Projection Junction, What’s Your Function? • 20 January 2009

Ombama

Here is a radical (or maybe just a grown-up?) theory of learning…

What if the big story of “lessons” to be learned in a practice room (or wherever) is: that the knowledge is always already ours for the taking? What if all the lessons are just freely available and free of charge? What if the learning you do is NOT the genius orchestration of some other (or “the universe”) pulling strings on your personal behalf? What if there is no cosmic babysitter, or even a technical babysitter?

What if the lessons learned were simply those you have identified out there in your environment when you were ready and, in a self-responsible fashion, finally took in to yourself? What if the unifying factor isn't another's omniscience but your intelligence?

I know it’s radical, this personal responsibility thing. I'm stating it in the extreme. But if you are at the other extreme then perhaps you need to be paying your teachers roughly $150 an hour to carry all your projections.

I hereby hail a new era of personal responsibility. 

46 Comments

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 3:12 am | #

    More fun with pedestalization:

    The Obama-Messiah Blog.

    Obama Messiah Watch.

    &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c.

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 3:28 am | #

    “perhaps you need to be paying your teachers roughly $150 an hour to carry all your projections”

    Funny! And then I think, “Oh crap, maybe I’m laughing at mySELF!”

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 1:43 pm | #

    So annoying, yes? You get under the obvious projections and then there are still more projections. Not that everything reduces to that!

    BTW, from Roger Cohen this morning (to We Didn’t Start the Fire):

    Hawaii, Kenya, Kansas and Jakarta
    Harvard, finding God, social work, Axelrod

    Red state, blue state, unity can no longer wait, A time to reap, a time to sow, we will close Guantánamo

    Iowa, Yes We Can, McCain was just an also-ran
    I Have a Dream, Bush out, a black man in the White House

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 3:46 pm | #

    (Am I crazy or was there a longer version of this post that delved into psychoanalysis?)

    I’m of the opinion that asana/yoga practices are wonderful tools for helping us to identify our habits and subconscious personality traits. But once we recognize them the hard work is in no longer letting them rule our actions.

    It’s kind of like how I’m still addicted to cigarettes but I no longer smoke them. My no-smoking habit is now stronger than my smoking habit, but the imprint is still there, even after 12+ years of no-smoking.

    In some ways, unearthing the muck without trying to clean it out might be worse than just keeping it buried.

    Happy Obama Day!

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 4:42 pm | #

    Cody: psychoanalysis, are you crazy???

    Actually… you did indeed catch the long (now disappeared) version of this post. You are good.

    It was about how yoga is not a substitute for therapy—yoga does NOT heal the psyche even if it makes neuroses way more clear. And people who say it is a substitute for therapy are just prolonging their own suffering.

    But is that really for me to be making that case?

    I get overwhelmed when people use practice as a stage for their neuroses, particularly if I’m in the direct path of their projections. That’s all. 🙂

    Happy Obama Day to you too. I’m totally skipping work right now to hang out at home and listen to the doins.

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 6:26 pm | #

    Aw, come on now, I want to see the long one! I was busy watching the inauguration!

    Yes, unearthing the muck without doing something with it probably not good. I see so much of what you’re talking about (even within myself) that I actually avoid the shala lately.

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 7:41 pm | #

    Hi Owl! Just as Obama is laden with people’s high expectations, our practice suffers the same unrealistic promise if looked at simplistically. You really nailed it. Cody pointed out the first stage: unearthing the muck, and then the second (which unfortunately a lot of us never get to)- cleaning it out. It’s hard!

    I’m with you on the radical idea of personal responsibility.
    To risk some eye rolling, I have to quote Ghandhi:
    “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances. “
    Nothing bugs me more than a person who doesn’t believe in his or her own personal power, therefore believing there are excuses for bad behavior.

    As my boyfriend would say (when teasing me when I blame), “They’re doing it to you again, aren’t they?”

