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