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Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

Last post 09-25-2008, 9:20 AM by adastra. 62 replies.
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  •  09-27-2006, 8:13 PM 9655 in reply to 9647

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    alas indeed.  alas (a lass?) and alack.  Ah well...maybe someone else will fill me in...hmm....

    arthur

    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-02-2006, 10:15 AM 10007 in reply to 9655

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    IMPORTANT Q & A ANNOUNCEMENT:

    From now on Robert will only answer questions about relationships.  He's starting a new book on intimate relationships and wants to focus exclusively on that topic for now.  This is a great opportunity to bring up questions you would like to have addressed in an integral book on that subject. 

    As per usual, I will send in any posted questions each Friday.

    arthur

    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-03-2006, 4:23 AM 10096 in reply to 10007

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Thank you Adastra for your invitation.
     
    "I imagine The 3-2-1 Process is something relatively easy to adapt in relationships" is a comment I had in the Integral Relationships' thread.
     
    What Robert think of that?
    1. Does he think it is appropriate to have The 3-2-1 Process applied to intimate relationships?
    2. If yes, how does he suggest to apply it?
    3. If no, what does he recommend in place of?
    4. And if the question is appropriate to the subject, what could (or should) be the differences in the process'applying between an intimate relationship(with a lover) and a less intimate relationship, for exemple with a friend.  
     
    Thank you Robert.
     
    Martine
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  •  10-03-2006, 4:33 AM 10097 in reply to 10007

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Thank you Adastra for your invitation.
     
    "I imagine The 3-2-1 Process is something relatively easy to adapt in relationships" is a comment I had in the Integral Relationships' thread.
     
    What Robert think of that?
    1. Does he think it is appropriate to have The 3-2-1 Process applied to intimate relationships?
    2. If yes, how does he suggest to apply it?
    3. If no, what does he recommend in place of?
    4. And if the question is appropriate to the subject, what could (or should) be the differences in the process'applying between an intimate relationship(with a lover) and a less intimate relationship, for exemple with a friend.  
     
    Thank you Robert.
     
    Martine
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  •  10-03-2006, 4:36 AM 10098 in reply to 10097

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Sorry, I had a problem with the editing.   I imagine the double post has a meaning of importance for myself. Big Smile [:D]
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  •  10-08-2006, 5:49 PM 10559 in reply to 10097

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Q&A Part 27:

    IAMisHome asks:

    "I imagine The 3-2-1 Process is something relatively easy to adapt in relationships" is a comment I had in the Integral Relationships thread.   What Robert think of that? 1. Does he think it is appropriate to have The 3-2-1 Process applied to intimate relationships? 2. If yes, how does he suggest to apply it? 3. If no, what does he recommend in place of? 4. And if the question is appropriate to the subject, what could (or should) be the differences in the process applying between an intimate relationship(with a lover) and a less intimate relationship, for example with a friend.     Thank you Robert.

    Robert answers:

    The 3-2-1 shadow-work process can be a useful way of starting to deal with our shadow elements. There’s no reason that it cannot be beneficially incorporated in an intimate relationship. It could be used as an individual practice, shared afterward with your partner, and it could also be done in the presence of your partner, as a verbal rather than written practice, which would allow your partner to witness/feel firsthand your passage through the practice. This might also allow deeper, more complete emotional expression as well as a fuller surfacing of various contributing factors to whatever you are facing, including those that might have been overlooked if the 3-2-1 process had remained a solitary writing exercise.

    It’s useful here to remember not to overvalue nor to overrely on practices in intimate relationship. Sometimes we might use a particular practice to avoid dealing (or dealing more fully) with some difficulty we’re having with our partner, all the while informing ourselves that we’re doing such a practice for the sake of the relationship. Or we may assume that our having done a certain practice has brought us further along than is actually the case. And so on. What’s essential here is to allow whatever’s happening in our relationship to awaken us, while recognizing that our resistance to doing so is not just some neocortical pipsqueak, but rather a powerful force that needs to be fully met, until it is simply reclaimed us. Premature claims to having arrived here simply undermine intimacy.

