Blog #2C In-Bodying the Field, Reciprocity: Flirting and Animism

Anavami Center
Anavami CenterThere is a way to explore animism in the practice Marking by flirting. The definition of animism we are using it is the essence of an object or entity. It is the spirit that energizes, even if at first it is beyond our sensorial recognition. Rather than a belief we are cultivating more an attitude or practice as we become comfortable and adept in the Imaginal Realm. You could also say that it is a poetic approach. Poetry of the plastic arts, music, literature and performance all seek deeper and meaningful connection through the intelligence of the imaginal realm. Through marking we explore the reciprocity of the life and essence of the field in relation to flirting.

Flirting can be subtle or blatant, social, sexual or aesthetic behavior involving spoken, written word or body language communicated in creative exchange by one person to another. We are extending it to what we usually think as objects. It suggests an interest in deeper relationship or simple unfolding amusement. In the spirit of Reciprocity notice what catches your attention, your eye, or perhaps kinesthetically, your body. Not just people or objects but how the light slants through the trees, the stance of a crow, a gesture that brings back a memory. Because flirting goes back and forth you need to give some space to whatever you are flirting with to respond. Let your imagination start an exchange. Give the encounter some leeway to play, transforming into new possibilities. Engage in the exchange for deeper relationship in the Imaginal Realm.

Anavami CenterSome approaches in Transpersonal Psychology and Process Therapy look at physical symptoms not as pathological but invitations for creative encounters that offer important insights and information. Arnold Mindell talks about symptoms as dreamings. They have important information for guidance for assimilation and integration. Flirting is a way to engage secondary process, which at first lies outside of our immediate awareness. If our true self is nonlocal, then anything that catches your attention is you, an edge of the bigger-you. Flirting goes back and forth, so take up the baton.

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#2A & #2B Reciprocity: Coherency and Organizing Principle

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Anavami CenterIn February we are exploring Reciprocity, the exchanging things with others. It is fundamental to the Marking practice and allows us to acknowledge the field as the collaborator in all our markings. We are inviting relationship with an animistic universe. The core of this point of view is contrary to René Descartes philosophy where he maintained that the only exchange is between humans as dualism of two finite substances, mind and matter. Many now in distinct fields like David Abram, ecologist and philosopher, Merlin Sheldrake, microbiologist and writer of history and philosophy of science and Arnold Mindell’s transpersonal psychologist, process therapist and writer for social change disagree with that limited view. Many other fields are expressing that the interconnection with our environment is already in place and instrumental to personal and planetary well-being. Our practice in marking is to perceive an open system where we can exchange energy or material with all life and objects in our environment.

Anavami CenterIn David Abram’s chapter on reciprocity in Becoming Animal he sets the stage for a different organizing principle where we cannot always apply logic perceiving, as nature is mysteriously interrelated. There are various ways to understand this greater connection. Heart Math Institute Research Director Dr. Rollin Mc Craty speaks of “an energetic alignment and cooperation, to manifest intentions and harmonious outcomes.” Through biofeedback research Heart Math suggests an organizing principle, which brings the brain, mind, body and emotions into balanced alignment and changes our relationship to everything. He calls this state as coherence.

This week for home-reflection we played with the Sun as orientation of directionality. It is metaphor for knowing where we are in a more expansive way than the binary left/right or back/front. We also used the Polyvagal theory as a metaphor. It points out that the vagus nerve running through the autonomic nervous system is the internal control center. It is the orientation of the critical functions of human physiology determining our reactions creating the difference in how our brain receives and responds to information. It is the guide to whether we are centered, connected and feeling safe or go into flight, fight or freeze. The polyvagal exercises help to keep us in that safe center so we can respond appropriately when necessary. It is a metaphor for our planetary sun as the central component of life. It is understandable how the myth narrative of our planetary people points to creation myths of the Sun-God from Egypt, Norse, Hindu, Mayan and the central figure in Christianity of Jesus Christ.

Anavami CenterCoherency, although often defined with logical interconnection or sense of understandability has a greater context. An aspect beyond this is the meaning of coherent as closely attached or connected, which is not always logical. The stories by which we make sense of the world, formed by inherited beliefs, are not always congruent with a greater perception, connection and exchange within the biosphere. Sometimes these are not brought to full consciousness until a great tragedy or decision must be faced. These beliefs are most often expressed symbolically in our creation myth. In our work this week we incorporated those myth stories as we explored our relationship with animism and allowed us to expand our reciprocity beyond just the mind matter approach to interactions.