Thursday, February 15, 2007

Navel-Gazing at our I-ambilical Cord (2.22.09)

Yesterday while driving to work I was navel-gazing again. Yes, I was thinking about my belly button. For what is a belly button? I can see that Future Leader is already curious about his and fascinated by mine, and I well remember wondering about mine when I was a kit. No, I did not obsess over it, but it is interesting that the human body bears the permanent mark of its own incompleteness and its own previous life in another dimension. The human body is so perfect, and yet, no matter how perfect the body, there is always this odd "scar" we all carry right at the center of our physical being, the reminder of this other existence: "I once abided in the infinite, and all I got was this lousy belly button."

To continue our navel-gazing, what does this scar signify? Well, let's see. First, it memorializes our transition from life in a watery medium to life in a gaseous one. In this regard, life during our first nine months could not have been more different than life after the dramatic caesura of birth, as Bion called it. Our watery existence is hardly irrelevant to what comes later, as more and more research is documenting the importance of our intrauterine experience and how it "carries over" into the next world.

In our case, we did not just treat Future Leader as a human subject from the day of his birth -- with all the dignity and nobility entitled to any human being -- but from the day of his conception. I would guess that about a third of modern Western mothers do this, either consciously or unconsciously. (The percentage is far lower in non-Western cultures, where even the child is often not treated with dignity as a full subject.)

Our preparation for extrauterine life takes place under circumstances that are quite different from those that will later prevail. From the vantage point of the fetus, intrauterine life appears to be a "thing unto itself," and yet, it is actually pointing toward something beyond itself. The fetus cannot know that its intrauterine existence is actually a preparation for the "big event," which always comes as a bewildering and disorienting shock.

In this regard, our physical birth is not only a transition but a death, as are all births. It is the stark end of one way of life and the beginning of another. The navel is a reminder that we were once directly connected to the source of life, whereas now we must tolerate being separate from it and renegotiate a relationship with it. In fact, the key to early parenting is to try to foster the conditions of intrauterine life in order to ease the transition and make it less traumatic. Even though the baby has left the physical womb, he remains -- or should remain -- in an external one -- a womb with a view -- for some time, so that psychological "hatching" will gradually take place over many months.

Following the method of cosmic analogy -- as above, so below -- what can birth tell us about the spiritual life? It is interesting, is it not, that Christianity is so permeated with the archetypal iconography of womb and of birth? "Virgin," "word," "conception," "pregnant," "child of the Holy Spirit," the name "Immanuel," which means "God with us." Each of these has a deeply resonant archetypal meaning for the spiritual life.

Just like intrauterine life, extrauterine life is not merely a thing-in-itself but a preparation for something else. It too has a trajectory that points to its own end, although that end will come like a thief in the night and no one knows the hour or day. All the more reason not to waste time -- to work while it is Day, for the Night will come when no man can work.

Time is all we have in this life, and to waste time is to waste eternity. The First Thing -- all else pales in significance -- is naturally to avoid being an astral abortion. Odd, but there are abortionists everywhere who will eagerly help you end your pregnancy. If this happens, you will continue "living," but in the manner of a spiritual stillborn or "existentialist" whose existence does not point beyond itself. For what has specifically been aborted is essence from existence -- or spiritual seed from the womb of time.

While men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.

Now, just as our physical body bears the scar of its incompleteness and separation, so too does our soul bears its own version of this. For it also has a "hole" at its center that we may spend our lives trying to fill in inappropriate and ultimately fruitless ways. But the hole is there for a reason. It is actually a theocentric hole, and there is no way to fill it unless one is properly oriented to the source of our being. We are connected to the source of our being by a vertical channel through which energies pass up and down -- we call these energies aspiration and grace.

How to find that I-ambilical cord through which we are spiritually nourished? Everyone is looking for it, and there are countless Spiritual Salesmen who will claim they can sell you one. But each of us must find the path of access that leads to the way: For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

In other words, He who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

We are either in the wilderness or on the path. But once on the path, there is no turning back. One cannot return to the wilderness but must continue pushing onward. In other words, you cannot be a little bit pregnant: Whoever has put his hand to the plough and then looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.

As Boris Mouravieff writes, the world is constituted of "A" influences and "B" influences, and it is through the assimilation of the latter that our "psychic center" will grow. There are a number of ways to conceptualize the "A" influences, but let us say that they are horizontal, exterior, and ultimately random, canceling each other out and adding to the sum of zero, or physical death. Most men are subject to the rule of the illusory "A" influences, chasing after one or another until falling into the abyss. This is the way of the Exterior Man.