    Bring, and keep bringing, a discerning eye to whatever practices you are doing. Look inside your looking. Develop more intimacy with what is beyond all practice, even as you honor and employ practices that serve you and your relationships. There are practices that can help establish and deepen intimacy, but intimacy itself is not a practice. We don’t do it, but simply live it.

    Every practice has its shadowside; all you need do is open yourself to seeing it (without, however, using such insight to negate or prematurely discard the practice). And the shadow of 3-2-1 shadow-work? It might include: (1) the tendency to assume that a fuller integration has occurred than actually has; (2) the tendency to settle for less emotional opening, expression, and depth than is really needed; (3) the tendency not to put enough attention into seeing, feeling, and working with the origins and evolution of particular shadow elements; and (4) the tendency to underestimate the need for more in-depth shadow-work, such as is possible through integral psychotherapy.

    In working with shadow material in an intimate relationship, the first step is to actually see what’s going on, and to acknowledge and name it. For example, we’re pissed off at our partner for speaking unkindly to us earlier in the day, and are busy flaying that one with righteous invective, letting our anger mutate into aggression. We’re raising our fist and pointing our finger, not seeing that there are three of our fingers pointing back at us. As soon as we allow ourselves to see this, there’s a mini-interruption of our neurotic ritual; if we go a step further, and name what we’re doing -- reacting, being aggressive, and so on -- we further our braking, and widen our view.

    The next step is to directly communicate what’s going on, confessing our inner whereabouts, and doing so non-defensively. Vulnerability and transparency are essential, but even if they are not particularly present, we can still communicate that. Such self-generated whistleblowing may, however, be very difficult to put into action if we’re easily shamed around not doing things better. We may in fact so quickly convert our shame into other emotions or states -- like anger (directed at the other or at ourselves) and shutting down -- that we render ourselves almost incapable of speaking up with any clarity or conviction. But we can nonetheless still communicate that, if only through a pre-agreed-upon signal of some sort. The point is to not give ourselves an out; instead of our partner backing us into a corner, we do it ourselves. Yes, this is tough -- and may bruise our egoity -- but it is doable, and necessary if our relationship is to truly mature.

    It is important not to let our recognition and acknowledgment of our projections onto our partner obscure the possibility that what is bothering us about them may still need to be addressed. For example, their mean-spirited criticalness may put us in touch with our tendency to do likewise (however subtly), but it also needs to be challenged and explored. When our investigation of our relational trouble spots is mutual, and remains mutual, our relationship can only deepen.

    In a me-centered relationship (two cults of one in coalition), shadow-work doesn’t get very far, for there’s too much investment in being right. Projection runs rampant, much like it did between America and Russia during the Cold War. The me-centered couple has so much unexamined shadow material going on that their relationship is not much more than a no-one’s-land where both skirmish for control, or one runs roughshod over the other, flag held high.

    Things are less extreme in a we-centered relationship (a cult of two). The battlefield becomes more of an arena of diplomacy and negotiation. Some shadow elements are identified,  but usually are not worked with very deeply. Mild (and not-so-mild) suppression and relocation of our apparently undesirable elements tends to take precedence over open expression and breakthrough. We may dream of a large scary animal that’s pursuing us, and we may later recognize that it is the embodiment of something we’re scared of in ourselves -- like our power or raw animality -- but we’re not likely to really get into exploring it, settling for a mostly intellectual understanding of it, with little or no protest from our partner. Our relationship may be afloat upon a stagnant sea, but at least it’s afloat.

    In a being-centered relationship, adversarial and diplomatic stances toward shadow elements in each other are replaced by a mutually compassionate, full-blooded, side-by-side facing of what is disowned, marginalized, rejected, endarkened or neurotic in both partners. Now a real intimacy -- not just exposure and expression, but intimacy -- can be developed with the shadow elements of both partners . Here we not only face what’s been disowned in us, but also get close enough to it -- letting ourselves feel it so deeply that we know it from the deep inside -- to free up its energies without, however taking on its viewpoint, until it is no longer an it, but only reclaimed us. This is true integration, organic and real and felt right to the core.

