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Integral relationships

Last post 05-10-2007, 6:03 PM by ambosuno. 684 replies.
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  •  04-19-2007, 6:39 PM 21881 in reply to 21856

    Re: Integral relationships

    Fine anecdotes about your father, Patty.

    I am not quite sure what you mean by my quote, but you may be speaking of the quote posted by David. If it is, 'Love begins when a person feels another person's needs to be as important as his own.' then that was attributed by David to Harry Stack Sullivan. Yes, I think it has some strong pedestrian legs to keep going. Ambo

    Ambo Suno
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  •  04-20-2007, 2:16 AM 21884 in reply to 21412

    Re: Integral relationships

    Dear Friends,

    Thank you for the warm welcomes, Ambo, Helene, Patty, and David. After living off the grid in a solar cabin on a mountaintop for fifteen years, reading, reading, reading, it’s good to have found all of you to talk to about this stuff and, hopefully, find real ways for us to move ourselves and the world forward.

                It seems things are turning around again to what was discussed in an earlier part of this thread, So I’m going to jump back in, though this might be too political for this thread.

    Jeffrey Wrote on 4-4-07:

    As far as the questions about where someone is at in their development, the beauty of having some kind of access to 2nd tier being is that you can relate with everyone.  For instance, if you come across a "purple" pagan, that's great.  Let's get naked and dance around a fire. 

    Or, how about an uptight "green" peace activist.  Sure, I'll sit in the park with you while you demonstrate.  It's a nice day out and I can just be with you and whatever else happens. 

    Or a "red" relative of mine at a family party.  Yeah, let's crack racist jokes and shoot guns.  That's actually not a bad way to spend an afternoon with loved ones. 

     My response on 4-20-07

                It might be easier to think about relating to people who are at lower stages of development if we used examples of conflict, instead of peace. For example, the green peace activist, to use an example that I come across a lot here in Santa Fe, Let’s say you come across someone who is into a good bout of Bush-Bashing (the Berne game “Ain’t It Awful” or “If It Weren’t For Them”)  on whatever issue (The Iraq war, education, health care, media concentration, you name it) To join in with them would be to relate in a Green on Green meme level, which encourages the Game. A Conservative might fight it, saying “So if you love terrorists so much, why don’t you move to Iran?” or something, giving a Blue vs. Green, which encourages the Game also. A Yellow response might be to ask them why they’re so frustrated, which (in my experience) results in the Green admitting that they don’t feel that they can do anything about the situation. If they really DO want a solution, this can be addressed by encouraging the use of the democratic process (letters to Reps, tax boycott, etc) to the use of Civil Disobedience (where the tear gas and pepper spray might ruin the nice day at the demonstration). ( If the person is heavily invested in playing the Game, they’ll stop talking to you)The general point being to empower the person so they don’t have to bitch and can actually exercise the REAL power that we all have in this society.   If you were feeling ambitious, then you could go into a discussion of the different levels of development, Boomeritis, etc.

                Another example: let’s say you run into a conservative who is talking about how illegal immigrants are ruining our American way of life by diluting our culture and trying to sing the national anthem in Spanish. (another hard one) So far, I’ve had success in talking to Blue people by agreeing with them where I can: We all want 1) America to be safe, 2) discourage people from taking advantage of the system (taking without giving), 3) helping out honest, hardworking people. I think we can all agree on that. It’s a matter of method. After agreeing with some basics, it is sometimes, if rarely, possible to get into a discussion of method. If it’s not possible, then discussion is out of the question (obviously.)

                A much harder one would be how to approach the Red relative at a family party when you bring your inter-racial or homosexual partner to the party. That one is really tough, and very real, and is one of the problems that we should try to approach and deal with, if not solve, even though a family party might not be the right place to do this. The point might be the same: they would see mixing of races and homosexuality as threatening to their ‘way of life.’ It’s hard to encourage people to be pluralistic, to be tolerant. Emotionally charged issues are hard. I think it’s possible, though, without being superior or condescending, to find areas of agreement. Not always. In these cases I personally believe that tolerance is important. Yellow is supposed to be tolerant, right? We need to understand that we couldn’t be at 2nd tier if we didn’t go through a Blue phase. Again, however, I find that even the most hardened red neck, these days, will at least say “I don’t care what those people do behind closed doors, but they should keep it to themselves and not join the military,” And at least that gives a point of departure for discussion.



    And David’s response to Jeffrey was:

    Tolerance isn't the same as intersubjectivity, though.

