PSYCHE INTEGRATION
Anthony Blake, April 2004
The personality develops through education and social interaction. It thinks to itself and imagines that it is in control of life, but is intrinsically fragmented. In contrast, both spiritual and psychological investigators have said that there is a deeper self, hidden in the psyche, which can be a source of wholeness and hence of healing. A meaningful life is one in which the personality is 'saved' or redeemed by what lies within. This is what we mean by 'psyche integration'. 
There are many paths available, crafted over centuries to suit different temperaments and cultures. Our seven-fold methodology is a largely secular and impartial spectrum of experiences that combines individual exploration with group process: 

1. Experienting - work with the very 'stuff of experience' through attention while sitting
2. Social dreaming - association to the meaning of dreams that are shared in the group as a collective insight
3. Movements - gestural language to evoke whole body images that can evolve into a story
4. Tissue paper collage - a form of active imagination to bring to the surface unconscious material
5. Median group - dialogue of equals to share meaning and develop mutual understanding
6. Logovisual technology - articulation of molecules of thought and their integration into unifying insights
7. ILM - accessing the field of active information through music and sounds
Each of the radial axes (see diagram) offers its own kind of self-observation, self-knowing and self-understanding. As the personality - represented by the circle at the top of the circular mandala - travels through these experiences, it comes under the influence of the hidden wholeness - perhaps the 'black hole' - at the center. A labyrinth connects inner with outer and each person follows a path governed by their question or quest. The inner self is shown as a small circle because it represents the 'still, quiet center' of ourselves in contrast to the active, loud and discordant personality on the outside.
In the center are the mysteries of how our individuality is involved in the being of others, and how our own unconscious dwells in the collective unconscious. We cannot understand if we are isolated.
Jung said that the second half of life should be more and more given over to the search for meaning. But even young people can find a deeper education through our 'psyche integration' to help them begin to restore their intrinsic harmony.
 

 

Brought into temporal cycle

 
A schedule projects the methods into a sequence. Here is one solution, showing the point of entry. In this case, the sequence runs clockwise. Each version implies special relationships between the methods, while also structuring the time available. Another solution is to start at the opposite point of the circle and proceed anticlockwise.

In both versions, collage is split into two sections, which involve different processes, so that the 'everyday self' is pictured as entering into the circuit just as people enter and leave medicine wheels in the Amerindian traditions. Choosing the point of entry and direction of movement was considered of great significance.


APPENDIX - ORIGINAL SOURCES OF DUVERSITY'S 'PSYCHE INTEGRATION'
 

The main formation of this approach came from a blending of the esoteric 'fourth way' psychology with contemporary group psychotherapy, though this is far from an exhaustive description. The main figures in our history and what aspects of psyche integration they have inspired are as follows:

Of these seven leading figures, six are or were known personally by Anthony Blake (the exception was Gurdjieff) and four by Karen Stefano. Karen has worked extensively with Edith Wallace, right up until Edith's death this year (2004) and Anthony worked extensively with John Bennett and Edward Matchett. We have made a series of video-conversations with Edith Wallace, Gordon Lawrence and Patrick de Mare, relating to their work. Karen is working closely with Patrick de Mare on Median Group.

 

THE SEVEN METHODS OF PSYCHE INTEGRATION

Though chosen and developed to complement each other and embrace the many dimensions of human experience, the seven methods have important features in common.

They involve a three phase process in which ‘moments’, or significant experiences are generated or gathered and acquire meaning by reflection on the connections between them, which then become woven into narrative or theory.

"Theory" comes from Latin theoria," (contemplation, theory) which in turn comes from Greek "theoros" (spectator) from "theasthai" (to observe) from "thea" (a viewing or a looking at). The word "theater" indeed shares an etymology with "theory."

Another similarity is that intention is combined with the spontaneous.

A third is that individual and group process intertwine.