    The deeper we dive, the less we mind upsetting waves, finding in intimate relationship an increasingly compelling invitation to find freedom through our shared heart, our shared body, our shared limitations, our shared shadow, our shared mortality, our shared being, our shared yes...

    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-08-2006, 8:36 PM 10565 in reply to 10559

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Thank you very much Robert. I have to fully integrate your answer at this question and this will need time. 

    Thank you Adastra to make this possible.  The answer in itself is helpful.

    Martine

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  •  10-11-2006, 3:56 PM 10901 in reply to 10565

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    I'm submitting some questions for the weekly Q&A; the next set of questions will be sent to Robert Friday as usual.

    Robert, recently I've become interested in Jung's concept of an "anima woman" who, as I understand it, in some way takes on or reflects a man's projection of the feminine aspect of his own soul (or who perhaps is unwittingly a good hook for such projections).  One person said if you are in a relationship with this type of woman [which I'm not currently, in case any of you are wondering] then you feel like you are falling into her soul, but you are really falling into a reflection of your own (in its feminine manifestation). (As an aside, I've been told that the woman in the movie LEGENDS OF THE FALL is an excellent example of such a woman, but I haven't seen that movie yet.)

     

    1. Do you think this concept has validity, and if so, could you elaborate on this?  What do you think is going on here?  Would she be evoking this consciously or unconsciously?  How does a woman get this way?  How does this process operate?  What kinds of projections are involved? 

     

    2. Would other (heterosexual) women project on her as well, and if so how would that work?

     

    3. How can this personality/soul characteristic be lived in a positive way?  What talents or gifts are inherent in this mode of being?  How could such a woman best approach her existential situation?

     

    4. What difficulties would the anima woman face in relationships (with family, friends, lovers, partner) or in following her life path?  What kind of shadow elements would tend to be present?  How can she overcome these problems?  Is there anything others can do to help?

    5. What is the best way for others - as family, friend, lover, or partner - to relate to her?  Especially, how do you ensure that you are relating to the real woman underneath whatever you may be projecting? (This question could also apply to less extreme cases of projection, obviously.)

    6. How does such an existential mode relate to one's spirituality? 

    arthur


    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-13-2006, 8:41 AM 11025 in reply to 10901

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    The questions have been sent in to Robert.  Smile [:)]

    spiral out,
    arthur

    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-15-2006, 7:02 PM 11255 in reply to 11025

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Q&A Part 28

    Arthur/adastra asks:

    Robert, recently I've become interested in Jung's concept of an "anima woman" who, as I understand it, in some way takes on or reflects a man's projection of the feminine aspect of his own soul (or who perhaps is unwittingly a good hook for such projections).  One person said if you are in a relationship with this type of woman then you feel like you are falling into her soul, but you are really falling into a reflection of your own (in its feminine manifestation). (As an aside, I've been told that the woman in the movie LEGENDS OF THE FALL is an excellent example of such a woman, but I haven't seen that movie yet.)

    1. Do you think this concept has validity, and if so, could you elaborate on this?  What do you think is going on here?  Would she be evoking this consciously or unconsciously?  How does a woman get this way?  How does this process operate?  What kinds of projections are involved? 

    2. Would other (heterosexual) women project on her as well, and if so how would that work?

    3. How can this personality/soul characteristic be lived in a positive way?  What talents or gifts are inherent in this mode of being?  How could such a woman best approach her existential situation?

    4. What difficulties would the anima woman face in relationships (with family, friends, lovers, partner) or in following her life path?  What kind of shadow elements would tend to be present?  How can she overcome these problems?  Is there anything others can do to help?

    5. What is the best way for others - as family, friend, lover, or partner - to relate to her?  Especially, how do you ensure that you are relating to the real woman underneath whatever you may be projecting? (This question could also apply to less extreme cases of projection, obviously.)