But the interior Coonman orients himself around the esoteric Center from which "B" influences enter the field of life. Unlike the "A" influences, these do not cancel each other out, but are all oriented in the same direction and are actually the only enduring reality. To quote Mouravieff,

"In life, every being is subjected to a sort of competitive test. If he discerns the existence of the 'B' influences; if he acquires a taste for gathering and absorbing them; if he continually aspires to assimilate them better; his mixed inner nature will slowly undergo a certain kind of evolution. And if the efforts which he makes to absorb the 'B' influences are constant and sufficient in force, a magnetic center can be formed within him."

If one is successful in forming this magnetic center, it will not just attract the "B" influences but actually deflect the "A" influences. I hope this is not sounding too esoteric or "gnostic," because it should be a common experience to most Raccoons in some form or fashion. It may be new to Kit Scouts, all the more reason to listen closely to your elders.

I have come to realize that one reason I enjoy blogging first thing in the morning is that I have unwittingly set up a situation in which I shut out virtually all "A" influences and instead attempt to gather and align myself with "B" influences. In so doing, I actually reinforce my own magnetic center, which then stays "strong" for the remainder of the day.

I thought of this yesterday in reading a comment Schuon once made to a disciple, emphasizing that

"What we do in the morning is very important for the whole day; it is good not to quit the morning japa before one is certain that it has determined our being and therefore also our entire day. The brain is a sponge that absorbs the stream of appearances [i.e., 'A' influences]; it is not enough to empty it of the images on which it feeds, one must also satisfy both its need to absorb and its habitual movement.... One must infuse into the mind, as far as it will carry it, a consciousness of the Real [i.e., 'B' influences] and of the unreal; this consciousness will provide the framework for the rest. The world is a multiplicity that disperses and divides; the divine Word... leads back to Unity [and] absorbs the soul and transposes it imperceptibly, by a sort of 'divine stratagem' into the calm and unchanging climate of the Absolute..."

Speaking of Schuon, Mouravieff also writes of the benefit of maintaining contact with men whose own magnetic center is stronger than ours. This is also the value of spiritual community -- including Coonland -- for what is One Cosmos but a spiritual pediatrician's office in which we can all -- myself included -- talk to the other moms, make sure that we are getting the proper nutrients, and be reassured that everything is proceeding normally in our pregnancy?

We'll meet again. Up ahead, 'round the bend. The circle unbroken, by and by. A Divine Child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin' yes.... Blissfully floating before the fleeting flickering universe, stork naked in brahma daynight, worshiping in oneder in a weecosmic womb with a pew, it is finally... --Cosmobliteration, The Coonifesto

57 Comments:

Anonymous bubba said...

Good as usual - thanks.

Why does navel lint always seem to be grayish even when wearing white clothing?

2/15/2007 08:16:00 AM  
Anonymous bubba said...

Yes, I do bathe on occasion.

2/15/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Yikes! A couple of days ago you said you were going to "move in," and you weren't kidding!

2/15/2007 09:07:00 AM  
Anonymous the drive-by (be)muser said...

I wonder in the next life what my naval heart will look like?
Will it produce blue lint as well?

2/15/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...

"Got my hand on the gospel plough,
Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now.
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Hold on."

2/15/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"If one is successful in forming this magnetic center, it will not just attract the "B" influences but actually deflect the "A" influences. "

... Unless the A's pre-empt your attention with 'urgent' distractions elsewhere (“the adversary said... Rest assured I am here, my pretties.”). I've had a morning routine, rarely broken, for the last 20+ years, of stretching out & thinking quietly... until about 4 months ago when the project crunch came on... and it had nearly slipped away completely - thanks for reminding me what I was really forgoing in the effort to 'save time'.

2/15/2007 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Yeah, my mornings are always messed up. I 'rescue' them from my own messed-up-ness via a morning routine including piano exercise, physical exercise, and the reading of the Psalms.

It is not what I would want out of a morning, but for now it prevents me from going astray.

Have to respect the dawn...

2/15/2007 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger MikeZ said...

PS to Bob (about the archives): I see them in the source, but not on the page (IE 6) ... Aha! It's an IE6 bug. I just looked with Firefox 1.0.7, and everything is just peachy.