    Its not the same as engaging in heart, mind and soul with another - a partner, a son/daughter, a parent, a friend.  If you think Second Tier means transcending all these messy little difficulties, think about Ken Wilber himself, who tells us how he fought with and even beat his dying wife.  


     My response today:

                Is it intersubjectivity to recognize that people are frightened that they could lose their ‘way of life’ in a rapidly changing world? Is it intersubjectivity to simply look someone in the eye and see that behind the hate is fear, and to respect their fear, and accept it, and recognize that their need to feel safe is as important as our own?

                What words, what model, what quadrant do we need to teach, to help people feel safe in a changing, chaotic world? Could it be enough to look into their eyes with understanding and love so that they know that, whatever happens, we will be with them, and that we understand their fear, and that it’s okay to be afraid.

                This sounds a little weak. What do you do when you encounter someone who hates or kills because they are afraid, or ego-based, or ethnic-based, or purpose based, and you can see that there’s really no reason to be afraid, that it’s all okay, but you can’t explain it because you don’t know how, or because they won’t listen? Can Being-With be intersubjective without words? (Does ‘Intersubjective’ mean ‘Being-With’?)



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  •  04-20-2007, 5:59 PM 21902 in reply to 21884

    Re: Integral relationships

    I think it is important to remember that intersubjectivity goes all the way up and all the way down.  Intersubjectivity is always already the case.  The question is, at what points within the open realm of the intersubjective can and do we meet?  This brings me back to training and/or just simple experience in the UL.  If you want to talk to me about how you and your girlfriend of 3 years are breaking up and what that means to you, and I myself have never experienced a break-up, there is no way that we are going to meet at the same point of depth.  At best, I can only imagine what it might be like for you.  So, we have an injunction (meet someone, fall hopelessly in love, intertwine body heart and mind for several years, and then break up)  this leads to an experience (probably a little different for everybody but also with some pretty general and excruciating pain) and then a confirmation (You talk to your friend who broke up with his girlfriend last year and you both agree that breaking up pretty much sucks and that suicide seems reasonable under the present conditions).  You see what I'm getting at?  Tetra-arising means tetra-arising.  You cannot separate the quadrants.  Therefore, if you want to have a "deep" relationship, you yourself must become "deep".  

    In one post David mentions that time is essential to a deep relationship.  I would like to suggest that time is not essential to a deep relationship but that it adds a type of texture to any relationship.  For instance, those Star Trek fans who have devoted the time and energy to learning the language of Klingon, are able to immediately meet each other at a certain depth due to their shared experience.  They need not have met before.  (Now, if one of them brings up the subject of a recent break up it will of course be a deeper conversation if both of them have had this type of experience.) 

    "Can being-with be intersubjective without words?"

    Of course!  There are millions of examples but just think of lovemaking.  However, if you find the right partner the intersubjective space sure can be spiced up with words(: 



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  •  04-22-2007, 7:24 AM 21925 in reply to 21902

    Re: Integral relationships

    There are gazillions ways of manifesting the intrasubjective I-relationship space..........................................which I'm choosing to use  ummm plain words to play with.

    Living beyond boundries, beyond inside-the-skin life? We do it all the time. Jesus told his descples 'be in this world, but not of it' - which means 'you have a body and Soul, that's why it matters how you live in the world'....Soul, the part of you which manages to live in the body while remaining firmly-planted outside time and space.... The 'Kindgdom of Heaven  within' . (Jesus' loose  gist-quote) ..... In KW's speak the Heart of Kosmos. Or, in Buddhist lingo, the Supreme Spiritual  Body.

    What does this 'Divine core' in us look like when viewed with the eye of contemplation? Does  it look like a 'high magnitude star'? I saw it more than once, as did one of my Reiki student's during Reiki Inititation. What does this 'star'  look like when it merges with the 'Supreme Sun'?

    Music [8] 

    At any rate when my father was dying (overseas) I wasn't able to be with him .. I 'send' him lots of loving energy ....... One 'gut-reeling' night I sat  alone on the edge of a bed half-watching my daughter's  Lord of the Dance video-tape in the back garden facing guest bedroom some  point glanced out the window (was dark) and noticed a 'high magnitude star' in the garden about a couple, or so  feet above the ground.....motionless, it stayed there for several minutes....I though "what if I avert my eyes will it disapear?" - It didn't. Werid, I thought ... than remembered experiencing weirder things  than that!

