Jun 12 2012

Still Rhymes with “Sewage” (and smells like it too)

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It’s almost funny.

Words are beginning to bug me.

A few years ago, it was “transformation.” The word is grossly overused in my community, but it seems to be falling out of favor. The one that’s beginning to get under my skin now is “healing.”

This started a while back. I’d attended a monthly dream discussion session in town, and the host organism insisted that we were all “healers” working with dreams to bring about transformation in others (or something like that). When it got to be my turn to speak in the circle, I insisted that “healing” had nothing to do with my interests in consciousness and dreams. I don’t consider myself a healer, and I don’t know what it means to heal someone. In addition, while working with dreams or poking about in one’s inner psyche might be fun and enjoyable, and might make somebody feel good, I think there’s a difference between feeling good and healing. And hey. There’s nothing wrong with feeling good, and working a dream or two to feel good. Masturbation feels good too.

The question has nagged at me, though. What, precisely, is being “healed” and how? In addition, there are people far more qualified to heal others than I am. To assume that just because I’m interested in consciousness and dreams somehow indicates that I’m out to heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race, is mighty presumptuous. In fact, I think the only thing more presumptuous is to somehow take a position of claiming that “we” are in a “unique position to heal the world”, simply because we might all share a basic common interest in things related to consciousness and dreams. If I claim that the world needs “healing”, and that I have a unique skill set to embark on this endeavor, or that I belong to a group of people who (because we are somehow “enlightened” or “second tier” – to borrow a phrase) and that “I know better than you“, isn’t this a repeat of the narrative of “Original Sin” with different names attached to things? Isn’t this a repeat of the narrative of Plato’s “Philosopher Kings” from The Republic?

I’ve grumbled about this before, but as long as we’re repeating narratives (and I’m repeating myself, but with new examples), enlightenment, or whatever you want to call it (and I’m not claiming to be enlightened, other than by my desk lamp at the moment), enlightenment is more than just reading books and attending weekend workshops. I was browsing a consciousness related community online the other day, and member profiles were nothing more than lists of books people have purchased.

I’m 37, live in the Bay Area, and am living a holistic lifestyle, transforming my inner self through the joy of abundance. I’ve read Abraham Hicks and Conversations With God, and want to meet likeminded people so that we may grow together into an integral community bringing healing to our wounded planet.

Great. Lovely. What does this mean, exactly? These are ambitious goals. What are your plans?

I was looking through Common Ground, the other day, and saw an ad for something called “LEAP”, which is short for “Life Empowerment Action Programs.” The ad made the following promise:

The Life Empowerment Action Programs offer individuals a transformational journey of change, growth and self-empowerment in a compassionate, caring and mindful environment. Learn to experience the gems of truth, integrity and love in your life by consciously integrating your bodily, cognitive, spiritual and emotional intelligences. At LEAP we believe that the path to deep and lasting healing of mind, body and spirit revolves around the awakening of your intrinsic soul force. — RECLAIM YOUR PERSONAL POWER.

Um, okay. How, exactly, does this work?

LEAP Foundation Program is a transdisciplinary psychotherapeutic experience that will transform your life and heal your soul. The deep process weekends are designed to identify and release the limiting beliefs, judgments and unhealed traumas that have diminished your natural ability to deal with life’s challenges.This freeing of the self permits new, life-altering choices to be made and acted upon. One sees the past with a fresh perspective and the future with a renewed sense of enthusiasm.

LEAP is structured through five monthly weekend retreats. The weekends begin Friday at 4pm and end Sunday at 4pm. Each weekend has a special focus:

  • Victim Triangle
  • Addictions and Dissociation
  • Shame and Abuse
  • Mind, Body, Spirit Integration
  • Relationships

Participants are given the opportunity to make quantum leaps in their healing journey through these powerful techniques:

  • Chakra Meditation
  • Conscious Communication
  • Dynamic Psychodrama
  • Transdisciplinary Breath Work
  • Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy
  • Group Therapy

Each person is a member of a Cooperative Inquiry (CO-OP) group that supports each other in achieving the goals that turn dreams into reality.

Participants are given an extensive range of valuable material, highlighting the areas discussed and developed each weekend. This material provides for individual and group assignments between weekends and serves as a valuable tool to continue the deep process work on your own.

We invite you to “Take the LEAP…and know the net will appear!”

Personally, I’m torn between the Victim Triangle and the Transdisciplinary Breath Work.

Oh, I should also add, that this is the foundation course, and will cost you $3850.00.

An even more fascinating expenditure comes with the Weaving your Wombymn Soul Force into Wondrous Being workshop.

