View Full Version : Your turn, my turn.

25th April 2011, 12:14 PM
I’m currently reading a book by Arnold Mindell PH.D*., a psychologist, that focuses on the notion of the Dreaming. I have to be honest and say that it doesn’t always resonate with me and that’s possibly just because I don’t get everything that is being said.

What I did find interesting today was linked to the notion of entanglement. Now me, I like to understand things in terms of story/myth/anecdote, so that’s probably why I could relate to this bit. The author tells the story of a therapist friend of his who came to him because she was suffering depression. She reported that one of her male clients had wanted to commit suicide but that he had not been suicidal before he came to her. Her depression stood in the way of her helping him. She herself resisted telling her client about her depression until he complained that her moods were upsetting him. When she actually revealed her depression, he was delighted that she had similar problems and decided to help her.

The two switched roles; she becoming the client, he the therapist. She paid him for six sessions with their roles reversed. After this, they switched back and her opinion was that he had been much more helpful than she had ever been. His suicidal feelings disappeared and he decided to become a therapist.

The writer makes the point that “there are always moments when relationships switch, when one in need of help becomes the helper, the student educates the teacher and so forth” and he suggests that we must try not to marginalize awareness of entanglement and role switching because of attachment to power and prestige.

I’ve noticed this experience often. Obviously, as a teacher and parent, it’s common for me to switch roles with younger people and learn from them. It’s a very enjoyable experience for me but so have been other times. For example, I often found myself in the situation of hearing out and offering comfort to people, including my doctor and a highly renowned medium, whom are generally called upon to carry out that function themselves. Even as a young person, I often made quick decisions for my superiors at work and continue to do so.

A particular incident comes to mind when I was a very young woman and my car was parked in by another car outside a theatre. As I stood there with a couple of policemen scratching their heads, someone pointed out that the car that had parked me in most likely belonged to a visitor to the upstairs brothel. Suddenly and surprisingly, I became very authoritative, essentially ordering the policemen up there to find the guy because there was no way I was doing it. To my slight surprise, they followed my orders and were soon back with a sheepish-looking guy who moved his car.

Similarly, I’ve been in the situation where younger, less experienced people have taken the reins and I’ve been happy to co-operate and comply.

It’s an interesting idea that part of our connectedness is a kind of out-of-normal-conscious-awareness that we will allow others to exercise power and influence where role might not normally permit that and that others will permit us to do the same. In such situations, everybody benefits.

*"Dreaming While Awake. Techniques for 24 Hour Lucid Dreaming," Arnold Mindell, Hampton Roads Publishing, 2000.

25th April 2011, 03:37 PM
hi BeeKeeper,

this is like our first economy, perhaps divine "if you scratch my back i will scratch yours". actual worth is not externally placed into coinage/money swapped. the worth remains constituent to the gifted giving toward receiving. mutuality freely expressing. my mom grew up poor in the appalachian mts, and she tells me this is how folks survived, in the tradeoff of sharing what each had toward a balanced way where everyone had necessitys met at least. seems like though, it is only when folks find themselves poorly being without they in turn respond from wealthy being within.

socially driven this way begets social laws. for example, in rural farming years back, each family farm was bigger than that family could manage. so familys worked together to insure every farm was fully productive. they did this in a fair rotation of focused labor through the season's requirements of what required being done toward successful farming.

so they'd be rotating from one farm to another, and if say the second farm is done, but the second farmer rests and does not fulfill the social obligation to continue helping neighbors, then he would wake up with a broom leaning against his house's door. if that sign was then not heeded, thus bringing him to help his neighbors, a night visit would then be made, wherein the neighbors with sack cloth over their heads/faces would with a bar of lye soap in sack cloth, give him a good whoopin for his troubling manner. thus this farmer/neighbor having learned the social 'lesson' reentered into the cyclic way of helping neighbors, and was not further castegated, or dishonored, just socially brought into the bigger picture.

it seems that once currency was brought into the big picture, that laws became more punitive toward debtors. poor folks, or what was the poverty, was overcome through neighborly exchange. money on the other hand gave way to impoverishment, or in the thinking that without money in the exchange, the person had nothing of any value to offer as payment, thusly is socially indebted, castegated and dishonorable. folks worked for pennys to make dollars for their employers, giving way to the saying, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer = impoverishment.

intersesting stuff Beek..


25th April 2011, 09:08 PM
Thank you for posting this Beekeeper! I've experienced this recently a couple of times. In one instance though it seemed to be a mutual conclusion that we each knew something the other needed to know. Always strange when interacting with virtual strangers in this way. There seems to be a need to tell each other all our "stories". I am not that open with people! :? Maybe it would work better if I were.

25th April 2011, 10:08 PM
That's very interesting, Tim. I think as the economies of the world fall into decline, there will be a lot more of this social co-operation returning. Personally, I like it.

I've been known to trade off tutoring for child-minding and, in more recent years, yoga lessons for house and dog-sitting. While I concede that the use of money doesn't preclude the forming of social bonds with your local butcher, baker or candlestick maker, there is something satisfying about barter.

In one instance though it seemed to be a mutual conclusion that we each knew something the other needed to know. Always strange when interacting with virtual strangers in this way.

I guess none of us are really strangers and it sometimes feels odd to be reminded of this. I especially found this a couple of years ago when I took a year off my regular job to train as a yoga teacher and worked casually at various high schools. I half dreaded it, having witnessed how some casual teachers were treated, but it amazed me how quickly a person could fit in.

There were some schools that called me back for regular blocks of time and at one in particular it felt like I'd always been there. Both staff and kids were very friendly and it all felt instantly familiar! Kids would regularly come and chat when I was on playground duty and I quickly began to know their various backgrounds and situations. One day when I was doing my daily yoga breathing practice in my chair while the others were at devotions (I wasn't required because they'd called me in at the last moment) one of the teacher friends there came in late. She saw what I was doing (they knew about my training) and said "hello" without disturbing my practice by kissing me on the top of the head as she walked by. Like I said, no real strangers. :)