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Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

Last post 03-20-2007, 1:14 PM by ralphweidner. 46 replies.
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  •  07-07-2006, 9:48 PM 1115 in reply to 1093

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hey Joanne, and Sue,

    I thought I'd jump in here a bit about shadow and ego atttachement.  I studied a bit of the depth psychology at Pacifica Grad Inst, and my understanding of shadow as it is described generally these days by most post-Jungian depth peoples is that it is the aspects of self that our ego tends to disapprove of.  Robert Bly has a great essay about the long bag we all drag around behind us filled with all the aspects of self that were rejected by family, peers, society and ultimately the self.  Now this does not necessarily always mean "negative" aspects, for many of our "positive" aspects may have been put into shadow because our environment frowned upon them (they threated the status quo of our parent's egos and were probably part of their shadows too) and thus we get demonizing and idealizing projections.  So in some way, ego attachment (defined as when the ego says, "Look how swell I am!") would seem to me to feed the shadow.  Whatever the ego becomes attached to, it will want to disassociate from its opposite.  So maybe ego attachment doesn't necessarily = shadow, but it surely facilitates it, and maybe we could go as far to say that the shadow would not exist without it.

    I don't know if any of that is helpful or even pertinent, but I felt compelled to share my take on it.

    And I so agree about defining ego carefully.  There are so many ways to do that.  And part of how I hold it is that ego is a conscious organizing force, and that what is unconscious is not part of the ego, but makes up the shadow.   And yet my thought is, as we move up the evolutionary ladder, does our ego become more adept at making all parts of psyche an object to behold and operate upon?  Or is this the Self, that has within it all parts of the psyche (ego, unconscious, etc.) taking more ownership over the domain of it all?  Kind of like in Big Mind when you realize that the controller thought it was the Master, until you meet the real Master and see that the controller only had domain over a very small part of the psyche, and that it did not like many parts of it (thus creating shadows).  I definitely see the controller and ego as the same thing in that instance.

    Thanks for having me,
    Kelly



    It's ALL soul. Junior Wells
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  •  07-07-2006, 9:51 PM 1117 in reply to 1093

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Joanne,

    And of course, after reading that you are a practicing psychologist, I feel like an ass for my post.   Oh well!  Ta DAH.

    Well, at least I got to walk through it for myself.  And come to the end where I have an inquiry about all of this.

    LOL,
    Kelly

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  •  07-08-2006, 2:20 PM 1154 in reply to 1117

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    polymind:
    Joanne,

    And of course, after reading that you are a practicing psychologist, I feel like an ass for my post.   Oh well!  Ta DAH.

    Well, at least I got to walk through it for myself.  And come to the end where I have an inquiry about all of this.

    LOL,
    Kelly


    You may have one, but you ain't one.  I could be a practicing but never arriving psychologist. :)

    I appreciate your info on Jung's view.  That was helpful.  I have breadth but not depth on Jung. 

    My training, and my own therapy, were in bioenergetic, psychodynamic, and Gestalt therapy (plus some other stuff).  From  a psychological and healing point of view, it has worked very well for me to always consider my unconscious as my best friend, so long as I know how to interpret the info it throws up to me, and often to trust it even when I don't understand it.  From the point of view of samsaric functioning (in everyday life), :), my shadow would only be info about my inner and outer reality that I resist knowing about, because my ucs thinks it'd be too painful. 

    But, from a meditative viewpoint, in which we're training toward ever higher levels of samadhi (a la "Transformation of Consciousness"), we'd want to be able to deconstruct everything, especially the patterned ways our own "ego" (as mediation of experience) functions.  We'd want to allow ucs material to arise, and also, hopefully, our actual ego functions themselves.  So in that way, your view could fit most. 

    In Ken's interview with Fr. Thomas Keating on I-N, they talk about the shadow as our real demons (including unacceptable strengths, as you wrote).  The demon, the real unacceptable stuff, like shattering guilt, unbearable shame, having the hots for your own unsexy parent, etc., is not just directly covered over but is disguised and won't arise undisguised in meditation.  In that context, Ken is saying that psychotherapy, not meditation, is needed for shadow work, IMO. 

    So maybe an agreed-upon definition of "shadow" depends upon the purpose and context (zone).  I wonder what the most fitting definition is in Ken's definition.  I'd think it best if we had an "integrated" definition of the word that works in all contexts (zones).

    Anybody want to venture into this land?

    Best,
    Joanne

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  •  07-10-2006, 8:29 AM 1236 in reply to 1154

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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi Joanne and Kelly,

    For a working definition of shadow: I have heard Ken speak in very broad terms that shadow is anything that the individual considers he/she is not. Because as our true selves, we are Self, which is all.