    Things like two 'magnitude stars' spiralling down... getting  larger and larger...then landing on my front lawn looking like a massive , ancient-style , silver- white 'ploughs'    



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  •  04-22-2007, 11:11 AM 21934 in reply to 21884

    Re: Integral relationships


    Does ‘Intersubjective’ mean ‘Being-With’?

    Yes, I think so.  Jeffrey refers to 'meeting', and that's a good term too, if we listen to all its resonance.


    I mean, we say, 'I met someone today'.  We don't say, 'I met a dog today', 'I met a tree today'. Yet the dog and the tree are beings too.


    So 'meeting' seems to refer to inter-subjectivity, not the kind of relationship we can have with a tree or a dog.  We can have relationships with them, but of a different kind, right?


    'Inter-subjectivity' is about a sharing of being, rather than the kind of interaction open to beings who, for whatever reason, cannot really share subjectivity.    And this links up with Dmitri's allusion to Transactional Analysis, which charts the kinds of interactions (games and so on) we all experience which fall short of game-free intimacy, or - shall we call it 'deep inter-subjectivity'?


    That's one thing.


    Then: yes, Jeffrey, its true that inter-subjectivity goes all the way up, all the way down.  But: in relative rather than absolute terms, our relationships vary in all kinds of ways, don't they?   Mostly, we seem to experience few relationships which amount to 'deep inter-subjectivity'.   In an absolute sense, everything, including Oneness, is already the case:  in the relative world in which we are interacting right now, though, have you ever experienced instantaneous deep intersubjectivity??    Intimacy which takes no time at all?   Confused [*-)]


    Relationships take time, though there seems to be no rule about how long.  Partly, its about the fact which Wilber mentions, that the way into empathy is cognitive at first, despite all the romances.  To use an absurd example to make the point, despite the Oneness of Being, in this relative world you don't have a relationship with my neighbour Lesley, Jeffrey, because you've never met her.  If you did meet her, you'd need to 'get to know each other' before it could be meaningfully said that you had any kind of relationship, deep or shallow.  That might take a short time or a long time, depending.  Maybe it would never get beyond the shallow stage, because one of you didn't like the other.  But even if your relationship remained shallow, you would still have met.  Whereas if you stroked a passing cocker spaniel in the street, and you warmed to each other far more than you and Lesley did, you and the dog still wouldn't have met, would you?  Smile [:)]


    Which strikes me as an interesting thought....


    ~ D






    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
    ~ Dr Hannibal Lecter
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  •  04-23-2007, 8:24 AM 21959 in reply to 21934

    Re: Integral relationships

    Hey there all!

     Dmitri you there? don't mind if I beat you to it with my 2-cents-note on David's speak on  'instantenous deep subjectivity' , and 'empathy' - OK?

    The seventh chakra in mystical speak-lingo is called the Violet Ray and it is  at this Ray's vibrations command of  - 'Thine not mine will be done'-, are people who are attracted to and embody those energies ,   walk the path of the Higher Power in this world. That's the 'instantenous' part, no?

    Ever noticed there are some people who never heard such uppity spiritual talk, who never heard the word 'chakra' , non-the-less act and live from their soul-energies , and 'empathy' would fall into that category, right? And I do have a personal , first long term 'relationship ended up in divorce' , story- point..... Which in-time got healed so completly in-subtle , (I might add) that his mom thinks I'm still the daughter she never had. And he? He always was , still is a doting father and grandfather who made it possible financially, for my daughter to purchase the house I'm living in /renting  for less $ than I would have , had I rented an apartment. 




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  •  04-24-2007, 8:42 AM 21999 in reply to 21959

    Re: Integral relationships

    Ever noticed, the higher up the relationship-scale we climb, the more 'mysterious' it all seems? ...(in a way)... The Soul, like a blazing flame reduces to ashes anything within the body-mind system that prevents Love's essence to  eternally blossom.
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  •  04-27-2007, 7:11 AM 22081 in reply to 21999

    Re: Integral relationships

    With a legally signed and sealed spousal seperation, at his request for two years ("you're  not the same woman I married" - which was true),  and divorced for two, I don't see why I shouldn't freely speak about my romantic involvment;):)....which I call ohsooooo grooooovyalicioushes 'CongressUnion'...which is something no one can relate to unless one is 'there', I 'spose?

     Even tho this thread-topic is about "Integral relationships" with a small "r",   I want to inject a bit of 'Integral Relationship' flavouring with a capital "R". First a CongressUnion 'moment/s', than a poem written by,  'he who knoweth' sev. year ago - whose name was "unanoymous" sp? on one of 'Wilber'  forums...which one? No recall.