    P.S. Yea Obama!

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 9:08 pm | #

    To the subject of avoiding the shala…

    Sometimes I wonder if I should be practicing alone. Honestly, I see my practice as fairly pointless if I don’t share it with others in some way; and I love ashtanga comraderie a lot.

    BUT, I feel like advanced practice out of context is sometimes too distracting to others. I wonder if it’s overly selfish to do if it causes confusion—just like it’s selfish to bust out a distractingly non-traditional practice in a traditional space. And for my part, a certain kind of attention makes me feel violated. It may be more appropriate for me to self-practice. I dunno.

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 9:18 pm | #

    Unearthing the muck without doing something about it… Nice description.

    It’s amazing how often yogis sit around and say that they choose to do ashtanga instead of therapy. I was in another of those conversations recently and just did not know what to say. I mean… SERIOUSLY! What to say?

    I wish yoga healed emotional wounds and damaging cognitive habits, but COME ON. 🙂 Sad to see it used as therapy-avoidance, especially when it makes hurt and negative cognitive patterns so very evident and perhaps thus tractable.

  • V
    Posted 20 January 2009 at 9:30 pm | #

    Advanced practice being distracting. Those who want to be distracted will, whether there is an advanced practicioner in the room or not. I’ve had the details of a particular practice of mine re-played and discussed over coffee, and my practice is neither advanced nor uncommon at our shala. The only drishti concession I (try to) allow myself every morning is when the girl on my left does the side arm balances. I then move a bit to the side, to give her space. This shouldn’t really interrupt my flow and most days it doesn’t.

    As for ashtanga being therapy avoidance, here is another option: what if the practice enables you to actually apply the lessons learnt in therapy? Gives you a calm enough state of mind so that you can actually do some pretty good self-examination without the emotional triggers being hit so often. I like to think of myself as more “sorted” than before I started Ashtanga – has the practice had a therapeutic effect on me or have I just simply grown older and wiser? Do you really think there is no lesson at all in the practice of asana? Are you sure that yoga can’t heal emotional wounds? What about the student that has been physically (either sexually or violently) abused and through time and practice and kind teachers learns to start trusting others’ touch? I don’t know, just throwing ideas out there.

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 10:08 pm | #

    What I have seen around here is that idea that practice is therapy seems to encourage students to let their cognitive hang-ups and emotional pain run the show in practice. Have you seen this disposition? The one that takes practice as a stage for neuroses, without as much effort to just follow the breath or use some responsible restraint? In therapy, the idea is to seek out the deepest thoughts and feelings and manifest them, so it makes sense that there would be a feeling that practice is “me time.”

    Certain students demonstrate an attitude of “this is how I HAVE to think/feel/act and the teacher better manage it” or “this is who I AM.” Kind of a way of telling the teacher he has to be a therapist, has to be more personally responsible than the student is willing to be. Does that make sense? Maybe this sort of willfulness is only something that gets articulated so forcefully here in SoCal. Or maybe I only see a difference because I have (happily) done some psychoanalysis and am using that as a basis for contrast. Could be.

    Anyway, for practice to be therapy, doesn’t it sort of have to be a stage for the emotions and the thoughts to be front and center? A rehearsal space?

    What about just going to the church of flow and doing our best to follow the breath for an hour? Could it be sometimes that simple if we try?

    Not therapy, just yoga?

    On the other hand I like and see a lot of truth in the example of learning to trust on a visceral level (though again, it reminds me that we need to be paying teachers SO MUCH MORE!) Or confronting visceral fear, too. But maybe this example too confirms that a certain amount of new (not exactly psyche-healing) learning happens when the background emotions and the thoughts are allowed to become quieter? After all, it at least seems like it’s helpful to be in theta state for trust-building and fear-killing to work.

    (Theta Healing)

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 11:32 pm | #

    “This is who I AM.”

    Haha! That one always cracks me up.