    So the shadow would be composed of emergent qualities and well as submergent qualities. Submergent qualities are the ones we repessed while growing up, anything our ego defended against for its survival. However, emergent properties are possible qualities that could be ours, that we haven't yet owned or evolved to-- the so called "golden shadow." The golden shadow would include positive projected qualities that we previously repressed, as well as emergent stages that we have not yet evolved to.

    This is a very different definition from Jung's or Bly's understanding of shadow, but I personally really like it.

    Robin 

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  •  07-10-2006, 9:14 AM 1237 in reply to 487

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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    "I personally think (and some friends and Socrates agree with me) that loving something or someone involves a desire to contact, interact with, or at least be effected by that object of love, and I'm not sure that "appreciate just as it is and as it isn't" carries that implication. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, however. This is, clearly, closely tied to my first concern about what exactly "appreciate" means."

    Sorry for taking so long to reply. I've been busy doing integral parenting. (School's been out for weeks and camp just started today.)

    Many years ago in therapy, I thought a lot about how to define love because I was trying to figure out if my parents loved me. Or if I wanted to count what they called love as love. (In the end, I did.)

    Anyway, I really like the idea of a line for love, because I do think the capacity to love evolves as the individual matures. Not that an infant doesn't love its mother, but that kind of love is instinctual and organic. Nothing wrong with that. (In fact, it's great!) That instinctual love counts (in my book.)

    On the other hand, back when I was thinking about my parents' love (in my early 20's), I got the idea that I'd have felt more loved if they appreciated me more and used me (to meet their needs) less. Which brings me to the question of "a desire to contact, interact with, or at least be effected by that object of love." The extent to which I feel valued and appreciated --in spite of how much or little I provide contact and interaction--is the extent to which I feel truly loved. The extent to which I feel understood and appreciated --without having to provide grattification for the other-- (aside from the gratification that's always inherent in the act of appreciation) that's how much I feel truly, selflessly loved.

    Now, this business of selfless loving is a very big deal. And if there were a love line of development, I would think that the more un-selfish the love, the more evolved it would be. Not that there's anything wrong with the kind of love that wants something back in return. Marriages need those considerations and so do friendships. But the purer the motivations behind the love, the less the lover stands to selfishly gain from the act of loving, the higher on the developmental line it would be.

    So-- instinctive love from an infant could be preconventional. Friendships and marriages would (usually) be conventional, or conventional to the extent that the legitatmate needs of both parties are negotiated and met. Postconventional love would require less and less specific behaviors from the beloved until, in the ideal, the only thing that would be required is permission to love and contemplate.

    OK-- a bit idealitstic. But I'm thinking the more need, the less evolved the love; the more appreication, the more evolved.

    What do you all think? Robin

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  •  07-10-2006, 12:29 PM 1248 in reply to 1237

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    rosecpw:

    Now, this business of selfless loving is a very big deal. And if there were a love line of development, I would think that the more un-selfish the love, the more evolved it would be. Not that there's anything wrong with the kind of love that wants something back in return. Marriages need those considerations and so do friendships. But the purer the motivations behind the love, the less the lover stands to selfishly gain from the act of loving, the higher on the developmental line it would be.

    So-- instinctive love from an infant could be preconventional. Friendships and marriages would (usually) be conventional, or conventional to the extent that the legitatmate needs of both parties are negotiated and met. Postconventional love would require less and less specific behaviors from the beloved until, in the ideal, the only thing that would be required is permission to love and contemplate.



    I like it! Sounds like a plan to me. Though I might suggest that even what you call "selfless love" is very much in the best interest of the individual. I think the reason that higher up love encompasses more and seems to expect less in return, is because as we move up the line, we see how simply loving others is a powerful return in and of itself, regardless of what others do in response. The more I learn about the world, the more I see that my happiness and health are directly related to everyone else's happiness and health. The more I believe that I am honestly a part of everything (and vice versa) in the universe, the more I realize that true "selfishness", ultimately, is good for everyone, because everyone is, in fact, a part of my "self".

    I saw a quote recently:

    "If you really feel "oneness" with everything, it is only natural to take responsibility for all your parts. Helpful words and actions begin to flow forth spontaneously." - Shinzen Young

    When your own toe is hurting, you know insitinctively to offer it unconditional love, so to speak. You don't attack it, or try and convince it that it is wrong for hurting, or tell it to go away, or say "I'll help you but you need to do me a favor in return!" No, you treat your toe with utmost respect, find out why it's hurting, and lovingly help your toe feel better, because doing so helps you feel better. The same goes for the rest of the universe, once you have seen how it is connected to you.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-10-2006, 3:59 PM 1260 in reply to 1248

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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi Turtle,

    I just wrote to you on the Integral Parenting Thread. "Selfless love" is very much in the best interest of the individual," you say here. And I couldn't agree more. And this does remind me of our other thread where you pointed out that what's best for my daughter is also (by definition) best for me!

