from the position of stillness. Getting to still point with mantra and breath is a fundamental aspect of getting to health. Of course, life also happens between sessions of any practice. It is the balance we learn before hand that steadies us in a moment of body-pain. Sometime our own body pain, or even the body pain of others we live with can activate the lack of balance (mental, emotional & physical).

The return of the repressed and the return of the repetition compulsion activates and ignites fear which then takes our breath out of balance and everything feels wrong.

With the crown of your head high, your shoulders relaxed and a deep breath filling all of your lungs, slowly let out more breath than you took in. Breath like you are conducting the figure 8.

 

Why?  Because a well analyzed life includes a connection with the body-unconscious where our ancestry, experiences and memories are stored like in a freezer until some heat, some return of the repressed ignites the muscles, cells, bones of sensation and demands of us that we pay attention.  The needle on the gage reads low energy.  Going too much further without replenishing and we risk running out of gas only half way to our destination.

 

Below is an example of a meditation–it is constructed of non-mentated gestures and lines that I filled in with color and mood.  Well-being is a state of no effort because it takes as its starting point a moment of stillness. Therefore,  a better chance of leading to clarity than if we attempt to move through chaos….contour-and-gesture-1

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Thoughts on Christopher Bollas’s, “Generational Consciousness”*

Version 2

My grandmother left Canada with hope. The potato famine and poverty of Canadian farming pushed them south at the end of the 19th century. Her generation came here with opportunities to cultivate, and with full knowledge that she was leaving the previous generation behind, a loss taken to ensure survival. There must have been great strength garnered from the courage it took to migrate, leaving family, home, and all that is familiar behind for better prospects.

They arrived in America at a time of great innovation and rapid advances. There were no airplanes, no cars, electricity was a new technology when they got here in the late 1800’s by their new millennium

My parents, on the other hand, arrived to their 20’s and, saw the failure of that generation to be able to sustain the progress. They arrived to their generational subculture at a world of a Great Depression, soup lines, stock market crash and a most devastating world war, culminating by the dropping of two atomic bombs.

My folks inherited the failed dreams of their immediate past. I was born in a time of prosperity. Though my family was poor, the world felt promising. We were the generation that could have its cake and eat it too. We inherited the hope of peace, but just as your generation arrived in the world, our radical peace movement and hippie communes failed to sustain itself, and the cycle started over again where like my mother you were born into a generational failed dream. Generations are defining,  we shape the generation and the generation shapes us.  We bring individual goals and ambitions to the world but in addition to our individual view of our times, the times that we live in have a kind of sociological perspective that become a part of our psychic experience.

Bollas points out that it is not until young people are in their 20’s that they begin to identify with the cultural norms of their generation. At about this age, children begin to see themselves as belonging to the future generation. They are accomplishing a transition between where they came from and where they are going in the outside world and in the subjective world of the self.
Christopher Bollas says this:  “The sense of isolation can be severe, but solace may be found through recognizing that he or she is part of a mass sub-culture, a new adolescent subculture forming out of the abyss between generations.” When you are exit-ing your family of origin; and at the same time emerging into an adult, the process is almost entirely an unconscious one.  The experience is as much about loss as it is about forward movement.

The norms of the New Generation must be incorporated or the child becoming an adult fails the transition process and begins to doubt their ability to become capable participants in the New World order.  When the anxiety to separate from one generation is difficult to tolerate, the individuation of the child suffers. This process then settles itself into the consciousness as a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.

The massive difference between generations is not perceived except in retrospect. In hindsight we radically recognize the difference between the 1950s and the 1960s; yet, 1958 at the time did not look all that different from 1962.  Likewise, if you were born in the 60’s you have a memory of your parents generation and a sense of belonging and remembering first- hand the 70’s and the 80’s. The future decades all seem about the same save for a few technological advances that may stand out.

Christopher Bollas seems to be saying that there is a collective consciousness that assigns us to the generation that we belong too.  If a child assigns himself to the wrong (previous) generation because of fear of separation, success in the new generation becomes more difficult.

