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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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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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Me & My Dad: a selfie

559x343

 

What are the bridges from low-self worth to the real self.

The real self, the authentic self is equally neurotic in grandiosity as he or she is in self-defeat.  Fearing that we are not enough we strive to meet an ideal that we create for ourselves.  This ideal is filled with over-compensation and is therefore as unreliable as our fearing self in relation to giving us the feeling that we are enough and therefore prideful in who we are.

The chronic question of who we want to be over-shadows the who we are in such a way as to blur reality.  In the state of chronic striving we miss the importance of the nuances of life and miss, as well, the feeling of warmth that we get from the experience of life.

Moving from cold toward our real selves is a movement toward warmth–life is warm.  Death is cold.  In this equation it is our task to live as well as we can within the boundaries of human limitations.  We can want to be better, we can want to learn a new skill, we can want more things and even a happier life; we just can not want as a chronic condition.

At some point in the process of a psychoanalysis we face who we are with certainty.  This is not the end of the process.  While at the still point of facing ourselves it becomes important to make the choice that is most comfortable with the self…This is fundamentally different from what we hear about in the media and what we grew up believing.

The comfortable choice allows for the thoughts to come from the ego, but does not buy into the idea that the ego’s voice is the only alternative.  Listening more closely to our body, the anxiety that arises, the lethargy that may impose itself; or the somatic complaints that we may have, need to be heard.  Because these sensations are often un pleasant we at times try to ignore and dismiss the feeling.  When we chose this option the voices of the body come back in a louder and stronger manner.

A question oriented toward self-understanding is the better option.  What am I trying to tell myself with the activation of this anxiety?  Am I on target?  Am I aiming for well-being?  These questions posed to the anxiety can shed light on an otherwise very dark place within our subjective self.

If we are aiming to please others rather than aiming for our well-being first we will lose focus and the lack of clarity actually exacerbates the power of the anxiety or the power of the somatic complaint.

It is important to remember that the idealized version of ourselves is as important to dismantle as is the condition of low self-confidence.

 

Below is an article written by a counselor in Texas.  It is short and it is accurate in its mission.

Happy reading.

 

 

http://www.bettertherapy.org/blog/low-self-esteem/


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All Roads Lead to Rome: the force behind a wish that activates the human capacity to manifest

Good Morning Page:
I have been very lazy.  I have been on a vacation of sorts and I am awakening to the idea
that I am ready to go back to work. I wonder about a life after retirement and if I could really
do that without suffering the pains of outlandish boredom.  I think that I can find myself tied to obligation
in a way that a dog finds himself wrapped around a tree, he knows there is a way out but just
can not reason his way to freedom.
Such is the daily dilemma of existence.  We can envision a freedom, but allowing ourselves to have that
freedom is a different story than the simpler envisioning.
 moss
You see, perspective is one of the functions of the ego.
However, because every function of the ego is also a defense against death, it does function to give-up a clue about the landscape of life as we live it and as we see it.  The old spiritual idea that we know all that we need to know to fulfill our purpose here on earth is an adage that appears to be holding true in a secular society.  There is more than an afterlife that can induce morality.  We are apparently wired to higher instincts.
As we go through this journey, whirling about in space on a small ball of molted ash that has been fortunate enough to have an atmosphere, we can stop to ask questions; or if we prefer, we can let circumstances push us to and fro.  Life can looks a bit like a shopper in a pedestrian mall.  The perceiving-organism waltzes from shinny object to shinny object looking for the “je ne sais quoi”.
The decision to advance through life letting circumstances move you is not so unlike advancing through life rationally attempting to find answers and attempting to control what experiences you have.  From the outside both lives will appear to be on a trajectory from birth to death (1886 -1960).  Both lives are perfectly normal.
(1886 – 1960)  You see those numbers.  They are arbitrary.  What is really important in that little symbolic sequence that starts this sentence is this:  The dash ( – ).  Yup! what is important in that symbolic sequence is the dash between the numbers.  Where we come from and where we are going is a very limited question.  It has to fit between the parenthesis or else it is a vision, or perhaps, an hallucination or a distortion, or even an intellectualization or a denial.
Your life will have a trajectory weather you give it one or you allow one to develop.  The trajectory of life is guarded by the defenses that the body armor, the egoic construction of defenses, develop while growing in the organism.  Our ego is not a static object like a vase that we fill, or half-fill.  Our ego is a growing organ every bit as important as the ever growing liver, kidney, heart and lungs and brain and so on.  We were born with a burgeoning ego.  It is our task not to kill this ego, not to hide or pretend that it is not there; rather it is our task to master this ego.  If we do not, it will master us.
An Aside
In order to go much further in this essay we have to stop and remind ourselves, again, that as human-being we possess a divided mind.  Both in anatomy and biology as well as in psychoanalysis and physics.  The human being is of two minds.  The earliest of these minds is really the body mind.  It awakens first.  It begins its function in the organism even before birth.  The heart of the fetus, having connected to the brain of the fetus begins to develop a mind.  It is like the trinity, the father, the son and the holy ghost.  The heart and the brain together create the mind which is really a metaphor for the complexities of chemical and physical and hormonal activities that begin to take place in the human being around the time of conception.
The mind is not one thing.  The mind is a complexity of operations that occur through-out the brain/body matrix and never stops functioning. It functions autonomically and in tandem with all the cells of the body.  We are essentially a chemical factory.
Aside over
 