    Music [8]

    First -  'CU moment' - after (this)  4 am.. felt insistent tapping on my shoulder...time to waki...."better turn the bedside lamp on"....oh it's you, been awhile ...  soo young looking:) for my eyes only;)

     (never woke up 'for real' to make note of  the correct time)

    Second - 'CU' moment -  My, what looked like a  double me, and he, on our right ... all  face-beeming ... very much older looking ... snuggly shoulder to shoulders and  cheek-touching ... "I never have been this close to a woman", said he:):)

    We can live whatever dream we want

    if we dare enough to want it

    love manifests its creations

    do we care to love enough

    to create that heaven on earth

    bliss filled night of golden rose dust

    ambrosial elixir lighting the air

    through pine covered hills on fire

    so I forget who I am anymore

    but this one heart

    beating the name of God . . .

    that light in your eyes

    I see when I look in the mirror

    other lives in us

    that dances our dream

    can we fail

    I think not

    for this love

    can never go astray

    it is born of source

    to the music of Omega

    and grows even now

    for Eternity . . .


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  •  05-01-2007, 7:34 AM 22151 in reply to 22081

    Re: Integral relationships

    In letter Nine Hadewijch speaks of the mutual indwelling of love in both lovers, uniting them yet leaving them in possession of individual selves. (pens the author)

    (H) Love so dwells in all the beloved that neither can perceive difference between them. But they possess one another in mutual possession, their mouths one mouth, their hearts one heart, their bodies one body, their souls one soul, and sometimes one sweet divine nature transfuses them both, and they are one, each wholly in the other, and yet each one remains and will always remin himself.

    (author) This exalted love is like that between all lovers - literally consuming: "Conceiling little, giving much, finding most in their close communion with one another, each one as it were tasting all, eating all, drinking all, consuming all the other."

    Hadewijch sees love as her highest good, an abstract principle which yet has physical, bisexual, attributes:

    (H) In this joy no one can have a part who is without Love . . .but only that soul which is suckled at the breast of the boundless joy of our great Love, which is chastised by Love's fatherly rod, which cleaves inseparabbly to him, which reads its sentence in His countenace, and then remains in peace.

    "True Love," she says, "is no material thing; true Love is beyond matter, immeasurable in God's freedom, giving always from its superaboundance, working always in its ability, always growing in its nobility." Endlessly giving, endlessly potent, endlessly noble - this is the nature of desire. Is love more than God? In another letter she observes: "Love holds God's divinity captive within its nature."

    - Elizabeth A. Petroff / The Beguines in Medieval Europe (essay) from:The Feminine Principle Today The Goddess Re-Awakening copiled by Shirley Nicholson

    Music [8]

    "True Love is no material thing" - Hadewijch says .....I have yet to read anywhere - (not like I read new,  'Feminine'  books) the part about 'actually touching' ..... those,  'actual body next to solid body',  'contact moments'. Has anyone?      

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  •  05-03-2007, 7:15 AM 22224 in reply to 22151

    Re: Integral relationships

    Soul-directed by love's longing

    ...ohsowowdelicious "always be my girl" ....  am's seven fifty five

    Talk about fireworks!....rainbow's softest pink spheric-like shower-burst, zoom-flowing  

     ...( from left , to right )

    Music [8]

    When our two souls stand up erect and strong,

    Face to face, silent, drawing night and nigher,

    Until the lenghtening wings break into fire

    At either curved point, - what bitter wrong

    Can the earth do to us, that we should not long

    Be here contented? Think. In mounting higher,

    The angels would press on us, and aspire

    To drop some gold orb of perfect song

    Into our dee, clear silence. Let us stay

    Rather on earth, Beloved, - where the unfit

    Contrarious moods of men recoil away

    And isolate pure spirits, and permit

    A place to stand and love in for a day,

    With darkness and death-hour rounding it.