You might bring it up with your Worshipful Web Designer - the IE people can't see all those lovely Amazon links. It could be the interaction between the regular HTML stuff and the other renderings (RSS, XML Atom &c).

2/15/2007 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob wrote "But each of us must find the path of access that leads to the way"

A good sentence harvested from the chaff.

Tao is the Chinese character for Way. Here are some excerpts from Tao Te Ching, the only text you'll ever need for this 'spiritual' work you think you are doing.

"Can you coax your mind from its wandering and keep to the original Oneness?"

"The more you know, the less you understand."

"Seeing into darkness is clarity. Knowing how to yield is strength."

"The Tao doesn't take sides; It gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn't take sides; She welcomes both saints and sinners."

"The Tao is like a bellows: It is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces; The more you talk of it, the less you understand."

2/15/2007 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger ximeze said...

How Great is Coonland!

Aaaah, the benefits of hangin with men whose magnetic center is stronger that our own. That's why I'm here.

While reading this post, hunched over in my chair, I "saw" that a spiral should be/is emanating from/terminating in my navel area.

Suddenly sat up straight.

It's not that the spiral itself is moving, rather something(s) is/are flowing "up" & "down", using the spiral as a conduit. Bi-directional streams of "bubbles" passing each other?

Ok, this is really weird.

Having that large, flat magnet in there, I'm gonna have to go forth into the world, up & open, with my navel presented forward.

No wonder I get belly aches from brooding & slouching! Must be gas pains associated with obstructing the flow of that spiral.

I'm not kidding here.

Can feel my shoulders relax, a "string" taking the weight of my head "up" & the muscles of my lower back relaxing.

In addition to that spiral with stuff traveling "in" it, there's a cone-shaped, empty(?) "something" within the boundary of that spiral.

Suddenly felt the need to stretch. Result: massive popping from multiple joints & the baseball sized object that usually lives in the small of my back is now the size of my thumb!

Help out here Lisa. Is this what you mean when you talk about Pilates & walking from your center?

Kinda weird, but really WONDERFUL!
More, more, more!

2/15/2007 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

"Tao is the Chinese character for Way. Here are some excerpts from Tao Te Ching, the only text you'll ever need for this 'spiritual' work you think you are doing."

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

2/15/2007 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Anonymous,
If you really feel that way, why are you wasting your time here?

Clearly, you know all you need to know and we can't teach you anything.

Just as clearly, we here in the Cooniverse disagree with you, and in all likelihood will learn nothing from you.

Surely you have better things to do with your time?

2/15/2007 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous juliec said...

I don't usually listen to podcasts - I'm more a visual than an audio person, at least when it comes to listening to speech, but today's podcast on Instapundit/ Dr. Helen is with John Ondrasik from Five For Fighting. (I don't have the link, but it's on Instapundit and easy to find)

I must admit that I was never terribly fond of his music; it's not bad, but it didn't stand out for me. However, after today I have a new respect for it and will give it more of a listen. It turns out that this guy is a rarity in today's music world, a pro-American conservative type, who clearly seems to have some contact with the vertical.

How refreshing!

2/15/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous ms. e said...

Thank you Bob for instilling in me a deeper appreciation for my navel and you -- "He is the god who sits in the center, on the navel of the earth, and he is the interpreter of religion to all mankind." (The Republic by Plato)

To deepen our understanding and appreciation for our coonskincaps and pouches, I offer this.

and

a magnetizing morning prayer from The Book of Common Prayer.

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and
prayers, and dispose the way of thy servants towards the
attainment of everlasting salvation;
that, among all the
changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be
defended by thy gracious and ready help;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

2/15/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said...

"Tao is the Chinese character for Way. Here are some excerpts from Tao Te Ching, the only text you'll ever need for this 'spiritual' work you think you are doing."

Thanks for showing us how to take a little and make it less.

With similar feelings of benevolence, I offer this in return, from the Analects of Confucius , the Other only text you'll ever need for this 'spiritual' work you thought you were doing.

CHAP. VIII. 1. The Master said, 'Yu, have you heard the six
words to which are attached six becloudings?' Yu replied, 'I have
not.'
2. 'Sit down, and I will tell them to you.
3. '
There is the love of being benevolent without the love of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to a foolish simplicity.

There is the love of knowing without the love of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to dissipation of mind.

There is the love of being sincere without the love of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to an injurious disregard of consequences.

