Sunday, 28 August 2016
Exploring the Tapestry of the Mind, Body, and Spirit
I have had the wonderful experience this summer listening to the tapestry of the archives of Tapestry. I have always been a fan of the show and particularly enjoy Mary Hines’ discerning and thoughtful interview style. The depth and breadth of the topics and individuals who are presented on the show provide me with food for my spirit and soul. Part of the affinity I feel for Mary Hines is one introvert connecting to another. As she revealed in one of the programs I listened to recently, Mary is an unapologetic introvert. as am I, who revealed her dream is to live in a light house away from the world. Now I can’t say that I have had that specific dream either in waking life or while asleep. However, I can certainly appreciate her desire. I have thought that being sentenced to house arrest would be no punishment for someone like me, and perhaps other strong introverts, as it is there that I am at home—not where I live specifically but where I am truly at home.
Tapestry—the program not the spiritual place—is one of the wonders of this life where I can explore the different subject that speak to me in ways that I find make my life more meaningful and make me more the person that God intends me to be.
In my marathon of Tapestry programs I noticed a number of connections which I would like to share with you. There were a couple of programs that connected with my understanding of the unconscious forces that are part of the human condition. Without going into detail the unconscious, as first identified by Sigmund Freud and expanded on by Carl Jung, is that aspect of the psyche that is not readily available to our conscious life. The energies will most frequently make themselves known to us in our dreams but also in other phenomenon such as waking visions and synchronistic experiences (meaningful coincidences).
The unconscious forces in people were a connection in the programs ‘Hearing Voices’, and ‘Psychologist Anthony Bossis: Can psychedelic drugs help ease the fear of death’.
In Hearing Voices, I was struck by the approach taken in the treatment in which the idea of asking the “good voices” for aid the advice for her to “stand up to the bad voices” was presented as an important part of the treatment. In my understanding the voices which are experienced by people come from the same source as dreams and other such experiences of the psyche. The idea getting for help from the inner energy is the essence of the individuation process identified by Jung. In addition standing up to images in nightmares and facing them is a very successful technique in dream work. The classic way to deal with monsters in our dreams is rather than running from them is to turn around and ask them what they want. In effect we befriend the energy which is being presented to us. The maxim that all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness of the dreamer is important in working with dreams.
This approach applies to the experience of people who are participating in the experiment using psilocybin to deal with their fear of their imminent death. As noted in the New Yorker Magazine article:
The “same force that takes you deep within will, of its own impetus, return you safely to the everyday world,” the manual offers at one point. Guides are instructed to remind subjects that they’ll never be left alone and not to worry about their bodies while journeying, since the guides will keep an eye on them. If you feel like you’re “dying, melting, dissolving, exploding, going crazy etc.—go ahead,” embrace it: “Climb staircases, open doors, explore paths, fly over landscapes.” And if you confront anything frightening, “look the monster in the eye and move towards it. . . . Dig in your heels; ask, ‘What are you doing in my mind?’ Or, ‘What can I learn from you?’ Look for the darkest corner in the basement, and shine your light there.” This training may help explain why the darker experiences that sometimes accompany the recreational use of psychedelics have not surfaced in the N.Y.U. and Hopkins trials.
I embrace the invitation to “Looking the darkest corner in the basement, and shine your light there.” It is very much in line with one of the first steps in dream work which is to engage the shadow. These are the parts of your psyche—yourself which you do not want to recognize and are often not even aware are part of you. They lurk in the darkest corners of your psychic basement. However, as with the other aspects and images that appear in your dreams and in your projections, you need to be in relationship with you and discover what you can learn from them.
It is wonderful to hear about the work that in going on in different areas of our culture that will help people to become more fully the people that God or whatever is your higher power intends you to be.
Thank you for bring such inspiring people with wonderful lives and work to all of us.