Creativity, spontaneity and something Blake said

I have linked to this quote before, I just noticed it again & saw it in a new light. In relationship to Moreno’s Canon of Creativity. I think the word “attention” is wonderful. Eastern traditions use attention in meditation, but what is attention? A Buddhist friend of mine said it is simply love. It is a mystery alright! I can put my attention where I will! Attention is intentional. Right now it is on the blinking cursor. A moment later on the song playing on the radio downstairs.

Attention & blessing are all forms of warm-up?

Compare this from with the passage below from an essay I have that will be in the next Psychodrama journal. Michael Meade:

What happens if they’re not shown the recognition of that seed?

Now, we’re back to death. William Blake said that the garden of the soul is already planted and is waiting for the water of life. Call it the water of attention. There are innate ideas, dreams, stories, buried in people. When we don’t water those seeds, culture loses ideas. It loses imagination. It loses the capacity to dream itself forward. I mean that literally.

What happens to someone whose innate core cannot grow?

The “second nature” of a person (the innate capacities) needs two kinds of attention. The person has to attend to it themselves. It also needs the other kind of attention which used to be called a blessing, the attention, especially from someone who’s respected, someone who says, “I saw that. I heard that. I see the seed of life you’re coming from.” If these two kinds of attention don’t happen, a kind of death is occurring, a withering.

From my essay, with a quote from Moreno:

“The universe is infinite creativity.” – Moreno

Moreno envisaged creativity as integral to the universe. Humans have creativity by virtue of being born in the universe and thus creativity itself lives within us. Yet not all of us are able to tap into our creative potential. What is the difference between those who create successfully and those who do not?

“What separates them is the spontaneity which, in the successful cases, enables the carriers to take full command of their resources, whereas the failures are at a loss with all their treasures; they suffer from deficiencies in their warming-up process. Creativity without spontaneity becomes lifeless; its living intensity increases and decreases in proportion to the amount of spontaneity in which it partakes. Spontaneity without creativity is empty and runs abortive. Spontaneity and creativity are thus categories of a different order; creativity belongs to the categories of substance — it is the arch substance — spontaneity to the categories of catalyzer — it is the arch catalyzer.”

(Moreno, 1953:39-40)

This quotation is drawn from Who Shall Survive, where Moreno describes the Canon of Creativity. This quotation, drawn from Who Shall Survive, describes the Canon of Creativity. I interpret Moreno’s Canon as a heritage of paths to creativity; on the one hand, our innate vitality and ability to be spontaneous beings and on the other, our artifacts, all that we have made, the tools we use, our alphabet, language and literature, all the items conserved in the culture. The inherited past including art works and treasures remain dull and dead until we come to them with spontaneity. Our cultural items cannot influence our creativity until we bring them back to life. We are automatons unless we are co-creators.

Practice-Based Evidence

Practice Based Evidence – Welcome:

Contemporary mental health services are challenged to address ‘evidence based practice’, but is this at the expense of ‘practice based evidence’?

At first glance there is a very welcome movement here for an approach that can avoid scientism in psychotherapy. I am enthusiastic that this will blend well with the sort of sociometric exploration that Moreno developed. Using the words practice-based evidence there is a swag of good stuff that comes up in Google. 

Useful psychotherapy page in Wikipedia

Category:Psychotherapy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a different page than the one that appears under Psychotherapy, which is also useful.  This is a Wikipedia “Category” and it shows well how Psychotherapy is just that.  Psychotherapy is a category like “tree” then there are many species some very different from others. In New Zealand we have one organization that covers all the various modalities, this is rather unusual in the world, even though there is also a World Council for Psychotherapy WCP (A trip to Beijing in 2008 could be a good thing to do!).

While there are irreconcilable world views behind some of the modalities, they reflect the complexity of the mind & soul.  No one modality can really capture it all. My own training was in Psychodrama – which has its strengths but is essentially a group method.  My one-to-one work is informed also by my training as a Social Worker and through my experience of personal Jungian Analysis.