    -Elizabeth Barrett  Browning,  from Sonnets From The Portugal

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  •  05-05-2007, 1:08 PM 22337 in reply to 21934

    Re: Integral relationships

    Hi, David - I want to revive this general theme and some of the questions that have been looked at along the way. I want to make another attempt at us becoming a little more flexible in our model making/model accepting. We don't know know how things are, as you know [smiley emoticon] - we have models and theories, and they come and go, are tossed out or parially modified. There are way fewer facts than we sometimes think, yes? I don't want to be picky here because you may have been using the word fact below casually, as one of the ingrained grooves that our verbal marbles frequently roll down. As I have tried to question in our discussions over the last many pages of posts, what you mention below is not a fact, it's an idea, and a fairly reasonable one, though maybe not quite true in a complete or accurate sense.
    "Partly, its about the fact which Wilber mentions, that the way into empathy is cognitive at first, despite all the romances."

    I want to pursue this some more because I have questioned for a long time the convenient but not quite accurate separation that we often try to crayon in between cognition and affect, cognition and emotion. I'm going to quote in a minute a real contemporary expert who models mental processes of evolutionary biology and psychology a bit differently. I am respectful of the fact that though Ken is so comprehensive, broad, deep, and often passionately assertive about his models, I've heard that he is open to revision when new or persuasive information can add to, include more, and make more accurate what he is presenting. I think that the work of Stanley I Greenspan, MD, and others of his caliber can be a resource for that fine-tuning in this area of study.

    But first, by way of review of your, Pelle, others' and my verbal journey here on this thread, I'll repost some of our discussion.
    I think that this has been a good thread with good points brought up and discussed by many. Most of the below posts are highlighting my perspectives. If you want to skip the possible tedium of my rambling way of speaking and multiple literary errors, skip now to the bottom, inked in black again, to where Stanley Greenspan is quoted. Peace.

    One moment of our conversation of a couple of months ago went like this, in post #19498:
    And as sensible as this is, at the moment I don't know that this is true:

    "Going back to relationships, it seems that meaningful relationships - paradoxically! - depend on clear separation, the mutual recognition of the other as other.  And this does seem to be a cognitive achievement, doesn't it?"
    Cognitive achievement rather than affective achievement or other possibilities? In a way of looking at it, yes, ok. Yet, at the moment I don't feel it as being an especially good, true or beautiful way to select out of the complex human and cosmic broth and stew, cognition.

    Certainly, what you say is a legitmate way of looking at how things work and in how to work with people. Despite what I am questioning from curiosity and thrall here, I probably base a lot of how I live and work similarly to you.

    I'll just end with what you know as well - we humans are persistant model-makers. Models come and go. Maybe there is a spiral formed trajectory of development in model-making. Maybe not. My guess is that this reply will not be very helpful or touch you much - please excuse me for not meeting more in the "We space" with you. I hope that I am not terminally incorrigible. There's probably some way that we are connecting, now, yes? Smile <img src="> Ambos

    In post #19526, I was still trying to get at something:
    As I try to point to the seemingly moving target in my own thinking that is also presented by you, I guess that now I'm pausing on the word "relating" in "Yet to relate doesn't seem to be to identify with or to fuse, because that feels unhealthy too." I know that when faced with seeing a tendency to fuse between a couple of people, I might in actuality think a similar thing as you. Hmm, that may not be so healthy; who are these undifferentiated people?

    I'm trying to get to this perhaps irrational sense that I have that truly rich relating has some current or dimension of affect that does not feel separate. This may be somewhat grossly mediated by what we now call mirror neurons. Beneath our socially learned and formed self-repertoires of thought, words and action, is a more primal, affect-moved connection that ought not be excluded by our concepts, by a descriptive geometry captured often by the somewhat monolithic word "relationship".  As you allude, here, it is a complex, and we try to capture it in a word. Don't you think that in the process of understanding through thought and words we sometimes conceptualize things that actually leave out vital elements that we don't understand or even see? Maybe some process like identity or fusion is still moving in a relationship despite our common sense attempts at description of surface characteristics.

    Maybe the power and poignancy of your mutual love and passion with your wife is as much this invisible, not-consciously articulable, mutual identification-like connection as your rational understanding that we are two separate mature and autonomous people meetimg in the "We space".

    We were still talking in #19560:
    I think I follow you on the synchronicity example. I think you are pointing out a situation that was more than everyday, mechanistic-seeming cognition. There appeared to be some connective substrate that once more surprised you. Yes?

    Maybe "intersubjectivity" can cover enough of the incomprehensible field that I can leave my speculations of hidden currents that are so much more powerful, though subtly invisible, than cognition and emotion and the larger word affect.