    Talk to you soon, I hope, Robin

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  •  07-14-2006, 12:50 PM 1432 in reply to 1093

    • slbrown is not online. Last active: 10-26-2006, 10:30 AM slbrown
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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi Joanne (and everyone else joining in),

    thanks for the response. I have been taking some time to think about this thread and about your original question and the rewording of that in post 718(the probability that shadow distorts what we think might be subtle, causal or nondual and how do we "most growfully"[really like that phrase by the way!] work with altered state experiences). I've been thinking about this from a couple different  perspectives: my first person experiences with PTF and shadow work, and from a 3p view trying to use Integral as a guide.

    I think what helps us to keep growing in our development and in interpreting state experiences is continued practice, objective questioning of our experience, confering with other practitioners,working with getting to know our shadows, and seeking guidance from teachers - an integral approach! (now there's a suprise! - that a student of Ken Wilber's work thinks an integral approach is helpfulWink [;)])

    For a time in my life, I was definitely stuck in PTF. I was into new age spirituality and got really good at calling prerational experiences postrational. After I had hung out in this space for a while, I was introduced to Ken's work and PTF and I started to question more deeply my experiences, to look at them as objectively as possible and use some discerning wisdom to pull apart the pre from the post while also developing a new appreciation for the rational. An Integral approach really helped me to step out of a PTF view and continue forward with my personal development.

    Another question has developed for me and that is: from a 2nd tier center of gravity does PTF continue to be a possible problem? Since at 2nd tier, one can distinguish the previous stages which consist of pre-rational, rational and post-rational, then hasn't one outgrown PTF?

    Now from 2nd tier, we still will interpret state experiences from whatever stage we are at and from what ever perspective we are viewing it through. This perspective and zone (as Ken describes it in Chap 1 of  IS) will affect how we interpret our experience. And living with us there at that address is also our shadow (in all the ways that we might define that to be). So I think all of these things are affecting how we interpret a state, but the limitations of our view are limitations not necessarily PTF. Am I right in that? I don't outgrow my shadow (well different lines of me might, but my shadow herself, is still part of my whole, I can't transcend her), but I can get to know her and reintegrate her with my whole-self. The more I can do that then the less limitations I have in the view through my perspective.

    From a 1p experience of this, I am continually amazed at growth and how my perspective gains more breadth and depth as I grow! What I mean by this is the experience of being at a certain level for a while and thinking that "oh, now I get things" and then as I continue to grow through integral practice, I realize how narrowly I got things when I thought I was getting them! What I am finally learning from this repeated experience is that there is always more to know so it helps me to keep in mind that no matter how complete I might think my interpretation of a state or experience is, there is always more to it than I am seeing at the moment and this keeps my curiosity high.

    Thanks for letting me think out loud throughout this post! I don't know if I offered anything to your original postulate.

    Peace,
    Sue





    And right there was everything I knew and I could not say what that was. - Natalie Goldberg
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  •  07-19-2006, 12:18 PM 1630 in reply to 85

    Maslow in AQAL

    I'm wondering how AQAL integrates (heh) Maslow's Higherarchy of Needs theory. Does Ken ever bring this list of needs up in an indepth way? (I've seen him reference Maslow's work, but not actually talk about the needs themselves).

    I ask because I'm impressed with the model Maslow came up with, and see it as being very useful in diagnosing areas where people get stuck, developmentally.

    Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
    Turtle
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  •  07-26-2006, 2:13 PM 2096 in reply to 1260

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    I wonder what you guys would think of this.

    As you grow cognitively, you come to recognize deeper parts of both yourself and others. You can see further into people's interiors, so to speak. Does growth on the love line involve loving deeper parts of people? A baby loves the body of its mother, primarily. A child loves the emotional and social beings of those it loves. The top of the line might have something to do with your deepest self loving the deepest self of another.

    And, of course, when parents are contracted on this line, and love only the lower parts of their children, that makes it difficult for the child who is trying to develop higher levels, because they aren't invited there, and are pressured to stay in the realms where their parents can love them. So healthy love of a child includes loving those growing parts of them that require independence and distance, and giving them these accordingly. Does that make sense at all?

