May 30 2012

Grad School (part 7)

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Back from the big day of psychosynthesis. Class started this morning at 8:30, and ran until about 4:30. We actually got out much earlier than expected.

We started the day talking about the war, and how we were all doing with it. It wasn’t necessary, but I appreciated it, and I got the feeling a lot of other students did as well. From there, we segued into the Molly Young Brown book I’d been wrestling with a few days back. She apparently took a lot of it from Roberto Assagioli, whom I’m only beginning to really hear about. I found out during lecture, and from a classmate of mine that Assagioli was heavily into the occult, and esoteric teachings. His mother was a theosophist, and he was into all sorts of things, including the kabalah, and some Alice Bailey type stuff.

So, it was nice to see I wasn’t hallucinating. I’m going to have to look into him a bit more, but I have a feeling that I’ll be hearing much more about him as my studies progress.

We did a 20 minute guided meditation in which I wound up losing about 90% of my body. I was merely my brain, my lungs, and my heart. My heartbeat became rather deafening, and the rest of my body disappeared. I lost all feeling in it. Not in a prickly sort of “leg fell asleep” way, but kind of like simply not having limbs anymore. It turned into a very powerful exercise, actually. The idea was to use Will to invoke a certain feeling within ourselves (of our own choosing). I chose compassion, which had some interesting ramifications. For the rest of the class, I could hear the subtext to what a lot of people were saying, and was able to tell just how interested or uninterested they were in something, despite the words that came out of their mouth. On the way back from lunch, we noticed a woman who’s car had run out of gas in the middle of an intersection. One of my classmates and I pushed her to the gas station on the corner. Compassion manifests again, as well as bringing in Assagioli’s idea of “service” as part of growth.

We also discussed some critiques and pitfalls that can come in guided meditation, such as not acknowledging what they bring up. I think the professor put it as “If you’re meditating, and suddenly Darth Vader appears, you should confront and work with Darth Vader, rather than trying to push him aside in favour of something more happy and pleasing. Darth Vader appears for a reason, and should be respected and worked through.”

Walking back from the BART station, I noticed Reptile (his chosen name), one of the homeless, working on a new round of sidewalk art (he does them regularly with chalk). It was a picture of Darth Vader.

Ah, synchronicity! :)

We wound up the day with a video by Ram Dass, about service. And while one might say that there could be an agenda seen behind today’s class, I’m cool with it. There’s nothing wrong with helping others.

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