Back to our story about the ego.  We left it back there with the idea that we must master the ego or it will master us.  It is no coincidence that we are using the term “master” because when it comes to our ego, if left to its own devises, it will master us and in some cases will master us in a manipulative, and even sadistic fashion.
There is a misconception that the ego has a conscience.  It does not.  What the ego has is revenge, rational maneuvers, guilt, fear and a ton of ambivalence, to name a few of its qualities.  When we take the low road and let the ego direct our lives we become at mercy to its myriad of defenses.  We become hurt that a friend forgot us, we become angry that the car next to us at the red light looks menacing, and we become convinced that we are in some competition with this person who we instantly hate because of how he glanced at us with indifference.  The ego is set on the default position to compete, that has been its major function through evolution.  It has been programed to survive as the fittest.  This insures its posterity on our spinning ball of molted ash.
But what if we do not accept the C E O position of the ego.  What if instead of just going along with the rules and regulations of our predictable ego, we were to check in with the other half of the divided mind that has been sitting there pretty much idle — looking more like a bed of moss than anything with force.
It is easy to let the ego have it way with us.  In many ways being the servant to the Lord of the Manor is more defined.  It is an “easier” position than comes with being Lord of the Manor.  I am realizing recently that i would have fit in to post feudal society very well  if I had been a Lord.  “Yes, my Lord, No, my Lord….anything you need My Lord……”  I might have function equally well as a page to a handsome warrior or as the court’s poet laureate.
What I am saying is there is more than one trajectory that can work for us.  There is more than one “pre-chosen love-object” already out there in the universe reading itself to meet us.  What we do with the “dash” between the numbers is pretty much up to how much energy we are willing to invest to making this life look the way we want it to.  And many path are right.  All roads lead to Rome.
MAKING PEACE
Life can throw such chaos our way that we become automatic at pitching it back.  And, life does not have to be automatic.  We do not have to show up to every argument ready to fight.  In our best of conditions we show up at conflict with a genuine desire to study the situation, think about the problem it is causing for us; and then attempting to consult with the bed of moss that lies still just under the surface of the sea of consciousness, we look for a new and improved way of solving the problem.
The ego is our default position, our default perspective, if you will.  The wider instinct that emanate from the heart/body matrix is a quieter, much less intrusive aspect of our mind.  But unlike the ego that will insert itself long before we ask it to, the baser instincts of the heart have to be deliberately invited into consciousness.  That velvety, deep green moss just beneath the surface of consciousness is God.  When we instruct ourselves to go off for a search of this holy-grail, we enter an unchartered void, almost dark with secrets and answers, but so not visible without the excavation that is necessary for the heart-instincts to reveal themselves.
It is easier to be a slave than it is to be a master, there is no question about that.  And to take a vacation from time to time and put ourselves in the hands of a cruise director can be charming, and alluring.  But to live by the paradigm that we are forever being conducted by one slice of perception while ignoring the other is not fun. I would add it is also not safe.
The ego is not alone in wanting to survive.  We have heart felt instincts that are primitive and encrusted through antiquity.  Our instinctual self also wants to survive, but in addition to “simple” survival–existence; the instincts are the source of our drives, our libidinal motivation–the force behind a wish that activates the human capacity to manifest if we are to dove-tail notions from the laws of attraction philosohpy.
Tapping the instincts can not occur simultaneous to tapping the ego.  We must be prepared to separate and to individuate from the ego in order to be able to go deliberately searching for notions that the ego does not essentially concern itself with.  The higher order of feeling and sensation, the location in us that is activated when we are in a state of Grace, a state of Joy or when we are entangled with enthusiasm –this location in the human spirit is called consciousness.
We can tap our consciousness, like we can tap water.  And Like water, the instincts are pure, authentic not enhanced by projections or defenses of any kind.  When we are in the realm of our consciousness that is separate from the ego we feel a safety and a security that we know what we need to know, and that we know what we need to do in order to address the chaos (large, overwhelming feelings or sensations).  There is a peacefulness to the instincts that is not present in the ever anxious ego.
There is a quiet, like a deep in a forest quiet  that slows down the organism to a reasonable hum. The chatter of the linguistic ego telling you what to do, and what you have to do, should do,  and why you have to do it, and how to accomplish it in such a way that you will win………disappears down to a whisper and eventually a hum when we deliberately invite the instincts to consciousness.  The words disappear.  Linguistic conceptualizations disappear and instead we are greeted by clumps of sweet, damp moss–voiceless and even somewhat pretty; but, voiceless!
Entering the quiet can be a daunting experience for those of us Type A’s that have run our lives racing from one gusto to another.  In fact from a distance paradise can appear very boring.  We have all heard people say that singing in heaven with the angels will be boring.  I get that.  But the perspective is off.  Paradise is to our making and it is served to us by ourselves and it can be as elaborate and as glorious as we like it to be; or it can be as simple and as casual as a walk in the woods, or waltzing through our own goals and desires.
The important piece to remember is this:  we must first be quiet before the language of the instincts emerge with a new paradigm, a new perspective.  We can’t shift from wanting an answer from the ego to wanting an answer from the instincts.  We have to shift from wanting an answer to wanting to access the silence.  Only after entering the silence will a new perspective be revealed.
It is still close enough to the beginning of the 2014 to wish all my readers a Very Happy and Effective New Year.