 

EXPERIENTING

Experienting – to experiment with the ‘stuff’ of experience – is an ongoing development from the inner exercises or ‘physiological meditations’ of Gurdjieff and Bennett. These were physiological in the sense of being grounded on the form and process of the physical body, with the premise that all experiences and meaning have a physical location and a basis in the root processes of metabolism, respiration and sensing. They were meditations in the sense of requiring voluntary attention, which is instrumented by sensation, image, feeling, thought, etc. but not reducible to any of these. Experienting is to intentionally sense, feel, think, etc. while observing what ensues.

All ancient traditions view the human body as a microcosm of the cosmos, just as the universe was seen as the body of God. Attention might be focused on a location in the body, or in the world, on a quality of sensation, a state of feeling, on air or sound, an image or thought, etc. in a way that may illuminate primary questions of being, such as: What is consciousness? Who am I? What can I be certain of? These are phenomenological rather than scientific questions but the process differs from mere phenomenological reflection by being grounded in concrete sensations in immediate experience. Experienting does not teach any answers, only enables people to look into their experience as basic human experience of being embodied, alive, aware and intentional.

Experienting is usually guided by a facilitator who evolves the sequence on each particular occasion, responding to the felt state of the group – in psychoanalysis we speak of ‘unconscious speaking to unconscious’ – though in accord with a general form. The most common form is simply that of threes – three levels, three functions, three stages, etc. On some occasions, the participants can be invited to comment on the process as it is then currently ensuing in them, so that a measure of dialogue is involved in counterpoint to the unconscious process.

Psychophysiology is cultural and what the body means is not the same in different traditions – e.g. the ancient Chinese and Greek are very different - and the interpretation of the body changes historically. In current western society we have imported ideas such as that of the chakras from Hinduism or the latifas from Sufism, often without realizing that these are relics of periods of experienting that have become fixed by custom. As an example of change over time, thinking was once located (2500 years ago) in the chest while the head was regarded as sexual!

Experienting allows individuals to explore meanings in themselves and articulate them in their own way by becoming aware of the body in new ways that are not governed by social conditioning. However, there is a considerable interval between having moments of heightened experience – or hal, see section on ILM – and realizing a new understanding of human reality, which demands a new cosmology. In fact, each person has her or his own ‘system of the world’ but may never come to see it.

SOCIAL DREAMING MATRIX

Social dreaming was discovered – or rediscovered, since it had often been a feature of early communities – by Gordon Lawrence in the 1980s. It takes dreaming from the usual psychotherapeutic theatre of interpretation focused on the individual to an exploration of emergent thinking in societies and culture. Following the indications of Bion, dreaming is taken as the precursor to conscious thinking and, following the terminology of Foulkes, social dreaming is ascribed to a matrix rather than a group. The word ‘matrix’ relates to mother and womb as the place where something new can be nourished and come to birth. People are already in the matrix, though they are usually not aware of this. The matrix draws people beyond the confines of any group.

The Social Dreaming Matrix operates by inviting participants to tell their dreams or fragments of dreams, when they become the property of all and a starting point for free association. Free association is speaking without logical inhibition through all kinds of association of meaning. It underlies or complements logical thinking in a language of metaphor, analogy and surprising links. In free association, dreams ‘talk to’ dreams. Dreaming continues during the session and participants can introduce material arising in the moment.

The session explores a collage of dreams that free association brings into language. Dreaming and conscious thinking need not be divorced, though they are usually felt to be so. The Social Dreaming Matrix provides a medium in which the barrier between the two is thinned to allow meaningful transfer between conscious and unconscious thinking.

Commentaries on Prophecy and Dreams:

"First, in this prayer of mine, I give the place of highest honor among the gods to the first prophet, Gaia; and after her to Themis, for she was the second to take this oracular seat of her mother, as legend tells. And in the third allotment, with Themis' consent and not by force, another Titan, child of Gaia, Phoebe, took her seat here. She gave it as a birthday gift to Phoebus [ Apollo], who has his name from Phoebe." [Pythian priestess. Aeschylus, Eumenides 1.

Some say that when Apollo, still a child, killed the serpent that guarded the prophetic shrine, Gaia gave birth to Dream Visions of the Night, who told men the present and the future while they were asleep in their beds. In this way Gaia took the office of prophecy away from Apollo. But Apollo went back to Olympus and asked Zeus to restore his right, and Zeus took away from mortals the truth that appears in sleep, giving back the privilege to Apollo, and restoring in mortal men the confidence in prophecy. In this light, SDM offers a way of returning to the original way!

