Structuralism and the Plant Kingdom

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Frodsham (Chester), Cheshire, United Kingdom
Interests: Philosophy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Buddhism, Psychosynthesis, Hypnotherapy and R.E.B.T.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Dennis Genpo Merzel

Genpo Roshi's Big Mind process combines Zen wisdom with the Voice Dialogue method (and also Psychosynthesis). The idea of many seperate selves, each with their own view, voice and even sensation, is not too far from Jung's archetypes or Rollo May's daimons. A diamon is anything that can take over a person - anger is the most obvious example. The Voice Dialogue method identifes and gives expression to the most significant sub-personalities that are competing to be heard. These "voices" are usually suppressed and ignored because of their conflicting view points. The process aims to create a synthesies of each voice that is brought into the light of full consciousness.

Since the "I" is merelyimputed in any case, there is no difficulty in generating a conceptual generic image of each one.
Once we learn to recognise and understand the purpose of each voice a deeper synthesis is possible and it loses some of its neurotic control over our feelings.

In his introductory videos Genpo Roshi identifies and talks to some of the most therapeutically significant voices and clarifies the roles, duties, benefits, and dangers of each one. Genpo first introduces voices, such as Controller, Skeptic, Child, Damaged Self & Fixer.

If the Vunerable Child is understood and accepted we not longer need to fear or hate it,
after all, if we feel anxiety and vunerability there must be some perceived threat, so anxiety is quite appropriate in that situation. It is protecting us. Further positive polarites of vunerablity can be explored - sensitivity, innocence and so on. Genpo explores the values of the Protector - whose role is to protect the Vuneralble aspect of the self from hurt. This method's potential for application in C.B.T. and Hynotherapy Imagery speaks for itself.

His process evolved from the more therapeutic style of Voice Dialogue therapy by introducing voices that embody some traditional Buddhist states of mind. He uses the same techinque to give successive glimpses of transcendental awakening (kensho) by facilitating the experience of Big Mind, Big Heart Yin and Yang. Your mileage with is bound to vary according to your experience of the "widsom teachings", but you may catch an unusual glimpse of "the two truths" outside of deeper meditiation.

Big Mind in H'pathy? Of course! Exploring the dynamics of these "inner voices" suggests a very direct way of uncovering the interplay of conflicting elements. Entering the inner world of the psyche and grappling with the "Shadow" is a major charactersitic of the Lanthanides. We can see the themes of the "Vunerable Child" in the remedies in Stages 1 and 2 ... Lonley, Alone, Naive, Shy, Timid. The "Protector" themes are found in Stage 11, especially in the Lanthanides - Look at Terbium Carbonicum - they can be a real gentelman, preserving respect for themselvs and others! The "Bhodisattvas Remedy" for sure!

Lets take this a step too far ... apply some of Genpo's Buddhist Voices to the Lanthanide qualities!

