Friday finally… I have been laid up for a couple of days, with probably the worse back I have had in maybe 20 years since I broke my pelvis and twisted my lower spine. Unmovable yesterday, slightly mobile today. I am not complaining as much as informing. Through it all I have been removed mostly from the system and making a living… Well, I have made a nuisance of myself with having to have hot/cold packs brought to me where-ever I have been immobile at.
It is getting better, and those who I owe emails, phone calls and time to, I will be back in the game soonish I hope.
Here we are at Solstice already! Rowan is having a gathering of Thespians from his past school, and is generally generating a new life post High School. He is full of energy, and that is good.
Mary and Rowan got our Bee-Box mounted outside in the garden, all we need now is the bees to go with. Mary is in her element this time of year; she loves the garden.
Anyway, lots on this one (started a week ago, sorry!) It is a bit of Cosmic Therapy for yours truly, getting aligned once more to that ol’ Cozmic Flow…
On The Menu:
Quotes: Meditations Upon Peace
From Raymond Soulard: Within Within Radio Show
Enzo Avitabile & Bottari – ‘Omunnosemove”
Excerpt from Psychedelic Psychotherapy and the Shadow, a talk given by Anne Shulgin
Chuang Tzu Poems…
Chuang Tzu – Bio
Enzo Avitabile – Nuje e ll’acqua
Quotes: Meditations Upon Peace
Agatha Christie: One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.
Alex Noble: If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.
Andre Trocme: All who affirm the use of violence admit it is only a means to achieve justice and peace. But peace and justice are nonviolence…the final end of history. Those who abandon nonviolence have no sense of history. Rather they are bypassing history, freezing history, betraying history.
Anton Chekov: We shall find peace. We shall hear angels. We shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.
Benjamin Franklin: There never was a good war or a bad peace.
The single clenched fist lifted and ready,
Or the open hand held out and waiting.
For we meet by one or the other.
Croesus: In peace the sons bury their fathers, but in war the fathers bury their sons.
From Raymond Soulard: Within Within Radio Show
Time: 21 June 2008 (Saturday) at
19:00 UTC | PST-11am | EST-2pm | UK- 7pm | NZ-8am
High speed listen at: http://yage.net:9000/listen.pls
Dial-up listen at: [currently disabled]
Now Podcasting at: [currently disabled]
On this week’s show:
New Rock Album: Coldplay Viva La Vida (2008)…Last heard from in
2005, this great, sometimes maligned British band collaborated with
meister producer Brian Eno to push their boundaries, find new places
within and those out there in the troubled world…let their passions,
anger and hope, come out new and exciting…
Classic Rock Album: Harry Chapin, Heads & Tales (1972)…every so
often I indulge among the shadows of my past, I let myself remember
some other time through songs…how Harry comforted me in my youth,
singing in my head on the streets of then, before Walkmen and
iPods…there is warmth and melancholy and much strength in these
Storybook Time: Continuing Chapter Twenty-one of Breaking Open the
Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism
by Daniel Pinchbeck…
Readings from Labyrinthine fixtion & Many Musics poems…& this
week’s featured artist is Elvis Costello, a handful of jittery,
glittery songs from his early years…summer solstice upon us, the year
nutty as a fruitcake, nuttier still…follow the squirrels, maybe they
know the way…
Webcasting to the globe & beyond from the People’s Republic of
We have two entries from Enzo. Thanks to Peter for revealing this wonderful musician! Peter always has a bit of sonic beauty ready for Turfing. He has turned me on to so much good stuff!
Enzo Avitabile & Bottari – ‘Omunnosemove”
Thanks To Dr. Con for the pointer…
Excerpt from Psychedelic Psychotherapy and the Shadow, a talk given by Anne Shulgin
Ive come to realize that the most important part of the process, was working with the Shadow. I think youve all, um, of what Carl Jung calls, the Shadow. The term most often used in the society at large is the dark-side. I think its safe to say that this Shadow aspect of the human psyche, while it remains unconscious, can be blamed for all wars, from tribal conflicts to battles between great nations, it causes racial prejudice, it underlies jealousy and resentment. You see the Shadow in every vampire and werewolf movie. And its face is the face of a very popular figure called the Devil, or Satan. In our present time we have Darth Vader. However there is a difference between Darth Vader and the earlier demonic figures, in that Darth Vader was created by a film-maker who understood what he represented. After all George Lucas was a student of Joseph Campbell.