MOVING

If experienting is inwardly focused while people sit still, what we call ‘moving’ is inwardly based while moving. This is movement or dance that is not derived from self-expression, the drive of music or gymnastic exercise. Instead, it is a system of intentional movements and gestures in which these are combined with awareness of the inside of them.

A typical session divides into three phases. In the first, relatively simple rhythms are combined so that arms, head and feet are independently moving. This psycho physiological challenge generates what is called ‘endopsychic energy’ which is then like a free energy available for inner work. In the second phase, the participants learn together some piece from the repertoire of dances created by Gurdjieff that incorporate music. The music awakens a deeper sense of movement and forms a bridge to the ‘inner movements’ of the psyche. In the third phase, participants are invited to generate gestures and movements meaningful to them. A set of these is then taken and learned by all as a sequence. Each is given a name – by another person than the one who came up with the particular gesture – that corresponds to the image evoked by taking or performing the gesture. The sequence is then performed with the name of each gesture spoken aloud. As this is done, the participants are invited to imagine the landscape and story which the set of positions evokes in them.
Though meditation gestures such as mudras are a little known in the west, the way of intentional, dynamic sequences of gestures - that can also involve displacements - coupled with awareness of the psyche is hardly known at all. It is dominantly non-verbal and has to be practiced and developed from bodily sense. Bodily sense is actively developed by the technique of ‘mind-move’ in which mental attention is used to enhance bodily sensation through movement.

 

TISSUE PAPER COLLAGE

Tissue paper collage is a method of active imagination invented by Edith Wallace in the light of Jung’s ideas. It allows people to create colorful images that can reflect inner processes. The creation of the images is done without thought, tearing and pasting colored tissue papers onto standard cards. These images are numbered so that they can be viewed as a sequence. Making and viewing are two different operations. The viewing is first done privately then with the group. The person looks for shapes, feelings, movements, etc. in their collages, first as separate pieces and then as a developmental process shown in the sequence.

 

The interpretations of separate collages are woven together into a story. Sometimes, before coming to a collage series, people are asked to write their story as a myth or fairy tale.

The primary rule of making collages ‘without thought’ is actually to allow thought to arise from more unconscious levels. The images are primarily taken in relation to the person who made them but this is not necessarily the case. The collages can be viewed as an expression of the whole group process.

MEDIAN GROUP

The Median group was introduced by Patrick de Mare as fostering dialogue and the exploration of meaning in culture by creating micro-cultures. His favored size of group is 15-17. Therapeutically, this is the group situated between family and large. Historically, it is the well-spring of democracy, as in Athens 2500 years ago. Prehistorically, it is the way of hunter-gatherers before the Neolithic revolution produced hierarchy and belief systems. Religiously, it is in the spirit of Koinonia, impersonal fellowship. Scientifically, it is emergence of new patterns through self-organization.

Patrick argues that we have to learn to talk with each other on the level. In the small group, people are subject to hierarchy and power, emotion and projection. The median group is of such a size that sheer diversity is large enough to dissolve hierarchical controls and provide the basis of new thinking, while still being small enough to generate an experience of friendship. Being on the same level is not a leveling down but a leveling up.

In the median group, libido as the will to pleasure is confronted with the will to reality to produce frustration, or hate, making possible the will to meaning. The idea that new thinking arises out of the frustration of old pleasure is based on psychoanalytic theory. New thinking creates a micro-culture that can serve to reflect the macro-culture. In the further development of dialogue, we arrive at what Patrick calls ‘totality’ and Gordon Lawrence the ‘imago of the cosmos’, or the context beyond our local cultures.

The Median group is a company of mind and acts contrary to general massification by humanization of thinking. It might be considered as a ‘treatment of society’ by processing its ‘memes’ or units of meaning. A metaphor for the experience of taking part in a Median group is group of people gathered to wash their clothes in a river. The river is the flow of meaning and the clothes are thoughts or memes.