To this very difficult but natural set of complexes, we can add, in some cases; the generation that you came from makes it difficult for the transition to run smoothly. A consciousness of differences between generational norms allows a parent to assist rather than hamper the transitional process.  On the other hand, jealousy of youth, or fear of separating in the parent can retard the child’s development. The child may fear reprisal and abandonment from the parent’s generation and then attempts to remain the child of the previous generation rather than an adult in his or her own generation.

The consequences of not moving forward, of not letting go, obscure the possibilities of the future, and security and a false sense of safety are sought to mitigate the affects of fear and loneliness.

Christopher Bollas has written a bold new sociological take on the psychoanalytic process of separation and individuation.  His essay goes on to describe, in beautifully written language, the multitude of facts, fictions and symbols that enter the consciousness of a human during this delicate, but at time violent attempt to become a self….

From readings in, On Being a Character, 1992, “Generational Consciousness”.


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Modern Psychoanalysis as an Applied Craft

 

The only thing that makes the difference in the way you feel right now is the thought that you are thinking right now. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got; there are joyful people with no money, and there are unhappy people with lots of money. How you feel is about how you are allowing the Source that is You to flow. So when we talk about the Art of Allowing, we’re talking about the art of living; about the art of thriving; about the art of clarity. We’re talking about the art of being who you really are.*

—Abraham

I post quotations from Ester Hicks from time to time, as I do from Eckhart Tolle, and Buddhist Spiritual Leaders from around the world. I post these because I am contemplating this post-modern, psycho-linguistic approach to guiding people toward a sort of epiphany or paradigm shift without disturbing the original canvas.

The post-modern, psychoanalytic approach to guidance is shaped differently in its methods and structure of guidance; but it guides nonetheless.  Psychosomatic patients or patients with severe symptoms frequently seek out psychoanalysis because it is an intelligible way of listening to the body as well as the mind.   The resistances to healing the source is the backbone of clinical intervention in this particular modern analytic approach to philosophy.  Insight and paradigm shift are facilitated, but at the pace that the patient designs.

There is a sense of human knowing that has an element of biological determinism attached to its scientific findings. New age people and science experiment with the same current of “electro, neuro, pathways and currents of energy” that is the bedrock of cellular intelligence.  Cellular intelligence is ancestry manifested in who we are.  The character of human-ness is born into the organism, like the character of bird is born into a bird.  Part of this character is a propensity to linguistic acquisition and  performance.  Have we divided from the animal kingdom by having a born-in propensity for language or have we established ourselves in a higher order of consciousness within that animal kingdom.  Where we stand at the beginning of the 21st century most of the deep intellectual arguments against evolution have been essentially settled.  We appear, to most scientist and artist alike, to be a continuum and a oneness with the natural laws of the universe as we know them to this point in time.

It is like the climate change issue that currently faces humankind. All sides experience the facts, but interpreting the facts is where we find it hard to tell the difference between illusion and logic. If someone is searching literature, of any kind, that person is in pursuit of something very precious: knowledge about the limits, boundaries and possibilities of the human spirit.

Once having reconciled with the supreme hippocratic code of “first do no harm,” we can begin a study of both objective and subjective facts as they present themselves to the researcher/analysts from both the external and the internal experiences of being human. The hippocratic code applies itself equally to science as it does to philosophy.
We have, very simply, a theory, a research tool, and a clinical laboratory in which to practice the art and science of psychoanalysis. Add to this an interested student and you begin to have a program of study that ought to be able to establish itself well in Liberal Arts education.

The establishment of psychoanalytic theory to education is not new. A learning setting is best accomplished in a circle, a community of searching individuals from a variety of backgrounds, interested in psychoanalysis as a theory, and a research tool, as well as its “purpose” for its being: clinical intervention.

This modern psychoanalytic course of study is not the work of evaluative psychology. The fact of humans studying humans is as established a position as is man’s inhumanity to man.  It is my contention that this education is best achieved as a craft where both the art and the science are taught at the knees of a role model.  It is an apprentice, journeymen, master model of psycho-education.