However, when work on the Shadow is underway, when it begins to drift towards conscious awareness, it carries with it gifts. To give you a brief clue to what I mean, think about the great works of art in painting and music for instance, and recognize that pure light and beauty, sweetness and gentleness, by themselves, will give pleasure only for a short time. For what we experience as greatness, fullness and authenticity, there needs to be an edge – a touch of darkness, a bitter-sweetness, even a shade of sadness or pain contained in the work. If you want an illustration, I hope I dont offend too many people, but if you want an illustration of too much sweetness in light, um, becoming cloying to say the least, you may have seen the paintings of a very famous and very wealthy called Thomas Kincaid. That sort of illustrates what I mean.
The Shadow, made conscious, becomes an ally for us – a fearless, brash, not quite housebroken ally and friend. I want to go back to the beginning: a newborn baby has no Shadow, he has only a survival function. All those instincts that are hardwired into him to maximize his chances of survival, but he has no Shadow.
At the risk of oversimplifying a somewhat complex matter, I think the best way to understand how the Shadow is created is to remember that it is the part of that we have learned, we are taught, to reject. We have learned from our parents, our teachers, our rabbis and priests, and our neighbors, what part of ourselves are not loveable, not acceptable, not okay. Certain actions were punished or at least disproved of, so we came to feel that whatever was inside us that made us want to do those forbidden things must be bad or wrong. Every society and every community has to socialize its young. In different countries there are different rules to be obeyed. In some societies boys and girls are treated very differently. Just think of Muslim societies, for instance. But in all cases there are certain words and actions that are not acceptable and the children are gradually molded into what their particular community regards as citizens. In some places, and at certain times in history, the desires and the urges and the inclinations which led children, and even some adults, to act in certain ways their society found inappropriate, and wrong, were blamed not on simple human nature, but on demonic forces. The Devil, in other words, made them do it. In fact, in some societies like what we call the Puritans, human nature was equated with pure evil, with what is still referred to in certain religions as Original Sin. In such communities, both kinds of nature, the natural world around us, and human nature were regarded with suspicion and distrust. This attitude, it is sad to say, is still alive and well in the world. If youre brought up in such a community, the general attitude toward the natural world is one of taming and controlling it – not letting the natural forces in the world have their way. And the attitude towards human nature is the same.
In a very restrictive society it is inevitable that most of its citizens will develop very big, ugly Shadow-monsters because so many of their natural instincts have been labeled wicked and bad. In such places the most artistic and creative people will run into the most trouble, because creativity springs from forces in the unconscious, that they dont easily allow themselves to be controlled and shackled. In order to be loved and accepted, to be smiled at by our parents, we learned gradually to control certain urges, and to speak and act in the right ways. So, what happened to those bad desires and unacceptable urges? They got sucked down into the basement of ourselves, pushed into a dark corner, and the door to that secret room was locked with an iron key. If you hear echoes of some fairy tales, youre absolutely right.
One of the reasons that the classic fairy tales have lasted hundreds of years, is that they contain spiritual truths which were disguised, I think, as tales for children. And these continue to resonate for the child and the adult. Beauty and the Beast, for instance, is a tale of the encounter of a Soul, called Beauty, and its Shadow, called the Beast. And the lesson couldnt be more clear: Not until you can embrace and love your Shadow, as a part of who you are, not until then can the rejected, feared, horrendous monster transform into a prince, and join you in making a whole human being. Which, of course, the part that goes, And they lived happily ever after.