    I do seem to be stuck feeling/thinking that affect is more of a prime mover, a prime be-ing than cognition and therefore the process has my attention. I am kind of bored with cognition and it's seemingly-to-me mechanistic and limited attempts at filling in for reality. Cognition can be virually elegant, for sure, but I am so tired of the words. Really, perhaps I'm reacting and valuing affect from a regressed state or point of view. I sure do seem to be in lustful attachment to words and  persistent  verbal  prodding.

    "Personally, I'm in no doubt that cognition is the necessary but not sufficient way in to relationship:"
    Maybe. I think I follow you. Cognition and verbal connection seems to be the media through which most noticable relationship takes place. I'm not sure that in real intimate relationship with the world it is necessary, other than as survival and human-style enrichment functions.

    And #200045 :
    Hi Pelle - As I catch up, I'm appreciating the ongoing discussion here with you, Martine, David, and all.

    "Real empathy requires at least a third person perspective (pxpxp=3-p)"
    I agree that these three points are important for relationship. I don't think we can so easily categorically say that this is "Real empathy". It is a big question/discussion what is empathy. I don't think that in this endeavor of language to capture what empathy, or for that matter any of these considerations of relationship, is we can anymore easily say the "real" thing - since these topics have been so examined, deconstructed, reconstructed, used, affirmed in various ways by different people  (of varying authoritativeness, depending on your preconceived definitions), how can we get to a real, real meaning.

    I've heard various assertions by authoritative psychoanalysts about what is empathy and what it is not. Kohut has his version, others have other minor spins on it. And psychoanalysis, with a frequent joy and high level of experience-based skill in cognitively slicing and dicing a concept, can not highjack the position of making a definitive declaration that this or that is the real empathy. They have clinical reasons and assumptions that spin their particular versions one way or the other. Psychoneurobiologists have their input, animal researchers have theirs, artists and art researchers have theirs - well there is a lot to consider.

    From post #20238:
    Hi David - Sorry that I haven't the time to read carefully what you've placed here on perspective taking - at a glance it looks very organized, cognitively, adultly. If I wanted to take your point seriously, I think I'd have to try it on as I would a well fitting glove. Maybe later I can.

    My initial reaction is again, no, not cognitive first in empathy, rather first the mostly invisible and taken for granted psychophysiological substrate that was there before the neocortex blossomed and dominated, for good, truth, and beauty, or not. Or, at least, an inconclusive chicken-egg thing.

    A couple of variables here need to be, of course, how we define empathy - I do it with the emphasis on the root meaning of pathos and how it is sensed and perceived initially. Then of course it depends on the thinkers' - you and me - starting point of looking at it. This includes things like how salient we think development is, what is it's nature, what does transcend and include mean (does that totally change, morph the power of underlying physiological prominance in lieu of cognition) and such. I know that KW has done some serious theorizing on these points and that you are coming from some of that, here, as you stated.

    So it's a big question and to do it justice I'd have to be deeply open-hearted and open-minded and it seems that I'm in too much of a hurry. So maybe I stay with my default position that still feels quite solid to me. But maybe a more serious questioning later. See you, Ambo

    And I'll stop this lead-in, biased, maybe self-serving [chagrinny smily emoticon] review of snippets with this - #20590
    David -

    "But appreciation, liking and love would involve a degree of understanding...."
    In the quick, conventional way of meaning understanding, one would probably say "Yes." and imagine that meant a particular thing. If cognition is the main part of understanding than that statement would have a certain logical taste to it.

    Two thoughts come up.
    1)  The roots of the word understanding create a physical sense of meaning for me at the moment, related to support from underneath, grounded, I can embrace what is understood. That feels quite different to me than cognitive understanding, intellectual understanding that seems to me to float off the surface of life and nature on an undependible medium of words, undependible language conventions - it often feels dissociated, disembodied. I hear people talk about embodying their understanding, but actually I don't see much of it in educated, sophisticated, even integral people.
    2) Related to the first point, liking and love like pathos and other fundamental human characterisitics,  arise from a psychobiological substrate, and may feel more energetic or chemical or  like a basic attraction initially, rather than the elaboration of that with other forms of mentation. The understanding, the support from underneath for liking and attraction would first and almost invisibly foremost be a natural affinity before thinking.

    As you, and apparently Ken, point out so persistently, cognition has an important and I'll say even privileged place in discussions of empathy, of perspective taking, of mutual resonance, of intersubjectivity, of relationship, of love. There seems to me to be a lot of reality in that. Myself, I have not been able to make it primary, say that it comes first, say that that is where we should put most of our attention when we are considering these ideas and words about relationship and love that have been raised in discussion here.