There is the love of straightforwardness without the love of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to rudeness.

There is the love of boldness without the love of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to insubordination.

There is the love of firmness without the love of learning;-- the beclouding here leads to extravagant conduct.'

Ta cha-ching.

2/15/2007 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juliec, I have no interest in teaching you anything nor in learning anything from you. Another quote:

"In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added. In the practice of Tao, every day something is dropped."

I wish to take something from you; your reliance on vast amount of words and ideas that are nothing more than distractions and obfuscations.

Bob himself said "there are countless Spiritual Salesmen who will claim they can sell you one", which is ironic since he was describing himself.

Dwell in and cultivate your current place in time and space. That is all. For this, none of Bob's vertical/horizontal, esoteric/exoteric, those on the path/those in the wilderness binaries and metaphors are necessary .

2/15/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

For it also has a "hole" at its center that we may spend our lives trying to fill in inappropriate and ultimately fruitless ways. -GB

"Our hearts are made for Thee, 0 lord, and they will never find rest until they rest in Thee." -St. Augustine

What a nice lunchtime repast, to feast simply on the succint Truth about holey-ness and belly buttons.

And it's a much better explanation than my mother afforded me: "That's where the Indian shot you."
:)

2/15/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Currentbutmuchseenanon:

Thy name is Dope.

2/15/2007 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger ximeze said...

My Coonavision says Inty is back.

Can't keep your promise to stay away, can you.

2/15/2007 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

In the practice of Tao, every day something is dropped."

Okay if we drop you? You don't seem to be able to quit us.

2/15/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said... "Bob himself said "there are countless Spiritual Salesmen who will claim they can sell you one", which is ironic since he was describing himself."
Actually, examining your foot-in-mouth-print, I think he was describing You Anonymous, just as Confucius was talking about Yu too (see my previous comment).

Go inteward and dwell in and cultivate your fortune cookie caricature of philosophy, picking nothing up on your way, going nowhere but your current place in time and space, you will certainly find Yu there with you.

2/15/2007 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

ximeze,

We so own Integralist, don't we? Our irresistible Slack has pulled him into our Cooniverse and he can't summon the escape velocity necessary to launch into his outer darkness just yet. He keeps coming back to see if anyone will go with him. I actually think he's a bit frightened that on that last day his convictions, if true, would turn out to be not at all what he wanted.

Meanwhile, he continually cedes his very will to a group of people who reject his ideas. There's gotta be a medical term for that.

2/15/2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said... "There's gotta be a medical term for that. "

Not to step on Bob's turf, but I believe the technical term is "Nuts".

(BTW - Chp VIII noted above was from book 17... shred & paste...)

2/15/2007 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure who or what Integralist is or was, but you mistake me for someone I'm not.

I stumbled onto this blog when I saw the address in the history log on the computer a dozen or so of us share in the co-op I live in. I've not posted before today.

I have no intention to habitually intrude into your Cosmos, I was simply sharing some text and ideas that helped to free me from a never ending train of abstractions[and eventually from that text as well] which have allowed me to cultivate a happy, peaceful and harmonious existence.

It seems to me that you guys and Bob are in the same place I once was and that many others I have known have been or still are and had only helpful intention.

To put it in a Theistic sense, God is calling you and presenting you with what is around you and within you at this very moment. Looking instead into a 'beyond' or other abstractions seems impious to me since God has put you here and now and you will have eternity to dwell in and cultivate the beyond if and when you get there.

I won't bother you any more, and I bid you adieu with words from Shakespeare.

'If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.'

2/15/2007 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. e said...

Hmm - looks like our Dr. G is on lunch break and we're momentarily in charge of the class.

So here goes:

The following is a brief description of the life game "Kick Me" from Games People Play by Dr. Eric Berne.

Thesis: This is played by people whose social manner is equivalent to wearing a sign that reads “Please Don’t Kick Me.”  The temptation is almost irresistible, and when the natural result follows, they cry “piteously, “But the sign says ‘don’t kick me.’” Then the KM player adds incredulously, “Why does this always happen to me?”.

One game element comes from inverse pride: “My misfortunes are better than yours.”  This factor is often found in paranoids.

If the people in this environment are restrained from striking at him by kindheartedness, “I’m Only Trying to Help You,” his behavior becomes more and more provocative until he transgresses the limits and forces them to oblige.  KM players are folks who are cast out, the jilted and the job losers.