So, whats wrong with having the difficult and unacceptable parts of your self be banished into the cellar, where they can be kept chained in the dark and eventually forgotten? Well, the first problem your faced with is the philosophical one which Im not going to pursue at the moment, namely, Who is defining what is acceptable and what is not? Whose standards are to be followed? Whose philosophy and view of the universe, and their place in it, are to be regarded as the one and only truth, which all citizens will accept, believe, and follow? As I said were not going to step into that morass right now. But going back to the original question, whats wrong with suppressing and then forgetting the more bothersome parts of yourself? Wouldnt it make for a much more peaceful life, and a happy society? Uh, well, it doesnt work out that way. The problem is, those suppressed parts of you not only include destructive impulses, they include creative ones. And above all the Shadow beast does not remain quiet and docile. The longer it remains in the dark, the longer it remains in the unconscious, the more powerful it becomes. In fact, the name of the Shadows game is Power.
Ill give the most obvious and well known example: the gentle and sweet-natured man who changes when he drinks alcohol. Suddenly everybodys best friend becomes a sarcastic, mean spirited, even vicious enemy or destroyer. And by the way, this applies to women, of course. It is just easier to stick with one gender. Usually we refer to therapists as female and patients as male, but thats simply a matter of convenience, and I assume you realize that. Alcohol is in our society the most commonly used way by which the Shadow gets released from its chains once in awhile. But its certainly not the only way. Some people under extreme stress, or in situations involving emotions, might burst out words that shock with their hate and malice. Others with even less control over themselves will even become physically abusive and destructive. Certain drugs will allow the same kind of things to happen for some people in some situations. Neither the drugs nor the alcohol are responsible. What is responsible is the unconsciousness of the Shadow.
Just to make things more complicated, let me remind you that while Im talking about the most common kind of Shadow, common to our society anyway, a Shadow composed of repressed and forbidden anger, resentment, destructive impulses, malice and jealousy, among other nice things, there are multitudes of Shadow mons
ters. For instance, lets take a family in which the father is a Korean military man. The mother is a daughter of a military family, and most friends are in the military. Very often there is a family tradition of military service. And the male children are expected to follow in their fathers and grandfathers footsteps. Lets take the boy child because the girls in this family we treat differently. As he grows up, the scorned aspects will be soft ones. They will often be referred to as womans feelings, and the word woman will be said with contempt. Inclinations toward gentleness and empathy, trying to understand other people, will be squashed. Professions such as social work, psychology and psychiatry will be talked off with sarcasm. People who follow such professions will be either dismissed or laughed at. Im sure youve met some of those kind of people. The boys Shadow will be composed of all those feelings and ideas that tend toward compassion, sympathy, and the feminine. Aggressive acts, as long as they are not directed at authority figures, will be tolerated or shrugged at. Any signs of artistic ability will be either ignored or discouraged. Since acceptance and affection depend on the boys acting like a warrior, his Shadow will be made of artistic impulses, whimsicality, offbeat humor, empathetic feelings, and all desires to nurture small wild animals instead of shooting them. Um, I exaggerate but not much.
One of my best friends was the son of two physicians, his siblings were doctors, and he was expected to go to medical school, too, which he did. He had a gift for intricate drawing, and he made absolutely delightful pictures, which I first saw in the margins of an autopsy report which hed put on my desk. When I made a fuss over the exquisite art work he was really taken aback. He explained that nobody in his family had ever commented, or even noticed, his drawings, and so hed come to think of them as doodles of no importance. And when I expressed some outrage at his family treating his gift that way, he said You can understand their attitude because their entire world was medicine, and only medicine, and art simply didnt matter to them. So, alright, back to the point, which is that the Shadow is not in itself evil or bad, it is only whatever is repressed – whatever has been forbidden and treated with contempt by the authority figures surrounding the child. It is those aspects of the person which he has come to think of as unacceptable, awful, terrible, unlovable, and even dangerous. And all of those so-called bad aspects of himself have become unconscious, gradually gathering power in the dark.