Connected knowing and Role-Reversal

Imago World

A short article: Receiving Sexual Pleasure by Sylvia Rosenfeld, LCSW, again has that Imago reference to “connected knowing”:

The goal of Imago Relationship Therapy is to create the conditions in a relationship that will encourage positive change in partners. The right environment retrains the brain. The behavioral component of sex therapy does this as well. The integration of both therapies can help a couple move from “separate” to “connected” knowing. Dialogue and behavioral assignments, especially sensate focus, create the continual repetition, through words and actions that translate what their “brains” know to what their “hearts” know as well.

I just had a thought that this might be what Psychodramatists call “Role-Reversal” in a sense couples become more empathic as they dialogue, to the point where they have a knowing of each other that goes beyond empathy, they know so many of the dots that it is easy to fill in all the dots (if you get my drift). I can grasp these things more when I can relate them to my primary modality, that is where I learnt things in a visceral way.  In Psychodrama the role reversal is enacted where people literally change places and enact the role that the other had.  It is an important technique.  However it is also used as a way of speaking about an ability people have to step into the shoes of the other.  Again to mix modalities, someone with a narcissitic wound can’t role revers – that is the same wound.  It is also one of the latest stages of child development, and builds on other skills such as mirroring.

I heard about how in the grieving process for a miscarriage the parent role-reversed with the spirit of the child. They had named the unborn baby Martha. In the role reversal the child revealed many feelings and some gratitude for its brief in utero time on earth. She also made it clear that she did not like the name Martha & would they please change it. What sort of knowing is that!

Define: projection

Interestingly this one word generated some profound definitions:

Definitions of projection on the Web:

(psychiatry) a defense mechanism by which your
own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else

www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn

a kind of unconscious identification with the
object (participation mystique). All projections cause
counter-projections; that and being spellbound into living out the
projection are very close to M. Klein’s “projective identification.”
There are personal and collective projections. National or global
crises feed collective projections.

www.tearsofllorona.com/jungdefs.html

the fundamental law of mind: projection makes
perception — what we see inwardly determines what we see outside our
minds. w-m: reinforces guilt by displacing it onto someone else,
attacking it there and denying its presence in ourselves; an attempt to
shift responsibility for separation from ourselves to others. r-m: the
principle of extension, undoing guilt by allowing the forgiveness of
the Holy Spirit to be extended (projected) through us.

www.facim.org/acim/glossary.htm

a defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, in
which what is emotionally unacceptable in the self is unconsciously
rejected and attributed (projected) to others projective tests
diagnostic tests in which the test taker “projects” some aspect of his
or her personality in response to the presentation of ambiguous test
materials

specialed.peoriaud.k12.az.us/psygloss.htm

In Psychoanalytic Theory, the defense mechanism
whereby we transfer or project our feelings about one person onto
another. Projective Techniques A generic term for the psychological
procedures used to measure personality which rely on ambiguous stimuli.

allpsych.com/dictionary/dictionary3.html

Popular Mechanics

NYT
That link did not work on ddd

An interesting item full of stuff about Moreno, but hardly full sociometry. Where is the criteria of “maximum voluntary participation” of these guests that Moreno used to disdinguish his sociometry from pseudo sociometry? This focus of looking at the group mechanistically has led to the title. Sociometry is not a mechanistic approach, but that will be hard for anyone to grasp after the last couple of decades. Still it is interesting that Moreno is still on the agenda somewhere – especially at Harvard.

socius

Later: Link did not work on Thursday, 14 January, 2010 try (saved Walter)

Archetypes, teleology and what is real

Archetypes of Cyberspace is the title of an essay I am writing (still!). The research notes are on this weblog, they are this weblog. I will be doing a more research in the next few weeks if I get the time.

What *is* an archetype? It means chief type as I understand it, in other words the BOSS. But not the boss of the other types so much as the boss of the phenomena. Thus Venus and Eros are archetypes of love, Mars is the archetype of war. The question I put then is – who is the architect of cyberspace, the force that governs it, is behind it, whose domain is it? WHO is building cyberspace? It is interesting think if there is an outcome we are being pulled towards. Is there a plan.