Look. I really don’t give a rat’s ass if you want to spell it “womyn,” but “wombymn” is really pushing it with me. No, I don’t feel threatened because I’m a man, and you’re reclaiming the alphabet for the Goddess. I’m ridiculously comfortable in my masculinity. Almost as ridiculous as spelling it “wombymn.” I was forced to check Google to see if anybody else was using this egregious spelling, and even they seem to think it’s silly:

If I had ovaries, and wanted to weave my wombymn soul force into wondrous being, here’s what it would entail:

Our Saturday Gatherings will focus on indigenous approaches to Nurturing Your Soul Force based on the four entwining concepts of global bridging:

  • Bridging between the physical and emotional realms of our reality.
  • Bridging between mind, body, and spirit
  • Bridging between the Tree of Knowledge (the source of dualities) and the Tree of Life (which symbolizes the unity of all beings)
  • Bridging fragmentation, particularization and isolation of individuals b yintroducing the concept of “wholeness” – i.e., the dynamic interplay of opposites balancing one another both internally and externally.

Each of these seven gatherings will be an opportunity to embody a unique and sacred element of reconnectedness and co-existence with our intrinsic soul force as we begin to reunite with the inner wisdom of our body. Each gathering is an invitation to recreate a state of all-at-oneness with our inner being.

We invite you to rejoice together in indigenous rituals of:

  • Drumming, chanting, and sacred dance
  • Expressive art techniques such as: mandala healing, and collage making
  • Reweaving our herstories in collaboration and conscious communication
  • Dream Interpretations
  • Reentering the Womb of Mother Earth
  • Recreating the Magic Webs of the Ancient Weavers
  • Food for the nurturing and cultivating soul

Our Tuesday evening meetings will focus on the integration and unification our authentic wombymn being. We, as wombmyn exist simultaneously in all dimensions of our reality. These dimensions are the bridge between the skies and the earth, between spirit and matter.They are not four separate realms but a deeply interconnected and intertwined matrix of our reality. We need to learn to be radically present in these four dimensions so that we may integrate and unify the existence of our authentic wombmyn being. Any type of action in one of these realms resonates and has immense impact on the three otherworlds.

Through the sacred act of inter-inclusion – the recognition of how everything is included in every part of our being – we can achieve a sense of wholeness and completeness. By bridging between our mind, body, spirit and energy forces we can create a state of self-integration in which we learn how to fully embody the different dimensions of our authentic being. In doing so, we realign and strengthen our basic foundation of existence and create a harmonious balance from within, which allows the energetic flow of life, movement, and motion to emerge.

Each of the four Tuesday evening gatherings will focus on one of the following dimensions of reality:

  • The four directions – north, south, east and west.
  • The four elements- air, water, earth, fire
  • The four drives that a human body needs – food, sleep, water, and caring touch
  • The four primary energetic intelligences: cognitive, emotional, bodily, and spiritual.

By learning to reclaim the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual qualities of our authentic beings that support and balance us, we may become the whole vessels of light, love, truth and integrity that the Divine intended for us to be.

This one only costs $1650.00.

Look. If you want to blow a wad of cash on this stuff, be my guest. I’m sure you’ll feel good afterwards. But again, I think we need to ascertain the difference between “healing” and “feeling good.” I honestly don’t think going to any of these workshops is going to clear up my bronchitis.

“Ah,” you say, “but that’s not a fair analogy! Bronchitis is an ailment of the body!”

“Oh,” I say, “But these are not four separate realms, but a deeply interconnected and intertwined matrix of our reality.”

On the other hand, seeing as I’ve got a Y chromosome, maybe I can’t actually be radically present in these four dimensions so that I may integrate and unify the existence of my authentic wombymn being.

I’m not even going to go into the co-opting of “indigenous” approaches to nurturing one’s Soul Force, or the Tree of Life/Tree of Knowledge thing, or the Reentering the Womb of Mother Earth thing (where is that, again?) or the Recreating the Magic Webs of the Ancient Weavers thing (uh?).

Again, all I can do is nod in appreciation at Jesus for throwing the money-lenders out of the temple.

If…and this is a big one… IF, one seeks enlightenment, or “healing”, or a “paradigm shift”, or whatever, then a few things need to happen.

First – Learn your narratives. Observe the world as it works right now. Observe the dominant paradigm.
Second – Question! Question! Question!
Third – Observe your behaviors.
Fourth – Don’t take anyone’s word for it.
Fifth – Especially mine.

The Map is not the Territory.

Enlightenment cannot be purchased.

It’s okay to feel good.

Create your own thing.

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