There is no substitute for the feeling of finding yourself among “your tribe”, or at least among those inhabiting a shared worldview. That was how I felt during the recent Synchronicity, Psyche and Matter Symposium at the Joshua Tree Retreat sponsored by the Depth Psychology Alliance.
Bonnie Bright and Gary Bobroff did a stellar job introducing and facilitating the sessions. Rupert Sheldrake opened the symposium with part one of a two part brilliant discourse on the Science Delusion. Not only did he illuminate the places where science has lost contact with its own method, but he also ended with an impassioned plea for us all to embrace the task of upgrading science by participating and collecting data from a series of simple scientific experiments. Other luminaries such as Jill Purce introduced us to the beautiful sonorous universe, while Stephen Aizenstat of Pacifica urged us to tend our dreams and take our place in the “family of things”. Richard Tarnas of CIIS gave us an expansive and detailed framework for synchronicity, and Stephen Lindsteadt helped us attune to the scalar heart. Graham Hancock presented on the historical and current relevance of healing through the use of psychedelics, and Gary Bobroff spoke about Crop Circles and the reemergence of the archetypal feminine. There were so many wonderful speakers and workshops that it was challenging to decide what to attend. Jim Tucker’s investigations into the accounts of past life recall in children was astounding. Mythologist Catherine Svehla invoked a connection to the coyote in us all, while Toko Pa related how an encounter with a bobcat had awakened her spirit.
The Joshua Tree Retreat Center is the desert equivalent of Esalen, and one couldn’t help but feel the presence of the many illumined beings who had been there before us. For anyone wanting to explore Depth Psychology and find his or her place in the unfolding mystery of life, I highly recommend that you commit to attending the next annual conference. Thank you Bonnie for providing our members access to this incredible event.
There are many "tribes" (http://news.yahoo.com/tracing-shift-everyday-american-jihadis-12313...) out there asking for our attention: what music we like, what nation/religion we (want to) belong to, what books we read... I find synchronicity an interesting phenomenon, actually I've had attempted to write an article about it (I'm not posting the link this time). What I've been interested in for awhile is whether or not it is possible to anticipate events and collectively choose a more humane and/or sustainable lifestyle. What Bonnie is asking is in a way similar to the concept of Global Brain. There are other names for the same thing and out of those I prefer Valentin Turchin's concept of Metasystem Transition. Meanwhile, I'm more than interested to follow on a daily basis events that resemble synchronicity. This habit of mine is neither good or bad for me and my life story - it just is.
Meanwhile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqPzS8Y27Ks - Eddie Vedder - No More
Thanks for sharing the YouTube music link, Aleksandar. I found myself very touched when watching it. Good reminder.
Thank you for this vivid overview of our shared weekend! I concur. It felt like a returning home to our long lost tribe. It was so rich and so vibrant. Huge gratitude to all who made this possible. I will never forget this extraordinary weekend and I hope it is the beginning of many more such gatherings.
I too, am intrigued by how evolution of the internet appears to be linking us together telepathically.
Personally,I have been thinking a lot about Graham Hancock's theories about the huge leap in human consciousness that occurred around 40,000 years ago, evidenced in part by the development of spoken language and by the remarkable cave art at chabot and elsewhere. Wondering how we might collectively make a similar leap in this day and age in the face ofall the challenges, and what that might look like.
Does anyonehave thoughts in this?
Gael, out of everything you saw and heard last week, is there one idea or question that has really stuck with you?
Thank, Bonnie. Yes there were many things that struck deep chords within me during the symposium, but more than being left with something to think about, I was left with an enduring feeling – of having been engaged in an inclusive, dynamic conversation about how to be a full partner and participant in a consciously ensouled world.
Each speaker brought their own perspective to the larger conversation and it didn’t matter whether their contribution was expressed through scientific fact, poetry, shared experiences of sentience in rocks and stars, or through related accounts of consciousness extending beyond single lifetimes… the conversation flowed seamlessly from one session to the next. It felt coherent, rich, deep, and it had room enough for everything.
So for me the question remains about how we maintain and expand that connected, inclusive, conversation that holds reverence for everything – even the shadow, the darkness through which light is born, and through the unspeakable sense of separation that causes so much harm. Ecofeminist author Susan Griffin once said, “The part of the mind that is dark to us in this culture, that is sleeping in us, that we name ‘unconscious,’ is the knowledge that we are inseparable from all other beings in the universe.”
Recognizing and taking responsibility for our interconnection seems to be the way through. Our relationship with plants can alter us, our engagement with animals can transform our animal nature, our connection to the rhythms of nature and the heartbeat of the earth can remind us that we are more than our minds full of words and concepts - that we live in a more than human world, a sentient universe that is in constant dialogue with us if we are open to receiving its messages. We are part of a mystery that is trying to live its way through us.
The symposium wove a thread through the conversation using art and science, mythic storytelling and poetry, somatic practices, indigenous wisdom, dreams, imagination, and the wisdom of the soul … that’s what touched me most. It made me reflect upon Einstein’s question about whether the universe is a friendly place… my answer is YES, and we need to engage in bringing more love into the mix, to keep it that way.
Gael—thank you for your incredible words. Just reading them evokes that same feeling of interconnectedness, as if you are weaving it into the community here through the fiber optic cables that connect—even as far as Aleksander in Serbia and and to Eva in California, and to everyone who happens to read this post.
What Aleksandar said about needing to be aware of the war (which is not only happening again, but still...) is very true, but like the story of the rainmaker told by Jung's friend and colleague, Ric... it is also equally critical that we each take responsibility for putting ourselves in order so that same order might have a chance to radiate out into the world—or, synchronistically, to show up in the world where it already exists. What is that saying...? 'With one candle you can bring light to a dark room, but you can never bring darkness in a well lit room.' We are all connected by that light. For me, sometimes I desperately need to be reminded of that, and coming together in community with others seeking greater consciousness and connectedness is one way it can happen.
Hi Bonnie, Your example of the candle reminds me of a synchronistic experience I had a few years back. I was on a ferry from Salt Spring Island to Victoria BC when I started thinking about a Haida Elder I had spent some time with a few years previously. I knew he had a daughter somewhere in Victoria so it wasn't much of a leap that he came to mind, but I had been back and forth to that area many times without thinking about him. As I was about to drive off the ferry I noticed there was a young woman going from car to car to see if she could get a ride into town so I invited her to ride with me. She said that she was on her way into town to get away from the influence of a healer that she felt had too much power over her. I asked her about her experience and it turned out she was talking about the Haida Elder I was thinking about. We talked about different cultural interpretations, and she felt there was no other way to interpret this man's behavior toward her - she said she thought he was full of darkness. Before she got out of the car she gave me her card (she was a painter) and said she would like to talk again sometime. The headline on her card was "In a room full of light, the shadow doesn't know where to fall".
Thank you, Gael, This is beautiful said. We are part of a great re-imagining on our planet and this feels like the only sane direction. A surrender to love and our interconnectedness.
Thank you Eva, for your loving presence and participation in this ongoing conversation.
"the beautiful sonorous universe", "healing through the use of psychedelics", "a connection to the coyote in us all"... Sure, why not? But there is a war out there, again. It's worth reminding that officially wise people with diplomas in wisdom often didn't care about slavery and wars. If there is a wall built between me and those who suffer and bleed in order to ease my way to inner voice and inner coyote, then I don't need it.