  • Posted 20 January 2009 at 11:45 pm | #

    🙂

    Acting out as a way of verifying “self.”

    Or habitually repeating our meta-codes to remind us who we are.

    I mean, I do that all the time!

    Just not quite as much during the asana, pranayama and meditation stuff.

    GOD EVERYONE AND BABY JESUS I was so trying NOT to have this discussion!

    Oh well. Please forgive me for falling back on my old debunking ways.

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 2:13 am | #

    yes, yes, and yes! Owl, I think I understand what you’re saying… the “This is who I AM” that can come out so strongly in an intimate practice like Ashtanga. And you’re right, the teacher has a lot resting on him or her- I know I have put mine through some hell and have witnessed others doing it. But he has to be the guide, the one who remains calm, or dish out discipline in a way that is rebelled against. Tantrums. It should not replace therapy, I agree- but for “regular” people, those who aren’t truly suffering from something that needs professional help, it can provide a safe place to grow. Of course, to truly make changes in oneself, it takes a lot of dedication, awareness, and self reflection and probably years of practice. What percentage of people go the distance to see the results? Not many. Sooooo… I agree- church or flow or a dedicated meditation practice should also do the trick! But if you’re nuts, baby Jesus says to get your butt to a therapist.

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 3:29 am | #

    I might be nuts. 🙂

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 3:34 am | #

    I’m definitely nuts.
    You know my last sentence was just my twisted sense of humor. Don’t anyone get too worked up about it, please. I’m kidding. I had to slip baby Jesus back into the conversation somehow.

    No more comments from the peanut gallery.

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 4:59 am | #

    Sooo good. Why would you apologize for this? So many excellent points you’re making. Blech, DEAL WITH ME! This is who I AM! Yuck. Asana isn’t going to solve these kind of problems… asana is just to make the body strong and better digestion, bla bla bla.

    I’m starting to not agree with “practice [asana] and all is coming”. Is that what he really means? We don’t need to try for all the rest? Asana is only meditation preparation unless we become adept at getting into altered states WHILE doing the pretzel stuff, isn’t it? The pretzels themselves are completely irrelevant aren’t they? They’re just meant to keep the body healthy…?

    Why do I feel like I’m saying something controversial. Anyway yes, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence at all that as a group, ashtangis are kinder/more evolved/gentler. Especially those get all proud of themselves for being in some kind of Yoga Marines.

  • meniscusmerague
    Posted 21 January 2009 at 12:07 pm | #

    What if Mark Whitwell had short hair and worked (primarily) as a pipe fitter?

    What if no-one you knew or met had any idea what ‘advanced ashtanga practice’ was and still less of an idea that such a thing was in your seed-sock?

    What if the long legions of space and place makers could see their heirs, the Young Werthers of yogaworld wallowing around in (purple) latex based lachrymosity? ‘Oh the banality of me-ville!’

    What if V is right? In which case, wouldn’t it be better to leave the poor old fella alone and stop stretching the ligaments of his aphorisms into shapes they were never meant to make?

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 1:14 pm | #

    Speaking from the land of the solo home practice, I find that my asana routines have become more physical than more theta-state, which I don’t think is any kind of “fall from grace.” Cold practice (and all winter long I do cold practice) emphasizes the physicality of it all.

    Still, something trance-y tends to hit in every practice. If Primary, somewhere around Garbha Pindasana at latest. If Intermediate, somewhere around the entry to Dwi Pada (keep in mind that the Intermediates I do here are quasi-led and not traditional).

    As simple as runner’s high?
    As complex/simple as samadhi?

    Who knows, really?

    I’m starting to think that PJ might just have said, “Move. Breathe. See what happens.”

    Or, as Larry once put it, “Watch things appear and disappear.”

