Sunday, December 19, 2010

with respect to post-religious spirituality

I’m fond of the California legacy first associated with the “human potential” movement of the ’60s, especially inasmuch as it (or they or one) avoids/avoided (in the ’70s and ’80s) “New Age”y fantasy rhetorics.

My history here is long. I’ll just note that I’m also fond of authentic Jungian views of “individuation” (now an ordinary term in my thinking, but it came into my life from Jungian engagements many years ago, though I would not call myself Jungian). I’m not as enthusiastic about Buddhist views, but I have affection for their studied simplicity. I believe that the Esalen Institute has a fine legacy, and regional resources such as Tassajara, Green Gulch, and Spirit Rock are darling. MindBody interweaving should be integral to health care, and mindfulness is integral to living well.

Those modes or levels of engagement and appreciation can have wide relevance for folks—offering important aspects of living well that may be widely relevant. This pertains to, let’s say, the midland of our humanity, which is the great common ground of our belonging together in our humanity. Aspiring to explore heights is wise to appreciate that the heights depend on the surrounding midlands.

I’m aspiring to explore heights, but that presupposes good (excellent,
I hope) appreciation of midland conditions of possibility, which explorations of human development in general must include. However, conceptualizing generally-relevant developmental aspects of flourishing, relative to an interest in aspiring to explore heights, likely doesn’t relate well to a general audience that the aspects can be about. In other words, the “same” belonging together in “living well” may be understood in various ways (e.g., relative to all kinds of approaches to living well by various health care specialists and various psychologists). What I’m doing—on a road to doing—is not exclusive of other views of living well. But a good inclusiveness depends on the developed view that would show how the inclusiveness can go well or work well. So, my attention
to showing inclusion is distant, while my influence by those I feel inclusive with continues in the background of the road displayed.
(See narrative like a road—ancient trope.)

I can’t imagine agreeing wholly with everyone I feel good inclusion with. I might even cringe at some choices of understanding. For example,
I’m quite wary of most “spiritual” modes of expression (or rhetoric,
in the best sense that good philosophy involves a high acuity of rhetoric). Yet, I’m appreciative of what authentic expression is seeking to evince
or show. Usually, I have no trouble being rapportous (another of my little neologisms).

I bought a nice book yesterday, titlted to sell, but written by someone who seems to be a very wise psychotherapist, in the best sense of the California legacy: Daring to Trust: opening ourselves to real love and intimacy, by David Richo. Like many therapists, he survives (I suppose) in a difficult economy for wise guys and extended learning processes
by giving workshops and publishing books through little presses.

But desire to do good prevails over desire to make money. So, “Dave,” who has many books (though I hadn’t heard of him earlier), has taken kernals from many and put them into a sequenced presentation of what he’s doing, which makes an interesting synopsis of what the California legacy is, called “human becoming.” It’s endearing—well-suited for a mind/body communication for couples workshop in a medical center.

I note that as a good example of what I find inclusive (in a very accessible mode) of what I’m exploring in my own way, which is going to go uphill for a little while before coming back to aspects of ordinary empathy, good relationship, love, and mindfulness in that pursuit of mine to understand “authentic happiness” (mid-2011). Then, the road will go uphill again, into highly conceptual adventuring (late 2011? onward—onward), unlike anything I’ve done online so far (having rather rigorous, very discursive focus).