Now, power to do what? If the Shadow aspects of a person remain unconscious, they get projected! One of the best illustrations of how this works is something like this:
Lets say that you go to a party, and you see a person that you havent met before. Now, if you in this case are a woman, you dress well, youre always well-groomed, youre finger nails are clean and so is your hair. This stranger is also a woman, but she appears to be just a little slobby. Her movements are aloof and unguarded, and her voice is just a fraction too high for your comfort. You find yourself watching her with increasing dislike. After awhile youre feeling more than dislike, its closer to hostility, and you dont seem to be able to look away or focus on anybody else. You leave the party early, disturbed by your own feelings of antipathy toward a stranger. You think to yourself, All she was doing was enjoying herself, why do I feel such dislike? It doesnt make sense!
What youve just experienced is a projection. The stranger reminded your unconscious of certain aspects of your repressed self, your Shadow. But since your Shadow has been buried in the unconscious, the dark, for years, youre unaware of its existence or what it contains. Certain traits have projected themselves onto this woman, where you have been able to see them and react to them with revulsion. And any time you find yourself reacting with strong negativity to a person or a certain group of people, you should suspect that youre experiencing a projection of your Shadow. This applies to racial prejudice as this is where it originates.
Now, under the influence of a psychedelic drug, projections are common. Weve all seen the faces of friends, or lovers, distorted, sometimes pleasantly and sometimes not. And the first inclination is that you assume that what you are seeing is some hidden aspect of the person. After awhile most of learn that what were seeing is a projection of a part of ourselves. As long as the Shadow remains unavailable to conscious awareness it can determine a lot of how we live our lives and respond to others around us. It erupts unexpectedly with malicious words, and do damage to a really valuable relationship. We are not in control of ourselves as much as wed like to be because this other inside us can take charge suddenly, leaving emotional or physical wreckage behind it.
Now, most of us dont have to be afraid a hidden axe murderer lurking in our psychic basement. There are actually more of us who are afraid of something equivalent to that than you would expect. I suspect thats one of the reasons that people are very afraid of psychedelic drugs, people who havent taken them. But there are people whose parents were so dysfunctional and hostile, that by the time they reach young adulthood their Shadows are murderers. The eruptions of these Shadows will truly cause death and destruction around them. Our society is presently in the dark ages when it comes to understanding, much less knowing, how to handle such traumatized and ruined people. And part of our Shadow as a nation is that we dont really want to understand them.
Its not only individual human beings that have Shadow identities, but nations do, too. Again, its easy to over-simplify but our own country can serve as an illustration of this! Our consciously accepted identity is one of generosity, tolerance, kindness, lawfulness, and respect for the individual citizens rights. Yet to give just one example, the instant that a person is placed under arrest, he becomes a victim of the societies projection of its own Shadow. Our press, without which I think our country would be a huge, nuclear armed, totalitarian menace on the world scene, this valuable press of ours give voice to our national Shadow by trying, convicting, and all but executing the arrested person before he ever sees the inside of a courtroom! All of us has seen it happen over and over again. Adopting the British system, which forbids discussion in the press of any criminal manner before the accused has been tried in court, which I think is just wonderful, simply cannot be suggested to this country. We need our bad guys, too much, as scapegoats for our unconscious desires and our hidden Shadow selves. How the British ever got that thought I dont know but it would be a great thing for our country if the press could just be persuaded to leave alone anybody who was arrested for anything, until theyve been tried and found guilty or innocent.
So, what is our Shadow, our individual Shadow? If we manage to bring it up to the light, it transforms, it changes. Its still there, but no longer as a monster. When you allow yourself to acknowledge without fear, without hatred, the part of you that wants to punish, or even kill, the guy cuts you off on the highway. When you can accept the fact that along with the love for your grandmother, there exists a purely selfish hope that she will leave you some of her money when she dies. When you can allow yourself to have those darker thoughts or feelings, along with the more admirable ones, then youve become free. Youve become authentic, or at least youre on your way to authenticity.
