Starting to Come Back: New Focus at Indistinct Union

To anyone out there still reading this, I’ll be returning shortly (and at first probably a bit slowly then picking back up the pace) to blogging here at Indistinct Union.  The time I have spent with the start-up at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen took more time/energy than I had initially anticipated.  But it’s all good because that has turned out to be a very successful (so far, knock on e-wood) and very fulfilling experience for me.

So my political, economic, military, foreign policy blogging is all over there.

At the beginning of this year I began to experiment with a new form of writing-meditation based on the philosophical writings of Ken Wilber wrt his work on perspectives and what is termed integral post-metaphysics.  For my initial post introducing that theme here.   That bore some interesting fruit in a series of blog posts examining other writer’s pieces from this lens.  (e.g. here).  They are filled under the Integral Calculus Categories on the bar to the right for those foolish enough to desire to read all of them.

I found that a freeing, enlightening, moving, feelingful kind of experience.  But I could tell since I was starting first with the views of others, it was still distanced from me.  I was looking for a way to initiate the process more from within my own experience.  It was then a few weeks later that a friend turned me onto the work of (sadly now deceased) David Grove called Clean Space.  For my entry on that here.

I’ve been way too busy in since then (about 2 months ago), to really roll with this, but am now feeling the drive to come back to this set of practices, ideas, explorations which revolve strongly around the idea of each of us having our own unique understandings/creations of landscape through the use of metaphor.

Clean Space practice-feeling-thinking (it’s hard to call it any one thing) relies on the idea of imaginatively (and literally-concretely) locating/placing certain aspects of experience in certain spaces.  And then speaking as if from each space.

This all connects very deeply with Wilber’s notion of the perspectives and links up perfectly with Wilber’s core metaphor (metaphor-scape) for his own work which is as a map.  A map of consciousnesss–i.e. interior location.

I’m sensing that this blog will become the platform for me simply to share in some sense the experience of walking through this world of ideas, metaphor, practice, inner feeling and the like.  [I’ve added a Clean Space category on the right to keep this series].  One of the central insights of Grove’s work was that the metaphor space creates a bit of healthy distance.  He originally worked with people who suffered brutal traumas and found that traditional psychotherapy might bring people back into the pain thereby re-traumatizing them.  The metaphor world (of their own creation) was somehow a place of more safety and clarity.

So to apply Wilber’s insights to the Clean Language/Clean Space/Metaphor Realm–the writings here are an interpretation of my experience (itself already an interpretation) being with the metaphor space.  As Wilber says, it’s all an unending cascade of perspectives-choices-experiences.  Also I should say that my way of doing all this will incorporate some other elements and is therefore probably not a precise version of all this.  e.g. Some dipping on occasion into Eugene Gendlin’s work on Focusing.

My buddy Ian Johnson who turned me onto all the Grovian work–his application of the work here–led me once through a process growing out of these ideas.  I’ll be working off that initial exploration with likely more to come in the future.

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Published in: on March 20, 2009 at 11:20 am  Comments (1)  
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Clean Space Writing

In my search to find a way of writing-practicing that would take me more into a introspective-phenomenological space equivalent of the integral calculus blogging process, I came across work on clean space. (H/t to my buddy Ian Johnson for the links).

I’m still just skimming the surface of a whole mess of these related ideas (see here for more).   This is a psychotherapeudic practice that works with the mental landscape, the metaphoric realm of inner space.  David Grove, the original thinker behind all this, described (in part) this work on clean space as “psychoactive” which is exactly the same term Ken Wilber uses for his integral map.  [I think they mean slightly different but closely related imo things by the terms].

When I started reading some of these posts, I get the sense more and more that this is something I need to look at and is very close to (if not perhaps exactly) what I’ve been looking for in terms of a more first person walk through the perspectives.  I’m still thinking of a way to connect this with this style of writing I’m exploring.

Clean Space basically works with the mental landscape (metaphoric) that we create and then walks individuals through that landscape, speaking from the position of that space.  So there’s first a general first person mode (entering one’s subjectivity) which is metaphorized in locational vectors (3rd person of the 1st) which one can then enter and speak from (1st person of the 3rd person within 1st person) as well as dialoging between the various spaces (2nd person of the 3rd person space within the 1st person domain).

I want to see if I can walk myself through such a practice and then transcribe in a sense (or maybe write simultaneously??) the spaces and the experience, the locations/metaphoric landscape, as well as the points of view taken up.

I want to make clear yet again (on a broader point) that this form of integral thought that I’m working with (Ken Wilber, Steve McIntosh, Mark Edwards, et.al)  is only one form of integral.  Any openings, as Heidegger would say, are also closings.  They uncover and yet conceal.  Revelation is both an opening and a concealing.  Same with this trajectory.  It reveals a great deal (imo) but also conceals other pieces.  It deals mostly with metaphors of space in the interior and exterior world: e.g. Kosmic Addresses, world-views, worldspaces, etc.  It helps explain, gives voice to an amazing amount of various dimensions of existence.  And others it leaves out.  The nature of that process needs always to be kept in mind.  To move first to perspectives is already to occlude other potential ways of writing-thinking-experiencing-feeling.  As I’ve said on multiple occasions, I think the best (supplementary/complementary/alternative) view of integral is this one.  Basically that tradition states that integral is an already formed living tradition of fullness which needs to be revived/re-lived in any day and age.  Either of the artistic canon side (as the link previous) or say in a spiritual perennial sense.  I think eventually one has to deal with society, values (implicit and explicit), worldviews/ethics, and all the rest at which point the more integral as new stage of development (integral crew #1) I think comes into play.

But the fact that I focus in one direction (predominantly the first tradition) does not mean I think the other one is not without a great deal of truth. I’m only doing that–focusing in a specific line.  In one that I feel I have something to offer that is more unique.  But again it doesn’t mean I don’t keep in mind the other tradition.

My lived insights into that first strain of integral philosophy (the theory-praxis strain) is very fluid and has been deeply expanding of my attention, care, understanding of the world without and within.  But it is only one way.  I have for a long time wished I could do more to combine both streams of integral, but at this point I feel more the need to enter into the one I feel most at home and where I can be most creative, contribute the most.  And in the interim, just periodically remininding folks that it is only one strain within a larger series of strains.

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 7:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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