  • V
    Posted 21 January 2009 at 1:18 pm | #

    Also, what if those teachers we call insecure authoritarians, or blind followers of Guruji, are really just not allowing to make your practice a “this is me” practice. I mean, isn’t it a bit neurotic to demand that a Mysore-style Ashtanga practice be tailored to your likes and dislikes?

    (ducking now)

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 1:46 pm | #

    Sturm und Drang, yeah.

    Why ducking? No fall from grace for sure.

    I was so trying not to have this conversation….

  • V
    Posted 21 January 2009 at 1:54 pm | #

    So, erm, what’s the weather like over there?

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 2:09 pm | #

    Owl, you don’t think it’s a conversation worth having? I do.

    Patrick, I like that. Watch things appear and disappear.

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 4:44 pm | #

    hi (0v0) i loved that Lulemon ad!

    i’m the worst about losing my dristhe. i look at other’s practices, but it’s with a sense of wonder, not envy. whether people watch you doing 3rd series or not, i think it’s inspiring to others to be in a room where people are going beyond the usual practice. it’s a preview of things to come.

    these days, because i have had the time, i’ve been doing a lot of research around poses. it’s possible that within a month i may have to have a home practice, so my practice will become more inwards.

    i would be afraid if a recently authorized teacher would not let me do intermediate because i might not do something correctly in Primary. recently i did one entire week of Primary, to kick back my practice into gear, and the familiar dull lower back pain returned. it went away as soon as I started doing intermediate.

    hugs
    Arturo

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 6:07 pm | #

    Hi my loves. Arturo, often when other people openly watch me, my skin crawls. It’s intrusive. I’m sure many others find it offensive as well. As V intimated (I think!), the creepiest of all is having someone detail your practice after the fact (e.g., “Wow, you came up from karanadavasana today.”) Let it go, yo. It’s in poor taste.

    Joy, I just saw that bit about Ashtanga Marines. Love it. And no kidding! So much self-congratulation going on…

    AND SKPJ SAID: Primary series is the way the truth and the light. No one comes to samadhi except by me.

    NOT. I mean, aren’t we over this? Are there still people out there who buy that crap? I would hope the whole marketplace-of-ideas nature of the blogosphere and ashtanga community would burn out such nonsense, but it keeps coming around and making me wonder if there’s really any hope for this method as a route to love, peace and higher consciousness. Maybe we’re just another sect?

    Sonya, thanks. I guess I want to avoid this conversation because the concepts are not clear and distinct. It is really hard to come up with an internet vocabulary for talking about what we decide to do with the mind.

    Maybe it shouldn’t be so difficult! I mean, what is so mystifying about the mind, thoughts and emotions?

    The reason I bring this up is that the idea that practice is therapy seems to encourage people not to practice some mental restraint on the mat.

    I was trying to simplify by asking for personal responsibility. If practice isn’t about devolving responsibility to a teacher because he has some master plan for you, then suddenly you have to get serious (about following the breath and knowing your own body and whatever). If you recognize that you’re the only one who can really do the learning/quieting, then you buck up and DO IT. Instead of waiting around to be taught/ given peace/ given happiness/ healed/ diagnosed/ discharged/ otherwise gratified by somebody ELSE.

    How much rambling am I doing here? Ok. Working owl. xoxoxoxo

  • Posted 21 January 2009 at 7:56 pm | #

    Interesting idea about paying people hourly rates to bear our projections. Most all of us are too cheap and we don’t know we project, anyway. Aspiring professional projection-bearers would probably compete with aspiring actors and writers for waitstaff jobs. Is our restaurant industry robust enough to absorb the additional workers? Maybe it’s best to funnel them into 9-to-5 occupations instead.

    I read the Obama Messiah/Antichrist blather now and then just for kicks. It causes me to want to root around for the origins of that idea of the Antichrist. Do you know where exactly it comes from? I am familiar with some of the scripture the idea might have been spun from but I’m not sure. It’s probably not worth the bother, though, as it’d just be another point of rejection of the modern Christian schism. Nobody who ascribes to the idea of One Great Antichrist would ever think that he/she actually might be an “antichrist,” as described by the bible he/she thumps upon.