 

Supervision of scientific information is an important step in the evolution of learning as one applies him or her self to an understanding of conscious and unconscious manifestations of the human thought process and the human emotion and their connection “someplace” between stress and the immune system.

As I become the necessary instrument or tool of the research process, I am hurled into another’s world and  I become part of what is being studied. The objective and the subjective are assigned the broad categories they require, and the unidentifiable space where material and etherial meet can not, for lack of a same language, establish a truce long enough to understand the Other without unpacking and reviewing and discussion. Supervision and consultation become a matrix of veracity. Reason and emotion are two different languages of the human condition, but, knowledge applied in one state does not automatically translate to a different state of mind. Reason and emotion are frequently seen as opposing forces.  Fusion of these two elements has conducted humans to a state of perpetual assessment. Who we are, and where we are going, sets the parameters for our desires and our aggression. Evolution places us in the animal kingdom.   We are first and foremost biological organisms.  Who we are from the colors of our eyes to the shape of our feet and the size of our skulls is pre-determined.  Even the set up of our mind is a manifestation of biology.

Freud knew this. The history of humanity is among Freud’s greatest passions, his salon was littered with scatterings from archeology. He once described the access to the human unconscious as similar to an archeological dig, you must be very careful to preserve the object as it is unearthed, and approach it with the most gentle of confidences.

Psychoanalysis, Buddhism, and New Age Consciousness gurus form a formidable triangle of human dynamics. They each operate from a position of not-knowing and move toward enlightenment as it feels itself to be correct. The human instinct is a keen assessment tool not to be undermined by the ego and the more rational components of human perception and knowledge.

The evolution of consciousness includes a long history of biological re-generations before it began to establish a spot light on itself and begin to wonder for the first time, “who am i watching and how am I watching when I am watching myself”.

on evolution

MINDFULNESS in PSYCHOANALYSIS
albert dussault
aldussault@gmail.com
401 447 5765


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poetry in motion

Leonard Cohen has a way of summing things up for me.  Not much more to be said about a life well lived, albeit, very heavy at times; and often, more mindless than mindful.

First there was the meditation involved with creating the template–totally mindless.  I was absorbed in the quality of the feel, as the pen and ink dug into the paper and at times seems to effortlessly glide over the page so that a single stroke felt like it went clear across the pad and down the center to the very bottom of the page.

Then there were those comments when what to write went blank.  It went blank for months.  Gibberish. Then one day the journal was open to this unfinished page and Cohen’s meditation looked like it would barely fit on the page but it did. I thought it might sit well as an edited image.  It comes together as text-and-image and combines a number of moods while fulfilling its mission to be published.

Serenity is the outcome, but it seems too far away when I am carrying a grand-piano down a mountain of theory.  I am sitting with a young girl, fair and beautiful as she crawls to the couch.  I almost do not want to let her go there; but I do, and she emerges walking, maybe a half-inch taller than when she arrived; but how much growth can we really expect in an hour.  I hope she waters a few of the seeds awakened while we sat by the sea, chatting and untangling backlashes from yesterday’s fishing lines.  The wind seems to blow westerly in every season, and to every season we attach a new moment adding them up with an abacus left dusty besides the slide-rule, made of wood and brass. But here, I am the instrument of research.

Her life opened like a book on our laps.  I don’t count the way I use to. I don’t count on things and other objects–no, I think on myself now. And, I  thank myself graciously for the compassionate care that I often find capable of giving to myself.

I settle into that place of relative silence and slowly she enters, tentative at first, willing, ambivalent and scared.  But, she is strong and she does not want to let on that she is so vulnerable that she does not think she can take one more step.  Exhaustion and fear and insomnia and disease and helplessness and hopelessness will devour her if she takes even one more step toward life.  The piano is too heavy to carry.

She is addicted to the tune, that is how I know she will come back.
poetry in motion in brown


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An Invitation to Deliberate Discourse

En-visioning the future & living in the present
while hearing the ghosts of our ancestors speak
to us of wisdom from the soul, these are a few of
our most revered human characteristics.

