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Crosstraining for Body, Mind & Spirit; Integral Life Practice: Interview With Terry Patten

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Well, you will get a little bit nuanced. You begin to realize that most of the spiritual paths of mankind anciently helped people reach exalted high states of consciousness and those states of consciousness might change a little, you know; they... Bad weather wrecked the crop after you finished meditating, you know, the Zen monk probably felt upset about that, so his state might have changed.

But there was a certain access to that higher state into the sense of freedom and expansion that came from that state, that he may have stabilized a kind of access to, so that even when something feels bad, there is still an ability to return to a contact with that state. So states don't just come and go. There is the cultivation of what can sometimes even call state stages whereas you stabilize access to higher states.

Well, the biggest thing that happens from stabilizing or even just visiting a higher state of consciousness, is that it provides a kind of a turbocharger to the theological pole, the evolutionary driver, the thing that is in you the kind of the ultimate Rob Kall oak you know that you may be an acorn or a sampling version or you know a younger, smaller version but there is a bigger potential, even bigger that is vying to find expression.

What is that pole from that omega point that is active in you? That gets turbocharged. You go into a meditative state or a high state, and you wake up and you're one with all existence. Your heart is streaming with love and you're just almost crying with gratitude just for a moment of being alive.

I'll tell you what, you know that just puts you in touch with the possible you, that could be like that more of the time, that could be more fully forgiving and loving and smart and grounded and really present and really show up in life.

Rob: Well, well. Sorry.

Terry: [laughs].

Rob: The good stuff but we are going to run out of time soon, and I want to cover another issue that you have not touched on that's the shadow. Talk a little bit about that.

Terry: Sure. Well, the thing that Freud really put on the map is the fact that the human psyche will get rid of disconfirming, disturbing, dissonant experience, particularly drives and emotions that feel like they're a threat to our survival. So a baby who becomes serious with his mother because perhaps she has not attended in certain ways or whatever, he is neglected or not treated well, maybe absolutely enraged, but she is his only contact with food and warmth you know. "I hate Mommy but if, and I want to kill her but if I did...," then they just can't do it. Then the system goes to tilt, and the rage just disappears because it doesn't work.

But it doesn't fully disappear. It goes under the rug. There is this mechanism of repression into the unconscious. And these ideas of repression and the unconscious really were discovered by Freud. Even though the ancient spiritual traditions talked about dark nights of the soul, wrathful deities, hell drums, all kinds of things that had to do with dark energies, they didn't understand repression and the unconscious.

So one of the implications of that is that all of us are involved in doing some repression into the unconscious all the time, and so there is an important question that we need to live like almost living a question all the time. It is like, "OK, what is it that is going on here that I am committed to not knowing? What is it that I don't see, that I don't want to see that is part of what is going on with me?"

And then the kind of way if I really ask that question with sincerity, I become trustable, I become less arrogant, I become somebody who's engaged in a process of really, really trying to go beyond my limitations in a whole different way and I'm much less stuck, and it is a core module of personal practice.

People who don't do shadow practice are just, you know, they're not trustable. They're not really curious to see how they're making themselves blind because of attachment, because of emotional closure, and it's that kind of...

Rob: Only the kind of people... When you say people don't do shadow practice, you mean people who don't face their shadow?

Terry: Yeah, I think people who...

Rob: When you think shadow attractive, talk a little bit more about what kind.

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One theme has run through my work for the past 40 plus years-- a desire to play a role in waking people up, raising their consciousness and empowering them. I was the organizer founder of the Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology and StoryCon Meetings and president of Futurehealth, Inc., with interests in (more...)

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