  • knl
    Posted 22 January 2009 at 1:49 am | #

    I think what we’re doing when we’re aware is building capacity. It’s with increased capacity that we “learn the lesson,” or, more accurately, are “able” to learn the lesson. I think, too, that there’s a step that comes before all of this, and that’s to have a robust desire to know/learn/be aware/build capacity. This stuff is so deeply personal that I’m not sure it makes sense, but somehow I thought it might dovetail into your notions of learning.

  • Posted 22 January 2009 at 2:21 am | #

    I sense that the experience of being in the body, especially under these wacko conditions of ashtanga, is really personal. Specific. Part of why I’m cagey about statements of what yoga is and is not. But I like this about building capacity and coming in with a sincere attitude.

    Carl, you nut, are you secretly implying that all there-is-only-one-way fundamentalists are little Antichrists?

    Ohhhhhhh…

    (Maybe Christ was merely talking about some Nazarene mob boss when he said Nobody comes to the Father but by me.)

  • Posted 22 January 2009 at 3:46 am | #

    Odd thing about my sparse relationship with teachers: it’s never “give me enlightenment” or “handle my stuff”; it’s almost always (and with some energy behind it), “show me how to put myself in that shape.” Relationships with yoga teachers here tend to be more of a coach-athlete style than a guru-adherent style, on both sides. Perhaps such an approach is actually healthy for ashtanga yoga?

  • meniscusmerangue
    Posted 22 January 2009 at 11:35 am | #

    That approach is (obviously) absolutely contrary to the ‘traditional’ way of finding and submitting to satguru, and may be the source (in the scope of ‘ashtanga’) of the “this is ME – deal with it (for you are being paid to do so)” mentality, as outlined above.

    Then again, as a clearly acknowledged, ‘pre-meditated’ personal approach it may be healthier than wandering in with the hope of jumping to the top of the prakritical list whilst getting some low-rent therapy and a spiritual hand-job en route. Also, if the ‘coach’ snaps your knee or ricks your back you can always sue the negligent fucker.

    Clarifying expectations/motivations (in terms of a specific student/teacher relationship) might help to establish a code of ‘manners’ which, given the cultural context of these practices, would have been superflous to establish – would it have been neccessary for students to be told not to back-sass K or menace classmates? At least the sense of owl’s ‘personal responsibilty’ may be sharpened. It needs to be sharp in order to skillfully, politely but assertively tell ‘betty’ that gawking is unacceptable, whether the ‘gawked at’ is able to roll up her screen or not.

    It seems to me that this is the difficult part of practice in shala, sangam and elsewhere : being able to dwell inside and operate ‘outside’. Conceptually, it’s all there in the texts I suppose, but I agree that a working, widely recognised vocab is lacking – though I do think that it is developing from the rubble of SYS (Standard Yoga Speak). Check out the yahoo to ezboard to blogosphere ‘lineage’ – interesting evolution.

    Godfather? Madam, you are exposed. All that rural zionist schtick is just a cover. You are really a Jersey boy whose father is in waste management. Don’t speak to your mother that way!

    Semper Fi

  • Posted 22 January 2009 at 7:18 pm | #

    …are you secretly implying…

    Nay, not secretly! And I don’t imply, either. It would seem that Jesus was a sort of non-dualist who intended to be a social revolutionary. He beat Gandhi to the game by almost 2000 years but Gandhi was much smarter about getting the job done.

  • Posted 23 January 2009 at 6:06 am | #

    It’s true that I’m a male, teenage slugabed, just like the rest of you. That’s why we love ashtanga yoga.

    But if I weren’t the spawn of redneck Zionists, would we even be here? Relocating and then storming the temple mount, exegising the pentateuch (octateuch), mind-melding with burning bushes (white-hot “gurus”), and working out the yoga of Ba’al and Jehova.