Now how does one go about bringing the hidden beast out of the cellar, and into consciousness? In other words how do we turn that nasty monster into a prince? Well, it takes work. It also takes a therapist who has undergo
ne her own confrontation with her Shadow. Only someone who has done this kind of work on herself, can understand the overwhelming fear that can threaten to take over a patient at certain stages of this process. (Ed. Note: Personal experience has shown that when the presence of a trained therapist is not available, one CAN do this work on their own, although it is tricky work, and sometimes even dangerous territory. Caution is advised, but education is the lamp that will guide you through the woods.) After all, he is being asked to go down a long stairway to a place inside where there is no light, or barely enough. To allow himself to see a figure of darkness which is the embodiment of everything he hates or fears about himself, everything hes ashamed of, everything he wants to reject or forget. Not only is he being urged to face this thing which, by the way, often takes the form of a huge, dark, sometimes vicious animal. But after hes faced it, he has to go deliberately up to it, and step into it, and turn around and look out its eyes! This is something my hypnotherapist friend and I developed, which is one step further beyond what the Jungian therapists will have you do. The Jungians encourage the patient to first see this figure, this animal, or whatever form its taken, and then with a lot of help from the therapist they begin to understand where this evolved from what was the beginning, what words were said at what times, if thats possible. We took it one step further and had the person step inside the skin of his own Shadow, and then feel what its like inside, and look out at the world through the Shadows eyes. Its quite an experience. And remember that all this time, the person believes that this Shadow monster, this horrid, putrid, evil beast, is actually the bedrock identity, the very essence of who and what he is.
So I believe that this process takes more courage then just about anything else anyone could expect to be asked to do in his life. Thats why his therapist must have undergone this experience herself. Only someone who has undergone this journey can be believed when she tells her patient, you know, What youll see is not your true self. It is part of you, certainly, but its not what you truly are. Once youre inside it, youll discover there is no more fear. The only thing your Shadow is afraid of, is being discovered. It prefers to stay in the dark where it can keep its power. Once youve found it, and stepped inside, youll feel only power and total lack of fear. Or shell say something like that, and thats actually what happens. Theres no more fear inside there, its just this great power!
So, when does the princely transformation take place? It begins at the point where you begin to look out the monsters eyes. Which is also the point which you forget to be afraid. When you have reached that place, and step outside of the beast, and go back up the stairs, because you have nothing to be afraid of anymore, what more is there to fear?
This confrontation with the Shadow usually takes a long time. And of course, it isnt finished until youve gone back, and gone back in again, to look at the Shadow monster who will be shrinking in size no longer quite hairy and probably without its sharp teeth, so to speak. And the process is not truly finished until youve learned to have compassion, then affection, for your Shadow beast. The compassion is not so terribly difficult once your therapist helps to point out that all of this Shadow form took place because of things that were told to you, done to you, that you are not responsible for this, that you dealt with all of this rejection and repression the only way that you could. It is important, as the patient, to look back on the completely vulnerable child your were, and how helpless you felt, and how completely lacking in understanding you were about these things you were told were bad. So, after awhile you can begin to feel a bit of compassion for this horrid, self-thing. Feeling love for it takes a little longer, but eventually it will happen.
Now, how and it what way does the transformed Shadow become your ally? Well if you face aspects of yourself that you used to be ashamed of, and tried to deny, you will be able to deliberately decide whether or not to make use of any of these aspects at certain times in your life. To give a relatively minor example, when I sit down at a chess board, I can give myself permission to turn on my aggressive side, no more Mrs. Nice Guy, and if my partner doesnt like it then to hell with him! Just tough! Or more seriously, if I find myself walking a dark street in a strange city and I hear footsteps walking behind me, I dont have to hesitate before I become my growling, big cat, killer self. Its okay, my killer is there to be used if hes needed. The difference is that I am not in danger of being taken over by one of these aspects of my Shadow, without my consent, and perhaps under the wrong circumstances which is what happens when it remains unconscious. I can make conscious choices about whether to use my dark, or ally, or not.
Insight into your darker side, without self-hatred, without shame, is what you have begin with to do Shadow work very hard to manage for most of us. Acceptance of all the things you are with love and compassion.
