John Berger is worth attending to. He surprises and stimulates constantly about everything. I like this podcast:
We are born into a pattern of relationships.
This pattern influences us deeply.
It has a tendency to repeat and persist.
This brief summary is the basis of psychotherapy, of the unconscious and we work with these patterns in psychodrama. I’m pleased with the crisp summation. I’m satisfied that it captures the relational nature of our being. The relationship nature of the unconscious, or self. It is alive as this pattern “repeats and persists”. And does so even as repair and grapple with the tendencies as they persist.
However the summation is not as soulful or as wild as the process.
From the Dictionary:
noun: ontology; plural noun: ontologies
the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
a set of concepts and categories in a subject area or domain that shows their properties and the relations between them.
“what’s new about our ontology is that it is created automatically from large datasets”
early 18th century: from modern Latin ontologia, from Greek ōn, ont- ‘being’ + -logy.
I have long had a phrase I use “It’s only ontology”. I use it to listen to people as they talk about Jesus, Chi, Shan, God, spirit or soul and so on. My little phrase reminds me to listen to the person rather than get into a debate about the existence of this or that. Also, irrespective of the existence of stuff, ontology “shows properties and the relations between” categories. For an archetypal psychologist, for example, there is a fundamental distinction between soul and spirit. Other people may use the words differently, yet they can reveal much about their world view. It’s only ontology.
I am looking back on earlier posts in relationship to ontology. Here is one where my phrase does not hold:
Useful simple short article.
“Estranged labour, therefore, turns man’s species-being – both nature and his intellectual species-power – into a being alien to him and a means of his individual existence. It estranges man from his own body, from nature as it exists outside him, from his spiritual essence, his human existence.”
Working for money and not for love changes our nature. We become alien to ourselves, to our bodies and minds. We become alien to to our nature and the world around us. When we are strangers to our creativity we become strangers our own bodies, to nature as it exists outside us, to our spiritual essence and our human existence.
I am a psychodramatist and hence a student of the work of J.L. Moreno. And I hold his philosophy and methods to be revolutionary in the sense of having potential to heal humanity. There is an area of his philosophy and outlook where he comes short of the potential, it is in the conception of mass action and the macro forces that operate in the world. He lacks a good grasp of Marxism. And I think Marxism lacks the science of sociometry, the outlook of small groups.
Continue reading “The Moment in History”
I found this review of the book by Asad Haider satisfying — despite the title of the book, and the title of the review, I don’t think he just criticises identity politics. Haider defends a strand of it and criticises another and makes the distinction quite clear. Continue reading “Identity politics”
Structural Differential — Alfred Korzybski.
Tim O’Reilly: Let me go back to George Simon because a lot of what he taught was a kind of mental discipline that was rooted in a model of how consciousness happens. It was framed somewhat in the language of Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics. Korzybski drew this wonderful diagram – it was actually a tool he used to train people – that he called the structural differential.
Korzybski’s fundamental idea was that people are stuck in language, but language is about something. And so, he represented what he called the process of abstraction so that people could ask themselves, “Where am I in that process?” So, the first part of the structural differential was a parabola, and the reason why it was a parabola is because reality is infinite, but we can’t take in all of reality.
And so, hanging from the parabola was a circle, and the circle was our experience, which is our first abstraction from reality. And then, hanging from the circle are a bunch of label-shaped tags – multiple strings of them – and these are the words that we use to describe our experience.
Korzybski’s training was for people to recognize when they were in the words, when they were in the experience, and when they were open to the reality. George mixed that in with this work of Sri Aurobindo, who was an Indian sage, and had come up with a model that integrated a spiritual view of this, and a practice which was just listening and being open to the unknown.
In his Poetics, the Greek philosopher Aristotle put forth the idea the play should imitate a single whole action. “A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end” (1450b27). He split the play into two parts: complication and unravelling.
From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dramatic_structure
Just like therapy!
On the first day of training in Imago therapy Maya Kollman characterised a couple relationship as “A microcosm of the universe trying to repair itself.” In different words psychodrama includes the same idea, the therapeutic tele is distributed in the group, it’s not just in the director.
And there is qualitative evidence for this… A group, or a couple, once the connection is established and there is a warm up, will hum its way to more and more enabling solutions. I see it so clearly in psychodrama groups – each drama assists the whole group in a quest that is finally resolved. The terminology of ‘disturbing motive’ and ‘reactive fear’ is used to describe this process. Even this naming implies that it is the ‘disturbing motive’ that arises first and the the ‘reactive fear’ is simply the obstacles of the cultural conserve (CC) that need to get out of the way. CC is a term from the psychodramatic theory Canon of Creativity
An earlier post grapples with the same idea. https://psyberspace.walterlogeman.com/2018/the-survival-dance-that-gets-in-the-way-of-the-encounter/
There is a layer of conserved coping that is somehow “man made”, the reactive fear, which is usually followed by flight or fight i.e. Criticism and blaming or avoidance. There is another layer – the universe trying to heal itself. Lets just call it eros or love. Gt the crap out of the way and the love will come through.
Both psychodrama and Imago have the philosophy that the therapist is the catalyst, simply providing tools, like dialogue, or the 5 instruments so the eros can emerge.
I’m reflecting on the relationship between letting it happen and making it happen.
The inevitable can be helped along.
We are agents in the healing of the universe. i.e. in its progress. Towards eros.
We can make it worse or better. If this is a dead end it will proceed towards the omega point in some other way. The universe does not care, but it won’t stop its evolution, its development, its progress. These words are teleological.
We make history but under conditions of our choosing.
Surfing. We can but catch a wave or miss it.
Anyway, if we assume that a group or a couple is “A microcosm of the universe trying to repair itself.” then we are assistants to that process.
Thats what Marxists are too.
Strange that the right who advocate market forces somehow believe in the benign power of the market. Leave alone. Marxists might trust the market too if it was alive in a society that was free of the distortions of the capitalists. It would tend towards each to his needs. Just like in couple therapy – in my room I have to be a strong dictatorship of the eros forces. We fight the cultural conserves (part of the current cultural forces) of blame – attack and control.
See more search the Tag – theory of change https://psyberspace.walterlogeman.com/tag/theory-of-change/