2/15/2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Annonymous,
Well, Shakespeare as an exit is certainly better than 'Namaste', to which I can't resist adding,

"And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

2/15/2007 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Anony: Giving yourself a recognizable name will often get you a better reception.

You live on a co-op, what are you doing to feed the poor and protect those in need? It is a question God asks to all of us and you as well.

"For my spiritual meat is doing the will of my Father."

There is not a 'single path' to spiritual development, and this is your mystake-- assuming that having certain things in order is an automatic marking of spiritual progress.

The body has many parts with different functions. I know you have had a positive experience living on a co-op (when it goes well it is good) but it can be a form of being independent from society, and thus neglecting your fellow man. This is what Monasticism can turn into if the command 'be in the world' is not considered.

Just my two cents.

2/15/2007 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ximeze- you are definitely onto something there. When I was reading this post I kept giggling because one of the things I say the most on a daily basis is "Pull your navel into your spine". I figured that all the Coons are sick of my Pilates mumblings by now, but since you asked so nicely...A reason I don't tell people to suck in their stomachs is because that usually translates to holding the breath. The breath is very crucial to the body in both the horizontal and vertical. Another nice image I like to use to help people anchor their upper quadrant is to draw their shoulder blades diagonally into their bellies and vice versa. This let's the head and neck free by releasing the traps. Using the breath try to create more space in your spine and vertebre and feel the crown of your head lifting towards the heaven (make sure it's not your chin that will cause the back of your neck to crunch which is not desirable). Feel like someone is gently lifting you up from behind your ears. Move through your day with this sense of lightness and elongation. It will get easier with each passing day. Find a good Pilates teacher and invest in your health, well-being, and posture.

2/15/2007 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"I stumbled onto this blog when I saw the address in the history log on the computer a dozen or so of us share in the co-op I live in. I've not posted before today."

You'd better go and root out your own impious co-op member who needs to be freed from the never ending train of abstractions before he taints the purity.


"I won't bother you any more, and I bid you adieu......"

So leave already for the third time.

2/15/2007 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Anon:
It seems to me that you are in the same place that I once was: Sanctimonious Bore.

Wish now that someone had Kicked Me then.


(word veri= itkqrorfz)
Suitable somehow

2/15/2007 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

This is likely nothing profound to most graying coons, but today's post got me to again pondering the saying "as above, so below" -- perhaps from a Biblical perspective. If creation is God's continual act of communicating Himself to us, then everything in material reality may be a "picture" of some spiritual reality. Like the navel being a "picture" of the severed spiritual tie from "the fall". Like Noah's ark being a picture of Christ and the rainbow being a picture of the new covenant (there are coutless pictures of Christ in the Old Testament). Since I define spiritual growth as growing in the knowledge of and relationship with the Living God, both His revelations through scripture AND creation are the Way to growth. The Word is the Way. Only spiritual understanding can even perceive that God is there and that He is not silent (Francis Schaeffer). So, even though He continues to reveal Himself in every moment in an infinity of ways, the blind can't see.

Sorry for the ramble.

2/15/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Van:
You're a crack-up!
"foot-in-mouth-print" & "go inteward"
Brilliant!
Now, could we just talk about that Flogger thing?

Joan:
Lets see - Al'aCoon, Coon'Anon....

2/15/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger MikeZ said...

To Anonymous, who has taken a most gracious leave-taking: think on 't, that the Tao that can be described is not the Tao.

And to the others: if there were indeed One Book, or One Way, then this sometimes noble animal called Man would have long since been of one mind, one band, one heart.

But I fear it is not so, for Men are not of one mind, one heart, or even one head. That's why there are so many psychological/psychiatric schools that do wonders for some - from EST to TM to the current Omphaloskepsis.

I'll certainly entertain the argument that while the Patient may THINK himself made well by certain arcane arts (like EST and Scientology (in which I find no Science)), he is only made worse.

But for a time, he feels better.

I think the best we can do is prolong the time of feeling better.

I have neither heart nor feet to tread into ground marked out by our dear Cosmonaught, so I say that only with trepidation, and no more, and sit ready to be corrected.

2/15/2007 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Lisa:

Thanks for your response. I'll digest what you've instucted & work on implementing.

I've had chiropractic treatment that involved "aerating" the spine by lying on a table with a roller that moved from top to bottom & back up again, easing the vertebra "apart". Really felt great. Breathing "into" each separation seemed to make the treatment benefits greater right then & make them last for a longer time.