    Here goes a tedious task of typing in a, though tiny slice of the whole presentation, fairly concise hint of his scope, from the intro in Stanley I Greenspans' book The First Idea: How symbols, language, and intelligence evolved from our primate ancestors to modern humans (2004). [Day-after edit: this book was co-authored by Stuart G Shanker, D.Phil] By the way, Greenspan is very respected in contemporary psychoanalytic and research circles, including other child authorities like Beatrice Beebee and Frank Lachmann.

    "We will also show that a current view of the way in which the brain organizes emotions, advocated by neuroscientists such as Joseph LeDoux, is incorrect. This view, which sees emotions as states of mind that are somewhat separate from and compete with or influence logical thinking, is not consistent with our clinical observations of growing infants and children. In fact, we will show that this view is based on confusion over the difference between pathological and healthy emotional development. In pathological development, the systems that organize emotions, and logical thinking may remain separate. In healthy development these systems become fully integrated [italicized, bold emphasis is mine] and catastrophic emotions, such as rage, become transformed. Emotional signaling will be seen to provide the missing link between the level of the brain that involves basic emotional circuitry (subsymbolic systems, such as the amygdala) and its highest cortical symbolic capacities.

    Similarly, we will show, contrary to the views of Chomsky and Pinker on the genetic origins of language, that language and cognition are embedded in the emotional processes [I hope this bold emphasis of mine is helpful in highlighting this central consideration] that, in our hypothesis, led to symbols.

    We will show that while Piaget and his followers made pioneering contributions in formulating the way a child acts on his world to learn to think. they were not able to figure out the mechanism through which symbol formation and thinking occurs. Piaget described stages involved in thinking and discussed emotionally meaningful behaviors such as imaginative play. However, he viewed emotions as more of a secondary phenomenon, useful for motivation and, at times, guided by a child's reasoning abilities. He and his followers, however, did not realize that emotions and their transformations into various levels of emotional signaling and mental representation were a critical mechanism in the development of thinking and that at each level of thinking, emotions lead the way to higher levels of thinking. For example, an infant learns causality through his experience of his smiles leading to his caregivers' smiles months before he learns to pull a string to ring a bell (which Piaget believed was the beginning of causal thinking). "

    Any errors in the above three paragraphs are probably my typos.

    So, I find this very interesting in that it points to a similar limitation that Ken has mentioned with respect to the ancient wisdom and spiritual traditions that didn't have access to 'modern' and and particular kinds of scientifically mined information. We get fixated on certain points of views and theories as though they are facts, when they are probably always, as he indicates, partial, and they are contextually defined in understandably limiting ways, and sometimes incorrect.

    This has been a long post, eh, David and all. Good weekend, Ambo

    Ambo Suno
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  •  05-06-2007, 3:34 AM 22365 in reply to 22337

    Re: Integral relationships


    What a fascinating post!  Much to reflect on....

    Yes, I take your point about my loose usage of the word 'fact'.  I admit that it isn't a fact that cognition is the way into empathy, its a theory.  Although I notice that you too use 'fact' in the same way as me!

    the fact that though Ken is so comprehensive, broad, deep, and often passionately assertive about his models, I've heard that he is open to revision

    Obviously there are some, though probably not to be found on this forum, who would challenge some of these 'facts', eg by arguing that he is selective rather than comprehensive, etc...

    As you point out - and this is an example of this very issue of 'selectivity' - Ken's theory of early development is indeed based on Piaget, to whom he often alludes.  If Piaget is superseded, then Ken needs to re-visit his theory.  I don't know enough about the newer theories you mention to comment, beyond reminding us both of your own point, that its then a question of competing theories, not of facts!

    For my own part, I always come back to my own lived experience, which of course 'proves' nothing to anyone else!  This thread was born when I happened to read a passage on Wilber about empathy being cognitively led.  This struck me as surprising, because it goes against the usual way in which empathy is thought about, and also as true for me, though I hadn't realised it before.  I saw that the relationships in my life had developed through a growth in mutual understanding.  If the understanding didn't grow, nor did the relationship, which either got stuck or deteriorated - eg my relationship with my father when I was a teenager.  It wasn't that the relationships were only a matter of understanding.  If that's all they were, they wouldn't have been worth having.  No - the understanding in itself was unimportant.  For example, I understood my father more when I had children of my own.  What mattered was that, in understanding him better, a barrier to feeling, to love, was broken down. The barrier was cognitive - I had misunderstood him and his actions - and the solution was cognitive - improved understanding, which I gained experientially.  To take up your point about 'substrates', its perfectly true that my father and I had a relationship anyway, misunderstandings and all.  But it wasn't a healthy relationship, it couldn't evolve, in fact it was dying until it was saved by insight.  Insight being more than cognition, but still requiring cognition....