    I'm presenting it this way because I'm a little uncomfortable with the selfless love idea. This may be my own contraction speaking, but it seems important to me that, even as one learns to love more broadly and love more selflessly, one needs to preserve (include, as well as transcend) love on lower levels. A marriage should include love of deepest self for deepest self, but it's good when a marriage can include love of body for body, and social being for social being, too, right? But at the same time, one can love more broadly in that deepest way than one can love in the lower ways. Ideally, I guess, one would love the deepest self in everyone, but have a narrower circle of bodies and social beings one loves.

    I'm out on a limb here in sensitive territory. Does any of this sound right to people?

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  •  07-27-2006, 7:21 AM 2153 in reply to 2096

    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    I'm out on a limb here in sensitive territory. Does any of this sound right to people?

     

    i love what you wrote.  maybe i'm misunderstanding what some people mean by "selfless", but i think you have embraced it.  suppressing a "love of body for body" may be a type of reductionism called elevationism, which is not AQAL, imo.

    later,

    gene

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  •  08-04-2006, 6:53 PM 3298 in reply to 305

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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi Joanne,
    Great to see your post. I connected with your buddies Lynne (Feldman) & Robin (Reinach) from your fabulous NY "inner circle", having just returned from ILP2 & a brief holiday in Boulder & the Rockies after. What a buzz that must be for you four to have each other to discuss things with!

    Re: your question on altered states:- The "I Heart Huckabees" hit-in-the-face-with-a-soft-object exercise may not necessarily induce any altered state worthy of note other than a pre-personal or personal focusing of attention into a present awareness of the blows & the spaces in between them. I guess also the intention behind the exercise may play a role too. If it's just to stop thoughts, I'd like to know what motivates that desire & why they think hitting themselves with a soft object is a method of achieving this state. How many authentic lineages use this as a method of stopping thoughts? Maybe some shamanic ones do (for all I know) & this may be an appropriate way to give someone in a pre-personal or personal (conventional) level of development a taste of "no thought". Methinks it's a little whacky (excuse the pun).

    The way the Big Mind state is set up & entered into addresses the resistances inherent in the separate-selves of the pre-and personal selves (watched over by the Controller, who is initially called on so as to loosen its hold), minimising the fear of no-self which can occur in a spontaneous experience of this state. Remember the Wilber-Coombes matrix & the varieties of ways each of these experiences will be interpreted according to the level of self-development.

    Perhaps the transluscent openness which some psychotherapies consider a goal is based on an understanding that there needs to be a healthy & stable enough personal/conventional self-sense before we can transcend it without inducing fear. This is Jack Engler's important point. My take on many traditional psychotherapies is that their focus is on achieving horizontal health in the pre-personal & personal lines of development & that they don't focus on vertical growth into the transpersonal levels. Even those traditional therapies which acknowledge the transpersonal levels are not immune to the "pre-trans fallacy" which Ken talks about.

    All the very best,
    Vivian.
     




    vivianb
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  •  08-07-2006, 4:03 PM 3671 in reply to 3298

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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    Hi again all of you contributing to this thread,

    I apologise for not reading all your insightful thoughts & questions on the previous pages before writing the above post.  My intention is to start from the beginning before another precipitous airing of opinion.

    Namaste,
    Vivian.

    vivianb
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  •  03-15-2007, 8:27 PM 20683 in reply to 433

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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    I really like this discussion, particularly the idea about appreciation. I've noticed that the comments about love so far seem to have been from the perspective of love being a feeling. I'd like to just add in another perspective which views love as a particlar type of action or willingness to act. For example, M. Scott Peck suggested that love is essentially a willingness to act in support of the spiritual growth of the other person.

    As I write this it occurs to me that love is an AQAL affair. Love is an occasion that has a particular feeling and type of perception (UL) that leads to particular kinds of behaviors (UR). Love has a relational aspect (LL) that manifests in particular social arrangements (friendship, dating, marriage, therapy, etc) (LR).

    Alex

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  •  03-15-2007, 9:11 PM 20686 in reply to 2096

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    Re: Integral Psychology & Psychotherapy Thread!

    I think you are on to something with this post. I am also uncomfortable with the idea of selfless love, largely because I think the term is used imprecisely. My sense is that the typical meaning of selfless love is one in which the needs of the other are put first. I think that a lot of times people who attempt to express "selfless love" end up being a door mat. Parents who take care of their children may be expressing selfless love but maybe they're meeting their inner need to be a good parent. And I wonder if there are times when putting your needs first can be the most loving thing you do for another person (e.g. when modeling appropriate boundaries). Can you love the other without loving your self? To get more literal...can there be any such thing as selfless love or no-self love? Who does the loving? The ever-present Witness? Is that love or just pure awareness? Are they the same?

    Well, I'm not sure that made a lot of sense. It's late and I'm off to bed.

    Peace,

    Alex

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