Brief Therapy Solutions

Audio extract from a 2009 University of Toronto lecture by Rick
on Smoking and Weight Issues

Play Smoking and Weight Issues

Shadow

Shadow work involves work on some aspect of self that you are out of touch with,or that is not ‘seen’ by your conscious self. Anger, sexuality, control, power, etc.

We don’t often see the inherent social bias that fuels certain kinds of 'collective shadows' - those carried by a large number of people in a group, who seem to get reinforcement and tend to keep their shadow 'drivers' going. (Conrad Black's 'shadow' driver, operating in his relationship to power, was likely not something he took great pains to unpack or understand or that the people around him dared to point out to him).

We all, myself included have 'weak spots' or 'blind spots'  in our claim to understand ourselves and our motives. Because  the majority of our choices  involve emotions, and since our emotions are a product of our  subconscious, it is helpful to approach shadow work by engaging the subconscious.

Mind

The mind module Includes the brain, and cognition processes, but is larger than the function of the physical brain, or mere 'mental computing'. Edgar Cayce, the renowned prophet called the mind the ‘builder’.

While our rational mind says "I’m over it, I’m over him or her, etc” …Big Mind will help us realize the extent to which these voices of pain, fear, resentment for example are still highly operational in our psyche, shutting off what the future could potentially hold for us.

Big Mind aims to be one with everything that is arising, as it arises,- it sees no separation in our psychological apparatus - and is designed to provide opportunities to take higher perspectives than we might otherwise consider, and to tame the lower perspectives, or at least shut them up temporarily. Big Mind is not locked into lower perspectives, as is fundamentalism, or ethnocentric thinking. While it can hold those perspectives, and does, it is not locked into them… Lower perspectives might reinforce for those in gay life a belief that “ Everything revolves around sexuality” (Well it does, doesn’t it?) . Big Mind allows us to continually take new perspectives, - bigger, bolder, wider, more inclusive ones, - to see through the eyes of 'others', to transcend smaller notions of self and of ‘the world’ while at the same time remaining inclusive and respectful of ‘where we have been’ and where others are, and where we might choose to go for ourselves.

Spirit

Spirit is or can be a highly confusing term. I like to think of spirit in terms of what ‘animates’ us. I recognize in myself a spirit of social justice but also a spirit of provocation for example, which may seem paradoxical or juxtaposed to the rational mind.

There is a spirit of justice,  a spirit of fairness, a spirit of rebellion, a spirit of anarchy, a spirit of playfulness, of irreverence,  a spirit of provocation, etc. Shadow qualities of spirit might be found in the spirit of  envy, or of  jealousy, or of  control.

Working with  spirit, as a therapeutic module is often about peeling away layers of conditioning and 'going deeper' to the part that "knows", but doesn't necessarily  know how  it knows. It is about what  animates us, what  moves us, etc. Spiritual  practice is also a discipline, like any other.

It speaks to an awareness of  self and others  beyond  rational, political,  intellectual, or logical terms.

Whether your  sense of   Spirit emanates from a tradition, is beyond religion,  or is based largely on  scientific understanding of 'energy', ie atoms, molecules, molecular  chemistry,  Spirit module  when being worked therapeutically   means that  big  'ahas'  begin  to  pop  in  the other modules. Spirit    amplifies  the other modules, it is the  "speed ramp"  or spark plug   that  brings  more  traction  into all the other modules. Therefore spirit can amplify a hockey player as much as a theologian.

Body

There are in fact  3 bodies,  the  gross, subtle body and causal body.

The  gross  or physical body is rather self explanatory. (Yes, it can be gross, you should see the guy I worked on last week......)

Your gross body includes  your  bones,  fascia, muscle, joints, lymph, blood, etc.

However,  your emotional body is your body too, your  subtle body.  It too needs to be nurtured,  'worked',  and engaged, etc.

All of your bodies require regular attention and maintenance. That means your chakras,  your etheric body, your aura, your pre conscious body as much as your gross body including your muscles, your blood, lymph, your organs, glands, etc.

Managing our physical body is very time consuming, or can be.  Some people place all their effort on the physical and suffer emotionally.  Others  deny attention to their physical body and only emphasize the spiritual currents – those that emphasize an up and out of the body approach to living.    We need our  physical body to be healthy, as it gives us a lot in return for investing in it. We also need our  chakras (energetic portals between the physical and spiritual planes)   to be  ‘open’  and ‘clear’  not  ‘open’  and cluttered’.  When our chakras  are cluttered with energetic debris,  we  can’t  feel our feelings  accurately, and we stagnate.