Please explain further about "draw shoulder blades diagonally into their bellies & vice versa."

Does one stay erect, with chest open & blades "down" & thru the torso towards the belly & then belly (on the "other" side) back up towards blade? Or blade "up & over" towards the front? Is there torso tilting?

Are "traps" those nasty hard-as-a-rock, virtually immobile spots that seem to impede mobility?

Humm, you're right about finding a good teacher.

So true about suck in stomach=pass out from not breathing.

As a body-workout-person, you might be amused by instructions to Flemenco Dancers while they're going at it full force: "aguantar los rinones"
bare/endure/sustain/withstand the kidneys.

2/15/2007 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Mikez,
As head flogger, I'll cheerfully charge into ground marked out by our dear Cosmonaught, hoping to be corrected if I'm off track...

Keeping in mind that I have no medical training, and assuming we're not talking about someone with a purely physical cause (such as a lesion), I would be very skeptical of any 'cure' that didn't identify and discredit any contextually irrational beliefs & thought patterns, mind parasites, the patient might have.

I would be very skeptical of any variation on either the 'feel good', emotional jolt therapies or one based on groundless Self Esteem assertion. I would expect 'cures' to put great emphasis on untangling error filled thoughts and beliefs and at the same time promoting principled thoughts and beliefs based on Reality, and integrated into a larger (and vertical) non-contradictory whole.

Without such an outlook, I doubt you could 'cure' mental illness, or even have mental health and soundness to begin with.

While I think there is One Truth, as I've said before, applying it to the herebelow we're faced with a situation similar to representing a 3-D globe on a flat paper map, which is what necessitates accepting the existence of non-horizontal knowledge - the Vertical, poetic, understanding exclusive (as far as we know) to Man. Along with that difficulty, we are then in the situation of there being many paths to it.

Without getting into issues of magnetic and geographic discrepancies for this purpose, just as there is one North Pole, and one direction, North, in which the compass points - there are myriad routes to that North Pole from anywhere upon the earths surface - and it would be foolish to say that one was invalid because it wasn't the same as another - so long as it did rely on heading principally North, and not South, East or West.

2/15/2007 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ximeze,

Sorry if I am being kind of unclear in some of my explanations. Part of the way I teach also involves some manual cuing of the body. If I put one hand on your shoulder blade and the other hand around the floating rib area of your torso or belly, I would ask you to think of drawing my hands closer to each other on the exhale. Like the way you first described it except you don't have to be standing (will shy away from your description with a Beavis and Butthead snicker). It works sitting or lying on your back too.

The flamenco dancer saying got me curious because I initially understood it to be translated in terms of "Pull up your pelvic floor", like a Kegel exercise (most women are familiar with that) and imo the dancers do move around almost like they have to pee! but then I came across this interesting tidbit from a Google search:

"The Hispanic culture, unlike the North American culture, attributes to the diverse vital organs different characteristics. For example, when a director of flamenco dance wants that their dancers stay raised when dancing, will command to them “to hold the kidneys”. In the modernist Hispanic poetry of the aim of century XIX, the melancholy that leads to the existencial boredom calls “esplín”, word derived from the English word spleen, or bazo, organ located on the stomach, that produces leukocytes."

2/15/2007 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

"...like a Kegel exercise (most women are familiar with that)." Excuse me, Lisa -- or any men who have "coached" their wives through childbirth via the "Bradley Method". (Now I'm probably really dating myself. Is that even still around?)

2/15/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Lisa:
Thanks again. I find this very interesting. It felt so great to connect deeply, once again, with the possibilities of strength, proper posture & breath.

Years ago I trained in Aikido, often 3 or 4 hr a day, 6 days a week. Loved every minute & went at it pretty hard. Got kinda beat-up & am leary about aggravating old injuries. But do so miss it. Pilates sounds like suitable replacement.

Yup, those Flamenco babes have that queenly carriage & when they train, their master is always yelling at them to hold their kidneys. Hey, whatever it takes.

In Argentina it's all about the Liver, no matter what ails you.

Of course, really great wine there & no minimum drinking age. By the time I was 21, going to bars was soooooo 14.

2/15/2007 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anon Supporter said...

How come you hifalootin sages seem to spend more time "losing" other people than "finding" yourselves? Seems brains replaced heart somewhere along The Bobbist Way.