The Buddhists teach that the soul, immediately after death, the soul will encounter demonic figures known as Guardians of the Gate, and that one must keep in mind that they are aspects of himself, and he cannot move forth into the spiritual world until he has acknowledged and embraced them until he has owned them. Which is another way of reminding us that spiritual wholeness requires that we accept and own all parts of our self, and that we must find a way to love all that we are, and eventually, to love all that other living things are, rejecting none. I dont know if it was Oscar Wilde, or who it was, that made that wonderful statement, Nothing human is alien to me. Thats what we have to get to. The closest people come to looking in the eyes of God are when we look at the face of a newborn baby. Looking in the eyes of a newborn is quite an experience. And what does a newborn baby show us? All the possibilities for light and dark, good and evil, love and hate the potential is there for anything and everything that a human being can be. Now those of us who have used psychedelics to achieve greater consciousness have sometimes managed to understand just a little bit, that the great mind of God, if you believe such a thing, contains all things, all dualities, all opposites, all light and all darkness. The difficult part of that is that some psychedelic travelers, like some non-psychedelic travelers in these realms, also come back and state that everything that exists is contained in love, which makes no sense whatsoever but it seems to be part of the truth. In doing work to bring our own Shadow selves into awareness, and find that we can feel compassion for our dark twisted ugly aspects, thereby transforming them, we might come a little closer to understanding, not with the mind, but with the heart, what is meant by that otherwise incomprehensible phrase: God is Love!
Chuang Tzu Poems…
The Giant Peng Bird
In the Northern Sea there is a fish
Its name is Kun
The great size of Kun
We know not how many thousand leagues
Its name is Peng
The wingspan of Peng
We know not how many thousand leagues
It surges into flight.
Its wings are like the clouds that hang from the sky
This bird, when the ocean begins to heave
Will travel to the Southern Sea
The Southern Sea – the heavenly pond
Distinguishing Ego from Self
All that is limited by form, semblance, sound, color is called object.
Among them all, man alone is more than an object.
Though, like objects, he has form and semblance,
He is not limited to form.
He is more.
He can attain to formlessness.
When he is beyond form and semblance, beyond “this” and “that,”
where is the comparison with another object?
Where is the conflict?
What can stand in his way?
He will rest in his eternal place which is no-place.
He will be hidden in his own unfathomable secret.
His nature sinks to its root in the One.
His vitality, his power hide in secret Tao.
Letting go of thoughts
The mind remains undetermined in the great Void.
Here the highest knowledge is unbounded.
That which gives things their thusness cannot be delimited by things.
So when we speak of ‘limits’, we remain confined to limited things.
The limit of the unlimited is called ‘fullness.’
The limitlessness of the limited is called ‘emptiness.’
Tao is the source of both.
But it is itself neither fullness nor emptiness.
Creation and Destruction
When you break something up, you create things.
When you create something, you destroy things.
Material things have no creation or destruction.
Ultimately these concepts connect as one.
Only the enlightened know that they connect as one,
So instead of debating this with your preconceptions,
Approach it in an ordinary way.
Those with this ordinary approach, simply apply the idea.
Those who apply it, connect with it.
Those who connect with it, attain it.
This easily attained understanding is not far off.
Goods and Possessions
Goods and possessions are no gain in his eyes.
He stays far from wealth and honor.
Long life is no ground for joy, nor early death for sorrow.
Success is not for him to be pround of, failure is no shame.
Had he all the world’s power he would not hold it as his own.
If he conquered everything he would not take it to himself.
His glory is in knowing that all things come together in One and life and death are equal.
Bio: Chuang Tzu was a leading thinker representing the Taoist strain in Chinese thought. Using parable and anecdote, allegory and paradox, he set forth the early ideas of what was to become the Taoist school. Central in these is the belief that only by understanding Tao (the Way of Nature) and dwelling in unity can man achieve true happiness and be truly free, in both life and death. Witty and imaginative, enriched by brilliant imagery, making sportive use of both mythological and historical personages (including even Confucius), the book which bears Chuang Tzu’s name has for centuries been savored by Chinese readers.”
When Chuang Tzu was about to die, his disciples signified their wish to give him a grand burial. `I shall have heaven and earth for my coffin and its shell; the sun and moon for my two round symbols of jade, the stars and constellations for my pearls and jewels; and all things assisting as he mourners. Will not the provisions for my funeral be complete? What could you add to them?’
Enzo Avitabile – ‘Nuje e ll’acqua’