The median group is served by a convener whose job it is, is to contain the tensions of the group His or her interventions are minimal, to relieve the dominance of any ‘basic assumptions’ restricting the flow of meaning.

LOGOVISUAL TECHNOLOGY (LVT)

This was developed in the UK from the invention of structural communication by John Bennett and his colleagues in the 1960s. Both aim at higher levels of thinking in education, management, or any field in which making meaning is to be fostered. LVT is based on the human capacity to combine fragments or ‘atoms’ of meaning to generate new meanings on another level. It reflects something of wave-particle complementarity: there are both explicit ‘particles’ of meaning, consciously expressed in words, icons or significant objects of some kind, and also implicit ‘waves’ of meaning that extend into deeper more unconscious levels. In the process of LVT there is a series of steps in which new orders of ‘meaning-particles’ are successively generated, revealing in their turn new wave forms of meaning. Thus, typically, the process begins in the relatively factual, then brings in feelings and images with growing awareness of our forms of representation and entry into the gestalt of our ways of understanding experience of self, world and creative unfoldment.

LVT supports ‘thinking together’ and is essentially democratic, encouraging dialogue on the level, while permitting individual diversity and insight. The crucial mechanism is pinning dialogue on agreed particles of meaning. This makes constructive exchange more likely and efficient because it allows for wide-ranging association based on common and explicit points of reference. Typically, LVT uses magnetic hexagons on which statements are written by the participants. The hexagonal shapes can be moved in relation to each other and combined into clusters to provide new ‘molecules’ of meaning.

Images, metaphors and stories can evolve using this technology as a base. LVT ties in with the psychoanalytic theory of thinking developed by Bion, in which ‘alpha-elements’ of felt sense combine to make ‘beta-elements’ of recurrent meaning and thence build to form explanations, theories, structures and stories. LVT also spans the whole gamut of human perception that extends from random sets of particles to continuously ordered wholes. It is the passage between different levels, vertically, combined with exchange with others, laterally, that constitutes thinking in contrast with thought. In general, LVT enables us to think the ‘unthought known’.

ILM

ILM was derived from the ‘neural education’ created by Edward Matchett in the 1990s. The word is an acronym signifying Immediate Learning in the Moment, but is also identical with the Arabic word for knowledge: ilm has to combine with the corresponding hal or ‘state’ to produce understanding. The usual medium of this work is listening to music. We are conditioned to treat music in terms of like and dislike, or to speak of what ‘moves’ us emotionally, rather than in terms of perception and understanding; that is, in terms of ‘hal’ or state rather than ‘ilm’ or knowledge. In fact, both emotion and thinking are closely linked in what we generally call meaning making.

Participants are asked to suspend as best they can their usual ‘tastes’ and likes and dislikes and, instead, give their attention to the action of the music in the moment. The dynamic unfoldment of the music becomes reflected in their own ‘composition’ and awakens multiple, simultaneous associations of meaning. It is really this ‘inner music’ which is being heard and this ‘music’ gives knowledge of meaning making exactly related to the deepest concerns or questions. The word ‘music’ obviously relates to the ‘muse’ or inspiration.

Participants can bring an intention or question to ILM and discover how it transforms through the process. Typically, there is a change from seeking for what to do, to seeing the need to see in a different way.

ILM applies beyond music per se to natural sounds. It can also be used in viewing art of any kind and is also applied in what Matchett called logosafaris or ‘journeys in meaning’ – in nature, cities, or landscapes on any scale. ILM cultivates a stance of relaxed attention and the ability to become immersed, which can carry over into life and study. It is centered on allowing what there is to speak to us with the minimum of interpretation.

This suspension of interpretation opens the mind to deeper levels of meaning. In the ideal state, listening to music or sounds becomes a new kind of thinking. Studies have shown a measurable effect of music of certain kinds on certain modes of intelligence, while the psychoanalyst Maier has written on the contribution that music can play in accessing unconscious material to understand experience in new ways.

 







Director of Studies: Anthony Blake
Registrar / Membership: Karen Stefano
Web Site Comments: Anthony Blake
The DuVersity is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization.
This site and all DuVersity materials contained herein ©1998-2004.