    Give the Christ some cred, Carlo. He just lacked institutional support. The whole nation-state thing is a drag, but does get you heard. Jesus made a good showing for a primitive communist. (Though, admittedly, that secret trip to India was an important study in how to build a movement.)

    What any of this has to do with yoga teachers as personal trainers I do not know. I like the practicality and subversiveness of Patrick’s model, but do we want to dispense with all of the thing-we-know-not-what? Not too many shining teachers want to pour their energy into hardcore asana policing. But lots of damaged ones do.

    Can I say that?

    Surely not.

  • meniscusmerangue
    Posted 23 January 2009 at 12:38 pm | #

    You can say it because it’s true and because this is your domainnnnn. Was being a bit disingenuous in above post, as i’m sitting here with a crocked knee and intermittent A-P pain caused by an absolutely ridiculously, uneccessarily strong paschim ‘adjustment’ from one of these ‘coaches’. But then I was not behaving responsibly or being responsive. Silly me. Like most people, ‘I’ don’t really need any help or monitoring from a Yoga teacher – I only go for the socials. So it’s my fault, elective elect.

    Betty before Baal, don’t you think? Surely you can see the futlity of down-time exegesis by now.

  • Posted 23 January 2009 at 1:14 pm | #

    Isvara pranidhana? Teacher/guru as “stand in” (physical representation to offer a human shape to the mental representation that is the concept of a God)? Freeman did some deconstruction that suggested that with practice all the “human” or “God” clinging to IP might melt away. And the physical? Well geez, Gertrude Stein knew: a shape is a shape is a shape.

  • Posted 23 January 2009 at 1:29 pm | #

    !!!

    “Do you know because I tell you so, or do you know, do you know.”

    -G.S.

    Coulda been L.W. though. Or any good teacher.

    Time to meet that old lover, 1S.

    Strangest happenings around here, by the way. And all of you are shining. XOXOXOXOVO

  • V
    Posted 23 January 2009 at 5:04 pm | #

    1S rocks. I’m not being facetious.

  • Posted 23 January 2009 at 6:06 pm | #

    1S DOES rock.

    I didn’t intend that subversive model as either subversive or a model (Now everybody: “Discuss!”), but was simply trying to describe the difference between ashtangification HERE versus THERE (about which I have just said a great deal over at my place).

  • Posted 24 January 2009 at 8:36 am | #

    I’m still hung up on where you said this
    “making me wonder if there’s really any hope for this method as a route to love, peace and higher consciousness”. Your kidding right?
    Ashtanga as a route to love, peace and higher consciousness. Did you EVER see it that way, Yoga perhaps, but Ashtanga? I mean I love Ashtanga but it would come way way down my list as a good route to the above. The middle way it ain’t! The big B left us jumping about in the foresst. If your into multi tasking then it’s great, will get you fit, give you an hour and a half of meditation practice and perhaps a community, a social scene to be part of, if that’s what your into. Being a strict discipline it may strip away a lot of self centerdness as you submit to the discipline but you’ll have to resist so many other opportunities to become self obsessed. In fact perhaps, in the west at least, it is more suited to personal therapy than gaining enlightenment….though this side of the pond I think we still tend to be quite dismissive of therapy.
    Love the actual post by the way “theory of learning” and “I hereby hail a new era of personal responsibility”. Yep, taht’ll do it. Anyway, always been suspicious of “teachers

  • Posted 24 January 2009 at 11:25 pm | #

    No, I’m not kidding.

    To my understanding, ashtanga is incipiently mystical.

    And that if it cannot be that in our world, it is because of our own bad habits and delusions.

    Hey, you’re the one doing the dialectic of being-Being and the religious backbends.