    6. How does such an existential mode relate to one's spirituality?

    Robert answers:

    1. Does the concept of the “anima woman” have validity? Yes, but no more so than any  other psychological construct with receptor sites for incoming projections. We could have an anima woman who is unaware of her anima magnetism, which might make her even more of a draw to men whose own anima energy is charged with undiscerning innocence. And we could also have an anima woman who is relatively conscious of her anima magnetism, and who lets men project their anima (and its attending dramatics, wet-dreamish and otherwise) onto her for her own advantage. In such cases, their infatuation with her empowers her. She has them by the balls and the imagination, operating all toll booths along the highway connecting male genitalia  and brain.

    Such a woman may not be very willing to give up whatever advantage she might get from taking on a man’s anima projection. She does this for much the same reasons as anyone who is benefitting from being at the receiving end of others’ projections. Consider a teacher upon whom students are projecting their need to be associated with someone who really “knows” -- their uncritical attitude toward him and his work and writings keeps him “safely” removed from any truly telling examination of his less healthy traits (which, if they are actually examined at all by the aforementioned students, are then reframed in an unrelentingly positive light, so as to, for example, demonstrate his humanity).

    How does a woman come to be an anima woman? In all kinds of ways. Maybe she got extra attention as a girl for being seductively superfeminine. Or maybe she resorted to such a mode to survive an abusive father. And so on.

    2. Could other women project on to her? Sure. I don’t think that sexual orientation matters much here. Projection is not some occasional occurrence (consider, among other things, our dreams, as convincingly populated as they are by our costumed projections). If we’ve got something within that we’re disowning or are unaware of, and that particular something has considerable importance (positive or negative) for us, then we’re going to project it onto a fitting someone (or something). A woman in doubt of her own femininity may project what she wishes she was onto an apparently more feminine woman, even if that woman is simply an airbrushed face on a magazine cover.

    3. By making it conscious. Talents or gifts? Exceptional receptivity and flow, animated in order to generate a rapport that serves the well-being of all involved.

    4. Her difficulties would parallel her misuse of her situation; her suffering would be a measure of the degree to which she used her anima energy to manipulate or otherwise abuse others. Her shadow elements -- lust to be in control, denial of her real motives, etcetera -- would diminish as she outgrew her me-centered leanings. What could others do? Love her enough to cease tolerating her misuse of her abilities.

    5. Get intimate with your own projections and projection-reception tendencies. Don’t make projection wrong; instead, simply do what you have to do to see through it. Begin with yourself. You won’t be much help to her in dealing with her anima forces if you can’t do the same for yourself.

    Projection is to separation as identification is to connection.

    As we stop separating from our projections, neither disowning nor identifying with them, we cease disconnecting from ourselves, entering what we never truly left but only dreamt we did.

    6. It, like any other mode of being, is part of the face of spirituality, however homely, dense, or unrepentantly stuck.


    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-16-2006, 10:03 AM 11294 in reply to 11255

    • jacinda is not online. Last active: 04-16-2009, 11:10 AM jacinda
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    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Arthur,

    Great questions!Smile [:)]

    Robert,

    Thank you for your continued participation!Smile [:)]

    This stands out....Love her enough to cease tolerating her misuse of her abilities.

    This really resonates with why one seeks a life's purpose or meaning.

    I recall...one trains in all other passions to be able to bear the passion of the divine....illuminating limitless ability to be Loving.

    LOVE

    Betsy


    “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~Mark Twain
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  •  10-16-2006, 10:53 AM 11301 in reply to 11294

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    jacinda:
    This stands out....Love her enough to cease tolerating her misuse of her abilities.

    This really resonates with why one seeks a life's purpose or meaning.

    I couldn't agree more, Jacinda.  I've been thinking a lot lately about the oft-repeated observation that to be truly kind to someone is NOT the same thing as being kind to their ego (or shadow, or dysfunction).

    spiral out,

    arthur


    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-16-2006, 11:41 AM 11311 in reply to 11255

    • JaneMc is not online. Last active: 05-07-2009, 3:29 AM JaneMc
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    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Love her enough to cease tolerating her misuse of her abilities.