The Autonomous Self
  • The Integrated Self - I'm glad to be here. I appreciate and accept everything. I'm Big Heart and Big Mind working together in harmony. I respect the Pandits and the Sages, Natural Law, Karma, the Tao, and the Vedas.
  • Big Mind - I am emptiness - beginningless, endless, boundless and infinite.
  • Big Heart - I am overflowing bliss and compassion. Big Mind with emotion!
The Powerful Self
  • The Protector - My job is to protect the Self from harm. I protect it from others, from danger. I protect her emotions, her beliefs and her opinions.
  • The Master - I'm the one who's really the boss! I'm responsible and I delgate. I'm in charge of the equilibrium, synthesis and fusion of Big Heart and all the other voices.
The Controlling Self
  • The Controller - My job is to control. I help the Protector! I have to vigilant so I can control everything ... feelings, thoughts, actions! My greatest fear is being out of control. I can't let that happen.
The Searching Self
  • The Seeker - I'm Eros and I'm here to satisfy desire. I get the drinks in. I'm insatiable!
  • The Mind that seeks the way. - I'm Ethos. I'm seeking too, but its the truth I seek. I want peace and joy. Self-realization.
  • The Vunerable Child - I'm vunerable and without protection, but I'm Pathos, curious and free. I express myself in gaiety and laughter.
The Reflective Self
  • The Voice of the Dualistic Mind - I'm the analyist. The Logos. I see things in terms of cost and gain, good and evil, attraction and repusion. I'm the ethical thinker. I understand limits and boundaries; the polarities of Spirit and Matter - Yin and Yang.
The Shadow Self
  • The Damaged Self - I'm here to absorb all the damage. Life damages me. I'v always been damaged. He keeps me locked up in the basement!
  • The Skeptic - My job is to be skeptical of everything. I'm here to make sure he won't get fooled again!
Genpo's most recent innovation was to identify the two polarities of each voice - the immature and the mature, which might also be read as the failed or compensated. The immature voices will be seen in the earlier stage remedies, i.e. Lanthanum (Stage 3) to Neodynium (Stage 6). From Neodynium on the voices are gaining maturity. From Terbium (Stage 11) onwards control, freedom and autonomy start to fail and gradually die off.

It may be possible to associate the different "voices" with different parts of the brain. People who have a damaged pre-frontal lobe, for example, loose their social inhibitions and become quite tactless. Activity in the left prefrontal cortex is also associated with happiness. Again, the Amygdyla is central to the experience of anxiety. Different areas of the limbic system are active in REM sleep and are associated with either agressive or 'seeking' dreams. On this view it may also be feasable to assocaite different voices with the Chakras, which is not so far removed from Genpo Roshi's approach. Clients more familiar with the Enneagram may identify easily with their own core personality types and their influential wings.

Juan Illan (OSi) has advised me that "Parts Therapy" is already well kown in Hypnotherapy - it was developed by Charles Tebbetts, and Roy Hunter ('The Art of Hypnotherapy' Kendall/Hunt publishers). Parts Therapy (Tebbetts) is particularly beneficial whenever the sense of self is compromised by a contradiction of will, or there is deeper confusion (of identity) giving rise to a sense of duality. This is a keynote of Anacardium (below), but it also seems to arise in the drug-like remedies - and in the Snakes;perhaps the aetiology in the snakes arises from their inherent Suspicion and Slyness.

Anecdotal Rubrics:
* Will, contradiction of:Alum, Am-c ANAC, ant-t, crot-c, Kola, lac-h, lyc, Naja, rhus-t.
* Will, two wills: Anac, Anh, Cann-i, crot-c, Lach, naja, polys, taosc, heroine.

There are some very disturbing delusions in Anacarduim:
  • Delusion: devil - sits in his neck; prompting to murder or acts of benevolence.
  • Delusion: Wills, possessed by two - one commanding what the other forbids.
  • Delusion: Devil speaks in one ear, and an angel in the other.
  • Delusion: He is double. Spirit has separated from his body.
Clearly this is a very ill person! The state is said to arise from being rejected and criticised. It creates a very antisocial aspect which can become dangerous. It could well be the case that a sensitive student who has been rejected (perhaps on the basis of race or sexual orientation) takes a gun to school and shoots his former classmates is in the Anacardium state. Not every Anacardium case goes that far ... but the fluctuation beween contradictory impulses and desires is common. Resolution depends upon in integrating all these parts.

Parts Therapy can can also be useful when there are unresolved issues , an element of self punishment or there is maninuplation in persuit of a secondary gain (Hunter).

Also check out: Top Dog and Underdog roles in Fritz Perls' work.

Roberto Assagioli
The OSi Terminator:
An Integral Model
Definitions - Origins

1 comment:

  1. I used to moan about "Prayers for Meditation" being too long winded, but think about it ... as soon as you start on "I and all sentient beings" you'v switched into the mind of Compassion, and the whole sadhana is spent developing and enriching various wonderful minds and voices...