  • Posted 25 January 2009 at 8:00 am | #

    I guess it depends if we equate Patanjali Ashtanga as an eight-limb path with PKJ Ashtanga. In the later the authorities do seem to want to refer to ashtanga as the series of asanas and stress the need to also focus on the other limbs of Patanjali. So when you consider Ashtanga as a route to Love, peace and higher consciousness which are you refering to? I read it as your refering to both but I consider one to undermine the other. The focus on Ashtanga as Asana surely unbalances the other seven limbs. You nail one asana and then the next and when you finaly have the series down you start on a new series and on it goes. All this focus on the physical, it no longer becomes a means to an end (preping the mind) but an end in itself. PKJ Ashtanga just seems too inconsitant as a good route to L P and HC and that’s why I said I put it way down MY list. And my old mate Sid Hatha, leaving the yogis in the forest seems to agree with me. Does PKJ ashtanga help us overcome our bad habits and delusions or just give us another barrow load.
    Re backbends I’m refering to them as religious in the obsessional sense although I’m coming across a lot of people who mention an ecstatic experience, an opening both spiritual and physical so perhaps your right, perhaps it is a mystical experience. but then Mysticism is about discovering truth which of course may not turn out to be Love and peace.

    Oh and there’s nothing mystical about the being of being being being tis just semantics.
    I think there’s lots to learn from Heideggers writings but I don’t think I consider HIM my teacher. Isn’t that the point in our line of work that we’re taking a critical approach to someones writing even if we’re a fan (especially if we’re a fan). But that doesn’t seem to happen in the Teacher as guru/student relationship thus my suspicion of “Teachers”.
    We’re still friends right?

  • Posted 25 January 2009 at 11:56 am | #

    More than ever.

    Re Being being semantics, there is that pseudocontinental turn, the circle of Vienna, that tells us all disagreements are semantic. I gather this is such a case.

    It seems like a practical question — the ashtanga/ Ashtanga, Narcissus/ Goldmund thing. Are they opposites, contradictions? Yes; No. It’s all just action in paradox. May peace conquer all.

    Viva Cid Hatha!

  • Posted 25 January 2009 at 11:57 am | #

    O god, just noticed the timestamp and it’s not lying.

    Here we go, back on the early shift…

  • Posted 25 January 2009 at 3:07 pm | #

    Welcome back to morning! We missed you!

  • Posted 25 January 2009 at 4:11 pm | #

    Loved Narcissus and Goldmund all time favourite book (maybe), wanted to be Goldman in my twenties, Narcissus in my thrities must read it again.
    Wasn’t someone saying something about the other Narcissus in relation to those who practice without a teacher and miss their faults focusing on only their strengths. Something like that. but they used the fairy tale version of Narcissus …he fell in love with his own beauty and died of a broken heart. But in Ovid Narcissus’ mother asks the blind seer Teiresias if her son will lead a long life. He tells her only, if he never knows himself. The question then becomes what did he discover about himself when he gazed into the pool or into his mat. His transient beauty suggests ovid. Temporality?
    Brings us back to your radical theory of learning, not so radical perhaps because Ovid was saying the same thing 2000 years ago and of course the Greeks before him, Know thyself. No teacher for Narcissus, the limpid pool on that night of a full moon was enough, he was ready.

  • meniscusmerangue
    Posted 25 January 2009 at 5:12 pm | #

    ‘Incipience’ being the key. After that, we’ll see. Maybe all the proleptics down to (dare I say it) RF may be a bunch of blankets.

  • Posted 26 January 2009 at 12:08 am | #

    Kind of has to begin at last by the 5:00 hour to qualify as “morning” practice in this crowd, yes? Funny.

    My favorite was Demian, which I read at 17 right after I finished a certain misogynist propaganda novel by Ayn Rand. Demian’s androygnous muse and the whole notion of that journey set things aright. And I never knew Siddhartha was supposed to be Gautama until much later.

    Western run-of-the-mill narcissists do give Narcissus a bad name. Oddly, I have never read Ovid. That’s good.

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