Just announced a Psychodrama Weekend. I have conducted many psychodrama weekends and I’m pleased to have warmed up to something new for this one.
In a technological era like ours, the fate and future of the spontaneity principle as a major pattern of culture and living may depend on good fortune in tying it up with technological devices.
Moreno Psychodrama v. 1 p. 403
I had to do a big thing. The whole of this blog was corrupted. Nothing. With long guides about how to reinstall and reconnect to the database I did it.
I was scared of loosing this. I realise how much I love it when it is gone. Like Christchurch after the earthquake – I was not really home here in Christchurch till now when it is just a mess.
Pleased to see my post about wisdom & consciousness come up. How against the grain that is! I wonder why so may of the people I know who are “idealist in the philosophical sense” don’t dispute my outrageous claims against the received wisdom that is the engine that drives psychotherapy and pretty much all of self help and liberal politics.
Never mind… I’m saying nothing original, just marxism and Moreno stuff that no-one seems to get. I’m curious… is this important? I don’t think liberal tolerance of liberal ideas is a healthy thing. But then it does not really matter… that is the point, reality will win out no matter what stories we tell.
Bear with my reflections…
The ideology does not matter, but being in touch with what reality is up to… that does matter. Who can really figure What is to be done at this time? Wishful thinking wont help much.
Anyway, pleased the blog is back
Later, Tuesday, 17 October, 2017
“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.”
“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.”
… every culture is characterized by a certain set of roles which it imposes with a varying degree of success upon its membership.
Moreno Who Shall Survive? p. 88
Two forms of the cultural conserve are referred to in my writings: the technological conserve, as books, motion pictures, robots, and the “human” conserve, the conserve which uses the human organism for its vehicle.
Psychodrama v. 1 p. 123
Love the work of Austin Kleon – this is an image from his 2018 Calendar
If “the focal conflict model” could be described in a picture, this is it. The black abyss shows the depth of the concept, and “We” that it is often something we share. The group is larger than the sum of its parts and can have its own disturbing motives.
Here is a link to the original analytic paper about these matters.
Wonderful podcast. Great exposition of an idea that came through looking at houses and then could be generalised.
The thinking applies to design as well as social change.
The image gives the idea:
I think of other theories of change:
Needs more explaining but has broad application W = warm-up
And then there is Dialectics. Not to be dismissed. Hegelian and then Marxist.
In July I found this Kim Hill Interview enlightening. Made me see how we have claimed half the earth and now need that other half to sustain us. We must not touch it!
“Professor Johan Rockström led the team of scientists who worked out the planetary boundaries framework – nine environmental lines we cannot safely cross if human life is to be sustainable on Earth.”
He won the Hillary Award, and is from the Stockholm Resilience Centre
That must be quite a place! It seems another speaker on Kim Hill recently is also connected with the place:
“He says scientists were “staggered” to discover this acceleration was not related to population growth, but to consumption by the world’s wealthiest countries.”
What a great interview. Cuba avoids its carbon production by investing in health and education!
Linking here as I want to listen again.
I want to get this book.
Thought it might be fun to offer the protagonists in The Dolls House couple therapy.
Got me thinking about the story of the cave. Ordinary people are fooled. Only certain elite trained people can see the world properly. They are enlightened. At one point they mention that knowledge (according to Plato) is not “bits” but that at a certain point there is a whole shift to a new mental state. It reminds me of spiritual enlightenment. They use the word ‘enlightenment’ in the podcast.
I think a qualitative shift in knowledge is possible. But it is not in the state of mind, that makes the shift. Something has been discovered, it is based on evidence. It can be taught, e.g. The world is round – species evolve. That is not a new state of mind, anyone can learn these things. There is “common wisdom” (maybe as old as this stuff in Plato) that ordinary learning won’t do the trick, that we need to go through some spiritual process of cleansing, saving or sitting and that there are special teachers. Plato certainly raises the right question – what is knowledge and what is belief, but his answers are not convincing, and maybe pernicious.
“We need a new state of consciousness before the world can change.” I hear that a lot. This spiritual answers seem wrong, yet Marx also talked of class consciousness. Certainly we need thorough study and knowledge. But the paradigm shifts don’t happen to “us” they happen as science, and social science discovers more about the way the things and people work. Then people need to be taught that stuff.
Listened to another rather wonderful podcast Kim Hill interview with Ken Loach — Ken Loach – Life and films MP3 One moment I liked was where he says that class struggle in capitalism is not a belief of some kind. Once you have learned about it, like evolution, it is how it is.
I quoted blogger Tim Boucher back in 2010 in this blog.
The link in that post to Tims page is only available on the Wayback Machine.
I dug it up today as I was thinking of mentors and heroes. I look back and see how admired them, I fell in love with some and idolised some. I still do! They are all different, they teach different things some are enemies of the other. I’m thinking of them as people I have learned from. Mentors might be the right word.
I still like what I wrote:
“I like to think I am not into having heroes but most of these from tb are my heroes. I’d add a few: J.L. Moreno, James Hillman, Jim Rough, Karl Marx, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Kurt Vonnegut, Peter Pinney… of course they are all a bit flawed, but that is where the light gets in… I’ll add Leonard Cohen, and there are a lot of non-famous real people who have had a bigger impact!”
And Tim replied:
“it’s not that your heroes need to be perfect, so much as it helps to have ideal images after which to model oneself. its a lot easier to build a car if you know what a car looks like, how it feels, how it operates!”
I’ll make a list, with some quotes and links. Maybe in rough chronological order of then coming into my life. I’ve begun the list!
Skills, knowledge, spontaneity, intelligence, creativity and wisdom are not consciousness.
Easily and often confused. Consciousness raising, so effective in the 70s brought with it the idea that learning and education developed consciousness. Maybe the miss-use of the word began with Marx? Class consciousness, does he even use that word? If he did he did not mean that it could be developed by reading books or classes alone. Learning comes through experience. Why is using the word consciousness now in the 2010’s a problem?
Hmmm, bear with me… I’m exploring something.
People do not have higher or lower levels of consciousness. People have skills and abilities including the ability to warm up to spontaneity and creativity. People learn things in practice. Experience and relationships build ethical wisdom. Discrimination can be taught. Spontaneity can be trained.
To learn, people need relationships, access to teachers and books and crazy people ( typo) I meant craft people. Being around people who can sing, converse, act, make things, helps people learn. Generous people who share what they know are real teachers.
Action, involvement, engagement, immersion and courage to act and to make mistakes is how people enrich themselves and others. Out of action we get knowledge and ideas. Action first reflection second. Collaboration and interaction before contemplation. All of this makes us wiser.
Wisdom is not consciousness, it is attained through practice and living. Consciousness is a mysterious quality of knowing we are alive and exist. We just know it, but it is a mystery.
Becoming more able, relational, effective and wise is less mysterious, it takes access to good teachers. Courage to act. Willingness to seek advice. Ask questions. Discrimination. Love
This is a simple ideal I’m trying to express. Dewey, Marx, Moreno all promoted action learning. Experiential learning. Now more than ever the dominant culture works to keep us passive, ignorant, isolated. Consciousness, higher, lower, altered, psychological, even radical, by any name is individual, private, personal.
One of the reasons I’m exploring this line of thinking is that there are plenty of movements that promote the idea that if 10% (or whatever) of people reached some sort of higher state of consciousness then the world would be fixed.
It is more dialectical than that.
We are in process and as the world changes, we change. Action by action. Not only thought by thought.