I tune in to check the water here in the land of the oft-heralded reflecting pool, and find, regular as clockwork, the bearded coolies and second-gen dinks standing on the shoreline skipping stones off the heads of the curious.

Me? I come for the ill-temper, and stay for Van's chestbeating (thanks bro. Nice fix today). It beats kicking the dog. After all, the dog can't help himself. Where's the fun in that?

Pontificate on, Bobbists! May your ego guide you to ever higher depths and lower heights.

2/16/2007 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Anon Supporter said... "Me? I come for the ill-temper, and stay for Van's chestbeating (thanks bro. Nice fix today). "

"Ahheeeaheeeooohhhhh-eeeahhh-eeeeaaahhhHHHH!!!!" (Tarzan's jungle call)
[cough cough]

Glad to be of service! You Inte's crack me up, can't seem to grasp the difference between curiousity and pomposity, but that's ok, we've got plenty of rocks and skipping 'em off your heads at least finds some useful purpose for you heads.

[Thump-Thump - gasp, weeze.]

Lisa? got some non child berthing exercise for the guys?

2/16/2007 04:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Hey, Anon supporter, with a short attention span:

Here was Anon's opening salvo:

A good sentence harvested from the chaff.

Now, perhaps I'm guilty of skipping stones off the heads of the merely tedious, but the sincere and curious are always welcomed here. The above declaration by Anonymous was exactly how the commenter wished to come across: arrogant, better, and implying that they had to work pretty hard to find anything worthy.

Thus stating their purpose and agenda, and being met with mere amused boredom by 'Coons who have yet to see anything really new in the attacks (thus the confusing-to-others referral to Integralist. You all sound the same after a while.)the NonyMouse employed the kinder, gentler insistence.

Either way, the NonyMouse came in here with guns a'blazing, full of tepid ammunition, and now his Second has come to defend the corpse.

So, hold still or run Second, we need the target practice. I may be a woman, but I got stones...

2/16/2007 05:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Van,

You are so adorable when you thump your chest like that! All the girl 'Coons just swoooon!

:0)

2/16/2007 05:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pontificate on, Bobbists! May your ego guide you to ever higher depths and lower heights."

LOL!
You'll have to excuse the gate keepers, they are very passionate, but the Kingdom of Heaven was purchased with so much blood,...(we would all do well to let that dwell in our hearts before we put forth our views)
To the pope,
your ignorance of your irrelavence is ASTOUNDING!
Dougman & co.

2/16/2007 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Curious? Maybe spurious. Curious isn't barging in and telling us the Tao is everything we need to know on our spiritual journey. That's just called presumptive and arrogant.

Sure you wanted to help. In fact, you wanted to help more than you wanted to do what was best for any of us-- and thus, your own wants were what drove you, not any care for your fellow man. How do you know we need that advice? Did we ask for it?

Really, folks...

2/16/2007 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gaude said...

Van- thanks for the 'Analects' quote, very thoughty, much to ponder.

River:
"but it can be a form of being independent from society, and thus neglecting your fellow man. This is what Monasticism can turn into if the command 'be in the world' is not considered."

except that enclosed monastics, don't neglect their fellow man, but serve them as they "pray without ceasing". Think of them as the Orison Commandos, the Navy Seals of Prayer. A vocation for the few and the humble.

2/16/2007 06:03:00 AM  
Anonymous bulletproof monk said...

Following on Gaude's comment regarding monasticism. I see monastics as essential to any healthy spiritual community. To be in the world living a normal life without falling into the world requires that one be grounded in the vertical. Any faith community needs people who use their slack-time to do just that, to become experts in the vertical life, else the community may even forget what the vertical is all about. Monastics in their vocation represent a strategic application of slack-time employed for the benefit of all, so that all may have an example and resource to help them ascend the ladder, however imperfectly.

2/16/2007 06:36:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

I don't want to get involved, but I can't help noticing with my Coon vision that Anon Supporter is one of those neutered Men Without Chests. In light of this, his envy is perhaps understandable, if not excusable.

2/16/2007 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anon Supporter said...

Bobbists:

Let me borrow a phrase from - whoever (You are all the same to me, just as "we" are all "inty"...)

exactly how the commenter wished to come across: arrogant, better, and implying that they had to work pretty hard to find anything worthy

I gather the implication here is that this is not OK for a visitor. Why then is it S.O.P. for Bobbists?