     

    I agree, those are great questions, and interesting answers.

     

    The anima woman is not only an intoxicating, entrancing figure to many, many wonderful men, but also a deeply challenging figure to many, many wonderful women who are determined to live full and authentic lives.  In the face of the anima woman, many gorgeous real, sexually vital and present women have been relegated to the role of dependable, neutered friend, as the AW goes about her business lining up suitors and collecting at the various toll booths.  I am reminded of Margaret Atwood’s Robber Bride.  I would love to say that the men attracted to the anima woman were merely a bunch of dummies with nothing much going for them, but often this does not appear to be so.  Many wonderful men spend their lives going from one AW to another, and wondering why their relationships don’t work.  At the same time, and not merely coincidentally, many real and fabulous women are rendered to roles that are underwhelming and unfulfilling, and unpartnered.

     

    I have been puzzling the question from the ‘integral relationship thread’ the aspect in relationships of ‘sexual chemistry’.  An anima woman generally can conjure sexual chemistry in spades.  Otherwise discerning men participate in and succumb to this chemistry, and are lost mindlessly on the slippery slide.  As a result, many men are unavailable for authentic relationships with real women who determined  to be honest and present in a real truthful relationship.  ‘Thinking with their small head’ is the ‘joke’.   But really, it is tragic.

     

    Just as so many men seem pathetically helpless in this situation, authentic women are too.  There is almost nothing to be done as men choose the younger mistresses, the wardrobe girls, the playmates, over and above the many many real women who are available for truthful authentic encounters and who are seeking real, truthful, present men.  I am thinking now of  the movie ‘Love Actually’—who got the gold heart?, who got the Joni Mitchell CD?…..that was a most amazing performance by Emma Thompson….that scene of heartbreak…..how could any man ever, ever be so stupid, yet it happens all the time.  And what woman did not watch that scene and know that humiliation, that powerlessness, that helplessness?

     

    It is offensive and insulting to women when we are overlooked and bypassed routinely by men for ‘the anima woman’.  I know, I know,  we are all on a journey, we are given these various growth opportunities to further our way along the path. Still, it is pretty pathetic when I look around me and see all of the beautiful, vital, unpartnered women, including myself….and I wonder where our partners are?

     

    Even as I finish writing this, I hesitate to post it.  It sounds whiny.  I might get told off for not putting it in the right thread….blah, blah, blah.  I have a cold, and I must go out and stack some wood on this brisk and blue day…..Still-- where are the brave and manly men looking for authentic relationships and curious explorations into the numinous WE? This seems to be a perennial question. Why does Eros run away?


    The fabric of my life is the cloth with which it is my responsibility to polish the lens of my own perception
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  •  10-16-2006, 12:40 PM 11313 in reply to 11311

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    Hi, Jane

     

    I have no problem with people commenting on the questions and answers here; I also encourage people to start daughter threads if they wish to start a more in-depth conversation on a topic (if so, please link to it from this thread). 

     

    All the questions and answers are being archived on a blog anyway, for people who like to mainline RAM into their cerebral cortex undiluted by commentary.  This would be as good a time as any to announce that I'm moving away from the increasingly unwieldy one-blog-entry archive that I've got going in Infinite Spiral, and have created a separate, dedicated blog for the Q&A:

     

    Integral Naked Interviews Robert Augustus Masters

     

    It's going to take a while for me to port all the Q&A's over, but in the long run it'll be much better - for one thing, each part of the Q&A will have it's own link, in case you want to amaze and amuse your friends by forwarding particularly pithy sections or whatever.

     

    spiral out,

    arthur

     

     


    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  10-16-2006, 12:54 PM 11319 in reply to 11313

    Re: Q&A with Robert Augustus Masters

    For anyone interested in continuing the recent discussion, I've started a daughter thread on Anima Women.

    spiral out,

    arthur


    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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