The ego gives us an organizing principle by which to categorize
and interpret the cosmos. So busy have we become
evolving our kind, that the source of our energy
is forgotten hidden in the shadow of the object.

cracked sun light

Everything that I have deliberately sought has
found me in juxtaposition to who “I” am. “I” as
a conduit of perception fools my mind into thinking
that “I” am alone in who is me.
But, the “I” has a self that is wider and deeper in
Consciousness then is the “I” alone. The “I” needs
our antiquity and it needs the histories
of our yesterdays to accomplish becoming the creative
being that, we are attempting to cultivate.

A spiritual humanism is one view of the totality
of self & I. The very fact that I can hold a
conversation with myself points to the ambiguity
of the human condition. Language as the vehicle
of evolution has run off rapidly into categorical
cubicles that function to protect the growth of
the species, and in so doing has often turned
against the same organism it professes to protect.

Perception from the ego’s position includes all the
rational and emotive perspectives on the world, our
universe. But the wider self brings the dimension
of unconscious symbolism to consciousness. The
analytics of the subjective provides not only the
emotions as an intrusion into the psyche, but provides
a wider and deeper meaning that geminates from
A position of source. The greater self in which the ego
swims is enlightened rather than knowledgeable. The
deeper meanings are encoded messages from the body
informing the psyche only if the self can over-power the
ego who always has first dibs and commentary on every
and all situations.

Our deeper selves need to be invited into deliberate
discourse with our personas. This dialogue brings
forth a merger of enlightenment and knowledge.


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Making the Body Conscious: Like a River Flows

IMG_5901

Understanding is a means toward acceptance.  Herein lies the center of our subjectivity and the center of our serenity.  Enjoying a deep sense of mindful breathing is one tool that we humans have to connect with the source of our mentations and our emotions.

Breathing is our first experience of life in the world beyond the womb.  Mindful breathing is our best attempt at gaining both understanding and acceptance as our mind grows toward maturity and impermanence.  Neither of these concepts are reversible and we either flow or rage toward these inevitable ends.

Because breathing is central to the experience of life making its unconscious, autonomic components conscious is our first step into the wildly active world of the human subjective. Conscious breathing is an experience that brings us closer to the primal sense of the subjective.

As we mature, we bump into life’s many intrusions and obstacles, some so powerful that they derail us from our mission:  to live in peace with ourselves and to the extent possible with those in our world.  Conscious breathing allows us to interpret the natural pace of our lives.  Turning our attention to our breath can add a pause when we are racing, our can add a nudge when we are lost in a status quo.

Breath like a river flows……….


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Group as a Community Garden

If you have a supportive sangha, it’s easy to nourish your bodhicitta, the seeds of enlightenment. If you don’t have anyone who understands you, who encourages you in the practice of the living dharma, your desire to practice may wither. Your sangha—family, friends, and copractitioners—is the soil, and you are the seed. No matter how vigorous the seed is, if the soil does not provide nourishment, your seed will die. A good sangha is crucial for the practice. Please find a good sangha or help create one.
From Cultivating the Mind of Love, © 2008 by Thich Nhat Hanh.
complete article at http://www.tricycle.com/insights/fertile-soil-sangha

a garden

Community is a necessary stage in the progress of self actualization. To be actualized is much like being well-analyzed, the process allows us to move toward our selves in a more open and intimate manner. The Sangha or the group is a family of supporters that we can rely on. In the case of the group it is a replacement for a family that is either not available or non-existing.

Like the sentence above suggests, we can’t do it alone and find the kind of environment that feeds us when we are in our lower-most positions. Group and community remind us, when our mind wanders into a dark place, that there are others among us who know all to well the dark place and from their experience they help guide us back toward the light.

I appreciate the word cultivation and the metaphor of the garden because it is grounded in the material of life.

Life is messy. Life can induce chaos. Life is a divided experience in which we think and feel with different aspects of our mind/body matrix. Knowing both sides of the equation is necessary for a balanced algebra.

Groups assist with encouraging balance and encouraging health as the place from which we make our individual decisions.