The criticism I read frequently leveled at the unflattering commenters is that they don't explain their own stances well enough. Yet when, as in the recent case of Anon, explanation is provided it only serves as fodder for personal attack from Feckless Leader on down. No one seems at all interested in challenging an idea on its own merit but instead immediately lumps the newcomer into that fearsome "other" that you all seem to enjoy standing on the shoulders of.

I don't view spiritual pursuit as a lottery run. There's plenty of heaven for everyone where I came from and am headed back toward. The constant "positioning" of the Bobbists as heigher or higher, inner or winner or whiner or coonist or raconteur sits at the root of my fascination with you.
The common train of thought seems to be..."Why wait for heaven when we're smart enough to be there already, so ...huh? Someone? Does anyone out there besides me see me as God?" therefore of course you all are having fun sheep-dipping the unwashed. This is what the enlightened do, right?

Well, no. And don't take my word for it. Ask around.

But please don't change. I love you folks just the way you are. The ONLY difference between me and you is that I admit I'm not superior to anyone in the eyes of my creator. I am struggling just like I imagine everyone else is. What I come back for is the high quality of the prose, of the thought, and of the delusion. It is rich, and I thank you for it.

2/16/2007 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Van- Those exercises are not exclusively for women and/or child berthing. The flamenco comment brought up images of pelvic floor muscles. Men have pelvic floor muscles too. It is just a little harder to feel. The pelvic floor is considered part of the inner unit, along with the transversus abdominus, multifidi,and diaphragm. These muscles support the spine most directly from all sides. Pilates tries to get people to engage those muscles in a controlled way. Sometimes I will tell a male to imagine an elevator between his legs and that it keeps going up into the torso. Can you feel it?

Plus you never know when evolution is going to give a man berthing bilities! ;0)

2/16/2007 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anon, you are charmingly naive. You do not actually know the reasons why you are attracted to this site. Perhaps some day you will.

2/16/2007 07:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anon Supporter said...

And you are charmingly presumptuous for a therapist. Perhaps someday you will realize that.

Here's a bone (reminder) for you:
Just because a reader/commenter doesn't wave a coonskin cap doesn't mean they aren't involved in the skirmish. I'll submit that they are maybe even more involved than the neighborhood welcome wagon you've assembled here. Prose ain't all it's written up to be. It's still the thought that counts, eh what, Doc?

BTW, for the Cuz:
My, what dreamy eyes you have! Now, your chest would be exactly..where?

2/16/2007 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Now that is a profound sentiment. You'll have to give me a moment to ponder its meaning and to simply admire its beauty of expression.

Say, do you have your own website, that I might nourish my soul on similar luminous nuggets of banality on a regular basis?

2/16/2007 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Lisa,
Thanks (I knew that... some, was just goofn'). And between the thought of coonettes swooning, and "... to imagine an elevator between his legs...", I, uhm, have much to ponder and exercise.

That idea of "berthing bilities" is however threatening to push the basement button for the elevator.

[shudder]

;-)

BTW - To AnonYuMouse in all your varieinte's, no need to elaborate further than the Analects quote above. Do try to do better, okay? So tiresome. Still, you do prompt gems from Dupree, Joan and the rest of us - for that I am appreciative.

Still LOL'ing.

2/16/2007 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anon Supporter said...

Say, do you have your own website, that I might nourish my soul on similar luminous nuggets of banality on a regular basis?

Does this approach really work for you therapist Bob? Has it lead you to your current "parasite free" certification? Did you stamp it on your own chest, or did you let Dupree do it?

Altogether now...

2/16/2007 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Obviously it works, as you keep coming back for the treatment, nor would I want to say anything that would make you stop coming back.

2/16/2007 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anon Supporter said...

Now we're getting somewhere. Thank you.

2/16/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger MikeZ said...

Van: Thanks for the response. Yes, I was indeed referring to psychological ills, not physical ones. For a long time, it's struck me as odd that there are so many so-called therapies and therapists (I read Adam Smith's "Powers of Mind" back then), and for any ailment, somebody out there, from Freud to the Maharishi had something that would set you right. Oft times, if you had enough money.

I like your North Pole analogy. I believe there's One Truth (God is), but can we really boil that down to a bumper sticker? Or even a 1000-page book?

The trick with the many paths is to find a good guide - so we aren't led in the wrong direction. There are more than a few guides who want to take us to the South Pole.

2/16/2007 06:57:00 PM  

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