That question might look to Terence McKenna as if I am thinking of the pioneers of Cyberspace as human receivers of instructions from the spiritual realm – the mushrooms or the aliens telling them what to do. Terence postulates that we are TV sets who receive our thoughts from angels etc. I don't think like that.

Even less am I thinking of teleology as used in the Catholic proof for the existence of God by design – though that might have some mileage in it for me.

In a way I do think in both those ways, but not literally, not ontologically. The world is *as if* there were these daemons running the show. It is best to behave as if there are. This is because there are objective unknowable structures in their depth and detail, that we can participate in only by allowing our own psyche to mesh with those structures. To do that we need to live, to allow our own unknown depths to mesh. We are not as machines, but living participants in the world. In other words to live as full humans who are not just systems and wo see not just systems. Is fathering the same as being the male in a family system? No, but sadly many people talk like that. Seeing through the mechaniocal world to the living energy might be hallucination but it is the way to fully participate in life.

The paragraphs so far are prelude to an I dea i am dwelling on. Teleology. That we can relate to a living world by knowing the archetypes is the essence of psychology. But to what extent are the archetypes also out there with definite plans – with an end-point in mind?

Thinking that there is a plan, a pre-conceived end point, is teleology. The idea is much maligned in science as nonsense hanging over from God as the literal architect of everything. Let us be struck for a moment with the word tele here. There is something archetypal in this word. Look how it recurrs in various devices we use: television, telescope, telephone etc.. Distance – space in other words – is what it refers to. J.L. Moreno used the word on its own to refer to the feelings and thoughts directed by a person into space – distance – to an entity, imagined or real, I am not sure about how that hangs together… space=tele, if we substitute space with tele we get cybertele. If steering is what the cyber is about we are able in cyberspace to steer our tele in the morenian sense.

This following passage is interesting from Teleology item on Principia Cybernetica. In this item they manage, quite appropriatly for a 20th century science, to take the supernatural out of teleology while still allowing it to have a meaning within the legitimacy of a fairly positivist model.

Originally, the study of ends, goals and purposes. In cybernetics, the STRUCTURal and organizational conditions for systems to exhibit purposeful behavior, reach goals (see goal oriented), maintain steady states (see homeostasis), survive threats from their environments (see evolution, adaptation), etc. (Krippendorff)

Along with the supernatural they take the metaphor out, and thus the psychology out. They see the world as a machine – which is one way. Which is fine – it makes them biologists or physicists of large systems. Someone has to do that, but it is not psychology. So can we think of a metaphorical teleology? Can we rescue teleology from religion, not for the physical sciences but for psychology? It is the *as if* which cyberneticists leave out that is important.

One reason is role reversal, we can learn about the world from the inside by being the world, or the spitit of a 'system' in the world. Role reversal is the ability we have to step into another's shoes. But we can do this with things and imaginal entities as well as people. As Moreno put it, [1975, p22]

Instead of coming down from the skies, he comes in by way of the stage door. God is not dead, he is alive in psychodrama!

Archetypes are dramatic, imaginal, that is where their power lies, by fully entertaining them we get to know them. But is there some sort of destiny, some sort of pull into the distand future?

I have a sense there is, and that this is not some "transcendental other" hovering out there in any literal sense. More along the lines of a fractal, that a bit of coastline will let us know the shape of the whole coastline, even when that coastline is still in formation.

Psychological truth

Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Scientist or storyteller?

Philosophies that capture the imagination never wholly fade. From Animism to Zoarastrianism, every view known to man retains at least a few devotees. There might always be Freudians, and there will always be admirers of Freud’s great imaginative and literary powers; these two, as the foregoing remarks suggest, are intimately linked. But as to Freud’s claims upon truth, the judgment of time seems to be running against him.

Nah! Truth is not as simple as it looks in this review. Psychological truth is hard won… vampires do not exist so how do we examine them and even more importantly slay them? This is bread and butter stuff for a psychotherapist.