    That's how I came at this question, and its how I still find myself coming at it.  Does this resonate at all with your own experience, Ambo?

    Good wishes

    ~ D



    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
    ~ Dr Hannibal Lecter
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  •  05-06-2007, 7:21 AM 22368 in reply to 22365

    Re: Integral relationships

    "Does this resonate at all with your own experience, Ambo?"
    Yes it does, David. Thanks. And that is touching about you and your father and the healing of your connection.

    You make good points about "facts", and about KW's selectivity. Not surprisingly, my statement was not entirely correct. Thanks.

    How is it in England these days in respect to Springtime. Though a stereotype, you Brits really know how to do gardens. Are there some beauties popping up as you move down the streets and lanes this May?

    TFB, thanks for being - wish I could have a cuppa with you, Ambo

    Ambo Suno
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  •  05-06-2007, 8:42 AM 22372 in reply to 22368

    Re: Integral relationships

    Hey there alls'KI

    Since it popped-up, a note on father - son relationship from Reiki's healing  emotional releases experince-perspective.

     'As long as I understand what familly dynamic forces  shaped him ,  I don't have to do anything else'. Good 'nuf quote. 

     For the longest time I  insisted just because he understnds why his father treated him the way he did doesn't mean that's the end of it, bec. I saw the soul-raping effects of that kind of 'parental attention'. I witnessed first hand (relaeses) of  the emotional baggage people carry within their body-mind systems.

    Finally, one fine day shouting n' arms flailing in rage "i don't have to prove  a godamn  thing to you!!!!!!!!" - release,  when son's  button got pushed again, only this time he wasn't gona let slide off the father's  comment about   "all these years , you haven''t proven a godamn anything to me!". The fact he was a hard working , dedicated to his familly guy, wasn't 'accomplishment'.

    Proven?  father  meant a job which afforeded a club memberish to the most exclusive golf and country club on the lake . He meant , his portrait is not hanging in the clubs' wall. It meant his house walls and shelves aren't lined with visible accolades and trophies ...dozens and dozens play n'  party friends , travel .... etc.  "I have nothing to brag to my sibs and friends about, whose kids (not adopted) were all acomplished'.  (my quote as I saw it)

    "I knew there was always something not right between them" - said the wife. who liked peace at all cost. Kids got beetings on the weekends when fater got home. When he got the report card. " She played with moms underweare with friend and got beteaing for it, it was weird". "Grandma didn't call her (adopted too)  by name because she always liked little  boys", insisted mother. "She took down her panties obidiently , layed down for beatings without the slightest noise of protest which was weird, I guess she didn't want to give him the safisfaction" Is that why she died in her 40is bec. of gut-related illness? "I can't stomach that", was oft. heard comment on the most benigne topics. Alergic to just about everything under the sun , but not  hot dogs and soda pop?

    Not to much time fine day , the father's downcast gaze and soft talk about how  - in his words,  "I  never liked that" (beatings-giving) and such ...

     "we all do the best , I guess the old days' biblical spare the rod, spoil the child routine was practiced by many" (good 'nuf son's quote) . Very different energy all aroundSmile [:)] 




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  •  05-06-2007, 1:44 PM 22387 in reply to 22368

    Re: Integral relationships

    Attachment: spring.jpg


    How is it in England these days in respect to Springtime. Though a stereotype, you Brits really know how to do gardens. Are there some beauties popping up as you move down the streets and lanes this May?

    You're right - spring is the best season in England, no doubt about it.  Summer is too hot these days, winter too mild, with snow very rare.  Probably due to global warming, we've had the sunniest April since records began 400 years ago....  So everything is lush and burgeoning a good two weeks earlier than it used to be.   The beech hedges which fringe our driveway are already in full green leaf, when only a few years ago they would just be thinking about shedding the wrinkly old brown leaves which last all winter.   People plant out tender flowers with no fear of frost, yet I remember snow as late as May when I was a kid!    The gorgeous cherry blossom is already over and done with, butterflies are dancing everywhere, and a dawn chorus of songbirds wakes me every morning...  I can live with this!

    Smile [:)]

    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
    ~ Dr Hannibal Lecter
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